Why view our content when we can see the world?

Audiences no longer consume content through analogue mediums, we have seen the shift into the digital flow of content. Audiences no longer want to be confined to when, where and how they consume content, rather audiences now have the power to watch content on their own terms. With the rise of Youtube, online streaming services, videos on social media sites and illegal torrenting; audiences now have greater access to global content.

Streaming services are affordable online services that have an unlimited amount of capacity for television and movie content. These services have seen a rise recently in an attempt to curve illegal torrenting of content. Torrenting demonstrates how society currently prefers to watch content, for free and on demand. Australian audiences no longer need to wait until the show is aired domestically long after broadcasting hours to weeks prior internationally.

Currently between seventeen and twenty two percentage of all age brackets of internet users are utilising video on demand (Screen Australia), although this percentage doesn’t state if this also takes into account users whom illegally download content. However, astonishingly online streaming services have been successful due to their ease and low subscription prices. As of 2013 Netflix had forty million subscribers globally (Ellingsen 2014 p.109), this number would have steadily risen with its introduction into the Australian market. Netflix also have developed a successful two dozen original network series (Brustein 2015 p.45). Furthering that, audiences are turning to online content and shying away from traditional viewing habits. So what does this mean for Australian content?

Clearly society’s changing demeanour towards when and how they consume content has resulted in streaming content rather than awaiting its premier. Digital platforms have also increased the ‘shareability’ of content (Jenkins et al. 2013 cited in Ellingsen 2014 p.107) thus we are now more exposed to global content than ever before. This is resulting in audiences favouring global content over Australian content. We now have unrestricted access to shows such as Game of Thrones, X Files and The Big Bang Theory, traditionally we would have to wait until these shows premiered in Australia or they may have never been shown. We are no longer constricted to the limited availability of Australian content and we are now able to sample overseas content and they are able to view ours.

Online service providers are able to take a chance on international films due to the limited cost of hosting the content on an online provider. This has seen The Howling 3: The Marsupials, be internationally released onto Netflix (Dunks 2014 p.36) and therefore, providing other nations a chance to experience our cultural content.

Digitally consuming content no longer leaves audiences with only Australian content to consume. Audiences naturally favour culturally diverse content over Australian content due to the large variety, however; due to these online streaming services Australian projects are now also globally accessible. Even though Australian audiences maybe settling for culturally diverse content.

References:

Brustein, J 2015, ‘VIDEO: The Netflix Effect Is Spreading’, Business Week, Vol. 4450, pp. 44-46.

Dunks, G 2014, ‘Down And Out Down Under’, Metro, No. 180, pp. 34-37.

Ellingsen, S 2014, ‘SEISMIC SHIFTS: PLATFORMS, CONTENT CREATORS AND SPREADABLE MEDIA’, Media International Australia, pp. 106-113.

Screen Australia 2014, “Online and on demand Trends in Australian online video use”, Screen Australia, p.18, viewed 25th January 2016, < https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/getmedia/d61a7c4b-3abf-444c-9367-aa8dc8b1b8f6/OnlineOnDemand_2014.pdf >

Are online social communities something to fear?

The online social community prior to the expansion of Facebook was dominated by teenagers from the ages of generally 13years- 25years (Larsen 2008). Thus there has been moral panics regarding youth and the usage of social media communications; especially from authority figures such as parents, teachers and even Government Members. Their general fears are youths sending naked photos of themselves, this moral panic escalated with the app Snapchat. When Snapchat was hacked and many underage individuals nude photos were exposed it caused a panic for many parents that their teen may have also been sending naked images with this application. Thus leading onto the fear about sexual predators attempting to groom teenagers on social media websites.

Dibbell’s (1993) chapter demonstrates why these fears from authority figures can be justified by presenting a case of “virtual” rape.  He graphically details a character being raped by another character in a game, though this crime cannot be convicted in “real life” as there are no physical effects. What about the psychological effects on the person who had to witness their character being raped? This leads into Larsen’s (2008) discussion of how teenagers use online communities to express their identity. Their online presence is their identity in practice (Larsen 2008), therefore, if their character which is modelled from themselves and portrays their true identity is raped, does this not affect the individual at-least psychologically?

