Features Of Genre-Style Functioning Of New Media

Abstract

The article is devoted to the functioning of modern media - collective communities, content platforms, which are aggregators of information posted and moderated by the user community. Such content platforms go back to thematic forums, and their main feature is the regulation of information by many users with minimal centralized moderation, removing only posts that violate the law. A paradoxical feature of such communities is their identification through a small number of users as a closed society and at the same time, gradual self-destruction under the influence of popularity. The more new users enter the community, the less its elitism becomes, and the more diverse information is posted in the news feed. Often this results in a split in the community, a variety of user riots, cloning of the corresponding aggregator platform, etc. At the same time, multi-user aggregator platforms interact with television, the press, radio, generate news content, can become the starting point of the information wave, join with it secondary reaction and lead to further wide discussion of any informational occasion. The self-regulation of communities of this type resembles the self-regulation of a natural language system - unlike an artificial one, a natural language with the help of a large number of members of the language collective itself saves or rejects changes.

Keywords: Aggregatorscontent platformsmedianew media

Introduction

New media should include, first of all, convergent mass media combining various ways of presenting information - text, video, audio, etc. Many mass media retain their traditional form, continuing to produce, for example, a paper newspaper and at the same time developing its converged site. The processes that occur in modern media directly affect the genre and stylistic presentation of information, the ways of its perception and storage, the attitude of direct consumers of information content to it.

Problem Statement

The problem of this study is to consider the “collective converged media” - a portal that allows users to freely generate content of any type (video, audio, texts, mixed versions) and comment on the content of other users.

Research Questions

This study addresses the following issues:

Genesis and development paradoxes of multi-user platforms - information aggregators;

The interaction of content platforms on which information is moderated by users themselves, with other types of media;

Studying the mechanism of regulation of information by users, its advantages and disadvantages compared to other content selection systems.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to raise the question of new media created and implemented by users, as well as the moment of their “opening” - the expansion of the community leads to the destruction of the idea as such. This implies the formulation of the following tasks:

1) Identification of features of multi-user content aggregators as a new type of media;

2) A description of the interaction of such communities with other types of media;

3) Consideration of the mechanism of self-regulation of content and its popularity depending on the composition of the community.

Research Methods

The study uses the method of contextual analysis of the content of new media in comparison with the traditional genre and style approach to media content.

Findings

The trend towards multimedia and multitasking media has been noted by researchers since the end of the 2000s: “A television talk show on the Internet, placed on a multi-screen and supported by the blog of a television network host, multimedia articles with audio and video clips, contextual links, infographics, 3D animation - it is already a reality” (Kachkaeva, 2010, p. 4). Along with the traditional mass media that existed in the pre-convergent era, new media are actively formed and developed that have never had an offline version.

One of the types of such media should be considered multi-user portals, such as the Reddit portal on the English Internet or Pikabu in RuNet, in which the principle of operation resembles social networks: everyone can register using e-mail or social networks, then any user can post any content undergoing preliminary moderation, but not limited to any topic (except for censorship).

Tyutyunova (2019) explored every concept as follows: In March 2019, the Pikabu audience, according to SimilarWeb, amounted to 32.5 million unique visitors, and in 2018, more than 426 thousand new users registered on the site. By popularity, the site takes 36th place in Russia and 502th place in the world. But ten years ago, “Pikabu” began with just ten accounts that Khryashchev opened himself (para 1).

After pre-moderation, the content posted by users begins to be filtered by the user community itself: each person who has a registered account on the site can put “pros” and “cons”, thereby “raising” or “hiding” content posted by other users. “Pikabu is a portal where anyone can post content in any form: text, video, photo. Other users expose the material to “plus” or “minus” and thus advance it in the feed of the site up or down, respectively” (Karasev, 2018, para 7).

