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Fighting For Remixing

This remix video intends to encourage people to fight for their rights to remix.

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The problem that I want to focus on is the current unreasonable price for medicine in China. Due to the ineffective regulation of Chinese government and its administrations in medical industry,the price for Chinese medicine is generally too high. It’s a common phenomenon that different hospitals, clinics or medical stores in China sell the same medicine for the price of a great difference. The unreasonable price has placed a huge burden on Chinese citizens’ daily life and a large portion of Chinese population even cannot afford to buy medicine when they get ill.

As Brabham (2012) pointed out, crowdsourcing leverages the collective intelligence of online communities for specific purposes. It is a great tool for utilizing the knowledge or techniques of every individual and reveals great potential for solving problems with collective efforts. Inspired by Brabham and Andersen, I feel crowdsourcing is an efficient way to raise people’s awareness of the medicine price issue in China. I would create a website where everyone  can register to report unreasonable prices of medicine that they find and indicate the place, the time and other relevant information as well.

First of all, the website should be user-friendly. It should be appealing but simple so that users want to take a look at it and also can easily get the purpose of the website. As Brabham (2012) found out in the study, participants repeatedly mentioned perceived low barriers to entry and appealing Web site design as reasons they were motivated to visit and participate on the site. It is crucial to improve users’ experiences of the website for better serving as an extrinsic motivation for encouraging people’s participation.

In addition, the website would aggregate different prices into different categories according to same location, same medicine brand and similar functions. Moreover, every month the website would pick out the organization (hospital, clinic or medicine store) that have been reported most. All those functions can facilitate users to search useful information, thus satisfying their needs for certain information.

As citizens, people who report unreasonable price and warn others of those organizations that sell medicine at an unreasonable price can be altruist with the intention for the good of society. They help others to avoid wasting money on high priced medicine. On the other hand, reporting prices that people feel unreasonable is a way of self-expression by letting off their negative feelings. These two aspects are both intrinsic motivations that can stimulate people’s participation in this project.

From my perspective, however, the most important motivator for people to participate in this project is the high relevance of the issue with people’s daily life. Medicine is a daily necessity for everyone. Therefore, the issue itself is the focus of citizens’ attention and is able to arouse people’s interests to participate.


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Elections and Citizen Journalism

In my opinion, nowadays citizens will increasingly use online journalism to get election information along with traditional journalism. In another word, citizens will benefit from the combination of both professional and citizen journalism resources. Both articles of this week have touched this point: Kaufhold et al.(2010) mentioned that “both professional and citizen journalism have an effect on the political discourse”; Akoh & Ahiabenu (2012) stated that as a complement to traditional election coverage, online election reporting in Africa incorporating elements of citizen journalism or crowdsourcing has been experiencing growth in recent years.

New communication technologies have brought new possibilities of political information dissemination and citizen participation. As Akoh & Ahiabenu(2012) pointed out, Information and Communication Technologies such as mobile phones and social media platforms have provided new tools available for the reporting of elections, which I believe would stimulate the prosperity of citizen journalism and also open more channels for citizens to gather information and participate. Kaufhold et al.(2010) however did not touch specifically the great potential of new communication technologies.

Citizen journalism is gaining more and more momentum in disseminating election information and encouraging citizen participation since it can provide independent news as well as “an aggregation of content from political parties, electoral management bodies and organisations with political affiliations” (Akoh & Ahiabenu, 2012).It also serves as source of breaking news and news leads for traditional media (Akoh & Ahiabenu, 2012).I think that’s why nowadays a great number of mainstream media organizations embrace citizen media and create platforms for citizen journalism such as CNN’s iReport.

However, can citizen journalism replace professional journalism? Definitely not! Akoh & Ahiabenu(2012) elaborated the challenges that face the citizen journalism in Africa, for example, inability to produce balanced reports, low-level generated content, low-level of online news readership and so on. Kaufhold et al.(2010) also found challenges for citizen journalism in the U.S. For instance,  citizen journalism use does not seem to be related to political knowledge. Therefore, professional journalism still plays a crucial role in democratic societies. On the other hand, citizen journalism does reveal great potential in the political realm. Kaufhold et al.(2010) found that professional journalism content consumption was positively related to only offline political participation while citizen journalism content consumption was positively related to both online and offline political participation. Citizen journalism, in some cases, can be the source of breaking news and provide user-generated content and amplify (online) traditional media content (Akoh & Ahiabenu, 2012). Therefore, both citizen and professional journalism should be embraced as indispensable tools for promoting democracy and encouraging citizen political participation.



