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Crowdsourcing: The NBA Draft

The case I chosen is NBA draft case, to be specific, it is how crowdsourcing to a certain degree helped the Sacramento Kings to select a player on draft day in 2014. Before the NBA draft day in 2014, the Sacramento Kings put a “Draft 3.0 Challenge” link on their official website, the purpose the kings did this was to find qualified amateurs who will share their expertise in identifying draft-eligible players for the Kings to consider choosing, the participators were asked to use their own experience and analysis to evaluate NBA draftees, and several participators who have the most insightful analyses would be invited to a Kings Draft Advisory Council to help make a draft pick. Finally, by summarizing the opinion of the picked participators and other experts (like coach of the Kings), the Sacramento Kings selected the player they wanted.

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Compared with the the Next Stop design case, the NBA draft case has lots of similarities with it, like both of them don’t have entry fee, while as for me, the biggest similarity between these two case is that in both these two cases “enjoyment is a simple, powerful motivator. That is to say, if an activity is fun and gratifies the need for individuals to be entertained and stimulated, …people will be motivated to explore that activity” (Brabham, 2012, 322). For most NBA fans, they want their home team to become better and better, thus suggesting their own teams do something, like trading a certain player or making a certain player plays more time, is one of the actions they always to do. However, no matter they send emails to official email address or comment under the official Twitter/Facebook account, their voice may not be heard or their advise may not be considered. Therefore, when an opportunity appeared that they could truly have a chance to participate in home team’s future building and communicate with the management layer of the team that let them listen to their opinion, they absolutely enjoyed to take part in this activity.

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However, in my perspective, the NBA draft case is much more different with the emergency reporting case. For instance, the emergency reporting case could inform and alert other people, that is to say, people who participated in can not only provide information they know, but also can know information from it, while the NBA draft case was just helping the Sacramento Kings itself to make a decision, only the Sacramento Kings knew what people write, participators had no chance know other people’s analyses. In my opinion, it is because the emergency reporting case is like a platform for share, while the NBA draft case is somewhat like a contest because  few of participators have chance to finally help officials to make the decision directly. In addition, because of the same reason I referred above, social media always play a significant role in the emergency case, like people always use hashtag on Twitter to post information which relate to a certain disaster. However, the NBA case didn’t need social media to play such an important role, participators could only use Sacramento Kings’ official website to achieve their participation.

Mobile Internet

In both two articles, Wijetunga and Wasserman discussed mobile Internet use in a certain area. Although the place they focused on are totally different, both of authors discussed the relationship between digital divide which caused by different social background of people. In Wijetunga’s article, he talked about the difference of the social class in Sri Lanka makes the difference of the mobile Internet use between privileged and unprivileged youth. For instance, when the privileged youth in Sri Lanka could enjoy nearly all the convenience brought by mobile Internet, those privileged youth in Sri Lanka still in the gap because they lack of language(English) skills and unfamiliar with the computer, although they have enthusiasm to contact with the latest technology. In Wasserman’s article, although penetration in some certain African countries is very high, lots of African people can not enjoy the convenience offered by mobile, because they cannot afford such expensive handsets and running costs.

One difference of mobile Internet use described in two articles is that, when the youth in Sri Lanka use their mobile Internet to access to the social network, people in the Africa use mobile Internet to do more things like “transfer money, check market prices, monitor elections, and send and receive public health or emergency messages”(Wasserman, 2011, p. 148), and people in South Africa even use mobile Internet to help themselves to participate in some political activities.

As for my own study, I want to study the relationship between the mobile Internet use and the development of NBA market in China. Because nowadays, more and more Chinese pay attention to NBA and in the meantime NBA pay more attention to Chinese because China is a very important overseas market. I’d like those Chinese high school and college students who pay attention to NBA as my sample population. And in my study, I will answer two research questions:

RQ1: What change has mobile Internet brought to Chinese high school and college students for ways they pay attention to NBA?

RQ2: To what extent does paying attention to NBA by using mobile Internet change Chinese high school and college students’ consumption of the NBA goods in reality?

