Blog as a place for free political speech

The article I am responding is Maynor’s in 2009. Two posts are both from Hot Air BLOG. The first one Waterloo: Obama’s approval at 42%, down eight points in three weeks  is posted on Sep. 24 with 138 comments. It shows t the president’s approval is 8 points lower than three week ago. Besides the Tea Party effect, the author believed that Obama had disappointed his electorate. Once his support rate is below 50 percent, it may result in loss of 36 House seats in midterms. The comments are basically debates between Obama’s supporters and those who may lose faith in him. The other one is Romney: Let’s face it, Obama’s going to be very tough to beat, posted on the same day with 246 comments. Mitt Romney, former Mass. Governor, a Republican, claimed that the GOP needs a nominee equally centrist to compete for swing voters. In his statement, president Obama is going to selling himself to pass economic legislation where he could get most credit. The blog post presented and also challenged Romney’s points. Comments for this post are mostly retorting Romney’s view, including both Republicans and Democratic.  

Code of conduct: By scanning Term of Use on Hot Air blog, I found CoC is basically fulfilled in this blog community. Hot Air clearly stated that only registered users who provided a useful E-mail verification could comment and users have to be above 18 to be responsible for account’s activity. Users retain all ownership rights for what they post. Hot Air also expressed its reserved rights to delete libelous and spam comments. Comments containing threatening and libelous information are not found on these two posts. I am with O’Reilly that CoC was not necessarily tantamount to censorship because uncensored speech was not equal to the most free.

Theory of autonomy: Maynor briefly depicted “self-correcting” and “self-directing” features of blog in autonomy theory.  Users found their own destination which is most inspiring to them, practice and exchange their knowledge through the interactive process on blog. On Hot Air, blog users autonomously found blogs with topics they desire and communicate with bloggers and other users through publishing comments. During this process, users either receive more information or correct themselves on former opinions.

The three V’s: According to Maynor, “value, volume and velocity” are three Vs challenge the autonomy theory. My first reaction is that these three challenges are happening to all online community but it probably is a serious consideration for blog as a democratic deliberative  community. I found some users cited words in their comments from other sources, including online and offline, which made their statements more credible. As for other two features, I do not think it is a big deal since blog users are autonomously select the information useful to them. The information selection is under control.


September 26, 2010. Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Twitter: Public or Personal?

My twitter handle is: @sunnyuf

I opened my twitter account just two days ago but we have the exact the same type of “microblogging” new media technology back in China, which I have an experience more than a year. It is called “mini-blog”. But the two–day experience I had on Twitter is of much difference.

There are several things I want to share about my Twitter experience. First, except for some creditable news media vehicles I followed like CNN and FOX, most of Tweets are personal opinions, even tweets from professionals. These information leaders are not necessarily sharing their personal lives, but even the information they disseminate is from personal standing and cannot be verified. Second, there is a language barrier on Twitter. Celebrities, professionals, and even official groups from another culture, they tweet in another language which I could not understand. Third and what I like most about Twitter is its instant updating property. With the mobile technology, users could have access to Twitter by anything with a screen and connection to the Internet. It is a great way to receive updating news and entertainment updates.

With so many researchers focusing on Twitter’s privacy issues and social networking or community attributes, I found Shepherd’s viewpoint is different and interesting. He is critical about Twitter’s attributes by arguing with OECD’s report. I have to agree with him on the “global village” issue. It is true that the network technologies diminished the geographic distance but it is never the “end of Geography”. People still tend to follow celebrities and news from their own countries or local areas. Though users have access to it, it does not mean they would follow and they have the ability to understand and communicate with people from another end of geography. And I also like his idea that Twitter is not the best place to develop public discourse. Like the YouTube community we had talked about earlier, Twitter is also a place for entertainment. That’s why Shepherd said it was celebrity-centered. Celebrities do free PR and self-branding and no matter the fans buy it or not, they entertain themselves through the process. Twitter is not developed for public discourse because that is not what users are going for. But Shepherd is a little bit aggressive on some points. Since Twitter is so popular, it does have the bright side. I like its functions like people can retweet things they like and tweet with a hyperlink to guide readers to information with more details. Users can also search information they are interested in.

