Produsage

In the past few weeks, I have seen the change from copyright, the difference between generative and closed platforms, monologic media and dialogic media, and now I want to discuss about citizen journalism to collective intelligence. But, ‘Produsage’ is a word that is not often heard of. The word ‘Produsage’ is a portmanteau of the words “production” and “usage”, which means the participant is led in the content creation that takes place in the online environments.

According to Bruns, producers work together to create content rather than working as individuals are the characteristic of ‘Produsage’(Bruns, 2007). The content creation is done by a number of different users rather than a single author. When it comes to Instagram, users are allowed to use the different filters provided by Instagram or a different editing app to help enhance the photo. Users are also allowed using different video editing softwares to combine those video clip capture by different camera even capture by different users. The convergent of media platform allowed the content created by normal cameras that doesn’t necessary be the phone camera shift to the editing platform and be posted on Instagram after the editing process has been done.

When the produsage’s platform has been formed, the content that create by open participation is often unfinished and content development process would be continuous (Bruns, 2007) . Since it was a virtually platform for all users to contribute to an existing content, there would be a motivation to pull up the further content improve. Instagram supports multiple platform usage, for example, you can share the contents posted on Instagram on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.

 

Reference:

Bruns, Axel (2007) Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington, DC.

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Hey DJ! Drop the beat!

Remember how we used to rip our beloved boyband CDs into our computers so we could create our own playlist and blast it through the speakers? Yes, those were the days, but not anymore! It has been a long while since I enjoyed listening to good pop songs and what better way to listen to it when you can have a few of your favourites mashed up into one song? Well, Sam Tsui is my favourite mash up cover singer of all times. Check his songs out!

It’s good right?

In this new digital age where modern technology makes the world go round, we have entered a culture of remixes and mash-ups. Theses technological resources support this new culture, allowing prosumers to put together their ideas and creations and develop specific platforms to publicize and share their content. These collaborative efforts changes part of the big participatory culture in creating and sharing their own content like never before. As Lawrence Lessig reveals “remix utilizes the (multimedia) language through which the current generations communicate” (2008).

A definition of remix culture is the global activity consisting of the creative and efficient exchange of information made possible by digital technologies that is supported by the practice of cut/copy and paste (Brewster & Broughton, 2000). Although most people feel mash up is mixed the music together, but remix is not only in music. As long as the existing material through combined or edited become a new product is called remix and now the most common is to mix up the music. Simultaneously, collaborative mashup as a produasge which allow audiences to become more active and visible in creating and sharing their own content than ever before (Bruns, 2010).

As the technology continues to progress, more and more music producers are using some mashup software to make the various types of music rearrange and mixed together then publish it through movies and music programs. The remix culture shows that technology convergence brings convenience for people in any respect and music remix is one of them. Mashups have been increasingly popular in the world throughout the years. No matter what type of genre, it also can be used to make mashup. That’s sort of where EDM came from right?

Brewster B, Broughton F, 2000, Last Night a DJ save my Life”, New York: Grover Press, 178-79. Accessed 16/4/2016, http://remixtheory.net/?page_id=3

Bruns, A 2010, ‘Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage’, Sonvilla-Wiess, S, Mashup Culture, Springer, Wein, pp. 24-37. Accessed 16/4/2016, http://snurb.info/files/2010/Distributed%20Creativity%20-%20Filesharing%20and%20Produsage.pdf

What are animals to you?

Humans and animals both alike have many similarities, we all have friends and foes, feelings and a life. Animals know their way of life where they hunt for survival and protect themselves from danger. This shows that they have the capability to think and have their own emotions like us.

On an average day, I pretty much enjoy scrolling through Facebook and searching for cute animal videos to look at. It is a common sight to see everyone sharing the videos and getting thousands of views in a short period of time. But little do we know that animals are often misrepresented in the media.

Recently, I stumbled upon the Blackfish documentary, where the story is based on a killer whale, Tilikum, who has been held captive for over 20 years. The documentary shows how Tilikum had been separated from his family when he was still young and was placed in SeaWorld to perform. The documentary also shows how the whale has killed 3 people including his personal trainer as a result of frustration while being kept in a small tank where he is limited to movement.

In other words, this documentary can be seen how an endangered species has been captured to be a performing animal and do routined tricks instead of being at it’s own nature.

Other than the Blackfish documentary, the least exposed to media of misrepresented animals are the circus animals. Circus animals consist of monkeys, bears, elephants, tigers, lions and many more, but non of them are just born to be circus animals, they have been trained daily by animal trainers and most of the animals have traumatic experiences. In the video below, shows how a circus lion act was performing and suddenly a lion was attacking it’s trainer.

It does show similarities towards the Blackfish documentary where lions are not meant to be performing animals. How do you train a lion to do tricks that aren’t of their nature? I could only think of torturing them and letting the lions know that the trainer is the leader of the pack, if you don’t do as I say, no food for the day.

