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Networked Media 2016

Assessment 2

Tumblr is microblogging platform and social media networking website founded by David Karp in 2007, and owned by Yahoo since 2013. The platform allows users to post multimedia and other mediums to a short-form blog of their own moderation. The blogging of a user is typically publicised to followers, and involves a ‘reblog’ format, where a post can be passed from one user to the entire follower base of another, commented on, queued for an automatic future reblog, tagged, or a post can simply be saved to ‘likes. As of December 2015, there were approximately 550 million monthly users, and 280.4 million blogs, and due to this Tumblr is a community where “obscurity is the enemy. Being well known among your community is everything.” (Oatway, p. 98) I reflected upon my experience in the Instagram online community and what that means in terms of interactivity in a previous post.
Tumblr is regarded as myriad of subcultures and close-guarded groups, that each has their own set of guidelines and code-of-conduct, and when a post is barely deemed ‘popular’ for hitting 10,000 notes (the majority of well-circulated posts have well about 100,000 notes) As mentioned in the week 6 lecture, “the key to a medium’s cultural effect is not found in it’s content, but in the way it conveys information.” The importance of breaking through to your audience is paramount, subject of your base of followers and catering to their specific interests – it is up to them to spread your content and catch the attention of other users. In this, the success of a blog is inherently dependent upon the online community for its spread, and thus why such insulated sub-cultures and micro-communities exist within Tumblr, as a means to have blogs thrive and constantly accepted by the follower base. This expression of creativity and diversity and disregard for formal hierarchy was covered in the Week 5 lecture.
My experience on tumblr is very different to those whose content I see on my dashboard – that of an observer, a curator, and a judge. I do not produce content, I circulate it and further its reaches to my follower base. For one that contributes no original work to the medium, I have collected around 400 followers – dwarfed by the 4000 or so blogs from which I see content. In the way of ‘success’, I am exempt by my own choice, and instead consume rather than seek acceptance, and in turn help circulate content and further the ‘success’ of others. It is simply a purely ‘withdrawing’ form of blogging, making passive contributions to the community. Tumblr is a generator  and governor of its own cultures, borrowing and building upon media influences and social events, and in the eyes of the internet as a collective, it is a base from which cultural change is exported to other social media platforms – posts originally from Tumblr often make their way to the News Feeds of Facebook, bringing its culture and language with it, and thus expanding the reaches of Tumblr’s community.
Oatway, Jay, Apr 26, 2012, Mastering Story, Community and Influence : How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader Wiley, Hoboken. p. 98

Week 5 Lecture

Edward de Bono coined the term ‘lateral thinking’ and helps broaden the means of creative thinking and problem solving. This translates to the internet as a collective, as it was creativity, put simply, helped its continual development as an ‘inherently fluid’ concept. The lecture in week 5 highlighted that ‘reading has gotten much closer to the electronic embodiment of text and in doing so has begun to change it’s nature.” (Landow, 2006, p. 116) Hierarchy is dismantled, and conversation is facilitated, and conversation can be established without dampening by ‘superior’ ideologies or mediums. This helps build freedoms of expression, establish communities, and engage audiences, where the overall experience of text and control moves and flows more freely, and are free to develop into an independent medium of information.

Internet Lingustics

My Dad asked me to watch a video that he had seen on Facebook, saying that I should listen to what it has to say, and other of my age group should too. It was a video about the ‘battle’ between social media and subsequent ‘phone frenzy’ and the authenticity of ‘reality.’ The generational trait of internet ‘savvy-ness’ precedes us as a reputation, and what strikes me as a cornerstone of this reputation is our altered interpretation of language, and how shifted use of it can change the formality and context of conversation to suit an online profile. “Internet Linguistics’, coined by linguist David Crystal, is the examination of how the shift to technology as a form of communication has changes our language. The internet has been blamed for making children illiterate, making adults stupid, and generally tarnishing the condition of modern discourse. Social media communication practices, in actuality, have made it easier to communicate more quickly without altering the rules of language. The backlash from the suggestion that internet language is in fact a serious development confirms that it is a very small and striking written dialect. The characterisation as a deviation from ‘standard’ written language defines it as a dialect – the abbreviation, the shorthand, the use of acronyms, the lack of punctuation, and the focus on simplicity and the lack of formality; all creating unseen subtle nuances in tone and voice, something unable to be discerned from typical written text. Internet language requires imagination and user participation to grow and develop the dialect, and will continue to develop in to a more diverse and complicated language.

Community and Influence

I was scrolling through my Instagram after receiving a few unexpected notifications about a few new followers – to my surprise as I have not uploaded a photo in about 3 months, and the likes and comments keep rolling in about some even older photos of mine, I began to consider the value of my content and my place in the ‘community’ of Instagram. The social currency, as coined in Mastering Story, Community and Influence, from what I have perceived, is not always consistent in value. As Oatway establishes, “Obscurity is the enemy”, and goes on to provide an in-depth analysis of the inner workings of the online community and how this interactive constructs the identity and how it then translates into real-life results. It was essentially a paper on how to make Internet friends – a concept that I originally took for granted being raised to be automatically sensitive to the inner workings on online society. But the intricacies of such interaction do require a formula. My Instagram posts are not intended to have a theme or aesthetic – they are simply what is going on in my life that is worth sharing with the world,and perhaps my posts contribute to other’s specific aesthetic styles. As a media student, my online presence has the potential to be a key component of my career, and if I were to create more of an identity for myself, I may see a clear reflection of my efforts, and enjoy the community my participation has influenced. Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.51.45 AM.png

Oatway, Jay, Apr 26, 2012, Mastering Story, Community and Influence : How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader Wiley, Hoboken. 97-109.

