Thursday, 10 February 2011

WEB207 - Topic 2.2 - YouTube Creativity & Participatory Culture

In order to get started thinking through this area, when reading, please consider:

1. Based on these readings and the unit so far, how would you define participatory culture? What are its most important elements?

2. While the YouTube slogan ‘broadcast yourself’ is emblematic of participatory culture and of web 2.0 technologies, are they two things separable? Do the tools enable the culture or does the cultural need drive the construction of the tools (or do we need a more complex question)?

3. The word ‘creativity’ is used a lot to talk about what amateurs and non-professional content creators are doing on YouTube, but what exactly is being created? What sorts of creativity are at work? Why do they matter?


1. We read a fair bit of Jenkins about participatory culture in MED104 - I would define participatory culture as culture where the general public participate by being content producers, not just consumers.


2. There is a difference between "participatory culture" and "Web 2.0 technologies" but I think they develop symbiotically - in simple terms, the technologies are the tools that enable the culture, but the tools are created as cultural needs emerge.


3. Burgess (2008) says "Viewed from the perspective of cultural participation rather than marketing, videos are not ‘messages’, and neither are they ‘products’ that are distributed via social networks. Rather, they are the mediating mechanisms via which cultural practices are originated, adopted and (sometimes) retained within social networks."  So I would say that there is content being created on YouTube, but it is also changing cultural values.

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