Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Where web 2.0 went wrong

Posted by emmaeled on February 15, 2017

Thursday Feb. 9th, late post

The conversation about nothing being free and transparent marketing were the sections in this chapter I found the most interesting. When you look at all the aspects of a “free” good, there truly isn’t anything free about it. Even after reading this and knowing nothing is free I can guarantee you that I will continue to buy LUSH face masks because I bring back five empty containers so I get a sixth one “free”. Something that I never considered was how offering free sites like Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have the end goal of making money. I always new the people who created these made these sites ended up millionaires but when it put into perspective like on page 74 it brings a bigger picture into view “Often, commercial motives for offering a platform or test for a ‘free’ include commodifying audience labor, creating opportunities for gathering data, adding people to a contact list to be sold to marketers, or bringing together an audience to sell to advertisers…” (Ford, Jenkins, Green)

Transparent marketing was equally as informative. For instance, I did not know that there were set federal laws about companies disclosing paid relationships between endorsers. To me there has always been an unwritten agreement between consumers and brands. They supply something that we need. As part of this transaction we tend to trust these brands and chains, relying on them and believing that they won’t lie to us. We also trust those who endorse them. Sure, we know they’re being paid, but they wouldn’t accept money for something they didn’t trust in return, right? When this unwritten agreement is violated it’s almost like being cheated on. It is very difficult to trust that brand and endorser ever again and you constantly wonder about what other brands are really doing and if they truly the right sock company for our feet or if they’re a bunch of liars.

One Response to “Where web 2.0 went wrong”

  1. nathanpowers22 said

    You say, “we know they’re being paid,” but that’s precisely the issue that necessitated the creation of federal laws focused on the disclosure of paid endorsements. That is, not everyone can tell the difference between when they’re being marketed to and when they’re just getting advice from someone on what the best product is in their own honest opinion. The issue gets even more complicated when you consider the concept of “native advertising” employed by media outlets like Buzzfeed, where sponsored content is slyly inserted into an article somehow related to the message an advertiser wishes to convey.

    More info on Buzzfeed’s native advertising: http://nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/blog/10-examples-buzzfeed-native-advertising/

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