Category Archives: Uncategorized

Online health information: risky business or consumer wonderland?

New media has opened the information doors for healthcare. A new concept of using search engines to Organize, track, monitor and secure medical information online has been introduced. Google has recently added a feature called Google Health to their internet based service. It enables consumers to store health information online, with features such as setting personal goals, tracking progress and personalizing your health needs with applications and devices.

This idea of a “self managing citizen” discussed by Lewis (2006, 523) explores how new media has significantly shifted the healthcare industry providing many opportunities but also challenges.  The internet offer’s targeted health information which is able to target consumers as an individualized DIY subject (Lewis 2006, 522). However with consumers having access to vast amounts of online health information can lead to mixed messages regarding health advice and wrong diagnosis. As Lewis (2006, 523) discusses the possibility of an epidemic of misinformation.

The question is who is responsible when something goes wrong? It is clear there has been a shift from public responsibility to now the individual (Leong 2011). As we incorporate medicine 2.0 (Leong 2011) into our digital worlds it is important to consider what Faith Lee states consumers are now the gatekeepers of their own personal health information.

Lee, Faith. 2011. “DIY health. Are we becoming our own doctors?” Faithchantal’s Blog. Accessed April 4, 2011. 

Leong, Susan. 2011. “KCB: 206 New media: week 6 lecture notes.” Accessed April 4, 2011.

Lewis, Tania. 2006. “Seeking health information on the internet: lifestyle choice or bad attack of cyberchondria?” Media, Culture and Society 28 (4): 521-539.

Shemissedhowhewouldkissher. 2011. “Just Breathe.” Image.  Accessed April 10, 2011.



Filed under digital age, Google, Health, lifestyle, media lifestyle, Medicine 2.0, Online identity, Uncategorized

Word is the weapon

If there is one communication tool politics should be concerned about it would be the revolution of social media. Its power to become viral is underestimated and can generate enormous political effects. It allows citizens to become a part of a collective group equipped with data, intelligence and knowledge which can emphasise political action (Leong 2011).

Chinese governments have realised the potential of social media as they observed political leaders such as Ben Ali & Hosni Mubarak lose power recently. With social media allowing people too privately and publicly debate their views, it generates a sense of shared awareness (Shirky 2011, 25). The Jasmine Revolution is an example which explains the impact shared awareness can have on politics; evidently why China has implemented restrictions to prevent a mass political movement. 

China’s ruling communist party has been urging tighter controls on the “virtual society” aiming to guide public opinion in a “healthy direction” (Foster 2011). Restrictions have been seen on news websites, blog sites and twitter. The word “jasmine” was blocked from Sina Weibo, a  microblogging site in China. However as Walsh states political activism and social media are double-edged swords, governments are using social media tools to locate possible outbreaks. Although tech-savvy users have employed special software to circumvent web controls such as code words to spread information regarding politics online (Foster 2011).

Foster, Peter. “China facing new calls for Jasmine Revolution.” Accessed March 26, 2011.

Leong, Susan. “KCB206 New Media: Internet, Self and Beyond: Week 4 lecture notes.” Accessed March 26, 2011.

Shirky, Clay. 2011, “The Political Power of Social Media,” Foreign Affairs, 90 (1): 28-41. Accessed March 25  2011 .

Walsh, A. C. “Tweet Freedom.”  The New Neighbours Blog, March 27. Accessed March 26. 

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Filed under china, jasmine revolution, politics, Uncategorized

Musical playlists, It’s not what you like… It’s who you are.

Since the beginning of Macintosh’s Apple creation of everything I, an unwritten social rule if you show me yours I’ll show you mine has become apparent. People who own an iPod will understand the concept of sharing ones play-lists with a friend or a colleague and at times this may seem a daunting task. As Ryan Patrick explains an iPod play-list is a strong reflection of one’s personality.

What appears a simple two way exchange of musical tastes has become a means to a rich personal narrative  (Levy 2006, 41).   When asked the question in my lecture recently if I would feel comfortable revealing the music on my iPod to anyone? I wanted to open up my iTunes and delete any songs I considered “uncool” as when you look at someone’s music you naturally form a judgment.  It comes down to perceptions of image and how media opens the self up to others as Levy (2006, 23) explains play list is character. This is why I believe we are afraid of flashing our play lists, as it not only reveals our musical tastes but also subconsciously defines our personality.

Levy, Steven. 2006. Identity in Levy, Steven, The perfect thing: how the ipod shuffles commerce, culture and  coolness, 21-41. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, pp.

Patrick, Ryan. 2011. “Shake to shuffle.” pDRyan’s Blog, Accessed March 18, 2011.

Yourdon, Ed. 2008. “Sharing music, Roman style.” Image. Accessed March 18 , 2011.


Filed under Music, Uncategorized

New media a digital democracy?

We are the social experiment…  How does this make you feel?

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Filed under Uncategorized