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Week 11’s thoughts-Participatory culture and media communities May 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — fanghou @ 12:25 am

Queen is really a great example of participatory culture. Their songs are also popular in youth group in China.

The performance showed in seminar in week 11 let me think of one popular band in Taiwan — 100% Band. They won the ‘Most Popular Band’ Prize this year in Taiwan.

One of their music videos is a participatory one. They have a simple dance along with their song and hope every fan to learn the dance. Then, after selection, good dancers can participate in the production music video of that song. Now the dance is very famous in Taiwan. A lot of people can do this dance. And the fans of this band , of course, dance. I saw this music video in youtube and a lot of different people joined in, interestingly. They are students, dance teachers, club performancers, and so on.

Actually, this form of music video has won an excellent success in Taiwan. It makes more people know the band and know what they are doing now. I suppose that it is really a smart strategy.

Another thing is American Idol, I think it is another good example of participatory culture. And it is very successful as well. Even when the US went into the recession in 2008&2009, the show was also popular and supported by music fans. They got a large numbers of votes for those singers. Especially in the show in 2009, it broke the record of votes and it was really a memorable one.

American Idol is successful. It lets producers in other countries also join into this participatory culture’s production, such as Australia and China. Its slogan is always about ‘dream’, ‘join’, ‘do your best’, ‘vote for your favorite singer’, etc. They are saying they provide an opportunity to make everyone wants to be a professional singer to be a super star.

The fans of one particular singer complete in American Idol become a fans communities. They set up ‘Fans group’ online or off-line. They are supporting the singer by voting for him/her, upload/downloading the songs he/she once performanced, producing webpages to let more people know about the idol, etc. They are talking about their idol together and also support each other as well. This is typical Fan community I think.


An interesting documentary consists of text and still images May 12, 2010

Filed under: Transient Spaces,Uncategorized — fanghou @ 12:59 am

I hava found a documentary. It is a similiar one of mine. I also want to make mine as this which is a webpage with text and still images.

It has ‘introduction’, ‘interviews’, and ‘links’, etc.

Here is the link of this documentary:


Questions and some new thoughts

Filed under: Transient Spaces,Uncategorized — fanghou @ 12:20 am

Interview Questions:

Users of

1> How did you know firstly?

1> 请问最初你是怎么知道亿忆网的?

2> How often do you use it in recent half year?
2> 请问在过去半年里,你登录亿忆网的频率是怎样的?
3> What are you doing on online? Does this forum’s information affect your real life? (negative or positive?)
3> 在登录亿忆网后通常你会做什么?这个网站对你的现实生活有影响吗?如果有影响,是负面的还是正面的影响?
4> What information and fun can you get from Do you like this forum or not?
4> 从亿忆网中你能获得什么信息或者乐趣?你喜欢这个网站吗?
5> Which part is your favorite?
5> 那一个板块是你最喜欢的?
6> Do you notice the information of sex service on Career part?
6> 你注意到求职招聘的板块中的性服务招聘信息了吗?
7> What do you think of this kind of information?
7> 你对这些信息的看法是怎么样的?
8> Does this kind of information influence your browsing? Why? (or Why not?)
8> 这些信息对你对网站的浏览有影响吗?为什么? (或者为什么没有影响)
9> What is your comment on young girls who are international students are doing sex service in Melbourne?
9> 对于在墨尔本从事性服务的年轻留学生,你有什么评价?
10> Do you think this kind of information would attract teenagers’ attention or influence their lives? Why? (or Why not?)
10> 你觉得这些新服务工作者招聘信息会吸引年轻人的注意吗? 为什么? (或者为什么不会?)
11> Do you think the administration staff of this forum should do something on this phenomenon? If yes, what do they need to do? If no, why do you think it is no need to do it?
11> 你觉得论坛的管理人员有必要对这个现象做些什么吗? 如果你觉得有必要,你觉得他们应该做什么? 如果你觉得没必要,为什么你会觉得没有必要?
12> In China, sex service is illegal. While, it is opposite in Melbourne. Will this difference bring influence on international students’ cultural values?
12> 在中国,性服务行业是不合法的,然而在墨尔本则不然。 你认为这个两地区别会不会影响到留学生的价值观呢?
13> Have you heard any stories of that Chinese students are doing sex service? If yes, can you please tell me about those stories?
13> 你有没有听说过中国留学生在这里从事性服务工作的? 如果听说过,能不能介绍一下你所听到的故事呢?
14> In your opinion, what are their lives to be like?
14> 在你看来,那些从事性服务工作的留学生的生活大概可以怎样概括?
15> In your opinion, why do the sex service workers attend into this industry?
15> 在你看来,为什么那些人要加入这个行业?
16> What is the reason why so many marketing people of sex service industry choose to post employ information on, in your opinion?
16> 你觉得为什么性服务行业的市场工作人员要到亿忆网上来发布招聘信息?

