Final project proposal.

For the final project in this course, I’d like to take the essay route.

For the topic, I’d like to write about the influence of social link aggregators (Like Reddit, Digg, etc.) on how people consume online content, particularly how they consume news. Although I’ve touched on this topic in both blog posts, I’d like to use the final project to draw connections between the concepts of trustworthiness of information in online environments and the morphing audience for news and base it on literature concerning online social sites. I will bring in ideas of online culture we’ve discussed in class, such as participation patterns, production law, and expression, and connect those to existing literature on how people tend to use social link sites.

I think social link sites play an interesting, and increasingly widespread, role in digital culture, particularlly in how people involved in digital culture consume news. I think this is an area that people have often gotten wrong — the hegemonic idea currently is that younger people don’t read news, whereas I simply think more people get news through link aggregation sites and don’t generally report that they do so. On the participatory side of things, I think that online aggregators play an increasingly interesting and powerful role in the creation and distribution of original content — this is another area I’d like to write about, particularly looking at it from the news frame. Are sites like Reddit and Digg allowing people to create and distribute their own coverage of the world from a news frame, and can that potentially replace the news of old. I’d like to approach this by digging into classical elements of media criticism, namely limited ownership and input, to see if those original pieces are still potentially true.

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