Group G: Data Privacy or Data Motility

15 Oct

Phillip Madafferi (3787446) Antoinette Samantha Thompson (3886061)

Notably, our interactions with both technology and new media have changed significantly, particularly over the last 6 years. This can be largely attributed to Web 2.0 and exacerbated by the introduction of social networking sites along with the phenomenal uptake of smartphones, which has enabled users to generate content on-the-go.  As a result ‘the 2.0 variant of the information society [has] resulted in a quantum leap forward in the scope and scale of user-generated content’ (Cote` 2012).  The unprecedented amount of user-generated content created is commonly referred to as ‘Big Data’. ‘Big Social Data’ refers to the data that is specifically generated through the use of social networking sites. For example the 340 million tweets that are sent per day on Twitter that provide relevant information in real time on experiences, brands and products would be considered as ‘Big Social Data’.

Moreover, all of the data created through user generated content is stored as historical data which can be instantaneously accessed in order to gain insight into what was occurring at any given time or at a particular location. The way in which this data moves through distributed networks once it is published is known as the concept of Data Motility. It is known as Data Motility rather than Data Mobility because the data is not only mobile – accessible on a hand held device such as a smartphone – it takes on a life of its own moving freely. This poses serious risks not only in terms of privacy, as in who has access to the information that is in constant perpetual movement, but it also raises issues in relation to who has control over that information, where it is going to and how it is being used. For example once we post a photo on Facebook we have no control over the motility of that photo, we can never be entirely sure of who has seen that photo and how it may be used.

Cote` (2012) uses the following example of the technical problem of data motility in relation to the cloud storage of large quantities of enterprise data:

“This is a key issue for enterprise data because while cloud vendors can, with 99.9999% accuracy, guarantee access to your data they can’t guarantee where it is because it has become, well, motile.”

Cote` (2012), continues by stating that “cloud storage is the future for the big social data we collectively generate”. Which,  raises the issue that if we cannot locate where our data is living then how can it be protected by new data privacy laws?

How many of you here today have social media accounts? Do you have any concerns about the information you store there, who can access this information and how it is being used?

Young people share the most intimate details of personal life on social networking web sites portending a realignment of the public and private.”(reading)

Star Wars kid was a young boy who decided to create a fun video when all of sudden his video was broadcasted across all social media platforms out of his control. People began to mock him, torment him and remix his video for their own laughter. Because of this the kid in the video got bullied and harassed at school it was so bad that he dropped out and seeked counselling.

Today collecting information has become second nature. More & more people have phones, cameras and recorders and web cameras that are able to capture every detail of our lives at the click of a button.”

No longer do we need to be famous to make information travel the world “anybody can reach a global audience” should we be concerned about this??

How would you feel if your personal information was distributed like star wars kid and the virgin mobile girl? What would you do? Has privacy come to an end for us all?

For now we have to accept and for further generations that our past and present will be preserved on the internet forever. We are living in Generation Google where at a click of a button we can find out anything about anyone as simple as a Google search. Before we had internet gossip would stay in your inner circle now we can broadcast it everywhere. We would be writing our thoughts in diaries with locks etc. No longer is this the case.

Social media is not the only threat to our privacy, companies are now collecting as much personal information as they can. Every purchase you make, credit card you have and internet surfing you do is being watched and recorded. The accessibility of these documents and records will continue to grow the more electronic we become. Is this lack of privacy going to effect the reputation of everyone and the opinions people have on each other and the judgements which are made. American philosopher John Dewey “as person is not something complete perfect, finished but is something moving, changing, discrete and above all initiating instead of final.” Will we be able to forget our bad hair days, terrible youthful moments and mistakes from the past………. “we must live with the digital baggage.” Like it or not this is what we have to get used to.

In 2007 Facebook launched news feeds which sent notices and updates on all changes on a profile. 700,000 people complained about this change as they felt it was baffling  and protested it was a violation of privacy. Facebook felt it allowed accessibility instead of secrecy. Since then they have gone on to launch many more applications and systems example status checkins which have caused major uproar maybe you should not be on facebook if you want privacy?

FAST FACTS (Reading)

  • Every day people post more than 65,000 videos on youtube
  • In 2006 Myspace surpassed million profiles
  • Since 1999 the number of blogs has grown from 50-50million
  • More then 50 percent of blogs are written by children younger then 19

Juicy campus- bulletin boards where students can anonymously post gossip and rumors about other students

Don’t date him girl- Women post concerns about men they have dated

Do you believe that employers should be legally allowed to check your social media before hiring you? or is this cyber discrimination?

Information is generated about all of us in many activities we partake in, in daily life. These details are retrieved from many things such as phone calls, doctor’s visits, pharmacy visits, even visits to the local supermarket. All these activities combined ensure that our trace is left in an evident form allowing others to pinpoint what we even buy for dinner from the supermarket (if you are an everyday rewards or flybuys member (Woolworths & Coles) this is already happening to you).

There is no sole owner of this information, it is retrieved, tracked and documented by many different entities (such as Government, Banks, Census etc) and therefore stored within these different organizations. For some time now this has resulted in to arguments about how this data can be restricted and not misused.