September 18, 2010. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Convergence: A case study of fan community

BuddyTV is an entertainment-based website founded by Andy Liu and David Niu in 2005, who realized that television is a “very passive or non-social experience”. It generates contents about popular TV episodes and sporting events. Users interact with each other and the official website through a series of articles, games, photos, videos, and user forums. The website is also designed for real-time commentary for sports, allowing former players and fans to broadcast their opinions on games.

Internet provides a great online platform for fans of all kinds of events to share their mania. Nowadays, websites like BuddyTV show the convergence culture of users’ media participation pattern. The boundary of media production and media consumption is no longer clear. Fans could summarize episodes, create original fan fiction, sample their favorite dialogue, make their own movies and distribute them worldwide through these interactive fan websites. allows users to sign up with for personal email notifications or through their Facebook accounts (I found this appealing because almost everyone has a Facebook page which provides convenient way to log on). Users also could follow their favorite episodes and sports events on Twitter and Facebook to get latest update news. There are five major sections on, TV shows, actors, news, photos, and games. Site users could upload recent news, photos, videos of a game or episode, initiate discussion and polls or only be receivers of those media patterns. What’s fascinating about this website is that it allows live broadcasting. Users could communicate with each other and load their comments with episodes and games synchronously. They could also browse each other’s Facebook page just by clicking each other’s avatar on Also, you can grade another user’s video or comments or send gifts to other users.

Here is an article called “Community of Passionate Fans Leads to Redemption for ‘Firefly’” published on Washington Business Journal. A group of a popular “Firefly” TV show fans voluntarily gathered together through the power of social media and word of mouth to produce a fan-made film “Serenity”. This movie is just released on September 4, 2010. They have raised &500,000 for five charities related to the creator and cast of the original TB show. This fan event proved how powerful a fan community could be and how convergent  an online fan community culture is.

September 10, 2010. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Deliberation on YouTube: Racism

    The issue interests me is racism. The first video I found on the interactive community is “Racism in the Elevator”. It is one minute and 4 seconds long with 3,200,420 views and 37,521 comments. It shows a phenomenon that when a black guy enters an elevator, white women may be altered and hold their purse tight and step back. The black guy in this video said these white women thought by doing that, they were protecting themselves, but in actuality, they were provoking a savage attack. In the end, the guy yelled at the lady at a sudden, and he was satisfied that she was scared. Maybe the video is trying to make it fun; after all, YouTube is a site for entertainment. But racism in this clip not only refers to discriminations to black people. Even though the white lady may be a little overreacted, why he yelled at her and made it worse. Some blogger (pmzqabel) think the girl in the video is not being racist and she is doing the right thing. Black men are not trustworthy. They make up 13% of the population in the US and 80% of the prison population is black. I personally not agree with this but it stands for a lot of YouTubers’ opinion. As long as racism is mentioned, black people tend to be depicted as the victim. Why is it always a white person portrayed as the racism because it is not always the case (Rohirrum)? RoxyTG1 claimed that to be fair most women alone in an elevator would subconsciously grip their purse if any man of any color walked in. but as some bloggers said we would never know how racism hurts unless we are black ourselves.

    The second video is called “Racism at the Bus Stop” with 1,351,054 views and 6,374 comments. It was played by the same actor. In this video, a black man is accused by another black man for being less black because he is well-educated, speak English well, wear a suit and do not want the home-made black CD. What’s wrong for black people being well-educated, wearing a suit and being a professional in their work field? These stupid stereotypes thing may make the racism issue even more complicated. Some colored people make fun of Whites every day and call them “redneck” but as soon as white people doing the same thing. It rises to a serious racism issue. Say NO to double standard people (Inrange2010)! Even if the whole world were in the same color, we would still have excuses to be bias (SpiralDaze).

The discussion triggered by these two videos are not like what Hess talked about. Even though YouTube is more like a place for entertainment, bloggers would not discuss a serious topic in an opposite way.  The inflammatory feedbacks also embody the freedom of expression. If the ONDCP ads were put on other media, the public feedback probably would be the same.

September 4, 2010. Uncategorized. 7 comments.