Fan-atic or Fan-tastic? (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 13 Initial Post)

Anti-Fan Bases:

Image result for fan culture memes


Fan Bases:


As you can see, fan culture encompasses a wide variety of topics. On one hand, there are fans who embody their interests or passions over a wide variety of ways, and anti-fans who can serve as trolls and satirists or as people who absolutely reject a passion of somebody else. Ironically, this rejection can lead to activism against a passion, and become a passion in itself. Based on the readings, these views of passion versus obsession are contained within in the eyes of the beholder. Personally, I believe it is important to note that without an extreme, there may be no middle ground, which is where I lie in the spectrum of fandom.

This being said, I think it’s neat when people create things based off of original works. One could say I’m a “fan” of several video games. Within these games people have the potential to create mods to the game, similar to any other fan base, and alter the experience of the game, or change it completely in order to allow the user to shape their experience in the way they want to. Without mods in my games, the story would get bland after several replays, so I believe having access extend and use this cultural product is beneficial. In my case, the culture I’m a fan of doesn’t show to many people, but certainly to those I’m closest with. Most importantly, the things I’m a fan of helps me to discover my own identity in a reverse-engineering sort of way. It isn’t so bad having people “tamper” with original workings. Trying on different identities is what helps people to discover themselves, and that’s one of life’s biggest questions: who are you? With people giving others access to altered versions of the cultural products they are fans of, they can refine their understanding of themselves, whether they know what they are doing or not by exploring these paths. You see, there really isn’t any tampering going on – the original is still there for those who prefer it over any adaptation. Social culture is so interesting because some people – I assume the radical fans and anti-fans – believe their version of a work, whether it be an original or a rework, is a piece of art, if not the best.

In one frame of mind, this ideology can drive people to argumentation over pointless topics in pop culture. In another frame, this ideology actually serves as a catalyst to cultural development. Memes and cosplay as depicted above would not be possible without the more radical fan or anti-fan bases so people like me can sit back and have a laugh, think about each argument’s perspective as I like to do, or have a discussion about these fandoms and their influence on culture as is happening now. Even fans and anti-fans who feel that they have to defend and argue their viewpoints against each other can get satisfaction from this, not just the in-betweenies. I’m sure each group enjoys the opportunity to express their opinions, whether they compel the other group or not – such is the nature of passions. Overall, whether someone is a fan or an anti-fan, portions of the populace being passionate about a cultural icon serves to catalyze and develop human culture as well as personal identity. So is fandom fanatic or fantastic? All of the above, most likely.

Abstracting Anonymity (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 11 Final Post)





Instead of being afraid of Yik Yak, campus professionals should embrace it as not only a way for young people to explore creativity and develop their identities, but also as a way for professionals to learn more about the campus environment through students’ eyes (1).

It’s plain to see the advantages that an anonymous space provides to the people that use it. As the Wired article highlights, this anonymous space promotes chances to explore other’s thought processes as it relates to their identity without your physical identity being tied to them. As for misrepresenting yourself online, it isn’t always a bad thing. This can include altering your real name to hide who you are or expressing an idea you don’t believe in. Changing your name most likely isn’t a malicious thing, but merely for the user’s security. Also, being able to express an idea you haven’t explored yet allows one to try on a different identity, which could play an imperative part in helping an individual sort out which aspects of other identities should be included in their own. Thus, skewing your own identity can help build it.


You cannot arrest an idea (2).

On the other hand, there are darker aspects to maintaining an anonymous space. As my  thesis states, an anonymous space’s identity is completely subjective to what its users make of it. It could turn into a positive Yak community, a meme-factory, a hacker group, or a chaotic group such as “lulzsec” mentioned within the documentary. When people are allowed to misrepresent themselves, they cannot be held accountable for their actions. Just as the quote suggests, lulzsec was entirely impossible to stop despite their illegal and malicious behavior due to the fact they were anonymous. What do you do in such a situation where you are being harassed for no reason by an entity without physical manifestation? There isn’t much you can do. While anonymity has greatly positive effects and potential, it can also open the gateway to something darker and more abstract. Beyond this abstract idea, identity misrepresentation can also be used to lure people, scam them, and other things ranging from odd to disgusting. With people informed and educated of the dangers of online strangers, this isn’t as much of a risk though.


