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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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18 Participatory Media (Mary Ann Allison)

Extract

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CHAPTER 18

Participatory Media

Mary Ann Allison

What is an LOLcat worth?

Maybe you think LOLcats are inane but, once in a while, you just need a laugh and take a look (see Figure 18.1). Or maybe you prefer videos of daring and people falling on their heads.

Many of us turn to the web for a quick pick-me-up. But although we might click a “Like” icon, we rarely think of the work involved for the person preparing and uploading silly pictures.

Perhaps we should. Especially when someone else makes money—perhaps by advertising on a website that we’ve contributed to. There is value in entertainment. Maybe we should get paid.

Or maybe, as thought leader Clay Shirky suggests, adding silly captions to a picture of a cat that makes it funny might be better considered an act of creativity.

Figure 18.1. An LOLcat.

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