Home > Uncategorized > Discussion Questions for Networked Places

Discussion Questions for Networked Places

“Anyone with access to an Internet connection has a soapbox.”

Networked Places:

  1. The author begins by putting the work in context, specifically stating that this work is focused on the United States as opposed to anywhere in the rest of the world. I’d like to start by briefly talking about the rest of the world’s use of the internet before focusing on our own country. In what sense do other countries use the internet? Is it more or less effective than the US? Has our freedom of speech been at once exemplified and perverted by the internet? 
  2. The next topic is best stated by the quote form Henry Jenkins.  “Personal media and communications technologies such as telephony, e-mail, text messaging, and everyday photography and journaling are colliding with commercial and mass media such as television, film, and commercial music. This is what Henry Jenkins has described as ‘convergence culture, where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways’.” Most of this class has been focused on the sharing of art, literature, and other creative endeavors. How has technology allowed us to creating a meeting ground for ideas and opinions as well. Everyone now has their place on the internet for their own content. What are the dangerous of these interacting in “unpredictable ways”? What are the limitations? Has this interaction been a positive contribution to society.
  3. Is technology driving culture? Is culture driving technology? What is the sybiotic relationship which resides between the two. The author states: “One of the primary theoretical innovations of contemporary technology studies has been the recognition that technology does not stand apart as an external force, impacting society and culture. Rather, technologies are embodiments of social and cultural structures that in turn get taken up in new ways by existing social groups and cultural categories.” How are groups adapting to new technologies? How are people making technology more personal and intimate? Is technology naturally evolving or is it updating?  
  4. I talked about this in one of my former posts, but accessibility is one of the cornerstones of today’s web based media. It is believed that things should be as easily accessible to ass many people as possible. This has resulted in not only a larger viewership but also has allowed easier production of web content. As highlighted in Networked Publics, new software have allowed people to easily produce complex, in depth, and “rich” pieces of media. In what sense has this been a positive aspect on the web, and in what sense has this created over saturation and in ability to trust most online web content. Although information may be accessible do we have any way of verifying its accuracy. 
  5. Let’s talk about society’s growing rift between each other. In what senses are we coming together around the internet and in what sense is this driving us apart. This is very different from the transition from radio to television. Television added little else than more material in conversation whereas the internet has added interaction. What is this new form of interaction doing to our society? Can it be controlled? 
  6. Technology’s effect on Poliotics is one of the biggest concerns world-wide. The author states: “Although the Internet has spurred a rise in online political discourse, it has been difficult to channel these conversations in ways that conform to the norms of productive political deliberation. The chapter on politics describes the struggle of political activists and theorists to foster political deliberation.” In what regard has the internet brought a whole new meaning to “muck-raking” and “yellow journalism.” Many example, even the recent balloon-boy, have shown that any topic or idea can gain world momentum with today’s technology. No where is this more important and also dangerous than in politics. How is this good, how is this bad, can there ever be control? 
  7. Is the technology fair? What about those with out access to the internet or computers? Are we further disenfranchising the disenfranchised? Who uses the internet most, meaning, who’s opinions are really permeating the internet? Has the internet really broken down any barriers, allowing anyone’s voice to be heard, or are we in still in the same situation with the most powerful having the most power on the internet and the rest left to mill around pretending their voice can be heard and one person can really make a difference?

Public Secrets:

  1. My first question is regarding the accurate portray of this Prison. When presenting a journalistic piece of this nature it is important to remain unbiased and yet this piece certainly controls the mood and attitude of its reader. From the music to the sober voice of the speaker there is an obvious mindset this author wants us to have in regard to this Prison. Is that fair? Or is this an example of technology further opening the door for yellow journalism?
  2. It has been said that journalism is the fourth branch of government, with its purpose to expose to the public important issues which concern them so that we intern can provide yet another check and balance. In what sense does this work operate as an appropriate statement on the prison system? In regards to the idea of being in two places at once present in “Networked Places” can we possibly say that we are both at our computers and through the internet, in some capacity at this prison?
  3. The website presents this problem with two sides of the prisoners life. “Inside and Out”, “Bare-Life and Human-Life” and finally “The Public Secret and Utopia.” Is this complete and accurate? How does it function well. Is the black and white motif too simplistic or playing off too much of prejudices ingrained in our minds.
  4. In what sense is this work devalued by the fact that the people who it is about are unable to read it. It appears the author is trying to give us some interaction with these prisoners allowing us to hear their voices and literally choosing who to listen to, yet the prisoners themselves will probably never really see this site nor interact with it. 
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