Category Archives: BCM112

I Found A Mirror And Myself In It

Looking back at my blog posts, I find myself learning from past experiences.

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considering the past few weeks and the plethora of topics I’ve covered in my posts, I find some to be more to my liking than others.
find my post, ‘All Hands On Deck‘ to be one of my more better posts. Not only was I motivated and energetic at the time, there seemed to be a lot of information that I incidentally enjoyed reading and discovering. I realise now that having a deep interest in the topic makes it easier to research and ultimately delve into and explain to others.
By far, my favourite post would have to be ‘Mixing Media‘ again it revolves around a topic I have a genuine interest in and wanted to learn more about but the tone of the post is much more relaxed. I love the idea of a remix culture and wanted to share my interests with an audience. There seems to be no better motivation.
Finally, The post ‘Sharing Is Caring, Or Is It‘ is a nice explanation of media conglometry and it’s effects. The images and video used illustrate my point well and I feel I managed to link the post to useful sources.

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Unfortunately not all my endeavours were as fruitful as planned. Trying to produce a post on on-line identity in ‘It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s An On-line Identity‘ was admittedly a bit of a struggle, simply because I hadn’t given much thought to on-line identities before and I actively avoided any trolling done by me or anyone else. I found a little depressing. Nevertheless I still learned things I didn’t previously know when researching the topic.
I believe with a bit of base knowledge on feminism and cyber-bullying I am more inclined to be aware of issues in this area

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I hope my readers learned a thing or two through this blog, after all, I did aim to introduce new ideas to others while exploring my own ideas and discovering new ones.
Also through reading other blog posts, I was introduced to ideas and perspectives on ideologies I already own.
‘Politics, I Get It’ is a post I found to be educational to myself when researching it. I hadn’t previously realised how many points of entry to politics there really are.

How I felt finalising ‘Mixing Media’
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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s An On-line Identity

Who are you when you’re online?

It can be hard to find out but when someone does you may find a very dark side of the internet.

“There Are No Girls On The Internet” -Misogynists of The Web

A phrase that is often affiliated with the phrase “tits or GTFO (get the f*ck out)“. Both are perfect examples of the ideal that the internet is for men and pornstars. Video games are generally aimed at stereotypical males and hence a a large portion of online gamers are male.

Male:Female gamer ratio

Previously this statistic was also quite relevant to the rest of the internet and that has started a mainly male on-line society. Nowadays the ratio is a little more even. Some would argue that it’s completely over turned.
http://boingboing.net/2007/04/15/female-internet-user.html

If You’ve Got Nothing Nice To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All

Cyber-bullying and ‘trolling’ is when a group or individual over the internet harass someone else because of their sexuality, ethnicity, beliefs or in some cases for no apparent reason. People believe their presence on the internet is entirely anonymous, and it can be, but most of the time; comments, likes, e-mails, etc. can be traced back to their origin. This believed anonymity shows people at their darkest, generating death/ sexual abuse threats and other hateful material because they believe they are ‘policing’ or ‘punishing’ the target.

Hate mail can come in the form of threats of violence and/or sexual acts, as edited images or videos, or questionable statements

A popular example of how the internet can get so up in arms and violent over a female presence is the case of Boxxy. Boxxy is a personality played by Catherine Wayne. Her energetic vlogs shot to popularity on reddit and 4chan causing a ‘war’ between haters and fans. Boxxy recieved violent and sexual threats and was forced to leave the internet for a period of time in fear of her own safety.

Feminists Are Feared For A Reason

A feminist is someone who supports femininity. This can range from believing feminism is superior to masculinity to simply wanting equality between the two. Feminists are often attacked en mas on the internet possibly because they threaten what misogynist males believe to be their male sanctuary.

It would seem like there is an insurmountable amount of hatred on the web and this may be true but the web is so vast it would be foolish to think that there isn’t sunshine and happiness online. Unfortunately it would appear that vanquishing the hatred found so commonly on-line isn’t as easy as we would like it to be. Retaliating to trolling is only feeding the trolls and ignoring them is allowing them to continue to rampage. I ask why is there such a need for anonymity? While trollers may not always care about hiding their identities, less anonymity may make it easier to police those conducting the threats because after all, cyber bullying, sexism and racism IS actually illegal.

