Thank you!

Hello to all of my lovely followers,

I haven’t posted on this blog in so long because I really don’t use this blog anymore. I made a post a while ago about me having a second blog at http://rahrex.blogspot.com. That blog is my primary blog. I talk about some of the same topics and issues I talked about on this blog but I also talk about other things. I would call it a “lifestyle blog.” I know some of you may not like blogger.com or know how it works but if you would still like to follow me there are a few ways you can do so! I have something on the right hand side of my blog called Google Friend Connect, if you click “add friend” you will be notified when I make a new post! So, thank you for all of you who read my blog posts on this blog, it was greatly appreciated, but come on over to my new blog!

Cheers,

Alex

Other ways you can follow me:

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/al3xallan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexandra_allan

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheArdnaxela

Tumblr: http://www.alexgater.tumblr.com

Genetically Modified Foods on Storify

Storify Link–> Genetically Modified Foods

In this post I did a story on Storify outlining Genetically Modified Foods, and how cross-contamination between modified seeds and heritage seeds, labelling of Genetically Modified Foods and just general information on GMO foods. I included a variety of different sources (articles, tweets, videos etc) to show the different opinions of people, an example can be seen in Bill Maher’s YouTube video. But, I leave it up to you readers and watchers to decide how you feel about Genetically Modified Foods. I’m hoping you will agree with me and say no to GMO!

Thanks for reading.

Reply to Citizen Journalism and Society Activism Post

First of all, I would like to give a big thanks to Faraan for commenting on my post this past week, it is greatly appreciated!

It seems as though we both agree that Twitter is a huge part of social media nowadays and that it can often override some other forms of media such as the news. A lot of people write their opinions on what is happening in the news and comment on certain things, and this makes it rather difficult to distinguish what the actual news is. We also agree that social media allows us to voice our opinions on a variety of subjects and reach a large amount of people while doing so. Faraan mentioned that “[t]his is both good and bad at the same time,” and to paraphrase him, he says that now because it is so easy for citizens to be able to voice their opinions on certain subjects it is also easy to “miss-interpret” information, which is right! He also mentioned the Boston Marathon incident and how he remembers seeing the name of someone being wrongfully accused for the incident floating through Twitter, I remember my Twitter feed going wild through that entire thing and the same thing happening and I honestly started to believe some of the accusations being made. It was definitely a situation where it was difficult to see the truth. Faraan also mentions the “snowball effect.” That is a great description of how some of the things we hear on Twitter can escalate. Sometimes, as Faraan also stated, the news can be so heavily mentioned and circulated through Twitter, which really isn’t providing official news at all, it can end up on the actual news! It is kind of crazy to think about, it almost makes you question if the actual news is giving us reliable information.

Thanks again for your comment Faraan!

To read the articles we both read and talked about in our posts, click these links!

Bruns, A. & T. Highfield. (2012). Blogs, Twitter, and breaking news: The produsage of citizen journalism. pre-publication draft on personal site [Snurb.info]. Published in: Lind, R. A. ed. (2012). Produsing Theory in a Digital World: The Intersection of Audiences and Production. New York: Peter Lang. p15-32.

Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verification. Journalism Practice. 6:5-6, p659-668.

Citizen Journalism and Social Activism

In today’s post I am going to talking about whether or not the emergence of these new opportunities that have arisen through social media encourage us to participate more directly in citizen journalism and/or social activism or not? I would say yes, it does. This is however just my opinion.

I am an avid Twitter user and I go on Facebook once and a while just to see what is going on in the world. I use pretty much every social media out there to stay connected. But Twitter seems to be the big “information circulation” one. I am most active on Twitter and use it everyday. But, I am not the only one almost every single person I follow on Twitter, which is over a 100 people, use it daily as well. It seems to be the place to get caught up on all the news, latest buzz and so forth. However, it has almost taken over the news given by the professionals. We all have to add our two cents into every bit of information we hear, “[t]he development of Twitter as a channel for breaking news and the use of material from the public in professionally edited publications poses a dilemma for a profession based on a discipline of verification,” (6, Hermida). We must remember that this is a thing of the future. Citizens would have never had the opportunity to publically profess their point of view on the news to the world, perhaps their neighbour or family members but not a 100 people at a time. For me personally, I take full advantage of the opportunity to express my point of view on a subject through Twitter. But, of course if you were not an avid user of social media I am not too sure that you were participate in citizen journalism and/or social activism.

In Bruns and Highfield’s article they have a different opinion of social media and citizen journalism.

“Previously, citizen journalism (or at least, citizen commentary) still meant setting up one’s own blog or blog-style site, or becoming a regular contributor to an existing site; now, little more than a user registration on Facebook or Twitter is required to become engaged in news and political commentary and even to rise to some degree of prominence for doing so,” (9, Bruns & Highfield).

They suggest that you need more than just a blog or Twitter account to participate in citizen journalism but I would argue that that’s not the case. They say that we wouldn’t gain any fame from anything we say anyhow so what we say isn’t of much relevance. But, honestly I don’t think many people are looking for fame when they are writing on their Twitter accounts or blogs, they’re just writing to express something. Also, if enough people are bringing up similar ideas or opinions on a subject it often does get noticed. Citizen’s opinions are valued in media.

