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Live Blogging

I think that live blogging can be influential but it depends on what the topic is and it depends on how live blogging is being utilized. Music was used for the example; if someone was live blogging a concert or performance I wanted to go to, it would be their real life experience and it would be informative to me. If the atmosphere wasn’t fun or if the fans are rude and obnoxious, I would be able to know what someone live blogging about that. Likewise, if the artist wasn’t performing right or if they weren’t a good singer live, I would know. I think this is a pretty good summation of live blogging’s pros. The main point of live blogging is to show what is happening through your reactions. Live blogging at its core is informative. It may be colored with emotions or bias of a person but for the most part, you can somewhat tell what is going on. I think that live blogging something has the potential to change a perception but for the most part, it’s not really going to do anything. A smaller benefit would be that other people who are watching the same thing as you could point out something that you may have never seen otherwise. Many things from different events or movies have been pointed out in a live blog that, looking back, I wouldn’t have taken notice of.

As for the cons of live blogging, I think that spoilers is the main thing. If someone is a live blogging a show that you haven’t gotten the chance to watch or even if your tv is a few seconds slower than theirs, you’re going to get surprises ruined. The same can be said for the previous example used; if an artist has a surprise ending for their concert and someone is live blogging that experience, you’re going to go to the concert expecting it and it’s going to lose its effect. On the other hand, if someone live blogs about that surprise ending and then it’s not there for the concert that you attend, it may leave you feeling disappointed and cheated. I personally find that I can’t go on Tumblr at all if I plan on watching something later than its airing date. I’ve gotten spoilers for the Grammy’s, episodes of shows that have been out for about 2 days, the Presidential debate, etc. A very real and more serious con of live blogging is the potential to give information to the wrong people. In the event of a school shooting, if the school is on lockdown and there are people outside watching the police activity and live blogging the event, the shooter inside (who would most likely have internet access) could potentially look up the event and see where police are to avoid immediate confrontation. They could plan a getaway or a strategic shootout. More often than not, school shootings tend to be led by people who don’t actually care what happens to them. If they know that the police are in a certain area, they may just avoid the area and continue with their actions elsewhere (obviously this depends on the school). Regardless of what is decided, it’s never a good thing to alert the enemy of the positions that the police have taken or their activities.

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What is Social Media

I’ve never actually taken the time to think of how I define Social Media. I sort of just think of a bunch of websites; Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and Myspace. I usually just think of any websites that encourage socializing between individuals or groups of people.

When I looked up the definition for “Media” it is stated that it is any means of communication to the masses.

Going off of this definition, I would say that the internet as a whole is social media instead of the few websites that I listed above. I

would define social media as anything that allows mass amounts of people to interact and socialize with each other. Social media should have the ability to reach thousands of people across the world.

Facebook and Myspace are good examples. A person can meet old friends but they can also access all kinds of other people in the world. Depending on the privacy settings, anyone can be updated to someone’s life. Obviously the everyday person’s updates aren’t going to be in high demand but this can be seen on popular artists/entertainers’ Facebook pages. Demi Lovato’s page would update about her concerts, her album news, and news about X-factor and it may link to other related artists or pages. In this way, different groups are getting relevant information about a multitude of things. On a personal level, it is still possible to reach a high number of people even without the public status update. In messages, a user can send a message to anyone they tag. That means though it is private, it can still reach more than a few people. Myspace is somewhat the same, or at least it used to be. I’m not sure what it’s like now but I know a lot of up and coming people still use it for their respective careers. I think it has become a website used for networking and collaborating. A lot of artists showcase their new songs on their pages/profiles though they may be unknown. They use the website with the hopes that their name will reach potential fans/customers.

Perhaps the best examples (that I know of) are Twitter and Tumblr. While Facebook and Myspace are primarily used for friends or people who already have some sort of established relationship, Twitter and Tumblr builds relationships between strangers. It’s almost odd that Twitter uses the least amount of words but it is probably the number 1 “Social media” website. Strangers update about trivial things but they can also share pictures, music, links, practically anything with their followers. Information is spread so incredibly fast through Twitter. Tumblr is actually pretty fast as well but it doesn’t seem as widespread with regard to users. But what it lacks in popularity, it makes up with full body texts and more in-depth information.

Basically, social media is anything that allows communication and the spreading of information between thousands, even millions of people. I think that while a blog can potentially spread information, it depends on the interface and the way the blog is used and set up. It has the potential to be social media but I wouldn’t necessarily call all blogs social media. I only say this because not every blog opens up  room for conversation and communication. If it’s a one-way flow of information, I don’t think it counts. It definitely fits the definition of “media” but to be considered “Social media” I think blogs would need more mutual interaction.