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Viral Online Media: Gangnam Style

This is the article that I find quite relevant with what I am going to talk about in this post :‘Gangnam Style’: The 9 best parodies of the viral video

This summer a music video called “Gangnam Style” sung by a South Korean rapper Psy (Park Jae-Sang) became an online sensation. The video was originally intended as a satire of a small but wealthy neighborhood in Seoul. However, it is Psy’s crazy horse-riding dance and the song’s catchy rhythm that have led the video to American fame. As far as September 4, 2012, it has been held at No. 1 on Billboard’s K-Pop chart for five weeks (New York Times, September,2012). The vidoe has been watched more than 5 million times on Youtube so far. Psy, with his “Gangnam Style” performance also joined famous TV shows such as Ellen and Saturday Night Live. This is the music video that I’m talking about:

Berger & Milkman (2012) contends that positive content is more viral than negative content. Although the song is a satire and seems to contain some negative content, this aspect will not have an obvious effect on the video’s virality since most of the lyrics are Korean language and a lot of people who share this video may not know Korean. Therefore, people may be attracted by other elements in the video instead of focusing on its content.

As concluded by Berger & Milkman (2012), content that evokes high-arousal emotion is more likely to be shared. However, I do not think negative emotions activated by anger and anxiety or deactivated by sadness that can stimulate or impede virality apply to this video context. This video incorporates sexual appeals by occasionally showing dances of nicely dressed Korean girls or scenes where sexy girls lure the singer Psy as well as repetitions of lyrics such as “sexy lady”. I believe those can also evokes high-arousal emotions in people, which will have a positive effect on increasing the video’s virality.

In Berger & Milkman (2012)’s study, participants reported they would be more likely to share when it induced more amusement and this was driven by the arousal it evoked. As the “Gangnam Style” article mentioned, Psy’s crazy horse-riding dance and the song’s catchy rhythm are the most important reason that lead to its virality because those elements are entertaining and amusing which can induce high-arousal emotions in people. Take me for example, when I first watched the video, I felt the urge to mimic the horse riding dance in the video and the rhythm was so catchy that I couldn’t help but starting to hum the song.

A link of the English translation of the song’s lyrics

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Twitter: Just an information board to me

My Twitter account: @haihaidekongbai

As Wilson (2011) pointed out in his article, people now “have the option of avoiding news altogether”; at the same time those who are strongly motivated to consume news content also have more options than ever with a wide range of choices. Take me for example, in Twitter, I can follow people or organizations that I am interested in and totally ignore those that I do not feel attached to. That’s why I will never get information about aerospace stuff and military affairs (I intentionally avoid those information because they are so boring to me). On the contrary, I want to follow the “marketing” and “Top 50 Celeb” lists because I feel marketing is so important in today’s business and “Top 50 Celeb” is like a combination of various interesting things to me.

Wilson (2011) lauded Twitter’s advantage by stating that “(t)he combination of mobile technologies and apps” can make it more convenient for people to “publish commentary or other forms of content to a real-time live stream” since it has lowered the skill requirement to do that. From my experience with Twitter recently, I haven’t used any functions that Twitter offers for readers’ convenience. (I mean that) I haven’t uploaded pictures, videos or audios. Neither have I used my mobile phone to tweet or retweet. I just enjoying so much skimming through the tweets that I am interested in (Frankly, I rarely upload anything to my Chinese microblogging account – Weibo but I do retweet a lot).

After reading Marwick & Boyd (2011)’s article, I felt that I needed to follow Perez Hilton immediately. I was so intrigued by the insider information about the celebrities that Perez posted in his tweets and the dialogues that were going on between Perez and the celebrities. I also remembered that long time ago when I watched the celebrity reality show called “Keeping up with the Kardashians”, one of the character Kim Kardashian was tweeting with his friend Johnanthan about something that I cannot remember. I started to follow Kim and Johnanthan immediately after the show. I think Marwick and Boyd are right by stating that “(p)art of the appeal of Twitter is the perception of direct access to a famous person, particularly‘insider’ information, first-person pictures, and opinionated statements”. I do not consider myself a crazy gossip fan. But I do admit that I am interested in celebrity gossip.

Marwick & Boyd (2011) also contended that fans who @reply to famous people are in the hope that they can receive a reply and also intend to display a relationship with the celebrities. I followed a few famous people chosen from the “marketing” and “Top 50 Celeb” lists, for example, Tim Ferriss, “Author of #1 NY Times bestsellers”. The reason I follow him is that I’m interested in what he may recommend to read. However, I never want to do anything to catch his attention or expect him to reply to me simply because I have @ed him.

To me, Twitter is just like an information board.

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Storify Week 7: Privacy and Online Media

Hi everyone, this is the link to the storify about the presentation for week 7 (Privacy and Online Media):

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