Reflection.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been discovering some new and interesting things about the media and the myriad issues surrounding it, most of which I’ve converged into a blog for your enjoyment (well, I hope they’ve been enjoyable). The blog posts that I’ve written containing my most personal perspectives into an issue, I feel are the most successful.

Destroy all Trolls, my most recent blog-post, gives an overview of the social climate online and how negative comments and posts are increasingly appearing on online forums and websites. This is an issue that frequently appears in the media (both traditional and social), mainly due to societies growing dissatisfaction for cyber-bullying. I used my personal interactions with cyber-bullying to illustrate to the audience how widespread and unnecessary ‘trolling’ is. I did so with use of a YouTube video which I embedded into the post.

Last week I explored how news is becoming increasingly accessible and easy to personally distribute. Who isn’t a journalist these days? discusses how traditional media outlets are now relying on social media and emerging technologies to bring news stories to wider and diverse audiences. I was able to effectively maintain a relatable tone for readers, using a combination of appropriate jargon and formal language.

My favourite blog to write was definitely R-r-r-r-REMIX! as it enabled me to reveal my keen interest in digital manipulation and indicated the respect I have for artists who can create something unique from an already existing piece of work. I showed how  modern rap artists produced a new creation by taking samples from a previously released song, embedding videos of both songs to give the audience something visually stimulating.

My 3 favourite posts each explore something very different about the state of converging media and stir up dynamic and still ever-changing ideas for me.

I’m getting used to the fact that my opinions are being broadcasted and considered by people and consequently have developed my own style of blogging. The future possibilities for me to share ideas through my blog, makes me excited to continue this learning process.

– Orcadia

 

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Destroy all ‘Trolls’.

I’ve come to realise that whilst the Internet is revolutionary and something that I personally appreciate, it is also a mechanism for people to circulate hate and obscene material. A “Troll” from my experiences online, is someone that, usually out of boredom, comments or posts emotionally damaging, hateful or provocative material to spark a reaction from the online world. The lack of face-to-face communication that the Internet provides makes for a perfect place for trolls to thrive, meaning that physical backlash or retaliation is virtually impossible.

A topic that also came to my attention this week was the misogynistic nature of the online community. Whilst some may make the claim that hatred of females is rife within the cyber world, I would argue that locally and when confined to a specific social media, there are limited cases of this. Personally, it’s only when I venture from the safety of my closed Facebook medium that I realise how widespread ignorance and rudeness really is. Social media allows for us to connect and share in a relatively private forum, with the ability to ‘unfriend’ and ‘block’ troublesome people being used at many people’s discretion. So, for me, its only really when I visit public websites, that I begin to understand how much of an affect, trolling, misogyny and cyber bullying are really having on our society.

I first came to realise this when watching one of my favourite YouTube “comediennes” (make note: she is a woman).  At the end of each satirical vlog ‘Miranda’ addresses her fans and haters in a segment called ‘Fan mail of the day’.

I often think to myself during this segment, “why should an entertainer,who is merely trying to put a bright & funny spin on things, have to put up with so much of other peoples abuse?”. Actually, I find the fact that this segment needed to be created in the first place, pretty sickening.

Basically, ignorance what it comes down to. People are insecure and bored so decide to circulate hostility and resentment, in a [cyber] world that far too often, has no consequences.

– Orcadia

Who isn’t a journalist these days?

In today’s day and age, we all  have the opinions and the skills (internet) to freely broadcast whatever menial thought springs to mind. Unfortunately, people often mishandle the power that the Internet grants them, frequently clogging up our newsfeeds and inboxes with cringe-worthy junk.

Despite the grammatically terrifying and frequently ridiculous status’ broadcasted by people, social media plays a huge role in enabling users to communicate/receive news and events.

Today’s society doesn’t rely purely on traditional news sources anymore, more so opting for an entertaining and brief outline of important events. We create and share things instantly, making us more than ever, the authors of our own news (however irrelevant your stories may seem)  e.g. “OMG so bored” or “20mins left till work finishes”.

This clip demonstrates from a highly reputable news source’s perspective how social media has transformed the gathering and delivery of news on a global scale.

A good example of citizen journalism is ‘The Project’, a news based television show that uses everyday language and comedy to better engage the audience. Frequently displaying popular Twitter trends and discussing them comically with the television audience, the show engages viewer and user participation, which actively engages them with the stories being announced. Despite this program being broadcasted by a traditional media form, the show defies general stereotypes and enables citizens to become journalists in their own right.

– Orcadia

R-r-r-r-REMIX!

Remix culture is something I love. Simple.

Growing up I loved to mess around on Windows Moviemaker and Garageband, making family videos and sound clips for fun. I got a kick out of chucking all of the bits I liked into one fun piece of music (or whatever the medium may be).