Overall, I would say that no matter what the “professional journalist’s” are saying about citizen journalism, the opportunity to participate in citizen journalism is often taken advantage of by those who actively participate in social media.

Bruns, A. & T. Highfield. (2012). Blogs, Twitter, and breaking news: The produsage of citizen journalism. pre-publication draft on personal site [Snurb.info]. Published in: Lind, R. A. ed. (2012). Produsing Theory in a Digital World: The Intersection of Audiences and Production. New York: Peter Lang. p15-32.    

Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verification. Journalism Practice. 6:5-6, p659-668.

 

 

Copyright and the Music Industry Replies

It seems as though we are all on the same page as far as what the music industry and record companies should be doing in terms of copyright issues. However, you all made some great point on the issue!

 

I mentioned in my post that people should share their knowledge so that everyone can show their creativity, however, Sarah mentioned that it isn’t really about being creative anymore as much as it is about making money off your ideas. She makes a good point that is true, I guess I just have a little too much faith for what people should be worry about. But, she is right, nowadays; everything is about money and how much you can make.

 

All of us agree that pirating probably is not the best word to be using for people downloading music. As Sarah says, “ Initially it was a way that large companies could stop people from “sharing” on the internet and honestly it hasn’t work that well,” she makes a rather good point. It looks as though that make have been a ploy of the music industry’s to try and scare people into thinking they are doing something bad that they shouldn’t be. But, that tactic didn’t work too well.

 

Faraan agreed with me that supporting an artist through going to their concerts is a good idea. But, he also brought up the problem that the big record companies get large cuts from CD sales, so the artists rely on merchandise and shows to make any profit. Record companies are greedy for money and will get it any way they can!

 

Faraan also mentioned that “sharing and spreading music is the only way more people will hear new music,” and he is right. I pretty sure that is how everyone hears a new song or of a new artist. The spreading and sharing of music is necessary for musicians to get noticed and their music to get heard. Faraan says that he doesn’t quite get why record labels wouldn’t want music to be spreading like wild fire to every edge of the internet to get their content heard? Both of us agree that the more people hear the music, the more people buy it!

 

David mentions that almost everyone he knows has downloaded music at least once, and I can relate, almost everyone I know has as well. He brings up a great point “I have one friend with a large collection of CDs and without the no how to get those onto his ipod, should he be forced to pay twice for the same songs?” I would say of course not, that’s ridiculous he has already paid for that song once! But, that is where the music industry and record labels are making money, you often need to buy the same song multiple times to play it in multiple ways (record player, casset, CD, Ipod etc.). As we’ve all said before, it’s all about money.

 

We all think that the recording companies shouldn’t do anything about piracy and just leave it as is. But, David did say that they should stat competing with it because there appears to be a demand for reasonably priced downloadable media that they seem to be ignoring. I completely agree with him on that. The record labels need to pay more attention to what the consumer wants and less about what they want.

 

Thanks for all the awesome posts everyone gave!

 

 

GMOs Podcast

Hey Everyone! I am going to post the blurb that I say at the beginning of the podcast as well as the blurb I say after reading the article as well because I began to run out of breath while talking and think some parts of what I am saying may have been a little bit difficult to hear! Anyway, in this podcast I am reading an article I found online that talks about Japan and South Korea banning Monsanto’s genetically modified wheat in their countries. I chose this article because I liked how it showed the world wide awakening to Monsanto’s evil. I think more people should know about Monsanto show more people can help in stopping them from contaminating all of our foods! Please take a listen, and I hope you enjoy!

My Introduction and Comments:

“Hello Everyone! So, in this podcast I am going to be reading an article I found online and talk a bit about it with you guys. I will leave a link to the article in the written portion of this blog post so that you guys can follow along or read it on your own time. The reason I chose this article is because it is showing how the news of GMO is spreading world wide, and nobody is having any of it. When people know they are eating GMO foods, they don’t want to eat it, no one would! The only people eating GMO foods are the people who don’t know that they are eating it. This also shows just how evil Monsanto is. They are poisoning people and able to do so because of their influence on the lawmakers. Farmers growing Genetically Modified Crops are under the influence that their food is going to make them more money, but all it seems to be doing is pushing people away. Soon enough no one is going to want to have any foods that have come from the USA. It sad that all things come down to money now a days and that it has gotten to the point of contaminating our foods.

Personally I think that Monsanto would be shut down and stopped right away if more people were aware of what they were doing or even just aware of whom they are! The problem here, I argue, is that not enough people know about them. We need to talk about it more, spread the word and get the name Monsanto out there. I do however, agree with everything Mike Adam’s, the author of this article, has talked about. Monsanto has created nothing but issues. Farmers now may be losing money because of the use of Monsanto’s wheat, and people around the world are eating contaminated foods. Nothing good comes from Monsanto.

