You Read My News! [BCM112]

The coming of the digital age has seen a dramatic shift in our cultural values. The emergence of user-friendly technologies and the power we have as a participatory culture, has seen more and more users varying how they view and share relevant information.
In the words of Jack White (former lead singer of The White Stripes) ‘Everyone’s got a story to tell’.
This statement defines the current state of the global media landscape.
Given half a chance, there is a narrative in all of us. You only need to look at the success of Facebook and Twitter to understand the supremacy of user generated content and it’s ability to shape and determine the minds of users worldwide. Social networking and the sharing of information have become apart of our lifestyle. We now live a society that values social connectivity and public participation and no longer looks to mainstream media to form the basis of our opinions.
Have decades of corrupt media ownership, unbalanced and biased reporting taken its toll on the people of the world? Does this spell the death of the professional journalist? No. As much as we all like to use our collective intelligence on issues and broadcast them through civic media, the fact is that we receive that story to report about through mainstream channels. Ellen De Generis (The Ellen Show) doesn’t create news; she simply uses her power as a highly respected comedian to relate the issue back to her audience.
We are so busy in today’s society that we only want to view and discuss events that are relevant to our own lives. We make choices to view and read the material that will only impact us and forget about the rest. As much as many would like to consider Ellen a professional journalist, she is a prime example of the power of civic media. She is professional comedian broadcasting issues and events that have been discovered by mainstream media, which are current and relevant to her audience. It is her influence in forming opinions that makes her such a powerful figure in civic journalism.

It is this notion of influence that has many professional journalists divided over civic journalism. Without gatekeepers, it is impossible to adhere to code of ethics. Without a code of ethics, we are saturated with miss-information, which ultimately influences our opinions on important matters.
Having been born into a generation that still values the nightly news, it is now up to both professional and civic journalists to find a way to co-exist as neither looks as though they will be defeated. If anything, professional journalists must work harder to return the integrity lost back to their profession. We will always have news told to us. The difference is convergent media gives us a democratic space to practice and participate.

Fluke – Rip, Copy, Remix (Fluke’s Textual Dub Remix) [BCM112]

I have always wondered to myself, how in this day & age could there be possibly any riff, drum beat or synth sample that hasn’t been used in modern music?
I listen to a lot of music every day and being a DJ, the core element of my work consists of manipulating other people’s creativity. Whether it be sampling G.C. Coleman’s Amen Break (The Winstons) and layering it into some fresh 90’s acapella’s and uploading it as a remix to SoundCloud, the possibilities for me are endless. It is this concept of ‘endless possibilities’ that drew me to music production in the first place.
From day one of our lives we are programmed to copy. We learn how to walk, talk and think by copying those around us. If we learn an instrument, we are taught how to play other peoples songs before we can even consider creating our own sound. It is the idea of Social Evolution that highlights to us that we are born with the unconscious skills to copy others. It is how we learn, it is how live and it is how we evolve.

Creativity is the main aspect in life that gives us our individualism. Whether it is in the kitchen, behind a camera or on a stage, your creative nature is what makes you different, and we all the right to protect that. “In a world where media is global, social, ubiquitous and cheap”, the power to create has never been stronger. However, the laws governing Intellectual property rights have failed to evolve with the progression of the digital age.

Remixing is an art. Some people do it well, others… well they have at least they gave it a try.

Some of my favourite remixes!

Royksopp – What Else Is There? (Trentemøller Remix)

The Killers – Mr Brightside (Thin White Duke Remix)

Coldplay – Fix You (Ali Wilson Remix)

Leeerroyyyyy!!!! [BCM112]