Popular culture played a huge role in I why I started to become interested in the art of remix. Growing up, I was a fan of artists like J-Lo and R-Kelly (I think initials were trending that year), who released remixes of their own songs after initially having limited success. Remember ‘Ain’t It Funny’ and ‘Ignition’? Both of these are remixes of original songs by their own artist!

More recently though, my favourite Rap artists remixed one of my favourite songs…do things get much better than that? In 2011, Kanye West collaborated with Jay-Z to create ‘Otis’, a song that was created upon the foundation of Otis Redding’s, ‘Try A Little Tenderness’. Currently the remixed version has over 42million YouTube views: an impressive feat for a song that is arguably unoriginal.

Otis Redding’s original track, “Try A Little Tenderness”

Kanye’s modern interpretation, “Otis”

It’s hard for artists to create completely original music; after all there are only a limited number of notes to choose from, so they turn to remix to create something interesting and better than before. It’s clear that ‘remix’, whilst many see it as cheating or stealing, is just a way of bringing art to new and wider audiences.

– Orcadia

Talk Nerdy To Me.

When was it that people stopped teasing Nerds? My guess is that it was around the same time they started to realise that the people they were making fun of might one day be their boss.

Popular culture and television, previously typecasting nerds as social outcasts, now portray and encourage people to embrace their inner nerd. My favourite TV show right now, New Girl, sells the image of ‘quirky nerd’ perfectly with stereotypically nerdy outfits and habits being glamorized in typical Hollywood flare. The lead character, Jess, whose unconventional social behaviour (such as randomly bursting into song) gets her into some tricky situations, is influencing the way audiences view geeks/nerds. The shows tagline you ask? “Simply Adorkable”. Clever!

Something that I’ve been noticing heaps lately is that nerds are influencing the way people dress. Personally, I’m not really a fan of the ‘preppy’ look but its really taking the world by storm! More and more boys are following the Chuck Bass trend, ‘top-buttoning’ their increasingly patterned shirts and girls like Rachel Berry opting for old skool cardigans paired with pleated skirts.

Something that I take away from these trends in television and fashion (just two of many nerd-influenced areas) is that the nerd is now a symbol of success and often wealth.

I’ve come to a bit of a conclusion about why it is that people are suddenly imitating and embracing nerd culture. People ♥ $. Nerds have $. That’s it.

Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg. All nerds who have used technology in one-way or another to make the moolah! These guys, leading by example, show the public that if you aren’t a nerd, you better become one quick!

Twilight = Transmedia Narrative.

I often find myself being publicly judged or mentally overlooked for admitting that I am a fan of twilight…haters gun’ hate, I say!

My fandom started during the spring of 2008 when I was dragged to see the film by a group of friends. 90 minutes after being completely oblivious to the dark world of vampires that had the world in a craze, I was completely hooked. I raced through each of the books and even invested in a snuggly twilight blanky (which I still find handy to have around).

Twilight, four years on, is still a growing enterprise, with millions of people being exposed to the phenomenon in one way or another. Whether it be the books,  movies, soundtracks, parodies or via the ridiculous ‘New Moon’ Board game (another piece of merchandise I slightly ashamedly own), the Twilight saga has sunk its fangs into nearly every country worldwide.

In addition to using an array of media to convey its message, Twilight is an example of transmedia narrative as each of the various channels provides slightly different information that accumulates to form a holistic audience understanding.

I feel like the Twilight saga isn’t taken as seriously as the conventionally accepted transmedia narratives like The Matrix and Star Wars (probably due to the twihard fan base consisting of crazed 13 year old girls). However, a huge world of publicity and money has resulted from the multiple channels of entry provided by the Twilight franchise.

– Orcadia

Monologic vs. Dialogic

No doubt about it, You Tube has revolutionized the way our society (locally and globally) operates. News, popular culture, music, whatever you like basically, is broadcasted to a worldwide audience without limitations or bounds. 
For a regular person like myself to become a producer of my own content, it’s as easy as fiddling around on iMovie and uploading my vid onto the web. That’s it. I’m published no questions asked. For this reason it’s understandable that traditional, monologic media is increasingly becoming frustrated with the ease and cheapness that people can access the products they are selling for a much higher price. The lack of gatekeepers, for example publishers and editors, to monitor the online creative sphere makes it incredibly easy for the average person to produce content. Despite paving the way for new and unlimited forms of entertainment and discussion, this process lacks quality control and leaves room for mass amounts of useless junk all over the net!

