Category Archives: Journo391

Posting Original Content

For my journalism class I was asked to post a video online in various places and to interact with the comments. I decided to post a small video of my two younger brothers and I skateboarding.  I ended up posting the video in three places. First it was hosted on YouTube. Then I posted it to my Facebook page. Finally a made a Reddit post about it in the r/skateboarding section. As I had suspected I got the most response from Facebook. Some of my favorite comments were:

I have just witnessed one of the years best videos, where there once was thought to be nothing a glimmer of hope shines in the darkness. Surely people will make pilgrimages to the places shown in this video. -Sean Murphy

Embodiment of a care-free Summer.-Justin Van Goor

Loved it the first time and every time after. What memories are made from.- Jean Winship (aka my Mom)

It makes me sentimental for y’all because i love you(s) AND it makes me nostalgic for a time period in my life when i had hours to play outside perfecting my craft….bicycles, swimming and diving. -Shannon Lynch

 

It is always nice to see your friends and family comment on something you post. I responded to Justin Van Goor’s post saying that I actually was working fulltime to it wasn’t exactly care-free to which he responded with saying “Care-free can be figurative instead of literal party-pooper.” And then “Enter toking Sublime “summer song” post. Livings easy and all that bullshit.”  He is a character indeed. My mother and aunt (of whom I am friends with on Facebook…I know…) both submitted heartfelt comments about how much they love my brothers and I. On of my brothers commented both n=on Facebook and on YouTube about his lack of footy (footage) in the part. Some of my brother’s friends commented poking fun at them. Overall it was a very lighthearted conversation of people exclaiming their general approval for the video.

It wasn’t quite the same over at Reddit.com. Reddit’s skateboarding section frequently gets a lot of user generated content. This content is usually either ignored or not worth commenting on. It appears this video falls into that category. It didn’t even get any upvotes. Sometimes that is the way it is on Reddit. You need to have something that will completely blow the audience away in order to get anywhere.

I have been posting pictures and videos online for years. I have been “starring” in videos my friends have posted for just as long. This wasn’t a new experience to me. It is always fun to see what your other friends or peers or strangers will say about your video. Comment culture is thriving and it will only get more and more prevalent until it seems all we do is talk to one another online. Hopefully at that point we can make a change and switch back to IRL conversations. Who knows?

Oh and if you want to check out the video here it is:

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Entering Comment Culture

As someone who thinks of themselves as pretty adept at this whole internet business I had never before jumped into comment culture like I did this semester. I had some experience with it. I was a member of a number of forums in my youth. Mostly for video or games (ashamedly) but, also forums I created for my rock climbing team. I have been a long time member of link sharing “news” site Reddit and have immersed myself into that comment culture. I still participate in a graffiti forum even though that part of my life is over. (I am really just there for the tattoo and skateboard sections) But I had never made a review online. I had hardly ever commented on news stories. I never even thought about writing to a newspaper or calling in to a radio station. Through this semester I did a lot of these things for the first time.  Sometimes it was frustrating and I wanted to just quit. Then during other times I was so pleased with the process and results that I didn’t want to stop.

The high of the semester for my regarding comment culture is when the owner of a blog I have been following for years commented on my own blog. Not only was it a simple comment it was a thoughtful comment that showed that he had clearly taken a look at my blog. As someone who gets an average of 7 views per day that was pretty damn cool. Due to stigmas in my circle I had looked down my nose at blogging. I don’t really know why. For me I had pictured some guy with a scarf and beret sitting in a coffee shop drinking an entirely too expensive coffee while writing meaningless nothings which in turn hundreds of people would gush over for no reason. Not my style. Through doing the blog for the whole semester I found that there is a bit more to it than that. I guess that could be another high of the semester.

Lows. If you have kept up with my blog I don’t think it’d be hard to say that the radio calling project was a low for me. I had gone in with high hopes of bantering with some snarky radio host who would try and succeed to get a rise out of me. I wanted to yell. I wanted to passionately discuss. What I got were busy signals, prerecorded messages, and a whole lot of disappointment. I gave talk radio a chance and it chewed me up and spit me out without giving me the satisfaction of hollering at them first. I will put talk radio away for a while and perhaps come back to it in a less busy part of my life.

