Wednesday, September 5, 2012

When Pop Culture & Academia Collide

When Pop Culture & Academia Collide
By: BestCollegesOnline.com


In recent years, there has been a much stronger focus at an academic level when it comes to pop culture. Society now has the ability through television and the internet to not only gawk at the strange things that happen in pop culture but to also interact with it in many ways. Even thePresident of the United States interacts with people online.
This infographic discusses the convergence that’s happening now and will continue to grow as pop culture and our ability to interact with it increases. 
The Obama camp knows social media. They realize that Twitter is big and Facebook is bigger, but Reddit is the place that will generate real voters and get them to the polls in November.
If you’re not familiar with Reddit, you wouldn’t understand. The GOP isn’t familiar with Reddit, so they don’t understand.
The most viral post on Facebook can generate thousands of views, though even well-shared posts have a challenge ever breaking 10,000 referrals to any given piece of content. Every day, posts that hit the front page of Reddit gets hundreds of thousands of referrals. Dozens of posts do that.
Every day.
More importantly, the community on Reddit goes well-beyond friends and family. Twitter does as well but there’s a lot more going out than coming in. Even a heavily-retweeted post has challenges breaking 1000 visitors.
Community is the reason that Reddit is so powerful. Yes, no other site sends traffic to individual  pieces of content than Reddit, but the ability to mobilize and make things happen politically such as the SOPA debacle in the beginning of the year make Reddit a formidable foe or ally, depending on which side of the fence you’re on.
It isn’t that the GOP is completely unaware of Reddit, but they likely feel that Reddit is a place that’s loaded with non-voting college-aged liberals with no chance of getting traction there. This is a huge mistake. Reddit has conservatives. More importantly, Reddit is a voice that respects things that are open and honest more than anything else. An AMA (ask me anything) by Romney would have its share of hecklers but overall as long as the questions were answered properly, it would be a good thing. It would be seen by the independents on the site that are not buying into standard liberal bias on Reddit, the ones who are open minded and willing to listen. 



Pop culture has a reputation of being sneered at by academics, but beyond sneaking a peek at an episode or two of the Bachelor, academia has had a long love affair with pop culture as this infographic by BestCollegesOnline clearly shows. 





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