Oh god… the uni session is nearly over… WHAT AM I TO DO? I guess now is as good a time as any to look back and see what I learned. This blog has taught me a lot. One hell of a lot. It’s made me think about things very differently. That Boston thing that happened a while ago? The course lined up perfectly. It’s almost like the lecturer planned it. I looked at it completely differently. I have a new found respect for citizen journalism.
And all those people working together to find things out, to make it better, the whole remixing deal, it’s awesome. I mean, I knew what remixing was, but the extent to which it happens, the ridiculous amount, I just never realised that anything could happen to that extent. It made me understand just how simply done advice animals are. Remixing really is everywhere. Pictures, music, worlds.
And the beauty that was transmedia. Taking parts of a complete product and building it into a whole world over different texts… it’s a beautiful idea. If you like something you can drown yourself in it. And it goes around in a cycle again. People start talking about this world that is taking up space and then that gets remixed into something.
We live in a world saturated by media and media processes. I just never really thought about it, never took any notice. This subject has really opened my eyes and it’s only the start of my degree. I can’t wait for more later.
The internet, back in the dark ages, was built by men. It allowed people to be anonymous and say whatever they wanted. That gave way to the problem we have today. People are anonymous and can say whatever they want. One of the biggest “problems” is that the internet having been run by men gives some the idea that they rule it.
I don’t know what gave them that idea. People are stupid and entitled, but since they’re anonymous they can say what they want with almost no repercussions. It leads to this thing called trolling. Purposefully baiting people and generally being a terrible human being. Everyone is familiar with Kickstarter right? Anita Sarkeesian started a project to fight her feminist cause on the internet. The comments she received were akin to “I’ll give you $50 if you make me a sandwich”. It’s sexist. It’s on the internet. It’s clearly a troll. Is it bullying? Yes. Is it a problem? Is it really a problem?
I don’t really think so. No matter where you go, people will fight against your cause. Here’s the thing though, it’s the internet. No one is forcing you to read it. It’s one thing if the bully gives you a wedgie but it’s another if they send it to you through a wire. It might be similar to the comments you get in real life but the way I look at it, do what you do. Keep doing it. People are sexist, people are cruel, people are people.
But you don’t have to listen to them. Comments can be disabled (if you really want to piss people off do this) and you don’t have to read them. Go somewhere else. Ban them. The internet really does echo real life. You can choose where and who you hang out with.
The internet really is a wonderful tool for bringing people together isn’t it? Reddit and 4chan help bring people with similar interests together through their different boards and Facebook and Twitter allow you to connect instantly these days. It’s what people do with this ease of connectivity that really matters though. Some of used this to get their message out there, quite famously with KONY or even the Occupy movement.
Why would you use the internet though when the physical presence of a massive rally or even a concert can raise awareness over night? The simplest answer is because people are lazy. I know that if i have homework or a new video game I don’t want to leave my comfy house and stand in the rain. But I’ll happily join an online petition or share a video. It takes two seconds, I feel good about myself, the message spreads. And with all those platforms I mentioned above, it spreads quickly and to everyone.
This kind of message spread is particularly popular with what has been coined ‘The Lazy Generation’. The mainstream media presents us as lazy, drunken, government sponging, easily distra –OOH SHINY– cted and sure, that might all be true but we aren’t completely lazy. That Kony thing would have never taken off if it wasn’t for people like me who don’t like going outside trying to spread a message. At the end of the day, does it really matter that we didn’t get off our butts if we manage to save lives? The lazy generation might not want to go outside and save the world, but we’ll make damn sure everyone else knows that there’s a problem.
Have you ever been out, you’re watching a movie or listening to a song, and you thought to yourself I could do this better? That’s what people are doing every day, every second. Some of them are even making money off of it! It’s one of the building blocks of the internet. Places like YouTube and Reddit are all filled with users generating content. The easiest way to do that would be to start with someone else’s product, and make it better. The phenomenon known as memes are the most basic form of this.
A meme (pronounced meeem, I will not be the reason you are uneducated and make a fool of yourself saying it wrong) is basically an image with text over the top. It turns into a running joke with similar style jokes. Like a Knock Knock joke, only with pictures on the internet. One of the more popular examples are Actual Advice Mallard. A duck that gives advice. People just change out the advice, but use the same format. If you care you can learn more about the Advice Mallard here. More things in that style are here.
This remixing culture is great and gives rise to many peoples creative talents. It’s the basis of the Raspberry Pi. It’s a platform, much like the mallard image on which to start, and with a little creativity, you can go from a credit card sized piece of plastic to a storage managing device.
