Networked Creators


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The internet, mobile, and social network revolution has ushered in a new generation of creators, shaking up the once sacrosanct boundaries that separated producers and consumers.

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  • Remember, these are American stats. 50% of Canadians have a profile on a social networking site. – Ipsos
  • Overlap
  • …in terms of who can and cannot create and the markets or audiences they can reach
  • The line between producers and consumers are now blurred.“The people have crashed the gates of professionalism, penetrating the formerly sacrosanct boundaries protecting elites of all industries from challenges from below”. – Douglas Rushkoff (media theorist)
  • Asking questions was usually the domain of journalists, but now it has opened up to anyone. Usually only journalists were allowed to ask direct questions to the President during let’s say, press conferences. But now it has opened up to include ordinary citizens. For example, Roosevelt used the radio to address the nation in what is known as the fireside chats. Citizens couldn’t exactly respond to him in an easily accessible way…they could, of course, write a letter to him, their governor, or whichever relevant official. But let’s be real, that would take so long. You can’t directly respond to Obama now and his State of the Union address but you now have opportunities like submitting YouTube videos…more accessible. …which brings me to my next point.
  • Broadcasting vs. conversations.Traditional media could only talk AT you not WITH you. One way vs. two way street.
  • “Sites such as YouTube, eBay, Facebook, Flickr, Craigslist and Wikipedia, only exist and have value because people use and contribute to them, and they are clearly better the more people are using and contributing to them”. It’s easy now to create a group in this environment because the transaction costs of finding and connecting with others are so miniscule
  • How many of you have used Wikipedia? So have we! We used Wikipedia judiciously while writing this book. And it is currently the most referenced encyclopedia with 3.6 million articles stored in its English-language alone.
  • Discuss the video. Realize that this is a metaphor for how Wikipedia actually works. What do you notice about the power dynamics at play here?
  • “Editors have diverse motivations, have never worked together before, and [are all] free to participate as little or as much as they want” makes collaboration on something as intricate as an online encyclopedia quite a difficult task.”Behind the scenes talk pagesWillowaye’s experience – Obama’s parents Ann Dunham and Lolo Sotero
  • Some of the key features of Wikipedia
  • ….segueway into networked creation in the case of the Egyptian revolts. What are the implications of networked creation in a broader political context?
  • Social media and mobile tech has played a huge role in the protests that rocked the Middle East and North Africa region in 2011 and continues to do so today in places like Syria.
  • Although only 21 percent of Egyptians subscribed to the internet in 2010, these were predominantly the young adult Cairo men who were at the heart of the revolt. They also were new kinds of influencers who could shape a movement that did not emerge in the traditional way by relying on a formal, hierarchical opposition organization
  • The movement toward revolt did not happen overnight, though it may have seemed so for the many people around the world who relied on traditional media for the news: newspapers, radio, and TV. There had been serious preparatory links both online and offline between Egyptian activists and other like-minded activists in other countries.In 2008, “April 6 Youth Movement” Facebook group was formed to promote and coordinate a nationwide general labor strike. A few months later, young networked individuals in Tunisia created the group “Progressive Youth of Tunisia,” which became a link for communication between activists in the two countries.The Egyptian activists also communicated with activist networks elsewhere, including the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (Canvas): an offshoot of the Serbian youth movement Otpor, which had participated in overthrowing the Slobodan Milosevic regime in 2000. Members of the April 6 Youth Movement traveled to Belgrade to learn how to organize peaceful protests, and Serbian activists had similarly traveled to Egypt to train protest organizers.
  • When Khaled Said, a twenty-eight-year-old Egyptian businessman, was beaten to death by police officers in June 2010, cries of police brutality and public outrage erupted. Then-anonymous networked individuals created a Facebook page called “We Are All Khaled Said,” posted photos taken from a mobile phone of Said’s beaten face.When news of the Tunisian revolt’s success spread, networked individuals in Egypt began to plan protests for January 25. The “We Are All Khaled Said” Facebook page was used to actively recruit people to join the protest with more than one hundred thousand reportedly signed up. WaelGhonim, one of the administrators, worked closely with other networked individuals from the April 6 Movement and other networks.
  • They relied on traditional media, such as flyers, to mobilize people who might not have access to the internet.And of course, they coordinated their efforts online, announcing demonstration sites and sharing instructions, and tactics with one another.
  • This is a tweet by AmrBassiouny, a young activist in Cairo, on May 26, 2011.The link refers to an Arabic Facebook page to promote the protests on May 27, 2011.This tweet was broadcast directly to his more than 3000 followers and indirectly to a larger audience by 26 re-tweets.Online CTAs were met in the physical world – As Egyptian blogger Mahmoud Salem said, the internet created a “parallel Egypt” through which networked individuals could communicate.
  • Those in Tahrir Square at the center of the revolt relied on mobile phones to learn about fast-paced events that were unfolding around them and then share those stories via the internet. They—and others—sent bulletins by Twitter and text, and uploaded protest (and repression) videos to YouTube, thereby spreading the flow of information worldwide. In fact, after Egyptian authorities closed down Al Jazeera’s office in Cairo, the pan-Arab broadcasting network called on people to send blog posts and videos of what was happening on the ground to expand coverage of the protests. Mobile phones were so essential to the group that they ingeniously kept them charged by tapping into streetlamp wires to obtainelectricity.
  • Elite Acquiescence!!!Business elites forced conomic paralysis by disrupting the core industries, such as tourism, communication, and transportationEgyptian military chose NOT to harm the protestors.
  • Transition: citizen journalism in the case of Egypt. As we already discussed, there has been a reshuffling of power in the networked O/S between content producers and consumers. This means that there is also a difference between the stories that we see pushed out on social media and traditional media.
  • Content analysis research of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)In most of the weeks of 2009 starting on January 19, the PEJ produced a News Coverage Index (NCI) of the major news stories covered by the traditional news media and a separate New Media Index (NMI) of the top topics that were discussed in the social media universe.Found that there was little overlap in the news stories that are covered in the various channels
  • Content analysis research of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)36 In most of the weeks of 2009 starting on January 19, the PEJ produced a News Coverage Index (NCI) of the major news stories covered by the traditional news media and a separate New Media Index (NMI) of the top topics that were discussed in the social media universe.Found that there was little overlap in the news stories that are covered in the various channels
  • Bloggers gravitated toward stories that elicited emotion, concerned individual or group rights, or triggered ideological passion. Often these were stories that people could personalize and then share in the social forum—at times in highly partisan language – refer back to citizen journalists in Egypt and elsewhere. Which makes sense…journalists must or at least, should remain neutral.
  • Allude to Networked InformationIn ways that were never possible when a person’s encounters with text on a page were linear experiences, digital material can be directly and effortlessly connected to related material.What are different way we find information online? Links on Facbeook, Twitter, online news sources, etc.
  • Draw from personal experiences here.
  • Draw from personal experiences here
  • A MacArthur Foundation study of teenagers and young adults also highlights many examples of youth who learned the ropes of ICTs from friends who taught them how to create profiles, write elementary computer code, edit and remix material, and then upload their creations online.Me and vlogging.
  • Users are often intimately involved in bargaining with their peers – refer back to Wikipedia
  • Produces spaces where people can build their social networks among friends and among others who share their interests, even if at first those people are strangers.
  • He touches on different but overlapping themes here. Empowerment, community and collaboration all mentioned here.
  • Networked Creators