Some thoughts

I already have started the interviews with some users and one ex-manager of Career part of the forum. It is very exciting. And, as the chat with Jenny in class of last week, I supposed that I should do some interviews with parents who have children studying abroad. Now, I think it is better to give up this idea. As Jenny’s opinion, parents do not know much about the forum and the interviews of parents may distract attention on the main issue.

So far, I quite enjoy the process of the interview actually. It is exciting to communicate with other users about the experience of using the forum. Their thoughts diverse. Some hold the similiar opinions with mine, but some do not. However, I won’t use leading questions in the whole process, because recording the fact is already enough for my work. And it is quite interesting.

Now, I am translating the conversations in text. It is not an easy job truly. I hope I can articulate their thoughts in English. However, I will keep the original conversations in Chinese in the documentary as well.


An observational mode documentary about international students in VIC May 11, 2010

Filed under: Transient Spaces,Uncategorized — fanghou @ 11:58 pm

The documentary is very surprising when the story goes to another way. I think this is a successful documentary. It has an attractive opening and a shocking main part. The way that the producer uses is quite pursuasive. There are no interviews, but directly telling stories happened last year around international students in Melbourne.


Virtual Communities and Social Capital

Filed under: Transient Spaces,Uncategorized — fanghou @ 2:05 am

Blanchard’s studies on relations between virtual communities and social capital is really interesting to me. And it, in my opinion, is also an appropriate fundamental theory of my documentary. With the research questions of ‘how vitual communities do and do not increase social capital in FtF (face-to-face) communities’, Blanchard has reviewed relevant research and examined the debate around ‘social capital’ and ‘virtual communities’ analytic researchers.

Blanchard cites:

Virtual communities are groups of people who interact primarily through computer -mediated communication and who identify with and have developed feelings of belongings and attachment to each other. These subjective feelings are known as a ‘sense of community’ (McMillan and Chavis, 1986).

Blanchard and Horan (1998) notes that whether a virtual community is place based or dipersed may have different effects on the social capital in an FtF community’s network of social relationships. They consider that a place based virtual community may increase the density of an FtF community’s network of social relationships, and a dispersed virtual community may decrease it. At the same time, therefore, they may increase or decrease the social capital in an FtF community.

Then he points out some other studies of other researchers about this issue, both on positive effects on social capital and negative effects on social capital coming from virtual communities.

Finally, he concludes all the reviews as two problems with current research on this topic:

1> it is not clear that these studiea examine virtual communities in which members have developed a sense of community with each other or whether these studies examine virtual groups in which members merely interact on-line.

2> the studies do not look at the process by which virtual communities affect social capital in a particular FtF community.

Through reviewing Blanchard’s researches on virtual communities and social capital, I have identified my topic – the forum- fits the characteristic of place based virtual comunities. Because Blanchard and Horan (1998) defines that place baced virtual community is centred around some geographic locale, and dispersed one is not. They suppose that it is possible that the network of people with whom one interacts in the virtual community may overlap withthe people one interacts with in an FtF community. This makes more people to be connected. It makes the FtF community’s network more dense.

In my topic, the is a virtual community which is centred around Melbourne (some geographic locale). It makes Chinese international students being able to share information and help each other on-line. And these communications makes Chinese students to be connected. It is a significant benefit for people studying abroad, of course.

On the other hand, about the two problems pointed by Blanchard:

1> I think is not merely an interact group on-line. It is a sense of community.

