Advice Dog

The idea that a single image is capable of generating so much discourse over such a large scale is amazing. Internet memes have become an indespensible part of the web and¬†woven in our culture. For example,¬†Advice Dog,¬†as seen below,¬†originated from a¬†Mario fan-site, The Mushroom Kingdom and was¬†created in 2006. It started¬†with a picture of a dog’s head with a multicolored color wheel background behind it. From there, Advice Dog developed into many variations of memes.


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Advice Dog                           Advice Lady

As mentioned in the Lauri Greis article, “Studies of transformation are especially useful in tracking how images undergo change in ways unanticipated by the “original” image’s designer and spark unexpected consequences.” (344), Advice Dog shows how an image¬†can be circulated and transform with space and time. ¬†Whether the text changes with the same image or the image changes with the same text, it contributes to a rhetorical collaboration.

According to Cohen and Kenny “to participate in the meme requires an understanding of the linguistic nature of the meme itself.” (89). This can be seen with¬†Advice Dog in which it is typical to combine¬†two completely unrelated pieces of¬†advice together. ¬†The genuine good advice, given at the top, is usually followed by a bad or humorous advice given at the bottom. ¬†While the linguistic nature of the meme is culturally understood by the participants who¬†create and post, each meme has its own identity and its own message.

Courtesy of Cats

Having recently acquired at cat, I felt right at home in the Museum of the Moving Image. ¬†Among the large collection of featured artifacts is the exhibit, How Cats Took Over the Internet.The exhibit include images, videos, and GIFs range from cute and cuddly to strange and unusual with anthropomorphic characteristics. ¬†But what makes such a big phenomenon is the various paradoxes, otherwise known as memes. Essentially, ‚Äúa meme is a piece of culture, typically a joke, which gains influence through online transmission‚ÄĚ (Davison). ¬†The museum also has interactive stations where people can upload and share their own photos and videos. ¬†

What made the biggest impact on me was the collaborated effort in constructing these memes.  Memes are subjective and particularly with the cat memes, each person puts their own personal spin on it. Whether the photographs are manipulated or unfinished, the idea that people spend so much time and effort making these memes, shows how social media has influenced society today and how much enjoyment people get from cats. Therefore the cat memes have become a attribution with multiple levels and degrees of collaboration.

In fact, according to a university press release, Media professor Jessica Gall Myrick, surveyed around 7,000 people and reported that watching cat videos increased their energy and positive emotions. She also claims that we need to research internet cats to understand the effects of the internet.

The best part of my visit was having the opportunity to interact and create a cat meme of my own. Of course, I was quite happy to participate and join the millions of people who create cat memes.

momi_lolcat (1) momi_lolcat (2)

Response Blog #3 – Wikipedia

Wikipedia seems like it’s been around for ever but in fact, it has only been around since 2001. ¬†As an example of collaboration, Wikipedia is perfect. ¬†It functions as an encyclopaedia with content provided and is edited by countless people. ¬†You can basically find any topic and it supersedes any classical book we have today. ¬†The concept of Wikipedia is that if the information is wrong, then someone will correct it and eventually it will reach a level of accuracy. ¬†Even though there is oversight and governing rules, you can literally post without looking at them. ¬†And why is this a problem? It’s a problem because people or organizations with personal agendas, not committed to the truth, can easily corrupt and influence others who are naive to the facts. ¬†To be fair, companies and other organizations also use Wikipedia to update content in a number of technical and scientific fields and their knowledge is unquestionable, but its weaknesses is that anyone can add or edit the content of a listing and that allows for errors.

However, if I am to evaluate Wikipedia, I would say it needs to be critically viewed and used.  Although I have never posted on Wikipedia, I use it continuously as an overview to all my papers. Yet, I would never use it as a single source.  In fact, I like many others, was told not to use it as a works cited source in my projects.  But now days, it is common practice to do so.  I agree with James P. Purdy, Writing Spaces, that Wikipedia is perfectly fine to use as a gateway to other sources.  Yet Wikipedia represents our society where there is a one-to-many relationship.  There is no longer one author but many authors and many entries.  Therefore, a single posting can become a collaborative content.  

While collaboration may appear to be a good thing, the context isn‚Äôt alway true. ¬†Maybe that means that the larger it gets, it loses it’s integrity. ¬†Yet our ability to think logically and reason is crucial in this world of participatory culture that fosters creativity and innovation. Wikipedia is a platform that brings contents and creating context together and given the abundance of information, there is no wonder that we cannot do without it. There are those who say Wikipedia is dying, but even with its inconsistant quality of information, it is still the best encyclopedia we have ever had.

Wikipedia – Why it is important?

As we embark further into the era of digital medias the way we understand, interpret, represent, and produce literary works are also changing. Writing is no longer only controlled by said writer. Due to web 2.0 readers are now able to do something other than think to themselves; they are able to participate. In peer collaborative communities such as Wikipedia teams of people from around the world come together to produce a web based encyclopedia of knowledge that are as diverse as the people creating it.

