Digital sharing——Facebook

Digital sharing——Facebook

 

Nowadays, various platforms of social media are used by wide range groups of publics from teenagers to elders, from males to females, from business to academia. It has become an important part of our daily life. People are likely to use digital devices to share their everyday life. Whatever ordinary people or famous people, they enjoy sharing their life, their feeling and their experience. And as audiences, we like to read them and watch them. It gradually forms a circle of interaction.

We could find some key words about social media from some resources: “web-based services”, interaction, share, information, photos, experiences, videos and locations. These key words indicate the dramatic changes in today compared with yesterday. Yesterday, the printed newspapers are the main forms to publics acquiring information and they were passively impacted by advertisements, while today, people can through various devices access information like smartphones, tablets, computers and other devices acquire information. So we can see that because of social media and various digital devices, our social life is more active and colorful. We can initiatively share things that we want to display. However, in the era of mass media, we can do nothing, but passively receive message.

I have a question, why people like to share their life on social media or online media. In my opinion, they know there are lots people will look these and reply these. And we enjoy this kind of online interaction. There are some data about popularity of social media. We all knows that today, social media has been “an international phenomenon”. There are abundant statistics can prove this assertion. For example, SNS (social networking sites) arrived at 82% of the global online population or 1.2 billion customers; one of every five online minutes be consumed in SNS. From these statistics we can see, social media has become a part of individuals’ daily life.

Facebook is the most popular platform or sharing website. So I want to show the importance of digital sharing by discussing Facebook. Facebook, a social networking site, is launched by 2004, which as the one of the oldest social media platforms not only is used continuously until now, but also still is the most famous platform in the world. According to Facebook’s assertion, at present there is initiative customers reach 800 million and half of them access Facebook each day. So, how the Facebook show digital sharing?

Firstly, Facebook allows users to create a personal profile, which may help users to build their own space. Then Facebook users can use this affordance to share essential and daily life message to inform publics who they are, what do they do and what things they recently like. Making audiences have a clear understanding and a sense of familiarity to this friend. Secondly, Facebook provides an interaction function, that is users can connect with other users. “Social network maintenance” is the essential affordance for Facebook, namely Facebook can “keep in touch with one’s social ties”. This is an ideal affordance for relationships management. When somebody share a interesting thing, other users or friends can comment it. These interaction leads to closer relationships between friends. If some friends misunderstand or have some negative attitudes for you, you could use Facebook to share your real thoughts so that reduce misunderstand or negative impacts. This kind of immediate, direct and independent communication and connection with other users is the unique advantage of Facebook. It may effectively control the diffusion of negative influence and keep the relationships with friends by eliminating misunderstanding. Thirdly, Facebook not only allows users to post and share their photos, but also allows they share they loved videos and links. Users can post some fancy and unique photos and videos about their daily life or experiences so that attract other users to interact with them and to re-share these interesting videos, photos and links resulting in increasing users to view them and share them. Therefore, this function can effectively promote popularity of users through photo or video-sharing. Finally, through Facebook, users have the ability to build groups based on a common and specific topic or interest. Users can take part in different groups around various topics or interests; for example the discount information group, event coverage group and recruitment group. These groups can enhance engagement and interaction among users, and facilitate users becoming more active on Facebook.

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“MEME”: A popular phenomenon in the field of PR

“MEME”: A popular phenomenon in the field of PR

In this week class, we learned and explored a term that is “MEME”. In the beginning, when I just listen this term, I completely cannot understand this meaning. What’s that? However, I understand the importance of this term “meme” after this class. It is used so broad in the field of public relations and advertising, and it is around us often. So I could say that as a student of studying public relations and advertising, this class or understanding “meme” is significantly important for us.

So let’s talk about “meme” now!

The first question is what is “meme”? Simply, it is a unit of cultural reproduction and/or transmission (of course, this explanation is from the UNSW 5003 class). In my words, meme could be defined that someone or something is broadly transmitted and reproduced at such a high speed on online. And finally they become a famous phenomenon. Just like YouTube, it is likely to use the “meme” concept as an analytical tool and form “memetic videos” leading to abundant users’ engagement by creative derivatives (Shifman 20110).

