May 27, 2011

Planking Networks.

As I am sure most of you are familiar with, the talk of planking has been phenomenal – especially in online communities.

If I type ‘planking’ onto my Facebook search engine, the amount of pages I find is ridiculous. Some of the pages are:

  • Not planking because I have a normal life (1,205 members)
  • I didn’t pass out I was just planking the gutter (21, 052 members)
  • You know you’re Australian when you can make planking a sport (4,250 members)
  • I prefer the upright version of planking, it’s called standing (51, 490 members)

The parallels I am trying to create between this planking phenomenon and Net Communications is the way Web 2.0 applications such as Facebook etc has the power to speedily communicate a message through creating pages through social networking sites. Further I have listed the amount of members that have joined each page as to reveal what the online community find most popular and what they most find amusing.

I was having a conversation with one of my friends when he mentioned that four people that worked at his local Safeway got fired for planking.  Puzzled I asked how his employers found out. He said they found photographs of the boys planking at work on Facebook.

I decided to Google this and I found an article, http://www.news.com.au/business/business-smarts/woolworths-sacks-staff-as-planking-craze-sweeps-australia/story-e6frfm9r-1226059282699

It’s interesting to see that employers have the power to access Facebook to determine terminating the contracts of their employees.

As the article investigates “A spokeswoman said the company [Safeway] became aware of the stunts when it was tipped off by colleagues and directed to images on Facebook“.

Thus it can be concluded that Facebook as a product of Web 2.0 not only can be used as a social tool but now extends to aiding employers when making decisions to terminate contracts with existing employees.

Is this fair/ unfair?

Tell me what you think.

May 27, 2011

The rise of parodies.

A parody, in contemporary usage, is a work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous,satiric or ironic imitation.

I have noticed that parodies have become extremely popular in Youtube culture and has increasingly clogged up my live feed on Facebook.

Initially I found parodies stupid and immature although when I was forced to watch a couple of parodies from links that friends passed on to me I found them absolutely hilarious!

Wynter Gordon’s ‘Dirty Talk’ single was recreated into a parody about the stereotypes of the Asian culture, humorously mocking their driving and mathematical skills.

I’ve linked the videos below, tell me what you think.

Dirty Talk 

The original song.

Asian Talk

The parody.


May 27, 2011

Reflecting on Week 9.

Reflecting on week 9.

In the week 9 lecture we looked at the popularity of amateur videos.

We had a look at

Keyboard cat

and the

JK Wedding Entrance Dance Video

I think it is great to see that amateur videos have become so popular in the online community.

I think what makes it so appealing is the different things that people can come up with that goes outside the norms of what media institutions create.

The creativity of people is admiring and definitely amusing!

May 27, 2011

Reflecting on week 8.

Reflecting on Week 8.

In week eight tutorials, our task was  to find and locate a bad website and compare it to a good website. Me and Soph worked together to find an example of each and stumbled across the following;

Bad Website

http://www.gotmilk.com/

Good Website

http://www.countryroad.com.au/

The Got Milk website was extremely bad. Although it may look modern the site utilises too many Flash applications that make accessing the site extremely difficult and slow – even with a fast internet connection. Further the site does not clearly mark any of its functions. The site does not make any sense and replicates a children’ gaming site. For such a large and successful organisation, I am surprised that site was so poorly designed.

On the other hand we selected Country Road as an example of a good website. Soph works at Country Road thus said the site successfully embodied the organisations culture and ethics. The site looks appealing, professional and presentable. It did not take long to load the site and everything is clearly marked. Although this site also makes use of Flash it does so in moderation so the site can still operate smoothly.

May 26, 2011

Reflecting on week 7.

Reflecting on week 7.

In week seven we explored the concept of blogging, one that I am sure we are all familiar with.

In the lecture Marcos defined blogging as “A genre and technology, or, a genre with specific technological characteristics.

• a form of diary-keeping (PERSONAL TO PUBLIC CULTURE)

•a form of web-page

•date-stamped

•reverse chronological order

•consists of ‘posts’ that contain commentary

and usually links (and often clips, pictures etc)

•written in a personal/informal tone

•exists as part of a community

•published to some form of audience ” (Week seven, lecture slide 21).

