I love the Disney parks. I went to Disney World this summer and had a great time. However, it’s really interesting to see what the parks were like back in the 1950’s when they were opened. They moved around the parks in a variety of ways, but it is interesting how they are all supposed to be transportation technologies of the past, such as the horse-drawn carriages, riverboats, and trains. It makes me think about the futuristic monorail they installed in Disney World in the 1960’s. Disney was always on the cutting edge of using transportation around the parks as a major attraction of the parks itself.
Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding isn’t a very popular idea in our society. Regular people never seem to want to give up their money or ideas without getting something in return. When sites like Kickstarter start guaranteeing a free product when backing a project, it does seem more like a preorder instead of a contribution to the manufacturing process. People just aren’t comfortable with the idea of contributing something with the risk of not getting anything back.
Crowd-sourcing is a under utilized tool of the current time period. It is starting to gain popularity, though, which is a good thing. One of the best examples of crowd-sourcing I can think of is Ubuntu. This is an open source operating system that is now in it's 12th version. This OS is Unix based, and is completely free. The reason why they are able to give away the operating system for free is because it is open source. This means that anyone in the world can submit updates to the administrators, then they decide whether or not the submissions will be sent out as an update. If the trend of crowd-sourcing continues to rise, I bet the cost of production of many of our technologies significantly decreases.
I liked watching the video on how Disney Land looked soon after its creation. While I know the parks have been updated extensively, it’s interesting to take a look at how it began as such a transportation- and fictionalized-history-centric park, and how vestiges of that still exist within the parks today. For instance, I’ve ridden on the steamboat that goes to Tom Sawyer’s island, and I’ve gone on the rail ride through the mountains. But it really took looking at an aerial view of the entire park to get an idea of how the entire park is completely spotted with boats, canoes, horse-drawn carriages, cars, trains, and street cars. Not only is transportation a major theme for making your way across the park, but the rides are also usually transportation heavy, whether it is riding in a pontoon through the Animal Kingdom or taking the space ride through the dark mountain. I think that park really brings up good questions about nostalgia and fictionalizing history. For instance, how should we take the fact that the original Disney Land had an Indian section with teepees? While it might seem like a romantic and magical way of viewing the past, Disney Land brushes over the negative impacts of the technologies and the historical events that they put into motion.
I never knew Disneyland was so intricate and had so much variety! I've never been to Disneyland or Disney World or really any other theme park like that. But I had no clue there was different "towns" and places like Frontierland. When the video started and they talked about the trains and the sightseeing trip, I thought, why wouldn't you just walk? But I can see the appeal of using trains and other transportation. First of all, it sets the mood. If you're riding in a horse drawn carriage, it helps everything else seem more realistic. I found the boat rides, and especially the option to canoe, really cool. I'm actually jealous that I've never been, although of course it's probably a little different now. Isn't this where Harry Potter world is? Because that's my dream.
But the point of this is to examine the use of transportation technology. It's interesting how it can be used for a very functional purpose, and then for pure entertainment. I think they used it to their advantage though, because they made the different methods of transportation an attraction in addition to the different "lands" and "towns." I also thought it was interesting how the video said the park and transportation was planned to keep walking at a minimum. People want to have an enjoyable time, and for a lot of people, walking all day doesn't sound like much fun.
Crowdsourcing is something I just learned about this semester, and still don't have much information on. I enjoyed the articles because they helped me understand a little more, but I'm excited for the presentation.
Disneyland (and Disney World) was and is a place filled with unbridled American nostalgia and pride. I found watching the video to be very enjoyable, both as a lover of Disney parks and as someone interested in lifestyles and cultures of the past. With regards to transportation within the park, one quote from the video stood out to me: “Although Disneyland covers many acres, it’s been planned to keep walking at a minimum” (at 20:55). When I heard this, I was reminded of the Abbey reading we discussed on national parks. The creators of Disneyland, much like the powers-that-be of national parks, obviously saw transportation as a key to success. The less time people spend walking somewhere, the more time they spend enjoying attractions. One thing I found interesting is how Disneyland incorporated many of the transportation methods we discussed in class this semester: steam boats, trains, street cars, automobiles. Each method had an air of nostalgia to it, which made me think back to David Nye’s writings on nostalgia narratives. I wonder what methods of transportation will be seen as nostalgic attractions at the Disneyland of the future?
