When i saw the name David Gauntlett on the list of readings, I knew that there would only be one reading that I will be reflecting on this week. His theories and understanding of the development of media forms, especially in the form of web 2.0 are extremely interesting and always seem to catch my attention. His idea of ‘Making is Connecting’ seems to focus on the ways people used to ‘make’ or create things that didn’t have an audience. 20th century audiences had to make do with traditional media outlets and ingest what was given to them by media professionals (Gauntlett, 2011). The world we live in right now doesn’t have this problem. Information is so widely published that no one needs to be a professional in order to gain an audience. In the reading, Gauntlett mentions blogs and Wikipedia as two examples that revolve around this idea of ‘making’ information and thus ‘connecting’ with a large audience. His theories also state that creativity and large communication didn’t suddenly spring up because of the World Wide Web, but rather, this invention made the entire creative process of publishing somewhat easier (Gauntlett, 2011). When I thought about this statement, the idea almost seemed alien to me. Being brought up in a world where I would go to the internet for any sort of question, it almost seems silly to think about an era where someone couldn’t put up a blog detailing the best dive sites in Sydney. The idea of getting an idea, and then physically making and sharing it with your audience is what has become increasingly easy for us.
Gauntlett also provides a wonderful explanation of what Web 2.0 actually is. Quite honestly, I didn’t have an exact definition in my mind when I read the term, even though it set off bells of familiarity throughout my brain. The idea that Web 2.0 is a platform where an abundance of people can connect and work on an idea together, collaboratively, has revolutionized society as we know it (Gauntlett, 2011). Wikipedia is an ideal example, where any single individual in the world can connect to this massive database of information and work together with numerous others to provide an idea. Now this platform gives way to a number of new and radical ways of thinking. Individuals have access to millions of points of view, that may adhere to their own theory or go against it; either way, Web 2.0 seems to be changing the way people learn, as there is no longer just one right or wrong answer to any question. As a media student, reading through excerpts of Gauntlett’s book, makes it seems like there is an abundance of opportunities out there in the world of media, yet on the other hand, the entire theory of new media not necessarily needing professionals seems to be a scary idea! We know that media industry seems to be taking on the online world as their main form of publication. Discussions, blogs, videos and social networking sites are some of the ways communication is occurring, and according to Gauntlett, has given rise to a new way of looking at life: ‘To make and do’ (Gauntlett, 2011).
Thus in conclusion, I can say that this reading did certainly stir up a number of thoughts towards what kind of career I am looking towards or even something as basic as ‘what is web 2.0?’ The media is an ever changing organism that is never still, but always evolving to keep up with the technology and social views of the world, and it seems like we have to do the same if we want to fully understand this industry.