Da Loba (2012) suggests that there is a new movement of thought, although small, but gathering momentum. This movement is lead by Jane Yakowitz and imagines our data as a public resource that is managed appropriately which can help society develop better policies, better public health and institutions overall as we will be able to be develop a better understanding of who we all are.  For this to be effective, the data should be anonymous but made public, allowing every member of society the capability to contribute to it.

Yakowitz deems that risks of the data being hacked and identities being stolen are quite low as it would be very hard for even the most experienced hackers to identify and match the facts with figures, as the data would be sorted with great ambiguity. Yakowtiz puts forward the notion that the risks are overblown and “Do not outweigh the social benefits of having ananymoized data publicly available” (Da Loba 2012) .

Watch from 4:16 – 7min

Would you have your data made publicly available if it was guaranteed to be anonymous?


Coté, Mark. 2012 The Motility of Digital Human Being . Public Lecture delivered at King’s College London, 11 June

Neyfahk, Leon.. 2011 Our Data Ourselves. viewed

Solove, D. J. 2008 Do Social Networks Bring the End of Privacy? Scientific American viewed 8 October 2012

Wasserman, T. (2012) “Twitter Says It Has 140 Million Users” viewed 8 October 2012.

The end of privacy? What do you think?

15 Oct

Week 12 thoughts. ‘Can we prevent a future in which so much information about people’s private lives circulates beyond their control? Some technologists and legal scholars flatly say no. Privacy, they maintain, is just not compatible with a world in which information flows so freely.. It is still possible to protect privacy, but doing so requires that we rethink out-dated understandings of the concept…The generation of people growing up today understands privacy in a more nuanced way. They know that personal information is routinely shared with countless others, and they also know that they leave a trail of data wherever they go’ (Solove, D 2008).

I agree with the second part of this excerpt; that we know that our information is routinely shared, but we can to a certain degree control the level of online privacy that we have. For example, we could either NOT join Facebook, or if we do, make sure our privacy settings are set to accommodate our privacy needs. The only way to be 100% off grid is to either not join social media networks, or to put as little information as possible about ourselves.

Personally, the lack of privacy has not bothered me except for in ONE situation. A company based in India called my landline trying to sell me a fake phone contract, and in an attempt to convince me they were representing Telstra, they quoted my ABN (Australian Business Number) to me.

I didn’t fall for it, but that was a big wakeup call in terms of how much of your information is available on the internet. Apparently, most ABN numbers can be found on Google, and that’s what they would have done, “Googled” me, to get information to help their scam!

Has anyone else ever had a bad experience regarding privacy and the internet / social media??

Week 11 discussion on Locative based social media- Gail and Dee some thoughts

9 Oct

This week’s lecture was interesting and  took us back to some of the old remnants of the first mobile phones.  I have noticed in my own life a shift away from using my home phone connectivity to the connectivity of the mobile phone.  This year I bought my first smartphone (didn’t want to spend the money before) and what does this mean for me? I now have access to a mini computer everywhere I go.    Slowly I have stopped using my PCs as they take to long to start up and each day I now use the mobile for checking my mail, tweeting quick messages, checking the web and  increasingly it has helped me in my day to day activities. I even use it to help me cook!

The manner in which I interact with some people and information is also undergoing a fundamental change.  But I find  sometimes it’s a hindrance as I am often tempted to check my mail which can be a distraction from more important tasks.  However,  I am slowly adjusting to the mobile computer phenomenon. Not only have I found  it  helpful for completing house tasks, studying topics and navigating around the suburbs, it also makes my  learning much more interactive and fun!

Week 11 – Space and Mobility: Locative Social Media by Yvonne, Rebecca & Katy

8 Oct

Week 11 – Space and Mobility: Locative Social Media

Over the past decade, social media has transformed dramatically due to the easy access people now have with the use of smart phones. This means that social media can be accessed by those who have a smart phone particularly in Western Cultures at any time of the day, anywhere they are.  This allows social media usage to highly increase as opposed to when people only used mobile phones for phone call purposes and could only access social media sites via a home/ work computer.

At one stage we probably thought that technology couldn’t get any better with the Nokia 3315 and how we could only kill time with ‘apps’ like Snake. Mobile phones rapidly transformed into outlets whereby people can store their entire life agendas, such as photos, contacts and calendars which at one stage were only accessed through traditional photo albums, address books and wall calendars.


As technology advances, so do the appearance, quality and computer systems in mobile phones, this timeline shows a brief view of the history of the mobile phone, and then leads to where we are today, the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy. Being the two most owned mobiles in Australia, both the iPhone and the Samsung galaxy have features that no other mobile in the past has had, they act as so much more to the owners than just a communication device in which to call, or text, like for many years they were solely for. The technology in both these phones gives people so many more options to explore not only locations services and social media, but by putting these two together, owners of these smartphones can let people all over the world know where they are and what they’re doing.

Adriana de Souza describes that “locative mobile social networking applications represent a specific type of Location Based Services (LBS), in which, in addition to providing users with location specific information, they allow users to locate each other in physical space via their representation on a map on their cell phone screens”.  This means that when an active social media user posts information such as an image, location or status on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the location of their action becomes accessible to other users on the social media outlet as a source of communication. Approximately a few decades ago, this feasibility would have been achieved via word of mouth amongst friends/acquaintances and family.


