Archive | September 2012

Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing

A  Weblog  is  where  people  are   free  to  write  or  in  other  words,  typed  down  their  thoughts.  When  it  comes  to  blogging,  it  is   often  a  mixture  of  what’s  going  on  in  a  person’s  life  and  what  is  happening  on  the  Web.  It  is  like  a  diary.  An  alternative  diary  where  people  don’t  quite  have  to  care  what  other  people  think  when  reading  the  blog.  re Some  may  criticize  it,  but  all  the  bloggers  have  to  do  is  just  ignore  it  for  the  comments  they   receive  are  also  their  own  thoughts  and  their  own  point  of  view.

A  Weblog  is  not  only  a  diary  that  one  can  use  to  pour  their  hearts  out.  It  is  also  where  anyone  is  free  to  typed  down  on  what  they  think  about  issues,  trends.  Especially  issues  that  are  “hot”  on  the  news.  Weblog  nowadays  is  one  of  the  most  important  media  used,  especially  for  those  that  loves  to  write.

“We want a world where global publishing is effortless. We want a world where you don’t have to ask for help or permission to write out loud.” –  Clay  Shirky  (2002)

Through  Weblog,  anyone  is  free  to  typed  down  what  they  want  without  anyone’s consent.  Yes,  this  is  where  mass  amateurization  takes  place.  It  takes  place  because  of  the  amount  of  freedom  one  can  have  by  Weblog.

As  you  all  know,  the  traditional  media  concept  is  seen  as  one-to-many.  Meaning,  one  company  caters  to  a  mass  audience.  As  for  Weblogs,  it  is  seen  as  many-to-many.  That  can  sometime  contains  opinions,  thoughts  and   maybe  different  kind  of  news  that  is  completely  different  from  what  we  read  in  the  newspapers.   In  a  publishing  company,  professionals  are  assigned  to  report  or  write  about  this  specific  news  or  article.  Which  only  makes  us  see  things  only  from  one  view   and  different  angle.  Weblogs,  is  a  total  opposite  for  it  contains  different  kind  of  news  and  sometimes  the  truth.  Some  news   that  comes  from  the  Publishing   company  aren’t  always  true.  Sometimes  they  sugar-coated  their  words  and   only  write  down  what  their  editor  want  or  only  to  what  the  readers  should  only  know  about  and  nothing  more  than  that.  Sometimes  through   Weblog,  one  can  see  clearer  because  they  read  from  many  different  angles  and  opinions.

There  are  many  things  on  what  one  can  do  through  Weblog,  it  all  depends  on  the  individual.  True  there  are  pros  and  cons  on  this.  The  cons  is  that  maybe  sometimes  what  is  written  in  the  Weblog  might  not  always  be  true,  but  then  same  goes  to  newspapers  and  news  cable.  Nothing  is  certain.  Some  truths  can  never  be  certain.

Reference:

Shirky,  C  2002,  Weblogs  and  the  Mass  Amateurization   of  Publishing,  Economics  &  Culture,  Media  &  Community,  Open  Source,  accessed  27/9/2012  http://shirky.com/writings/weblogs_publishing.html

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Transglobal Entertainment and Media Convergence

This  week’s  reading  would  be  on  ‘The  Cultural  Logic  of  Media  Convergence,  International  Journal  of  Cultural  Studies’  Henry  Jenkins.  We  are  now  in  era  where  media convergence  is  more  than  simply  a  technological  shift.

I  will  state  on  what  I  found  rather  interesting  in  this  reading.  Back  when  cell  phones  was  made,  it  was  only  made  and  used  for  communication.  But  now,  in  an  advance  era  we  are  living  in,  cell  phones  now  are  used  for  different  kind  of  ways.  It  allows   users  to  play  games,  download  information  from  the  internet,  receive  and  sent  photographs  or  text  messages.

            Not  only  that,  it  can  also  be  performed  through  other  media  appliances.  I’m  sure  almost  everyone  has  a  cell  phone  that   allows  users  to  listen  to  music  that  they  downloaded  from  the  internet.  Yes,  the  beauty  of  cell  phones  nowadays.  It  can  also  become  your  own  portable  MP3  player  at  the  same  time.  Other  than  that,  users  can  also  listen  to  their  favourite  radio  station  through  their  cell  phone  and  even  go  to  Youtube  to  watch  and  listen  to  their  favourite  video clips  and  of  course  the  use  of  GPS.

“Media  convergence  is  more  than  simply  a  technological  shift.  Convergence  alters  the  relationship  between  existing  technologies,  industries,  markets,  genres  and  audience.”  A  quote  by  Henry  Jenkins.

            It  is  indeed  amazing  on  how  much  users  can  do  just  by  using  one  device.  The  brilliance  and  creativity  of  makers  for  being  able  to  create  cell  phones  or  better  known  as  smart  phones  can  also  at  the  same  time  help  users  spend  less  money.  Why  spend  a  lot  of  money  on  an  MP3  when  you  can  listen  to  music  through  your  smart  phone? The  ability  of  able  to  get  things  done  for  work  and  of  course  for  leisure  time  through  one  device  and  that  is   cell  phone  or  smart  phones  are  incredible.

We  are  embracing  media  convergence  and  as  much  as  we  sometimes  don’t  like  the  idea  for  doing  so  but  it  is  part  of  our  daily  lives  and  it  has  indeed  changed  how  one  communicates.

