BCM240 Blog Reflection

During my study of BCM240: Media, Audience and Place this semester, blogging is an essential part. Throughout nine weeks engaging in this task, I have gained a certain understanding of how to properly write posts, design blog as well as engage with others to build a media place of my own. Therefore, in this short piece of writing, I will briefly explain my nine-week blogging experience.

First of all, one of my important aims when performing this task is to familiarize myself with research blogging. According to Zivkovic 2011, one feature of research blogging is to discover and explain new research. Therefore, I always try to come up with new findings supported by previous research effort in every single post of mine. Thanks to the guidance I received from lectures, tutorials and weekly materials, I am able to partly understand how research is properly conducted to gather information supporting personal opinions to make them more persuasive to readers. Only by approaching readings and sources can I design a good resource to show readers that although my presented opinions are original, they are concluded based on critically analysing others’ ideas. For example, in my final project proposal, in order to prove that my idea approach of making vines is reasonable, I had reached a range of sources from articles explaining the advantages of the genre, posts analysing my choice of platform to ones that inspire me to choose the particular topic for my content. This is also one part of the feedback I received from Task 1 as my tutor encouraged me to include additional sources because they can ‘add weight to my discussion and compliment my insights nicely’. By doing this, I am able to reinforce my own thinking as well as to review and figure out other details to add in and make it better.

blogging

Secondly, I have achieved knowledge of how to engage with readers throughout the blogging process. One suggestion from Connell 2016 is to mention others in my posts in order to create traffic. I find this suggestion really useful in the way that when I link my post to related bloggers, they will be able to know, read and contribute ideas. Moreover, I also have the opportunity to reinforce my existing ideas as well as to approach new way of thinking to enrich my understanding. For instance, when writing about my experience of reading other people’s interviews, I mentioned several peers whose blogs I found interesting and useful. As a result, some of them realized then followed by blog and gave me suggestions. In the feedback I received for Task 1, my tutor suggested me to link my blog to other blogs and websites to improve my media space so I designed one category called ‘Friends and Fellows’ on my blog showing people that I follow and interact regularly with. Moreover, links to other websites that are of my interest are also included. My tutor also suggested me to have additional hashtags, which I found really useful as I used to include hashtags related to UOW and BCM240 network only. By adding in hashtags that are relevant to the topic, I am able to reach potential readers in various fields. According to Connell 2016, publishing content often is a good way to engage with readers. Therefore, I maintain my blogging momentum by publishing at least 2 posts a week in order to be active online. As a result, there are familiar users that follow and comment on my blog quite regularly.

blogging-success-2013-green-wood-1t4tkvs

Thirdly, I have improved the quality of my blog by understanding how to address the problem in a constructive way. Stated by Williams, one attribute of constructive communication is to be problem-oriented. Therefore, in every single blog, I always try to focus on the main problems that are raised. Zenger 2014 also suggests to start with theories as the foundation for further discussion. I found this tip useful in the way that an academic theory will set the base for the post as it provides readers with a general idea about the topic. Another advantage of this approach is I am able to have a reliable supporting argument for my opinions. For instance, when writing about one of my cinema experience and relating that experience to the notion of space and place, I began by citing Hagerstrand’s three constraints and analyse my case based on them. Furthermore, this task allowed me to be more aware of the importance of using examples to support my arguments. Including examples or real-life case studies enabled me to justify my ideas as well as to clarify them for readers. For example, in my blog post explaining the Australian Classification Board and its influence on the idea of media space and place, I analysed the example of the movie Star Wars: The force awakens as a related case.

2836828090_d44f5278bd

Finally, I have gained understanding of how to use my blog to engage with the ideas of the subject. I have been blogging for three sessions so far but before doing this subject, I still considered blog is just a place for one-way communication. However, at the moment I realized that blog is also a media space where information is conveyed flexibly between writers and readers, which also leads to the trend of user-generated content as I am able to gather new content from people engaging with my blog. This is an important transition that turns user into produser (Bruns 2006). Therefore, in order for my readers to feel like being in a real media space rather than a reading website, I have done a lot to improve my blog. For example, in this session I have designed categories on top of the site for readers to navigate easily, linked my blog to other platforms (Twitter, Facebook) so people can have a ‘media convergence’ experience (Jenkins 2006) and included different types of media (pictures, videos, inforgraphics, memes) for users to really engaged in a media space when interacting with my blog.

To conclude, nine weeks of blogging in BCM240: Media, audience and place this semester have been a great experience for me so far. I have been able to develop my skills in research blogging, understand how to engage with readers effectively, gain knowledge about constructively address problems and above all, use my blog as a tool to practice what I have learned in the subject. This will undoubtedly be a memorable and useful experience in my media journey here in UOW, as well as in my future career.

References:

Bruns, Axel 2006, Towards Produsage: Futures for User-Led Content Production. In Sudweeks, Fay and Hrachovec, Herbert and Ess, Charles, Eds. Proceedings Cultural Attitudes towards Communication and Technology 2006, pages pp. 275-284, Tartu, Estonia.

Connell, Adam 2016, How to boost engagement on your blog (so it doesn’t look like a ghost town), Blogging Wizard, viewed September 30th 2016, <http://www.bloggingwizard.com/reader-engagement/&gt;.

Jenkins, Henry 2006, Welcome to the convergence culture, The official weblog of Henry Jenkins, viewed October 1st 2016, <http://henryjenkins.org/2006/06/welcome_to_convergence_culture.html&gt;.

Williams, Scott, Communicating constructively, Wright State University, viewed September 30th 2016, <http://www.wright.edu/~scott.williams/LeaderLetter/communicating.htm&gt;.

Zenger, T 2014, Start with a theory, not a strategy, Harvard Business Review, viewed September 30th 2016, <https://hbr.org/2014/06/start-with-a-theory-not-a-strategy&gt;.

Zivkovic, Bora 2011, What is: Research Blogging, Scientific American, viewed September 2016, <http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/network-central/what-is-researchblogging-org/&gt;.

 

 

Advertisements

Attention economy: the new drugs market ?

The Internet has eliminated barriers and made people’s online interaction more comfortable. This transition enables online platforms to develop state-of-the-art recommendation systems to match niche products with niche markets, which is called the ‘long tail‘ effect, proposed by Chris Anderson. Therefore, consumers are bombarded with tons of contents and that abundance leads to scarcity of attention which makes our attention become valuable, according to Kevin Kelly in our weekly reading and our lecturer Ted.

Subsequently, users receive recommendations of everything they consume and their attention will never be stopped from getting caught. The idea of ‘You do not know what you are missing‘ of users is exploited significantly and they get addicted of relevant contents suggested.

nwzbqjx

This explains why people are addicted to their smart devices. No they are not ! They are addicted to the contents which are connected by them via devices. Eventually, those contents are becoming the new type of drugs, the digital drugs.

Media convergence turns passive users into active produsers. That explains why most of the contents on Youtube or Facebook are user-generated. This reality matches the above discussion: the attention economy is the new drugs market, and we users, are new drugs addicts, and also drugs dealers.

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.

1zuVLAf - Imgur

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.

ZdSACm3 - Imgur

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.

OjM3m2S