When describing space and mobility with smartphones and their users we can focus on social networking sites as they are the most prominent features regarding the subject however, technology on such devices, for instance an iPhone has transformed into a time-saving application that allows users to do things such as purchase movie tickets online, shop, read the news and read reviews on trends in real time. Other trends that a smartphone carry are the use of Face Time whereby callers can view each other whilst on a call. Although taken for granted, we see such features on popular television shows that focus on future developments of communication and now such theories are being used worldwide.


De Souza claims that “all types of networks have common characteristics” which are spatial quality and connectivity. This allows strangers to interact with other strangers and essentially “social relationships” can take action according to the week 11 readings. The only requirement in order for people to connect in an internet connection which was once costly and time consuming with the traditional dial-up system and, prior to the introduction of social networking sites including MySpace, strangers were able to interact through options such as online gaming and chat systems.  The advancement of locative social media has destroyed the perception of space according to the readings as it is now literally an application on an iPhone such as KiK and Whats App that gives power to an individual in Australia to communicate to an unknown individual in New York costing them a data network!

How many people in the room have a smartphone?

How many people no longer keep their information in hard copy such as photos and contacts?

How many people have communicated through technology differently than they would, or could have 5 years ago from now?

According to Caroline Bassett, there is a ‘new spatial economy that is the result of the dynamics between physical and virtual space, between old and new space’. In other words there has been a shift in the spatial ability to communicate not only visually but auditory, hearing one another.

Basset explores the notion that one can physically walk down a paved street and be sensing their visual atmosphere, for example acknowledging people that walk past them and knowing not to walk into them as well as their second space. The second space is the auditory space, the conversation they are having on their phone. This idea is the contemporary space, the ability to combine both levels of space, visual and auditory.


Basset notes the comparison between people walking on streets in the city, in the past it had just been a physical movement of navigating one’s way through the streets and any conversations that were made were to the person directly next to you. Compared to our modern times, where a whole network of spaces can be connected. One can walk down the same street but be emerged in a conversation with someone who is physically kilometres away, they can send just a text of conversation to someone, or can post how they are feeling online and gain responses from people that are nowhere near their spatial capacity.

The mobile phone is the reason behind this shift in spatial abilities, as it has changed the dynamics of the way people connect and communicate. Mobile phone users are no longer restricted by travel. For example if a person was to leave their house to meet a friend forty years ago, they would not be able to contact them until they met up with that person. Today if a person leaves their house they can call, text, instant message, comment, private message or email the person they are meeting in order to get in contact with that person, you can ‘take your world with you’.

Jonathan Crary argues that in ‘contemporary life individuals define and shape themselves in terms of a capacity for paying attention, that is, for disengagement with the broader field of attraction’. This idea is the individual’s capacity to focus on more than one stimulus at once, for example walking down a street, being able to write a text message and then see a person is calling you, take that call and then return to writing the text message.

Do you ever feel like it is difficult to do more than one thing when you are using your mobile phone, or do you think you have mastered the ability to multitask?

2 Oct


Week 10 – Social Movements and Political Revolution – Ryan, Kayla and Angela

1 Oct



The act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem

Malcolm Gladwell’s term ‘Slacktivism’ promotes an online culture of pointless clicking, searching, “liking”, “following” and not necessarily contributing. This has become an area of wide debate amongst online activists.

Dennis McCafferty, author of Activism vs Slacktivism explains it as people who are happy to click a like button about a cause and may make other nominal, supportive gestures. But they are hardly inspired with the kind of emotional fire that forces a shift in public perception.

Activism has adopted social media in order to widen its audience and broaden awareness of social issues. Sarah Kessler, author of Why Social Media is Reinventing Activism, shows these figures

The American Red Cross has:

208,500 “likes” on Facebook,

more than 200,000 “followers” on Twitter,

but only 3.6% of all donations made to the Red Cross came from online donations.

Although online donations are small, the reach to a wider audience has never been larger. Social media is allowing organisations to reach out to more people.

Salvation Army


Occupy Wall Street:

Number of those who Occupied Wall Street: 50,000-100,000


Kessler says:

All of that virtual liking, following, joining, signing, forwarding, and, yes, clicking, has a lot of potential to grow into big change.”

The most obvious and clear example of organisations utilizing social media in order to promote awareness of a charity or cause is evident in this years Kony 2012 cause. Of course we all saw the viral video and possibly even shared it or “liked” it on Facebook, but was it actually effective in helping the cause?

Kony 2012 Facebook:


The number of Likes or Followers of the Kony 2012 cause is much less than the near 93 Million views of the YouTube video.

In the end, although social media helped to promote the cause, it was also its own demise:

An article by Dennis McCafferty entitled Activism vs. Slacktivism explains:

 Activists are making full use of blogs, social media sites, mobile apps, and other tools to promote their message and gain support. Nothing grabs the heartstrings like video, and participants are producing streaming content to take advantage of this.”