In first year last year, I had always had the intention of creating my own personal blog for the reasons above; for a form of diary keeping, to write what ever I wanted and whenever I wanted. It was always an intriguing concept to me to be able to participate in the ever growing online community culture.

Through first through to second year,  have had many blogging assignments to complete that has familiarised me with the concept of  dashboards, commenting, drafting, posting and updating entries.

Net Communications has further expanded my knowledge of blogging through utilising wordpress.

I’ve come to terms with widgets and blogrolls that I was never really familiar once before.

If anything wordpress encouraged me to finally create a blog of my own on tumblr.

Although tumblr. may not be as formal as wordpress, I find that it is quite familiar amongst my friendship circle.

The appeal of blogging is the freedom it allows users to exercise text, videos and photography with. It is a form of DIY journalism with is totally a form of self expression.

I like that blogging allows you to further connect with an audience and allows you to express yourself. It is a great tool to have to communicate with others and it helps to encourage interactivity amongst online communities.

May 26, 2011

Reflecting on Week 5.

Reflection on week 5.

In week five we explored ‘Privacy, Ethics and Reputation.’

It was interesting to explore and discuss the controversial topic of Facebook Privacy.

I found an article in The Sydney Morning Herald that explored individual rights on Facebook.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/what-are-your-rights-on-facebook-20110525-1f3hv.html

It was frightening to know that “Facebook’s statement of rights and responsibilities provides that when you publish content or information using the “everyone” setting, it means that the user allows everyone  – including people outside of Facebook – to access and use that information, and to associate it with them“.

Being a Facebook member, I have always been quite sensitive about using Facebook and uploading photos, purely for privacy reasons. I always ensure that all of my albums are under the “friends only” setting whereby the only people who have access to my photos are the people who are friends with my account.

I do believe that privacy is worth talking about especially where it concerns the distribution of information of private information and photos. Whilst it is scary to know that our photos will always exist on the world wide web even after we delete our Facebook or MySpace accounts, it is something we have selflessly volunteered to do. Facebook users should familiarise themselves with the networks privacy policy to further prevent any upset of distribution of private information and uploaded content.

May 26, 2011

Reflecting on Week Four.

Reflecting on week four.

In week four we explored ‘Participatory Cultures ; Media Convergence and New Forms of Networked Cultures’, whereby the concept of Peer to Peer sharing was evaluated and defined in the lecture as “a new modality of organising production that is: radically decentralised, collaborative, & nonproprietary; based on sharing resources & outputs among widely distributed, loosely connected individuals who cooperate with each other without relying on either market signals or managerial commands” (Benkler 2006).

It was interesting to analyse how our culture has shifted and data such as the music we download online can be shared without the need for a central server.

I found this video on Youtube that explores the P2P concept and briefly explores the advantages and disadvantages.

Further, Marcos provided a link in the lecture to an article on Cnet News.

The article explores how P2P usage has declined. It states that the viruses one can retrieve from using the sites has repelled users to use P2P sharing and perhaps consumers are ” logging on to Facebook, playing video games or maybe they’re listening to the collections they’ve already acquired” (Cnet News).

It was an interesting read and I couldn’t help but compare it to my own P2P sharing experiences. I initially used Limewire to source my music files on my old computer. Since making the switch to a Mac laptop I have been much more sensitive to the sites I source my music from. I am still guilty for downloading music from sites such as Mediafire and Zippyshare however I do not do it on a consistent basis.

To say that there has been a decline in P2P sharing is probably correct. I know that in my group of friends it is hard to find the time to download music as we are getting older; work and uni is consuming a lot of our leisure time thus there is no actual time to sit on the computer to search and download songs as we  probably once used to in high school.

If I have a moment to download music I will, I absolutely love listening to music and it is something I cannot live without. P2P sharing in my lifestyle boils down to time and accessibility. If I have the time and enough internet to download music I will have a session of downloading songs because I know it’ll be a while before I have the time to do so again.

References

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-10461377-261.html

May 25, 2011

Fifth Blog…..

Following week 10 tutorial’s exercise, explain why you chose the Creative Commons license that you added to your blog and discuss the relevance (or not) of adding the license.

