Selling ourselves

People have this tendency to grab things that are for free. There’s nothing wrong with that; for instance, I will never have to buy pens again.

But the thing is – nothing’s for free in this world. You might not give money in return but…

whoever’s handed you his service or gift ends up with your data. That pen I got back at Fresher’s Fair was not free at all – it was given only after filling in my name, surname and e-mail. The same principle applies for the Internet.

We carelessly hand out personal data without thinking just to get access to something, be it an app or service.

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Terms and Conditions?

Turns out, only 7% of Britons go through this small print when signing up for products and services. Ticking in the ”I have read and agree to the terms of use” box is most likely the biggest lie in the world. Although the majority of us might giggle, this, in fact, is not a laughing matter. When clicking on ”Accept” button, your data has gone without you knowing or being informed where it has gone and in which parties hand it lies.

South Park has made a clip introducing the public of the possible consequences they might face if agreeing to Terms&Conditions without getting acquainted with company’s policy. Their approach to it might seem a bit exaggerated, however that does not mean skipping this document is the best idea of yours. And who knows – maybe they will need your blood after all.

A confession – I never read Terms&Conditions, it’s a waste of my extremely precious time. However, I decline their warm invitation by simply clicking away. My life is still fulfilled without those kitten videos or This One Little Trick That Celebs Use To Keep Slim! articles. And my data is safe.

 

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The Times not student friendly?

At the beginning of Year 1, we, Journalism students, were strongly recommended to read newspapers. Regularly. Not only that – those had to be of a different variety. As a conscientious and vigilant student (like all of us were back in September), I did that. The Guardian, the good old Daily Mail, The Independent, The Daily Telegrah – all the top national newspapers.

Except for THE TIMES.

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Their frontpage looks promising. Nothing indicates to any subscription.

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You click on the article that’s grabbed your attention..

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When all of a sudden..

The pricing of membership packs does not skyrocket – around £8 per week. Also, benefits come along, such as access to archives, Times+ access and games&puzzles; how great is that?!  Yet, even though some might regard this as a great deal, I think making news a priority for an elite is absurd. This thus reflects in their circulation – 400 000 is a relatively small number in a country with a 64.1 million large population.

It does make sense that companies and news agencies or just anyone want credit for their work and I believe it is only fair. Without a Creative Common licence journalists would probably be more careless when writing, not spending enough time for doing investigative journalism or simply not giving their best. But turning news into a money making machine is not right; regular news like the EU referendum or the refugee crisis should be free and available to anyone regardless their social status or income.

Now, as students, we will never find out what announcement was played down by Mr Johnson.

Kate Guna Kulniece

The previous lecture and seminar on this topic was fun..until you realised how easy it is for others to find out information about you that you wouldn’t necessarily want the rest of the world to know. I was one of the unlucky ones whose profiles were examined during one of the seminars. Ever since then, I privatised my Facebook profile.

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Also, it’s high time I changed my profile picture…

Just like the majority of Americans, I shared the opinion of having nothing to hide. Not the wisest decision of mine.

Apart from  Facebook, I’m also a community member of Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, draugiem.lv, Soundcloud, Erasmusu.com (don’t recall this one?) , Storify, about.me. My accounts are public, everyone can see anything I post. Why? Not being a wild party animal or a rude person, I have never posted anything offensive or something that might potentially damage my future professional profile.

When googling my name, nothing much comes up – all my social media profiles, images of me and my friends, a video on Youtube with me.

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As well as me taking part in some competitions.

I would say finding information about me is relatively easy as most of my profiles are public, hence it is not under my control. Even though now I am sure that none of my posts won’t have a destroying effect in the future,  two different profiles should be made – one for personal use and the other for professional platform. This would give me some control of what information is being shared around.

What about you? What does Google have to say about you?

 

draugiem.lv

Probably many of you, if not all, are thinking :”Umn, what language is that?” right now. And I can proudly say that it’s my mother tongue – Latvian.

draugiem.lv is the most popular networking site amongst Latvians – with 2,6 million registered users it’s managed to land amid those sites with more than one million participants.

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2,6 million next to 1,44 billion active monthly users might seem petty. But Latvians are well pleased!

draugiem.lv is Latvia’s attempt on simulating Facebook and other like-minded online communities, which was launched in April, 2004. Like these , it also asks for creating a profile.

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I know, I know..stop laughing already!

