W11 – Aggregation & Distribution

Aggregation is the collection of information, ideas, knowledge, opinions and data collaborated from a multitude of archival sources. Distribution is the conveyance of these specific types of information via various mediums e.g. online, newspapers, television (connecting by video, writing, blogging); being made available to and being consumed by the public.  This present-day open public contributes to, as Spivack denotes as “flows” (http://archive.truthout.org/what-implied-living-a-world-flow56203). Within these flows exists the “stream” or flow of information via social Media e.g. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, in which this open social public consumes, redirects and adds to this flow.

Now, within the present-day “Systems Age” http://scienceblogs.com/seed/2009/12/dawn_of_the_systems_age.php#more, with the shift from print to digital, within a relatively closed social public and slow and clear separation between publisher and distributer and public. However, separation no longer exists between publisher and the distributer and the public or what Dodson refers to as the “leader or follower”.  Now devoid of separation, these bodies operate simultaneously e.g. Google aggregates and sends off different data pages that the public can has published and consumed presenting a multitude of sources. This is a direct result of the implementation of the concept of self-publication in which manipulating, sensing and collecting data in near real-time publications through online mediums such as Twitter or Facebook, with “little to no human supervision”, with Artificial Intelligence driving the “digital sphere”.

However, with this innovation of technology comes criticism and disadvantages of such a revolution. This new technology is plagued with an overload of information of which particularly important data may be lost within a sea of excessive and/or irrelevant/inappropriate/useless data. Also the issue of data privacy in which a former temporal publication of information has now moved to permanent archives, information can be conveniently accessed at any particular point in time, (in which individuals may regret posting/publishing). Also this privacy can be easily hacked within an unsafe online environment e.g. The public now becoming more aware of the lack of privacy or safety within websites such as Facebook, where personal information and details are available to anyone around the world and these profile have the potential to be hacked with information and details stolen and used for own personal gain (credit card details/Nigerian credit scams). Similarly, fraudulent details can also be published in hope of gaining employment, in which the individual may not be qualified.

Furthermore, technology may be difficult to use for older generation as they may not be accustomed to the “frustrating tools” that are essential within real-time publication. (compared to former broadcast media to a now networked media – “FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGING THEH WAY INFORMATION FLOWS”).

This new technology may also prove to involve difficulty in a narrow specific search that an individual desires due to the anticipation of own enquiry being based on the basis of others. E.g. this can be seen within a Google enquiry or Youtube search in which the desired information to be viewed can be based on popularity through hits, views, ratings etc. This vague appropriation of an individuals enquiry can also cause the individual to become sidetracked by viewing different options as they are available of which I describe as being excessively convenient, and lose focus and become sidetracked, forgetting the task-at-hand (FORGETTING PRIORITIES). – this can be described as “Democratisation?”.

In turn, these websites not only narrows our intellectual path e.g. following certain celebrities on Twitter or subscribing to certain Youtube channels may in turn, reduce our ability to attain knowledge from other different and various sources due to only vieweing what was requested, segmenting a group of individuals to whom they follow or what they view on a routine basis etc.

Furthermore consumers may be attracted to the more sensationalist eye-catching reports-exaggerated and visually stimulating reports through headlines or font (CAPS or bold print within a comment section or subject section of an online forum). These scandalous, controversial reports can cause the viewer to spend most of their time decoding this information rather than taking the option to look at a somewhat bland representation of a report but with intellectually stimulating articles and informational content and data.

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Words like ‘Secret’, ‘Exclsuive’ and ‘Shocking’, being plastered on the front cover of ‘OK Magazine’ show the technique and ability to entice viewers. Similarly, the use of avatars (profile pictures) and online adverts further entice the viewer through colorful and seductive imagery which may cause the individual to get sidetracked within a potentially unsafe online environment, in which publishing comments can be viewed by a potential international audience. Furthermore, showing why print publication newspapers are a dying business with a lack of appeal to the younger generation.

However, the potential windfalls of publicity through the online environment reaching the mainstream consciousness. E.g. the advent of memes (an online initiation) becoming mainstream with international news shows broadcasting images of memes etc. Also Medical data to the public are now being made available to view e.g. an individual can diagnose himself through viewing symptoms etc. however this can be problematic as the public may have no medical training and as a result may diagnose themselves with a wrong illness.

References

http://archive.truthout.org/what-implied-living-a-world-flow56203 [Accessed 12/5/23]

http://scienceblogs.com/seed/2009/12/dawn_of_the_systems_age.php#more [Accessed 13/5/23]

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