I enjoyed leaving comments that sparked discussion or continued it. I don’t think I ever finished anybodies story. I do think I spread light on something that otherwise wouldn’t have been said or seen. I tried my best to bring something new to the table every time I made a new comment. I think one of my best examples of this was when I commented on a movie review blog. I had disagreed with the author on an opinion they stated in the review. Then the author as well as a few others responded and we ended up having a discussion on Hollywood or perhaps the downward spiral that we now know as Hollywood. It was interesting to talk to someone else besides my friends, who I already know share many of my beliefs on the matter, and they were complete strangers.

If I had to do it differently I would have done more. I am going to place the blame on this weird social stigma that had developed in my head on to why I didn’t blog or comment more. Towards the end I started to throw things in there that were not assignments. I got the most views on those things. I will continue this blog. It is good practice to write and it keep me thinking. Plus it is a place I can put cool or interesting things for everyone else to read. I had tried to do blogs before. I didn’t tell anyone. That was foolish. Now I want to tell people. I want to show people my blog and twitter and I want to see theirs. I want to be a part of comment culture. Especially in the little subcultures I am so fond of. So, cool. Cool cool cool.

 

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Nerdy White Kid Raps Fast [Update]

I was right. It went viral. Check out this Washington Post update  on it.

http://live.washingtonpost.com/mac-lethal-you-tube-120211.html

Can I just say: I called that one.

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The Narwhal Bacons at Midnight

When I found out that my Journalism professor wanted me to look at Reddit.com for a week and then write about it here in my blog I couldn’t help but to laugh. I’ve got my three years Reddit trophy and while that really isn’t something to brag about and I wouldn’t talk about it outside of the internets the thing is we are inside the internets right now so I think it’s fine.  Reddit has been a lot of things for me. Most of all it has become an addiction. I’ve talked to a friend about this assignment and he said “That professor just doomed that whole class. How are they going to do their finals now?” Reddit.com is a giant distraction. I don’t like telling people about it because if you get into it it will take up huge amounts of your time. You will be  browsing Reddit looking at stupid pictures of cats or videos of some guy rapping while cooking pancakes until you finally feel like you’ve looked enough so you open another tab to do something else and then you just have Reddit in another tab. You will start intentionally leaving Reddit out of your daily vocabulary because your friends and family will groan when they hear it. “Where did you learn that?” They might ask.  “Oh…the internet.” Reddit feels like a small tight knit community of like minded individuals. It isn’t. There are millions MILLIONS of people who look at Reddit every single day. In terms of comments you will easily get lost in the crowd unless you get in there early with either something witty or incredibly stupid. If it goes against the hivemind be prepared to be downvoted to hell. While there are some Reddit “celebrities” such as Sure_Ill_Draw_That, Flossdaily, probablyhittingonyou, or the notorious andrewsmith1986 most of the people and comments on Reddit go unnoticed. You can be there for years and never come close to the glorious front page. I’d love to share my Reddit username but that is a flat out lie. I don’t know what I said over the years and there is no way I am connecting that name with my real name. Not a chance. Especially with the revival or a sub-reddit aptly named WTF. I’ve commented on some things that simply shouldn’t be seen. While Reddit can be a terrible place that sucks away all your time and fills your mind with useless nonsense it is actually a valuable tool. I get all of my news information from Reddit. I have read many incredibly interesting personal stories. I have had the opportunity to talk to a number of famous people I otherwise would never “meet.” Come to think of it I have a free suit being sent to me in the mail right now from a person on Reddit. He had moved on in his life and didn’t need it anymore and offered it up to Reddit. There are good people on Reddit. Good things comes from the site. If you don’t let it distract you during Finals week and you make sure not to talk about it all the time Reddit is awesome. Also there are people all around you that go on Reddit that will know you do if you let a meme slip in real life. What’s a meme? That’s a whole new discussion my friend.