Assessment 1 – Blogging  Shannon Griffiths s3547183

Online writing is the expression or discussion of ideas, opinions, experiences in a variety of voices, published in a typically interactive environment that provides access to the content written, and is open to response and further discourse regarding the topics raised and the theme or genre of the blog. Online writing in the form of a blog provides opportunity for the interrogation of ideas and reflection upon personal, professional, or scholarly topics – blogging simply provides a broad platform in which to publish ideas to a diverse audience with great accessibility.

Blogging in an online format is just a progression in technology possibilities, with blogging simply being a new medium in which ideas can be expressed, in the same way that “the book and the essay are the activities that for many of us translate information into knowledge, … as the key ‘forms’ or ‘containers’ for knowledge and its expression.” (Miles, 2007). In my blog posts pertaining to my experience in my studio, I have used blogs to map my learning, progress, and thoughts regarding to the developing ideas surrounding a creative brief. The blogs provides a platform to quickly tap out my thoughts and share them to those that can provide feedback on the fairly experimental brief, with the concept of conversation being the key focus of the posts. Being a relatively young technology in comparison to the traditional methods of sharing information, the blog as a container for information and thoughts allows discussion to flow more effectively, and thus the feedback can be translated more easily into further developed ideas.

The diversity that blogging provides in terms of what can be displayed, for example the post about the key aspects of the brief, as a simple written reflection, and a post that simply provides a visual of our thinking process,  are both forms of online writing that would not previously been as accessible 15 years ago, with ‘audio-visual mass media… [providing] a continuous and instantaneous stream of information from an enormous variety of sources.’ (Murphy, Potts, 2003) I find this form of blogging, in which ideas can quickly be posted without to much concern about the intricacies of scholarly writing and formatting can allow the content to shine through as the key focus of the post.

Blogging both for this course and the studio have required different voices and content for what is to be produced – with Networked Media being more of a scholarly response to the content and reading, that requires a response based on the thinking that the subjects incite, where as the studio is more of a personal reflection of my feelings and thoughts as the project comes together. It offers a diverse way of providing information – text, video, sound, visuals – all in one location, that can be changed and designed to my liking with incredible ease. While consistently updating a blog on the same topic over and over again without repeating oneself can be tedious, as I have found in the past with other subjects, the merits of blogging as an online writing form present themselves as a valuable tool to generate discussion and form insightful reflective thinking.

Bibliography:

  1. Miles, Adrian, Network Literacy: The New Path to Knowledge [online],  Screen Education, No. 45, 2007: p. 26
  2. Andrew Murphie and John Potts, Culture and Technology [print], New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003: p. 14
  3. Griffiths, Shannon, s3547183@student.rmit.edu.au, 2016,
    Week 3 – Core Points, Blog Post, 9 / 4 / 16, https://shangriffo.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/week-3-core-points/
  4. Griffiths, Shannon, s3547183@student.rmit.edu.au, 2016, Progression, Blog Post, 11 / 4 / 16, https://shangriffo.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/progression/

Progression

The planning for the creative brief in the long-term – we found – would need to be a wide variety of ideas and directions we could go with, but not before every possibility and question was raised, and hopefully answered. We produced a mind map and a profession of how we would need to operate in order to produce the content we wanted, and to be the best it can.

Week 4B Studio 2 – Feedback

Jeff’s response to our presentation was very positive, and provided much encouragement for our ideas and the project. We were unable to present our entire presentation due to time constraints, so much of the information shared was our research due to the magnitude of the project, but we also intended to present a touch point map that provided the key information we needed to cover and consider when advancing the project, and our two versions of the return brief for the stakeholders / supporters and the end users. Despite the time constraints, Jeff seemed pleased with our presentation, and even went on to say we presented ideas to him that he had not considered himself. We felt we were on the same page with Jeff, and that reassured us that we were heading in the right direction towards a potentially successful project.

Week 4B Studio 2 – Other Group Presentations

In the Friday studio all groups presented to theres of the tutorial, tutors, and to Jeff their research, ideas, and return briefs. Each was vastly different, and all provided a juxtaposition to our own ideas, in how they went about their research and how they intended to present their ideas. The focus of each project were all diverse, while the key factor for all presentations were the need for funding for each project. From what I remember from the presentations, most if not all other groups seemed to be reliant on corporate sponsorship and donations, which contrasts ours as we had the idea to use the bus to collect payment / donations for use at events and festivals, something which I am quite happy we worked out. One group were going to produce pamphlets to raise awareness to their project, but they found the medium ineffective, so they had business cards custom made with information and good design to convey information quickly and effectively, and would also work well when distributing timetable and location details to the end user. Overall, the ideas presented in the studio gave everyone some perspective as to where they stand in their progress, and helped each other along to a better final project at the end of the semester.

Week 4A Studio 1

In this studio we began to put into place what needed to be done for the presentation and the final submission for the brief. We decided that the research done would be a crucial part to present, as the idea of a shower bus was not already an established project at Lentara. We also discussed the return that would need to be submitted, and after some deliberation we decided to submit two return briefs – one for the stakeholders / supporters and one for the end users – as neither Jeff or the group were decided on which audience to target for the duration of the project. In proposing both, the final decision would established after the presentation and submission. The Comm Design students also discussed what would need to be collected for the moodpboard, and they decided a video made of images, footage, and voice over would be the best way to convey the mood and personality of the project.
Other members of the group also visited Urban Seed, the youth charity organisation to meet and ask staff and the end user audience on their thoughts regarding a shower bus, and what they would want, need, and expect if one were to operate. We found the interviews very useful as it raised some questions and issues that we had not previously thought of before, and provided us with an insight to the mood of the potential audience and necessity of a shower bus.

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