Wikipedia and other wiki site are epitomes of the new ways we produce information I believe. In such a time where we want all of our information faster than fast and up to date we must be aware of the fact that most times the production of this information is being produced by people around us. This differs from the past production of documents which was done by scholars, professors, and critics. Although, many of those people still create content on the web on websites such as Wikipedia peers that are skilled in certain areas are devoting their time to edit and adapt information to its ever changing characteristic. I believe that the who, what, when, where and why also known as the basic foundation of most knowledge has already been recorded. After reading all the information presented on Wikipedia was I able to come to the conclusion that sites such as that enables us to create more content based on the input placed by readers. Comments, hyperlinks, and hashtags allow us to create more opinion which can lead to the creation of more ideas. Readers are now given the ability to conceptualize more ideas based on others ideas, interpret, reinvent, and possibly see something that they could not come up with on their own.

Our new willingness to produce openly in environments that have a fair give and take process based on certain guidelines only exemplify the fact we are moving forward. ¬†We are allowing criticism and participation in our writing. We are also willing to see that our words are not just our words. On page 45 of ¬†Rodhney H.Jones and Chtistopher A. Hanfer’s,¬†Understanding Digital Literacies A Practical Introduction¬†was I able to find the best example of this. It read, “The famous Russian Literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin(1989:89) said that texts are ‘filled with others’ words, varying degrees of otherness or varying degrees of our-own-ness;…”. Due to communities such as¬†Wikipedia¬†are we able to see that our words have been said and reinvented time and time again. Like our brain, the web has enabled us to share our inner most thoughts, our ideas, our inventions however unlike our brain the web allows contribution to the process. Although, many scholars and professors argue against sites such as¬†Wikipedia¬†and its credibility as a scholarly source, I must say that that it offers an interesting way of deepening our own ideas by way of providing insights not from scholars but peers. The language is simpler and the hierarchy of ideas makes it easier for students to follow and create sequential thoughts themselves.¬†Wikipedia¬†allows us to not only to involve collaboration from our peers but also allows us to rethink opinions offered on topics that we might not always be able to come up with on our own.

Blog #2 – 9/11 Digital Archive

*******************Warning – for the strong hearted***************************

I thought it only fitting to start with this video and I would like to say how sorry I am to those who suffered a personal loss on 9/11.  My heart goes out to those who are still struggling with the pain even after all this time.  But the fact is that we all suffered a loss.  As a nation on a whole, we were robbed of our security and our right to live our lives. There is no way to completely sum up the affects that 9/11 had on our nation but to say that it has truly reshaped our lives would not be an understatement.  That’s why we will never forget.  But, if we are to remember it, then the September 11 Digital Archive is honoring this tragedy in the best possible way.  As an archive that collects, preserves, and presents the history of the September 11 attacks, it has become one of the largest digital repositories of historical materials.

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But the unique thing about the September 11 Digital Archive is its ability to conflate such a devastating strategy into the framework of digital media.  With digital items, emails, and first-hand stories, the archive is an amazing resource of media.  From an array of pictures that features first-had responders, to voices of 9/11: a collection of personal video testimonies featuring participants talking about their memory of 9/11 in their own words and language, it captures the very essence of the destruction and tragedy.  Making the content of the website user generated, provides a means to connect with others.  In a world of participatory culture, its success is that viewers can become partakers in the collaboration of its content.

‚ÄúWhere were you on September 11, 2001 when you heard the news? This is the question presented on the Anniversary Collection digital archive. ¬†Well, if you were alive and old enough, chances are you know exactly where you were. ¬†Reading some of the personal accounts in the archive¬†really touched me as I too remember that day so well. ¬†My son was just six months old and that morning, the first thing I did was turn on the tv and played a video for him to watch (Barney-the purple dinosaur). ¬†I had no idea what was happening until a friend called and told me to switched to the news. ¬†That was the day that I realized just how important it was to know what was happening in the world. Before then, I didn’t care much if it didn’t affect me. ¬†I have always felt bad that I missed the actual moment of impact (at least with the second tower). ¬†From then I vowed the news will always be the first thing I watch every morning.

But news media back in 2001 was very different from the news today.  It use to be that the only interaction we had as viewers was to watch the television.  Unless you were around and called over for an interview, there was no real interaction.  The news was broadcasted and we received it.  But a change in platforms resulted in a shift in power.  Digital and social media platforms have dramatically changed the way we interact.  Now, we live in a world where everything is instant.  Sharing and collaboration has made the news more accurate and factual and mainstream media coverage has given relevance to what we have to say.  So we, as the former audience, have now become the anchors and editors. Instead of being controlled by the media, we now have control of the media.

This new phenomenon has ushered in a society where we subscribe to constantly updated content and function as part of a larger collaborative social movement. ¬†For 9/11, that means visitors own stories become part the exibitions and builds a framework for ongoing communication. ¬†So¬†whether it’s experiences like the one World Trade Center where visitors to the observatory experience the digital screen in the elevator¬†or the National September 11 Memorial & Museum where guests are invited to handwrite notes in a digital guest book that projects their messages onto a large projection screen,

what’s clear is¬†that technology is being used to memorialize those lost in 9/11 and their memory will live on through generations.