Readings 3: Self Publishing and DIY

Web 2.0 Debate

Web 2.0 is the internet of “we the people” because everybody has a share in adding their own two cents for the world wide web to see. Whether a website is a commercial marketing tool to add value to a product and advertise a company or it is a private blog of a teenage girl and her make-up tips, the internet represents a free country. That is always a positive thing whenever “free” is involved but I see another side to Web 2.0. As Keen says it best, Everything becomes miscellaneous. And miscellany is a euphemism for anarchy.

I agree with both Keen and Weinberger when it comes to “gatekeeping” While there should always be net neutrality, and one or few people should never get the power to control what is said or who is saying it, there are no guidelines or rules to follow for the most part when it comes to the internet. Everyone can say anything and anyone can and will believe it. If we had a strictly governed internet, would the internet have been as successful as it is now?

While I believe that so many people are becoming so reliant on unreliable sources and people on the internet, I do believe that it is up to the individual to seek out the correct information and not be blindsided by biases from any particular party. Weinberger makes a good point when he discusses how people use their instincts on sources. For example, bloggers who refer other sources and internet websites that give recommendations for other outlets.

When it comes to the Disney production verses the Kafka remix, Keen makes an interesting point but I have to disagree and say that the web has become a Disney production more over. All of the pop-ups and the distractions that have been “paid for by a local sponsor” means our brains are being overloaded by advertisements and asked to buy products by companies who tracked our every move.

Back to Weinberger, I thoroughly enjoyed his views on amateurism when he expressed the following points:

(1) Some amateurs are uncredentialed experts from whom we can learn.
(2) Amateurs often bring points of view to the table that the orthodoxy has missed, sometimes even challenging the authority of institutions whose belief systems have been corrupted by power.
(3) Professional and expert ideas are often refined by being brought into conversation with amateurs.
(4) There can be value in amateur work despite its lack of professionalism: A local blogger’s description of a news story happening around her may lack grammar but provide facts and feelings that add to — or reveal — the truth.
(5) The rise of amateurism creates a new ecology in which personal relationships can add value to the experience: That a sister-in-law is singing in the local chorus may make the performance thoroughly enjoyable, and that I’ve gotten to know a blogger through her blog makes her posts more meaningful to me.
(6) Collections of amateurs can do things that professionals cannot. Jay Rosen, for example, has amateur citizens out gathering distributed data beyond the scope of any professional news organization.
(7) Amateur work helps us get over the alienation built into the mainstream media. The mainstream is theirs. The Web is ours.
(8) That amateur work is refreshingly human — flawed and fallible — can inspire us, and not just seduce us into braying like chimps.

The internet is full of amateurs and professionals. It is the only place where you can see a local reporter’s blog that has Google Adsense, paid for by larger corporations. We might not know what to say, how to say it, or even if our information is correct, but it is up to the readers to leave out their sense of naivety. As an amateur writer and avid blogger, I embrace the limitless internet and love our generation of Web 2.0. Without it, we do not have innovation.

So You Want to be A Blogging Star?

WordPress is my outlet to vent. I speak on issues I feel passionately about. Without a blog, I wouldn’t be able to reach so many people with my opinions.

When I was introduced to WordPress at my internship, I was in awe. I didn’t realize how easy it could be to have a voice. I created my own blog. It was something to call my own and I was an instant author. I wrote about football and controversies in the industry. I would look at my site stats and see how many viewers I had received.

The most important thing that I had gotten from WordPress was publicity. I received a comment via one of my posts on a recent story. I was asked to be a contributing writer for an online football website. Although I write for free, I could not ask for more. It is rewarding to see my articles published on their website and even linked to ESPN!

Anybody can be a blogging star. I don’t expect to get rich and I don’t let it run my life. Just as the article says, manage your blog in the holes of your life.

Why Blog? Reason No. 92 Book Deal

This is where amateurism starts! We write to express our ideas, but we all write to get noticed as well. If it wasn’t for people stumbling randomly upon others’ websites and blogs, who would ever get noticed. It is a comical article but it does make me wonder about the ties between commercial advertising and bloggers. It is a great way to get your blog out there but isn’t there some kind of “sell out” feeling?

YouTube Phenom Has A Big Secret

So 24-year-old Marie Digby is a smart young woman. She combined her talents with her business savvy self and marketed herself to an internet audience. Even though she was already guaranteed success because she had already signed with a label, she knew the public would enjoy her music more if they thought otherwise. In my opinion, I want to route for the underdog and the underpaid. I like survivor stories and people who make it big even though they come from nothing.

Would Marie Digby be as big a sensation if it weren’t for her internet success? I know I love YouTube for all of its entertaining videos. When you become a YouTube sensation, it’s bigger than just being heard on the radio or singing at an open mic night. I admire Marie for what she had done. She knew how to get herself out there. It’s all about self marketing.

Great Photo on Flicker? Getty Images Might Pay You For It

I’m on the fence with this article. I admire great photography and think of it as the newest form of modern art. Whether a photo was intentional or scripted with props, it tells the specific story of a specific time when it was shot. I think there is a huge difference between commercial photography when someone snaps shots at a person posing for head shots and someone simply snapping a photo of a mother and daughter who are completely unaware.

I can see how commercial photographers would like to make money off of their images but I think it’s just wrong and infringing to be able to purchase a beautiful and distinct photo from just an ordinary photographer. I wonder, is their anything that you cannot buy off somebody in this day in age?


About sbloom26

I'm an avid sports fan who always has something to say.
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