critical response

Reading an Anonymous Blog

From a reader’s perspective, I take every anonymous blog/twitter account/anything on social media platforms with a grain of salt. I think it’s easier for people to post things online under the guise of anonymity and allows the user to speak more freely which can be a good thing or a REALLY bad thing.  I think being able to post on websites and contribute to the online community is wonderful and allows for a flourishing community, but in my experiences most of the anonymous users I’ve come across are either trolls or actively seeking to be an aggressive presence online.  That being said, I when I see that something is anonymous I usually tend to regard it as a joke. The best example for this would be twitter. There are TONS of anonymous twitter accounts but none of them really say anything substantial. It’s mostly accounts like “joke apple” that tweet corny dad jokes. There is the other side of that though. One young anonymous twitter user recently, “as a joke,” tweeted at American Airlines claiming she was a terrorist and that she was going to bomb a specific flight.  As expected, this user got into a lot of trouble, but her account blew up with notifications.  I’m sure if the user wasn’t anonymous she would never have tweeted such a statement, because after her identity came out she had a lot of issues with press.

I know that a lot of people find anonymous users funny and witty but I don’t really pay them any mind. I guess this could be hypocritical on my end because I did change my Facebook name during my job search. (It’s not back to my real name). I just feel that being anonymous facilitates negative commenting.

Live Blogging

The short article “Research Reveals Popularity of Live Blogging” written by the Guardian highlights the growing popularity of live blogging in today’s information-hungry world.  The conventional online article is no longer the main news source; new surveys being conducted by the City University London on the subject have shown that live blogs are achieving an impressive 300% more views and 233% more visitors than the static conventional article.  Live blogs have even outshone picture galleries by over 200% more views.

Live blogging has become one of the fastest growing ways for gaining news information in today’s technological world. Instead of writing full articles on major news stories, live blogging publishes small tidbits of information as they come in. The researchers came to the conclusion that people are becoming more receptive to these small factoids because of their conversational nature. Live blogging allows for the reader to gain access to breaking news stories as soon as they happen. Major news sources like CNBC and BBC have even taken to twitter which has become one the major platforms to conduct these live blogging factoids that embed links to the organizations website.

I know that I’m the unpopular opinion, but I find live blogging very cumbersome. When I hear about something going on in the world I want to get as much factual information as possible without having to navigate a whole website for it. I’m still a big fan of the conventional news article because all the facts are checked, unlike live blogging. The nature of sending out speedy news bits is that not all of the information can be fact checked before it’s blasted to the public. I personally think that the constant stream of information, while nice to attain news in theory, has the underlying agenda of having people click continuously through an organizations website which would generate more views.

Though I’ve expressed mostly my negative opinion of live blogging, I do think that it is a great way for the reader to get their information initially. I would be lying if I said I didn’t follow major news sites on twitter and have CNN’s application downloaded to my phone. I like the initial contact of the breaking news because otherwise I’m sure I wouldn’t catch it. After that, however the constant ping of my phone gets a bit overwhelming. As I previously mentioned, I really like the idea of live blogging in theory, but it’s just not my cup of tea when trying to gain news information all at once.

Naked Media

I think naked media is important in that we should be aware that whatever we are sending out into the world may not be read or perceived how we want it to be. On a number of levels this is true for any form or anything we put out there–even when speaking out loud. Everyone has a different experience, perspective, opinion, and view-point which makes it just about 100% impossible to control the reaction of your audience. Things that are very important to you within the text may be a passing footnote for someone else that finds something else in the text very note-worthy. For this reason, it is not strange to think that whatever is being put out there will be up for grabs and interpretation depending on the person.

What is distinctly more difficult is when you cannot even control visually how your work is being taken in. In the case of naked media, there is a n enormous leap from print, to electronic, to even the e-mailed copy. I receive dozens of forwarded articles and pictures or posts from friends daily. I never stop to think in what browser they might have opening this up, or even in what context. This is especially true when things get arbitrarily posted on Facebook, or I’ll read a tweet from Twitter that completely disregards the original person who said that–whether it be a funny line or even a movie quote. I think its worth thinking about, when we stress out over form and fonts and layout, that we may not necessarily have the final say in where that final product may end up and whose eyes will be around to see the re-mixed edition. Whether though harmless sharing, or a slower browser.

For that reason its important to focus on content as telling the story and getting the fact, you cannot solely rely on media, though it does provide for excellent back-up. Your words need to be able to get the point across and explain what is happening. Chances are if someone is really invested in your work, they will do the necessary research to find your original posting or the original way in which something was shared. These are things that are not truly that hard to find unless absolutely all source material has been erased–even your name.

So while it is prudent to take a step back and think about what can get omitted in the process of sharing, I don’t think it should take away from the work you already put into the original publication. There is no way to completely control how someone will experience something, short of strapping them down to a chair and peeling open their eyelids. But that’s creepy and completely un-kosher. Who is that seriously desperate to broadcast the original in that sense? As long as the work is being read in a context that still gives sense to it, then it should be okay. But, still keeping in mind that media does matter–whether its included or not.