Larsen (2008) presents an altering argument that social media sites are actually helping teenagers to find their true identity and through friends testimonials (generally composed of love and emoticons) on their sites, boosts their self-worth.  Though we are then presented with a separate issue, not every individual depending on cultural practices will interpret emoticons the same way (Koda et al. 2009), therefore perhaps leading to misinterpretation and a sense of transgression.

Consequently it can be seen that those who hold prejudices against social media sites have an adequate concern; but they are viewing this from often an outsider’s perspective and need to look holistically and view if social media is actually boosting a teenager’s self-worth.

 

References:

Bush, V 1945,“As We May Think”,  Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 176, no.1, pp. 101-08

Rowlands, I, Nicholas, D, Williams, P, Huntington, P, Fieldhouse, M, Gunter, B, Withey, R, Hamid R, J, Dobrowolski, T & Tenopir, C 2008, ‘The Google Generation: The Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future’, Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 290-310.

 

 

Selfie’s… Narcissistic or pure documentation

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Image Source: Simpsons Facebook

The word “selfie” can now be found in the Dictionary, thus, becoming formally part of our languages history. Selfie’s are now seen as an art form as Saltz (2014) states, “fast portrait with a phone and immediately distributed on a network.”( Saltz 2014). He classes the selfie as a portrait thus indicating an art form, Saltz (2014) later elaborates to indicate that selfies are a type of Folk Art. Though it does not matter that a selfie is classed as “art”, many abuse the selfie and take these images in mirrors or include what is known as the duck face which I would not indicate as art.

Selfie is a rather juvenile name and also seems to degrade the art form. Selfies became a dominate art form for teenagers whom were predominately posting these on social networking sites. However, this has become part of our society either through mocking portrayals, being included in the dictionary as mentioned above or as folk art. However, as Saltz (2014)

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Image Source: Ellen Facebook

also mentions, this art form needs a more intellectual name that has fewer connotations. When I see the word selfie I connotate it with an image of ones self, usually positioned to resemble a duck, edited and shared instantly on social media. It is obvious why Saltz (2014) states that many claim selfies to be part of our narcissistic culture, evidence towards this claim is perhaps our use of apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, yes these are photo sharing sites but they also are the perfect platform to post unlimited attempts at selfies on to the network.

Though I personally do not believe that the selfie is part of our narcissistic culture, I  more believe selfies are a visual way to document ourselves perhaps on a daily basis (for example the daily photo’s for a year videos). Great example to back up my statement is Ellen’s Oscar’s selfie which clearly was not narcissism but rather documenting her time at the Oscar’s and to provide entertainment.

It is clear selfies are going to be seen as a large part of the twenty first’s centuries culture. It is hoped, however, they are seen as art rather than a self-obsessed juvenile image.

Reference:

Saltz, J 2014, “Art at Arm’s Length: A History of the Selfie.” Vulture,  17th March 2014, < http://www.vulture.com/2014/01/history-of-the-selfie.html mid=twitter_nymag&utm_content=buffer18f61&utm_medium=scoial&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer>

Social media aim for universal education rights condemned by the Taliban

article-0-1891315D00000578-146_634x530Malala Yousafzai, who received a Pride of Britain Award from David Beckham
Image source: Dailymail

Social networking platforms have led way to a new form of activism. No longer are activist’s confined to merely demonstrating plights in their local areas, with social media tools they are now able to demonstrate such plights on a global scale. Social media is now used to co-ordinate, mobilize and disseminate protests around the globe in order to bring a large amount of individuals together from all corners of the globe.

When I think about how social media has changed activism, I think about Malala Yousafzai. Malala is a young girl from Pakistan who since the age of eleven has written an online diary (blog) for the BBC fighting for the right of young girls to be allowed to get an education (Synvitz 2012). This was directly protesting against the Taliban who are stopping young women getting an education in her village by destroying their schools. Sadly Malala was shot in the head at point blank range by the Taliban who wanted to put a stop to her message as it has been receiving global attention.  Malala survived this attack against all odds and now lives in Birmingham (UK) and her campaign has never been stronger. She is now an international icon for girls’ rights and is globally know by “Malala” (Synvitz 2012).

Her blog and brave acts have led to global support for the education of women, many have signed the online petition to stand with Malala and fight for education for children all over the world who do not currently have any kind of access to it. She also has a dedicated hashtag on twitter for her cause #IamMalala here an aggregation of tweets can be viewed from all over the world of individuals campaigning for better education for young girls and children in general, another clear example of activism through social media.