Project Progress:

I’m utilizing the various ways I have for making my documentary video. Many of my friends took video media technology classes in high school and they have provided a lot of feedback on piecing together my documentary. Some of them also have been on 4chan or know a bit about Anonymous and are considering my proposition of an interview. Besides that, I plan to sift through my research sources again this weekend and pulling together related, useful, and interesting screenshots.

NodeXL-ent (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 10 Final Post)

For my final comparison, I searched hurricane Katrina and hurricane Patricia. Surprisingly, hurricane Katrina actually had plenty of tweets using the key phrase, though I discovered this was because people were making comparisons of it to hurricane Patricia which explains its high amount of hits. Patricia had more than Katrina, due to its recency and scale, but I’m sure some of these same tweets included a mention of hurricane Katrina as well as Patricia. It seems that people who tweeted about these hurricanes were mostly the ones affected by it – telling about their family or their experience with dealing with the hurricanes which could lead one to conclude people who weren’t affected by it don’t give it as much attention.

Ads Everywhere (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 10 Initial Post)

My Twitter Ads:

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Twitter seemed to throw ads about games mostly toward me, but they weren’t in any genre I was interested in. They gave me an ad on shoes, and I like style, but this seemed unspecific to me due to the fact I only received one of this ad. Other ads were oddballs: one for entrepreneurship, one to raise the minimum wage, and one to work in DC.

I believe it worked out this way because I’ve only shared 2 things on my twitter account (it’s very new). This means that twitter data mining programs don’t have a lot to go off of when presenting me with ads. I’m sure if I were to click one one, they would show me a much higher frequency of related ads.


My Facebook ads:

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Facebook made even less sense in the ads they gave me. Apparently they think I really need insurance because every time I refreshed the page this guy was looking at me somewhere:


They tried to sell me a kitchen and promote some food joints I’ve never been to. This may be due to the fact that I haven’t posted anything on Facebook since middle school. Probably as a default, if Facebook doesn’t have enough info on me to give ads I would be interested in, they put the ads of the companies that paid most for them up.


Overall, I don’t mind that social media websites try to present their users with advertisements that are relevant to them considering it could actually save them time hunting down items, though they weren’t very effective or useful for me. On the other hand though, the ads aren’t only meant to be relevant to you, they’re meant to entice you, which can be a negative thing – impulse purchases can ad (<– pun) up quickly and it isn’t the best moral practice to rely on people who can’t help themselves making these purchases or clicking on the ads.

Dead Space (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 9 Initial Post)

Article Links:



Every day we add to the space that’s left behind when we die. Memories, thoughts, likes, relationships – our identity – floating in space. Though these pieces of us are like stars in a great expanse, this space I refer to, full of fragments of peoples’ lives, is cyberspace.

As discussed in the articles, people often don’t realize that they leave behind aspects of themselves, impervious to time in some instances, when they die. People have wills that determine where their physical objects go, but what about their digital objects, like blogs, social media accounts, or profiles? Data isn’t as easily lost or damaged as physical objects. People have the potential to archive an aspect of their online identity, and, theoretically, make infinite copies due to the nature of data storage and computation. This provides people with a way to immortalize themselves in a way, and everyone should take advantage of this. As long as the online content pertains to a person, they should be able to save every aspect of it: posts, comments, interactions, etc. After a person dies, the internet it isn’t composed of dead space where they left a mark, it’s composed of memories.

For example, my mom likes to save the pictures of our family I post on my social media onto her hard drive, which is a form of backup. Honestly, besides what my mom saves, nothing of mine online is backed up, perhaps with the exception of my google drive. After these articles I’ll definitely look into methods of archiving these things. I’m more interested in saving it to a cloud rather than a hard drive, but either works.

Until people start writing wills about how to handle their online presence after death, it’s up in the air how to handle it. At a physical memorial, people can leave notes and pay their respects. I feel it should be the same way digitally – a heartfelt comment or a picture that evokes a memory about the person who is no longer here so it can be purposed to engage people in remembrance, rather than leave them watching – perhaps only visiting the page once. For this to happen, the page would have to be dynamic, but have spam filters and monitoring.

Identity is in no means simple. The questions we have about it show this while simultaneously showing peoples’ eagerness to control and understand their own identity, which is a positive thing.


