Power of Participation

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So remember my post entitled “From World Book to Wikipedia“, well I have decided to do another posting of that nature , but an entry associated with pop culture. I  have decided to choose an entry that most of today’s youth can relate to which is Dewayne M. Carter most commonly known as  Lil’ Wayne. Now I can’t believe it myself, but Lil Wayne has more information written and edited on his life than bell hooks. Don’t get me wrong I am not here to be little anyone no matter their profession or contribution to society, but I find it strange that Lil Wayne’s  album The Carter III  is so detailed and bell hooks can’t even get some recognition. Well let me put it this way as successful as she is as a writer, speaker, feminist and influences she has had on many scholars you think her entry would be as much as his in length  #ijs.

The purpose of  me deciding to even investigate Lil’ Wayne is to illustrate the shift of  media, popularity, and the power of participation among many social networks. As a disclaimer this is not to judge any individuals values or preferences, but it is apparent that the youth follow popularity and relevance. Lil’ Wayne is a walking billboard, I aint even mad at him. However, he is a model some youth idolize because of his distinct fashion and lyrical style– it is exceptional, the lyrics I mean. Granted that Mr. Carter isn’t who we would want our daughters to date or sons to befriend, but his pun with words is uncanning. The metaphors and other figurative language he uses to describe countless experiences he has undergone.  Lil’ Wayne continues to top the charts with hit records and wanders farther enough to be everyone’s peripheral.

While our youth fantasize about tinted Maybachs, Rozay filled glasses, and swimming in money and diamonds, individuals like bell hooks, Cornell West, Michael Eric Dyson, Angela Davis, and others must remain relevant to continue to educate, motivate, and inspire those of tomorrow’s future. It is not a matter of hip-hop has taken over rather those individuals understand the know-how of social mediums, branding, and self-image. As educators we must make these influential people as relevant as Jay Z, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Justin Beiber, and Kate Perry. We cannot look for the celebrities to highlight these individuals in the media, but we (the masses) have to show our dedication to these individuals to place them on the same hall with the popular crowd. 

Howard Rheingold discusses the use of the power of participation among social sites such Facebook, Twitter, Scoop It, and any other site that are remixed versions of the above sites.  These sites and celebrities rely on the general public to stay afloat, popular I meant. We have to  be mindful that we are curators (meaning we manage and determine) the relevance of particular individuals and trending topics. As a final note  I will leave you with a quote by Ghandi “Be that change you wish to see in the world”.

Please feel free to comment, provide advice and links to great websites.


Here is a book by Howard Rheingold, great book and interesting concepts. 

Rheingold, Howard, (2012)  Net Smart: How to thrive online. Cambridge:MIT Press

Time Magazine: 100 Most Influential People In The World

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