I hope that after reading the article and listening to this podcast that you do you part to just simply start talking about Monsanto more, get there name out there, share their deceit, and have people aware.” Alexandra Allan

Mike Adam’s Article:

Adams, Mike. June 02, 2013.South Korea joins Japanese ban on U.S. wheat imports after shocking GMO contamination announcement by USDA. Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/040604_GMO_contamination_wheat_South_Korea.html

My Podcast:

Copyright and the Music Industry

Hello Everyone!

Today’s post is going to discuss how copyright laws in the recorded music industry and the practices of consumers appear to be departing in opposite directions in an indefensible way and the suggestions that I have for the music industry with regards to how they may deal with what they are perceiving to be piracy.

First off I think it is easy to say that we create to be creative and because we are creative, right? So, why is there such an urgency to protect what is ours all the time? As we discussed in the last module, almost everything has already been thought, seen and done so copyright laws are pointless in a sense. We have no need to protect anything, because there is nothing to protect. Why can we not just share things with each other for the point of sharing! The reality is, is that it is hard to control anything that is on the Internet, almost nothing is safe from anyone. Everyone has access to almost anything they could ever want on the Internet. 

I think the term “pirate” is unneeded, everyone that has access to the Internet has the ability to “pirate” information and I am sure large proportions of individuals do. I argue that they are not “pirating” but rather they are people searching and finding new things available to them on the Internet. I would caution to say that I do not think it is anyone’s intent to pirate anything, were just curious beings.

I do, however, sympathize with the fact that by us buying music we are supporting the artists and so forth. But, because of the copyright laws that are around nowadays it is almost better to just buy your music from an actual store as it can sometimes be quite aggravating going through the process of buying music online. I personally would much rather support an artist by going to their concert and hearing them live. We also have to recognize that these artists are not doing to badly considering the fact that that a lot of their music is being pirated online.

In McCourt and Burkart’s article they mention that “[t]he recording industry earns profits by controlling intellectual property rights. On the distribution end of the value chain, record companies currently earn revenues from retail sales and the licensing of content for use in other media,” (Burkart and McCourt, 4). Later on in the article it says that the music industry compensates for any losses in those areas with “huge hits and catalog sales,” (Burkart and McCourt, 4) this means that even with the alleged piracy happening, the music industry is still finding their ways to make money.

Condry made a good point in his article that I agree with,

 “[u]nlike underwear or swimsuits, music falls into that category of things you are normally obligated to share with your dorm mates, family, and friends. Yet to date, people who share music files are primarily represented in media and business settings as selfish, improperly socialized people who simply want to get something – the fruits of someone else’s labor – for free. In fact, if asked directly by a friend to share music, sharing is the only reasonable thing to do,” (Condry, 6). 

Copyright laws are made in such a way that makes innocent people looking to share something great they found with the people around them look like a felon. As I stated earlier, it is all about sharing creativity and bringing about creativity. We are curious beings and always will be.

My ideas on how the music industry can deal with this piracy I have to say I do not think they should do anything at all. It is not harming anyone. The music industry is still making money, the artist is getting heard and recognized and in the process more fans, and this will end up making them possibly more popular than they may have been if everyone had to buy their music initially to hear them.

 

McCourt, T., P. Burkart. (2003). When Creators, Corporations and Consumers Collide: Napster and the Development of On-line Music Distribution. Media, Culture & Society. 25 (3), pg. 333-350 

Condry, Ian. (2004). Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and Japan. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 7 (3), pg. 343-363

Larry Lessig: Laws that choke creativity. TED Talks (2007). Filmed March 2007, posted November 2007.

Replies to Creativity

Thank you for all of your comments!

It seems as though most of us agree that copyright laws can sort of inhibit producers on the web from creating something unique and innovative, as Faraan stated. I also agree with Faraan that all ideas are at least inspired by others in some way, whether it was conscious or subconscious. I forgot to mention that in my original post! The idea that someone may be talking an idea already used without knowing someone else had already thought of it is definitely a possibility.

Sarah also mentioned that people have found many ways around copyright laws to see how much they can get away with. I agree with Sarah that YouTube is not a problem, it is a great way to be heard and get noticed –but she made an excellent point, YouTube is becoming more about making money rather than about defending an idea or thought.

David agrees with me on the fact that YouTube allows people to get around copyright issues and that it is getting worse and worse. To answer his question, no, I am not too happy with iTunes, I hardly ever use it to get music because I find it too expensive and that it is all about making most money possible. Netflix is much the same. My family just recently got rid of cable television and is now just using Netflix. I was surprised by the selection of movies and shows, there really are not as many as I thought there would be. They make it seem as though there is a wide selection of popular, up and coming movies and shows but honestly there are only a few and once I have seen the movie a couple times or finished a series, I am looking to find something new to watch, but there is nothing new. You are constantly stuck with the same selection of movies and shows. My perspective is that the paying customer should be able to pick and chose what they want to watch not what is pre-selected for them.

Thanks again, look forward to your comments for next week!

 Alex

Genetically Modified Foods

If you would like to learn a little more about Genetically Modified Foods check out my YouTube video. I answer the questions, “what are genetically modified foods?” “what can happen when you eat genetically modified foods?” and “why are there genetically modified foods?” If you have any comments or questions do not hesitate from asking anything either on this post or on the video!

Thanks!