Reaction Blog

I believe that Benjamin is saying that people develop chaos and disorganization when it ties to the relationship they have with information including him-self. Unpacking my library is a strong piece and from my understanding the message trying to be conveyed is that the organization of books can hold an important purpose. Information is developed and shared through the written word. Knowledge comes from books and it is what keeps people sane in a chaotic world. I think that Prof. Proctor assigned us material in first person to open our minds up to a new perspective and a different type of source that can potentially be useful. As I read these articles, I felt like I can relate to them on a more sincere level.

In our second reading Unpacking my record collection, I noticed that it is a response\reaction piece to Unpacking my library. In my opinion Dibbell made a creative piece. In his article he is suggesting that information is free and that most information is immaterial, like music. The difference between these two articles is the development and switch from old media to new media. Information travels whether it is coming from a book or the media. Often people fail to realize the potential in all forms of communication and sharing information. Although, the Internet has become very active in the world that we live in something’s aren’t explainable unless we open a book.

The Research Paper and Semester Project – Fall 2014


For this paper you should do the following things:

  • Pick an issue or topic related in some way to anything we’ve talked about so far in class, especially something you don’t feel is covered sufficiently by mainstream media. Think especially about what has connected most strongly to you personally. I strongly encourage you to go through the blog so far and look at the class’s posts for ideas.
  • Explore through extensive research how this topic is covered through both mainstream and non-mainstream convergent media, making sure to thoroughly cover as many of the media forms as possible, i.e., print, audio, video, digital, and as many combinations thereof you can find.
  • Draw some conclusions about media coverage of your topic, especially in the realm of class discussions and readings. Can it only be represented by divergent voices? Do you see it as part of the mainstream?
  • Document all of your sources, including all links, in MLA format.
  • Turn in your final draft in Print (paper) form, but have a digital copy prepared for possible archiving (I’ll explain this further in class).

This assignment should be approximately 12-14 double-spaced pages, or 3,000-3,500 words.


We’ve talked for the few weeks about different genres of divergent voices, and how they are seen and heard through convergent media. As you get into your work for your research paper it will be time to start finding and expressing your own divergent voice, or at least one of them.

We’ve spent some time in the weeks so far reading and discussing chapters of Alternative and Activist Media that have hopefully given you an idea of some genres you may wish to work within. In addition, here is a loose collection of guidelines for your semester project:

  • Submit a written proposal for your project to me anytime before Thursday, 11/6 either in class, on the blog, or via email, including a summary of the project and the steps you’ll take in doing it from 11/6-12/1.
  • You should choose which media you’ll work within for your project (print, audio, video, online) based on your own strengths. Remember, this is a seminar, not a technical writing or production course, so don’t choose a medium that you will need technical instruction on. If you choose anything which needs equipment, you are responsible for stating your equipment needs in your project proposal. If you’ve taken or are currently enrolled in a production class, you might be able to check out equipment from the COMM department, but equipment is limited.
  • This is may be either an individual project, or you may do it with a partner. If you choose to do the project with a partner, both of you must show me the scope of the work and each of your tasks within that scope. I am much more likely to approve a team project in which each person works in a different technical medium (e.g., one person does the writing, one does the video production), as this would be right in line with the convergent element of the media.
  • BE UNIQUE! Try to do something you’re interested in, something you feel needs to be said or done in the media that has not already been done in the way you want to do it.
  • That said, if you’re having trouble generating ideas for your Semester Project, you might want to go back in the blog and research some past students’ work on theirs.
  • Every week after November 6 I expect a weekly update on your progress on your project, including what you’ve done that week, what the next steps are, and any questions you may have as you go along. You should do this via the blog, and we’ll also use Thursdays as workshops.

Keep in mind that while the guidelines are loose, the attention and direction you put to the project should be rigorous. Also keep in mind that your project might end up something different than it started, which is completely in line with the purpose of the project. You are expanding your knowledge and boundaries as you go.


Monday, 10/13 – Conversation with Leah Lievrouw – feel free to ask her questions about your ideas

Monday, 10/20 – Have your research topic approved by me

Thursday, 10/23 – Have a working bibliography prepared for class

Thursday, 10/23, 10/30 & 11/6 – Critical Background Presentations – for these you’ll present, in roughly 10 minutes, the background research you did for your Research Paper and Semester Project. This should include examples of similar voices you’ve found, academic or popular analysis of the type of work you’re doing, and correspondence you’ve had with other people about the type of work you’re doing. We’ll talk more about this in class over the next few weeks, as you develop your respective Research Papers and Semester Projects.

Thursday, 10/30 & Thursday, 11/6 – This week is a good time to work out ideas for Semester Projects before submitting them to me as proposals. Have 2 or 3 ideas ready to talk about.

Thursday, 11/13 – RESEARCH PAPERS DUE

Thursday, 11/6 – Have your semester project proposal approved by me. This means you should send your proposal to me well before this date, so you can begin work on the project upon approval.

