Reflection folks.

Photo credit: leeannepeters.blogspot.com

Photo credit: leeannepeters.blogspot.com

This entire semester of blogging has been one heck of an experience. I have never done anything like this before and to be quite honest, I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have become aware of so many new and different topics regarding all things media and it’s sad knowing its all come to an end.

Looking back at all my blog posts, each one has taught me vital lessons and messages. But I am only going to choose 3 and here they are…

1. Power to the people through digital media.

This was one of my earlier blog posts and definitely my favourite. It was all about the importance and power of digital media, most significantly YouTube. I had the most fun with this blog as I dwelled in a number of YouTube clips to use as examples, which enabled me to gain quite an insight into the world of participatory culture, that I had no clue about and didn’t even bother to think about before this subject. I learned that digital media is now, more than ever, a central and inevitable factor in our everyday lives that have more control over than we are aware.

2. Mix it.

This blog was another favourite of mine, where the topic of remixing music and videos was the main issue. Once again, before I started BCM112 it didn’t occur to me about the issues that surround remixes, both legally and morally. I just enjoyed having a laugh at all the parodies. My research lead me to learn that cultural practices play an important role in the production of remixes and how it is just a natural path of cultural and technological evolution. This has opened my eyes to look past the hilarity of the videos and see the produsage elements.

3. #mencallmethings

This was my final blog post and definitely the most moving. Being a woman myself, made the topic really hit home and I had a rush of empathy for victims of sexism. Not knowing anyone affected by it or being affected myself, I learned that trolling and sexism provide ways that can not only hurt people, but also destroy their lives. After my blog post, I dove into more research to further engage myself and be aware of sexism. I never fully understood the degree at which it was happening and it definitely shocked me. It was difficult not to go deep and put my own personal feelings into the post, due to the fact that I was so engulfed into the injustice of the issue. But it was a truly worthwhile post to write.

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#mencallmethings

The notion of sexism has been a prevalent issue throughout history! And with the coming of the digital age, it has only seemed to have escalated. Not having been personally affected by it, I am aware at how significant it truly is, just by what you see on social media sites, such as Facebook and Tumblr. It is no secret that the subject of women being targeted by sexism, online, is found through their opinions, thoughts or actions. However the extent that Internet trolls go to in order to blatantly “attack” is shocking to say the least.

In this day and age, anything can be said on the Internet with literally no filter. And even if you deny it, everyone has said something slightly argumentative to another just for a ‘stir up’ (even me), there’s no doubt about it. Women are mainly found to be the most affected of this. But there is a clear difference between disagreeing with someone’s opinion, and simply replying with sexist, degrading and other profane comments just because you feel like it. It is hard to determine the reasoning behind it. Maybe the people sitting at ther keyboard are naturally sexist, or they just want an argument or even so, that they are bored with their miserable lives that they want to do the same to another’s. This is known as the concept of ‘trolling’.

Trolling can take anononymous form, allowing the person doing it, to go unknown. Of course if you are on the recieving end of these comments, it can be even more difficult to come to terms with why you getting the “hate” and even more so when you have no idea who the person is. The issue of affecting young women is quite common and a truly terrible occurrence. A highly publicised case of Internet trolls is the suicide of Amanda Todd. Amanda took her Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 7.16.28 PMown life after trying to escape the horrible trolls whom spread vulgar images of her all over the Internet, leading to MANY people cyperstalking and sending her sexualised and hurtful attacks. She responded with a YouTube video and that was the last heard of her. It actually disgusts me that people have the audacity to be so low and intentionally hurt another human being just for their own pleasure. Yes the images taken were provactive, but it gives NO RIGHT for others to exploit them because it was all a bit of “fun”.

Karalee Evan’s article ‘Men call me things: it’s not as romantic as it sounds’  is a similar account, but definitely not as extreme. She speaks about her own personal experiences recieving abusive emails containing sexual violence, death threats and misogynistic comments, based only on her GENDER! Many women do get intimidated to fight back, its part of our feminine nature. Sexism is not only present, but alive.

The hashtag #mencallmethings was created by Sady Doyle, as a way for women affected by sexism, to come to a “safe” place online to address, comment and share their stories of attacks to help eachother. I believe this blog was a good remedy of relief and assistance. Although it no longer exists, it was a demonstration of proof that sexism is serious issue that can lead to much more than getting your feelings hurt. However, we can’t blame the Internet, its the people behind their computers. And it isn’t until society changes its views and morals, that sexism will diminsh.

