Month: May 2016

Celebrities+Robots+Twitter=?

Celebrities+Robots+Twitter=?

In this week’s topic; we explored the realm of twitter and activities within such as celebrities and non human twitter users, otherwise known as “bots”.

The term celebrity in this topic is defined as a practice rather than referring to a famous person.”Celebrity is a genre of representation and a discursive effect” (Turner, 2004) Another term used in the lecture was that of micro-celebrity which “describes a prevailing style of behavior both online and off, linked to the increase in popularity of ‘self-branding’ and strategic self-presentation” (Hearns, 2008).

For some people the main reason to make a twitter account is to follow their beloved celebrities, for me personally, I wanted to follow Chris Tucker. Their presence allows them to connect with their fans and as a result “create an intimacy between participant and follower, publicly acknowledge fans, and use language and cultural references to create affiliations with followers” as described by Alice Marwick . What is clear is that celebrities can literally tweet a single letter and it’d get thousands and thousands of likes and retweets. The challenge for celebrity presence in social media is to be consistent and maintain connection with followers. Some celebrities hire people purely to take care of their social media obligations whilst some celebrities are just more out there posting regularly (e.g Kardashians)

Amongst the presence of celebrities on twitter, an even interesting entity are present online which can be as influential online; bots.

In 2013 on a Huffington Post article (Link below), there was an twitter account of a Brazilian journalist named Carina Santos, with a twitter name of scarina91. She made around 50 tweets a day and had 700+ followers. She was deemed more influential by social media analytics than Ryan Seacrest. However Carina Santos is a bot. This case highlights how effective social media presence can be achieved through simple strategies, as an algorithm of some sort which the bot functioned by, could attract followers to the account. It also highlights how twitter users could be fooled into thinking this bot was indeed a human, showing the”highly formulaic style of many twitter feeds”.

In retrospect to this, as celebrity online presence require a certain level of maintenance to engage followers and rise in popularity, and the fact that technology exists to allow twitter accounts to be effectively run by bots, I leave a question: Do you think there are celebrities (And if you can, name examples) who may be bots on twitter and why you think it?

 

Resources

 Marwick, Alice, boyd, danah (2011) ‘To See and Be Seen: Celebrity Practice on Twitter.’ Convergence: The international Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 17(2) 139-158.File

The influence of Twitter Bots: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/08/twitter-bots-influence_n_3542561.html

 

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From Citizen Journalism to Collective Intelligence

To continue with the idea of the audiences role in the media found in previous blogs, this blog delves into citizen journalism which is present in today’s media and how information from all these sources are collected.

Anyone with equipment to do so can themselves become a journalist. The motives behind citizens who do involve themselves in journalism range from wanting to make it their profession, to inform a community of what’s happening in their local area, or as a passion.

The highly acclaimed film ‘Nightcrawler’ starring Jake Gyllenhaal is about a young and unemployed individual who stumbles upon the world of freelance crime journalism. From what at first is a method of earning good money, the profession becomes an obsession and he craves the thrill. Throughout the film, the reality of freelance crime journalism is exposed as these journalists are shown to manipulate what is shown or even alter the scene itself to create more impacting footage.

Whilst the film does expose the negatives of citizen journalism through the circumstances of the main character’s haunting personality, an important aspect to the presence of citizen journalism is the collection of different information culminating in collective intelligence. Stories are able to be captured from different viewpoints to provide multiple perspectives such as phone recorded videos of an event taking place. Although not all information captured by citizen journalists can be legitimate, for the most part, all information collected on a story, distributed through different outlets such as the news, independent news sites or podcasts can illustrate a clearer picture of stories.

There is no simple method of stopping citizen journalism, as every individual who holds a smart phone are capable of being a citizen journalists. But it is clear a main advantage to this presence in the media is that the collection of information taken from both professional journalists and citizen journalists will culminate in collective intelligence as the stories and events taking place are taken from multiple perspectives.