Politics, I Get It

Duh, What Even Is Politics?

A well known stereotype is that modern youth do not relate to politics, are not educated in politics or do not care. Sure there may be SOME youth that don’t ‘care’ about politics but it is wrong to say that youth are not educated or relate themselves to politics. I found, that, to understand where these stereotypes and claims come from, we need to consider advances in technology, changes in behaviour between generations and the way the world is now, socially.

Traditionally, the general public interacted with politics by simply being aware and voting when necessary but in today’s age of advanced communication, information is being spread ‘out of control’ to the point where “being aware” is complicated and just voting is almost the minimal one could to interact with political matters. Youth today don’t want to be tied down to one group and due to the generation gap, older people see this as not wanting to be a part of the political society.

Nothing is secret anymore and picking a side just isn’t working

How Do You Politics?

Youth appear to be at the forefront of modern activism

Activism seems to be something talked about in politics with frequency and passion. Activism is “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change“. It’s a way to express your opinion or stand up for a cause, directly, without the hassle of dodgy politicians or without putting all the power into the hands of a party that you agree with on one point but not on another. It’s also utilised to bring about social change in nations where the vox populi have no power.

A big name in the activism world is Anonymous. Anonymous is a group of hackers that use the internet to attack sites that belong to organisations that they deem to be treating people unfairly. Characterised by Guy Fawkes masks, members of anonymous are not known and so the organisation cannot be taken down easily but they have often been branded criminals because of the ‘violent’ nature of their ‘attacks‘.

Anonymous slogan:
We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget

In the wake of the passage of the 2011 immigration enforcement bill Arizona SB 1070 Anonymous hackers and affiliates hacked Brazilian government websites and leaked personal information of police officers in the Arizona state department as well as used credit card details of the police officers to make donation contributions to various relevant causes. Acts like this are examples of how youth (among others) are standing for their opinions while walking the thin line of illegality, hence they are easily criminalised.

Just Try To Colour Within The Lines

Personally I find the whole ‘activism’ thing a little too much on the extreme side but hey, too each their own. Another form of political involvement is just raising awareness or expressing your view on a topic in the public sphere. For example, I support marriage equality and gay and lesbian rights. I don’t march in large scale protests but I like to watch parades such as The Mardi Gras. I don’t ‘attack’ those who disagree with me but I do sign petitions and raise awareness. I don’t follow a specific politician or political group but I, just like many other youths are aware of political issues and do make legitimate contributions to society politically.

Mixing Media

Write it, cut it, paste it, save it,
Load it, check it, quick – rewrite it…

And that is how you affect society, sort of.

Remixes, Break It Down

The Oxford Dictionary defines remixing as to; “produce a different version of a musical recording by altering the balance of the separate tracks”. What’s produced is also known as a remix. Considering the freedom and easy access properties of the internet, the rise of remixes and a subsequent remix culture isn’t particularly strange. While this refers to music, almost any form of media can be ‘remixed’ into a different version or even form.
Remixs aren’t just confined to the internet though, they are a fundamental part of the hip hop and techno music industries.

Daft Punk. A big name in the techno music industry. Well known for their easily remixed tracks

Remixing can have several purposes; to allow a song to be played on the radio, to change the genre of the song or for artistic purposes. These all involve the changing of meaning and this ‘changing of meaning’ changes the connotations of a piece of media.

Lay It Out For Me

Given the rising popularity of remixes and the concept that an idea behind a piece of media can be manipulated by remixing it. This shows itself as an interesting contribution to the public sphere.

A mashup of Barack Obama and Trayvon Martin

This controversial image is mix of President Obama and Trayvon Martin, a youth who was shot while wearing a hoodie. It was suggested that he was wrongly suspected because of the negative stigma around ‘hoodlum’ culture. This image raised talks on the topic of racism and stereotypes in the wake of the incident and is often used with relation to Obama’s words on the matter;

“I can only imagine what these parents are going through, and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why we investigate every aspect of this — federal state and local — and figure out how this tragedy happened”- Barack Obama, 2012

Musical remixes of presidential debates and speeches are also often used to satire politics in a way that allows an idea to be broadcast to a wider audience.