Maybe some people want to know what differences between the “meme” and “virality”, because these two terms or phenomenon look so similar. Well, from my class, I know a little knowledge about this question. Firstly, I want to explain “viral video”. A viral video as a clip that transmit the message through digital word-of–mouth system without obvious change. For example, Ice Bucket Challenge. The case of “Ice Bucket Challenge” can be seem as a pretty successful PR example. This online activity not only contributes to large number of engagements from global super stars, politicians and businessmen, but also achieves the major purpose of this online activity – raise money for charity. However, we can clearly see that this kind of transmission doesn’t make significant change. Namely no creativity, only simple reproduction. Therefore, the important feature of “Viral Video” is no significant change.

Nevertheless, the “memetic video” is opposite to the “viral video”. The memetic video can invoke a different structure of participation. It can trigger extensive creativity from users. These creativities can be parody, pastiche or other derivative work (Shifman 2011). Firstly, let’s look a PR case “Obama – GANGNAM STYLE”. As we all know, the GANGNAM STYLE is PSY’s famous song, which spreads to every corners of world. People from 8 years old to 60 years old, from students to politicians, from Asian to American enjoy meme of this song.

This is original version by PSY.

Of course, the president Obama is the one who run for president by reproducing and creating GANGNAM STYLE.

This is memetic video by Obama.

So does anything can become memes? My answer is NO. In my opinion, if this video wants to become meme, it is supposed to contain 4 elements (Shifman 2011):

  1. Focusing on ordinary people. The majority of users are ordinary people on YouTube. So as a public relations practitioner who should survey the psychology of ordinary people. For example GANGNAM STYLE. This melody is easily remembered and dance is so funny, so it can attract attention from global users.
  1. Humor. Obviously, if this video is so boring, I think nobody wants to look it. The GANGNAM STYLE is filled with humor from melody to dance. It is so weird; lots of people around me feel happy when they listen this song. They even dance when listen it.
  1. Simplicity. Because our target audiences or major users are ordinary people, we cannot post videos with difficult understanding. If this video can be understood by different groups of age and different fields, this is possible to become a memetic video. The GANGNAM STYLE is a good example. It is be accepted by any groups of age and any fields. (Though I am little exaggerated.)
  1. Repetitiveness. It is important as well. When people look the video first time, they cannot remember it. So if this video exists repetitiveness, it can deepen the impression from audiences. The GANGNAM STYLE’s melody, lyric and dance is continually repetitive. Therefore, people can easily remember this song and spreads it.

Ok, I hope this blog can help you (I mean readers) to understand “meme”, especially for PR practitioners.

Reference

Shifman L. (2011), ‘An anatomy of a YouTube meme’, New Media & Society, Vol 14(2), pp.187-203.

The discussion of Twitter

The discussion of Twitter

Speaking of Twitter, almost everybody knows it. It looks like if you do not know or never heard the “Twitter”, you must not live in this era. But do you know exactly meaning of Twitter? Or how much knowledge of Twitter you know? Today, I want to share some knowledge of twitter with you.

twittercloud

(Image from http://dailygenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/twittercloud.png)

Firstly, I want to talk about what is Twitter. This question has been asked in our online class. Specifically, Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “twitter”. So we can see, although some people like to read news or information by Twitter, they cannot acquire specific details of news or information. However, users can access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device app. It means that users can tweet via the Twitter website, compatible external applications (such as smartphones) or by Short Message Service (SMS) available in certain countries. That is so flexible to use (it is also an advantage of Twitter I think).

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(Image from http://www.israel21c.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/shutterstock_107151437-e1371363276584.jpg)

Furthermore, users may subscribe to other users’ Tweets that is known as “following” and subscribers are known as “followers”. These followers also can “retweet” this original information.

retweet

(Image from http://twittermania.nl/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/retweet.jpg)

I think this video “How to use Twitter” explains the “What is Twitter” by introducing different functions of Twitter. It shows more specific information and more visual.

