Saturday, May 10, 2008

Netizens and such

Counter power Responses:

I thought the People Power II uprising in the Philippenes was pretty amazing because the government had no control of communication through mobile phones. The crowd could gather with very little planning and quickly communicate messages to all its members through texts. I think mobile communication allows the mob as defined during the French revolution become more organized and therefore more able to accomplish its goals, political or entertainment.
I actually watched a video before reading this article about a flash mob in central station in New York. All the participants communicated through texts on cell phones. It is really shocking to watch because about 1000 people just froze in central station all at the same time for 4 minutes, and then just kept walking. This kind of organization is really powerful, and could be very dangerous for governments and big corporations who would have very little control over communication through cell phones.

The case study about the Korean Netizens was really interesting. I liked how the organization of the soccer fans through the internet changed the connotation of wearing red. Apparently before it was anticommunist to avoid red, and the “Red Devils” as the soccer fans called themselves changed it so that wearing red was a sign of support of the soccer team. I also liked how the young girls were organizing protests through the internet to prevent teachers from cutting their hair in school. This is an abusive and unreasonable tradition and its great that students can find a way to organize outside of the control of the school’s authority. This reminds me of the pillow fight at Santa Clara organized on Facebook. The organizer did not announce the location until the day of and then changed the time a couple hours before to throw off campus safety. About 100 students showed up to participate in the pillow fight. I like the idea that we are not always totally at the mercy of the Santa Clara University Institution.


Whitney said...

Ok so I watched the Central Station video after I read your blog. That was actually really cool. When I was reading about flash mobs, they sounded kind of pointless and stupid. After seeing that film though I see them in a new light. I guess it didn't really have a major purpose but it was really amazing to see so many people working together and just freezing. I also thought it was neat that after the five minutes everyone just walked away and it was over. Its crazy how something like that was organized and it passed so quickly, but it made an impact on the people who witnessed it. Granted, it wasn't necessarily an important political statement. I guess it could have been a cultural commentary on the craziness of our lives and how we don't really stop during the day. Regardless of the intent, there was no clear message. Still, it was fun to watch and I'm sure it was exciting to participate in as well simply because it involved the secret communication amongst a group of people who shocked the people around them.

Caroline said...

I agree that I initially thought the notion of flash-mobbing was pointless and a waste of time that could otherwise be spent more productively. However, I think there's a strong link between flash-mobbing and the Netizenship idea, which is much more socially and politically active. The article on the Netizens gives examples of how they actually have made a difference in addition to forming their own identities as participants, as opposed to observers. As you guys point out, the flash-mobs allow people to come together (as a result of technology) in order to participate in a communal spectacle. The netizens demonstrate how feasible it would be to take this mentality and organization a step further in order to institute change, to have a voice.

deb said...

I agree with both of you. I think that flash mobbing is a really powerful tool because it can have such a great impact on so many people, but it is nonviolent, and it brings people together.
I felt really powerful at the Santa Clara pillow fight because we had brought students together to do something fun, which in a way defied the authority of the university. It was also done using Facebook. I think the fact that facebook was used was really interesting because it is parallel to the way people organized in the Philippenes. Facebook like the mobile phones in the Philippenes is a tool that is used by mostly university students, so the University has trouble accessing the communication between students. I think the form of technology used for communication is just as important as the aspect of bringing people together.

Amanda said...

That pillow fight thing is hilarious. I'm sorry i wasn't apart of it. Anyways, I agree that Netizens are very beneficial to the citizens of an area. The article pointed out many reason but i think the main 3 are: They increase the voice of the people. They increase the quickness their issues are heard. They increase the involvement of the younger generations. These 3 reasons are why i believe Netizens are and will continue to be so powerful and useful for political uses in the future.