Reflection … in which I reflect on my blogging experience.

Well, I can’t believe it’s actually come to the end of my blogging portfolio, what can I say? This whole blogging experience has been so fantastic, I’ve developed a real skill for blog writing and a broader way of thinking about topics involving the media which I most likely wouldn’t have even thought about had I not chosen to undertake this course. There would have to be 3 main blog posts, which I think best reflect on the weekly topics from the lecture subjects, which I will give a little evaluation on.

Firstly, my post titled “In the Garden Of Apps”( https://aiyanalevin95.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/in-the-garden-of-apps, which talks about the Android Network versus the Apple Network. I personally think that this blog post gave a detailed comparison of the two networks, describing the idea of ‘open’ and ‘closed’ platforms in which we operate our technological devices, with reference to the emerging technology that I’ve been following, the Samsung Galaxy S4. I believe that I gave a good explanation of the pro’s and con’s of ‘open’ and ‘closed’ sharing networks but perhaps I could have delved a little deeper into the subject. However, I think I met the requirements of the task with this blog post, especially with the use of links to relative articles.

The second blog post I’d like to shed light on is the post titled “Let Me Entertain You” (: https://aiyanalevin95.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/let-me-entertain-you-please/) in which I wrote about the idea of the internet being a ‘dialogic’ media platform and the concept of internet ‘gatekeepers’ or (lack there of). I feel that this post gave a very light-hearted view on the whole concept of sharing via the internet and I think that by using links to online articles on the subject supported my argument sufficiently.

The Final Post is “You’ve read the book, now watch the movie, play the play-station game and eat the branded yoghurt.”(https://aiyanalevin95.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/youve-read-the-book-now-watch-the-movie-play-the-play-station-game-and-eat-the-branded-yoghurt). This post, I found, was a good explanation of the idea of transmedia narratives and I think that I used some good examples and links to support my argument. And let’s be honest, coming up with the title was the most fun part.

i just hate goodbyes!

i just hate goodbyes!

Overall, this blogging experience has been really interesting and rewarding and definitely a skill I hope to use in a future media/communications occupation. Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Australia’s Next Top Troll

In the this technological society that we have become accustomed to, almost anything can be said over social media. There is little or no filter to what can be said, especially on Facebook and Twitter, and whether it be serious, light-hearted or even derogatory, its all being said everyday without any control. Someone will post their opinion on an issue and it’s almost expected that someone else with opposing views will comment on it in a rude or demeaning way. Instead of simple just disagreeing they take it a step further, often using profanities or even racial slurs. They feel the need to comment on other people’s posts in a demeaning manor and to cause an argument. I’m not entirely sure what their intensions are,

There is also and increasing number of incidents in the social media which involve misogyny and cyber-hate. This, to me, is just disgusting! Men putting women down in any context is plain wrong and undoes all the oppression and inequalities that women throughout history have worked together to overcome. From petty name-calling to the case where a male politician “meowed” at Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The concept of “trolling” really doesn’t make sense to me. Why would you bother wasting your time trying to offend other people just because you feel like it? Do these people honestly have nothing better to do? A particular trolling case that caught me attention involved television socialite and judge on Australia’s Next Top Model, Charlotte Dawson and trolls on her Twitter account. The extent to which these individuals abused Dawson over her Twitter account landed her in hospital. Threats such as “stick your head in a toaster” and “you should hang yourself” were made which Dawson just couldn’t take and was admitted to hospital.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrwnBGsyX8o 

This lack of filter to what people can say and the anonymity of the trolls means that anyone can say anything, especially something they wouldn’t say in normal life or to someone’s face. This ultimately can result in an individual seriously harming themselves and in general it just puts people off even using social networking. I know personally if I was ever confronted with an internet troll I’d simply just leave whichever social media site I was on. There’s no point giving the person fuel or attention, they’ll just think that they’re winning and the best thing for them is to get a reaction out of someone else.

Clicktivism.

It kills me inside.

It kills me inside.

If there’s one thing, out of many aspects of Facebook that I cannot stand, it’s Clicktivism; aimless idiots posting pictures of overly edited pictures of starving children or abused animals which have clearly been made to look worse than they actually appear and with no context at all to what the picture is actually about, with such captions as “one like = one prayer” or “like if you care, keep scrolling if you want your mum to die in a pit of fire-breathing orcs” Its just plain, attention-seeking (insert profanity) business which really makes me groan. But the origins of Clicktivism seem to have been skewed a little since its development.

Originally, clicktivism or slacktivism involved modern-day activists of a certain cause, using social media to express the need to support whatever this cause was and to mostly organize and rally protests. These usually involve those involved taking extensive measures in support of an issue or social cause to promote it and make others away, yet they seem to have little or no practical effect on anyone. Instead, they create seemingly meaningless posts on Facebook with no effect on their audience and the cause behind the image that they are presenting is often lost behind meaningless titles and content.

