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Week Nine: Social Media and Japan


A short week this time. If you're starting a project, draft your plans, post them, and submit them in print by next tuesday, 22 March.

In class, we'll look at some of the twitter, youtube, and blogging (produsage sites) coverage of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. What's being covered in each? How is that coverage being responded to? Are the videos and images too dramatic for response? What characterizes social responses in this situation?

Twitter is well-suited as broadcast medium in these kinds of situations. But what can we find out about what it's like on the ground in Japan? How do we go about it? (what hash tags are active, and how do we filter out the noise? what is noise in this situation? How do we find who to follow?) What do we gain? What's missing? How do we respond?

The press covers feeds


BBC Feed

A mainstream feed shows characteristics of social media with an updating stream of collected posts on the left. Live and recorded video on the right, and local navigation leads to more traditional broadcast journalism.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

Twitter feeds

Q: How do we find an informative stream?
#japan on twitter

http://twitter.com/stevenagata
http://twitter.com/tokyotimes
twitpic with comments

YouTube

YouTube w/commerical
YouTube tsunami, discussion, and links to related videos
discussion and video responses

Google

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=japan+earthquake&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Weblogs

Google lists blogs. Some will be aligned with traditional media, but what other alignments show up? What's being covered? How? Are there any personal weblogs - and if so what do they cover?

In an early analysis, here's a blog post and link to a video showing what was on all TV channels during the 8 min quake. Some channels broke into mainstream programming - some let the commercials roll.

a post from a business - Tango - showing kairos similar to that of formal ceremony.
http://www.tango.me/blog/?p=248

Personal blogs

I found few personal blog posts on the quake and aftermath and those near the bottom of google, or needing a pointed search of blog:japan earthquake. Personal blogs are where the produsage responses are coming in:

Required activity: start in class - finish by Friday evening out of class

In class, in twos and threes, review and annotate the links aggregated here, and other weblog, twitter, flickr, and YouTube sources you uncover, to a point where you can connect and comment on (post to your weblog or wiki) how social media has been dealing with the Japan Earthquake. See if you can develop a question that would yield something. Mine above are, What do we gain? What's missing? How do we respond? But you'll have your own.

How do I get an overview of what's happened? Is mainstream new enough? Can I get an overview through social media of blogging and twittering?

What do I need to know and draw on to be well-informed about the situation? Just mainstream? Just US? Do I need some familiarity with what's happening on the social streams too?

How does a sense of "well-informed" change with access to social media?

Do we end up with a set of almost randomly selected bits of information that need to be constellated? Is that so bad?



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