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Monday, September 6, 2010

B is for Backlash

The economic down turn has negatively effected lots of businesses. While the news has a social duty to report the daily happenings, they are also a business. News papers have been altering their formats. Sunday papers are changing, and some aren't even printed! Then, of course, there's the online news sources. Not all businesses are suffering, however.

Which business is booming, you ask? Social media.
The New York Times has noted the change in how we read our news. Comedy Central for political knowledge, and a now a Twitter-style newscast for the NYTimes. The ap will be a more audience-focused reader.

More backlash and evidence of booming social media? Our changing language. Words like "Islamophobia" describe a current social phenomena spread, and fought by, the media, and "Tumblr" is a social media company. These socially mediated terms have become such intricate pieces of our culture that they have made it to the Dictionary. A culture using a word makes it legitimate, but a culture placing the word in the Dictionary makes it unified via direct definition and spelling. Check out the other new socially-motivated additions to the Dictionary here.

Now that the Dictionary has solidified the acceptable spelling for our social media terminology, there is new debate about spelling and general language reform. Social media coins new words, which sometimes become legitimized through common use and shared meaning. When these words go into the Dictionary, however, they are less flexible. It is commonly accepted that English follows certain rules; why not extend the plasticity of language use to language spelling?

The original title of this entry was "B is for Boom" for two reasons:

1. This is a cultural catch phrase for exploding business, thus the "boom" (also I think people like alliteration: Business is Booming).

2. This is the sound of my mental light bulb. It does not flash or buzz. When I realize something has been staring me in the face and I finally catch on...BOOM!

While the economy suffers, mental business is booming. Personally, I'd like to thank social media for offering creative outlets and, of course, connecting us with those creative geniuses. No dark ages here! Not only are we more creative because of social media, but those connections may just be what dredges our recent grads out of the unemployment mire.

Social media, that which we love and hate, may be the answer to many graduates' problems. Can't find a job? Get into social media.

Some fret over a .com crash...I think we're all too invested in social media to have it crash. Phase out, yes (example being MySpace), but social media is a beast which feeds itself (for better or worse):
-Facebook becomes a movie
-Tumblr offers free showcases for starving artists

There is work for all:
-mathematicians to follow their followers
-digital artists...no explanation needed
-teachers-train other to use mediums
-writiers-blog it up as a new age watchdog!
-social scientists- the age of the "magic bullet" is over-media doesn't just tell us what to do...so how does it effect us?

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