The reason I’d like Chinese high school and college students to be my sample population is based on both reality of Chinese society and NBA overseas markets. In China, when people graduate from the high school or college, the majority of them have to face the cruel society (like they have to struggle for high-priced apartment), so they always don’t have much spare money for their habits, while when they in the school, because nearly all of Chinese high school and college students are sponsored by their parents, they have at least some freedom to using money for something they interest in. China now is (one of) the most important overseas markets of NBA, and because the situation I referred above, the main force of people in China that consuming NBA goods (like jersey) are high school and college students because they always concern about NBA news by using their mobile Internet and more and more interest in it thus finally like to pay money for products relate to it.

Remix: Thank you Naruto

I am sorry that my video on youtube cannot be played in US,  so I upload it to a Chinese website, you can watch my video here. Ads in this website are a little bit long and cannot skip, I feel sorry about that.

A good cartoon can be one of your best friend in your growth, as for me, this cartoon is Naruto. All video materials of this video come from this famous Japanese cartoon series. In the past 12 years, I grew up with this cartoon, and I think it’s a opportunity for me to make a remix video to thanks for the sweet memories that Naruto brought to me in these years.

In addition, four background music in this video are also from some other Japanese cartoons, like Detective Canon. All I have done was to show my love to Japanese cartoon and I want my audience thus feel curiosity even “fall in love” to Japanese cartoons, especially to my favorite, Naruto.

Digital Outlaws: Hackers and “the commons”

In the Söderberg’s article, he talked about something about hackers, and I’d like to use my word to explain hackers and hacktivists. In my opinion, hacktivist is the proper subset of hacker, that is to say, if a person is a hacktivist, he/she must also a hacker; while if one is a hacker, he/she may belong to another type of hacker rather than hacktivist. To be specific, in my perspective, hackers are people who have such technology that with which they can intrude into others’ computers or other websites without permission.

We always identify hackers are bad guys, while except for hackers who intrude for profits (black hat), there are some hackers (white hat) intrude for protecting or for helping other people to find bugs of their websites and thus update them. For example, when the matter between China and Japan of the territorial dispute over the Diaoyu Island heated up in 2012, some Chinese hackers intruded into Japanese government’s website and revised its front page to show “Diaoyu Island belongs to China” in both Chinese, English and Japanese, Chinese people call these hackers “red hat”. However, hacktivist is hacker who intrudes into websites for not profits or protection, but for political or social activity purpose, and the hacking activities did by them are hacktivisms. For instance, hacktivists hacking Chinese government’s websites because they want to show their dissatisfaction of government’s activities and they want government to make change, these acts is totally like other hacker acts such as intruding into a game website to upgrade equipment.

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In the John’s article, he mentioned the concept “tragedy of the commons”, which was proposed by Hardin’s article in 1968. In this article, Hardin told a story about because farmers only considered about their own interests and thus let more cows to the pasture, the common finally became overused. In my perspective, this concept refers to that when people can acquire resource from a public place (common), everyone who can acquire resource will get more than a certain portion which can keep a balance between personal profit and the sustainable development of the common. Because everyone obtains more than they should have, the common will be overexploited. For instance, in the past few decades, forest in the Greater Hinggan (China’s largest natural forest area) was overcut because of lots of local companies just concerned about their development while ignored the destruction of environment, which finally somewhat cause the frequent sandstorm in Beijing in my childhood.

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Although “tragedy of the commons” is still a strong problem in our society, I agree with what Ostrom’s opinion that this tragedy could be regulated and even restricted. Like the overcut happened in China I referred above, in 2015, Chinese government stopped cutting forests in the Greater Hinggan to protect the natural environment. Actually, Chinese started decreasing cut few years ago, and with this effort, at least sandstorm happens not so regularly, in fact it was hardly ever happens in Beijing in recent years. Thus I believe that once people pay more attention to “tragedy of the commons”, tragedy may not happen in the commons.

Foreign policy and the Internet: Why Washington has a more tolerant attitude towards Beijing?

I choose the article “Could China’s Unfree Internet Become Everyone’s Reality” to talk about this week’s topic. In this article, by citing former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s opinion, the author firstly looks back the history of Internet development in China and the development of censorship of the Internet in China. As a result of censorship, the most popular websites in China are all Chinese-based and these websites are controlled by the Chinese government. In author’s opinion, Beijing concerns more about”cyber-sovereignty” rather than the Internet freedom, and this attitude of the Chinese government reflects they prefer more Internet independence rather than influenced by other countries’ foreign policies, especially the policies of U.S.. In author’s opinion, the Washington should worry about this fact, while what they do equals to give Beijing more power to control Chinese Internet.