Although while no one disputes that online initiatives like these draw greater attention to a cause, opinions vary with respect to whether they make a significant, lasting impact. Opinions on the effectiveness of activism through means of social media are divided. Some believe technology does not help activism to achieve it’s main objective: to influence the hearts and minds of the public and effect change. On the other hand, others counter that the impact social media causes has on the hearts and minds of the public cannot be measured.  But what can be measured is the number generated of user-traffic, signatures on e-petitions, Facebook like counts and other measures that convey growing support.

Discussion Question

Do you believe social media helps to widen the scope of a charity or organization, or are we just ‘slacktivists’ clicking the ‘like’ button?


The reading selected to share with the class is the Kyber-Revolts: Egypt, State-friended Media, and Secret Sovereign networks.

The article is about the 2011 protest in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. The news’ accounts of the event focused on one major separation: sovereign power of Mubarak Vs ‘people-power’.

On February 11, the victory day, a message was assembled in the square saying ‘We are the Men of Facebook.’. This message, from the social media plotters, was a gesture to the crowds that they would become the leadership core of the revolutionary youth movement. The ‘men of Facebook’ had become the representatives of the protestors. Jared Cohen sent a tweet saying the movement had no visible leader. The Social Media Plotters taking the lead couldn’t have come at a better time. The plotters becoming visible were a useful strategy to bring the movement out of the shadows.

Riots Clip:  

In the article when a [no0politician] was asked about what happens after Egypt, he replied, “Ask Facebook.” In an interview Ghonim revealed he was the admin for the Facebook page “We are All Khalid Said.” Which is actually spelt like this “We are all Khaled Said” which was a key site for the uprising. Ghonim got Facebook security admins to place a special protection on the important pages on the Facebook site.

Link to Facebook site

Ghonim said he had an open communication with Facebook throughout the uprising. Soon after a GFacebook group called, “I delegate Wael Ghonim to speak in the name of Egypt’s revolutionaries” of course he then created his own political Facebook page calling it My name is Wael Ghonim.

The other man mentioned earlier, Jared Cohen, the Google ideas executive. Jared appeared in the summer of 2009, in the June Iranian demonstrations, a twitter co-founder was asked to delay a scheduled maintenance downtime by Jared Cohen. Cohen was working for the state department at this time when his major contribution was as co-founder of the Alliance of Youth Movements.

The Alliance of Youth Movements was launched in 2008 and gathered together Media, Obama consultants, social media, and youth organisations as support of the state department. The AYM created an online hub, to bring together youth leaders from around the world.

The article continues to talk about the use of social media in politics. Are we to be the used or the users?

Discussion Question

Do you believe there is real power through Social Media?


Netwar 2.0: The convergence of streets and networks

This article focused on the Arab Springs – also known as Arab Revolutions – which started on December 18, 2010. The Arab Springs is a ‘revolutionary wave’ of protests and demonstrations, which is located and happening in the Arab world. The weapons used by the activists were mobile phones and the internet, instead of guns and bombs.

What is Arab Springs?

How Arab Springs has impacted the Globe:

Direct quote: ‘The impact of the Arab Spring concerns protests or attempts to organize growing protest movements that were inspired by or similar to the Arab Spring in the Arab-majority states of North Africa and the Middle East, according to commentators, organisers, and critics.’

Other protests which have taken place across the world, such as ‘Occupy’ movement were considered to be influenced by Arab Springs and, to some degree, were powerful and successful. From October 15, 2011, ‘Occupy’ movement influenced protests in 950 cities and 82 countries.

What is Occupy?

Occupy is a protest movement that is against social and economic disparity – the growth difference between rich and poor. The aim of this protest is the protest organisers to change the economic structures and power in society, in order for them to be fair.

After the Arab revolutions and various protests took place, there were major threats and promises from a ‘completely new global movement’ by governments. They were fully aware of what damage it would cause throughout the world. And then there is the issue of ‘digital freedoms’ on the internet and with technological devices

Social Movements:

Online Piracy Laws:

The article also briefly mentions Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Protect IP Act (PIPA), and Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and how these online laws are attempting to be passed through. But as mentioned, they may be already unsuccessful. These proposed laws SOPA, PIPA and ACTA are aiming to stop copyright infringement, piracy and downloading on the internet.

But also at this time, the shutdown of Megaupload – a site for viewing and storing files – was effective.

These piracy laws are attempting to take place, due to the Arab Revolutions, Occupy demonstration and other protests that have occurred. This is simply a form of social movements.

Social movements are being mobilized in Europe, due to the trade agreement of ACTA

Direct Quotes: Blee and MacDowell (2012, p.3) state that: ‘Social movements might want audiences to retreat in fear, change their behaviour or attitudes, or stage an alternative or counter performance.’

‘…they target the general public to change cultural definitions or norms of behaviour.’

‘Digital Capitalism:’

Digital Capitalism is a separation between network and material capitalism. So therefore, it networks the global marketing system.


