Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Web 2.0 Part 1!

Posted by jasendavis on February 6, 2017

“Web 2.0” is a strange topic to discuss in a classroom setting, mostly due to the fact that it has been the way of the world for about as long as I have been alive. Especially now, with the advancement of connectedness due to social media, the impact that consumer-produced material has on giant industries and corporations is incalculable. Essentially, what Austin, Kosnik and Woods argue is that there are three aspects of consumer interaction: what they expect, what they receive, and how what they react to the product.

In a reticular society such as the one in which we live, the most important aspect is unmistakably the most important. Do customers receive it well and ignite the propagation of positive buzz? Or, is the product received poorly, and instead, negative word prevents others from trying the product? In the case of the former, the producer benefits from what Kosnik describes in his essay. For example, if a celebrity (or popular non-celebrity) tweets in support of a product, thousands of people will see it, and many will try it.

In extreme circumstances, consumers build their own novel universe around it. Have you ever been to the section of Barnes and Noble where they keep the Star Wars novels? There are hundreds of them written by dozens and dozens of authors. There are thousands of parody Star Wars accounts on twitter that satiate and maintain the interest of the fans throughout the 1-year gaps between movies. This type of consumer-produced content garners the question: who can use this mass-produced information? It isn’t really ethical for a company to allow some people to access their media for used based on a positive opinion while entrenching others in legal battles because they hold a negative sentiment. Thoughts?


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