On the surface these videos seem to be humorous, crude and somewhat clever, but on a deeper level all three videos are examples of how a remix can be used to emphasise particular aspects of people (In this case, presidential candidates). Issues, whether they are unknown or well in the public eye can be brought up or have a new view cast onto it by generating the idea in a remix.

” The remix features Barack Obama rapping a modified version of Jay Z’s “99 Problems.” The revised lyrics cover subjects ranging from Occupy Wall Street, escalating energy costs, bank bailouts, “Fast and Furious,” Obama’s birth certificate, and the use of predator drones.” Diran Lyons (On ’99 Problems (Explicit Political Remix) ORIGINAL UPLOAD’) 2012

Drop It Like It’s Illegal

While remix culture does have it’s ups and has the amazing ability of spreading an idea or view at will, it also has it’s downs and imperfections. A question I asked myself; If a piece of media is made of other pieces of media made by other producers, who owns it? Who has control of it? Does it depreciate or add to the original works? I can’t answer these questions and apparently neither can others: There are laws to protect producers of original works and laws that protect parodies and remixes but there are clashes, loopholes and questionable properties of each law.

Consider this reaction video by Dan Bull, a youtuber that created “REPUBLICAN RAP BATTLE – Dan Bull” as seen previously in this post. In this video, Dan discusses his incident with copyright laws on Youtube. He raises the point that rap music relies heavily on the use of other people’s works and that laws that criminalise the use of other people’s works are tearing holes into remix culture. Curiously enough this video can also be considered a remix, using other images, sounds and videos to create a new piece while expressing ideas and ideologies to raise awareness of remix culture’s weaknesses.

Gotta Consume ‘Em All

That beautiful feeling of discovering our favourite show or movie has a video game, podcast, book or even interactive music video.

They’re called transmedia and multimedia narratives, not the feeling, but the phenomenon.

Who’s That Narrative?

A multimedia narrative is when a work of fiction is duplicated across multiple forms of media.

A notable example of a multimedia narrative is Harry Potter. Harry Potter, from the novel series written by J.K.Rowling has spawned a series of successful movies and games. Across each of these media platforms, the Harry Potter story is the same. The benefit of this is that it allows fans of the franchise to consume the content more than once.

A mashup of Lego an the Harry Potter franchise on a video gaming platform- still follows the regular Harry Potter plot

Another concept becoming more and more common in modern times is transmedia narratives.

“Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.” (Jenkins, 2007)

Jenkins is defining transmedia narratives as being individual parts of a fictional world spread across multiple media platforms to form one  whole ‘universe’. This allows a ‘universe’ to be accessed through various different mediums so as to appeal to a broader range of audience sectors. Incorporating the positives of mulitmedia narratives while adding volume to the content for the user as well as giving the user the ability to directly interact with the content, ultimately giving “the people formerly known as the audience” (Rosen, 2006).
A popular example is ‘The Matrix’. The story of The Matrix spans across games, anime series, movies and books. To fully understand the entire story, one has to have experienced the story from each medium. The benefit of this is that it allows fans of the franchise to experience more of The Matrix universe and interacting with the medium changes the message , allowing users to affect how they view the fictional universe.

What? Media Is Evolving.

Music has evolved in various ways over time. It’s developed music videos, interactivity and even interactive music videos. For example, Arcade Fire’s ‘We Used To Wait’ is a song with an interactive video that was an experiment collaboration with Google and the bands producers that uses Google maps and interactive popup windows to allow the viewer/listener to change how the music video plays.


“Arcade Fire- We Used To Wait (The Wilderness Downtown Full Experiment HD)” (Click here to view in Youtube)

This interactivity gives the audience more to ‘use’, hence allowing for a greater audience span.

