I find this week’s blog topic particularly interesting because in all honesty I can’t say that I’ve consciously thought about gender roles on the internet… with that being said I’m sure there is subconscious cues that manifest as I engage the internet day-to-day. Thinking back on my personal experience with the internet, in relation with this week’s topic, when I first started to use the internet it was the place you could go and be who you wanted and look up the stuff that really interested in. At that time in the early to mid 90s there were limited identification markers, you had a user name and that was pretty much it. Oh how the times have changed, now it’s as if people want and have to be identified with what they are posting or how they are engaging with the internet. After going over the material for this weeks topic it’s apparent that diversity on the internet is facing similar trends in evolution as the real world. In all honesty we as a society royally failed at creating equal playing field for everyone. It sucks to say that, it really does, and unfortunately that same theme seems to have played out in the history of online activity. The disparity in today’s gender diversity can be seen in the manner in which men and women engage the internet. As data from the Phew shows usage of the internet by men and women is fairly equal.
It’s the manner in which each gender engages the platform that differences begin to appear. As stated in the article, Gender and Technology Women’s Usage, Create and Perspective by Cindy Royal, Men generally view social media as a tool to gain information or access to entertainment, while women use it to interact with others and build community online. The Pew depicts this usage very clearly in its data, “ Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram have a larger female user base, while online discussion forums like Reddit, Digg or Slashdot attract a greater share of male users.”
Aside from the difference that each gender displayed in the usage of the internet the real disparities are in the representation that women have in comparison to men in the developement and production of online and technological platforms. As stated by professor Royal its alarming at how minimal of a role that women have in significant roles in the tech community. I hate reiterating the comment but this niche community, the technology community is simply following the path laid out for it by seemingly every other industry before it, manufacturing, finance, real estate and entertainment. It’s alarming that in the age were knowledge is literally at our finger tips we still can’t eliminate this division amongst genders. Its my opinion that before this division can be resolved in the technology and internet community it has to be resolved in society first.
A product seemingly simple and similar to any photo camera was able to take the industry by reins by aiming at adventure and sports customers. GoPro was able to market itself as the world’s most versatile camera. Nicolas Woodman a graduate from San Diego State University created the GoPro by combining two of his passions surfing and photography. He realized there was no lightweight, waterproof, small, attachable and indestructible camera in the industry. He used a 35 mm waterproof camera with a wrist wrap and created the first go pro. Woodman explained in an interview, “ in early videos or pictures of a vacation of an event, there is always someone behind the camera, always someone left out of the moment. The GoPro eliminates the problem. When using the GoPro your perspective is what matters. And the interesting part is that you don’t need to stop doing what you love just to take a picture.
Woodman’s early concept of the GoPro utilized earlier innovations waterproof cameras and wrist bands. These early concepts sparked Woodman’s creativity and he developed one of the kind products that would propel GoPro to become a niche brand. The young surfer had created a product that all adventures could enjoy to capture their adventurous and share it with others. What would separate Gropro from other innovations and propel it amongst consumers was its marketing capacity? Woodman has created a product that appealed to “Selfie-Obsessed” generations allowing Gopro users to take action photos whenever and wherever they wanted.
Woodman founded Woodman Labs in 2002 to create the Gopro prototype. He using disposable 35mm Chinese manufactured cameras that sold for $30 each.
In 2006 the Gopro would go digital shooting VGA video (Video Graphics Array) in 10-second burst and had no audio recording.
Woodman was reaching his goal selling out to surf shops and specialty sure boutiques. In 2007 GoPro improves the video quality and introduces sound to its action camera. In 2008, GoPro makes two dramatic changes with its Digital Hero 5. First, the company installs wide-angle lenses on its newest cameras, giving users that distinct panorama shot that is now one of GoPro’s signatures. The company also begins marketing mountable devices, allowing people to now film themselves by attaching their cameras to ski poles, car frames, and surfboards. Gopro has since compounded on its camera improvements, quality and accessories making the company one of the most profitable in the camera industry. GoPro introduced to the market a new good and also a new service for its users. The Gopro made a product evolution, design evolution, and a technological evolution.
What spawned GoPro as one of the most innovative products of our generations was Woodman’s ability to introduce a product and a market that consumers didn’t know they wanted. GoPro provided an action camera that allowed for its users to capture and share moments that normally they wouldn’t and this feature of the product transitioned into an aspect that would propel the innovation, user generated content. This content would provide marketing for the action camera as well provide user feed back to GoPro engineers on how the camera could be improved and evolved. In 2014 Youtube calculated almost 6’000 uploads daily for a total content under the ‘GoPro’. This one of a kind platform for developer and consumers is what would provide with a camera with unparalleled success. As many other companies were struggling to connect with consumers via the growing social media community, consumers were volunteering their pictures and photos to the world.
Digital media refers to audio, video, and photo content that has been encoded or New media which refers to content available on-demand through the Internet, accessible on any digital device, usually containing interactive user feedback and creative participation. From the perspective of a young sales professional who engages and interacts with clients regularly via the internet and tracks comprehensive marketing analytics instantaneously on demand I would lean towards the new media definition. But as a member of society that interacts with digital media audio, photos and video in my everyday life I would lean towards the digital media definition. Each aspect of today’s media digital and new media is flourishing and has become a vital aspects of our day to day activities. So I think it is essential to become familiar with both definitions.
After reading this week’s articles it was like someone had pointed out something in the room that I already knew was there but now its just so obvious. The growth of technology over the ages has just been a compounding effort that has utilized innovations of the past to expand technologies of today. You can see it in today’s computers, cell phones, tablets, and even digital content. As Bush explains in his article many innovations such as film, photography and pictures have been expanded on from ideas of innovators that had limited access or resources to flourish their initial ideas. These initial innovative ideas have laid the foundation to some of today’s more impactful technologies. It is key to recognize that each new technology is a pathway or a step in the direction of something new or more innovative in the future.
Exploring the evolution of the internet and the web is astounding, to realize how a file sharing tool has been developed to become one of history’s most impactful innovations is mind blowing. Understanding the growth of the internet and web with my personal experience growing up in the 80’s (yes I just dated myself) when the internet was not part of mainstream society to now when these platforms have become a staple of day to day activities is even more interesting. I feel as though I would share company with the majority of society in that I didn’t fully comprehend how primitive the internet was at its conception. As presented in, The Internet: Behind The Web, what we now know as the internet was stemmed from a 1960s government communications project ARPANET. The project was created to develop a tool to transfer packets of information from one network to another. It was in the development of ARPANET program that its creators saw the potential to expand the connectivity of networks exponentially. I found it fascinating that as the development of multiple networks grew in the late 70s and early 80s it was the commonality amongst developers to create a system that could be utilized across all networks. For me this was one of the key pull aways for the development and innovation of this medium, how these early developers were creating a networks built on the premise of sharing information and that idea spawned a tool that allows information to be shared globally by the masses today. This platform attribute is the foundations to what is now one of our societies most impactful innovations, providing the ability for anyone, anywhere to share information.
As anything there will always be positives and negatives, but for me the internet possess far more positive aspects for society than negatives. The internet has connected the world unlike anything before. It allows for the masses to have access to information at their fingertips. There most definitely is an issue of people developing a dependence on the resource, and I’m just as guilty as anyone, but I think this negative isn’t too strong because at it core the internet was developed as a tool to share information. In regards to using the internet in everyday situations as I said I am just as guilty as the next person. So when doing the Web IQ Quiz I was definitely a little apprehensive going at it without my old friend Google, but apparently from the results I’ve picked up and retained a little historical information on the the internet than I thought. Who would have thought. Lol