I thought that this weeks post would be the easiest one for the semester. It turns out that trying to discuss ‘nerd’ culture is a bit harder than first thought.
So when does someone become a nerd? Is there a certain age where you go from a fun loving obsessed child to full-blown, ‘grade A’, World of Warcraft fantasy loving geek? I would like to consider myself somewhat of a ‘nerd’ but not in the sense that most of you (and myself) would stereotype me out to be. Apart from Star Wars, I loathe science fiction and the realms of fantasy. I have never read comics or set out on a quest for the hidden sword of I havebetterthingstodowithmytime (yes, I could have gone with something less attacking but it is my blog). The concept of avatars and a virtual world where I can be a muggle hunting liger has absolutely no appeal to me what so ever. Yet interestingly, I still know all these terms and a few more. Through use of the Internet, the label of ‘geek’ has been almost removed. Given a global audience, everyone can now participate in the cultures that were once somewhat ‘underground’ and are now seen as ‘cool’. As Ethan Gilsdorf states in his book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks there are many reasons why people try and connect their real life to one of fantasy. I guess I have never really been interested in having a second persona. I enjoy the reality that I have and see no need for escaping it. It seems to me that as technology evolves, the line between what is considered nerdy becomes less defined. Am I a nerd because I am interested in technology?
Quite simply I am just embracing the rapid rate of technological advancements. Whatever your ‘poison’ may be, everyone has the right to indulge in whatever they wish, that’s what makes my reality so important to me. 🙂

A Hint of Sabotage? [BCM110]

How many of you have Pay TV?
Further more, how many of you have noticed that little plastic card that sticks out of the control unit?

A report in the Australian Financial Review “Pay TV piracy hits News” (28th March, 2012) claims that News Corporation faces fresh accusations of hacking after reports claimed that an affiliate of the media conglomerate had hacked into pay-television rivals to undermine their operations.

To give you a short rundown of how the system works, the card inside your control unit contains specific codes and information from your pay television service to allow you to view the content.

A report by the AFR claims that a subsidiary and secret unit of New Limited the NDS Group facilitated piracy by using hackers to sabotaged business rivals, fabricated legal actions and obtained telephone records illegally.
The allegations against NDS are nothing new for the company which has been under scrutiny since its creation in 1988 .
The 4 year investigation into the deception by News Corp and NDS by the AFR, highlights just how much of an financial impact the ill-practices have had on Australia’s pay per view services, with affected companies losing up to 50 million dollars a year.
However, in an article in The Australian “Pay-TV bosses rubbish News Corp ‘piracy” (April 3, 2012), the AFR is coming under increasing pressure to provide evidence of criminal activity, and to pass that evidence to the Australian Federal Police, which said it is not investigating any of the claims.
So who do you believe?
The ABC’s Media Watch program is not ‘’fully convinced’’ that one of the email examples highlighted by the AFR in its series on News Corp subsidiary NDS proves claims of widespread pay TV piracy.

Perhaps its best to leave the final words from the man (or at least his twitter manager) himself.

Seize the Media! [BCM112]

Ok, ok, I may have stolen this headline from Seize The Media, but I felt that this website summed up transmedia in one hit. Seize as many opportunities to spread multiple messages across a legion of mediums to a global audience. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Looking back at the history of media, more specifically how we consume media, it seems the days of the single message (multimedia) are long gone. Audiences in the modern era are being encouraged to be actively engaged within the content with the notion of endless possibilities.
According to Henry Jenkins ”The current configuration of the entertainment industry makes transmedia expansion an economic imperative”. Why? Because every piece of content that is created in a transmedia platform interlinks and connects with one another. If you visit the interactive website, you buy the video game, your positive feedback online encourages the producers to create a sequel and the cycle becomes endless. 
Participation becomes addictive and without the user even knowing it, they have shelled out hundreds of dollars on a range of different content.
The most interesting aspect of transmedia in my opinion, is its ability to create numerous entry points across the market.
I can admit it. I’m a huge Batman fan. Having the ability to jump into the fictional world of the Dark Knight just excites my collective intelligence.
However to others, a transmedia world seems daunting and frustrating. I can understand this and so do media companies. How do we find the right balance of content to keep the user engaged without avoiding confusion? This seems to be the billion dollar question.
To those companies who have already answered it (Pottermore, The Lost Experience), the results are phenomenal both economically and socially.

What’s your favourite transmedia project? Leave your thoughts in the comments. 🙂