All posts by maccartyty

The Internet for things other then facebook and cat meme’s

After studying the affects of media in our society throughout this quarter I am left with this question, how can individual people use powerful forms of media to make a better world?

Technologies develop over time to allow media forms to spread information to mass amounts of people at an ever-increasing rate.  Only in recent years have people been able to communicate across the globe instantaneously through the Internet.  This new form of media changes the previous mindless consumer to an active consumer/producer of information.  It provides anyone, with access to the these technologies, the ability to comment and interact with each other online.  Through the internet people truly have the power to come together and voice their opinions and concerns.

Currently, it is true that people are overwhelmed with these new capabilities and we still haven’t learned how to use them to our utmost advantage.  There is freedom with this form of media, which allows anyone to post and comment whether their being truthful or not.  Also, it allows for anyone to view what he or she pleases at their own discretion.  This is what makes the internet a profound and useful form of media.

There are many well known websites that people use habitually to keep up to date with social life and entertainment.   What if people took some of that time to find information on things that can actually help to change the world?  When I asked Google I easily found sites that provoke people to converse about important societal issues, like these two “Standford Social Innovation Review” and “World Future Society.” The usefulness of these websites is that they not only bring scholars from around the world to the same place to discuss similar concerns, but they also allow any ordinary person to comment and interact.  There are other websites like “The Zeitgeist Movement” that actually help people to create events at specified meeting places around the world in order to bring people together and discuss the future of our planet.

It is apparent that there are plenty of well established websites like these where people with similar views are able to get together and attempt to make a difference in the World.  All it seems to take is the initiative of the individual.  I can only hope that these sites become more entertaining and promoted in a way that everyone will want to look at them and become involved, rather than wasting time with cat meme’s and facebook.

If people are able to learn how to use these forms of media in a better way we will be able to create an overall better functioning World.  We are able to solve many societal issues by becoming active participants and even producers of media if it is done in a truthful and meaningful way.  It would be incredible if someone created a technology that ensured the validity of online posts, or better yet any form of media.

If there is enough similar actions of the individuals in agency, then it will influence change in society and its structure.  Change is certain, I simply hope people choose to come together through these forms of media to rise up and create a better world. I expect a purer form of democracy in the future, due to the proficiency of communication between anyone and everyone worldwide.

http://www.wfs.org/

http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/

http://www.ssireview.org/blog

Honey Boo Boo

Although television is viewed by millions of people regularly, I find it to be a waste of time.   I often hear people gossiping about The Bachelor or Duck Dynasty and I wonder, what is so intriguing about sitting and watching other people live their lives?  How does this influence people inside of and outside of our American culture.

Recently, I heard someone talking about a show called “Honey Boo Boo” and how hilarious it was.  Unfortunately, I decided to check it out.  The show is about a very young girl and her family from Georgia.  After seeing only one episode it is apparent that there are many stereotypes portrayed in the show.  To start, the young girl is a contestant in beauty pageants.  In the first episode she talks about how sad it is when she looses and how important it is to look pretty.  For me, this alone gives a negative message to all little girls who watch the show and makes them think that they need to be pretty in order to be successful.  To add to this, the entire family speaks very poor English and they seem to be overall unhealthy.  This again gives a poor example of what life should be like and what it is like in the lower class population of America.  I could keep going but I will only mention one other stereotype provided by this show, which is the pregnant teen sister of the little girl.  They make it seem so normal that such a young girl is sexually active and is going to have a baby.  This show is on TLC, The Learning Channel.  Are these kinds of things really what we want our society to be learning?  I feel like these are clearly bad stereotypes to be reinforcing through such a large source of media.  Unfortunately, these are the kinds of shows that attract the most viewers and make the most money.

In conclusion, it is the overlying ideology about America portrayed in this show that is an issue.  The ideology is that lower class Americans act like this and that it is normal.  I believe if people who are not previously acquainted with our culture watch this show, and others like it, they will get the wrong idea about our lifestyle and may even be influenced by it (which I believe many already have).  What do you think?  Are these goods images for people to be spending hours and hours watching lifelessly on their couch?

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo – S01E01 – Vidéo Dailymotion.

