More boobs please.

The participatory culture of today allows citizens more freedoms to create a powerful message and the evolution of convergence has made it easier than ever before to say what we want, to who we want and even having the capacity to remain anonymous. With this freedom though there comes a downside of an online world filled with negativity and hate…

http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/06/04/president-obama-proposes-patent-troll-laws-that-will-probably-do-very-little-to-stop-most-patent-trolling/
http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/06/04/president-obama-proposes-patent-troll-laws-that-will-probably-do-very-little-to-stop-most-patent-trolling/

In 2012, over 85% of people said that they had witnessed some form of online bullying and one of the most prominent forms of online mistreatment is that of misogyny and sexism. Online trolling is as old as the first forms of social media and it refers to the posting of harmful and derogatory comments in order to acquire an emotional response from the victim. Sometimes they are funny and meant in jest whilst other times the boundaries are pushed too far and sometimes end in death. Often these people troll the internet under aliases or anonymous accounts and this means they are hard to find, report and punish.

Many modern day women are taking advantage of the internet, allowing them to speak their minds and have begun posting on all issues current to themselves and the world. This is when trolls attack, they use gender, sexual innuendoes, fashion and all sort of other irrelevant comments to demoralise and insult the minority groups to feel a sense of self-empowerment and superiority. This has been the case for Alanah Pearce, a videogame journalist who makes regular videos for numerous YouTube channels. She has been faced with much sexism on her social networking sites and her professional websites with most hateful comments not at all related to her content.

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/04/30-days-of-sexism/
http://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/04/30-days-of-sexism/

Everyone is technically entitled to their own opinion so it has proven difficult to address rules and guidelines regarding people’s voices being heard online but to what extent should we allow this to continue and when will it go far enough that action will be done?

Such clicktivist. Much Slacktivism.

Social media sites are supposedly helping those in need with people saving the world from behind their computers and this is clicktivism. It is defined as “the use of social media and other online methods to promote a cause.” and was recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary. The point of this is to utilise the large crowds which occupy social media daily and raise awareness for issues in hope that everyone will engage and help in doing something but the downfall to this however is called slacktivism. Slacktivism is the concept that people ‘liking’ a photo are feeling as though they are contributing to greater causes when in truth it does not achieve anything at all with many photos being posted on Facebook claiming “like if you care” or “comment and we will donate”.

The most famous example of clicktivism is the KONY 2012 campaign which circulated the media. It was run by Invisible Children, a non-government organisation short film that aimed to stop African militia leader Joseph Kony and his army who had been abducting children across Central Africa for 26 years. People all over the world watched the video and bought the KONY pack to raise money and promoted the issue. While clicktivism prevailed in that it did become globally known and that nearly $20 million was raised by the campaign (which according to news.com.au, more of the money raised was spent on promotion and marketing than the actual program), Joseph Kony could not be caught through clicktivism thus resulting in the campaign’s failure.

 

330692786_640

Reeeeemix!

When someone says ‘remix’, I immediately think of a DJ in a club, holding an earphone to his head, scratching his deck and yelling into a microphone “reeeeemix!” I’ve come to learn that this isn’t the only kind of remixing…

http://imgur.com/3fksC
http://imgur.com/3fksC

Remixing is the activity of taking samples from pre-existing materials and reshaping it. We actually live in a remix culture where ideas are remixed, revised and remastered in order to create something new out of something old every day. This concept is so relevant because everyone has the ability to create a remix and change cultural landscapes. We have the capability to shape a song, video, image in a way we want it to be viewed and we are also able to share and interact with others.

‘The increasing availability of symmetrical media technologies… like the Internet afford their participants an equal chance to have their message heard’ (Bruns, 2010).

There have been many cases or arguments of people stealing lyrics or chord progressions from others and many mash up videos made to illustrate this. Mash up videos and songs are a large part of remix culture and were made popular through YouTube. These videos involve taking pieces from two or more songs to create a completely new one and it is apparent that most pop songs have taken this approach.

