Everyday a majority of people awake to the sound of our phone alarm, or alarms, set a few hours before we have to leave for work, class or a meeting. We press snooze a few times before actually getting up to face what we have to do that day. We automatically check various social networks and past text messages from while we were asleep. We use electronic calendars to keep important dates and we barely watch TV for news. We get everything from our phones, tablets, phablets, and laptops. We don’t sit down and have coffee with the morning paper. We rush out the door with Starbucks in one hand and a mobile device, opened to Zite, in another.
Zite, a personalized magazine app, was founded by Mark Johnson and Mike Klaas and launched in March 2011. Zite is currently owned by CNN in August 2011. 100,000 downloads were achieved during Zite’s first week. The app lets you customize news that would be of interest of you. They stream from multiple websites and come together onto one platform for better reading. The pictures below show what I prefer when it comes to news.
We live in a world where we like to have our choices of designs and colors. Using mobile media apps are even customizable. We can share what we like, what we want, and say what is on our mind through any platform even if we are using the same app. This speaks to identify and how we perceive ourselves. Ganito states, “Colour, expression and space are important aspects of performance as communication and performance as construction of meaning. Thus, mobile acts are also moving acts, that is, they change according to the cultural context of appropriation.” People like to be able to customize their mobile technology to allow it to speak to them.
Breaking news isn’t just limited to journalist and news anchors. Mobile technology has turned everyday citizens into journalist by having access to the Internet and a camera. Instead of turning to the local paper, people can look at multiple sites with the same coverage, different opinions to gather news. Snowden highlights this point in As It Happens. Snowden explains why news is being accessed quicker and published faster than before. The people that are performing as journalists have a way to secure an audience because of technical and qualitative imperfections of user-generated content. Many of the breaking news are not calculated and are merely of someone using the camera or video function on one’s phone or write a post about something that is happening in the moment. This chapter enlightened what mobile media could be used for when it came to the Boxing Day Tsunami. Professional media coverage cannot always be there and using resources of images and videos of citizens while traditional reporting couldn’t be accessed. Goggin wrote about mobile blogging, or moblogging. This combines blogging away from the desk and on the go and connecting mobile users to the world of the Internet on the go. Nokia’s Lifeblog was one thing that created a person’s digital life online.
Zite collects information from various websites based on what a person selects as one’s interest. Popular sites such as CNET, Huffington Post, The New York Times and Salon.com are all under a particular category. Being an iPhone user I would like to know about updates for the device and the Apple brand itself. One of my options for Zite is searching “Apple News” and saving it. I could possibly find everything I need to about Apple from the last few hours.
Choosing Zite to focus on wasn’t a mistake. I could have used Twitter or Tumblr to focus on how people report with their own mind. Instead, Zite shows what people want to see and read about just like Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and any other social networking site, you always pick your own content that speaks to who you are. This is how we identify ourselves. Zite is not just one newspaper but also all of them combined.
Ganito, Carla. (2010). “Women on the move: the mobile phone as a gender technology.” In Comunicação & Cultura, 9, p. 77-88.
Goggin, Gerard. (2006). Cell Phone Culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. London: Routledge. Chapter 3, 41-62.