Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

What Constitutes Meaningful Participation?, Pt.2

Posted by tristendenney14 on March 27, 2017

After only reading the first few pages of this section titled, “What Constitutes Meaningful Participation?”, I knew this was going to be one of my favorite and most interesting sections so far. For example, one of the first points that stood out to me was the paragraph discussing Van Dijck and Nieborg’s beliefs towards just “listening to” and “watching” media produced by others on page 154. This particularly caught my eye because I see this example in my family all the time relating to my parent’s and social media. My dad has an Instagram and a Twitter but hardly ever uses it, and my mom has asked me multiple times about getting an Instagram where she can just follow people and see what they post. Though some may believe this defeats the purpose of getting a social media account and interacting with others, this is how my parent’s and many other people operate in media today. I believe this relates directly to Van Dijck and Nieborg’s beliefs, and I have honestly found myself in this situation from time-to-time because I do not have anything I want to post or share on my social media with others. Also, relating to participatory culture, I believe outlets like social media and “fandom” or “publics” websites where fans who are truly devoted and similar in multiple ways are part of the reason why the Pew Center has seen a greater than 10% spike in active participation in online media. One of the final things I found interesting in this section occurs on page 176, where Spreadable Media states, “At the heart of our spreadable media model is the idea that audience members are more than data, that their collective discussions and deliberations-and their active involvement in appraising and circulating content-are generative.” I feel like this quote truly describes the point of participatory culture and spreadable media. Although it is important to track and monitor audience/fan participation and involvement, these people are ultimately more than data and all have opinions and beliefs that count. Therefore, I believe participatory culture will continue to increase in popularity, and will eventually be something everyone is involved in.


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