Hospital Blogs

The article that I chose to examine is called “Gatewatching: A Social Media Strategy for Hospitals” by Jean Sandlin, a Doctor of Education and Senior Strategist at Hive Strategies.  Dr. Sandlin explains how hospitals can help to pass on credible information through blogs to ensure validity of information regarding health issues.

Traditional media hasn’t made a large impact in the medical world in the past.  On the other hand, new media forms have greatly changed how people obtain information about their personal health problems.  Dr. Sandlin states that around 80% of people get this type of information online.  The problem with this is that with the ability of any one person to post this info the of it is legitimacy is questionable.  He goes on to explain how traditional media systems perform the task of filtering the information that we see, known as gatekeeping.  In the medical world hospitals have always been the gatekeepers.  Next, he explains how that with the new media forms people are able to blog and connect with each other across the world.  Followed by the definition of gatewatching, which is for the people to question the authority of the media that is being provided and assure that the correct information is forwarded.  Dr. Sandlin argues that hospital’s are able to perform the act of gatewatching in order to assure that the information provided to patients is accurate and reliable.  Hive Strategies is a blog cite that was created to help connect the hospital gatewatchers and to share credible information with the public.  The practices of gatekeeping and gatewatching are mutually reinforcing in this case.  There is still information coming from hospitals but the information is shared publically on the internet and gatewatchers that work for the hospitals are able to confirm it and share.           

The solution that Dr. Sandlin provides for the issues of credibility created by the forms of new media is for audiences to question the source of information concerning health issues and help to share it.   I believe this is a great way for hospitals to use new media forms in order to help people around the world.

Sources: 

Gatewatching: A Social Media Strategy for Hospitals

Fairness Doctrine

There are many arguments concerning the issues of “content and regulation” within media.  With the creation of radio broadcasting in the early 1900’s American citizens were easily informed simultaneously across the country.  In order to protect this media outlet from being improperly used the government created The Fairness Doctrine, which was assumed by the FCC in 1949.  The purpose of it was to make sure that the limited amount of radio bandwidths were used fairly to distribute content that was insightful and important regarding the general public.  I believe the people greatly benefited from this doctrine because they received news regarding the important issues regarding our country from many different perspectives.  The only people who were constrained by having this in place were corporations seeking profit and the dominance of a select few political parties.  After President Reagan revoked the Fairness Doctrine in 1978 it is easy to see who has benefited.  Large conglomerates now control the media and they reap large benefits from it.  Our news is now entertainment and it is easy to see that they cover issues that are popular for a large amount of the general public, therefore, gaining more viewers and larger profits.  Another issue is that only certain political viewpoints are promoted through these media outlets.  This means that not all sides of issues are being fairly given.  I believe that this doctrine or something similar needs to be put into action for the sake of American citizens.  It is commonly stated how many hours Americans spend watching TV and browsing the Internet.  With only a select few large corporations in control of these media outlets it is necessary that all of the important issues regarding the general public are presented from many different view points.  To add to this, these media outlets should not be allowed to gain profit off of news.  This is information that is important the continuance of a democracy and it should not be chosen to draw a larger audience, but rather to inform.

Comcast is the Devil

Comcast was incorporated in 1969 and is now one of the major media conglomerations in the world.  They accomplished this by merging a large number of companies. The most recent and largest merger was that of NBCUniversal.  There are many other companies that Comcast owns, which are listed below.

Television

NBC Television Network

NBC Entertainment

NBC News

NBC Sport Group

Universal Television (UTV)

Universal Cable Productions

NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution

NBC Universal International Television Distribution

NBC Local Media Division

NBC New York (WNBC)

NBC Los Angeles (KNBC)

NBC Chicago (WMAQ)

NBC Philadelphia (WCAU)

NBC Bay Area (KNTV)

NBC Dallas/Fort Worth (KXAS)

NBC Washington (WRC)

NBC Miami (WTVJ)

NBC San Diego (KNSD)

NBC Connecticut (WVIT)

NBC Everywhere

LX TV

Skycastle Entertainment

Telemundo

KVEA (Los Angeles)

WNJU (New York)

WSCV (Miami)

KTMD (Houston)

WSNS (Chicago)

