Monday, November 24, 2008

The Dark Secrets of Social Networking

The darker side of social networking has come to the limelight with the ongoing US trial of Lori Drew, the 49-year-old lady who has been charged of cyber bullying. Considered a landmark case, this is proof of the power of social networking to change lives, albeit in a negative manner.

The case revolves around the apparent cyber bullying by Lori Drew of a 13-year-old girl on the social networking site My Space. The girl later killed herself. Due to the pioneering nature of the case, Ms Drew has been charged with laws that usually pertain to company hackers.

The case is one of impersonation and cyber bullying, the further details of which can be read here. What is interesting is with social networking having become so deeply ingrained in our lives, will it soon become part and parcel of Sociology theory? Surely we are already seeing the effects of Social networking on society at large – after all it did help play a key role in putting the next American President in the Oval Office! An inclusion of social networking theory in the fundamentals of sociology and how people interact will definitely reflect the changing times.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

When you cant fight them join them!

The problem of music piracy is an age-old one and dates back to the times of Napster. Today with a plethora of torrent sites and improving internet speeds it is very easy to download an entire album of your favourite artist right to your desktop and promptly load it onto your ipod or mp3 player. If that isn’t enough, there are a plethora of video sharing sites like YouTube from which you could watch or rip music videos from.

Therefore, it is interesting when a music company decides to join the crowd and officially host a music video on YouTube. The first time I saw this was Polydor hosting the new Boyzone music video on YouTube. This seems to be a smart move, keeping to the times. One should note that this video can only be watched and can not be embedded on any page. The question remains however, how do record companies generate revenue from such a model of free content being displayed? Recently Britney Spears was dismayed that her latest music video from her upcoming album was leaked onto the internet even before it was aired on TV. An example of which is going to be the dominant medium in the years to come? Perhaps, but the changing scene of the music industry is definitely worth a watch.