Lab 13


Lab 13a


For this lab, I contributed to the private Facebook group called Dogspotting. My post included a photo of a cute dog and a caption to that specifies where the photo was taken. The piece of writing (or whatever) is consumed by members of this private group on Facebook. The facebook group is private, yet there are 32,000 members. It’s unique simply because a photo of a random dog can be shown to 32,000+ people at one time. Before the digital era, this wouldn’t be possible. Moreover this process is unique because people give or subtract “points” from the photo (for example: “+1 two heads are better than one” / “-1 ‘San Fran’. we don’t call it that”).

The primary modes for this composition are textual and visual. I believe that these modes are equally valued in these posts, even though the main focus of the Facebook group is on the dog in the photo. Firstly, point value takes into account the text and the photo. But the importance of the text captions that accompany the photo is profound. The text specifies the location of the photo– that can span anywhere from Yuendumu, Australia to Sandwich, MA. It also allows the person who posts to convey a persona or at least a witty comment in order to get more likes, comments or points– this was something that I struggled to deliver while posting this post to the Facebook page during class. But for members of Dogspotting, the captions convey cultural references, just as memes do. For example, the caption on one photo is “He thinks he’s people.” To certain consumers, this caption is kind of incoherent. To others, it’s culturally relevant.

I’m interested in how an audience perceives these cultural references, and how that influences the consumers perception of the textual media. How does one’s understanding (or misunderstanding) of these references bleed through into the way they relay text? I think this idea is conveyed clearly through misunderstood memes.

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