We as humans have the privilege to voice out our opinions but what about the animals? Has anyone asked if these animals chose this paths of their lives? Taken away from their own natural habitat makes them hard to adapt to new environments. Why don’t we help the animals and just leave them to their own natural habitats and preserve them?

Poverty Porn

What is poverty porn? It is defined as development porn or even famine porn, is any type of media, be it written, photographed or filmed, which exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate the necessary sympathy for selling newspapers or increasing charitable donations or support for a given cause. Poverty porn is typically associated with black, poverty-stricken Africans, but can be found elsewhere. The subjects are overwhelming children, with the material usually characterized by images or descriptions of suffering, malnourished or otherwise helpless persons. The stereotype of poverty porn is the African child with a swollen belly, staring blankly into the camera, waiting for salvation.

Poverty Porn in a nutshell.

Recently before this topic came up, a viral video “Jack Black Brought to tears after meeting a homeless boy” was uploaded on social medias and it gained my attention to watch the 5 minute long video. The video was about the celebrity, Jack Black visiting Uganda to tell donors where their money is donated to in charities. In the video he spent a day with a local boy, Felix, to see what he goes through on a daily basis. Felix tells Jack about his life story and slowly got emotional towards Felix.

Before learning about poverty porn, I too thought all these videos from charities and celebrities were as touching as possible and did really send a message to the audiences that they needed help. But these videos can be categorized as gimmicks to get sympathy from the audiences and to donate to their cause. Audience tend to be more sympathetic towards the pain of children and this elicits a higher emotional response, hence generating an ample amount of profit for the foundation and others who are responsible for it. (Roenigk 2014)

Does all these videos help to end the homeless children’s suffering? In a famine situation like these, some might bring out that it is the fastest way to reach out to the audience but we must also include humanitarianism in all aspects in helping to solve poverty. To me, its fine to raise awareness of poverty through social media and get funds from around the world to help aid the problem but the responsible parties should also be responsible for their work and make a follow up on the help they received and the progression of the work.

Roenigk, E 2014, 5 Reasons poverty porn empowers the wrong person, One, accessed 11/4/2016 <http://www.one.org/us/2014/04/09/5-reasons-poverty-porn-empowers-the-wrong-person/&gt

 

Reporters everywhere!

Lets face it, your mobile phone is always at arm’s length or somewhere close to you 24/7. Or you might be reading this blog post with your mobile phone.

Compared to technology 7 to 8 years ago, we all rely on our big bulky computers for Internet access and pray to God that the slow connection doesn’t die on you. Now we could just take out our smartphones, switch on our Wi-Fi, and just swipe our way through the Internet.

Whatever we want or need, it is all on the Internet. Basically, we now start off our day, before even sitting up to go wash up, we look for our phones first to look at incoming text, calls, notifications from various active social media platforms, then only we begin our daily routine of washing up, breakfast and going to school or work.

According to Gordon (2007), the use of the mobile phone as a communications device in day-to-day situations is accepted as its natural function. But in times of national and personal calamity, the mobile phone may become an important tool, to document and report events from eyewitnesses and those closely involved. There’s no need to go out and get a paper to get local news or national news anymore, with just a mobile phone, anyone can be a reporter. I kid you not. The mobile phone can also provide valuable evidence of what actually occurred from an eyewitness perspective rather than an official or mediated source (Gordon 2007).

For example, this crazy lady took off all her clothes because she was on drugs.

Like I said, anyone can be a reporter with just a mobile phone with the camera functions. The footage was taken by a passer by, and it showed a more detailed story rather than the news censoring the incident.

As I have said this countless times technology is always advancing in our current age, and to be honest, I am enjoying to be having this privilege of using the internet and being socially active on social networking sites. Scrolling through what friends share on their Facebook with us, it can be a part of us gaining knowledge of our surroundings, news, and various information. So, what is there not to like?

On Instagram, I get to follow amazing photographers to see beautiful pictures shared by them and also some Instagram accounts are dedicated to motivational quotes and pictures, I can easily “like” whatever posts I like and enjoy about.

View this post on Instagram

Beam me up, hottie!

A post shared by Geordi La Corgi (@lacorgi) on

And also not to mention those crazily cute corgi pictures, it does make one’s day brighter! Liking certain pictures can allow Instagram to filter pictures of what your interest are and what other people you follow “liked”. With this, I feel like I’m with a bunch of people that think alike with the same interest of the photos we like.

References:

Gordon, J (2007), The Mobile Phone and the Public Sphere: Mobile Phone Usage in Three Critical Situations, Convergence 13/3 Pages: 307-319.

Picture please?