Once that’s done, your travelling choices are unlimited. Join a community; either you attend Riga Centre Language School, listen to 30STM – there are thousands of people like you. Members will not only feel you but will also suggest you places to go, tracks to listen to and teachers to avoid. Some of my friends met their true loves when joining these societies.

Just like on Facebook,  one can send messages, congratuate others on their birthdays and name day (more presents, why not?!), upload galleries and post deep quotes on online diaries.

What makes draugiem.lv stand out is its option to find out who has been stalking you. You get to know the exact time and frequency of his/hers attendance. However, this comes only if you pay.

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Back in the days, boasting about the number of visitors you got each day was a vital ingredient amidst teenagers; we did everything to boost our statistics. I remember updating my profile photo every day. Miserable.

What is sad, however, is its diminishing popularity. With powerful and authorative sites like Facebook or Youtube, national replicas no longer seem engaging or capable of arousing any curiosity or interest. Is this the end of national communities? Do we all join a global community?

Channels and subscribers

Never ever audience has been as important and in fact rather crucial as it is now – equipped with the latest technology we are able to express ourselves and engage in an immediate conversation with whoever we want. Apart from Barack Obama or other big people – I cast doubt on a response from him to your direct message on Twitter…

Apart from Twitter, where content is based on deep tweets , Youtube is amongst the most popular websites in the world. And I believe it wouldn’t be if its one billion users couldn’t participate actively.

One of the latest trends is Q&A videos, in which popular Youtubers of all genre answer questions which their subscribers have regarded as important. These, as I have noticed, are mostly dealing with personal life; for instance, who’s your first boyfriend; what were your teenage years like.

Along with videos, Youtube consists of comment section. It’s not only a place where discussions, sometimes meaningless or offensive, take place but also a way of channel subscribers suggesting ideas on next videos.

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These, however, are mainly common in DIY and recipe videos.

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I believe, without letting audience participate Youtube would no longer be Youtube as we know it – a place to find similarly thinking people; have a laugh at ‘’Epic Fails’’ videos or lurk into someone’s private life. Conversely, it would be a platform of people uploading videos with no content not even knowing if anyone is willing to watch them. Not too much fun, am I right?

The next generation of media

Technology is a mind-blowing tool; it allows us to experience unimaginable moments. In the age of IT, combining two separate technologies into one has become a norm – no longer we are surprised by a mobile phone with a camera.

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Inevitably, the world of media has also been effected. Radio has moved online. Almost every radio station has its Twitter account. Not only  for hashtags like #TargetsNoticeBoard but accounts are also cleverly used to engage with audience thus letting express thoughts on serious matters immediately.

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No longer people have to faithfully sit and wait for their favourite radio show like loyal dogs. With podcasts gaining a massive popularity people can now listen to their favourite programmes no matter where they are or what time it is. And the variety to choose from is overwhelming.

If pure audio is not enough one can stream life events and videos online without leaving his cozy bed and warm blankets. It indeed is a different experience when it’s live.

All this, of course, is great. Yet, as media now has a double life, it is important to think about cons it carries with itself. What about those people who don’t have any access to electricity and therefore the Internet? How do they get to enjoy things we do? Is this the end of traditional media? The Independent is already gone; who’s next?

 

Pew Research Center

We, the young generation, can’t imagine what it’s like spending the whole day at library whilst desperately trying to find useful material for assessments left for the last moment. To make matters worse, academic essays need to be backed up with relevant examples and statistics.

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Fortunately, there’s the Internet without which none of us could be able to pass and graduate later.

From the Internet’s library, which size is incomprehensible, I picked out Pew Research Center. As you’ve might have already guessed from its name (center instead of centre), it’s an American fact tank. However, this nonpartisan research group’s focus doesn’t only target data about Americans. Users are provided with information on various social issues, public opinion and trends shaping the world.

For us, media students, I’d suggest their Internet&Tech sheet. Not only does it give regularly updated data and tables but one can also navigate easily to come across presentations on, for instance, the consequences in a networked society and other topics. On top of that, students can also engage with what experts like Amy Mithcell or Maeve Duggan have to say on how teens use technology. Quite relevant.

Reading books is, of course, a great and valuable thing. Yet, if some inquiries, you can’t contact the author. Unless some deep investigation is done. This site has eased our tough student lives by offering experts’ e-mails and details. Therefore, you are welcomed to request some additional information. If courageous enough.

Let’s hope this site will be useful for our assessments.