Whether you're watching "Breaking Bad" or "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," the characters we connect with and stories we follow on these shows shape how we see ourselves and the society we inhabit: Just the act of watching TV impacts who we are. You've probably heard television called "the opiate of the masses," and in some ways that can be true.
Digital platforms have been growing stronger throughout the last decade, facilitating the exchange of information. Online content has undergone a transformation from being a source of raw data to also becoming an interactive tool, enabling the public to collaborate on projects through the exchange of knowledge and opinions.
As a result, consumers of information have now also become producers of information. People with common interests organise online groups and societies in which every participant can contribute by using social tools such as social networks, videos, blogs and photo-blogging to establish common ground.
The Internet enables any person to influence public opinion, creating inclusiveness and a new dimension for public relations. Social media has established new ways of communicating and creating perceptions between businesses and consumers, organisations and their audiences, political offices and their electorate.
Though in Kazakhstan the development of online platforms began comparatively recently, they have already achieved some success. If in the past locals were turning to Russian and European platforms, now both the quality and quantity of national products have improved.
The first pages of these platforms cover issues of poverty, adoption, design, current events, trip reports and more. This kaleidoscope of themes was created by users themselves and each topic will find its audience.
The other famous platform is Voxpopuli www. Great pictures depict hidden fears and obscure issues, and at the same time show beautiful captured moments. On this platform, photos give the audience a chance to form personal opinions based on what they see.
Among the newcomers to this online world is Blogbasta www. And, most certainly, the people in Kazakhstan has taken to globally and regionally popular social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Moi Mir and others.
At that, the Kazakh-speaking ones, i. Of course, to attract audience attention, websites tend to raise issues of widespread concern. Our perception of the world is based on the information we obtain.
The media provide us with news of events happening beyond our immediate surroundings and though situations around the world are touched upon, the topics shown are chosen by editors. Media and public opinion have always been connected, as the media play a significant role in mass communication and reflect issues of the greatest concern to a particular society.
With the increasing role of the media in shaping public opinion, it has become more commercialised on one side and has experienced more limitations and restrictions on the other.
Raw information evolves into perceptions based on that information. Thus any opinion formed on the basis of a news outlet could be considered as having been shaped under the influence of external sources.
Public opinion is a question to be explored. In sum, it could be defined as ideological consent, where the opinion of the majority is dominant and leading so as to influence that of the community in which it exists.
With social media, persuading the public and influencing opinions have become more achievable and, yet, more uncontrollable. Content presented through social media does not have to have approval to be published, which is positive in the sense that it can contravene censorship and control.
On the other hand, this freedom creates new issues for the governmental affairs area of public relations. Social media platforms have thus become autonomous participants in building and influencing democratic societies.
Everyone can be engaged in the decision-making process. Digitalised communication has made the management of organisations and institutions more transparent. It has personalised the images of companies and governments and created new, more human, participative and socially directed images for them.
Now, almost all ministries and agencies have websites. President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Presidential Administration provide data on decrees, meetings, and other important activities of the president at www.
One of the most popular governmental websites is www.
Previously, governments and their agencies have used digital technologies like websites to provide information about themselves. With time, governmental websites evolved from being online news services and data providers to becoming sources with active content supplemented by podcasts and real-time data.
In sum, online services created what is now called e-government. With growing social media consumption, e-governments enhanced their communication with the public through blogs, social networks and other online software. Another positive development is the existence of personal blogs by governmental officials, first implemented by former Prime Minister Karim Massimov who now serves as chief of staff to the Presidentwhose blog received widespread support and penetration.
Now, when citizens have issues or concerns, they have a way of contacting the responsible official directly. This kind of direct contact can help society in various ways: All in all, social media create new virtual worlds and new realities in all aspects of social life.
These are new realities of ever-changing opinions, realities no one can fully control, realities demanding continuous online presence to respond adequately.
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