How often do you get to see selfies? Not exactly see it but eventually get involved in selfies. Everyday with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram you are practically involved and prolonged to see selfies of your friends and also your own. Taking selfies are getting more popular these days compared to the regular photos where someone else holds the camera. This is because it gives ordinary people like you and me to share the same as celebrities would do to convey themselves.

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Basically, its very easy to identify a selfie and a normal photo where you have the extended arm towards the camera in the picture.

Back in 2010, when Apple first introduced the iPhone 4 that has a front-facing-camera allowing people actively control the picture they project, that is when the selfies start becoming viral all over the SNSs. A recent survey of more than 800 teenagers by the Pew Research Center(2013) found that 91% posted photos of themselves online – up from 79% in 2006.

When analysing the art-form of the selfie, the mainstream media and academics try to determine why people like taking these type of photos; musing that it has something to do with either narcissism or self-esteem.According to Daniel Halpern, he claims that his research proves that people who take selfies and share them on social media are either narcissistic to begin with or gradually become narcissists from frequently posting images of themselves (2016). Halpern explains this by saying, “…users who engage in this behaviour probably feel rewarded by sharing their own images with other users, augmenting their levels of narcissism and consequently their use of SNS for selfie production” (2016).

In building up their own images through selfies, it can be said that its a form of self branding where people understand who you are and what you are made of. To say selfie takers are narcissists is a very narrow minded and stereotypical opinion. Just because one wants to look good in a photo, does not necessarily mean they are full of themselves. Most likely the usual saying of don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but subsequently a selfie posted on social media we practically judge you in the selfie itself. For example, celebrity showing off their new expensive Chanel hand bag, what does that make you think of that person? Some might think oh, she’s famous so she can do whatever she wants or maybe such a lucky girl to be sponsored. Ladies and gentlemen, a picture really speaks a thousand words.

According to Christopher Barry, he states that selfies are photos that became popular from 2004 onwards and is “an aspect of current pop culture” (2015, p.2). In his research based on data collected from undergraduate university students between the ages of 18 – 43 (Barry 2015, p.1), Barry believes that taking selfies is a mix between narcissism and self-esteem. He goes on to explain this by saying that people who take selfies to show off the best side of themselves have “vulnerable narcissism” and “fragile self-esteem” (2015, p.8).

After a selfie is taken, using photo sharing apps usually provides tools such as filters, cropping and other editing tools for the individual to slowly craft a preferred image for others to see. Individuals who lack high-esteem have a hidden narcissistic personality as they feel secure enough to share photos of themselves on social media, in particular, ones that they edit to look more appealing.

In a nutshell, selfies are just a picture of the individual living the moment at the time. Being argued of narcissism and building self-esteem, it is what the person wishes to share on social media to show their friends and family. Its best if everyone to control and not be too obsessed over selfies where it will then become a severe problem of narcissism.

 

Barry, C 2015, ‘“Let Me Take a Selfie”: Associations Between Self-Photography, Narcissism, and Self-Esteem’, Psychology of popular media culture, advance online publication, pp.1-8.

Halpern, D 2016, ‘“Selfie-ists” or “Narci-selfers”? A cross-lagged panel analysis of Selfie Taking and Narcissism’, Personality and individual differences, vol. 97, pp. 98-10.

Pew Research Center 2016, Teens Fact Sheet, accessed 7/4/2016, http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/teens-fact-sheet/

Paying Attention

At this weeks lecture, we were asked to do a little experiment on our attention span just to focus on one thing. So my friend and I came up with a short task that is watching an episode of Running Man, a Korean variety show.

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The duration of this show is an average of 1 and a half hours. So within that time frame, we decided to see if our attention would divert us to do other stuff.

During the show, unconsciously I picked up the phone and started to play Candy Crush and go through my social medias. I only listened to what the show was talking about and when some exciting sounds that gets my attention, I immediately stop and divert my attention back to the TV screen.

As from this short experiment, I learnt that my attention span to focus on something is really short. I would like to do multiple stuffs at a time and be everywhere at a time. Often my mom would ask me if I’m watching the show or am I playing with my phone while the TV watches me instead. Today, we can say that people are easily distracted with the combining factors of electronic devices and the internet.

According to Wiseheart, Weston and Sana’s research on the distractions that laptops causes in the classroom learning. The research was to investigate whether multitasking on a laptop impedes in-class learning, they found that students who multitasked on a laptop during a lecture scored lower on a test compared to students who did not multitask, and students who were in direct view of a multitasking peer scored lower on a test compared to students who were not in view of a multitasking peer.

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According to The Peak Performance Center, there are several types of attention that we use during the course of our daily activities. The type of attention we use will vary depending on our need and circumstances.

Dr Lachaux has explained in the video that how our attention diverts and how our brains functions.

For short, attention is powerful where it changes how we think and how we do something almost instantly.