Activism vs. slacktivism. By: McCafferty, Dennis, Communications of the ACM, 00010782, Dec2011, Vol. 54, Issue 12

Blee, K & McDowell A 2012, ‘Social Movement Audiences’, Sociological Forum, vol. 27, no.1, pp. 1-20, viewed 24 September 2012, retrieved from Victoria University search engine

Assignment B. Brad Hutchings and Alex Devereux : SoundCloud

1 Oct


Soundcloud is an audio-sharing social media platform. Soundcloud is basically like the audio version of Twitter, online audio distribution platform which allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings. Soundcloud is mainly used as a way for musicans to spread to music to a wide audience and have their material in one easily accessible platform for a way for them to be discovered by fans. It is also used for people to share voice recordings of various things.

Soundcloud works a lot like Twitter in the sense that you can follow people and people can follow you. When you follow someone you get notified every time they post an audio file, which you can also share with your followers. It is not just musicians that are Soundcloud, radio stations, comedians, news organizations and celebrities use Soundcloud to share audio with fans.

The main feature with Soundcloud is that it has multi-platform capability that is far greater than its competitors, such as MySpace. User can combine their Soundcloud account with their Face book and Twitter account which allows user an even wider reach of audience. If a Soundcloud user has their account linked with either their Face book or Twitter account then their Soundcloud activity appears as a post for their friends and/or followers to see on Face book or Twitter, this gives up loaders of content on Soundcloud an even bigger audience to reach. As well as following people on SoundCloud, users can    create and join groups that provide a common space for content to be collected and shared. SoundCloud distributes music using widgets and apps. Users can place the widget on their own websites or blogs and then SoundCloud will automatically Tweet every track uploaded.

Soundcloud is not only just a website, it also has mobile capabilities. Soundcloud uses an Application Programming interface that allows it not only be accessible through the website but also mobile applications to allow users to upload, stream and download audio on the go. The Soundcloud application is available on iPhone, iPad and android platforms.

The two main features of SoundCloud is uploading and recording audio and of course listening to audio. With uploading files all you have to do is upload the audio you have previously recorded which will then appear on your profile for your followers to listen to. User can also record the audio using their computer or mobile device which will then appear on their profile for their followers to listen to. Uploading content onto SoundCloud is very easy. The Waveform is the media player on Soundcloud that is used to listen to audio content. The Waveform depicts audio tracks graphically as waveforms and allows users to comment on specific parts of the track. The Waveform is a way of visualizing the sound for users. The Waveform also has timed comments where users can comment on specific parts of the audio.


SoundCloud profiles have statistics with the page which allows user to gain significant feedback on what they upload on SoundCloud. The statistics include things has as the number of page hits you are receiving, increase of followers, comments on the page and audio tracks and what tracks are getting the most plays. SoundCloud offers additional features to users with paid subscriptions. Such users are given more hosting space and may distribute their tracks or recordings to more groups and users, create sets of recordings, and more thoroughly track the statistics for each of their tracks. Additional statistic data are unlocked depending on which subscription the user has chosen, including the number of listens per track per user and the originating country of individual listens.

SoundCloud was established August 2007 in Berlin, Germany. SoundCloud was created by sound designers Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss with the idea of allowing musicians to share music with one another. However the company as evolved to a music distribution and publication site for musicians to share their music and interact with fans. SoundCloud challenged the Myspace music sharing platform, while allowing artists to distribute their music. SoundCloud as grown significantly in the five years since its creation. In 2010, SoundCloud had announced one million subscribers, and now in 2012 the internet based company has ten million subscribers, increasing ten times in two years, this is a sign of the rapid growth of the internet. The site is increasing by 1.5 million subscribers a month, which is quite a significant growth.

Soundcloud founders Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss

SoundCloud is aimed at musicians who are technologically savvy, and could be argued of a wealthier status. Music can be an expensive hobby, with all the instruments and recording equipment, however SoundCloud is a cheaper, easier and more viable option to reach the public. SoundCloud has stated that it is the leading social sound platform, therefore I believe SoundCloud to be aimed at artists ranging from the ages of 16-28. Social media websites are aimed at younger generations, and because of the file sharing aspects of SoundCloud, could be foreign to older users of the internet. SoundCloud is also involved with popular websites such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Foursquare, creating a linking atmosphere among these companies for the public to have access and be involved. SoundCloud has succeeded in creating a popular music sharing website, free of artistic arrogance and simple enough for most the public.

SoundCloud is a representation of the massive transformation in the music industry. The internet has become particularly popular for artists, musicians and music fans, and SoundCloud has been successful in creating a large community for these publics. Musicians now have the opportunity to easily share their music and possibly make a profit. However with the vast amount of people subscribed to the site makes it difficult for these musicians to reach an audience.

With twenty million subscribers and growing, music can be accessed and forgotten just as instantaneously. There is large competition in internet music with sites such as Youtube, Myspace, Pandora and, all offering similar services, so there is a lot of files to search until you find an artist which appeals to an individual. Will it get to the stage where the public becomes tired of searching through a huge amount of artists until they find what they like? Or is it already at that stage? It is said that vinyl is killing the mp3 industry, and while I don’t believe the statement to be totally true, I do believe the public is now finding their music through torrents or physical purchases and using sites such as SoundCloud as a secondary source.



