Group 11 Surveillance Proposal

For our group’s topic, we will be talking about surveillance in new media: how it is portrayed in Pretty Little Liars (PLL) and how that portrayal represents the literal surveillance of the US Government. In the era of new media, information is something that goes hand in hand with technology. Data can now be stored easily and accessed through a variety of ways because of advances in computer technology. In his article “Surveillance in the Digital Enclosure,” Mark Andrejevic talks about how “clouds” and other forms of “always-on connectivity,” may hinder technology users in certain ways, he believes “The implication of course [of Cloud technology], is that resource ownership no longer matters” (Andrejevic 6). This not only implicates a large network of easily accessible data, but also a massive amount of data collecting, which can be very harmful to digital culture adherents. Who owns certain types of media in PLL is a major factor in who is able to gain the upper hand. The surveilling character of “A” always has the upper hand because he/she has more “dirt”, for lack of a better word, on the main characters that he/she has obtained digitally.

Andrejevic writes about this in his article, speaking about those in control of cloud networks, stating: “If proposed enclosures like Google’s Wifi network facilitate information gathering, they also enable unprecedented levels of data control”(Andrejevic 4). PLL effectively encompasses this concept throughout the series, portraying the harsh reality of data gathering and control by characterizing “A” as someone who has access to extremely secretive information and uses it as a fear tactic. This information gathering is done through a myriad of outlets (social media, computer files, documents, etc.). The character “A” represents an idea that every digital culture participant should be aware of: surveillance is something that becomes increasingly more abundant as technology and new media progress.

We will be making a remix video containing different clips from PLL that help to reveal the clandestine and oftenness of surveillance. The thesis of the video post will be focused on how underestimated surveillance can be. Surveillance is much more dangerous now, in the age of new media, because of its easy accessibility due to large networks like social media, cloud networks, and computer hacking.


This looks good,maybe add something about how surveillance in the real world has been culturally accepted as being a necessary component in our everyday life and the idea that you are always being surveillanced by someone or something. The connection that the show makes of the surveillance and culture is also that it is everyone and can’t be stopped. It also represents the idea of surveillance being anonymous, so the girls never know who’s watching them either.

The above clip recaps every episode of season 1. In season 1 the girls think Tobi is A. The following time slots show clips of him possibly being A: 5:26-5:35, 6:30-6:35 and 6:40-6:43

The ending of this video shows an example of how surveillance is used during the show through threatening text messages. The clip for that is in time slot 9:49-9:50

The above clip shows a variety of scenes where the show uses surveillance and easily compares to how it’s used in todays culture

  • 00:01-00:26 shows A (surveillance) having access to personal computer files
  • 1:00-1:07 shows A paying for a ring at a pawn shop in order to blackmail the girls and gain more leverage over them. This can symbolize the power that A (surveillance) has and that it’s all centered around money

Lost and the Use of Transmedia Storytelling

            As society becomes more networked and technologically advanced, it forces those in the entertainment industry to market their ideas in a completely revolutionary way. One direct example of this is the event of transmedia storytelling. In an online article written by Henry Jenkins, entitled “Transmedia Storytelling 101,” he defines transmedia storytelling as “a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience,” It is basically the idea of creating your product (TV show, movie, comic book, etc.) and using different forms of media extensions of the product in order to elaborate more on the original story and to create a unique, personal narrative for audience members.   

            ABC’s Lost was a perfect example of a TV show that used transmedia storytelling to extend the narrative of their show. Lost used many different devices to do this including: mini webisodes, maps, blogs, reference sites, and even a Lost video game. I would like to focus on the Lost: Via Domus video game because it does an excellent job at utilizing the multiform story and also exemplifies the concept of world-building, two key elements in transmedia storytelling.


     The idea of the multiform story is telling the same story through perspectives of different characters. Lost, the TV show, has already done an excellent job at fulfilling this by using every episode to focus on a different character and their perspectives. Lost: Via Domus even takes this a step further, creating a new character that never appeared in the series for you to use to interact with the original characters and landscape from Lost. This character even has his own back-story, never mentioned in the show, which fits directly into the plot of the TV series. This idea of creating an extraneous character that an audience member can use to interact with the setting of a TV series is transmedia storytelling exemplified and also plays into the idea of world-building. This is the idea that the series does not rely heavily on specific characters or plots but rather on complex fictional worlds that can revolve around many different plots and characters.

            Clearly, transmedia storytelling is something that will become more and more apparent as we delve further into the technological age, and will be a new way for entertainment companies to market their fan base and create landmark series with cult followings. Shows like Lost seem to have perfected the current concept of transmedia storytelling and will set a precedent for future media to follow and embellish the ideas expressed by the creators of Lost through their multiple media platforms.


Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. March 22nd 2007. Web.<>.


“Lost: Via Domus.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Jan. 2014. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.


Collective Intelligence and Wikipedia

As a worker at a brewery, I am constantly learning new things about beer. One thing that is almost undeniable in the current beer world is the popularity of the India Pale Ale. Because of the informal standards and information gathering revolving around beer, many different people have many different things to say about styles of beer and the differences between them. These informalities causing dissention in the beer world can even be made apparent when looking at the Wikipedia page for India Pale Ale.

Image In an article written by Henry Jenkins entitled “Confessions of an Aca-Fan,” Wikipedia is viewed critically mostly because of the discord it has created in the world of academia. Mr. Jenkins however, speaks with a more hopeful tone when speaking about the reliability of Wikipedia. He believes that, instead of “outlawing” the use of Wikipedia for students in classrooms, teachers should demonstrate the ability to critically assess where the information is coming from to their students (Jenkins). This goes for sites like Wikipedia as well as more traditional forms of research; it is extremely important to understand where your data is coming from (Jenkins). He brings up the idea of collective intelligence, or the concept of a group pooling ideas and information for a common goal, and in my opinion, I agree that Wikipedia is a form of successful collective intelligence. Henry Jenkins phrased it eloquently, stating that Wikipedia should be viewed more a work in progress, not a finished product (Jenkins).


Fortunately, Wikipedia has tools that the average user can utilize in order to scrutinize when and from whom certain page’s information is being transmitted. The Wikipedia page for India Pale Ale even has statistics for any revisions made in the page’s history, beginning with the page’s inception. These tools are extremely useful when critically inspect the page’s information sources. As noted by the screenshot, the Wikipedia page for India Pale Ale has an average time of 3.87 days between edits, meaning that information is constantly being updated to the page. It also states that only about 40% of the page’s edits are made by the top 10% most active users on the page, meaning that new people are constantly making additions to the page. Another interesting statistic is the amount of major and minor edits made to the page. It declares that 77.6% of the edits made to the page are major edits implying that the information contained on the page is constantly being altered in substantial amounts because of an uncertainty of information. This page just displays the inner workings of one page on Wikipedia; every page is completely different, making it almost too easy to see that Wikipedia is clearly the crux of some form of collective intelligence of the modern period.

As someone who has a deep interest and informed position on styles of beer, the Wikipedia page seems to be quite accurate: however, if I were in need of precise India Pale Ale data, I would most likely not use the Wikipedia page. This does not mean I do not agree with Mr. Jenkins and his article, I believe he made an extremely important point. Without critically questioning your data and where it comes from you are just blindly following information.

Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies (Part Two)” Confessions of an Aca-Fan. 26 June 2007 Web. 13 Feb. 2014.

Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies (Part One)” Confessions of an Aca-Fan., 26 June 2007. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.

India Pale Ale. (2014, February 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:41, February 17, 2014, from