NetSmart Chapters 5 & 6

First off I want to say how I enjoyed our conversation with Howard. He is an intelligent mind who is interested in new media and where he thinks technology is headed. It was nice to pick his brain because I have enjoyed his views while reading NetSmart.

Chapter 5 starts off with networks. Rheingold talks about how we are surrounded by networks all of the time. “I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet. The President of the United States, a gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names.” He goes on to explain that many studies have been done on this very subject. I like to believe that these studies were don’t to prove that it really is a “small world.”

Networks are formed by people. The web allowed more networks to form because now people have a way to group based on common interests. Hence Ebay’s success. We are no longer the “information society.” Due to the access to networks on the web we should now be considered the “network society.”



An example of this is Facebook. Facebook, based on your friends and interests, can figure out people you may know. They can suggest groups for you to join. Facebook has now used technology to track networks and allow you to create new networks or add to existing ones by meeting new people. “As social media have emerged as a widespread platform for human interaction, the invisible ties that link each of us to others have become more visible and machine readable.”

I believe that networks can benefit us. Now with the internet we have access to millions of networks all over the world that are just a click away. But I think it is important to remember what networks are helpful and productive for us to join.

Chapter 6 talks about Remix Culture. This isn’t the first time I have heard about this. In Writing in the Workplace we did a whole section on remixes. I was really fascinated by some of the videos I watched and some of the things I read. Almost everything is a remix. Original material is hard to find these days. The quote “imitation is the best form of flattery” is the best way to describe a remix. Someone saw something that they liked or found worked and decided to use that as inspiration. My favorite example of a remix is Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. I am a Hitchcock fan, so much that I took a course as an undergrad that analyzed his films. Not many people my age have seen this movie and I wanted my boyfriend to see it. When he saw the shower scene and heard the music he realized how many times that idea had been copied and he started bringing up all of the movies he could think of. Hitchcock was the original and since then so many directors have followed his lead by using the death in the shower scene or the iconic music.

Now with the technology we all have the ability to use we can remix anything. Photoshop, garage band, iMovie. All of these types of software can be used to remix almost anything. Look at instagram and the filters and effects that can be used. We are a culture that finds the original boring. Songs come out on the radio and weeks later there are countless remixes that can be found on youtube. Its all about remixing.

Dr. Zamora asked us a few questions at the end of her blog post and I want to take a few minutes to answer them.

-What do you want to learn in New Media Studies?  I would like to take away a deeper understanding of the cultural side of media. How does media effect us and how can we learn from new media to enrich our own lives. These are the questions I would like to answer.

-What skills and knowledge do you hope to take from this course?   It would be great to learn how to market myself better on twitter. I also really learned from the CRAP detector and conduct better research in the future.

-What forms of learning would integrate most effectively with your own interests and goals at this point in your academic journey? All of the things I have learned so far, CRAP detection, web literacy, and how we can learn from online networks, all of these subjects are going to help me in the future whether it be for my own learning or if I become an educator. I would love to incorporate blogging, web literacy, and the CRAP test in to the classroom.