WEB 2.0 & Medium Theory (Final exam question)

By: Doug Robie

Word Count:523

Medium theory deals with a form of analyzing media and how it is used. Our textbook cites the main aspect of Medium theory, “focuses on the particular characteristics of each individual medium or of each particular type of media.” (Medium theory (textbook)) Medium theory looks to analyze, how society is using the medium and how the medium is becoming more integrated into their culture. In summary Medium theory is used to see how the medium of communications effects the general population in the way they use the medium and how they react to the medium.

The textbook gives two great examples of era that were directly affected by medium theory, the Medieval Church and the Roman Empire. The medieval church had control over all the religious information available until the printing press came along. The printing press was revolutionary in Medium theory because it changed people’s ability to read and communicate with others, or gain direct access to the sacred scriptures like in this particular case. This revolution allowed people to care for oneself entirely because they now had a way to help themselves spiritually, the Jesuits call this cura personalis.

Then in the Roman Empire the textbook talks about how they used papyrus to communicate through out there empire and how they were able to send information back and forth. This incorporates medium theory because it was the Roman Empire using a new form of communication to revolutionize the world and control their empire

The new media of “Web.2.0” correlates to medium theory because it is a new way that people are using to communicate. Web 2.0 allows people to expand their social circles and people are no longer constrained to factors such as location. We no longer have to depend solely on what people tell us because we can use the internet and its new resources to find out new information and details for ourselves much like the freedom the printing press provided but on a much larger scale.

In an article talking about web 2.0 and medicine says, “Seeking health information has been and remains a major function of Internet and Web use. For example, approximately 80% of American Internet users, or 59% of American adults, seek health information online.” (Witteman) This shows how web 2.0 impacting the ability to access more information and possibly improve their health and have better knowledge of what’s going on in their bodies. Web 2.0 through social media is also allowing people to voice their support and opinions on different issues. The Huffington post points to the #SaveJosh campaign as an example where twitters overall voice and impact was used to make a change. Through twitter they were able to change a drug companies mind and save the life of a 7 year old boy. Another example the Huffington post talks about #SFBatKid where the make a wish foundation was able to reach over 10,000 people to help make a little boy with leukemia dream come true. Techcrunch.com interviewed Twitter’s VP of product who said watching how the election was effected by twitter and how Obama announced he won re-election through twitter was “Amazing.”

Sources: http://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781465268686/epubcfi/6/16%5B;vnd.vst.idref=c02%5D!/4/2%5Bc02%5D/50%5Bc02-req%5D





Mock final question

By: Doug Robie

A meme according to dictionary.com is “A cultural item that is transmitted by repetition and replication in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes” or “a cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc., that is spread via the internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way.” A meme is a part of web 2.0 because it is entirely user generated content. The user is the one that creates the meme and the user is the one that enjoys it. (for a good definition of web 2.0 click here) Memes have been around for centuries but many people agree that Richard Dawkins is the first one to study the ideas and concepts of memes in his book the selfish gene in 1976, In an article by the Smithsonian it is concluded that memes have to do with the evolution of ideas like the evolution of people.

Some popular examples of memes are:

Memes become popular through there relatability and pure humor. Memes are used to present how people feel and many of these feeling are very relatable. These ideas of people forming relationships by things in common have been around since the time of Aristotle. From our textbook (account required), “What he means by the word community is that the members hold something in common and, in certain perspectives, see themselves as one.”  Websites can make money off of these through advertisements and promotions and charging people to make and publish memes on the most popular of sites.

Creating a meme was easy for me because I am familiar with the concept of them and in all honesty there not that hard to understand. So what I did was a meme of the matrix guy saying what if I told you not all tall people play basketball. This did not generate any social media buzz because I put this on our class blog and that does not gather a lot of attention.

Hatching Twitter

Book Report by Doug Robie

Who thought 140 characters would change mass media forever. That is exactly what the social network twitter has done of the past 9 years since its founding and creation. Now twitter is everywhere it is a way to keep up to date with what your friends are doing. Everyone from celebrities to Political figures and everyone in between has a twitter.