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The Chinese case support that “US foreign policy will remain largely determined by the country’s perceived political, economic, and military needs instead of the outcome of ethically structured modes of communication” (Comor & Bean, 2012, p. 216), and what Shirky said in his article that “a government’s demands for Internet freedom abroad can vary from country to country, depending on the importance of the relationship, leading to cynicism about its motives”(Shirky, 2011). Nowadays, as two of the most powerful countries in the world, China and U.S are not just only competitors, like U.S. and the Soviet Union during the cold war, but also are important partners of each other, especially in trade aspect. Actually, The United States is China’s second largest trading partner, the largest export market and the fourth largest source of import. According to the data released by Chinese Ministry of Commerce, in 2015 the value of trade between China and U.S. was 558.39 billion dollars. Because of these, U.S. concern about the relationship between U.S. and China and doesn’t want to break it because of their foreign policies of Internet.

 

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The Official Account of U.S. Embassy on Weibo

In addition, in my perspective, the Washington’s somewhat more tolerant attitude towards Beijing’s Internet censorship in this Chinese case is somewhat due to that “this is not to say that popular movements will not successfully use these tools (social media) to discipline or even oust their governments, but rather that U.S. attempts to direct such uses are likely to do more harm than good”(Shirky, 2011). Taking Weibo (Chinese Twitter), which was referred in the article I chosen and in author’s opinion was under the control of Chinese government, as an example, actually there are some official accounts of American government or departments on Weibo, and they can post (maybe it is kind of propaganda) something not so sensitive. However, so if Washington intervenes Chinese social media directly or always posts something that will do harm to Beijing’s governance rather than regard Internet freedom as a long game, the current environment may not exist any more and this is absolutely what Washington doesn’t want to see.

Viral Online Media: Stars’ Selfie

People love privacy of celebrities, especially whether a star falls in love with some one, so it was really a big news in China when Chinese famous actress Bingbing Fan and actor Chen Li announced their relationship by posting a selfie on Weibo and named it “We”. If you don’t what is that, you can read this article: Stars’ confirmation they’re dating goes viral online.

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After Li posted a photo with Fan and Fan retweeted it, it became the most popular Weibo at once, and the word “We” became the hottest hashtag in the meantime. Lots of users of Weibo, even some other celebrities or official accounts, like UN, imitated Fan and Li to post a photo with people they love with hashtag #We.

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The first reason in my opinion why this post can go viral is that we all use social media and “social media users express their affective responses to online messages in ways that are visible to others” (Alhabash & McAlister, 2015, p.1319). When using Weibo, we always click “like” button or retweet a post to show our attitude towards a certain event, and both our “likes” and retweet shown on our timeline thus people who see our profile can see it. Li’s post (the photo with Fan) so far has received more than 3 millions “like” and has been retweeted more than 805k times. And the hashtag #We is still one of the hottest hashtags online (not only on Weibo) when people show their relationship. To be honest, I didn’t know Fan and Li’s news at the first time, while when I scrolled my Weibo that day, I found many of my friends post photos with their boyfriend or girlfriend with the hashtag #We.

Another key to help this post go viral in my opinion is that it expressed positive energy, just as “the content of news is more likely to become viral the more positive it is” (Berger&Milkman, 2012, p.196). When news of break up or divorce always the headlines of entertainment stars, Li’s post like a spring in the sludge, and people more like to bless for a relationship because in my opinion we both yearn for things make us feel happy rather than things makes us feel sad. Therefore, news with “more awe-inspiring (a positive emotion) content is more viral and sadness- inducing (a negative emotion) content is less viral” (Berger&Milkman, 2012, p.197).

However, one thing seems to be missing in this event is that “people share content to help others, generate reciprocity, or boost their reputation” (Berger and Milkman, 2012, p.201). I am not sure whether people retweet, click “like” button, or use #We as a hashtag can truly help others. To be honest, I don’t believe most of events (maybe except events like Ice Bucket Challenge which are born to help others) which go viral can truly help others, people involve into these events is more likely to have fun or show they know what is the most popular event that time.

