Can Citizen Media Meet the Web 2.0 Social Media Revolution?

November 2, 2011 · Posted in Literature Review 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The central idea of Web 2.0 is synonymous to the term interactive (O’Reilly, 2005). In Web 2.0, everyone is invited to participate in contrast to its predecessor. With the advent of Web 2.0, consumers or individual citizens can participate in exploring, modifying, and sharing the contents that are being published to the public. This new structure has enhanced a participatory and a two-way approach, and together with the concept of User Generated Content the Web 2.0 has given rise to social media (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). As has been stated above, the concept of citizen media is ascribed to participatory of the citizen; therefore, it is relatively straightforward to assume that citizen media can meet the Web 2.0 social media revolution. The age of social media has affected the one-way practice of communication that we have been used to. News prints and journalists are dramatically fading away and being overtaken by local citizens (Hefferman, 2011). In fact, it has happened in numerous occasions that broadcast media outfits have used materials that has been produced by local citizens as resources in their own news. And many of the citizen-produced materials do not necessarily only cover news about catastrophe or war, but as well as contents that are personal or bearing the characteristics of inclusiveness of their viewers. The social media revolution empowers citizen media in many possible ways, and bringing the means of communication to a higher level. Consequently, our culture of communication has been changed making it possible for us to communicate without restraint, and this is made potential by the technology we have for information and communication.

Furthermore, while social media are increasingly utilized as a powerful means to promote social change, assessing the real impact of social media on social change is still compounded by the lack of clear empirical evidence. Scholars from several disciplines ‘have studied  uses of social media in a range of social and political movements, but what seems to be missing is a theoretical framework that could… advance a shared pursuit toward understanding the role of these technologies for collective action. While…social media may be used as an effective and enduring resource for political and social change, its distinctive and sustaining features are not well understood.’ (Eltantawy & Wiest 2011) Nevertheless, understanding social media functions and the employment of its applications in many development projects could be regarded as another stepping stone to provide better empirical substantiation of it.

 

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