Nick Bilton who is a New York Times columnist and reporter tells the story of the founding of twitter and all that transpired between the founders and employees. The book is a chronological telling of the events that helped start twitter and goes up to current day. It talks about the different startups the founders worked out. The book mentions funding for the start of twitter and it also mentions the turnovers in staff that occurred throughout the time at twitter. The book mainly focuses on four main characters three of which were named twitter co-founders, Evan Williams, Noah Glass, Jack Dorsey, and Christopher “Biz” Stone.


(EV talking twitter to Oprah)

Evan Williams, referred to as EV in the book, is the majority stock owner in twitter. However the book starts of by telling the story of when he was just a kid moving away from his hometown in Nebraska. Then the story jumps to when he was working on his first big startup which was blogger. Blogger allowed anybody to run a blog and publish news that they wanted to hear. This was a center theme in all of EV’s goals as an entrepreneur, he wanted to give everybody an equal voice and equal shot at getting news out into the world. He later went on to fund similar startups that had the same goal. One of these companies was odeo which was a podcast site where anybody could put their voice and opinions out there. Then the biggest funding went into twitter and was named co-founder and eventually the second CEO.


The story then continues on to talk about Noah Glass from, Santa Cruz in Northern California. Noah met EV when they were neighbors who lived across the street from each other. Noah recognized EV from a Forbes article about blogger. They eventual went from neighbors to friends who would say hi to each other, to friends who would meet up for lunch or dinner, to drinking buddies, to inseparable friends. EV saw the internet and social media as a way of connecting people, so they didn’t feel as lonely. Noah is the one who pitched the idea of Odeo to EV and the one who seeked capital from EV to get the company off the ground. Noah was also one of the guys who helped with the idea of twitter but was eventually dismissed from both his company and the twitter project.


(Jack delivering a keynote address at a technology conference)

Jack Dorsey the third main character in this story is the main with the idea of Twitter who was from St. Louis, Missouri. He met the other two when he came aboard the Odeo project. However he always had the idea of sharing information and “status updates” could be its own company. This idea was based off of something that AOL allowed their customers to do which was to share whether or not they were at their computer. Jack also played a key role in Noah being dismissed from the twitter project because Jack and Noah were conflicting on so many key issues. Jack would eventually be named the first CEO of twitter and a co-founder. However he was let go a year later due to leadership issues and not being able to correct major issues.


(Biz talking with the economist)

Christopher “Biz” Stone who was from Wellesley in Boston, Massachusetts. Biz joined EV and Blogger when Blogger was purchased by Google, However when EV left google Biz could not work for google anymore and seeked to go back to work for his old boss at the new Odeo project. Biz although he never directly came up with the ideas he was a key engineer and worked hard to get all these ideas off the ground. Biz is credited as a co-founder of twitter.

This was a fantastic book to read and told the very real struggles of twitter and how it eventually got off the ground. I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in starting a company because this book gives a real look at all the troubles that go into starting a company.

(Infographics for twitter)

Pandora Internet Radio

By: Doug Robie

Pandora internet radio is at its core, a radio that you can live stream over the internet. Pandora was founded in January of the year 2000 by Tim Westergren, Will Glaser and Jon Kraft. Pandora allows its customers to listen to customizable radio stations based on genre, artist, and even song. Although Pandora was founded back in the year 2000 it has tried to keep up with new advancements in technology with the creation of there app that can practically be used on any media platform. Pandora makes its money by the use of allowing other companies to advertise on their stations. According to Forbes.com if Pandora wishes to continue making money they will have to ramp up ad sales and revenue.According to the article:

“The company is already in the process of ramping up its sales team for this purpose and is seeing some promising results as well. However, in order to convince advertisers to choose Pandora over other advertising channels, the Internet radio company needs to reassure them that they will get ample visibility through its mobile and desktop apps.” (Forbes)

Pandora also provides a premium service which costs money but allows you to listen to better quality music, no commercials and more skips. Getting people to pay for ad-free is not easy due to the fact that the benefit they will get with these benefits usually do not outweigh the cost of the subscription. So many customers prefer to stick with the free version.

I started off my interviews by interviewing my friend Carmela who is an avid Pandora user. When I asked her how often she used Pandora she said she uses it about once a day when she is working on Homework to help her concentrate on her homework or to relax afterwards. She uses Pandora because she believes that they have a good variety of music per station. Pandora is pretty important to her because it allows her to hear new music that she has never heard before.