It’s a pretty sweet deal. Remixing is awesome. Someone else has done some of the hard work, all you have to do is step in at the right time and clean it up.
This title, it was poorly written. I know. It’ll make slightly more sense once you read on. You see, transmedia is the one of a couple ways to tell a story these days. The easiest way to explain it is kind of like a TV series. You know the ones, at the end of every episode there’s a cliffhanger encouraging you to tune in next week? Yeah, imagine something like that. Except, instead of the next part being in another episode, it’s in a radio play or a book or a game.
The best example I have experience with is a little something you might have heard of. A little thing called World of Warcraft. I know you’ve heard of it. For all 3 of you that haven’t it’s a computer game that millions of people can play at the same time. Kind of like when you were a kid in primary school and you pretended to kill the big bad dragon. But, in and of itself this game doesn’t meet our definition does it? I hear you saying to me, “Dacria, it’s just a game. I thought we needed more?” And you’d be right.
Lucky for me I picked a good example. This game has multiple books. The game is set in a the land of Azeroth. So are the books. But you can’t write a book about what 9 million people are doing. So you make a new story, and contribute to the overarching story. The game and the novels exist side by side. Two stories that overlap in some parts and digress on others. It’s a really cool idea.
So now that we’ve got the hang of this transmedia thing, why is it such a big deal? Well with the internet getting its grubby little paws into every last aspect of our lives, this means that we can take our stories, our fantasy worlds, our dreams with us everywhere. Every story can be as pervasive as it needs to be. I for one am all for this. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your hobby and work overlapped?
Think of the possibilities.
We have Survivor on TV. Some people love it. I don’t. What if contributing to a game on your phone or even dedicating your 9-5 to a contestant helped them out? This is where this could go people. This could give people a reason they enjoy to go to work rather than just food and electricity bills. …why doesn’t this exist now? This sounds awesome.
Citizen journalism seems like a pretty cool idea. That’s what this is, really, at it’s core. I am a non-professional writer recording what’s going on with my life. It’s not exciting but I like it. That’s how citizen journalism works, someone is passionate (or even mildly interested) and starts to record it and release it outside of the standard mass media. Today in the USA, the Boston Marathon was the subject of a terrorist attack. How did I find out about it? Not TV, not radio, Reddit.
I did not find out from professionals, I found out from some dude with a camera phone. Not only was it citizen journalism but Reddit is sort of linked to a collective intelligence. I don’t think of Reddit as a site with many users. Reddit to me has a personality. What becomes seen by the majority of people is decided on by votes in the community. Reddit is the summation of millions of peoples thoughts. Reddit has it’s own intelligence in a sense. These two things together help the story to spread. Not only that but with so many eyes and ears it means that the falsities will be shut down while the truth bubbles to the surface.
Not only that, but the Reddit community seems to be focusing on entirely different aspects than the mainstream media. The TV that I saw was giving me specific numbers on deaths and injuries and were trying to find out who was responsible. Reddit on the other hand seemed much more sympathetic, asking people to forward information to the FBI, showing pictures of people helping those who need it. Telling me who I should help and showing that there are still good people in the world is the right way to handle this in my opinion.
When the media tells me an exact body count and look to announce who is responsible, that is doing exactly what the terrorists want. They want the publicity. They want the terror. What they don’t want is you to know is that there are still good people who will help in traumatic times like these. Not only do citizen journalists handle this better but because of their decided platform, things that are more relevant and accurate get passed forwards.
Thank god that citizen journalism is becoming more popular.
The internet is a wonderful place. The internet is entirely made to share. Diaries and comics and ideas are all shared across the globe. People everywhere are making the media that they want to see. The internet has allowed people to be able to make whatever they want about whatever they want. As a result people are slowly turning away from mass media and coming to the internet to get what they’re interested.
I don’t watch TV any more because the number of shows I like to watch are zip. zero. nada. The only good one is The Walking Dead and I can’t even watch that in this country. As a result, I just went to the internet. YouTube has allowed people like me to watch “shows” about what they want when they want, a niche that Foxtel and Austar have yet to work out.
With YouTube being what it is, every video there is uploaded by users. The users have replaced the media conglomerates in this technological world. Companies like Roosterteeth and The Cynical Brit have started their entire careers out of user generated content using sites like YouTube and Blip.tv.
This is a wonderful thing as well. New technologies are even encouraging this. The Android OS, which im so fond of mentioning, is one of those tools that is entirely driven by user content. The whole Google Play store is only filled with apps that were developed by people using the operating system.