Friday, 30 March 2012

Building a Platform Fom the Web Up.

With the explosion of Web 2.0, people began roaming the internet like never before, and with every click, URL and search inquiry companies began profiling these people. When citizens took to the internet with their blogs of opinions and Fliker accounts of personal photography, companies did not hesitate to invade their client’s spaces. In this aspect, it became easy for the capitalist industry to use their client base as a platform for their personal advertising and gain insight to what was desired by society. Soren Mork Petersen uses the term “piggybacking” in his article Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploration, when he describes the relationship between media participants on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc. to those who are attempting to influence them through social networking. The relationship as Petersen describes it reconfigures patterns of use into practices which carries a resemblance of work relations, transforming users into losers.” (Petersen)

Companies infringe upon citizens online opinion outlets in order to build a platform that reflects their online profiles, to broaden their audience, and supporters. Using the incredibly visible outlet of the internet it is a simple procedure to find out information and personal opinions because they are broadcast so consistantly.

The first major topic of discussion Petersen reviews is Google purchasing Usenet. When Usenet was created in 1979 by Tom Turnscott and Jim Ellis the idea was simple, with no main server they constructed virtual bulletin board. A lot like blogging, people were able to post their thoughts and opinions so when Google purchased this system their idea was to get inside people’s minds without them fully realizing what was happening. They used unsuspecting people to change and adapt ad campaigns, computer programs and other media material with the help of these citizens.

Facebook is such a powerful social media it is of course piggybacked upon by larger companies. By creating a Facebook page for your company you can add friends, or people can like your page. With this tactic, the more “likes” you have, the more your page is noticed by “friends” of those who “liked” it and the greater chance you have at building your platform (thanks to Facebook). Inevitably people spend much time committed to Facebook, they don’t hesitate to use Facebook as a mask and post comments on company or brands walls in order to make their voice heard. The companies however love this and take these comments into serious consideration; as simple as writing a letter, this media outlet is public, immediate and other “friends” can comment and contribute to the discussion.

Some may view this as an invasion, but because the internet is so blatantly public already there is a contradicting tone in that statement.

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