Tuesday, 15 October 2013

ISSUE 8-Dialogue develops community

Can social media build a community?

Many of you think so. And the scholars agree. Media expert Henry Jenkins has observed that  'New forms of community are emerging, defined through voluntary, temporary and tactical affiliations, and reaffirmed through common intellectual enterprises and emotional investments'.

What hold these communities  together? Jenkins believes it's the  'mutual production and reciprocal exchange of knowledge'  enabled by social media. 


Productive exchanges have happened on this blog. Dialogue, poetic conversations, and an exchange of personal views.  

In this post, we look a bit further. Social media has a democratic availability to anyone who wants to participate in an activist community, one that will right some wrong in the world. Do we make use of this? My blog visitors certainly do. 


Here are the results of the poll I ran recently among colleagues, fellow students and friends. The 40 respondents, aged  21+, showed a high level of engagement with media, particularly in terms of sharing with friends any issues of injustice they encountered.


 I presented three scenarios:

SCENARIO 1  - what you’ve already done.

If a friend of yours posted an article on their Facebook timeline about an issue that really grabbed you—e.g. child abuse, animal cruelty, injustice, disease, drug abuse, poverty—have you 

1 shared it on your own timeline? 2 researched the issue?

3 talked to your friends about it? 4 signed a petition? 5 made a donation? 

6 joined an online group? 7 written a letter to the press or a politician? 8 attended an event? 9 joined a real organisation to help this cause?

SCENARIO 2 - what you might do in the future

If a friend of yours posted an article about an issue that really grabbed you—e.g. child abuse, animal cruelty, injustice, disease, drug abuse, poverty—have you 

1 shared it on your own timeline? 2 researched the issue?

3 talked to your friends about it? 4 signed a petition? 5 made a donation? 

6 joined an online group? 7 written a letter to the press or a politician? 8 attended an event? 9 joined a real organisation to help this cause?

SCENARIO 3 - Other media If you heard about the same kind of issue on TV, on the radio or in a newspaper, would you be likely to-  1 research it?  2 talk to friends about it? 3 sign a petition?  4 make a donation? 5 write a letter to press or politicians? 6 attend an event? 7 join an organisation to help? 

Here are the results. Though the sample is very small, the results are consistent. Most respondents have shared links to issues, researched them, and discussed them with friends. Around 25% have joined organisations to help address the issues. 



  






Launching dialogue See this site, in the footsteps of An Inconvenient Truth, for tips on how to create or strengthen an activist community

We just need to take the first step, and connect online. That way we can enjoy ‘sense of connection that listening participants can feel in online spaces’ say Kate Crawford, of the University of Sydney.  


What’s your view? Can social media create community, do some community building, or even just plant the first seeds of interest about communal issues?

Monday, 7 October 2013

ISSUE 7 Interlude - more creative conversations

Exciting news - the creative community widens!
Step 1:  As a result of my interview with a text poet on this blog, fellow student Aiza and I embarked on a textpoem exchange via mobile and I recorded this in my 2 September post. 
Step 2: Another commenter, Rox, a  former fellow student, was inspired by this creative collaboration.  In her 03 September comment she wrote the following haiku:

         Maybe the next could be
        sending the messages through
        A twitter haiku

I responded on mobile via sms, and another text poem interchange began, running for about 5 weeks.
Here's the result:



A 04/09
The talk begins
Two friends in conversation
Two birds on a wire

R 04/09
Share a thought or two.
Our digital dialogue
Reaches out right now

A 05/09
Separating lines
Of verse with a space or a slash
Pause between speakers

R 05/09
Seeking good guidance
Words and signs and motocons
Appear bright and brief

A 09/09
Forced to express in
A narrow space We choose words
that confine our thoughts

R 10/09
Immediately
The ebb and flow a magnet
Attracts attention

A 10/09
Punctuation stops
Our words but shapes our thinking
So others can share

R 17/09
Questions multiply
What dastardly deeds are done.
Answers must come.

A 18/09
A single act then
What’s said cannot be unsaid
Words leave fingerprints

R 26/09
Said firmly fairly
Meaning influences all
In the air a change

A 26/09
Please tell what change means-
Leaves fallen upon the ground,
Or wind that felled them?

A 26/09
Words breathe out changes
Sending leaves spinning, to fall
From trees of wisdom

R 30/09
Spring into action
Speaking, listening, hearing more
Realisation

A 30/09
In spring the winds come
Bringing change bringing new things
Words change the season

R 01/10
The seasons roll on
Pause for endings, beginnings
Pondering, planning

A 01/10
Sent on silent phones
Texts begin conversations,
Punctuate the day

R 03/10
Short and sweet the tweet
Abbreviation abounds
Ringing in the news

A 03/10
Sounds in the silence.
Mobile words resound in space
Filling up the gaps

Do you like this? want to add a haiku about the way texts connect people? Love to hear from you!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Issue 7: INCENTIVE—FIRST STEP TO INVOLVEMENT



It’s all about me.
"The world revolves around me. Me, me, me. My favorite person: Me. I don't want email from you. I don't want junk mail from you. I want me-mail."- These words of marketer/writer Seth Godin highlight what we all want from our online activity. Pressed for time, overwhelmed by offers, we seek out sites that support us, networks that nourish our needs
"There are so many offers that incentives are required to drive engagement," says keynote PR speaker Patrick Schwerdtfeger.

Commenters on the last blog post shared the incentives that drive them to social media.


Being a creative content producer VitaminCplus acknowledges that the "compelling reason" for returning to a site is the "need to get something out of it"; for her, it’s the opportunity to be creative. She’s not alone. Many media consumers and users are creating their own media content – just as you are doing by commenting on this blog. According to media scholar Axel Bruns, media users should now be referred to as  ‘produsers’.

Bridging physical distances   For  Ianina, Donny and Lee, social media sites offer the chance to maintain relationships with close connections who live far away.  Sociologist Barry Wellman discovered as far back as 1997, even before the advent of social media, that online communities were offering links for family members and friends living far apart.

Offering emotional support Wellman found that virtual communities were also offering generalised emotional support ("a slightly larger form of human embrace, a meta-embrace", in the words of one of his interviewees). Commenter Lee agrees: "On a spiritual level :) I feel FB can also be used to reach out to others in need." 

What do you think?

More about …
Seth Godin on Me me me! http://www.fastcompany.com/events/realtime/miami/blog/godin.html

Patrick Schwerdtfeger’s advice on creating incentives via social media at  http://www.prweb.com/releases/social-media/incentives/prweb10564929.htm

Axel Bruns on produsers:  http://produsage.org/node/67
 

Barry Wellman on virtual communities :
http://groups.chass.utoronto.ca/netlab/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Net-Surfers-Dont-Ride-Alone-Virtual-Community-as-Community.pdf

Example of a  supportive virtual community, listed in my August 22 post: http://themiscarriageblog.blogspot.com.au/2009/02/other-type-of-two-week-wait.html