Pop Cosmipolimon

Following the growth of transmedia narratives, ‘Pop Cosmopolitans  have risen. Jenkins defines a Pop Cosmopolitan as;

“Someone whose embrace of global popular media represents an escape route out of the parochialism of her local community” (Jenkins, 2006)

Global popular media generally refers to content from another culture, such as, anime from Japan or, European or Asian music. Pop Cosmopolitans that follow foreign pop media are often subject to more transmedia content than others.
The popular game franchise, Pokemon is a good example. Originating in Japan, Pokemon’s content varies in other countries. The games explosive popularity led to the sprouting of a popular anime series, a plethora of movies and a trading card game, just to name a few. In America alone the franchise is a transmedia narrative but when expanding to Japans content, the narrative deepens to more content that never left japan.

Pokemon Stadium.http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_Stadium_%28Japanese%29
Spreading our content scope to the global range, we can find that content can be far more broad than in a single country.

Looks Like Media Is Blasting Off Again.

As content producers continue to find new ways to reach larger sectors of audience, transmedia narratives will get more creative but Pop Cosmopolitanism will fade if it doesn’t adapt as content is becoming less culture specific.

All Hands On Deck

“Nobody knows everything, everybody knows something”

If we don’t know something, we ask our peers and nowadays, we can go online to find out.

A Crazy Little Thing Called The Internet

File:Internet users per 100 inhabitants ITU.svg
Internet users per 100 inhabitants. A significant number of the population is always connected to the net.
http://www.itu.int/en/Pages/default.aspx

Approximately 74 percent of people in developed countries are connected to the internet, its integrated into our lives so thoroughly. Social media is a big part of a lot of people’s social lives, plenty of people shop online, multiple types of jobs are built around the internet and even most education systems rely on the internet.

What makes the internet so great? The simple answer is; it’s ease of access. The internet has an absolute minimal cost of entry, next to no quality filter and no immediate risk of use. Books are the opposite. They cost to publish, print and ship, publishers may edit or ‘filter’ a book before release and if the book is a failure, money is lost. These qualities are what make the internet a huge success in attracting millions upon millions of users.

Chances are you’ve at least heard of the K-pop sensation “Gangnam Style”. Released in July of 2012 the song has broken Youtube view records. As of December 2012, Gangnam Style had accumulated $2.4 million from iTunes sales, $870 thousand from Youtube ad income but only a relatively minute $50 thousand from CD sales. This is a prime example of how the internet’s popularity has overcome alternative media platforms.

Killer Qualities

Newspapers are much like books. They’re published, shipped, monitored and are subject to damaging criticism. As well as this, Newspapers are limited to what they can show because of size, often smaller, insignificant stories are completely missed to accommodate for “all the news that’s fit to print” (New York Times).  Considering that newspapers are mostly paid for with advertisements, a lot of room is taken up on the pages for ads instead of articles.

So why do we still use newspapers if they’re so flawed? Because, it’s generally accepted that newspaper articles are the most trustworthy source of information for current affairs. I know I make sure to not trust everything I read on the web and until recently I’ve always trusted newspapers to give me accurate (even if it can be biased) information.

It’s beginning to become that the story itself is just as important as the information. It’s all good to find accurate and up-to-date information on the conflicts in the middle east but what about local news? There’s local newspapers but as I’ve explained earlier, newspapers are limited. This is where the internet shines. Anyone can upload accurate up-to-date information to the internet and freely broadcast it to a broader audience than any newspaper.

We Will Participate

Citizen journalism is a phrase relating to regular citizens playing a role in gathering, analyzing and reporting information. While it’s generally disliked by the legacy media, citizen journalism is a great concept for processing and gathering media faster than ever before, broadcasting to a wider (and participatory) audience through various platforms and a greater range of views and opinions.

April 15 saw horrific bombings at Boston’s annual marathon (And my heart goes out to all those involved). In the wake of the disaster, news stations all over the world have covered the event, with the help of citizen journalism. A large majority of the footage used in the news covers are submitted by citizens. Youtube has  launched a video page to encourage people to submit their videos in attempts to gather information in a single point.