Malala started simply as an online blog protesting for the rights of girls’ to receive an education this sadly led to her being shot but post this event she has received global support and was even rumored for the Noble Peace Prize award. She has continued on with her success and gave a speech to the UN about her cause and has persuaded the UN to recommit to Millennium Development Goal two (Dias 2013), which states; “by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.” (Dias 2013).  Social media; including blogging was the key for Malala to be an activist for educational rights especially within a country such as hers. With another example of the Arab Spring it is clear that social media activism is an important tool for activists in countries such as these where Governments or rebel forces will attempt to suppress campaigns. Online activism allows these individuals to share their campaigns on a global scale.

-Amy

References: 

Dias, C  2013, ’10 ways Malala Yousafzai Has Changed the World’, policymic, 14th July, viewed 12th October 2013, <http://www.policymic.com/articles/55333/10-ways-malala-yousafzai-has-changed-the-world>

Synvitz, R 2012, ‘Malala Yousafzai, the Girl shot by the Taliban, Becomes a Global Icon’, The Atlantic, 12th October, viewed 12th October 2013, <http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/malala-yousafzai-the-girl-shot-by-the-taliban-becomes-a-global-icon/263527/>

 

Anxious Addiction to our Mobile Phones

The use of mobile phones while studyingMitchell multitasking by using his mobile devices (mobile and tablet) 
while also studying for an exam and disengaging 
with his family around him

Mobile phones allow an individual to be a part of many audiences simultaneously. This is evident when you observe those around you on a train , they maybe part of the the trains audience and consuming the same sounds or sights on the train as yourself; but due to mobile technology they can also be part of another audience at the same time. Mobile phones allow us to consume content regardless of where we are and whom we are with, therefore allowing us to be part of simultaneous audiences. However, how does this effect our physical audience interaction?

This video above I believe addresses our current usage as a society of our mobile phones. This video addresses many worrisome areas of how do we balance our personal and shared space? As it is obvious the girl in the above video is at a family dinner therefore, a shared space. Yet she is still content to scroll through Facebook rather than interacting on a physical level with her family. What is this doing to her personal connections ? Why are we more social online rather than being social in the physical space we are in? Kitani (2003) answers this through his research on the subject where he produced evidence to show that individuals are increasingly using technology such as text messaging in spaces (as the video depicts above) due to their level of shyness. Individuals who display a very shy personality find that text messaging is easier to have a conversation. Though I also believe that text messaging would help shy individuals from having to engage in conversations they do not feel comfortable doing. People often will pretend to be engaged in their mobile phones so other individuals will not bother them, thus, people are using their mobile devices to escape physical contact and face to face communication.

Though how else are these devices distracting or affecting us ? Referring to my Image above of Mitchell he is studying for a mid term exam yet he still has his mobile next to him and checks it often as well as using a tablet in front of him for Facebook and lecture slides. Then referring to the image below of Mitchell leaving for University he is once again checking his mobile as he steps out onto the road. This is a common occurrence when you observe individuals on the street, I wpid-20130927_083732.jpgmyself often walk with my mobile in hand.  It could be argued our attachment to our mobiles is similar to a coffee or nicotine addiction as many feel a sense of anxiety  when they leave the house and forget their phones.

We are reliant on our mobiles and seemingly use our mobiles to access content in any physical space, therefore, we are limiting our face to face communication.

Are you addicted to your mobile?

-Amy

References:

Kitani, Y. (2003). Daigakusei no keitai mail no riyo taido ni-kansuru kenkyu: Hiroshima shinai no daigakusei wo taisho to-shite [A study on the attitude of college students using mobile mail]. Hiroshima Shudo University Academic Journals, 44, 341-371.


			

Citizen journalism search engine

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Animals Australia's Factory Farming campaign encouraging 
activists to tweet for the campaign. Source: Make It Possible Facebook

Citizen journalism is an increasing area in the media sphere. Firstly perhaps I should define what citizen journalism is; Citizen Journalism is journalism conducted by individuals that are not professional journalists. They conduct this journalism by using websites, blogs and social media (Encyclopedia Britannica 2013). Citizen journalism has allowed the often silent consumer to now have a voice, and this has seen the rise of many activist campaigns. A reason for this is the internet is a free medium and does not have gatekeepers. However, with the lack of gatekeepers we have seen the decline in the quality of work produced and decline in the credibility of sources. Though this does not mean that because citizen journalism is conducted by those that are not professionals that all citizen journalism sources lack credibility and quality. On the contrary Bruns (2009 ) notes that citizen journalism provides a ‘news as process, provides an unfinished coverage of topics and events which merely invite user participation’.