Algorithms: Useful but imperfect

If I need to explain algorithms to an 8-year-old child, I would like to use how he or she gets his or her sandwich in the Subway as an example. To be specific, I would tell him or her that every time you go to the Subway, the process of your ordering is an algorithm. You will choose the bread and its size you want at first, and then choose the meat and vegetables, finally you will choose the sauce, by following these steps which are designed in advance, you will get your own particular Subway sandwich from “infinite” choice. Algorithms just like guidebooks, you follow those predesigned steps to close to your goal and finally you will achieve it.

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In my perspective, the most important part that algorithms have been affecting me is absolutely daily navigation. I am not the person who always lost his or her way, but no matter when I was in Beijing or now in Gainesville, I would like Apps like Baidu map or Google map to navigate me to my destination. Because based on the algorithms these Apps use, I can always avoid traffic jams and arrive at my destination in the shortest time. What’s more, sometimes when I don’t drive my car and do not in a hurry. I would always choose “less walking” mode (how lazy I am) , thus these Apps will use algorithms to redesign a route for me even if it will cost more time to arrive at the destination. Even though algorithms of navigation have already brought me so much convenience, I have to say they sometimes don’t make a perfect prediction about how long will I use. While because I am accustomed to rely on these Apps and trust them, sometimes I will arrive in advance (that’s fine), while sometimes I will be late for some significant appointments.

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As for Crawford’s article, among the ten “scenes” he talked about that can affect our real life, I have to say “scenes” No.2 resonates me most, because online shopping is actually a significant part of my life. During my experience of using shopping websites, on the one hand, algorithms of these websites help me a lot. When I arrived in Gainesville in June, I had no bed in my own room, so I decided to buy one on Amazon. After I chose a bed, Amazon recommended products that customers frequently bought together, so I saved lots of time to find a mattress. While on the other hand, because this function is based on the algorithm for every customer of Amazon, which means the recommended products sometimes don’t suitable a certain person for every time, even if the algorithm had been optimized for him or her. Go on with my experience of bed and mattress I referred above, when I finally got them, I thought I would have a good sleep that night, while I found the mattress is too soft for me, maybe it is comfortable for all customers except me. This makes never use this function any more till now, for I realize that I know who I am and what I like than algorithms do.

Privacy:Exploitation and Self-discolsure

I have used Instagram, the best app for iPhone 6s judged by Apple last December, for more than 2 years but just read its privacy policy this week.

What is the biggest lie you had ever told? As for me, the answer is “I have read Data Policy, including cookie use, and agree to all terms”. I click many times to sign up an account or to update my IOS system but never read it.Same as what Christian Fuchs said in his article that “capitalist prosumption is an extreme form of exploitation, in which the prosumers work completely for free” (Fuchs, 2012, p.145). Instagram also informs its users that they will share certain information such as cookie data with third-party advertising partners. Of course this policy is an opt-out policy, I have to accept it to use it. Therefore every time when I use Instagram, I have to bear some accounts that I don’t follow introducing their goods on my timeline. Unfortunately, maybe it is because I don’t use Instagram frequently, these advertisements never interest me at all.

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Every one is a social animal, at least to a certain extent. While when we access to different websites, we always have different behaviors. According to my own experience, I agree with that “social web users tend to self-disclose more sensitive information when their friends and acquaintances also use it, but only within this group” (Taddicken, 2014, p.263). Taking my experience of using Instagram as an example, the reason I signed up an account at first was just to follow some celebrities, especially NBA players. What’s more, people in China had to use VPN to access Instagram, therefore not many my friends in my real life have an Instagram account. While as for WeChat, lots of my friends use WeChat and in the meanwhile I know all my WeChat friends in reality. Therefore I post much more my daily life on WeChat than what I do on Instagram.

Even if sometimes I post the same photo on these two app, I will use different descriptions. For example, I posted photo as above to both to WeChat and Instagram. On Instagram, I described this photo as “a stroll through the woods” while describing with more self-information, like where am I and who I going with, on WeChat because I know all WeChat friends are my acquaintances.

To be honest, even if I read these two articles and watched the video this week, and I know websites may “steal” my information(although they have informed me that they will), maybe I won’t read these policies because they are so long. What’s more, in my own perspective, if there should only one role protect our information, it should be websites rather than ourselves.

Just as what Gary Kovacs said, privacy is not an option, and it shouldn’t be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet.