Tuesday, March 31, 2015


With just a simple click of a mouse or a button someone's personal life of company/organization can literally be changed in a matter of seconds. Nowadays people don't quite understand the implications of what just one action using your pointer finger can actually do. Clicktivism is described as "The use of social media or another online methods to promote a cause". However, clicktivism can also be a very good problem to have as well. It makes it so easy for people to help support something, such as on Twitter or Facebook. If someone is promoting a good cause it is easily accessible for someone using social media. I believe that many companies love the fact that social media and digital media have become so popular and so useful. It's more than just a click of a button, by doing so, you are promoting for a website and doing so with virtually no restrictions or trouble. There isn't anybody in my life that doesn't take advantage of the new phenomena that is social media. 

        Social media and the digital age is literally around us 24/7, when you see people checking their timelines on twitter, or posting their newest picture on Instagram. With useful technology comes a loop hole for users all around the world. Often many describe people who are "clicktivist" as "slaktivist". This refers to the act that someone doesn't fulfill when pressing "click" or "like". These often include but not limited to: signing a petition of some sort, or using someone's data for your own, or also joining something such as an organization or a club without fully participating. 

      It is something that we, I believe, will never escape and that is the use of technology and the ease that comes along with it (for some, not for myself ). By clicking a simple "like" tab you are promoting and gesturing for a specific person or an organization. "Clicktivism" is without a doubt growing as we speak, it's too easy for it not to. Ideally, this would be an easy reference for someone that is working on their commons campaign. Ironically enough, there is a "+" option on our website for the blogs and by clicking that, it will promote a kind gesture. It's EVERYWHERE.



We need to stop clapping if we want the meme-addness to end.

It was with no small bit of sadness that I witnessed internet "memes" not only made mention of in our lecture class, but made repeated reference to. It's not true only in fairy tales; if you stop believing in something, stop referencing it, stop discussing it, excise it from the public pulse, it will truly cease to exist.

(N.B., blog in progress having issues with Word processor compatibility so I have to re-type it all from scratch).

Texts from Hillary

   Paige Osborne
In the spirit of all the memes that were shared over the course of class a few weeks ago, I thought I’d discuss my own favorites in how they relate to some of the ideas we discussed. Behold, the Hillary Clinton meme, Texts from Hillary.             
According to the know your meme website, texts from Hillary, “was taken by Reuters photographer Kevin Lamarque while she was awaiting departure aboard a military C-17 Globemaster III flight from Malta to Tripoli, Libya on October 18th, 2011,” (Horan).                                                            “It was then shared Reuters and then it was generated through Tumblr,… within the first 48 hours of the post, the image received 9,094 notes,” (Horan).

Since its inception, people have created multivalent interpretations of the meme. One of my favorites is a The Devil Wears Prada parody with American Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. The quote is ripped from a movie while Anna Wintour sits below, the real-life character that was encapsulated by Meryl Streep’s performance in the movie. The similarities between the two characters are striking. Hillary has long held an image of being somewhat cold and robotic. This meme plays on the public’s perceptions of her.
One of the main themes seen throughout the memes of her is the whiplash given between herself and another person in position in power. We see a little of that with the Anna Wintour meme, but there are many examples of her shutting down a person in position of power, many of whom have more power than herself. Here she is taking on P.O.T.U.S. and V.O.T.U.S.

 One reason that these memes are humorous is because of their vernacular expression. When people create new ways for Hillary to interact in the meme, they use a language you wouldn’t typically expect a Secretary of State to use.
One of the other things we discussed in class is that memes are a creation of social and democratic invention. It’s no mistake that a contributing reason for the meme’s popularity is that it represents a well-known figure, but Hillary isn’t just popular, she’s a representative of our democracy. Lately this meme has taken on a new twist with the recent news that Hillary has been using her personal email address for government business. It’s inspired this meme.

Then it escalated.

The popularity of this meme has been largely to the juxtaposition that it creates through humor and the many characters that have been included with it. It relies on multivalent interpretations, social and democratic invention and vernacular expression.

Works Cited

Horan, Molly. "Hillary Clinton." Know Your Meme News. Cheezburger, Inc., 21 Dec. 2014. Web. 1 Apr. 2015. <http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/people/hillary-clinton#fn3>.

A+ for Creativity

Seemingly, creativity has no set definition because it seems that it can be widely interpreted.  We all have original ideas, but the majority stems from previous ideas of our own and our peers.  Once we come up with an idea, a better one seems to come right after, as your original idea gives a basis of a new and improved thought.  Relating to the activity we did in class, when we were typing what creativity is, I typed an idea and it immediately sparked another thought in my head about the same idea, just wording and/or changing the direction of thought.  Creativity varies from person to person, some more creative than others.  It’s one thing to have creativity, but it begs to ask the question what exactly is creativity?  Is it something that everyone is born with or is it selective, does everyone have it but some are more prominent than others?  Some people have more natural creativity than others who have to work at it but everyone has the slightest bit of creativity.  No matter what, everyone always gets an A+ for creativity!
Creativity seems like having or doing something that hasn’t been executed prior, an inventive way to do something.  The process of creativity stems from discovery, originality, composition and intellectual property.  This presents the crisis of invention, coming up with a completely new idea that hasn’t been thought of.  When we think of invention that might be the general thought that comes to mind but it usually combines objects or thoughts that preexist and using them to come up with something different.  Inventions seem to just be remixes of an original idea when building off of a preexisting idea.  Using something that someone’s already created as the basis of your invention could become problematic when it seems too similar to the original.  In relation to memes, the process of inventing of them is using a picture and typing words over it.  Most memes are the same picture with different words written over, which is just variations of the idea.  There are imitations, which are seen as improvements or speaking to a crowd differently and multivariate interpretations that cause different reactions to the same meme.  A meme's success deals with fecundity, the fitting to the situation, which makes it easy to generate; longevity, how long the meme lasts; and copy fidelity, which is the applicability of the meme.  The stronger the connection and relation to the audience is, the more successful the meme.

In relation to creativity, the discovery process includes finding something unthought-of before which might become difficult because it seems like everything has already been done.  These just seem like differentiations of the same idea, bettering or turning it into another direction that wasn’t thought of prior.  This ties into originality because someone having a particular idea before anyone else is original, however someone else basing their new idea off that doesn’t exactly seem “original” because it’s already been done even though their end product is brand new.  Taking an idea from someone and furthering seems like a troublesome situation because it’s essentially stealing someone’s idea and making it your own when you had no inventive thought, rather taking someone else’s idea which could possibly be extremely successful and not giving any credit to the other person.  Let’s call it stealing, rather, copying someone’s original idea.  You’re taking something that wasn’t yours, not giving any credibility to the original thinker and possibly having a huge success.  Composition is how you take on and execute the idea.  This is interesting to observe because it’s the process of one person’s thought becoming an (physical) object.  Nobody is exactly similar which helps come up with new ideas as we can bounce off of other people’s ideas thus generating new ones.  An example of composition would be Steve Jobs from Apple thinking about inventing the first iPhone.  Thinking that if he thought to execute it another way or use a different system than iOS how different the phone would look and function.  
Imagining how different a product could be if someone else came up with it is thought provoking because there are seemingly endless directions a single idea can go.  This shows that nobody’s creativity is the same and that we all have variations of the same feature.  Sometimes people are more creative when given constraints, which act as a deadline or limitation that must be worked around.  Others are creative almost all of the time naturally, showing how different we all think and produce our thoughts.  We seem to think of the same concept differently, showing how dissimilar our minds work whenever we're presented with a new concept or blank slate.  

