Monday, October 1, 2012

Post 2: Mass Amateurization

In "Here Comes Everybody," Clay Shirky describes "mass amateurization" as modern media has given opportunity to the amateurs to publish without being professional. Professional believed that they are competing against professionals; but now, professionals are competing against the amateurs  Because amateurs can publish, both are now on the same platform. Shirky explains, "Mass amateurization is a result of the radical spread of expressive capabilities, and the most obvious precedent is the one that gave birth to the modern world," (66). Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other web blogs are allowing the mass amateurs to post and share any current events, and people would find out from them even though they are not professionals.

The outcome of Shirky's argue is that the mass amateurs are now the producers and no longer need to be only consumers. Shirky believes that "most professions exist because there is a scarce resource that requires ongoing management," (57). But now that scarcity is gone. Professionals are not the only gatekeepers but amateurs can be gatekeepers as well. We can freely produce any social function without being controlled. We can teach other amateurs.

Youtube Inc. is a great example to allow everyone, professionals to amateurs, to publish videos and allow people to watch and leave comments. Making comments means we have direct connection with other users and gain ability to communicate. Because we can be the gatekeepers, viewers get to see everything without any limitation. Professional Korean singer,

Psy's "Gangnam style" became global hit through Youtube. Unlike Carley Rae Jepson or Justin Bieber, he is non-American singer and sings in Korean. Why he became so popular in United States? That is because amateurs gave the access to mass audiences to view his upbeat, comical music video. Another example from Youtube is that amateur became professional. Michelle Phan was an ordinary girl that loves make-up, nail art, and fashion; she would post tutorial videos using her webcam. After she became popular, she got hired as make-up artist at Lancome.

From the chapter "Why Heather Can Write?" Jenkins introduces the fan fiction culture. Fan fiction allows amateurized authors to write stories. Same idea as Shirky's argument; amateurs have the opportunity to stand on the same platform as professionals. Such modern media, like internet, is allowing users to access directly to other users so we can publish and react to each other's readings. Jenkins explains, "They are active participants in these new media landscapes, finding their own voice through their participation in fan communities, asserting their own rights even in the face of powerful entities  ... these kids are mapping out new strategies for negotiation around and through globalization, intellectual property struggles, and media conglomeration," (216). Fan fiction culture is a good way to participate and be involved in a specific field. It would be a good practice for the amateur writers to be known and read by many readers.

As an example, Japan is deeply involved into fan fiction culture. Massive amateurs publish novels on internet site where many readers read and respond to each other's readings. Now, there's a new culture that the novels get published and sold at bookstores if they become well-known and read by millions of readers. This strategy is more used because it has free access to everyone. Also, these novels are made into movies and dramas and later, they become professional writers. Such examples would be "Akai Ito (Threads of Destiny)" and "Koizora (Sky of Love)."

amateurs write novels on cellphone and publish on internet
Movie poster for "Threads of Destiny"

Novel: "Sky of Love"

If you are interested:

Michelle Phan's Youtube

Psy "Gangnam Style" MV

Threads of Destiny movie trailer

Sky of Love Movie (Eng Sub)

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