There’s a war brewing – the war that decides if ‘we’ go 1984 or work together for something more. We are breathing in the times of the great world war of technology.
The battle rages between locked or ‘closed’ appliances and generative or ‘open’ platforms. These technological advancements that have altered our lives and connected us all – but we are still uncovering how to use them. Locked appliances bar users from modifying or changing any part of the content, software or product where generative platforms allow modification and transformation to suit the user or wider audience.
The biggest battle of the war is being fought by Apple and Android (Google) and the winners and losers are still being determined, but really, its pretty evident that Google is taking over the world (in a not-completely-evil-money-hungry sort of way)
Being a social ‘Redditor’, I want to see how open content platforms like Reddit affect ideas of news and authoritative sources – the sociologist in me wants to know how the collective will reshape our lives. The users of Reddit as a collective community control the content of the website. As Alexis Ohanian (cofounder of the website) put it “it is the democratic front page of the internet”. Ohanian refers to it as democratic because a submission’s popularity is dictated by the user using the up or down arrow to either upvote or downvote a post.
The audience on this website become active participants in contributing to the flow and filtering of content.
Each subreddit (a custom-made subforum) has it’s own set of moderators, known as ‘The Mods’. Usually these are users who have contributed or founded/cofounded the subreddit.
I believe that Reddit works hard to try and keep the website as user based as it possibly can.
News media platforms have mutated – television, radio and print are no longer the gods of mass media production, they are not the curators and bias monoliths they once were. Our news now, more than ever is dictated by free flowing content that Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon and Imgur (to name a few) allow. Not only that but our connection to this media is instant, our mobile smart phones are our platform and our access to the internet is our gateway to a world of content that we could potentially be responsible for, making our internet as we know it, a completely open platform.
Have a kitty for your thoughts.