Monday, 12/1 & Thursday, 12/4 – SEMESTER PROJECT SHOWCASE

Mediated mobilization takes Ferguson

Yesterday the masses gathered together and united for a particular cause through the revolutionary television. today, the masses tweet about a viral issue and take action upon it. times have changed for better or worse. nevertheless the efficiency and hastiness of this new form of gathering people together has revolutionized the world. Mediated mobilization is prevalent in many examples such as the Ferguson protests that were sparked through social media.
In fact, the term ferguson was popularized and associated with the actual shooting through social media. all of the raw footage which included pictures and videos were first leaked through social media by the people was uploaded and supported through hashtags, likes, retweets/reposts, and followings.
Mediated mobilization was an integral reason why the ferguson protests generated so much attention and media coverage. The social media presence kept the story raw and uncut online. It disallowed the intervention of both the police departments and major news corporations. It allowed people to report multimedia content without any type of filter his is the core ideal form of mediated mobilization, the ability to practice participatory democracy without any interruption

Media Lies, People Believe

I find that American media have provided and sent the wrong message about what been part of a mobilization means. Young Americans often find embarrassing to say they are activists or invested in a social cause related to mediated mobilization. I find that, as Professor Proctor noted in class, there are some “bastardized sons” of this genre that are more acclaimed and socially acceptable- for example, flash mobs. I consider, from what I’ve seen in the media, that entertaining art expressions are most likely to make it to the mainstream media and be covered in a positive way. In the other hand, legitimate mediated mobilization efforts such as Occupy Wall Street, the protests in Brazil before the World Cup,The Arab Spring, and student protests in Venezuela, are not covered in a positive way. I particularly became aware of this when I was living in Sao Paulo last semester and I passed by in the middle of one of the protests while I was walking through Avenida Paulista. I remember my parents called me and said that I had to be careful, because they had seen in the news that there was fire and tear gas been used. One of my friends who was living in Rio de Janeiro, also texted me and said to be careful. They had seen one minute images of a violent protest that was not the ones that were happening- the protests that were going on in Brazil were generally pacific.  I believe that this is why less people in the United States get involved in such protests and are willing to mobilize people via new forms of media.

Also, I found really interesting the question that was posed during class: Is the message that wants to be sent in a protest or the cause diluted as more people take part in the mobilization? I believe this is true. In one way, in order to produce more social impact and to be noted by institutions, a mobilization has to be large. However, as the cause gets increasingly popular- as it has happened lately with the power of social media, causes tend to lose their original purpose. One great example of this phenomenon is what happened to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The campaign got a massive response, especially from young people, but the message and main purpose of raising awareness about Lou Gehrig’s disease was slowly lost as more people wanted to take part in the challenge because everyone else was doing it.

Brazil Protests During World Cup- What The Media Showed

Brazil Protests During World Cup- What The Media Showed

Activists demonstrate in front of riot police outside the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia

Brazil Protests During World Cup- What Was Really Happening

Mediated Mobilization

In the past we have discussed the ALS ice bucket challenge and I also agree that mediated mobilization was the only way that it was able to be addressed to individuals around the world. Through social media activists are able to get their opinions and words out to the world quickly but it also opens the door for individuals to unite against their cause in an even faster way. I use the ALS ice bucket challenge as an example for the fact of the popular meme’s that were created to oppose the dumping of ice water on ones head.


These meme’s which are supposed to be sarcastic and funny really hit hard when looking at the carelessness of the ice bucket challenge. Through dumping water on our heads, are we more knowledgable about ALS? Do we as individuals do such things because we care for the cause, or even understand what ALS is, or are we just reacting to mediated mobilization and following the bandwagon of what everyone else is doing.

Through the spread of popular “challenges” on the internet through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. We are coming together as a society but we are also becoming a society of followers. We are not leading in the way against the cause, we are not donating money to raise awareness of ALS, we are just dumping water on our heads. Yes raising the awareness of ALS to an entire population was reached but ask a group of individuals what ALS is. I bet they refer to it as ‘oh yeah they did the ice bucket challenge for that,’ but they have no idea what it actually stands for or what the ALS really is.


It is interesting to see the different sides of activism by both the producer and consumer on social media. Typically there are young audiences that get greatly influenced by things that they read or follow online. They can choose to promote it, or treat it with satire. Activists have specific goals when they are trying to target an audience. They get to know their consumers, they can gather their information online very fast, they build relationships with social media companies which can ultimately help them in the future, and most importantly, they can gain an enormous amount of power by starting their message through social media. Social media can also be a danger for people who are activists through it: You can to really be in touch with your followers, updating constantly, and finding people who agree with what you are promoting. If not, you can lose your popularity instantly.

Social media is an extremely important factor in activism and protesting because they focus primarily on gaining users. It does not matter if what you have to say is important to you, if users are supporting it and promoting it with you then that is ultimately what matters. Social media is an important factor, but is not the only necessary one when trying to get a point across. An example of activism being used through social media would be UNICEF. I have seen celebrities post things about UNICEF almost all the time. Not only do I see this on celeberties profiles, but I see it being promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.