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Going Viral! with Nerdy White Kid

So, my journalism professor gives the class this assignment this week to find a video that has gone viral. He also gave an assignment to check out reddit.com. (My kind of class) So, I go on reddit.com today (like I do everyday but, I will talk about that later) and would you look at that there is a viral video on my front page. Score! So, I posted the video below. “What is this!?” You ask yourself. Well, this is a rapper named Mac Lethal. He has been making underground Hip Hop for years. He even made his own record label so that he wouldn’t have to deal with major record labels. A while ago this kid named Whatsky posted a Youtube video that went viral. You may remember it. It was called “Pale Kid Raps Fast.” Well, my friend, Mac responded with the video “Pale Kid Raps Faster.” And since then it has been on. The video you see below is yet another one of Mac Lethal’s look-I-can-rap-really-fast videos since then. He takes the popular beat from the song “Look At Me Now” which has been redone a few times already and puts a funny little spin on it. He cooks breakfast while rapping about cooking breakfast. Currently on Youtube it says this video only has 300 views but, that is part of this thing Youtube does that nobody understands really. There are much more than that. With over 4000 likes since it was posted earlier today there must be thousands more views than that. Why is this video going viral? Well you have two major elements. First you have the mainstream music aspect. The song “Look At Me Know” is popular with the young people. We’ve all heard it. We all like Karmin’s version better. Okay, maybe that is just me. My point is that it is well known. Secondly you have someone doing something that not a lot of people can do and on top of that he is (HO MY GOD WAIT FOR IT) WHITE. Gasp. Yes. There are white rappers!? No way! They can rap just as fast as Twista or Busta? It’s sort of shock value to those who don’t know. So, people wanna see it. Personally I think Mac is above using viral videos and exploiting his race for views but, hell it works and the videos are pretty cool. Go and check them out.

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Yelp Reviews! Write them!

So, if you don’t know by now you better learn Yelp is here to stay and folks Yelp helps. I’ve used Yelp a whole bunch of times when I was thinking about how expensive regular restaurants are before giving up and eating ramen or maybe going someplace with a dollar menu. No, but really, I do actually use Yelp to pick restaurants or other businesses to go to frequently. I’ve never really though of writing reviews for stuff like that before I was assigned to do some.

I wrote my first one recently on a local place aptly named Local Burger and Fries. It is pretty great, but I guess you can read this: http://bit.ly/s2b2u6 to see what I think. I found, afterwards while looking at other reviews, that it seems I didn’t have a lot to say. I enjoyed the place immensely and I was excited about writing a review that could potentially get more people to go there and enjoy themselves, but, I mean, I am no food critic. While I can say I liked the food, the service, and the atmosphere it didn’t seem fair to gush over them for no reason like some other reviews I have written.

For my second review I wrote about something I know a little bit more. I wrote this review: http://bit.ly/vyjpEd on Credo Skate and Snow Shoppe. This was a little bit easier for me because I have been to this particular location countless times as well as the fact that there were just a handful of other reviews to compete with. If someone looks up Credo they will see my review for sure. That is pretty cool.

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How Is Using Storify?

For an assignment I made a Storify story which I posted here as well as on my Facebook page. It was the first time I had heard of Storify. For those who don’t know Storify is website that allows you to take links, tweets, and other forms of new media and put them together all in one place to build a story using quotes and information from a variety of sources. In between these quotes and tweets and links you can add your own text furthering the story. They can be constantly updated and are usually rather relevant. For my Storify story I decided to write about something that was “Breaking News” at the time. Deval Patrick had just signed a bill that would allow gambling to be legalized in Massachusetts. I got a link from the first web article on the story as well as a number of tweets from people who had just read it. I wanted to show a diversity of opinions about it but, at the time it seemed like most of the people were in favor. A couple of days later I went back and edited the story including even more tweets that shared a more diverse perspective. I didn’t think any had seen this until people started to talk to me about it after going home for the long weekend. It seems people do see what I write (especially if I post links to my blog on the Facebook) and they, at the very least, find it somewhat interesting.

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