With the example of Twitter, however, a ‘news in progress’ (Bruns 2009) solo tweet from an individual will not amount to much and can be seen to perhaps be a rumour, however, through Twitters use of hashtag’s this allows tweets about a topic to be aggregated. Aggregated tweets have more of an impact about an issue and are more credible due to the amount of others possibly also tweeting about the subject. Aggregated tweets allows a person to research and note if many others are also sharing similar information to determine whether the tweet is a fact or fiction. Johnson (2009 p.3) stated Twitter’s search box gives you a real-time view into the ‘chatter’ of any topic. Thus, aggregation of these tweets has actually lead to Twitter becoming a type of search engine especially with individuals sharing links to content rather than writing on the topic due to the short word limit of 140 characters.

Citizen journalism is perfect for activism to be achieved by organizations, especially as social media sites such as Twitter are free to create an account and share content and only cost money if they decide to promote a tweet or if they require staff to manage the site. This has also allowed activism to be shared to a larger audience simultaneously and then continue to be shared. Especially if celebrities share a campaign from a charity they support this could receive a million views depending on how many users follow them.  My example is the above shared image of Animals Australia’s tweet to Make it Possible campaign, which is part of their larger Make It Possible Campaign. This is encouraging citizen journalism to take place to support their campaign as they recognize that if enough people tweet simultaneously, the impact that this aggregation of tweets can have can be limitless.

Therefore, we are all citizen journalists in our own way whether you are like me and writing a blog or you are tweeting for you charity.

What kind of citizen journalism have you undertaken today if any?

-Amy

References:

Bruns, A. (2009) ‘News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: New Directions for e-Journalism’

citizen journalism 2013. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 20 September, 2013, from http://www.britannica.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/EBchecked/topic/1271506/citizen-journalism

Johnson, S. (2009). How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live. Time

Communication is changing society not computers

People state how technology is advancing  and this is the main cause of globalization.  I agree, however, I believe that communication is changing the world more than technology. Technology is merely the device which is changing the world, the device we are expanding our communication through as this machine is merely an object that allows a gateway into the intangible world where actions happen.

The invention of the modem allowed communication across borders , this allowed the connection of the nodes.  This is why Kelly, K (1999) New Rules for the New Economy* intrigued me.  Kelly (1999) states  a similar concept to myself, that the communication is what these machines have given us. Kelly states:

“Computers may have sped up life but communication is what has changed life”

Communication is what connects us as a globe. This started originally through bulletin boards which were one of the first social sites to appear on the internet. Thus the internet enabled the development of friendships across the globe, allowed fan-fictions to be written and globalization to ultimately occur. However, Kelly (1999) also states that communication is the economy. This is due to the fact he believes that businesses will turn into intangible businesses using chips and glass fibers. Which makes you wonder what will happen to institutions such as the Government which have already transferred many of their services online; an example of this includes online forms and applications such as E-tax. As Kelly stated:

“The effects of technologizing it are beyond the scale of a mere industrial sector cycle”

But how will this affect political candidates and the elections? Will they start being conducted through social media- for instance Kevin Rudd is already proposing that his next candidate debate should be from questions posted on Facebook. However, before we think about  the future, we must consider how current communication affects politicians?  With the speed of the internet and the current state of global connection all politicians must be careful what they say on all media platforms; anything they say may be scrutinised and broadcast around the globe. For example, Tony Abbott’s recent ‘suppository remark‘ which received worldwide attention.

Therefore, from my examples and and the influence of Kelly’s text, I  put to you that communication is what is changing the world. Communication is an increasingly powerful technology, more powerful perhaps than the medium we use for this communication, computers.

References:

* Kelly, K. (1999) ‘This new economy’. In New Rules for the new Economy

imagesImage sourced from: Google

*Ding Dong* The Ripper has killed again! *Ding Dong*

When Jack the Ripper killed his victims a man would walk down the street with a bell and yell out the breaking news, which then people had to go and wait in line to buy a newspaper to find out the full story.