You can search for content by tags, titles and various thematic communities dedicated to various areas of life. Sites of this type, called user communities, are in fact aggregators – the “assembly point” of content, a platform on which anyone can place anything. Today, most of these platforms have social media accounts, mobile applications, collaborate with advertisers and are constantly developing, trying to respond to user needs and feedback (Koryagina & Kravchenko, 2019; Svitich, 2016; Valger & Vezner, 2017).

In the Law on Mass Media, as amended on March 1, 2020, the signs of mass media are considered to be “a periodical print publication, network publication, television channel, radio channel, television program, radio program, video program, newsreel program, another form of periodic distribution of mass media under a permanent name (name )” (Russian Federation Law N 2124-1, 2020). In this interpretation, multi-user aggregator portals are precisely the medium of mass communication: they observe both the frequency and mass distribution of content, and have their own name.

In this case, the studied content platforms cannot be equated with social networks for a number of reasons: first of all, the principle of showing publications and selecting material in them is different. The social network assumes that the user subscribes to the accounts of other users and, depending on the network’s policy, sees either only the content of those to whom he is subscribed, or the content to which those who are subscribed to react to (Anokhov, 2017). Aggregate sites use a self-regulatory system: by default, the issuance of posts in a feed does not depend on the user's initial subscriptions (aggregator content can be read without being registered - having accounts gives you the right to post, and their consumption is unlimited), but on the reaction to these Posts by other users.

Secondly, the social network in many respects stimulates the placement of content that does not have the status of any bright news or info feed: many users take pictures and comment in text format on their daily ordinary life, pointing to events that are such on the scale of their life, but not at all community-wide - gift, family celebration, cooked food, etc. (Kaminskaya, 2017). Aggregate sites encourage publications that have a slightly different message: a person talks about his daily life not as such, for example, but showing the everyday life of his work for those who are interested, or talking about the details of his hobby. Multi-user communities - content aggregators refract the person’s online identity: if, for example, the owner of a purebred dog posts social photos on dog shows, beautiful photos of dogs, etc., positioning them simply as a fact, then interest will be aroused in multi-user content communities rather, a longrid with stories about the features of the breed, exhibitions, etc.

Users really feel like a kind of club, periodically uniting and supporting each other. A unique feature of such communities, for example, is the “wave of posts” system that is widespread in them: for example, one user shares a story from his life, which ultimately provokes a rise in interest in the topic, and other users also begin to share relevant stories (Redditors shared that they know about their jobs that they should not know, 2019).

The system of the aggregator site is developing, thus, relying on the multi-user community, which ultimately leads to its auto-moderation. This situation can be compared with the self-regulation of the natural language system (as opposed to the artificial) - any natural language that has many speakers (for example, such as English) is automatically regulated by a multi-user system - a large collective of speakers. Artificial languages - such as Esperanto, Volapuk and others - could not realize the task entrusted to them by the creators: to become a world language that abolishes misunderstandings, ambiguities and the need for translation of texts. Despite a certain upsurge in interest in these languages, at some point in their existence and development – state and social support — they, nevertheless, were unable to assume the functions that English actually performs today, in most cases used as the language of international communication (despite the numerous inconsistencies in it, exceptions to the rules, etc.) (Grigorenko, 2016; Ogleznev, 2018; Vetchinova, 2019). The reason for the success of a natural language compared to an artificial one is its multi-user functioning. Numerous new units constantly appear in the language – occasionalisms, borrowing, etc. – however, the natural “moderation” of the system eliminates some innovations and skips further others – as a result, the language saves only the most convenient and necessary units, regulating itself automatically.

A similar system operates on aggregator portals, however, not without failures: as in any community, interpersonal conflicts erupt, and some users “pass over” the posts of a particular account because of its enmity with any other user (Karpikova & Artamonova, 2018). Mass moderation of posts partially mitigates this phenomenon, although a revolt erupts periodically in content communities: users urge to promote or, on the contrary, deprive the rating of certain posts.