Why can I say almost everybody knows Twitter. Well, let’s look at some data. Up to now, there are 271 million monthly active users of Twitter around the world; 500 million Tweets are sent per day (so amazing data); 77 percentages of accounts are outside the USA and Twitter supports 35 plus languages (these data are from the online class). Considering these data, we can know that Twitter not only has considerably active users, but also these active users are distributed in different countries. Therefore, whatever talks Twitter from the aspects of number or the distribution, it possesses a significant influence, especially on communication.

twitter-network

(image from http://cdn.robgonda.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/twitter-network.jpg)

Now, let’s talk about the difference between traditional news process and Twitter news process. In terms of traditional news process, its each step is pretty different from the Twitter. Firstly, input – its news gathering only by staff journalist. Secondly, output – it is closed editorial hierarchy. Lastly, it needs editorial selection of letters. In short, the traditional news process is more strict, restrictive and normal. Nevertheless, Twitter news process is a completely different way. Firstly, the news sources open to all users. Secondly, input – submission of stories open to all users. Next, output – the information is instant published or collaborative edited. Finally, the discussion and commentary open to all users. Therefore, Twitter is more open, transparent and casual.

In view of the above, we can indirectly understand some characteristics of Twitter. To begin with, it adds available information channels and increases active atmosphere and selective audience. Moreover, it directly communicates between news makers and news audiences and accelerates news processes beyond 24-hour news cycle. However, it appears some disadvantages as well. Firstly, it is less control over content. Because Twitter open to all users, any users can post any contents and reply any commentary. It may results in some negative impacts on social order sometimes. Secondly, rumors. It is so awful. For example, recently Australia occurred some terrorist attacks so that most people feel not safe. At that moment, some users post some awful rumors by social media to trigger more panic from individuals. That is a significant disadvantage of Twitter.

However, although Twitter has some drawbacks, the benefits still exceed these drawbacks. We can see from politics to entertainment, from Barack Obama to Justin Bieber, they are likely to use social media such as Twitter interacting with their followers.

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(Image from UNSW 5003 class)

I suggest guys to see this interesting video, which describes most aspects I mentioned in this blog including the definition, different devices and numerous users etc.

Besides,  Twitter is a representative of viral transmission. We can see from its function “retweet”. For example, When some famous people post an interesting  message, it will leads to abundant followers to retweet it. This phenomenon can be called “viral transmission”. It doesn’t have any creativity or noticeable change, just simple reproduction. I just want to tell you guys some extra knowledge about Twitter or online media.

Some Discussion About Trust and Credibility in Online

Some Discussion About Trust and Credibility in Online

Hi, everyone. Today I want to discuss the trust and credibility in online with you.

Nowadays, we can access the news and information by various approaches or forms rather than only read newspapers, listen radios or watch TV. It is truth that online provides maximum convenience to us, especially for the area of news or information. In the past, if audiences want to access news, they only have one traditional form – mass media. As we all know, although the news from mass media is definitely believable, audiences just are able to read or watch it. They cannot give their opinions in the platform of mass media, because it is one-way communication. Nevertheless, online media brings audiences a completely different environment for accessing information. It is an open platform. As a form of two-way communication, audiences not only access numerous information, but also join it and produce information. It is more interactive.

social-interaction-graphic-cropped

(Image from http://www.thesocialworkplace.com/wp-content/uploads/social-interaction-graphic-cropped.jpg)

However, not everyone thinks that the online is good or believable for the information. In UNSW Online Media class, I know some critiques in online media. The author Allan in journal article “Online News: Journalism and The Internet: Journalism and the Internet” said: “ The Internet is often viewed by its users as an unfiltered primary source of information and not to be trusted like the traditional news media.” Therefore, it is important to address the problem of distrust.