The crowdsourcing/crowdfunding readings were also interesting. I found the section about stock photo sites impacting professional photographers rather eye-opening. I didn’t realize how much the websites undercut the rates of professional photographers. Overall, I’d say that while crowdsourcing can be good for simple tasks and people on a tight budget, it’s important to remember that sometimes the simplest or cheapest solution isn’t always the best solution to a problem or need. We mustn’t become so focused on the bottom line that we forget the value of hard work and skill.
Taking a look at the transportation in Disneyland, I couldn't help but in a judging way think, "Thank goodness no one has to walk anywhere..." In a place of so much consumption as Disneyland is, I find it a little ridiculous that the consumers of this entertainment need even their transportation to be amusing to them is a little silly to me. But a super cool topic to look into.
With crowdfunding, I think it's a super cool concept. The use of products to be given when a certain amount is given is a fantastic idea. It is using the consumer society that we live in for positive causes. This model reminds me of another model that I find very inspiring, Finnegan's beer. A for profit company that uses all of their profits to go towards the very positive cause of feeding people in need. I do not see an issue with using something that people want to gain capital for something good. If crowdfunding becomes a space for people to online shop, so be it as long as the money is going somewhere good.
I think crowdfunding is a really interesting technology that is gaining a lot of popularity. I had actually just heard about kickstarter the end of last year. I think it's a great idea to have people fund new ideas for projects, especially because many of the greatest inventions today needed a little "kick" to get the start they needed. I saw a project for a 3D pen that was funded through the kickstarter website. It's one of the coolest things I have ever seen, but the guys who invented it did not have nearly enough money to fund the project on their own. They also didn't know if there was a market for it. Within 5 hours of posting their project, they raised over 2 million dollars and their pen became a huge success. However, it is still relatively new and the public doesn't quite seem to fully understand what it is. People seem to think that when they fund a project, they are automatically going to receive the finished product. When they don't, they become upset and may then refuse to fund further projects. I think this may soon be the downfall of the website, and a new idea will have to come into play.
I found the article "Kickstarter is not a store, except when it is" particularly interesting because I have always been a lurker on kickstarter. As a long time Veronica Mars fan, I almost donated for the first time to help fund the project. And I understand why the founders are frustrated. When I was considering donating money, I saw it as both a transactional process - where I was receiving a good for my money, but also as just simply putting money towards a project I wanted to see succeed. But when weighing the two sides, I believe it was the transactional nature that was more persuasive. I remember thinking, "if I donate this much it is only a couple more dollars than going to the theater and I can watch it from home" (for a certain dollar amount the project was promising a digital copy within days of the movie's release). What ultimately stopped me from donating though was that the project no longer "needed" my money. Within the first day of funding (which I believe they gave the project a funding deadline of 1 or 2 months), it had already acquired its goal amount.
I loved watching the Disneyland youtube video. I felt like I was taken back to the 50's as an actual visitor. I for sure like the look of it back then they I do now. I have been to Disneyworld and loved it. I was obsessed with Cinderella and I was so excited to go there and see her. I remember riding the tower of terror and being so scared I started crying. I think the fact that they wanted to keep walking to a minimum was strange, but also fun for people to be riding around on a trolley or horse and carriage. I think it was more of a way to incorporate people as part of the park. I've never been to Disneyland but would like to go someday to compare the two.
As for the crowd sourcing/crowdfunding topic, I had heard of it before, but I really did not know what it was and I had never heard of Kickstarter before. I think if more people were educated about crowdfunding they may be more inclined to use it. I think it will still be a while before the idea becomes completely penetrated into our society.
The numerous different modes of transportation available for guests of Disneyland are quite astounding. To be able to ride on animals, double-decker buses, stagecoaches, horse-drawn streetcars, canoes, steamboats, trains, keel-boats, as well as cars and carts, allows for a lot of new experiences along with the chance to see much more of the park than otherwise might be possible. It is somewhat ridiculous that everyone would need all manners of travel in order to get around the park, but it is quite a large attraction. The convenience, as usual, is what has caused the technology to be put to use.
This page contains a single entry by Capper Nichols published on April 23, 2013 7:30 PM.
"Facebook and the Imperative of Sharing" - Jose Van Dijck; "Anti-social Networking?" was the previous entry in this blog.
"The Serfdom of Crowds" - Jaron Lanier; "Liking is for Cowards. Go For What Hurts." - J Franzen is the next entry in this blog.
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