How do you receive your daily news? Are you helping to make news?

The convergence of technology has changed the way in which journalism operates. No longer can I start-up a magazine or a newspaper company and just assume I can rely on print products only, I must also incorporate an online profile aswell for my readers to further engage and gain access to online only stories.

It is said most youth today receive their news through social media such as Twitter and Facebook with shows such as Ellen coming next.  I could see how this has truth in it as I find most of my news through Facebook and I also share news through Facebook.

What does this make me, a journalist? If I share news stories through social media and my blogs does this make me a journalist?

To an extent …. yes.

Thank’s to technology a person can now become an online journalist without restraint. My very own blog is a great example, I did not have to hold a degree to warrant a right to write this blog, yet here it is available to the public eye. Long gone the days where we would sit down and read the paper or turn on the news and sit without distractions watching so we didn’t miss any important details. Now you are likely to find us sitting down on our computers checking sites like News.com.au or reading our Facebook/twitter to see if anything important has happened throughout the day. Citizen Journalism could be said to be putting the big companies out of business due to how easy it is for an ordinary individual to post their own stories and reviews on the internet for public display. Many no longer see the need to look else where for their information.

This technology has also meant that I can now check my news from anywhere, my mobile phone I carry with me can access every current news article while I am  travelling. This has led to global convergence we are now more connected than ever which benefits the community we can now easily access information about other countries main events if we fear for our families, future travel plans, expanding cultures and sharing our technology/ knowledge  for world-wide usage/ consumption.

Are you sharing news and not realising how easy and convenient this is to do, unlike back in Jack the Ripper’s day when a man had to walk around shouting the news or when you had to stand in a long line waiting for that precious information source to the outside world.

Until next time,

That’s all folks

Amy

References:

O’Donnell, M 2012, Journalism and the popular: myth, narrative and the sphere of public imagination, lecture, BCM112, Convergent Media Practices, University of Wollongong, delivered on 30th April.

All others are hyperlinked through out

True Transmedia Blood

Image sourced from: Google

Have you ever noticed that perhaps your favourite Movie or TV show  is part of a transmedia storytelling process? Do you even know what transmedia is?

Transmedia storytelling:
“represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple channels” -Henry Jenkins

This is the new way to entertain an audience. Today’s audience is  more empowered than ever before; resulting in the want  to be a prosumer (producer + a consumer) and also know more about the character’s of their favourite shows and films. For me my addiction is True Blood.

True Blood is a great example of modern transmedia storytelling even Henry Jenkins agrees with this statement “But many of the big hits–including Glee, True Blood, and The Walking Dead–model new transmedia strategies to attract and sustain audience engagement.”

True Blood is a TV series aired on HBO, though this is not an original story for TV as the series is based on the books “Southern Vampire Mystery”  (also known as, Sookie Stackhouse novels and now True Blood) The audience can easily become engaged with this TV show due to the amount of channels this series content flows across. Such as; TV series, Blog, Comics, Podcasts and even a online community.

Each channel is an extension on the fandom, “the extension may provide insight into the characters and their motivations” this helps to further engage the audience and keep their engagement for longer periods of time and through season breaks.

True Bloods main channel which I believe really shows  their use of transmedia is baby vampire Jessica’s blog. After every episode Jess releases a blog of her thoughts on events from the  last episode. This allows a better understanding of Jessica and really lets the audience get to know her on a personal level.

They also have created a number of comic books which contain history on all the main characters, this helps to better understand the characters better however the books are the best for background information and to gain a real insight into Sookie’s mind as the book is written in first person.

True Blood as you can see is a great example of transmedia story telling, they ensure that their content is scattered across many different media contents allowing many access points to the story. This in return allows the audience to further engage themselves, become active within the story by exploring different aspects and in general all of these “multiple narratives form a coherent whole”. ( (Mitew, T 2012, Transmedia narratives: from blockbusters to g/local content flow, BCM112, lecture, University of Wollongong) Especially when most of these narratives provide a character background and insight to their thoughts on events.

So is your favourite Tv show or film employing transmedia storytelling?

Until next time

That’s all folks

Amy

References:

Mitew, T 2012, Transmedia narratives: from blockbusters to g/local content flow, lecture,BCM 112 Convergent Media, University of Wollongong, delivered 2nd April.
All the rest are hyperlinked

Image sourced from: Google