The last one.

This module has illustrated both sides of the spectrum in terms of how the internet can be used for good and bad.

Online communities, a platform for debate, a platform for change, and a platform to learn are just some of the major positives o the internet that have been further illustrated during Network Society and the Media lectures/seminars.

But what about the bad?

There are a few different negatives I could focus on, but i’ve decided that the one with the most direct relevance to me is probably that of privacy.

The internet can be used to learn an astonishing amount of information about users. Appearance, friends, interests, hobbies-even where they are and where they live. Can this really be right? Well actually, yeah.

Everybody that uses the internet is agreeing in principal to share their information. Every site that uses cookies will notify you, anything that you post through social media is instantly no longer yours-it belongs to the internet.

There is a genuine need to be vigilant in what you are doing online. This is now abundantly clear. This shouldn’t mean no longer taking in all the benefits of the internet, but recognising the need to be thoughtful is very important

 

 

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The Premium Press

Before November last year, both of News UK’s national newspapers’ websites had a paywall, blocking internet users access to online content.

Both sites would show the opening few lines of each news story, before blocking the rest off and asking a user to sign in or sign up to an account with a subscription fee.

Despite both being products of Murdoch’s News UK and having similar political agendas, The Sun and The Times contain very different types of journalism, with The Sun being unapologetically tabloid. The Times on the other side markets itself as not just a broadsheet paper, but as the best journalism you can find, describing themselves as “A premium British brand.”

Whilst The Sun have since taken down their paywall in order to compete with the likes of Mirror OnlineThe Times remain restricted by a pay-barrier.

An argument could be made for The Times following suit and removing their pay barrier. This would almost certainly lead to a sharp increase in dwindling online traffic figures, however would it be right for their carefully sculpted brand?

As mentioned, The Times wants to be seen as the home of the very best journalism money can buy, and operating a pay wall certainly at least reinforces that premium feel.

 

The one and only Étienne Fermie

My online presence isn’t remarkable. It is probably just the average for a guy my age. I have Facebook and Twitter, but no Instagram or Tumblr. I shouldn’t be that visible online surely?

But despite the perks of having a unique name, one of the pitfalls I suppose could be that I am easily found. I am, to my knowledge, the only Étienne Fermie on Earth. So if you’ve heard or seen something about an Étienne Fermie, it’s probably referring to me.

etienne fermie google

Above is the result of a google image search of my name. The first and third pictures that come up are of me. The second picture is a friend of mine. Below the picture of me looking very red is my mum wearing a grey beret. Also included is a book i’ve read and another couple of pictures that i’ve tweeted. All this within the first two rows.

A little Google web search and suddenly I seem famous. On the first page there is my twitter account, my Facebook account, my givemesport.com writer page, my Storify account, as well as a comment I made three years ago on change.org.

The perks of being the one and only.

The Fighting Cock

As the title obviously suggests, The Fighting Cock is a community for all things Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Run by fans, for the fans, The Fighting Cock provides an alternative to mainstream football media, catering for what supporters want.

There are plenty of different sections to the site, one of which provides articles written from a fans perspective about various aspects of what’s going on at the club. The site can provide a platform for young or unpublished writers to have their voice heard and work seen by like-minded individuals.

The site is mainly known for its podcast, which started out as a group of fans that just want to talk about Spurs. Often the sound of beer cans being opened can be heard, and you can tell that they are just passionate fans that want to promote the voice of the supporter being heard-in an age where it often isn’t.

Another prevalent feature of The Fighting Cock is the forum it hosts. A mostly positive thing, allowing discussion, but unlike the forum of a smaller club that I mentioned last week, with a much higher volume of users, it can be difficult to moderate. Overall, however, it adds to the promotion of the supporter’s voice mattering, and that’s good enough for me.

Plymouth Argyle Supporters On The Internet

Having held a season ticket at Sky Bet League 2 side Plymouth Argyle between 2012 and 2015 (exciting i know), I liked to keep up to date with all the goings on within the football club.

Brought up as a Spurs fan, it has never been difficult to find news and opinion on them. As one of the biggest clubs in the country, the chances are that, flicking through the sports supplements or listening to sports radio, Spurs would come up. The same could not be said of my local side Plymouth Argyle, languishing in the fourth tier.

To combat this lack of media coverage, I looked around online and found a website called PASOTI (Plymouth Argyle Supporters On The Internet). PASOTI is an online forum run by Plymouth Argyle supporters, for Plymouth Argyle supporters, that enables fans to chat about the goings on at the club. With sections such as Argyle DiscussionRumours and Conjecture and The Football Forum, PASOTI allowed me to get my fix of news and opinion from fans of the club.

The site is moderated to make sure that threads are on topic and to veto any abuse, but it is still fan-lead initiative that promotes debate between fans.

Amazon Prime and chill

In June 2015, it was believed by the CIRP that Amazon Prime  had risen to over 44 million subscribers in the US alone.

As Amazon have grown as a brand, they have modernised different types of media and rolled it into one, technologically savvy brand.

Having begun as just an online bookstore, Amazon now provides its consumer with all their media needs. Streaming Movies and TV shows online, downloading books, playing games, as well as subscribing to your favourite newspapers/magazines.

Also interlinked with Amazon Prime is their tablet. The Amazon Fire rivals Apple’s iPad and the Samsung Galaxy in that market, using Prime to deliver the consumer whatever they could possibly want in a tablet.

This convergence has had, and will continue to have a huge impact on each individual industry that it touches. For example, The Independent last week announced that it was going fully online, ceasing printing for good. Traditionally a newspaper with one of the lowest readerships, The Independent was always going to be in danger of being the first casualty of the digital age.

In this age, people want things fast and people want things easy, leading to the dominance of online over traditional markets. This is great for Amazon, but is forcing other industries to simply adapt or die.

 

Technology, Entertainment, Design

In 2014, a friend of mine was asked do a talk for TEDx Teen (which can be found here). His talk was about how technology can save the high street. This introduced me to TED conferences, which I hadn’t heard of before.

The idea of a TED talk is to provide a platform to spread stimulating ideas through short, engaging talks, most of which take an absolute maximum of twenty minutes to watch.

Despite having opened up to other topics, traditionally, these conferences have mainly showcased ideas and observations on technological themes, of which many can be interesting and useful to us for this module.

In particular there are plenty of talks surrounding social media-a key aspect of this course. These are the talks that i’d recommend checking out for extra ideas.

Themes covered include how social media is evolving, how it affects the world we live in, and how it affects individuals. I’ll leave some you may find interesting at the bottom.

I think what sets these talks apart from other tools is that they are used as a point of discussion. Also they are deliberately short to be user friendly, which certainly helps.