Twitter hashtag: a new level of cosmopolitanism.

We are living in a world of cosmopolitanism, which can be understood as “all human beings belong to a single community, based on a shared morality” (Waldron 2000). This ideology can be reflected in many aspects of our lives, from entertainment to politics. People with different backgrounds from various geographical areas are turning into global citizens in a “global village” (McLuhan 1964) to be more aware of events happening all around the world. With the help of high technology and the Internet in particular, cosmopolitanism has developed significantly both in form and scale. This short piece of writing will explain the matter of cosmopolitanism in term of social media practices with the case of one of the most dominant social network, Twitter.

cosmo-slow
Credit: discoursesonliberty.blogspot.com.

With the development of the Internet, social media are becoming a great way for people to gather information in order to stay updated to latest news and events. Furthermore, social media also function as a tool to express sympathy, advocate and support others. Twitter, a dominant social network beside Facebook, is a great platform for such activities. Each tweet (or post) is limited in 140 characters only, which makes it seem to be worthless at first sight. However, Twitter has another small function but is able to create huge influence, the hashtag. By simply attaching the keywords with the letter # in their tweets, users are able to connect with others using the same hashtags and follow the topic created in real time. Short posts allow instant information update and with a huge amount of short posts with hashtags, people are able to capture the big picture in seconds.

hashtag
Credit: resourceaholic.com.

Thanks to Twitter and hashtag, cosmopolitanism is developing significantly by crossing many boundaries. People are allowed to connect to ones that are millions of miles apart from them by using the same hashtags. Time can be saved as one single message can be disseminated to a huge amount of people tracking those hashtags. As a result, the influence does not stop at the virtual aspect. Let’s take the example of Ukraine protest since 2014. By using Twitter and the hashtag #euromaidan, protestors are able to connect to others in a massive scale (Bohdanova 2013). People supporting the revolution from all over the world are kept informed by reading tweets posted on a secondly basis. Support from money, food, equipment to medical assistance are gathered by messages sent through Twitter. As a result, the protest exists and develops healthily in spite of government’s pressure (Bohdanova 2013).

mass-demonstration-in-euromaidan
Credit: xoxol.org.

To conclude, cosmopolitanism can be promoted through not only formal channels like conventional media but also informal ones such as social media. In the case of Twitter and the #euromaidan, it can be seen that cosmopolitanism can totally develop significantly in term of citizen journalism. What it needs is the medium, or connection, and the hashtag is a great tool to utilize it.

Reference:

Bohdanova, T 2013, How Internet Tools Turned Ukraine’s #Euromaidan Protests Into a Movement, Global voices, viewed November 1st 2016, <https://globalvoices.org/2013/12/09/how-internet-tools-turned-euromaidan-protests-into-a-movement/&gt;.

McLuhan, M 1964, Understanding media: The extensions of a man, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA.

Waldron, J 2000, ‘What is cosmopolitan?’,The Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 8, no. 2, p./pp 227-243.              

 

 

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BCM240 Final Project reflection.

For the final assignment of BCM240 this session, I have conducted a Facebook-based vines series focusing on Asian stereotypes. During the development process, I have narrowed down the topic to the differences between Asian and Western college environments. The reason leading me to this change is really simple. As an international student in Australia, just like other international students, I encounter several common problems namely language, cultural and lifestyle differences, etc. Moreover, before starting studying in Australia, I had experienced two years of college in Vietnam, my home country, so I have obtained a certain understanding about Asian college life. Therefore, I decided to start this project in order to help other international students like me to overcome the problems and adapt to their new lives better. Furthermore, this is also a great chance to introduce my culture to other Western friends and last but not least, to digitally tell the story of my journey. In this short essay, I will provide an overview of my project.

First of all, I will explain my method used to conduct this project. My main research type is to based on my personal observation and experience. By observing every event happening in all of my classes and compare them to the same events but happening in my former university in Vietnam, I figure out the differences and use them as ideas. The advantage of this method is that all the details are reliable because they are what I experience myself and they fit in the context of storytelling. I am telling my own story so my personal experiences are definitely the most reliable source of information. However, the drawback of this method is once I decided to make a vines series by generalizing all the observed details, they can turn out to be untrue for every case. For example, something I experience in my class in the Law, Humanities and the Art faculty can happen differently in classes of the Business faculty so audiences can think that I take them for granted. About my platform, I decided to choose Facebook rather than Youtube although Youtube is considered the best platform for video sharing. The main reason is, with Facebook, I can exploit my personal friends network so I can obtain an initial support which leads to regular exposure. Moreover, Facebook allows better interaction with viewers as they can comment, comment with picture or tag their friends directly.

Secondly, this project benefits my significantly. Due to the use of Facebook, I have learned the right time to upload my videos to gain the most attention and exposure. I normally share my vines at around 9.30pm because that is when people have finished all their work of the day and start social networking. I also gained more digital literacies as now I have had a certain understanding of basic editing, which I have no idea before I conduct this project. Shooting, trimming, applying sound effects or filters are the dominant skills that I have gained through the process. This project also allows me to realize my strength in visualizing the visual parts of the videos before I even start shooting them. This helps me to save a lot of time and to test a range of ideas without having to actually work on it. However, I recognize one weakness in filtering ideas because I came up with a lot of ideas but I struggled to choose which ones are feasible to turn into real products. Moreover, my collaborator, Mitchell and my audiences provided me with a lot of feedback. I have tried to improve every single video by including music, sound effects and even subtitles, because lots of my audiences are Vietnamese having unequal English proficiency.

Finally, I will mention my evaluation and future plan for the project. In general, I consider this was a successful project as I received a good exposure. On average, each video gains 1500 views and reaches 5000 people on Facebook with a lot of shares. Moreover, feedback from audiences show that they benefit from my contents not only on the entertainment aspect but also on the social angle. My friends who are both current and potential international students from all over the world are now more confident and prepared to solve the problems thanks to my sharing. Moreover, they also share back their own experiences in other environments (US, UK or Europe). Therefore, I will try to consult more people to receive more ideas and may be collaborate with them for more products of this topic. I will also extend my project to other topics such as love, everyday life or sports. With this project, I have learned to do something I like with all my passion and dedication, but in a professional way.

Notes:

My Prezi summary of the project (it takes time to load because I embedded videos): http://prezi.com/8c8r-j_unz0d/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Remix, mashup: development, improvement

This week I am looking at the aspect of remix and mashup in music. I personally believe that this process is not simply just mixing features together or adding effects but it is an art. As Axel Bruns stated it is the development ‘from factual material to creative work’, remixing is similar to digital crafting which requires lots of efforts, skills and creativity. We usually listen to mashup or remix songs which last several minutes but the creator of those products have undergone hours to complete them. Here is an example.

Moreover, remix or mashup is definitely an example or even a part of convergence media. Consumers want to actively engage with the media so now they create contents themselves and become prosumers. In other words, they produce media themselves to satisfy their own needs. This is what Yeoman put in the comparison with food self-efficiency, which leads to the ‘read/write culture’ theory.

Here is a video of mine expressing further thoughts I develop from the lecture.