This week for BCM112 we looked more closely at the audience in media convergence. Today I would like to have a look at the place of the audience in regards to the technology that I am researching which is Google Chrome.
Chrome is a technology and platform designed for users to access content through the internet. Chrome connects users to the Google search engine from where they can locate and find content that interests them. We keep saying user but what we really mean is the audience, but who is the audience? The audience for Google Chrome would be anyone that has a computer and uses the Chrome browser. Users only diverge from the main audience when they enter specific sites where different demographics gather. When we think of these demographics the possibilities are endless as people split off into fandoms and groups to publish and view content and start discussions.
In terms of communication channels, Chrome allows users to engage in monological and dialogical communication channels or ‘one to many’ and ‘many to many’ communications. (Moore, 2014) It allows ‘one to many’ communication through personal blogging and other publication type websites, although it is more of a hybrid type communication since users can now comment on the published work. (Moore, 2014) ‘Many to many’ communication involves users being able to talk back and forth between each other without the restriction of barriers such as time and place. (Moore, 2014) This communication also allows users to contribute content collectively, an example would be the website Wikipedia where users contribute to articles collectively in an effort to produce accurate information for other users, although this is undermined by some users who purposely change the information for fun, making it an unreliable source at times. (Moore, 2014) Other example include chat rooms and other social media sites e.g. Twitter, Facebook etc.
Although gatekeeping is generally lax on the internet because it is so hard to police, it is done. Google Chrome itself doesn’t have gatekeepers per se, but Google Inc. certainly censors content on the services that they provide e.g. YouTube, Blogger, Picasa etc. (Rosen, 2008) An example of Google gatekeeping would be the country wide ban of YouTube in Turkey in 2007 due to defamatory videos declaring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk a homosexual. Nicole Wong who was deputy general counsel of Google at the time persuaded the Greek users to remove the video. The Turkish government, unsatisfied, went on to list a number of videos that were either offensive or broke Turkish law. The videos were translated and the videos that violated YouTube’s terms of service and Turkish law were banned and removed. (Rosen, 2008)
The initial audience that use Chrome remain the same, but users have the capacity to shift and change between different audiences as they redefine what they are looking for in content and what they are discussing.
That’s all for this week, I hope you liked it!
Moore, C., 2014. BCM 112 (S114) Convergent Media Practices: Echo360 EchoCenter. [Online]
Available at: https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/blocks/echo360_echocenter/echocenter_frame.php?id=2406
[Accessed 04 April 2014].
Rosen, J., 2008. Google’s Gatekeepers. [Online]
Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/magazine/30google-t.html?pagewanted=all
[Accessed 02 April 2014].