Spilling the Tea... Participating People

 This is my friend Anna. This is exactly how I felt after finishing the test.

This is my friend Anna. This is exactly how I felt after finishing the test.

Hey everybody! Midterm szn is basically here at Lewis and Clark, which means a lot more late nights spent in the library and crawling to the coffee shop before class. Earlier this week, our RHMS class had their first exam, and I think it went pretty well! In preparation for the exam, our teacher gave us five essays to study, and then we had one hour to write two of those essays. The ones selected were about Social Information Processing Theory, and conducting an Affordance Analysis on digital versus face-to-face classroom experiences. Not going to lie, I was a little (okay, maybe more than a little) sleep deprived while taking that test but finger’s crossed I get the grade back I was hoping for!

One of the prompts we studied for the exam was on participatory culture, and I had a strong understanding of the topic, so I wanted to talk about it with you all today…

So, let’s pretend that you’re the teacher and you just passed out the exam. The question you want answering is as followed, “Explain what participatory culture is, both the general definition and the specific list of attributes from the Rheingold reading.  How is this related to what Blood said about the benefits of blogging, what Rheingold and Appling said about the benefits of Tweeting and Rheingold’s explanation of personal voice in blogging?  Reflect on how our class blogging and Twitter assignments are set up and on your own experiences thus far: Are you experiencing participatory culture?  Why or why not?”

I whip out my blue book and start writing, here is my answer to the question:

Participatory Culture is defined as a way for a significant portion of the population to participate in the production of cultural materials. It is not just a small professional guild, and this type of cultural elements is curated by those who believe they have some degree of power.

In the reading we did by Rheingold, she talks about 5 main attributes that participatory culture provides. These include:

  1. having low barriers for artistic expression & civic engagement

  2. strong support for creating & sharing with others

  3. an informal mentorship where the most experienced pass their knowledge to novices

  4. members believe that their contribution matters

  5. feel a degree of social connection with others.

This definition relates to Blood’s distinction between the public and the audience. Blood explains that the audience is passive, whereas a public is participatory. In Blood’s article on Weblogs, she says, “I began to value more highly my own POV…I carefully considered my own opinions & ideas, and I began to feel that my perspective was unique and important.” Blood was able to participate in the culture around her, discover what interests her, and curate her POV around it. This is a critical aspect of blogging where the writer feels like their opinion is being heard. Blood’s feelings towards blogging connect to Rheingold’s attributes that are listed above.

There was a long list of reasons why to use Twitter, but some of the key points included the openness, immediacy, reciprocity, and search-ability, and platform for the mass community. By curating your network and tweets, you can show that you have a market value. A lot of influencers take advantage of this platform for that reason. It connects to participatory culture because it allows you to produce content and for other people to participate in it.

Rheingold explained the 3 person voices that are present in blogging. They are private voice, commercial voice, and public voice. The private voice is when you care about expressing yourself, and you’re not concerned if it connects with anyone else. The commercial voice is designed to produce an effect and is highly concerned with reaching an audience and affecting them. And finally, the public voice writes from their own thoughts and experiences in a way that wants to connect with others, what they think, and their concerns. I think my blog is a mix between the commercial and public voice. I love to communicate with other people on topics I’m passionate about, but sometimes with sponsorship’s, I need to get a specific message across that will result in an effect.

After examining the information above, I can confidently say that we are experiencing a participatory culture. We have a personal learning network (PLN) of people in our teams where we comment on the blogs and tweet to the whole class. Also creating our own voice and I feel like the content I’m making is creating a difference in my classroom community.


So, what grade would you give me? Let me know down below and I’ll be back next week with another blog post!