Reference:

Jenkins, H. 2004, The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol.7, no.1, pp 33-43.

Against the law : intellectual property and content control

This  week’s  topic  in  class,  we  learned  about  Against  the  law : Intellectual  property   and  content  control.  The  reading this  week  is  based  on  in  Free  Culture:  How  Big  Media  Uses  Technology  and   the  Law  to  Lock  Down  Culture  and  Strangle  Creativity  by  Lawrence  Lessig.

Back  in  the  16th  century,  copyrights  never  exist  for  there  was  no  accessed  or  the  right  tools  to  copy  stuff.  All  they  can  do  was  write  everything  back  in  hand  which  is  tiresome  and  time  consuming.  Before  copyright,  nobody  had  ownership  towards  anything  but  only  to  lands.  This  allows  people  to  copy,  modify  or  sell  content  created  by  others.

Image

 

Image  URL  :  http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon_pictures/3820-Steamboat_Willie.html

 

How  does  relate to  the  reading?  Well,  I’m  sure  everyone  knows  who  Mickey  Mouse  is  from  Disney  Channel.  But  how  did  the  character  come  about?  It  all  started  in  the  year  1928  where  Mickey  Mouse  made  his  early  debut  in  May  in  that  year,  in  a  silent  flop  called  Plane  Crazy.  November  that  year,  in  New  York  City’s  Colony  Theater  where  the  first  widely  distributed  cartoon  synchronized  with  sound,  Steamboat  Willie  brought  to  life the  character  that  would  become  Mickey  Mouse.  Some  people  might  not  know  it  but  the  character  you  see  in  the  image  above  is  a  direct  cartoon  parody  of  Steamboat  Bill  and  both  was  built  upon  a  common  song  as  a  source.

According  to  Lessig,  (2004)  “This  ‘borrowing’  was  nothing  unique,  either  for  Disney  or  for  the  industry.  Disney  was  always  parroting  the  feature-length  mainstream  film  of  his  days.”  Some  may  not  quite  agree  to  the  term  ‘borrowing’  but  then  what  Walt  Disney  made  the  character  into  was  brilliant.  How  so?  Well  Lessig  mentioned  “The  key  of  success  was  the  brilliance  of  the  differences.”  The  character  may  not  be  completely  original  BUT  what’s  brilliant  about  this  was  that  Disney  took  something  barely  old  and  created  something  new  out  of  it.  Disney  ripped  creativity  from  the  culture  he  see,  mixed  that  creativity  with  his  extraordinary  talent,  and  then  burn  it  all  together  in  one.

The  public  domain  in  the  year  that  Mickey  Mouse  was  created  was  not  very  old  and  quite  vibrant.  According  to  Lessig  about  this  “The  average  term  of  copyright  was  only  30  years  old —for  that  minority  of  creative  word  that  was  in  fact  copy-righted.  That  means  for  30  years,  on  average,  the  authors  or  copyright  holders  of  a  creative  work  had  an  “exclusive  right”  to  control  certain  uses  of  the  work.  To  use  this  copyrighted  work  in  limited  ways  required  the  permission  of  the  copyright  owner.

What  you  can  see  nowadays,  such  as  movies ,  not  all  of  them  are  original.  But  they  were  created  to  be  made  into  something  different  by  using  their  own  creativity  that  may  last  for  years.  Maybe  forever.  Like  Mickey  Mouse.  It  has  been  84  years  since  it  was  last  created  and  it  is  still  going  strong  and  popular  worldwide.

REFERENCES:

Lessig, L. 2004, Creators. In Free Culture: How Big Media uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Strangle Creativity pp. 21-30. accessed,  13/9/2012   http://www.authorama.com/free-culture-4.html%5D

Technology Nowadays.

Everywhere we go, we see, people constantly with their gadgets. Such as laptops and smart phones. It seems that people rely too much on technologies. But then, everything has it’s own pros and cons.

Let us go back to the past a bit shall we? Back when technology wasn’t as modern as it is now, employees had to used the normal device such as computers and make calls through the office phone. Which makes thing rather difficult for some. Why? Well, say if they can’t afford to buy their own computers, they will have to stay back and do their work in the office for computers back then were new and therefore, expensive. Not everyone was able to afford buying such thing.

But then, that was all in the past. As you can see now, technology now are different compared to the 80’s and 90’s. Now as have portable devices such as laptops and smart phones. Things that we can carry around when and wherever we want. This shows that people now can bring their work home and outside.

But as for now, the ‘IT’ thing is definitely smartphones. Some might ask, ‘Why bother spending so much money on something so small?’ To those that are curious, well smartphones basically have almost everything we need to complete our work or research. Other than doing work, we can communicate with the others about work. It is considered an important device for almost everyone and that includes students. This tool comes in handy for everyone.

But then again, there are pros and cons. Too much of technology isn’t always good. Why? Now that there are devices such as smart phones, it is considered you taking along your work with you. Again, why? “Designed and marketed as essential tools for the busy professional, such technologies are familiarly described in advertising copy as having revolutionised the working day, making the drudgery of the office a thing of the past.” (Gregg, n.d.)

Technologies such as smart phones may make your job easier but there are certain sacrifices that you will have to make and that is probably your free time and quality time with family and friends.

Reference:

Gregg, M n.d., Function Creep: Communication technologies and anticipatory labour in the information workpplace, accessed 07/09/2012. http://homecookedtheory.com/wp-content/uploads/functioncreepnms.doc