Brad Hutchings – 3821514

Alex Devereux-3783843

Social Media Based Assignment B – Jake, Sam and Michael

1 Oct

The history of Reddit

The social news site Reddit was founded in June 2005 after founders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian were granted funding from Y Combinator. The two founders then sold it to Conde Nast in October 2006 for an estimated $20 million, receiving 500,000 daily unique views, making it one of the biggest websites in the world. What keeps Reddit separate from other sites is the loyalty of its users, who spend an average of 16 minutes and 10 seconds on the site. As Mangold and Faulds (2009) explain, social media is all about exclusivity and interactivity. The key to Reddit’s success is allowing their users to post online stories, images and videos. It gives them control over the site. In January 2008 Reddit allowed for users to create their own subreddits, meaning that it was more interactive and branched across many different topics. This helped to broaden Reddit’s audience. By the end of 2008 the Reddit team that started off with just Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman grew to include Erik Martin, Jeremy Edberg, David King and Mike Schiraldi. Huffman then moved on to form Hipmunk.

As of June 2010, Reddit had moved on to creating and releasing a mobile version that had a new colour scheme and a host of improvements. In July 2010 after rapid traffic growth, Reddit introduced Reddit Gold, offering advanced features for a price of $4 or $30 a year. The feature was a success as the revenue generated from it got the Reddit team approval to buy more servers and employ more people. In September of 2011 Reddit become independent from Conde Nast so that it would be able to operate as a separate subsidiary. This gave the Reddit team more control over the site. Reddit then when on to introduce a second RedditGift exchange with more than 17,000 participants spending over $660,000, helping Reddit grow financially and confirm its status as one of the biggest websites on the internet.

Then in April of 2011, Reddit finally overtook one of its main online competitors, Digg. This was a big thing for Reddit as prior to that it had been called small, puny, little, teeny and microscopic, basically anything to belittle the site. Numbers that month though proved that Digg had 200 million page views while Reddit had 40% more. The revealing numbers meant that Reddit now demanded respect, that it wasn’t something small.  Since then Digg’s numbers lowered considerably while Reddit’s have consistently grown. In fact, within 7 months in 2011 Reddit went from having 1 billion page views per month to 1.6 billion page views per month, with 80% coming from males and 20% coming from females.

Reddit is now the 134th most popular website on the internet and in the top 70 most popular websites in the US.

Reddit is a self-moderated platform for people to share media upon the internet via posts that link to the media itself, or for people to create discussion around a central topic. The second type of post is referred to as a “self post”. This is because text-only posts have the “self.[subreddit name]” suffix.

A central idea of reddit is ‘karma’. This can be described as a points system to encourage thoughtful contribution. When a person submits a post, other redditors have the option to up- or down-vote that post. A post gains points when up-voted and loses them when down-voted. A post with more up-votes will be more visible to other users who have selected the default ordering filter. Posts can be filtered by recency (new), amount of discussion (hot), amount of up-votes (top), ratio of up-votes to down-votes (best), and amount of down-votes (controversial).

In our test reddit post, we have outlined the basics of communication, how to format a post and comment, and also how to lay out both a post and a comment.

Reddit should be used as a tool for groups to share information. This can be done by making a “subreddit”, a community in itself. Websites can be shared here with links and the best ones are voted upon by community users. Moderators of a community can decide what kind of information is posted, who can post, and how they post this information.

As a group organisation tool Reddit can be invaluable, however it has disadvantages. Occasionally a majority of users may down-vote an opinion or article which they disagree with or do not want seen for some other reason. While the popularity-controlled community rule of Reddit is what makes it special, this effect can have conflict with a more totalitarian view of sharing information; the most popular information will be the most seen whether its authenticity is valid or not.

Though mentioned alongside Twitter, Facebook and other similar sites, Reddit does not have the extensive friend networking capability that these sites do. One can simply mark a user as a friend, and their posts will come with a highlight (Lerman, 2006).


W. Glynn Mangold, David J. Faulds, Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix, Business Horizons, Volume 52, Issue 4, July–August 2009, Pages 357-365

Lerman, K 2006. Social networks and social information filtering on Digg. Retrieved October 10th, 2012, from


‘Reddit’ Briefing – Social Media

Reddit is a social news website, a website in which its users (the public) can upload articles and content, share information and voice opinion. The website was founded in 2005, and since then it has changed social media in a way that makes it clear that the internet is now an extremely valid source of information and news. Reddit users can vote on posts (‘up’ or ‘down’) in terms of whether or not they found the article informative/entertaining, which then causes the article to either increase or decrease in its listing position, much like how search engines such as Google work.

Reddit allows its users to have access to information without the need for publication. Readers can find out information minutes after an event, much like a newsbreak would give us on television. Unlike newspapers, it isn’t hindered by the requirement of printed text.

