Thursday, April 17, 2008

Questions to be Answered on Jenkins, Boyd, and 'youtube' culture

  • Of the four participatory cultures that Jenkins mentions at the debut of his paper I 'identify' most with 'affiliations', mainly because I've never done much of the other three and I do have a facebook account. I've never had much of an interest in online collaborative problem-solving games, and I've just begun to take up blogging.

  • These skills that Jenkins mentions, such as performance, appropriation, multitasking, distributed cognition, collective intelligence, and the others seem to me like essential skills. With the word 'economics' in the question, I start to think about the business world and the functioning of corporations, although I'm not sure this is the right tangent to take. But in any case the ability to perform multiple tasks at once, i.e. multitasking, the ability to work together with others to complete a task through collective intelligence, judgment in the interpretation of information, etc., are all abilities that when held collectively by a population would lead to economic prosperity for all. Another way of saying it is that these skills as listed by Jenkins can be described as the essential skills for our new age. The lack of possession of these skills by an individual would almost certainly lead to economic or political poverty.

  • According to Jenkins I'm a media creator because I've posted photos online. Apparently I'm unlike most American teens because I have not done two or more of the activities Jenkins mentions. To be honest, I don't see media creation as something that's going to have any substantial role in my future. It is, of course, too early to say that with any certainty.

  • The next question about Boyd and mySpace became somewhat jumbled in my notebook, but what I have down is "how does participation (i.e. on mySpace) become a form of communication?" To me this is relatively straightforward. Participation online is in itself a form of communication because one can only 'communicate' through the addition of media, posting on weblogs, etc. There is no room for the 'old' methods of communication like telephone, mail, and the like online, so participation online is the only way of communicating in this media platform.

  • Boyd talks about people writing themselves into being online, something that I find entirely sensible. Without any contributed content online, one has no presence and therefore no being. This is different than in the real world, where one simply 'is'. Online one must create one's own identity and presence.

  • When Boyd talks about youth publics as against adult publics I think of the example she gave of girls and their mySpace accounts and the observant or eavesdropping parents who discovered things they didn't really like about their supposedly innocent little girls. I don't really know what to make of this question, because to me it seems almost intuitive that children want their own sphere, freedom from the thoughts and wishes and desires and expectations of their parents. I think this has been the case for a long time, with kids playing games their parents wouldn't understand or using slang words their parents hadn't heard or basic white-lying about their activities before, after, or during school. The interesting thing is that the internet culture has created the potential for a whole new type of youth public. At the same time it's created an adult public too, and this public I'm sure adults would describe as against youth publics. The thing that most clearly comes to mind is pornography or shows and content online intended for a mature audience. What I'm getting at is that there has always been a desire for some disconnect among youth and adult publics. The internet has simply created a new way to analyze the disconnect between the two publics.

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