 

 

 

 

Youth Culture and ‘clicktivism’.

Today’s youth have been branded “lazy”, “inconsiderate” and “juvenile”…to say the least. Being a member of Generation Y myself, I can proudly say that I am niether of those things, I have a compassion and an interest in the world today, aswell as the majority of fellow young people I know. I’m not saying every single one of us are alike, there IS a minority of young ones who do fall into those categories, though why should we all be placed in the same boat?

We are viewed as a generation that is entirely consumed by technology and social media. Everywhere you go and every young person you see is glued to their smartphone, updating their Facebook status or checking how many likes their Instagram photo has recieved. Here is my defense: From the outside, it looks as if we are disconnected from the real world around us, unable to distinguish between virtuality and reality. But have either of you “old folk” (no disrespect intended!) thought about just how powerful social media really is. Everyday single day, there is a public affairs story/ issue popping up on our Facebook newsfeeds. Have you also thought about the fact that we are using social media as one of the ways to stay in touch with the real world around us and also as method to try and do something about it? Perhaps you have, but a significant example of this is Kony 2012. It took the social media world just 6 days for the viral video to reach 100 million views, 7 out of the 10 top trending on topics on Twitter were about Kony on its release day and half a million website views on the day of its launch. I think its safe to say that youth culture discovered Kony, before the local news on Channel 10. The strength of social media has enabled us to become aware of and act upon them the best way we know how…resharing it on social media!

 

However, (now here’s the part where ‘inconsiderate’ stereotype is correct) the issue of ‘clicktivism’ becomes apparent and it is used by many in a exploited manner. Clicktivism is a term that describes modern-day activists that use social media to express and voice their opinions and concerns for/of a certain cause and reaching out for support, by organising online rallies, protests etc. In one way, this can be seen as youth culture’s answer to many things happening in the world, getting all our Facebook friends aware of the situation. Yet at the same time, you get the tumblr_mch6gt1gp41rv75mmo1_1280bunch of thoughtless losers that post annoying and unnecessary images of children in third world countries, people with forms of illnesses etc with the caption “1 Like= 1 prayer” plasted over the picture. These images are silly and a form of attention seeking, with no purpose in being politcally and culturally aware, and also no purpose in assisting the cause. Just makes the people that made them look dumb! It dimishes the whole history of clicktivism (even though it was obscure to begin with).

Like it or not, social media is changing the way politics is being delt with in youth culture. It isn’t the traditional way our parents and grandparents did it, but because of the rapid growth of technology, it is the now and the future. For better or for worse, I am not sure, but what I am sure about is that WE DO CARE and WE ARE AWARE of world around us, but I guess you could say we are expressing this in a totally digitised way.

Mix it.

 

The rise of remix has been prevalent since the rise of technology. Parodies, imitations and spoofs are shown to be the most common through there facilitation on YouTube. Although remixing has been around for a number of decades, the growth of YouTube has contributed to this sudden burst of remix, that has engulfed society. It has also created an online atmosphere where it is deemed ‘okay’ to reinvent another’s ideas and creating your own adaption, causing both excitement and tension in the online world. I’m not going to lie, I have tried doing this myself, because at the end of the day, it’s all in the name of fun!

Most of today’s society thrives off the hilarity that these remix videos portray, and everyone gets a kick out of them. However, on a legal retrospect this can be seen as a form of “stealing”, “copying” and “embezzlement”. In ‘The law regarding music sampling”, Michael McCready discusses how music sampling and remixing is seen as an issue of copyright and a breaching of the material, by the means of the sound recording copyright (usually owned by the record company) and the copyright in the song itself (usually owned by the songwriter or the publishing company). Of cours if we look at it from that angle, we can see how he MAY be correct, but how does the music industry actually lose out of? For example, someone decides to create a parody of a hit song and ends up with 1 million views. This is great for the individual and it is bonus exposure of the song for the original artist and their record label. It can be a win-win if you think about it!