“Simply put, Reddit is a message board wherein users submit links. What differentiates it from a real-time information network like Twitter is that the stream of content is curated by the community. Items of value are “upvoted,” and those deemed unworthy are “downvoted.” This determines a post’s position on the site, and items that hit the front page are seen by hundreds of thousands of people (consequently, sending boatloads of traffic to the linked website).” (Silverman, 2012)

The commenting system of Reddit allows its users to filter out information even more so than just its up-vote/down-vote method. Quite often the easiest way or finding out whether or not the information posted is legitimate or not is by reading some of the comments. Bad information is often weeded out by its keen-eyed users, thus making sure that the information contained in some posts is not regarded as truthful, accurate information. The key part of Reddit being maintained as a legitimate source of news is its users. The users select want they want to read and also, what they want other people to read. This is one of the most important facets of social media. That it is inclusive of its audience, andReddit depicts this near perfectly. The community is able to self-regulate the website in ways that they can’t on other social media websites such as Facebookor Twitter, making Reddit as much more valuable source of information.

Reddit culture has become an entity in its own in that the site contains things such as inside jokes (often referred to as memes) that you would most likely need to have used to website before to understand. Upon becoming a regular user of the site, people begin to absorb its culture, therefore becoming a part of it themselves.

But Reddit isn’t only about news. Among the site are various boards in relation to entertainment such as games, music and film. Discussions on these topics are constantly taking place day to day on the site and as such, Reddit can become quite a large time-sink as well as a source of news. These boards are known assub-reddits. Users are able to filter out categories they do not longer wish to view or participate in at any time, thus being able to control what they see and when they see it.


Silverman, M 2012, Reddit: A Beginner’s Guide,

Week 9 discussion on WiKiLeaks -Gail & Dee

21 Sep

The WikiLeaks material has been very useful in revealing government impropriety involving regimes throughout the world, and the result has been a more aroused public and greater accountability.

However many governments’ around the world believe that WiKiLeaks work constitutes a crime, it doesn’t seem right.  If so, it has to date not been shown to be anything but a victimless one, and the net effect of the publication of this material has been to let the public in on important information.

Private Bradley Manning is well-known as the man U.S. authorities allege stole classified military files, providing them to WikiLeaks for publication. Sadly, he has been barred from citing evidence at his trial alleging he caused no serious harm to the United States.

What do others think?

Week 9 – WikiLeaks & Anonymous: A New Open Flow of Information or Reassertion of State Power?

17 Sep

WikiLeaks & Anonymous: A New Open Flow of Information or Reassertion of State Power?

Social Media Presentation – Week 9
Gwendolyn O’Dea and Victoria Davis


Network and communication power:

To understand WikiLeaks as a phenomenon, we need to first understand the conditions surrounding it. Castells (2009) highlights that we are living in a highly mediated society where the major power is communication power, and this is operating within the main model for our society, which is the network.

Cardoso (2009) takes this further stating that communication taking place within a networked organisational model links mass media forms of communication and interpersonal forms through globalisation of communication and a greater interactivity.

Network and new media power:

Galloway (2004) claims that the power in a distributed network is rooted in protocol. This differs from the institutions of power we are used to, as it deals with independent people interlinked within an organisation with some set limitations governing their connections.

This allows for resistance to be differently configured, as it can take on a number of forms, and has been described as nomadic, as actions are not centrally coordinated, but still contribute to overall resistance.

WikiLeaks a brief history

Class question: Has anybody visited the WikiLeaks website to access the leaked information?


WikiLeaks was launched in 2007 and has grown rapidly since then, providing an internet ‘dropbox’ that accepts material of public interest that would not otherwise be published.

WikiLeaks is a small business with only a few paid staff and a small core of deeply engaged volunteers (Powell, 2011). This means that the leader, Julian Assange, cannot be voted out, leadership doesn’t rotate and the goals of the leader are closely aligned with the goals of the organisation.

According to the WikiLeaks website the principles on which their work is based are ‘the defence of freedom of speech and media publishing, the improvement of our common historical record and the support of the rights of all people to create new history’ (, ND).

WikiLeaks as Phenomenon

Shortly after WikiLeaks began, Assange convinced the Guardian newspaper (and eventually others) to work with them on editing the leaked diplomatic cables for publishing.  The publication of these stories and the resulting media coverage constitutes what is considered to be the WikiLeaks phenomenon.

The WikiLeaks phenomenon includes two main elements:

– the disruption of news production that resulted from partnerships between WikiLeaks and mass media organisations

– the technical and legal measures taken to shut WikiLeaks down and reactions mounted against these measures by individuals associated with Anonymous

Exploiting the news process

WikiLeaks became significant because of its ability to exploit the news production process. Through the summer of 2010, internet scholars, security specialists and hacktivists happily discussed the bits of scandal and influx of data that WikiLeaks released. Powell (2011) states that WikiLeaks transformed the news production process.

They did this by using the internet to easily reproduce and maintain identical data and creating a unique and persistent repository for informational that was usually only provided to journalists. In essence, WikiLeaks succeeded in having previously unavailable material put into the public domain. But it has not done this by maintaining a ‘people power’ wiki with every leak freely available.

The publication of stories based on leaked cables continues even now, and can be easily accessed on the WikiLeaks website and occasionally appearing in National Newspapers.

Class question: Why do you think WikiLeaks has been so highly publicised in the media?