There are 4 methods of online credibility:

  1. Presumed credibility: In your online site, you must show your prior knowledge about topics. For example, for area of fashion, you must know the fashion trend every year, the newest products of luxury brands, looking for some unique and interesting brands and so on. Shortly, you should guide your audiences.
  1. Reputed credibility: You are referred to the site by a third person. Maintaining the relationship with other believable online media is crucial. Likewise, in your online site, in order to improve your credibility, you also need to refer some real and authoritative organisations or person by showing address, photo and blog. For example, the online media can be “CNN.com, NYTimes.com, USATODAY.com and the like”, because of most people are likely to go to “the sites produced by major ‘brand name’ (Hayes, Singer and Ceppos 2007, Shifting Roles, Enduring Values: The Credible Journalist in a Digital Age).
  1. Surface credibility: It looks like a little trick. You should make your online site “looks professional”. When people don’t know your site, they prefer to go to the “professional” site. So please take your time on decorating and specialize your site.
  1. Earned credibility: Previous experience with the site tells audiences it is believable. Therefore, you must post accurate information on your site, such as links, third party websites and references; and make it easy to verify. In addition, give a real organization or honest people behind your site.

Except for the above 4 elements, the senior blogger, Blaise Grimes-Viort, also has some his points for building trust in online, such as leading by example, getting personal, being honest, accepting you’re human, being knowledgeable & share, maintaining consistency, letting it go and don’t give up. If you are interested it, please click this site:http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/how-build-trust-your-online-community-8-key-points 

Overall, in the many online platforms, Blogs is believed that it is believable. Its process is transparent, because it has links, sources and evidence to establish trust. Even if sometimes it makes mistakes, the mistakes can be easily corrected. Furthermore, Blogs is fair, because it isn’t controlled by any corporate interests. In terms of information, the bloggers often discuss issues that mass media perhaps ignore. Please see this video, which talks about lots of knowledge about building trust in Blogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7chUcx5-NG4

Well, in this article we repetitively emphasize the online media lacks of trust and credibility. Even the author Allan also believe that online media not to be trusted like the traditional news media. But I have a question:”How much credibility the mass media has?” We always criticize the online media with less trust, only because it is more personal and liberal. However, we believe that mass media is more credible, just because it is a more formal and official message transmission platform. Do you think maybe because of its official, some real news cannot be published. On the contrary, because online media is more liberal, it can post real news. This video “Can we trust mainstream media” expresses my thought.

Online media and online media audience

Online media and online media audience

In recent decades, the industry of media has experienced a huge change from mass media or broadcast media to social media or personal media. This change not only impacts on media outlets, but also results in the appearance of online media audience. Today, I want to discuss this change.

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(image from http://www.globalindonesianvoices.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/online_media_1.jpg)

First of all, we need to discriminate the differences between broadcast media and personal media. What is the broadcast media? Broadcast derived form the method of “sowing seeds” in a field by casting then broadly, so broadcast sowing is used as a metaphor for the dispersal or radio wave signals (from MDIA5003 week 4 lecture). Specifically, broadcast media is “the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via electronic mass communication medium, but typically one using the radio waves, in a ‘one to many’ model” (from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcasting).

This video explains a general knowledge about mass media. Though it is not so specific, we can consider it as a reference.

So what is the personal media? Personal media is the pretty personal, common, civillian and independent communication, which through the modern and electronic methods delivers the formal or informal information to one person or many. Its platforms include blog, micro-blog, Wechat, twitter, Facebook, Google+ and so on (from http://baike.baidu.com/view/45353.htm?fr=aladdin). In other words, personal media makes those people who don’t have media resources and relevant platforms to deliver their thinking, opinion and words through network (from http://baike.baidu.com/view/743426.htm?fr=aladdin).

This video introduces some useful online media knowledge, including specific social platforms and ways of transmission etc. Besides, this video is an introduction as well for next paragraph.

Next, let us learn a bit of online media information before we access the knowledge of online media audience. From MDIA5003 week 3 and 4 lectures, we can see that online media has 3 main devices or delivery models: computer, smartphone and tablet. These three devices have their different advantages: 1. Computer. Because the computer’s big screen, people like to use it watching news stories, data, infographics and videos. 2. Smartphone. Smartphone is very convenient, portable and smaller, so people like to read morning briefings, news stories and quick updates by it (especially on transportation, such as bus and train). 3. Tablet. Because the tablet combines the advantages of both computer and smartphone, people could use it doing more things such as feature stories, longforms, news stories, videos and morning briefings. Usually, people like to get news on at least two digital devices of these such as computer and tablet. However, not everyone likes to read news through digital devices. Generally, people under the 54 years old prefer using digital devices. For small size electronic device – smartphone, it is more popular among younger age groups (18 – 34 years old). Therefore, we can see that the online media is more popular among young age group.