Remixing is a new societal norm. It’s part of our cultural and technological evolution. We have spent so much time relying on outside sources for our entertainment for a long time and now the time has come to extend upon originality. Original ideas are rarely found nowadays. We all use eachother’s ideas to develop them and make them into something greater. It’s just how the world works. There are a variety of tools that are accessible to almost everyone and anyone to do so. From a digital persective we have software programs such as Sony Acid, iMovie and Garageband, that help in creating these remixes.

I believe remixing is seen as a positive reflection on todays society. Some of things people come up with are simply genius and are an interesting take on how they percieve certain ideas (like Nova’s One Direction parody above). It can benefit all types of experiences and a good way for people to express their ideas in new, innovative ways. Since this is only the beginning of remixes, who knows what else is around the corner. I will leave you with Taylor Swift’s song ‘Trouble’…goat edition.

Transmedia Storytelling…

Transmedia storytelling is the present and the future! As the traditional forms of media begin to diminish, to say the least, us consumers are taking on the media industry in ways that where never even heard of 15 years ago. With this growth, ‘old school’ media are vying to come up with ways to stay relevant and create some revenue for themselves. An important concept to take note of is transmedia storytelling.

Briefly, transmedia storytelling is a technique that involves the telling of a single story across many digital media platforms. You can either look at this concept as a beneficiary or threat. Either way it is quite crucial. In ‘Transmedia Storytelling 101’  Jenkins describes this process as a possible expansion of the media market. Traditional media outlets can venture out of their initial form and reach out into other markets to gain visibility.

Source credit: wheelercentre.com -

Source credit: wheelercentre.com –

An example of this is the television drama series ‘Game of Thrones’. The idea for ‘Game of Thrones’ originated from the author George R.R Martin’s novel ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. The instant success of the show has lead to the creation of 3 video games inspired by the series, a web series, merchandise/exhibitions and large fandom to name a few. With many different branches, to the now brand of ‘Game of Thrones’, we can assume that there is some level of convergence between television and gaming media, which not only creates a connection, but also a force of media empowerment and media culture.

This is briefly described in Jenkin’s ‘Pop Cosmopolitanism: Mapping cultural flows in an age of media convergence’  (page 114- 140) as he demonstrates his positive outlook on transmedia and how it should become more widely accepted “between different cultures”. Jenkin’s also discusses two types of convergence, ‘corporate’ – media ownership is concentrated, and ‘grassroots’ – user empowerment through media interaction. These types of convergences are in the midst of transmedia storytelling and also how the interaction between the two is important to sustain this connection through the different cultures, whether it is local or global.

The process of transmedia storytelling is revolutionary! It’s existence has been around for quite sometime but the rise in media technology and convergence has allowed it to grow deeper into our daily lives, and we are acting upon it more so than we think.

‘Citizen Journalism’ and where we’re heading.

Gone are the days, where we, the public, take on the plain role as consumers for the media industry. As technology and new forms of media grow and develop, as do passive consumers. Through this process, we have started to take things into our own sub-standard hands and become, what is known as, ‘citizen journalists’.

Over the past number of years, citizen journalism has shaped a new dimension for media and how it is broadcasted. As the public, we have been accustomed to traditional ways of gaining information, and learning about it through media outlets such as watching television and listening to the radio etc (obviously). But due to the global takeover known as the ‘smartphone’, this has all changed and we are getting better at it day by day.

Journalism has been noted as a highly recognised profession, and is seen to be quite difficult to enter into its workfield (i.e University degree and strenuous years of working your way to the “top”). Formally known as “the cost of entry”, one must have significant experience and qualifications to be part of a certain profession, in this case journalism. If we compare qualification standards between a cashier position at Coles and a solicitor at a law firm, the cost of entry to Coles is far less than that of solicitor, due to the experience and qualifications needed. (I realise that is quite farfetched!) However, the rise in citizen journalism is on a interesting path in undermining this notion, and we can start to notice a trend of outside perspective (i.e the general public).

Taking into consideration the cost of entry for citizen journalism, there is nothing! I guess that is one of the main contributors in why it is a successfully growing area, especially in the areas of blogging, podcasts and YouTube videos as they also become more mainstream. Personally, I believe both traditional and citizen journalism are strongest when they work alongside eachother. This is evident in the video below:

There is much speculation about media control and ownership, and how the public only views one side of the story, and the rise of citizen journalism is a great counterpart to that, as it is raw and truthful. I think the media world is heading for a creative and unusual path…possibly for the better!