Following the week 10 tutorial exercise, I chose to include the Creative Commons license to my wordpress blog for a number of reasons.

Marc Garcelon’s An information commons? Creative Commons and public access to cultural creations spoke volumes to me.  I found the discussion and parallels drawn between the Creative Commons license and ‘intellectual property’ and the “future of representative democracy” (Garcelon, 2009, p.1307) particularly interesting.

So what is Creative Commons?

To aid the Youtube video above with words, the Creative Commons website has declared themselves as a website with a vision to “Realizing the full potential of the internet — universal access to research, education, full participation in culture, and driving a new era of development, growth, and productivity” thus it can be gathered that this idea of universal and global creative media distribution is a primary motive for Creative Commons.

Further, Creative Commons holds the history of copyright close to its chest as a way of describing the transgressional development of their primary motive of universal distribution;”The default setting of copyright law requires all of these actions to have explicit permission, granted in advance, whether you’re an artist, teacher, scientist, librarian, policymaker, or just a regular user. To achieve the vision of universal access, someone needed to provide a free, public, and standardized infrastructure that creates a balance between the reality of the Internet and the reality of copyright laws. That someone is Creative Commons.”

The idea of universally sharing and distributing media creativity is a concept I find intriguing and one that I support. This concept of distribution reminds me very much so of media convergence and parallels can be made between Garcelon’s discussion on the rise of the internet as a non rivalrous resource and Henry Jenkin’s media convergence.

Jenkin’s definition of media convergence is described as a culture “where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media and consumer interact in unpredictable ways” (Jenkins, 2009, p.2).

Further Jenkin’s describes the art of convergence as “the flow of content across multiple media platforms…the migratory behaviour of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want” (Jenkins, 2009, p.2).

Media is continually changing and continually shifting. From web applications to media technologies our world is fast changing and adapting to technological advancements.

Access to FaceBook, Tumblr., and WordPress to name a few, can not only be accessed through a laptop but can be used from mobile phones. Thus the idea of using the internet and the development of media platforms and convergence relates to Creative Commons.

Hence establishing the sphere of a  shared culture. This idea where new and old media collide and the idea that media audiences will go anywhere to search for entertainment is certainly applicable to consumers who utilise blogging sites or networking sites. It is to say that the continual developments of mobile phones and laptops will aid users to access applications that they find entertaining.

The sync between Creative Commons and media convergence that I have established fuels this idea of universal distribution and efficiency. Soon enough there will be many users of the internet uploading, creating and sharing a variety of media content in the form of essays, film, photography and music through avenues such as Web 2.0 via laptops and mobile phones.

Obtaining a Creative Commons license as I have done through WordPress is one that I think will be beneficial.

The license as Creative Commons describes “lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation“.

And so any of my work now, any of my blogs posted can be used by you, the readers and be used or manipulated, shared and distributed in any way shape or form so long as I am credited.

To be credited for your work is something I think speaks volumes, and is something I personally think is liberating.

Living in an age technological advancements, I think it is important to keep up to speed with media distribution and acknowledging original work and creativity.

The license is applicable to our blogs as it allows the phenomenal media movement to continue and to nourish. It also gives us a chance to become a part of the development of media distribution and shape the way our world wide web operates within web 2.0 applications.

References

Marc Garcelon, ‘An Information Commons? Creative Commons and Public Access to Cultural Creations’, New Media & Society 11.8 (2009): 1307-1326.

http://creativecommons.org/

Henry Jenkins. ‘Introduction: Worship at the Altar of Convergence’ in Convergence culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, New York: NYU Press, 2006, pp 1-19.

May 24, 2011

Fourth Blog….

Burgess and Green argue that: ordinary people who become celebrities through their own creative efforts “remain within the system of celebrity native to, and controlled by, the mass media” (Reader, page 269).

Youtube, as Burgress and Green argue “is emerging as a new site of media power”, a “disruptive force on business and society” (Burgress, 2009, p.15). It is a “public video-sharing website where people can experience varying degrees of engagement with videos, ranging from casual viewing to sharing videos in order to maintain social relationships” (Lange, 2008, p.361).

