media effects: dissemination, discourse and engagement

Over and out!

Our relationship with mainstream Facebook? It’s complicated.

– Matt Silverman

It’s been a busy couple of months, and one where time spent fiddling with social media could be claimed as ‘homework’ rather than ‘procrastination’. What a topsy-turvy world!

Given that this assignment is coming to end, I thought that briefly discussing ‘the end’ of social media as we know it would be a fitting farewell. This article featured on Mashable posits a Facebook-Armageddon scenario (admittedly set quite far in the future) brought about by a multitude of factors including but not limited to: regulatory interference, privacy laws, the drive towards profit creation, mobile-only sites/apps, the Chinese digital frontier, and internal progression.

So how much longer can we capitalise on the momentum of Web 2.0? Will regulation and privatisation become the legislated norm, and if so, how will that serve to perpetuate a free, open Internet? Will the organisational culture of various social media platforms be their own undoing? Food for thought, indeed.

In any case, social media platforms in their most basic form have proved an excellent means of communicating with friends, family, workmates and of course my Rethinking Media classmates. For the foreseeable future, it seems a stable and versatile tool – but like any tool, it’s only as good as the workman.

So, Rethinking Media-ites- see you tomorrow night, and can’t wait to see your presentations in the next few weeks! And to anyone else who happens to be reading this (without being required by a uni curriculum to do so) – thanks for increasing my hits :p. It’s been a ball.


7 comments on “Over and out!

  1. MareeEllen
    October 16, 2012

    Hi Tabitha – I hadn’t considered thinking of Facebook as a telecom company and thinking about “the consequences of a company controlling a federal piece of Internet infrastructure, particularly one that has to do with identity”. Thanks for a last hurrah with punch!

  2. tabithaacl
    October 16, 2012

    Interesting, isn’t it? I might have to continue reading about these possibilities in my spare time now…

  3. tabithaacl
    October 16, 2012

    And thanks for weighing in on each post Maree! Your contributions always offered really valuable insights and perspective.

  4. anicholes
    October 16, 2012

    Hi Tabitha, interesting indeed.
    “Tech companies typically disregard governments until well into their lives … Facebook basically disproves that rule. Hiring [COO] Sheryl Sandberg’s whose prior role as chief of staff for the U.S. Treasury Department.
    I can’t help but think that while the online world and social media may be unregulated and uncontrolled at the moment (or maybe it’s not really), that there is a very real prospect that governments will at some point in the future take control, perhaps even behind the scenes rather than transparently and potentially be able to monitor much of what goes on in social media. Perhaps the CIA already does to some degree… Maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist from a past life, but it makes me really think about political economy and social freedom and privacy in the future… the thing is, we really don’t quite know how it can or will be used in the future….

    • tabithaacl
      October 16, 2012

      Hi Anna, and welcome to SociallyAcceptable! Your comment certainly brings to mind the political economy research I did for the RM essay – particularly in the context of theorists such as Herman/Chomsky, or even Hirst and Harrison. I’d agree that in the future, these risks could include internet filtering, privately owned social media platforms with self-serving agendas, and governments tracking civilians with geo-locations technologies. It’s a sobering thought, but I’m encouraged by citizen reactions such as the backlash to the SOPA/PIPA propositions, which I think supports more of a cultural studies viewpoint – that the audience can interpret texts and events in it’s own way, rather than the one-way, ‘hypodermic needle’ theory of believing what the person putting out the message intended.

  5. Catherine
    October 18, 2012

    Thanks Tam – very thought-provoking post. Lots of food for thought in that article. I will definitely need to keep digesting some of the thoughts from this course long after we finish. Looking forward to your presentation.

  6. tabithaacl
    October 27, 2012

    Thanks Catherine, and apologies for the late reply! Looks like a lapsed due date and end of semester are getting the better of me. I’ll try to continue a little bit of this discussion in the presentation, it seems to be a pretty juicy topic!

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