Facebook has become a vehicle where anyone can publish their own content for any purpose, making it a key example of ‘produsage’. This particular Facebook wall post serves as an advocacy campaign for 13 year old terminal brain cancer sufferer, Erin Griffin. The Post was uploaded on March 9, 2014 to the ‘Ellen Degeneres Show’ page and since has received 39 likes, 14 shares and 6 comments in support of the bid to fly Erin to America to meet the talk show host as well as Erin’s idol Katy Perry.
Being found on a public media platform enables this text to have a potential global audience. The public forum of Facebook involves methods of sharing, commenting and liking similar posts which all provide the text with more exposure. It takes full advantage of the idea, mass media for a mass audience.
Although Griffin uses direct language as though writing a personal letter to the ‘Ellen Show’ a wider, public audience who access the site are recognised as the target audience and directed to take action. This explains why the text is a public post and not a personal message to the site. Audience comments show repetition of the phrase “I hope Erin gets her wish” indicating they are interpreting the text positively and with empathy towards Griffin and her cause.Comments on the related Facebook page, ‘Get Erin to Meet Katy Perry,’ a number of users have posted to the site saying they have sent a message to the Ellen Show demonstrating the purpose of the text is gradually being fulfilled. The use of hypertext throughout the post, directing the audience to other sites such as Grffin’s YouTube Channel and Brain Cancer Awareness Facebook Page, provides the text with another dimension. These links extend the content of the text and therefore readers who click while reading the post are compelled to respond more. Looking at this text, you could ask how has social media and hypertext broadened definitions of media texts and what trends have been set since?
Calling for action, this simple Facebook post takes part in a social media campaign, demonstrating its people power influence! It was produced online and calls on users to upload a similar post in support of Griffin’s cause, therefore making it an appropriate format for this type of media campaign. It is important to note, however, that in the scheme of Facebook 38 likes isn’t very significant. Therefore the text’s purpose must be to compel others to increase the frequency of the message online. Due to the sheer amount of content online could an advocacy post like this become lost and therefore futile?
Perhaps the aim of this text is to extend another related advocacy message. On the image, the Non-Government Organisation ‘The Truth 365’ logo is included. On this organisation’s website it refers to “the social media campaign that gives a voice to kid’s fighting cancer.” Therefore this post is not only a social media campaign in and of itself but takes part in a much larger one too. This calls us to ask how valuable and effective are social media campaigns are and how similar campaigns have panned out in the past?
Thinking critically, we may ask, is Facebook the most appropriate online forum to achieve this kind of awareness? It is a public space, however we can assume that with the large amount of content traffic on this site, could a supportive media campaign be overlooked? On the other hand, by considering Griffin’s use of links and calling the readers to respond by posting something similar is a viable method of compensating for the extent of info uploaded onto the site.