Does a .gif still .gif when you’re in another tab? Questions raised by my smartphone.

By Jo Robin

Unable to think of a topic for my blog this morning (to be honest I still haven’t really got a topic for my blog) I decided I would crowd source for ideas. Like any social media dependent young person I took to Facebook and asked my friends.

The responses I received we mostly unrelated to the task at hand, someone suggested I blog about amusing cat .gifs or write a blog about blogging, or perhaps a blog about blogging about blogging. It was all very meta.

Yes, I may be lazy, but I am also not alone in this approach to gathering content. In fact I’m never really alone at all because I am constantly connected to my shiny little pal the iPhone, like some kind of Joborg.

An article in Wednesday’s Herald Sun discussed the findings of a survey on Australian’s use of smart phones. Young Australians (16 to 24) spent the equivalent of 29 days a year on their phones, like something out of Paul Jenning’s Gizmo. 62 per cent of Australians now use smart phones.

A picture from iPhone of my housemate on his iPhone at breakfast this morning

As we have well and truly established by now, social media and tiny technologies have changed the way we live our lives, interact and gather information. They also change the way that we disseminate information and news.

In his 2011 TED Talk, journalist Paul Lewis discusses citizen journalism and crowd sourcing the news.

He made the point that in this era where news making can be done by anyone with a phone in their hand, for the journalist it means “accepting that you can’t know everything and allowing other people – through technology – to be your eyes and your ears.” It also means that ordinary people can actively participate in the news and hold powerful organisations to account.

But if any one can do it how does one continue to make a living out of journalism? Monday’s episode of Media Watch returned to the issue. Paul Barry did not have the answer and alas nor do I (22 minutes before wrapping up my Journalism degree).

Yesterday a Bristolian boy I met in Spain once sent me this poem through Facebook:

Yes, his spelling is bad and his grammar is sub par, but, you know, cyborgs.

I think my point is the Internet brings us many wonderful things (like the .gif dance party). It allows us to be connected with distant dyslexic young men, and have our friends with us constantly.  As we become a race of human smart phone hybrids, we may lose our capacity to hold conversations, but we also have unchartered resources at our fingers tips.


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  15. I would crowd source for ideas. Like any social media dependent young person I took to Facebook and asked my friends. amazing selling machine

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