Remixing, mash ups, similarities, they are all unavoidable and this is not necessarily a bad thing. I believe that if something is similar but the intent behind its creation was completely different then it is an extension of the previous work, a different angle, a progression.

A bit of Harry for everyone.

Multiple stories being told over multiple platforms with these different plots coming together to tell a single pervasive story line. This method allows the audience to view the narrative in greater depth and is the simplest way to describe the concept of transmedia. Henry Jenkins explains the purpose as “creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.” By removing the traditional confines of a story, transmedia narratives allow audiences to engage across all platforms during, between and after a show and this expands an audience market thus promoting and economically aiding the development of a story.

J.K. Rowling’s book series Harry Potter was an instant success and so the progression of being made into films and games and the creation of the interactive site Pottermore and more began. These multiple platforms of storytelling provide the audience with an opportunity to seek and help create extensions from the original fiction. Hollywood productions no longer have to rely on box office hits to make money as they now have film, comics, the web, albums, television, games and so on to market from. This production has been termed “synergy“; the economics of media consolidation.

http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Images_by_video_game
http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Images_by_video_game
http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Images_by_video_game
http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Images_by_video_game
http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Images_by_video_game
http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Images_by_video_game

 

But transmedia doesn’t just involve the industry; a ‘collective intelligence’ of consumers around the world is able to make unique contributions to a text, changing the understanding of the fiction as a whole. This is called ‘additive comprehension‘. Consumers are involved in creating extended information from the original fiction by building worlds and insight into characters. This collective intelligence isn’t streamed into one medium with different parts of information about the fiction being dispersed through each separate medium; consumers become hunters and gatherers, piecing together a consistent picture through the scattered information.

Transmedia reshapes the way of storytelling into one that’s interactive, filled with endless stories and is an exciting way to submerge yourself into a fictional world and seems to be one of the most successful and creative ways of dealing with the process of convergence.

Citizen Journalists catch Sandy!

The capability to inform the world about something is now possessed by every individual thanks to the extraordinary growth of social media and rapid technological development and this has led to the new dimension that is citizen journalism. The public’s ability to analyse, report and spread news through their phones and the internet gives them much more freedom and opportunity in determining how news is treated and ultimately gives them the title of prosumer. Citizen journalists are made when they sharing their footage, opinion or recounts of events through social media allowing for collective intelligence.

 ‘Citizen journalism, which often builds on, debates, and critiques the published reports of mainstream journalistic organisations, can also be seen as a form of collaborative filtering – sifting through the vast amount of information now available in online environments in order to discover the most relevant, important, or useful information ’  (Bruns, 2007)

For example, in 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit the US and caused much destruction and thanks to the thousands of people posting on Instagram, we knew the extent of Sandy and her effects. New York Times reported that users were sharing 10 photos with the #Sandy hashtag every second. Due to this upsurge in Sandy related posts, the website Instacane founded and documented Hurricane Sandy through Instagram pictures tagged under #sandy and #hurricane. Images such as the following were posted.

http://mashable.com/2012/10/31/sandy-instagram-journalism/
http://mashable.com/2012/10/31/sandy-instagram-journalism/
http://mashable.com/2012/10/31/sandy-instagram-journalism/
http://mashable.com/2012/10/31/sandy-instagram-journalism/

This new form of journalism which has no restrictions to adhere to and allows ‘journalists’ to take any angle on a story and immediately share it is a major reason behind the slowly diminishing traditional journalism and its forms of news delivery systems such as newspapers. Despite this though, it allows for advancement and yes issues such as determining fact from fiction arise but so does the perspective count and this very notion allows people from all around the world to tell their story and continues to shape how we see the world.

How do YOU interact with the internet?

Common technology such as mobile phones, computers and television set are primarily used for people to interact with other people. Television (monologic media) requires a longer time span for production to get across from the producer to the user whereas mobile phones (dialogic media) are built to be made compatible for the quick lifestyle of society and so therefore the movement of information is more direct. Despite these differences, technology cooperates to create a flow of media content across multiple media platforms and this ultimately effects how audience interact with these said technologies.