    2. 2. HELLO!
    3. 3. What do we mean when we say “networked creator”
    5. 5. …written something onFacebook or any othersocial networking site?
    6. 6. …shared photos online?
    7. 7. …ranked or wrote reviews onlineof a restaurant, movie, book, etc.?
    8. 8. …posted acomment on ablog or anyother website?
    9. 9. …created or worked on a blog?
    10. 10. …sent out tweets?
    11. 11. According to PEW Internet Research…. • 65% of internet users write material on social networking sites such as Facebook • 55% share photos • 37% contribute rankings and reviews of products or services • 33% create tags of content • 26% post comments on third-party websites or blogs • 15% take online material and remix it into a new creation • 14% create or work on a blog • 13% use TwitterSource: Pew Internet & American Life Project, “Trend Data,” September 2011, http://
    12. 12. Networked individuals areinvolved in multiplecontent creationactivities.
    14. 14. producers consumers
    15. 15. Full video at:
    16. 16. Media making in the networked O/S is a participatory act.
    17. 17. “MAKING IS CONNECTING” - David Gauntlett
    18. 18. Collaborative Content Creation
    19. 19. Relies almost entirely on thecollective, creative efforts of networked individuals whocreate, edit, and manage its content.
    20. 20. Full video at:
    21. 21. “edit wars”
    22. 22. Content is not necessarilyintroduced by professional experts.
    23. 23. It is almost always edited after it iscreated on the website rather than being edited and fact-checked by third parties ahead of time.
    24. 24. The articles are not usually controlled by the administratorswho act as the arbiters of disputed writing.
    25. 25. Many of the traditional processes ofcreating reliable information are abandoned in favor of a procedure based oninterpersonal exchanges among networked individuals during their leisure time.
    27. 27. DemographicsSource: “Rewriting the Narrative of the Middle East.” Luminato Festival, Toronto, June 12, 2011; Photo: ZeynepTufekci, Technosociology,
    28. 28. Egyptian activists used social media toform external linkageswith kindred networks and organizations elsewhere and took these connections offline.
    29. 29. Building networks within country
    30. 30. Source: Williams and Associates, “Egyptian Public Opinion Survey April 14-April 27, 2011.” Washington: InternationalRepublican Institute.
    31. 31. Citizen JournalistsSource: Karim Marold
    32. 32. Other factors of successSource: New York Times, February 5, 2011, Business elites forced economic paralysis Egyptian military’s inaction U.S. government’s support of protesters.
    33. 33. The activity of networked individuals inTunisia, Egypt, and other states was a prime example of how online content creation andcommunity building, in tandem with offlinegatherings and backstage maneuvering, can aid mass mobilizations.
    34. 34. “We got rid of Mubarak, but with the generals in power, we have many little Mubaraks.” - Mona Eltahawy
    35. 35. User-generated content is changingthe media landscape. traditional vs. social media
    36. 36. Cover different subjects
    37. 37. Different narrative sensibility
    38. 38. Different pathways to capture the attention of their audience.
    39. 39. Why become a networked creator
    40. 40. A form of self-expression
    41. 41. A way to manage one’s reputation
    42. 42. An opportunity to learn
    43. 43. A space for collaboration
    44. 44. A place to connect with community
    45. 45. A sense of empowerment
    46. 46. Full video at:
    47. 47. A prelude to greater glory
    49. 49. Networked creation reshuffles the relationship between experts andamateurs and reconfigures the ways that people can exert influence in the world.
    50. 50. TTYL!Jo-Lynn Zhuo@jolinzhuozhuo.jolin@gmail.comJustine