The Internet is a force, which is prevalent in today’s world, and will continue to be so in my lifetime. The Internet brings us many tools to use within our daily lives in addition to providing us with various new avenues for entertainment. An aspect of the Internet, which continues to grow, is that of ‘Internet communities’. Internet communities involve a webpage centered on a certain product or topic, providing a means to communicate with others and distribute your message allowing for rebuttal from your peers. This blog will focus on my own involvement on producing and consuming within Internet communities and what leads me to do so. In addition, I will look specifically into youTube, and demonstrate how they are able to be so affective in the face of strict copyright laws.
There are various different avenues in which an individual can contribute to internet communities as a producer or a consumer. There are thousands of websites one can look to in order to contribute, and have their technological voice be heard amongst the depths of the World Wide Web. Personally, the avenue where I consider myself a ‘producer’ is in regards to sports. I am an avid sports fan, and am involved heavily in the aspect known as ‘Fantasy Sports’. Fantasy sports are located on various different websites, and involve the creation and competition of a sports roster amongst your peers. The producing aspect that I partake in is through various chat rooms and forums dedicated to Fantasy Sports. I demonstrate to users my strategies when drafting a team, players I am fond, amongst many other topics all centered on fantasy sports.
The reason why I choose fantasy sports as an avenue to produce material for the Internet, is simply because it is my strongest topic area, and I have an immense passion for it. When I ‘produce’ material for fantasy sports, I am rarely met with negative feedback but merely friendly rebuttals regarding my choices, mostly positive. This is what drives me to produce online content, as it is a topic area I could discuss for hours on end, and it brings me joy.
The topic of producing on ‘online communities’ cannot be discoursed without discussing the biggest online community of all, youTube. The largest online community on the Internet today is youTube, as it receives millions of hits a day, amongst thousands of content uploaded daily by users. Although youTube is a peer produced Internet community they also “introduce new ways to regulate and deny access to content under the guise of enforcing copyright protection.” (Hilderbrand, 2007) Therefore, it is an avenue which encourages peer production, but at the same time heavily protects copyright laws. Individuals can only produce material on youTube if it obeys copyright laws, if not, the material will be removed instantly.
Considering they still abide by the strict copyright laws, youTube still finds a way to be highly productive on the Internet, receiving immense amounts of user produced material daily. The reason why youTube can be so prevalent in the face of restrictive copyright laws is because “video-sharing sites are dominated by the sense of exhibitionism including addressing the audience directly, gags and novelty acts and putting the world on display by documenting significant events.” (Rizzo, 2008) The reason youTube remains so prevalent in the face of copyright laws, is there are many other avenues it addresses which speak to peoples Internet desires. The users consumers enjoy seeing videos of exhibitionism that relate directly to the audience. Therefore, youTube continues to be amongst the worldwide leaders in Internet avenues, which allow its users to produce material for the world to see. Although users must still abide by strict copyright laws when uploading material, they are able to address many of the consumers desires without hindering any copyright laws, allowing them to remain prevalent within the Internet community.
Hilderbrand, L. (2007). ‘Youtube: Where Cultural Memory and Copyright Converge’. Film Quarterly. Vol. 61, No. 1, 48-57.
Rizzo, T. (2008). ‘YouTube: the New Cinema of Attractions SCAN’ Journal of Media Arts Culture. Vol 5, No. 1, Online Journal.
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