The audience’s role was once to consume the media presented to them and this passive audience who had no control or influence delved into the world of convergence and this has empowered audiences to become active consumers. Not only do they now consumer but they also have the opportunity to produce, share, interact and comment and this has led to the creation of participatory culture. ‘Prosumers’ as they are labelled arise from the low cost of access and production and also the immediacy of this connectivity is and this drives increasing participation across platforms.

A solid example of a prosumer environment is Instagram. Everyone and anyone can upload photos and videos and this has resulted in an uprise of a new form of media personalities.  People with interesting lives amass thousands of followers and this has led to business ventures (especially in the fashion industry) such as marketing and product promotion through these ‘instafamous’ people and also the scouting for talent. This participatory culture allows for even ordinary people to be featured on social media pages of companies and shared to millions of people through a click of a button. For example, the Australian fashion label Shakuhachi posts on average 3 posts a day with content ranging from life at head office, published advertisements, everyday life at the stores and celebrities wearing the brand but the most common posts are ‘regrams’ from customers. Using customer images diminishes the barrier between the company and customers so people feel more comfortable and familiar with the brand, increase sales and further fuel the marketing campaign which they are the backbone to anyway.

This once simple platform for sharing photos has evolved by users to become a business tool in reaching out to potential customers and this has led to an increase in a different kind of user, one who is driven by likes and followers in the aim of making a monetary profit back.

 

http://instagram.com/shakuhachi

Shakuhachi Instagram, Accessed March 4th 2014

 

Terry, T, Understanding The Differences Between Passive, Active, Interactive, and Supra-active Media, Publishes April 3rd 2014, Accessed April 4th 2014

Frey, A, 2012, Pics or it Didn’t Happen; Instagram in Prosumer Capitalism and Reflexive Modernity, Accessed April 4th 2014.

Open or closed, you decide!

Despite being part of generation Y I am technologically ignorant and was not aware of the how polar the Apple and Android worlds truly are. Being an android user (unintentionally due to plan rates etc.) and only ever receiving the Apple experiencing through my one and only iPod, I never knew of the concepts of locked appliances vs. generative platforms, the controlled vs. the free and open. Mobile phones are no longer restricted to making phone calls; they have evolved and now include what are considered ‘basic’ functions such as cameras, the ability to run internet servers and applications for entertainment.

These abilities come about due to digital citizenship and participation by users and the audience. Users are being prosumers and have the ability to produce as well as consume and this is quite evident in the android market. New applications, tools and software are being created everyday by people all over the world and so this open market has been a driving force behind globalisation. These advances also give rise to much tension and conflict about the ideologies and permissions in its design, production and use.

A rift in society caused by the use of the application Instagram is that people’s privacy and content ownership are put into question as once something is posted; it then becomes Instagram’s property. A sect in society have found that the global use of Instagram has undermined professional photographers as anyone now is able to shoot, edit and post images. It is a new language for photographers as it is no longer about technique and equipment but rather the story and the message portrayed.

A free market also opens doors to more scams and in April 2012 cybercriminals released a ‘clone’ site of Instagram where downloaders were infected by the Android app which sent SMS messages to premium services and enormous bills were incurred. This was designed to make money from unsuspecting users.

Locked and generative appliances both have negatives and positives but it is up to you as the user to decide which is best suited to your needs.

 

 

Instagram: Democratisation of Photography?,World Photography Organisation, Published January 31st 2014, Accessed March 29th 2014

http://www.worldphoto.org/news-and-events/wpo-news/instagram-democratisation-of-photography/

 

Waugh, R, Not so snap happy: Android Instagram users hit by virus-infected fake app which secretly runs up enormous bills, Daily Mail UK, Published April 19th 2012, Accessed March 29th 2014

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2132047/Not-snap-happy-Android-Instagram-users-hit-virus-infected-fake-app-secretly-runs-enormous-bills.html

 

Jenkins, H (2004), The Cultural logic of Media Convergence, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Volumes 7(1): 33-43

https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/152342/mod_resource/content/2/Jenkins%2C%20H.%20-%20The%20cultural%20logic%20of%20media%20convergence.pdf