Mark Little

Mark Little, the former Prime Time presenter, spoke to a crowd of about twenty students from the journalism society about his plans to set up a internet news site, a hybrid of social networking and news. He believed interactivity was a massive part of luring users to any site.

Along with this, Mr. Little planned to employ professional journalists as gate-keepers to monitor what content is coming from the users. He also answered many questions about how to succeed in the field of journalism, mainly about employability, he underlined how he saw life and work experience as a far greater strength than post-grads such as a masters.

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Blogs claimed early popularity in the broadband internet age but have since suffered due to their ubiquity and self-indulgent nature; they are still an important part of the internet universe but are not as relevant as they once were.

Another contributor to this is the rise in popularity of creditable internet journalism and of course social networking. Interactivity is hard to achieve on these blogs, the main problem being gate-keeping in other separating the good constructive comments on any given article from the unhelpful, overly critical comments.

‘The Huffington Post’ is probably the most prominent of them all and has maintained popularity due to a loyal following while also maintaining both relevancy and creditability.

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Economy- the feared ‘r’ word is still everywhere, our country tends to fluctuate between intense anger and utter disillusionment. Why is the only action we hear about when our beloved government is bailing out banks, I understand that these banks are a pivotal part of our economic system and that winding up even the most beleaguered of them all, Anglo, will apparently cost more than it will to save it etc etc. However, and this is a massive however, why in the name of all the Biffos in Offaly, are we not hearing about investments in jobs, education, stimulus packages?

Why is there no mention of the government giving tax-breaks to businesses who hire new staff, setting up initiatives for them to snap up new graduates or giving people the means to start up small businesses or training so they have better chance of employment when the tide of recession recedes?

We, more than ever before, need a new government with fresh ideas and a point to prove. Brian Cowen, for all his glorious attributes, IS NOT a leader, Fianna Fail are stale and fear that changing anything will upset the Galway Races Tent crowd and would be a sign of weakness. It’s terribly frustrating for every single one of us, immigration is slowly becoming more and more attractive to the future of this country, the young, the educated, the optimistic and the ambitious. The lack of options means there is only one option, action, not by the government because that is not going to happen but by us, the people of this land, only then will things start to get better. If for no other reason than the fact that people will believe it will.

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Net Culture

Net culture- The net culture that seems to be prevailing in the 21st century is one of community, although to me this seems to be a shallow community based on phatic communication. The most popular activities gravitate towards egotistical and simplistic as opposed to useful endeavours, which they could, and ought to, be.

‘Facebook’ is the go to site for most internet users between 16 and 25 for example. This is a site based on futile games and intricate details of people’s lives, including photos, insignificant thoughts. The thing that annoys me about this is that it never goes anywhere, instead of having useful discussions and exchanging of ideas, people choose to inform their “friends” of what a good night they had, how drunk they got the night before and other such inane subjects. People are more worried about how popular they appear or how interesting their life seems on sites like this.

Maybe the net is a reflection of the culture that already exists in every-day life but in my opinion it is just making it worse, why go meet a friend when you can chat to a “friend” on facebook or follow Ashton Kutcher on ‘Twitter’. To an extent there is no harm in social networking but when it becomes the focal point of anybody’s social life that’s when it becomes a problem.

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