The world of media and communication

April 29, 2013

Feudilisation on the Internet

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ash91blog @ 7:00 am


Blog Post 8: Feudalisations on the Internet

The lecture for week 8 discussed the key concepts of feudalisation on the Internet and the emergence of tethered devices. In the lecture, Ted Mitew (2013) suggested the walled garden is a controversial topic, which almost reflects a manor in history context. In this era, individuals were unable to leave without permission, in which the feudallord decided how the peasants would use the land. So how is the metaphor relevant to individuals in society?

The walled garden plays a significant role in the emergence of new media information technologies and the Internet. In the seminar, the question was asked if you could describe the Internet as a whole. Conclusively, many students claimed the internet was a free and open public space, in which most websites allowed access to information instantaneously. Other students suggested the Internet was restrictive in some circumstances as you could not attain information unless you register, or pay a small fee. These different views provide small characteristics of the Internet; however, what users do not know when they are using search engines such as Yahoo, Bing or Google to find material, they are searching within a space that has been coined as a walled garden.

A walled garden is a software system where the carrier or provider has control over applications, content and media and restricts access to non-approved applicants or content (Rouse, M 2005). In the Internet, information that is relevant to the keywords in the search tool is filtered out to the user, in which less useful information is restricted. In a much broader sense, the walled garden is highly transferrable in commercial practices of businesses selling new media technologies such as smart phones and ipads. When analysing the operating systems on these technologies such as Apple iOS, the organisation act as the ‘Lords’ in a feudal society (Mitew, T 2013). Apple owns the rights to property and dictate how it is used and the cost charge to peasants [us as the users]. For example when using my Ipad i can only download apps from the Itunes App Store making it quite a closed system. The same role is played by Android in which users can only download content from the android store which is quite restrictive in terms of the product capabilities.

The Doctorow article “Lockdown: The Coming War on General Purpose Computing” (2013) suggested human rights activists “have raised alarms over U-EFI, the new PC bootloader, which restricts your computer so it only runs ‘signed’ operating systems” such as the Apple IOS. Most individuals in society do not realized they are connected to these tethered devices (Zittrain, J 2008). With these devices users are constantly monitored in which the material is regulated and censored (Zittrain, J 2008). This action occurs not only on technology but on the Internet such as e-commerce sites when purchasing clothing, in which the marketer watches your actions and tailors personalised messages to lure you in. These organisations dictate what is available to your and the price you pay in using that operating system.


Zittrain, J. ‘Thethered Appliances, Software as Service, and Perfect Enforcement’. In The Future of the Internet and How to Stop it, Yale University Press, New Haven, ppp.101-126; [URL:

Cory Doctorow(2011) ‘The coming war on general-purpose computing’ Session 2013 10


April 15, 2013

The impact of the digital age

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ash91blog @ 10:23 am

Multi Media Internet Laptop with Objects

The lecture for week 7 discussed the difficulties facing universities in the digital age as it transforms traditional teaching methods. The widespread adoption of the Internet and the array of convergence capabilities created a shift in how individuals and society at large communicates and functions (Miller R 2010). In the reading by Miller (2010), it is considered ‘‘we are fortunate to be living through the greatest change in communication in history’ (Miller R 2010) in which digital networks have changed what it means to teach and engage with education (Miller R 2010).

The Internet has provided the chance to redefine the pedagogical function to encourage connective thinking and to allow individuals to communicate with the most powerful mediums of our time (Miller R 2010). The alternative learning model focuses on ‘creativity over critical analysis’ to enable collaborative learning (Miller R 2010). Education has the potential to create a more equitable and balanced world as discussed in the seminar, which it could bridge the gap between developed and developing nations in access to education (Friend A 2013). Two prominent examples that are aiming to bridge the gap of education in the newly emerging online education include: Khan Academy and MOOCS.

One of the earliest creators that aimed to bridge the gap of science/ physics education is the Khan Academy. The khan academy is a not-for profit organisation that has the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere (Khan Academy 2013).

A newly emerging platform that was discussed in the seminar is MOOCS which stands for: Massive, Open, Online, Courses which has started to gain interest across the world (Chronicle of Higher Education 2013). MOOC’s is a participatory online course in which any one across the world can connect, collaborate and engage in learning processes.

In my experience, all University Students have had to a degree of an online learning experience facilitated by E-Learning and Moodle. MOOC’s has an array of advantages such as no fees, interactive collaboration through video-conferencing, no time constraints and with such a dynamic range of participants could aid in research development through sharing ideas on an international scale (Chronicle of Higher Education 2013).

Moreover, the online learning can significantly bridge the gap for people who cannot afford University in developing countries such as the Philippines, which further reflect education could bring a more equitable and balanced world. With more people becoming educated it can advance economies and aid in significant advances for developing countries.


Chronicle of Higher Education timeline on Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) regularly updated (accessed 13 Feb. 2013)

Miller, R 2009, “The Coming Apocalypse”, Pedology. Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture, vol. 10, no. 1, accessed 16/3/13

The Khan Academy 2013, accessed 15/3/13

April 8, 2013

Everything in decline but digital

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ash91blog @ 10:18 am


Traditional media has played a significant role in society for the past two centuries, in which it is facilitated exchanges with society on news content from across the world. The media industry is facing a rough period with bookstores going out of business and the rapid increase of online content (Heim A 2012) has resulted in significant changes for the traditional media industry.

The lecture stated the on-going decline in revenues by traditional media/print organisations. This view was concurred by Stirling that emphasises this has lead to repeated cost-cutting that has resulted in decrease of readership and audience loyalty (Sterling, G 2013). It appears everything print media based is in decline, but digital (Stirling G 2013).

The rise of convergent media supplemented by the web 2.0, has changed the face of journalism to create a participatory realm. This is the main concept addressed by Qandt (2011) in the article ‘Understanding a new phenomenon: the significance of participatory journalism’ (Qandt, T 2011). The web 2.0 has changed the roles of news producers and news consumers to become intrinsically blurred (Lewis, S 2010) which has resulted in individuals moving from a private realm to a public realm (Murthy D 2010).

The societal shift suggests the online environment is a place with a greater expectation for user engagement (Lewis, S., 2010).  Participatory journalism has emerged to reflect the increase of user engagement, in which non- professional visuals are the only user- generated content to achieve a status similar to professionally produced content (Qandt, T 2011). Becoming prod-users, it allows citizens to becoming active in producing content which is considered to be amateur footage as breaking news (Harcup T 2011).

This has been enabled due to the increase of accessibility to the Internet and technologies such as smart phones to engage in journalistic practices (Goode, L 2009). In Iran, social networking was used as a mechanism to upload the brutality of the Government imposing on young civilians, which the information was dispersed quickly. In this instance it highlights the user-generated content is highly situational and contextual as it brought people together to fight for political justice (Qandt, T 2011).


Goode, L. 2009, ‘Social news, citizen journalism and democracy’, New media and society, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 1287- 1203\

Heim, A 2012 ‘ The decline of traditional media’, TNW Academy, accessed 8/4/13,

Harcup, T 2011 ‘Alternative journalism as active citizenship’ Sage journals, Vol 12 pp 15-31

Murthy, D 2011, ‘Twitter: Microphone for the masses?’, Media, Culture and Society, vol.33, no.3, pp.779-789.

Quandt, T. 2011, ‘Understanding a new phenomenon: the significance of participatory journalism’, online newspapers, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, West Sussex

Stirling, G 2013, ‘State of the news media: everything in decline but digital’, Marketing land, accessed 8/4/13

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