As I cited earlier above:

Virtual communities are groups of people who interact primarily through computer -mediated communication and who identify with and have developed feelings of belongings and attachment to each other. These subjective feelings are known as a ‘sense of community’ (McMillan and Chavis, 1986).

Users are becoming used to searching answers on which is one of the feelings of belongings and attachment to each other. Moreover, the habit of browsing frequently is also an evidence that users want to know what happened in this forum. Finally, users are interested in activities held or sponsorded by so that they can get more interactions with other Chinese students, e.g. watching football games, going to music concert.

It is an group of people who interact primarily through comuter-mediated communication, because most of them don’t know each other firstly. Primarily, users may post a question which is searching help, post a discussion on a particular issue, or post an advertisement which is saying one particular restaurant is employing part-time waiter/waitress, etc. Then, some users maybe become friends or workmates, interacting on-line or off-line.

I have started my interviews with users. It is interesting to know their opinions on the forum. And I found that their thoughts diverse. Moreover,  fortunately, I have contacted with an ex-manager of Career part, and he has answered my questions about the sex service advertisement. It is a truly important element of my final documentary, I think.


Blanchard, A (2004). ‘The effects of dispersed virtual communities on face-to-face social capital’. In Huysman, M and Wulf V (Eds.) Social capital and information technology, Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 53-73.


Literature review-Jankowski N. W. May 3, 2010

Filed under: Transient Spaces,Uncategorized — fanghou @ 2:24 pm

Jankowski(2006) notes in his article of ‘Creating community with media: History, Theories and Scientific Investigations’:

‘community of practice’ refers to relations maintained by persons across time who are involved in a collective set of activities. The ‘academic community’ could be considered an illustration of such a community of practice. One of the important features of this form of community is that it provides the overall conditions and basis for interpreting and making sense of events and activities. Participants share a general understanding of their activities and of the meaning ascribed  to them. Although the distinction between these terms are not always clear, they collectively suggest from a perspective where use of language is central. The linguistics perspective seems particularly appropriate for computer-mediated communication because of its focus on forms of language and discourse.

In this statement, Jankowski has explained the important element of identifying a community. The ‘conditions and basis for interpreting and making sense of events and activities’ are really interesting to me. I understand it as every community is an environment to provide some basic conditions to make people to share something, understand something, organizing something and maintaining these relationships. It makes, especially in early stage, the community working.

As my topic,, I suppose it is a community which is still in its early stage, because it still has some problems on management and IT. However, it is a potential successful online and offline community so far. It owns a large number of target audiences who understand the activities’ meaning ‘ascribed to them’, and it is developing very fast in recent years.

Jankowski(2006) also indicates in this article:

Another current development is infusion of the concept ‘social capital’ into discussions and investigations of cirtual communities.

Jankowski cites:

Riedel et al. examined the presence of social capital in a community network in a rural town in Monnesota, focusing on three components: interpersonal trust, social norms and association membership. Components of social capital were also used in a study of a digital community network…

It makes me thinking of the content of week 8 class. Online game is a typical example of virtual community, or digital community. As Jenny said, it was a community needed trust and reputation among team members. It presents the ‘three components’ Riedel mentions: ‘interpersonal trust, social norms and association membership.’ Online gamers are fighting together to other teams, so they need to trust other colleagues. And I believe that each of them has played a particular role in a team, so they have to abide by the law of group work. Moreover, they keep association membership to get higher level in game world.


Documentaries in Week 8 Tute – reality vs fiction April 30, 2010

Filed under: Transient Spaces,Uncategorized — fanghou @ 3:30 am

Through watching the three documentaries in today’s tute, I can find some hint of differences between reality and fiction in documentary production area.

The producers of the first and second documentaries seeme set particular roles and stories in their documentaries, in my view. It is a sort of fiction to me, but not a documentary.

And the last one is about a guy is making fun of other people, and at the same time interviewing them actually. The method or style of this documentary is special, but it is still can be defined as a documentary. What it has recorded is reality, but not fake or setted characters and stories.

The traditional documentary is about a production reflecting reality. The structure, techniques or style are optional, of course. However, fictional production, although is interesting, is not classic documentary.