Sites such as Flickr for images, YouTube, Jumpcut, and
Revver for video, and ccMixter for audio, as well as a
plethora of blogs and collaborative publishing
environments for text, now provide a rich and diverse
range of user-submitted creative content” (Bruns, 2007)

Somebody To Lie

That’s all it takes to undo the beauty of citizen journalism, a bit of mis/dis-information (Bruns, 2007). The internet is so free that it’s ‘free-ness’ is its ultimate weekness. Anyone can post anything without fact checking or even purposely causing disruptions by reporting false information. Restrictions to the freedom of the internet such as censorship and copyright laws are also capable of disrupting the citizen journalism system.

Any ‘Average Joe’ can simply ‘feed’ us baseless information online.
http://www.agweb.com/assets/import/images/Birds.jpg

A 2005 article in the journal ‘Nature‘ documented a study of Wikipedia and The Encyclopedia Britannica. The study had multiple equivalent pages from each encyclopedia sent to experts for peer reviewing, the experts had no knowledge of which platform each article was from. Only 4 serious errors from each encyclopedia was found (serious errors such as misinterpreted concepts) but 162 and 123 factual errors were found in each encyclopedia, Wikipedia and Britannica respectively (Giles, 2005). When I went through high school I was told repetitively NEVER to use Wikipedia because it is crowd sourced and open to misleading information but as this study shows, other sources are open to mistakes as well. Although this does not justify the use of Wikipedia as a legitimate source simply because it is not peer-reviewed, it has little to no authority.

Don’t Stop Seeking Information Now

Whether something is fact-checked and peer-reviewed or crowd-sourced so vastly that it has the knowledge of a million users does not mean it is ‘perfect’. citizen journalism is just as effective in some cases as it is not effective in others, it often comes down to backing up your facts with evidence.

In the future I expect to see legacy media utilizing crowd-sourcing as a means of gathering and processing information quickly and effectively without completely tearing down what makes legacy media so powerful, it’s authority.

Hsu, J 2009,Wikipedia: How Accurate Is It?”, Live Science, Weblog Post, 06 November, Viewed 18 April 2013, <http://www.livescience.com/7946-wikipedia-accurate.html>

Guiles, J 2005, ‘Internet Encyclopaedias Go Head To Head’, Nature, Vol. 438, No, 900-901.

With Great Audience Comes Great Responsibility

We are ‘the people formerly known as the audience’ (Jay Rosen).

Allow us to guide you through the internet where you can express your opinion, share other peoples opinion, create content and change the world.

From ‘You To Me’ To ‘Me To Everyone’

Pick up a classic English novel, what do we do with it? We read from left to right and that’s about it. Now go to a popular social networking site (e.g Facebook), what do we do? We still read from left to right but we cal also ‘share’, ‘follow’, ‘post’, ‘comment’ and so much more. What happened between the book and the internet that allowed this interactivity? What implications does it have on us?

Youtube and books, what exactly is the difference?
(http://cdn.ientry.com/sites/webpronews/pictures/youtube-books_616.jpg)

Before the Internet, media was generally consumer driven. We would ‘consume’ the message/medium we had available to us. With the rise of the Internet and sites such as Facebook, Youtube and WordPress; participation in the creation of the content available. This allowed us, the ‘audience’ to become more than just that.

The beauty of the Internet is, arguably, it’s freedom. Books, Television and Radio often allowed it’s audience to communicate with it’s producers but it always went through a filter of some kind. Ultimately the producer and the user stayed separated. The Internet is far too vast to mediate like this. The low cost of entry to the internet opened it up to a wider user network. This lack of ‘mediator’ allows users to express their opinion no matter how outlandish it may be.

Social Networking Media Used Activism; It’s Super Effective

Acitivism- Simply ineffective
http://gwangjublog.hwy-6.com/?p=4584

Social media has given us the ability to spread information and ideas worldwide at the click of a button without having to go through an entry cost or regular censorship. With this, regular people and their opinions have been able to gather followers en masse to influence politics and real world matters with greater force than ever seen before.

The downside to this simplification of networking is ‘slacktivism’. This is putting in minimal effort towards a cause to seem like you’re helping when in reality you are not. This also includes supporting causes with no credible background, causes with no actual cause or genuine intention and causes that work on unethical circumstances (primarily for money).

It’s as simple as 1-2-3. A Howcast video on the process of social media effecting social change (Click here to view in Youtube)