Such portals interact with traditional media - for example, topics raised in threads or videos taken by portal activists periodically appear in newspapers and on television (Sukhodolov & Anokhov, 2019).

Kapkan (2013) explored every concept as follows: So, for example, one of the users of the Pikabu portal “through Pikabu” spoke about fraudsters in the Belaya Dacha shopping center, which caused a wide resonance both at Pikabu and in his place of residence. His story was covered in the media, and he himself was shown on TV, where he was interviewed. He says that the case files use screenshots of comments on his posts on Pikabu. (para 11)

Polonnikova (2018) explored every concept as follows the topic of such a cross-posting with other media is not necessarily revealing - it can be, for example, just a photograph: A halo is an optical phenomenon in the form of a luminous ring around a light source. A halo usually appears around the Sun and Moon, sometimes around other powerful light sources, such as street lights. In the village of Krasny Yar near Novosibirsk, Novosibirsk was able to remove such a phenomenon, which immediately posted a spectacular photo on the Pikabu website, providing it with a comment “Halo and Krasny Yar. Without processing it was not so atmospheric, I had to politerum. (para 1)

It should be noted that a periodic community’s appeal to the “community power” is also a unique feature of such communities: a user places a post asking for help in some difficult life situation: they seek specialist advice, periodically ask them to find / deliver the necessary document or medicine and so on. In general, most users respond positively to requests of this type, and at the same time, these posts often provoke a kind of investigation: other users they try to establish by new methods whether the written in the post corresponds to the truth.

The paradoxical property of such portals (except for Reddit and Pikabu, they can also include communities like “Dvach”, “Yaplakal”, etc.) is their self-destruction under the influence of popularity. Initially, the portal is formed as a narrow circle of “initiates”, people with similar interests, going back to a thematic community or forum (the beginning of the “Pikabu” portal, as its creator (Karasev, 2018) reports, was his interaction with other Internet users on the issue of music: first asking users a question, he discovered how diverse and self-organizing a multi-user community can be. They talked about the phenomenon of self-destruction in 2019, and a comment by one of the users published in the media clearly reflects that the principle of fully user moderation is the key to this type of media. The more the user community expands, the more the idea of the portal’s uniqueness is destroyed, and new users fill it with interesting information for them, ignoring the “traditions” that have developed in the previous community. In this case, it will also be appropriate to compare with the development of the natural language - its development by a large number of new speakers (for example, the widespread study of English by people who are not its native speakers) leads to the inevitable simplification of the system, since the linguistic collective is filled with new members, which due to features cannot understand all the subtleties of the grammar or vocabulary of the language and reduce it only to the set of tools used in direct communication. Relatively speaking, a person learning English in order to conduct business and ensure business negotiations is unlikely to read English fiction or learn archaic vocabulary: he is not interested in this. The rush to the network team of a large number of users also leads to its reorientation to other goals: the mass nature of the semiotic system automatically creates its regulation.

Conclusion

An analysis of the specifics of modern converged-format media has revealed a specific type of media that has formed and is developing with the mass development and spread of the Internet. This new type of media is a multi-user site - a content aggregator, which has a number of features that distinguish it from other online communities and from social networks. These features include: (1) a system of automatic moderation of content by users, minimally limited by administration (content is deleted by moderators due to violation of law or plagiarism, the rest of the posts are posted in the feed and are available to all users, including unregistered ones; (2) Possibility of “offline interaction” between users: with certain information leads, users join together and conduct investigations, help other users, take some actions in reality;

The self-destruction of such a community under the influence of a large influx of users, as we see it, is embedded in the very idea of a community moderated by the users themselves. With a large influx of people placing posts, the appearance of posts that violate the law, provocative, and also simply not true, is inevitable. This forces the portal owners to tighten the rules of pre-moderation, which, in turn, destroys the very idea of free placement on the aggregator platform of any content.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

27.05.2021

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.02.140

Online ISSN

2357-1330