An example of Clicktivism gone wrong, is the infamous #Kony2012 campaign, in which the non for profit organization “Invisible Children” launched a worldwide search for the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Joseph Kony, who is continuing to recruit Northern Ugandan children as soldiers in his army. The organization initially broadcast a short-film in 2012 globally to make everyone aware of Kony so as to make him recognizable. This article by Henry Jenkins describes the repercussions of the campaign in further detail, but in a nutshell, the reception of the video made by Invisible Children wasn’t entirely productive; instead it was widely ridiculed and the message behind the campaign was severely skewed and lost all together even though it’s organisers had only the best intentions.

So it seems that the idea of trying to promote a campaign which is aimed to have positive outcomes, may not always turned out as planned when posted online, preaching to the social media sphere. Perhaps the organisers behind such campaigns should find a more effective way of reaching the general public and try to foresee any problems that may occur through the use of social media.

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle … Remix?

When you take a moment to think of your favourite song, and where it came from, chances are some component of that song came from another song. Today we are living in a free file-sharing and exchanging culture, with the phenomenon of remixes becoming more and more prominent. If you search “remixes” in youtube the results are endless because it is becoming increasingly less-complex to take riffs, lines etc from various songs and create a whole new song.

But isn’t this just stealing? Well not exactly. This is due to the open file-sharing network available to us. There such websites which allow this sharing as Pirate Bay and Napster which allow the creators of media to opening share their work without the constraints of copyright laws. There is also the concept of “produsers” which is the idea that we as active participants in file-sharing are both users and producers of shared content. Axel Bruns describes these ideas in his article in which he outlines justifies the  purpose of produsers and produsage: “the networks are open to participation by anyone with the necessary client software, and are designed to be more efficient at distributing content the more clients are connected and help share content” which makes sense when you think about it, because when push comes to shove, all we really want is to be able to freely access media and in the same respect, those who create some form of media, might also appreciate seeing their work being modified, altered and shared to create a completely new piece of work.

Word.

Word.

 

So, in a way, remixng and mashups and all that jazz, is just a way for an individual produser to share files with others who have the same interests and share the same attitudes towards produsaage, nothing wrong with that is there?

 

You’ve read the book, now watch the movie, play the play-station game and eat the branded yoghurt.

There is an underlying phenomenon that is becoming increasingly popular within industry channels for a specific product; it’s called transmedia narrative.  It involves the dispersal of an individual work of fiction into different channels; books to movies, video games and even food products. The idea is create a wider channel of consumers in order to generate a greater popularity and revenue for the work itself. Henry Jenkins defines this concept in his article“The process of integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.”

Take the Harry Potter saga, for example; it started with a book series, then was produced into films, video games, action figures, the list goes on! This allows for the Harry Potter “brand” to become a widespread phenomenon, broadening the audience over several mediums and creating several different entry points for different audiences globally.

The Harry Potter Saga

The Harry Potter Saga

Another concept that this outlines, is that by creating different mediums of the one narrative, a certain demographic of consumer of a certain medium is drawn to another medium that they aren’t used to or comfortable with and gradually grooms them into becoming completely in love with. For example, an avid reader of the Harry Potter chronicles may never have actually played a play-station game let alone owned a play-station, yet because of its growing popularity and the offer of a completely visual and individual-controlled experience,  this consumer may feel compelled to play the play-station game to broaden their Harry Potter experience. 

I just couldn't resist ...

I just couldn’t resist …

Go ahead, share away!

The Internet is rapidly becoming a platform for just about anyone to share information with the world, enabled by the unlimited access and ability to post material. We as users of the Internet, formerly the viewers/audience are now becoming active participants in the public sphere. There is also the assumption that whatever the news tells us, must be true and the only accurate source. However, the news only gives us a specified, subjective viewpoint of an event; the audience gains confidence from the authoritative news source reporting on current events. But there is an increasing amount of everyday people reporting or documenting breaking news events before the media can reach it.. This concept has been coined the term “citizen journalism” which ranges from an individual blogging or sharing relative issues or news circulating the media, to collaborative blogs, in which a group of individuals can share information with the blogosphere and the world.

Axel Bruns explains this concept in further detail in his article. In which he also states that “its discursive and deliberate and resembles a conversation rather than a lecture” and in this way,  it can be said that the authors of blogs that are considered products of citizen journalism are more appealing in the public sphere; many viewpoints and perspectives are published in order for the audience to deduce their own opinions and reflect on the issues discussed.

Now with this open sharing network comes some criticism; many arguing that citizen journalism and the blogs or information they are sharing can be received as quite un-professional or not as accurate because it is seen as lacking “authority” because its not from a news source, which to me, seems a little judgmental and unfair to me, because the information being shared, say a video for example, may give an insight to the event from an eye-wotness point-of-view, making it seem more authentic then simply words from a news-reporter’s mouth.

The beauty of citizen journalism is that its able to be shaped by others in the public sphere as its a completely open source, which again highlights the idea of collaborative works, which give multiple viewpoints and perspectives on issues circulating the media and as much as we might try and prevent it, it will become as big as mainstream media … or so they say.