Pandora might have problems in the near future with creation of such services as Spotify. Spotify allows its customers to listen to custom radio stations but also save music to a library. It should be interesting to see how Pandora adapts to creation of such services as Spotify.

For my second interview I talked to my friend Grady. When I asked him about how often he used Pandora he said maybe once a month. This was do to the fact that spotify was not working at the time. And for him at least Pandora has been replaced by spotify.

However some people people are seeing possible growth, one article says, “Their takeaway was that Pandora’s analyst day pointed to the company being much larger in the next five years.”  According to the article this is due to the fact, “They called it refreshingly content rich and signaled that management has broken new ground on key strategic initiatives for the next five years. This included moving past radio into other types of music, new ways to grow the listener base, a sharper focus on international expansion, and also developing a suite of products and services aimed at making Pandora a more effective partner for music makers.”(24/7 WallSt)

photo courtesy of: Google images

articles can be found at:



The 200th Star Spangled Spectacular

By: Doug Robie

For my story project I chose to talk about the 200th Star Spangled Spectacular which I had the pleasure of going to back in September. I chose this event because this was one of my favorite days spent in college so far. My project focuses on talking about the event in general and what occurred. I faced a couple of obstacles in the process. My first problem was getting better pictures for the project since mine were not the best and I solved this problem by going to the spectacular’s Facebook and Twitter page. Another problem was finding the general details and facts of all the events that took place throughout the week luckily their website provided nice overviews of everything that occurred. I feel like the best part of it was the series of pictures I collected because it provides a good view of what occurred.  Overall I feel like the project turned out pretty well and it was nice to see after all the time I put in.

The Celebrity Research Project

By: Doug Robie

As part of the Celebrity Research Project I chose to follow Miley Cyrus and Urban Meyer for comparison to see how they communicate with their fans. Miley Cyrus is the former Disney Star now turned rebellious and independent. Urban Meyer is the Head Football coach at the Ohio State University.

It is no shocker that Miley Cyrus and Urban Meyer have very different ways they communicate with their fans through social networking and in this case twitter. Miley Cyrus does not hold back on twitter she says what she is thinking and does not really care what people think. If you go through her tweets you a wide arrange of expression ranging from the classic “F*** Yeah” to the “#ifitsmellslikefunk”. She also voices her opinion on a wide range of subjects even if it is on the unpopular side of the opinion.

Urban Meyer uses social media and in this case twitter to promote his football team to possible recruits, parents, etc. His twitter mainly consists of positive things about his Ohio State Buckeyes whether it would be highlight films, pictures, or posters. His twitter feed does not contain any curse words or profanity or really any stance on any issues other than cancer research which everyone supports.

I believe they differ due to the fact that they have two different goals when using their social media accounts. Miley Cyrus is just interacting with her fans, expression her opinions, and promoting her image as rebellious and independent. Urban Meyer is using his twitter to reach recruits or parents so he makes sure that his twitter is full with positive things about his football team from a football perspective, and social perspective while also promoting the University.

Continuing the project I interviewed two of my friends about their celebrity interests and how they interact with them through social media. I chose to interview my friends Grady and Carmela to find out their thoughts and opinions.

First I talked to my friend Grady Riley. When asked if he felt like he had a strong connection to a particular celebrity, he believes he has a connection to Johnny Depp. I asked him why did he felt drawn to Johnny Depp as a Celebrity, he said it was mostly due to the fact that in such a media driven culture it is impressive that Johnny Depp remains mysterious. Grady also feels drawn to Johnny Depp because he is funny and who doesn’t like a funny guy. One of Grady’s favorite ways to engage with this person through social media or media in general is to watch videos of him on YouTube.

After talking to Grady about his connection to Johnny Depp, I talked to my friend Carmela about her celebrity interests and connections. I asked her what is her strongest celebrity connection to and she believes it is to the talented musician Ed Sheeran. When I asked about why she felt such a strong connection to Ed Sheeran she said it was because of his music. She connects with him because she can relate her life to the words of an Ed Sheeran song and that allows her to have this bond with him. Finally I asked her how did she engage with Ed Sheeran through social media or media in general she said, she follows him on twitter, likes his page on Facebook, watches his music videos on YouTube, and buys his albums.