Revised Thesis:

The origins and workings of a “hacktivist” group, Anonymous, and an anonymous image board, 4Chan, show how lack of identity within a group setting can actually form collective identity.


Tinkering With My Site (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 8 Initial Post)

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I made many conscious choices when building my site. I left out most traceable info, like my address, phone number, or names of people I know. I added some things, like my birth year, school, email, blog, and social media (which is only accessible by friend request anyway). This site could be useful in presenting myself to others, but I’d like to take in a direction of personal use. Updating my site is a good way to keep track of dates I’ve taken internships, or versions of my resume so I can access it anywhere I have internet connection. Currently, I have about 20 digital “sticky notes” on my desktop leading to links related to me. The website can help me organize these links without me having to sift through my bookmarks.

I ultimately chose to stick with the site template that was originally given to us.


This is because it was simplistic and neat. I chose my favorite colors to incorporate into my site because they speak about me and create a cool, collected atmosphere. The neon among dark background is to draw attention to specific words and keep the whole site from looking drab – though I’m happy with how it looks right now, I’m sure improvements can be make stylistically, so I’m open to recommendations (I don’t want my site to be boring). The background picture represents my interest in technology.

While I use it personally right now, perhaps I’ll adapt it for professional use as I emerge into such things – one day I’d like to be proud to show a personalized site to people, superiors and family alike.

JuxtaposeJS Test


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Mydentity (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 7 Initial Post)

It’s understood that most people present themselves differently to different people. People selectively present portions of their identity to others based on their roles in their life – I’m no exception to this.  For example, when meeting a new person, possible employer, or teacher, I wouldn’t exactly throw out the crude side of my humor at them, when, with my roommate, friends, or girlfriend, some crude humor is appreciated. Society has developed a social norm that you have to be politically correct when engaging with people you don’t know well for obvious reasons. It’s just weird when someone is overly open about their identity and quirks when just meeting them. Perhaps these people don’t understand social cues, or maybe they’re just very comfortable in who they are, but, in short, its socially improper to treat your superiors, or strangers, like buddies.

An employer should have a holistic, but limited, view on one’s identity. Experience, ethical past/transgressions, and skills make up public, factual, information about your identity. Personal information, such as political affiliation, sexual information, and recreational information shouldn’t be required to be presented to an employer.

I would share my Facebook account with an employer, because it shows general aspects of my life, such as interests, and shows my developing work skill sets.

Checking in! (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 6 Initial Post)


  1. Should people be politically correct on the web, or does this limit capabilities for satire?
  2. How would online interactions change if all individuals online were digitally labeled with their gender?


I’m currently reviewing and searching for sources to connect my ideas. I’m thinking to formulate a conclusion on how the 4chan community and the group Anonymous relate to one another and how their relationship relates to online identity.

Riding the Grass-Mud Horse Into the Sunset (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 5 Final Post)

CRAAP Analysis:

Online Academic Journal:

Currency: 2 points – Published on October 3, 2011. It’s fairly recent, within 4 years.

Relevance: 2 points – It isn’t all encompassing, but addresses one part to the two parts of my topic thoroughly.

Authority: 3 points – Author is Lee Knuttila. Has a Ph.D. in media studies and works with/at York University.

Accuracy: 3 points – Long list of well cited references at the bottom.

Purpose: 3 points – It is scholarly and written as such, in order to inform.


Discussion Reflection:

It’s hard to determine what the grass mud horse movement will come to. I think it’s a mistake to put all of your faith in this one silly symbol. Perhaps the netizens  will crash through the gates of tyranny on the back of mud-grass horses, overturn the government, and ride into the sunset – but this is unlikely. I do believe, however, that it could serve as a precursor to bigger things. Protest online will serve as a conduit to protests in person, then change may happen. For now, it’s cat and mouse.


Project Formatting:

Video Documentary! I imagine using lots of photos from 4chan to explain the culture and how it could relate  to/produce the group Anonymous.

Tools: Juxtapose JS, The Wayback Machine, Storify, Pixlr, Wolfram Alpha, and Google Drive Apps.

I looked around on Wolfram Alpha for while, it was hard to pull myself away from! It presents a lot of good, statistical data, and this easily accessible, clear info kept dragging me into more searches, no matter the topic.