Finally, let us talk about online media audience. Broadcast media is a one-way communication, which not allows audiences interact with it. However, online media is a two-way communication, which can result in abundant interaction with audiences (from book WE FIRST: How brands and consumers use social media to build a better world). In terms of types of audiences, broadcast audience tend to be fandom and participatory culture; nevertheless, online media audience are likely to connecting each other in a network and they can through a clear way communicate the speaker. Therefore, for online media audiences, there are 3 main benefits: 1. Online media can increase audience engagement; for example, audiences feel that they are the part of the news community. 2. Audience can bring news stories, sources and facts to journalist. 3. Identifying and delivering niche audience to advertisers, such as in travel sections of news sites. In the light of this, audiences not only have an opportunity to speak by online media, but also they need to carefully consider what they hear. Of course, everything has its two sides. Online media does give its audiences platforms and resources to deliver their opinions, but there is some concerns as well: 1. Speech may be out of control so that these speeches could damage ‘image’ or ‘brand’. 2. Legal concerns. We often see much defamation on ‘comment area’. 3. Comments may become a “free-for-all that annoys readers instead of generating useful conversations”. In conclusion, online media bring audiences a very different situation of media communication.

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Social media does change our life!

                      Social media does change our life

 Last week we talked a lot about social media in 5003 class. In my opinion, the discussion of the topic of social media is extremely needful, because that can trigger our deep and serious thinking to social media.

 Today, most people cannot leave mobile phone in their daily life; I think the major reason should be platforms of social media. Because there are a lot of platforms of social media, I prefer to take one specific platform as an example; Of course, this one results in huge influences to my life. That is Wechat.

 Wechat is so popular in China; I can say almost every Chinese person use it except for old people perhaps. It has the most functions I have ever seen.

  1. Chat. This function helps people save lots of money. Now, most people prefer to use Wechat contact each other rather than call. Therefore, some communication companies like China Mobile even wanted to ban it. This event also trigger extreme dissatisfaction form the public.
  1. Posting words, photos and videos. Nowadays, more and more young people like to share their feeling and life with their friends. Friends also like to read and reply these information. That is so good for those people who cannot get together often, because this function could strengthen their connection. Through these words, photos or videos, they can know their friends’ recent situations.
  1. Reading news and interesting information. This platform often post lots of important news and interesting stories to audiences. This behaviour not only helping users know many currently important events, but also making users have many common topics can be talked.
  1. Brand promotion. Many brands, companies and media promote their products, services and events through Wechat. Wechat has a function called Official Account. Many companies have their own official accounts who use this account to promote themselves and contribute to more attention and interaction.
  1. Making money. At present, many young people use Wechat to get revenue. These people often post lots of products pictures, such as clothes, cosmetics, foreign health products and luxuries to sell on Friend Circle that is one function of Wechat. If you post something on friend circle, your all Wechat friends will see it. That is truth, lots of young people making a fortune through Wechat.
  1. Video call. This function is so important for me, an overseas student. Whenever my parents miss me or I miss them, we always have a video call. That not only is free, but also makes we feeling we are together. My boyfriend also said: ‘Thanks Wechat and its video call so that we are still together.’ You know, long distance love always cannot be endured.

 I take Wechat as an example, because I want to express that social media does change our life. Of course, social media maybe bring some negative impacts on our life as well. Decade ago, when we have a party, we like to chat each other and we enjoy this kind of chat. However, nowadays, when we have a party, we still just look at our own mobile phone rather than talk with the people around us. Everything has two sides – positive side and negative side, but for social media, I think positive influences outweigh the negative influences. Otherwise, why UNSW wants to held the course named “Online and Mobile Media”.

However, there is not a platform of social media can be used by world people. Although Facebook is so popular in Europe, America and Oceania, China government bans it. I hope that there is a platform of social media can help world people contact each other.