Monday, 29 September 2014

Vloggers + UGC rivalling studios + conglomerates?

Certainly not a new topic this, although I haven't completed adding tags to the entire archive of posts, you'll see that 'UGC' (user-generated content) is a common topic (and I'll have a look to add 'vlogger' where appropriate: video-based bloggers).

Gradually being updated - use the tag clouds!
I blog again on this as its a topic we've been discussing in recent lessons, and I've reflected on in recent posts. As Media students today, the demands on and expectations of you are higher than in the past - with the technology at your fingertips, there is an expectation of at least 'prosumer' levels of quality, ideally there being no clear indication (or anchorage) of your work as student productions at all.
Fragment of a past post on this topic.

The skills you're developing are highly marketable and valuable:

Friday, 26 September 2014

Queens, Kittens + QR Codes: Film about Media coursework

NB: Most DVDs have been packaged in a slimline case
A Bit of Background on the IGS Media 2014 DVD
In June 2014 I decided to put together a 2nd feature-length film on my A-Level Media Studies students' work; in September 2014 it was finally completed, and this post takes you through what it is all about, what to expect and what specifically is included.
Click to enlarge; some info on what Movember is for

YOU/audience are the product: Julian Assange

When we consider audience theory in Media Studies, the degree of flux and changing views on this is quickly evident, and a major theme in itself. Which, if any, of the long-established audience theories continue to hold true in the digital age, the web 2.0 era? Is it enough to write of "the former audience", Dan Gillmor's (2011) striking phrase? David Gauntlett even went as far as to declare the "end of audience studies" (2007, 2011), although Julian McDougall's (2009, in a very readable, student-friendly book) more moderate point that audiences are fragmenting, making it more difficult to meaningfully analyse or discuss/define audiences, is perhaps more useful.

There are those who see the blurring of the audience/producer line as full of democratic promise, not least Gillmor, though Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture (2008) is perhaps the most striking statement of this.
Is Jenkins too utopian, optimistic? [image source]

On the face of it, the democratisation of 'UGC' (user-generated content), fan-made videos etc seems a good thing in weakening the power of the global conglomerate giants who dominate every media industry, often straddling several industries (as even the post-split Murdoch corporations do). But ... the 'new media' (an increasingly redundant term) giants have evolved themselves into even greater corporate behemoths than their old media predecessors. Is Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (still stuck in an asylum limbo in the Ecuadorian London embassy) right when he proclaims:
People who use Google are the product
Every time you go to a party and take a picture and post that picture to Facebook, you’re being a rat. You’re being a narc.
The first statement takes me back to the early days of my Media (and Politics) degree, when a simple enough statement immediately reformulated how I looked upon the media: newspapers sell readers to advertisers; when you buy a paper you're actually packaging yourself and selling yourself. Is the newspaper itself the product or a mere enticement for the actual product, a coalition of demographic types sufficiently attractive to a range of advertisers for the newspaper business to be economically viable?
A popular meme, Google is/Dr Evil [image source]

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Following other blogs

Coursework groups should 'follow' each others' blogs, but you should also follow any of mine relevant to your AS/A2 course. There used to be clickable 'follow my blog' links on all blogger blogs, but no longer. Now, you go into your blogger dashboard, look for 'reading list', click add, copy/paste the blog URL (and click on 'add more' to add 3 at a time.

This means as part of your dashboard you'll see at a glance if there are any new posts on any blog you follow, and you can also click on that blog's name to get a list of all posts (and either click on a post title to go to that one post or the blog name to go to that blog in a new tab).

My dashboard lists my own blogs in the top half; below it lists blogs I follow
Just click on 'add' to get the window you see below, where you add blog URLs you want to follow
You can add up to 3 at a time: click the '+Add' and you can add more