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ARTS1090: Virtual space… what are we talking about? April 3, 2009

Filed under: arts1090,T15A — Winnie Ho @ 1:35 pm
Tags: ,

Hay, James (2009). “My Space?” Television and New Media. 10:1, 72-76. <http://tvn.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/10/1/72&gt;

 

Being very much misled by the title and throughout the article, I originally would have thought that Hay was trying to analyze the MySpace website in the era of new media technologies and creation of ‘virtual space’. Upon further readings, it occurred to me that he was rather talking about media studies conducted in the midst between technologies of traditional and new media (or ‘residual and emergent media’ as it was put in the article), whilst using headings that referred to portions of MySpace. It was all very confusing to me, as Hay did not quite realize that MySpace neither has a space between ‘my’ and ‘space’ nor utilizes the method of subscription as a whole. Perhaps, as another Internet-addicted teenager, I have these preconceptual biases in picking up minor misconceptions when reading this. Yet, Hay presents a comprehensive summary of different academics’ points of view on media convergence and technological hybridity in regards to televisuality, mobility, and online citizenship.

 

To a certain extent being similar to Hay, I have never used or shown interest in using MySpace. Why? All those often exposed to American Internet culture will happily tell you that MySpace– for the lack of a more direct word– SUCKS. but this website is perceived to be a place full of spam, emo-wannabes, pedophiles, and other people trying to be cool. So, I find it rather awkward for an academic piece of writing to put MySpace in such a good light – saying that “My Space’s divisions and categories of personal interest and activity” are part of ‘”the differentiating machinery” of modern life and knowledge production’, MySpace applications ‘compose the packaged and value-added regimens (“programs”) of self-actualization and self-maintenance’, as well as ‘My Space involves maximum application of oneself through regimes of self-monitoring and self-government’. It could be true for some other profile/networking websites, but I would hold my doubts for such ideas about MySpace. Anyone who knows literally nothing about MySpace can easily go onto Wikipedia, and find many areas of critisms, such as security, child safety and censorship. If Hay was referring to a less controversial profile/networking site, then definitely the division of ‘space’ into multimedia, mobile access, applications and groups would be helpful in presenting a model of new media; however, he failed to address the dangers and problems of MySpace.

 

To conclude, seeing how there’s still technical problems with RSS feeds to the arts1090 tutorial page, I can’t help think the number of years we still need to struggle through uncertainties, trials and errors, before able to fully tame the Internet beast to become a strong and sound member of media.

 

Winnie Ho (z3292568)

T15A

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