I am someone who loves digital media, specifically videos. I personally, prefer to get my news (with the majority being celebrity goss I’m slightly ashamed to admit) from Internet sources that contain video that I can be visually stimulated by. With many other people around the world enjoying the fact that they don’t have to extract information from pages and pages of details, the online video realm is becoming increasingly popular. Sites like news.com have devoted parts of their websites to providing video coverage of the latest headlines.

On top of this, not only is new media such as You Tube and many other daily news sites much cheaper than buying a newspaper or magazine, it’s a heck of a lot easier too!
Think about it…every other menial act that humans carry out each day has evolved over time to make it that little bit easier. Backscratchers, bin pedals and robotic vacuum cleaners just to name a few.

Its becoming clear that the older forms of broadcasting a message are very quickly being overrun by dialogic media that enables public participation and the ability for broadcasters to interact with each other simultaneously. In reality, reading a newspaper at home doesn’t involve much discussion or social interaction does it? Well, online news sources (for example) do! Its as easy as ‘liking’ what you’ve read or re-tweeting it to a friend ☺
Despite seemingly optimistic outlooks for the sales of magazines in the near future, hardcopy versions of newspapers are expected to decrease in popularity. Our society is geared to expect more things at a faster rate and devices such as the iPad, various eReaders and especially online sources are delivering that fantastically.

– Orcadia

ApPl3 4 lYf !

There’s no denying it. I’m an apple user and after some research into the topic, I’ve also just discovered that I am an ‘apple fanboy’!

Whatever it is…the streamlined design, user-friendly layout or the superior social status it provides, owning anything apple just makes me feel good.

Two days ago I was alerted to the fact that, whilst Apple still holds a major place in the market, Android technology is fast approaching, with sales in the US last quarter being greater than those of the almighty Mac!  For first time buyers, it seems, the android is steadily becoming the number one choice. Personally, I’ve always thought that the people with Android phones were… for lack of a better term, ‘geeky’! I find that navigating through an android is virtually impossible whereas the user-friendly and easily navigable iPhone can be operated with ease by almost anyone (except my mum).

Despite being briefly educated on the amazing technology that is Android, I feel hesitant to say that I myself would veer from my comfortable Apple bubble and purchase something of such daunting capabilities. My hesitancy is not shared by the majority of the US phone users however, as seen in a report compiled by comScore.

Ross Rubin, NPD analyst states Android has been criticized for offering a more complex user experience than its competitors, but the company’s wide carrier support and large app selection is appealing to new smartphone customers”. The obvious positives of this quote include the increased potential for creation and distribution of content by users (therefore ‘prosumers’). Yet the fact that Android powered phones are harder to adapt to (and therefore take full advantage of) makes me feel as though the security and user friendly layout of my trusty iPhone is enough to keep me happy.

The iPhone is pretty much childs-play right?

I recognize that the Android movement is hot on our heels but I don’t feel as though the technology it provides is necessary to the everyday person like myself, with the iPhone keeping me more than occupied.


– Orcadia

Copy. Right?

Copyright. For me this term stirs negative imagery of schoolteachers pointing their fingers in fury, warning about the dangers of plagiarism and the consequences of not referencing correctly. Recently I was posed with more questions about the necessity and implications of copyrighting, specifically digitally and online. This has left me with a struggle of sorts…

Is copyrighting a necessary measure to halt theft and restore ownership to creators? Or, is it merely a way in which large corporations regain control over public expressions? Personally, I think it’s a bit of both.

Its understandable that an online artist or anyone producing content, would want recognition for their work so copyright laws ensure that no one else can take credit for it. Alternatively, corporations in a bid to control the creativity of the growing prosumer population can implement copyright laws. This type of corporate exploitation occurred when Prince sued a woman for posting a video of her son on You Tube in which there was Prince music playing in the background.

In the ‘real world’ (the non-cyber realm), everything has value…mostly monetary. Objects are constantly being bought, sold and traded based on the value society places on them. In a way, this form of fair trade is being introduced into the digital world to ensure that online content is valued in a material way. Lets face it, it’s far too easy to just download a $2 song for free these days. I think that this lack of moral obligation to online content is due to the fact that the product being stolen is not tangible so it doesn’t feel like you’re stealing anything!

It’s clear to me as I write this blog that anything created or shared online can be copied and redistributed with far too much ease. So the benefit of online (and otherwise) Copyright laws are clear as they enable the appropriate action to be taken against anyone who willingly steals another persons creation. From my point of view, it would be extremely hard for producers or even prosumers to find recognition for their work if these copyright guidelines were not in place.

– Orcadia

How can copyright rights be enforced? . 2012. How can copyright rights be enforced? . [ONLINE]

Available at: http://www.ag.gov.au/Copyright/Pages/Howcancopyrightrightsbeenforced.aspx. [Accessed 14 March 2012]