The Web 2.0 application has created a phenomenal online community that has moulded the very foundations of online participatory culture; allowing Youtuber’s to upload videos, view videos created by users, to like or dislike videos and further to comment videos thus extending the platform of participation and communication in the online community.

Burgess and Green argue that ordinary people such as myself and you, who have become celebrities through their own efforts “remain within the system of celebrity naive to, and controlled by, the mass media” (Reader, page 269).

It is an interesting point that Burgess and Green render, as to suggest that if you were a celebrity created through Youtube you are ultimately a product of and controlled by the mass media.

Youtube is an avenue for youth to participate in the age of new media and its discourse. Public masses are rising bottom up thus illustrating just how power lyes in the hands of the consumer.

The power to create video blogs, to create any video content and upload it instantly on the world wide web gives users efficient and instant recognition and access to content uploaded. Further video uploads via Youtube extends the meaning of audience members – the videos are global thus the videos are far reaching and can be viewed globally and to anybody who has access to the internet.

Thus “raw talent combined with digital distribution can convert directly to legitimate success and media fame” (Burgress, 2009, p.21). Burgress discusses this statement in relation to the uprising of amateur videos.

Amateur video bloggers are essentially ordinary people who create and upload video content onto Youtube. The unison of “raw talent” and “digital distribution” as Burgress describes has allowed Youtubers to become celebrities in the making being discovered by media institutions.

A very example of this is musician Terra Naomi.

“In March 2007, she received one of the inaugural YouTube Video Awards in the music video category for “Say It’s Possible“, garnering her appearances on NBC’s The Today Show and CBS’ The Early Show, as well as coverage on several international news programs” (Wikipedia website). Her recognition via these media outlets scored her a deal with Island Records.

Does Burgress’s argument that “ordinary people who become celebrities through their own creative efforts “remain within the system of celebrity native to, and controlled by, the mass media” render any truth?

Nick Couldry argues that “in the mainstream media, the distance between ‘ordinary’ citizen and celebrity can only be bridged when the ordinary person gains access to the modes of representation of the mass media” (Burgress, 2009, 22).

From my observations I suppose it can be argued that people who become celebrities through their own efforts on Youtube are undoubtedly controlled by the mass media.

The mass media holds power to all avenues of media distribution whether it be modes of representation through television, cinema, radio or print. There is a distinct “media world” and it the level of celebrity exposure is dependent on the level of media distribution.

However it can be argued that the word celebrity should be better defined.

A celebrity in the mainstream media sense can relate to big name stars such that of Orlando Bloom or Chloe Sevigny. Although lower scaled celebrities such as Terra Naomi who don’t receive as much media exposure as does Chloe Sevigny and Orlando Bloom, Terra Naomi can arguably remain in the system of celebrity.

It isn’t that ordinary people are naive, it is that everyone is a product of mass media control.

I argue this point to say that even big name celebrities such as Chloe and Orlando are subject to mass media control. Although they were not discovered via the video sharing site Youtube, it isn’t t say that they have more or less control where the media is concerned. Observably I would say they share the same amount of power as ordinary people, in the end they are just products of media and consumer consumption.

Users who utilise Youtube become celebrities in their own rights. They build recognition in their online communities, and perhaps as ordinary people the celebrity status that is generated from uploading their video could be the most powerful form of media recognition – fellow users and people on the online community hold true to their opinions and comments thus mass media control in my eyes is the development of personality profile and distribution – not necessarily the most flattering form of appreciation.

References:

Jean Burgress and Joshua Green, “Youtube and The Mainstream Media”, in Youtube: Online and Participatory Culture, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009, pp 15-37.

Patricia G. Lange, “Publicly Private and Privately Public: Social Networking on YouTube”, in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, School of Cinematic Arts University of Southern California: International Communication Association, 2008, pp 361 – 380.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_Naomi

May 17, 2011

Reflecting on Week Three…

Reflecting on Week Three. 

In week three, Marcos posted up the definition of interactivity as defined by the Oxford Online Dictionary ;

“interactive(inter|active):

(of a computer or other electronic device) allowing a two-way flow of information between it and a user; responding to the user’s input: interactive video.” (Oxford Online Dictionaries).

I decided to Youtube Interactivity to see what I could find…..

I found this particularly interesting. Tell me what you think!