Exploiting the internet

The Wikileaks phenomenon displays a couple of exploits. First, the insertion of Wikileaks into the production of news exploited features of the journalism process, inserting a new intermediary into the process and potentially creating a kind of disruptive innovation in the production of journalistic content. This disruption is based on the permanence and reproducibility of internet data.

Second, the response of Anonymous to attempts to shut down the WikiLeaks organisation reiterated how the exploit is a central property of a system of protocol: despite the increasing state regulation and governance of the internet, it still to some degree operates based on principles of distributed power.

Several commercial organisations tried to shut down Wikileaks by denial of service of the basic systems under their respective control. Wikileaks’ domain name server provider stopped pointing at the domain “,” trying to make it unreachable.

Amazon, whose cloud computing platform was hosting the data, cut off hosting services for the site.

Banks and payment companies, like Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal, as well as the Swiss postal bank, cut off payment service to Wikileaks in an effort to put pressure on the site’s ability to raise money from supporters around the world.

Anonymous launched into actions in response to PayPal, Mastercard, and Amazon pulling all support and services for Wikileaks, despite the organization not being charged with any infraction.

The response from Anonymous and other internet users is a reminder that the Internet is not structured the way a broadcaster is.

The Anonymous operation in support of WikiLeaks, led to one of the most populated channels in the history of Internet Relay Chat. At one point there were over seven thousand people on the main channel. In other words, over 7000 people came together on the internet to share their information and hacking skills to defend and protect Wikileaks.

The main Anonymous IRC channel is:

So who or what is Anonymous??

“Anonymous: We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us”

This ‘Anonymous Channel’ has 64,049 subscribers AND 8,15,547 video views

The Anonymous message

Class question: Has anyone experienced the new media power that the internet has provided?

 Anonymous members at a ‘Chanology’ protest. Most protesters arrived wearing Guy Fawkes masks, now a staple part of Anonymous’ iconography.

A brief history of Anonymous

  • Anonymous emerged in 2003, out of an enormously popular and anonymous image board, 4chan:
  • It was primarily associated with a phenomenon—trolling—known at times to unfold there.

Who are the people involved?

Anonymous is, like its name suggests, shrouded in some degree of deliberate mystery. It purports to have no leaders, no hierarchical structure, nor any geographical epicenter. For instance, those coordinating the DDoS attacks may not be the same people who write manifestos, or launch blogs or news sites under this name.

In contrast to most organizations, including Wikileaks, it is easier to contribute to Anonymous as it offers numerous micro-protest opportunities coordinated at the drop of a hat, among other possibilities for participation.

It is impossible to ‘join’ Anonymous, as there is no leadership, no ranking, and no single means of communication. Anonymous is spread over many mediums and languages, with membership being achieved simply by wishing to join.

A recent news article further discusses the complexity of Anonymous:

Anonymous uneven?? (exert from article)

Yes and no, say those who track its exploits. Most agree with Cole Stryker, an author who has researched Anonymous and who The New York Times quoted describing it as “a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots.”

Their contribution to defending Wikileaks, and other operations such as ‘OpTunisia’ and ‘Chanology’ has led Anonymous to become a very well-known group of ‘internet vigilantes’.

The whole of the Anonymous cannot simply be reduced to cyber-lynching, nor can the whole of Anonymous be reduced to the forms of politics.


In 2007 Galloway and Thacker wrote:

‘To be effective, future political movements must discover a new exploit. A whole new topology of resistance must be invented that is as asymmetrical in relationship to networks as the network was in relation to power centres… .The new exploit will be an ‘anti-web’ (2007, p. 22)

WikiLeaks reveals that the logic of networked power can be anti-web. It is not making an alternative to the production of mass media. It is innovating upon it.

Similarly, it is not demonstrating that the Internet is a brave new world with a new logic unlike that of conventional hierarchy: instead it is demonstrating that corporate, activist, and governmental interests all use overlapping strategies to exploit the organizational and power structures provided by the internet.

Class question: Do you think WikiLeaks and Anonymous have a place in our society or do you think they should be shut down?



Anonymous 2012, IRC Channel, viewed 15 September 2012, <>

Armerding, T 2012, ‘Anonymous stumbles, but hackers still hazardous’, PC World Blog, web post blog, 14 September, viewed 14 September 2012, <>

Coleman, G.E 2011, ‘Anonymous: From the Lulz to Collective Action’, The New Everyday a Media Commons Project Blog, web blog post, 6 April, viewed 10 September 2012, <>

Leigh, D & Harding, L 2011, ‘WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy’, e-book, accessed 12 September 2012, <> 2012, Missing DNA evidence in Julian Assange sexual assault case, newspaper says, News Limited, viewed 12 September 2012,

Powell, A 2011, ‘The WikiLeaks Phenomenon and New Media Power’, The New Everyday a Media Commons Project Blog, web blog post,  8 April 2011, viewed 10 September 2012, <>

WikiLeaks 2012, viewed 12 September 2012, <>

YouTube 2012, ‘The Anonymous Message’, video file, viewed 12 September 2012,

YouTube 2012, ‘What is WikiLeaks?’, video file, viewed 13 September 2012, <>

4Chan 2012, <>