Media Mobilization – Occupy Wall Street & Umbrella Revolution

Mediated Mobilization, as discussed in class, is the the using of media technology to mobilize large groups of people in one direction. We can often see this when people try to form protests and flash mobs. A prime example of a mass protest gathering through the use of social media is occupy wall street. Occupy wall street really gained popularity as it grew in the number of people attending. Most of them got the message through social media, which a prime factor is raising awareness for their beliefs. While the goal of Occupy Wall street is often muddled and really didn’t have a clear cut objective, many people believed in it’s motto which is “We’re the 99%”… that the rich keeps getting richer. While for the most part it was a peace full protest with people camping out in parks and protesting in front corporate buildings, especially on Wall Street, this is just on one of the many examples of how Social Media can insight a change in mentality. Occupy Wall Street is a example of media mobilization can bring positive change either literally or in regards to perspectives and activism. Another example of this that is happening right now is the “Umbrella Revolution” that is happening in Hong Kong right now. While there has a been even a stricter limit on the use of social media by the government, many people, especially students are finding ways to bypass the restriction and reaching out to outside media to get their stories across and uncover the veil that the government is trying to impose on the people. There was even a picture of the people in Hong Kong peacefully protesting at night by putting up their cellphones in the air, a sort of message saying that the government can’t shut them up and that they will let everyone know what they are fighting

Mediated Mobilization – Hong Kong

The use of mobile media to set up events, meetings or any other need has been growing during these past few years exponentially since the immense growth of smartphones. Society is using social media to set up protests and share the news about the protests with the rest of the world in matter of seconds. A very recent example of this mobile mobilization is the ongoing protest in Hong Kong. Thousands of people are taking the streets in the heart of Hong Kong to claim their rights of free election in the elections of 2017, as Beijing wants to vet candidates to run in the future elections. Protesters see China trying to erode the “One Country, two systems” rubric in place in Hong Kong since 1997.

Social media has seen an overwhelming growth in tweets and posts speaking and supporting the protest. The hashtags #HongKong and #OccupyCentral have been used millions of times during the last few days. This has given the world a way to follow the news live. It has also given Hon Kong citizens a way to communicate better and faster. The revolution has been named as the “Umbrella Revolution” as umbrellas are being used for protection against pepper spray. #Umbrellarevolution

The Chinese government knows the power of social media and it’s consequences. This has lead the government to block Instagram in China in order to make the news flow slower and be less graphic. Messages and pictures supporting the Hong Kong protest have been seen from over the world, giving the protesters wings to continue.

Mediated mobilizations is definitely something very positive that has given society the ability to move faster and fight for their rights as well as comfortable solution to their daily lives.


Mediated Mobilization has allowed social and political issues to be shared and spreads at record speeds. However, does the instantaneousness mean faster social change? Or does it fog our perception of what change looks like? In the case of the girls of Chibok boarding school in Nigeria, the abductions that took place there in April sparked global controversy. People around the world were made aware of a crisis happening thousands of miles away. Yet, everyone was receiving immediate information updates via social media. The most famous social media asset that arose from this movement is the #BringHomeOuGIrls hashtag that has been used over 3 million times and seen on the Twitter accounts of celebrities, politicians, and public figures alike. Ordinary people would support the cause my simply tying a few characters and seeding them into the abyss of the Twitter feed.

In an update from mid-September I found on the Huffington Post, apparently the millions of tweets and hashtags didn’t rescue the girls like tweet-ers hoped. By using a hashtag people felt like that was ample involvement and participation when that didn’t the individual to act, it gave them a slogan to advertise. In this case, words aren’t enough to actually bring out girls back. Which is sort of unsurprising when the people participating are tweeting about it and perhaps talking about it but do not unite in actuality to protest or seek social change. In this way, they’re digital protesting which can be useful when trying to be informative in a hurry but difficult to seek actual change if all anyone does is rant about it online. Imagine if people just tweeted about how bad savory was and used the hashtag #EndSlavory, it would have been that much harder to seek change if people talked and discussed but were slow to act on their beliefs. I think now people may tweet out a certain hashtag because it’s trendy or because someone they think is cool is supporting a certain cause.

Attached is the article from the Huffington Post, as well as from BBC which has a few numbers about the #BringBackOurGilrs hashtag. And a link to a picture that sums up my idea :)

Mediated mobilization

Mediated mobilization is a theoretical framework explaining how different media support the creation and actions of social movements. The first thing that comes to my mind is the ALS ice bucket challenge that was sweeping the nation. I saw it everywhere. It was on T.V., YouTube and all over social media. I know this because my friends would show me people from my hometown doing the challenge. Now I’m not against bringing awareness for a good cause but it felt as if people were doing the challenge either for the attention or just to avoid donating money or just because everybody else was just doing it. Now to me it was nice that it did what it was intended to do, which was to spread awareness. I myself was not aware of what this disease was, that I looked it up. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. After I looked it up, I discovered that I actually knew what it was because I was familiar with the term Lou Gehrig’s disease but I never heard the term Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A lot of people were posting up videos of them doing the ALS ice bucket challenge. I realized that celebrities would do the challenge and then say they too were going to donate money. To me they had the right mindset. Now majority of people in my hometown would post their videos and none of them would ever say that they would donate money or they didn’t even know why they were throwing a bucket of ice-cold water over themselves. It’s easier for people to just participate in events like these because everyone is doing it.