Michael Brown's Impact On Social Movement And Clicktivism

By now, we have all at least heard about the killing of Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown. When we examine the events that followed the tragic event, we can see how in a very short window of time a social movement came to life. Whether justified or not, the action of police using lethal force on citizens of this country was brought to light again after Brown’s death. This has been an issue in society for quite some time, but this particular incident made waves quickly throughout the country and led to many different forms of protests. 
In class we discussed some ideas from Manuel Castells “Networking Minds, Creating Meaning, Contesting Power." In the text, he shows us how a fundamental injustice in our society can be the root to a social movement. He continues on by saying that the theory of affective intelligence shows that two emotions, fear and enthusiasm, are most relevant to social mobilization. Fear can usually carry a negative affect that can lead to anger and outrage, but enthusiasm is directly related to hope that can have a positive affect towards the movement.
Many people were outraged by the killing. Protests all over the nation broke out in the following weeks and months, some peaceful and many violent. Castells tells us how the anxiety of individuals can lead to fear, which in turn can lead to anger. He also mentions how when individuals feel ignored or misrepresented they are ready to put that anger into action. People of the Ferguson community took to the streets, threatening police, looting and destroying local businesses. They claimed to be in fear of their safety as most believed that the justice system is corrupt. Castells tells us that in order for a social movement to form emotional activation of individuals it must connect with other individuals. He also says that empathy in the communication process is determined by experiences similar to that of which the original emotional outburst was motivated. Many others around the country could relate to the feelings the locals had because they too have seen or heard of police on citizen violence in their communities.
On the other hand, there were also peaceful protests that occurred as well. Many people demonstrated the “hands up don’t shoot” action that became the popular symbol of supporting the movement. Castells says “the faster and more interactive the process of communication is, the more likely the formation of a process of collective action becomes, rooted in outrage, propelled by enthusiasm, and motivated by hope.” In class we also learned about clicktivism, which is when a person promotes a cause by using online outlets such as social media. Some believe that clicktivisim is actually just slacktivisim, when someone promotes a cause to uphold their social image but is less likely to be actively involved by donating, volunteering, etc. I think it was apparent there was quite a bit of both. A lot of people took to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share their opposing thoughts and support. Many people came together in mostly non-violent protests all across the country as well. We also discussed in class how digital media often times creates weak ties and that there needs to be strong ties in order to create real social change.     

            I think at the very least this social movement encouraged people to be more aware of their actions and the actions of those around them.  Whether you believe the action taken by the officer to use lethal force on Brow n was justified or not, we can see how people in society related to the movement in some way.  While the looting and destructive or violent behavior was not the best way to contribute to the movement, it does show that social movements most often times fueled by the emotions of the individual.  It also demonstrates how people use social media to express themselves when it comes to events such as this.

Just Click!


Just Click!

Taking action to change the world has never been easier. Last year a phenomenon sky rocketed across Facebook; The Ice Bucket Challenge. This challenge entailed nominating three friends to dunk themselves in ice water to support ALS. Those three friends would then post videos of them doing the challenge and nominate three more friends, and so on. The Ice Bucket Challenge soon spread all across social media, the news and the world raising a total of $220 million worldwide. So how did this happen with just the click of a finger tip?

The dictionary defines Clicktivism as "the use of social media and other online methods to promote a cause." Everyone I know uses social media in some way, some more than others. With just the click of a finger you can be in contact with someone across the world. Social media makes it so simple to support a cause or function because all you have to do is click. Clicktivism does not only support a cause but it also is the use of media for practicing social change or activism. The term Clicktivism often gives the user a sense of self by clicking "like", but might make them forget to check up or donate, which is one of the biggest hurdles, developing fully committed participants. Some critics claim that clicktivism is only "slacktivism" and that it lacks the power to bring change that many activists hope for. Some common slacktivism acts include signing internet petitions, joining organizations without contributing and copy/pasting statuses or altering ones personal data. I am sure the majority of us can relate to a few of these terms that are identified with slacktivism.
We plan on using a form of Clicktivism in hopes of making a successful Commons Campaign. Researchers have stated that activism campaigns have more than doubled over the last decade, to more than 70 percent, which is why we believe our online work will benefit Good Dog Rescue. The biggest firms have brought activism campaigns mainstream and have made it more acceptable. We hope to gain interest of others by using puppies as our bait. Who doesn't love puppies? The internet is the ultimate tool of distraction. People are connected through online networks and social media which is why we believe that we will draw attention to college students and the whole University of Nebraska Lincoln community. We have learned that one key factor to success is the access you have, which is why we will be accessing the community through three very popular social media chains: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We hope to see you "click" when you see our Commons Campaign act!
I have attached two great links including information about how the Ice Bucket Challenge came about and an essay over clicktivism.  

Ice Bucket Challenge