KXTX (Dallas/Fort Worth)

KVDA (San Antonio)

KSTS (San Francisco/San Jose)

KTAZ (Phoenix)

KNSO (Fresno)

KDEN (Denver)

KBLR (Las Vegas)

WNEU (Boston/Merrimack)

KHRR (Tucson)

WKAQ (Puerto Rico)

KWHY (Los Angeles) (Independent)

Television Channels

Bravo

Chiller

CNBC

CNBC World

Comcast Charter Sports Southeast

Comcast Sports Group

Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

Comcast SportsNet California

Comcast SportsNet Chicago

Comcast SportsNet Houston

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic

Comcast SportsNet New England

Comcast SportsNet Northwest

Comcast SportsNet Philadelhpia

SNY

The Mtn.-Mountain West Sports Network

CSS

Comcast Sports Southwest

New England Cable News (Manages)

NBC Sports Network

The Comcast Network

E! Entertainment Television

G4

Golf Channel

MSNBC

mun2

Oxygen Media

Cloo

Sprout

The Style Network

Syfy

Universal HD

USA Network

The Weather Channel Companies

Syfy Universal (Universal Networks International)

Diva Universal (Universal Networks International)

Studio Universal (Universal Networks International)

Universal Channel (Universal Networks International)

13th Street Universal (Universal Networks International)

Movies 24 (Universal Networks International)

Hallmark Channel (non-U.S.) (Universal Networks International)

KidsCo (Interest) (Universal Networks International)

Film

Universal Pictures

Focus Features

Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Parks and Resorts

Universal Parks and Resorts

Digital Media

DailyCandy

Fandango

Hulu (32%)

iVillage

NBC.com

CNBC Digital

Plaxo

Communications

XFINITY TV

XFINITY Internet

XFINITY Voice

Sports Management

Comcast-Spectator

Philadelphia Flyers

Wells Fargo Center

Global Spectrum (Public Assembly Management)

Ovations Food Services

Front Row Marketing Services

Paciolan

New Era Tickets (ComcastTIX)

Flyers Skate Zone

Other

Comcast Ventures

4INFO

About.com

Abor Networks

Arroyo

Accolade

BelAir Networks

BENU

Bigpoint

BlackArrow

BlogHer

Bodymedia

BNI Video

BroadLogic Network Technologies

BroadSoft

>Bubble Motion

CarWoo!

Catalog Spree

CedarPoint Communications

Citysearch

Closely

ConteXtream

CTI Towers

Demde

Docusign

DreamIT MEAP (Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program)

EdgeConneX

Entreproid/dd>

FanDuel

Flipboard

Fwix

GreyStripe

Half.com

Healthline Networks

Iddiction

iControl Networks

Immedia Semiconductor

Integrate

Intellon

InviteMedia

JiWire

Kiwi Crate

KPCB

LinkShare

MegaPath Networks

MovazNetworks

Nebula

netForensics

NGT New Global Telecom

Nuera

ONDS

Ortiva Wireless

Perfect Market

Plumdistrict

Radius

Ramp

RF Magic

RGB Networks

SB Nation

SkyStream Networks

SnagFilms

Stratalight

The Rubicon Project

TiVO

TidalTV

Trion Worlds

Tripwire

Ubermedia

VeriSign

Verivue

Vertialnet

Videology

Visible World

Vitrue

Vivox

Vox Media

Whosay

XOS Digital

Comcast Spotlight

Comcast Business Class

Comcast Interactive Media

After examining this massive list of companies owned by Comcast there are several things that stick out to me. To start, this massive company has control over the previously GE owned corporation: NBC Universal in the largest cities in our Country.  Since Comcast was previously involved in television and communication I believe this is an example of vertical integration. This was clearly an advantageous merger seeing that it strengthened their position in the media market by purchasing an already well-established company.  It is concerning to me that this company has so much control on one industry, especially in the media and what millions of people tune into everyday.  By owning many different corporations in the media industry, Comcast is able to use synergy to their advantage in order to dominate the market. They do so by promoting each other through multiple forms of media. This synergistic process creates a mutually beneficial relationship between Comcast and NBC Universal.  In conclusion, it is apparent that there is some sort of team play between these corporations.