Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Interesting post from a UW graduate student on social media

One of our graduate students in Journalism & Mass Communication, Dave Wilcox, has been authoring a really interesting blog called "Kerfuffle" for a number of years now.  His latest post is right in line with the issues we've been discussing in class these last two weeks: "Just how much of my user-created content does the world want, anyway?"  He first laments the imbalance between the quantity and quality of his posts:
I am posting stuff all over the place all the time.  It gets posted on sites and platforms and apps that didn't exist when I began Kerfuffle (at least in their current forms).  I'm dropping stuff on Facebook every day, and on Twitter even more frequently than that.  Many of those posts are link-driven, but usually with some kind of added intellectual contribution.  Well, perhaps the contribution isn't all that chocked full of intellect.  But it is a contribution none the less.  Add to those the activity I frequently post on sites sites that are more visual, such as my Tumblr page (called Wait, What?) and Instagram feed. 
Then he notes that his social media posting has shifted from being computer-based to mobile-phone-based:
Sure, the laptop isn't usually too far away and wifi is all but ubiquitous these days.  But the phone is so damn easy and, well, now.  That explains why the first two screens on my phone contain a combined five social networking apps.
IMG_0604IMG_0605Further into the screens are more apps that feed these platforms with even more content.  Music apps likeSpotifyShazam and SoundHound; rating apps like YelpWhere, andurbanspoon; and travel apps likeExpedia anTravelocity all are willing to push content if I enable them.  Same for YouTube, of course. Hell, I have  whole screen of nothing but Google apps, another with all the social networks that I rarely use like FourSquare and LinkedIn, and still another with a bunch of Twitter clients I don't even use.
So what compels him to spend so much time with social media?
It's kind of funny to me that I use all these, and yet I freely admit that most of the content would hardly be missed by anyone at all.  So what does that mean?  I have to try this shit out, since I am studying social media as part of my research at UW, right?  At least that's what I tell myself (and others).  But how does that explain my driving need to live-tweet any Badger hockey game I attend?  I have no idea.  I guess I do it because (a) I'm a techno-geek, (b) I'm a media nerd and (c) because its fun.  Oh, right, and (d), of course: research.  Yes.  Research
Check out his post and let him know what you think.   Do you think that after this class you'll have caught the same social media bug as Dave?


  1. I enjoyed reading this blog because I knew it was a UW student writing, and because everything he was saying about these social networks on his mobile device are often very true for most UW students. These days smartphones are found in abundance around campus and if you don't have a smart phone it can be surprising to many. I know that the iPhone is overwhelming with all of the google and game apps, and they are so easy to come by considering you can search them in the "App Store" right on your phone and buy them right from there as well.

  2. While reading Dave's post, I could not help but make connections with this blog post to myself especially when he says "I am posting stuff all over the place all the time." Some of my friends consider me a viral spammer because of all the content I post on my facebook page or my relentless tweets. Prior to this class, I guess I had the same social media bug as Dave; however, after each class and after all the readings, I find myself to become more engrossed and intrigued with social media. Dave makes an interesting point about the cell phone being so "now." My iphone has become my mini mac book pro; if I am not using my computer in class or if on the bus, I can just whip out my cell and can go on facebook or any of the social networking apps without having to lug my computer around. I agree that the cell phone is "so damn easy", but I do value my computer a lot more and rather go on the social networking sites from the computer versus their apps.

  3. Dave's infatuation with social media is a great representation of our information sharing culture. Most college students can't go minutes, let alone hours, without knowing everything that is going on with everyone that they know. What is particularly interesting is that with social media access uniformity, because of smartphones and more widespread access to laptops and other devices, individual personality is the determining factor of just how much you share. So, just as there are those like Dave, who are always sharing, there are others who can't be bothered to check their facebook even weekly. Just as Dave will probably continue to be on the cutting edge of social media regardless of outside factors, this class will most likely leave me as the same, albeit more informed, social media user that I was at the beginning of the semester.

  4. I couldn't help but find myself nodding in agreement at everything Dave had written. That is the world we are in today. There is nothing more "now" than having a smart phone and using it all day, every day, for most of our daily tasks. I found myself really aligning with Dave when he said that he has a driving urge to tweet at Badger hockey games. While I have never attended a UW hockey game, I do find myself motivated to tweet during football games, and during most events in my life in general. Instead of thinking "that would be a really funny text to send to my friends," I find myself thinking, "that would be an extremely clever tweet." Like Dave, I have wondered why we have this urge to put all of our thoughts onto social media networks for the whole world to see. I think I do it for the thrill of making a permanent mark in the cyber world. And, I suppose it doesn't hurt to hear feedback from my followers as well.

  5. I think Dave has a really good point, and that he is right about the way that phones, ipods, and ipads are evolving and changing the world of social media. Before laptops, you had to use your home CPU. Then came ipods and iphones, as well as other smartphones. Now you don't even need a laptop to access your social media. For me, I hope I don't fall into this trap. I am involved in Facebook and Twitter, but that's about it. I am starting to write for the sports blog for the Badger Herald but that is it for me when it comes to blogging. I prefer to use all of my social networking via a laptop and avoid the distraction of the smartphone. I feel if I am somewhere on a social networking site on my phone, I am missing what is going on in the world around me. That is something I don't want to do. We will see what happens. All bets are off after this class.

  6. Dave’s media obsession is no different than anyone else in our generation. Social media is constantly surrounding us. Even when eating at a restaurant or shopping at a store, advertisers are constantly enticing us to “like” them on Facebook. While watching the television show, The Voice, audience members are encouraged to tweet at their favorite contestants and favorite celebrity. In addition, with my new IPhone 4S my social media connection is never ending, as I can simply instruct Siri to write on a friend’s Facebook wall. For people in my age group, Twitter and Facebook act as a distraction and entertain us. Similar to how the older the generation religiously reads the daily newspaper every morning to stay informed and entertained, my generation is doing the exact same thing exact with technology and social media networks.


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