Online celebrity: doing business

In this media convergence era, it is so easy for fans to stay connected to their idols. They simply press the ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ button on social media and celebrity’s activities are in front of them. However, people are still wondering whether what they see of celebrities are real.

It is obvious that people adore famous people so they assume that their idols are outstanding characteristics. However, according to Marwick and Boyd, what celebrities show online are just ‘performative practices’ rather than ‘intrinsic personal characteristics’. I do not mean celebrities are bad, but they are not totally the same as how they behave online.

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However, no matter they are real or not, what they are doing is building a persona – ‘the public presentation of the self online’, according to guest lecturer Christopher Moore. They are aware of the changing media environment and the demand of people to be a part of social networks, said Hansen and Ben. Celebrities satisfy their fans by appearing in the way the fans want in exchange of the fame to build up their images. Simply saying, it is a business.




Collective intelligence: strength in numbers

In this media convergence era, it is obvious that the situation is changing from closed to open. People are more free and flexible to contribute their ideas and express their points of view on any problem. According to my lecture this week, what the media provides are not products anymore but conversations, there is no closure because everyone is equal to participate. This change roots in the establishment of the Internet, ‘the most effective medium for matching demand and supply’.

However, it is necessary to put new media in comparison with traditional media. The new one is living healthily and developing stronger and stronger everyday because in some fields, the contents quality ‘may be on par with that of its corporate competitors’, said Axel Bruns in this week’s reading.

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Personally, I believe that this value does not emerge naturally or coincidently. It is because of the nature of the Internet: connecting people. One person, a hundred people or even a thousand are not significant enough, but the Internet creates forums for millions of even billions of people (like Facebook). The huge amount of non-professional and professional media users generate, exchange and reinforce ideas to make quality contents. The strength lies in the numbers, that is coalition.


Remix, mashup: development, improvement

This week I am looking at the aspect of remix and mashup in music. I personally believe that this process is not simply just mixing features together or adding effects but it is an art. As Axel Bruns stated it is the development ‘from factual material to creative work’, remixing is similar to digital crafting which requires lots of efforts, skills and creativity. We usually listen to mashup or remix songs which last several minutes but the creator of those products have undergone hours to complete them. Here is an example.

Moreover, remix or mashup is definitely an example or even a part of convergence media. Consumers want to actively engage with the media so now they create contents themselves and become prosumers. In other words, they produce media themselves to satisfy their own needs. This is what Yeoman put in the comparison with food self-efficiency, which leads to the ‘read/write culture’ theory.

Here is a video of mine expressing further thoughts I develop from the lecture.


Harry Potter: the world outside the pages.

In this digital era, it is witnessed that there is a trend called ‘transmedia‘ which can be simply defined as different stories of a content are disseminated across multiple platforms, according to Henry Jenkins in this week reading. In this post I will examine the case of the Harry Potter series to justify this issue.

As we have already known, the Harry Potter series include 7 books in total. Besides, Warner Bros picture has established its film versions with 8 movies. These two are the best well-known categories.

Although the latest movie were released in 2011, the story of the-boy-who-lived has not stopped. One website called Pottermore is established and operated by the author J.K Rowling with the purpose is ‘for the audiences to explore the wizarding world themselves’ – said Rowling. This website is where author Rowling released some sideline stories related to the original ones. Moreover, this July in London, Harry Potter fans will have the chance to experience a different point of view with a play called ‘Harry Potter and the cursed child‘. And in November, another movie of which the story takes place not in England anymore but America long before Harry was born will reach the audiences.

As we can see, Harry Potter is a great example of ‘transmedia’. In the Soundcloud podcast below, I will indicate several implications of transmedia.



Digital craft: Real art

We are living in the digital era where lots of contents we interact with everyday are digital made. Thinking of digital reminds people of notions about technologies, computers and other materials that can be defined as cold or lifeless. Therefore, they do not consider digital media as art.

However, there is an emerging notion called ‘digital craft’ which is defined as digital work that requires time, efforts and skills which can be compared to handmade work which is ‘craft’, stated by Katie Bunnell in this week reading. In this field, the producers enthusiastically create digital products that are creative and amazing. Let us look at this example from Zach King – a famous Youtuber.

We can see that these clips look so real and smooth which means the editor had to spend hours to arrange the materials, set up different camera angles and edit the shots. The whole process creates just 6 to 7 seconds for viewers. These clips are what I considered examples of “the aesthetics of remediation between analog and digital forms” which has been said in the lecture.

No matter what you do, as long as you spend time and effort on it and master at it, then it becomes art.


Media half-convergence

It is clear that media convergence has brought about a free flow of information across multiple platforms. People are able to publish various types of contents through various channels and those contents can be produced by themselves. At first sight, freedom of speech is significantly stimulated and all barriers have been demolished.

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In other hand, I still believe that this converging process has not reached its vantage point. The main reason here roots from the ‘Gatekeepers’ who plays the role of controlling the flow of contents, according to our reading for this week from Henry Jenkins. It can be said that nowadays the unconventional media (blogs, personal channels) are so developed that it overplays traditional forms. However, I personally think that orthodox media still have a strong position because they act as a recognition for contents published. For example, when the soccer transfer market opens, there are a lot of news and rumours from everywhere. However, those news, even they are correct, are only recognised once it has been confirmed by the official sources such as football team webpages.

In this way, gatekeepers are holding back the convergent process of media.


From the fight of phone operating systems: the medium of the medium

It can be seen that the war between phone OSs (operating system) is so tough that there are only two biggest dominants: iOS and Android. There are several other systems namely Windows phone, Blackberry OS but the segment is converging to the two giants (hyperlink). OS operators are focusing on how to develop their system to make it more appealing and convenient for users. This fact indicates that beside the phone itself, the OS it contains is the reason attracting consumers.

Despite that there are only two dominating OSs, there are a lot of devices live on them. Apple has the iPhone, iPod, iPad or iWatch while Android-based devices are numerous. Therefore, it can be said that the devices are made and improved in order to help users to make best use of the operating system. In this way, the phone is the medium of the medium (the OS).

Check my Prezi map  for my further arguments.