You See What I Want You To See

In recent times, a rise in popularity of the online video styling ‘vlogging‘ has occurred. The style features video-based blogs, as such, that are posted daily, or multiple times a week by creators; usually following the ongoings of their lives. These creators predominantly exist within the video sharing network of YouTube and are hence referred to as ‘Youtubers’.

YouTubers, and more particularly vlogging YouTubers (vloggers), are emphatic representations of how an individual’s online persona can differ from their persona in reality. Given the fluidity that their platform provides them when creating their overall product – video allows for certain events to be cut and tailored, vloggers are ultimately able to conjure scenarios in any way they wish.

In many ways, these malleable online personas can be attributed to the technology that is utilised by their owners – video. With the ability to film whatever you like, as well as edit and include pieces that you see fit, video is one of the most versatile technological devices utilised in creating an online persona.

Below is a short video I created in under 30 minutes titled ‘Surviving Uni’. The video features a fellow student answering two questions relating to student life at UOW. However, both answers are positive – even though there is room for negative aspects to be drawn in. The generally positive video provides an online persona of not only the student represented but also the video producer (myself).

Nate

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Social Media: A place to express yourself, or not.

Gone are the days of Myspace.
Yes, you heard right, Myspace.
You know, that social media platform that began all social media platforms?
It’s gone.
And in its place, Facebook.
I’m sure I don’t have to say that one again.

These platforms, although not physical devices, represent the ways in which companies can lock you in – that is, restricting you and your actions in association with their product.

The freedom provided by generative platforms (such as the Android operating system/s) is something that is (was) extremely evident within the functionality of Myspace. The open-sourced nature of the site allowed for a more expressive type of persona to be presented. Although Facebook currently allows for the personalisation of an individual’s account through things such as profile pictures and cover photos, there really isn’t as much the opportunity to wholly express oneself.

It’s not just Facebook though. Most forms of modern social media platforms are reasonably restrictive on the control over one’s account any given individual is provided. While, seemingly simultaneously, companies continue to expand the boundaries of their privacy policies (such as Twitter’s latest change to the policy; with users accepting by clicking a ‘sounds good’ button), opening up their user’s data to a broader variety of third parties.

In many ways, if someone was to open Myspace in front of me today, I’d give them a similar reaction to if they were to open Internet Explorer. (God forbid they open Myspace on Internet Explorer)

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Nate

Transylvanian Transmedia

Cult films are one of the most emphatic representations of transmedia at work.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has managed to maintain a constant level of popularity since it’s inception as a stage musical in 1973. This is largely to do with the fact that the initial product has been turned into somewhat of a ‘transmedia franchise’ through the release of countless follow-up products. These products offer a multitude of entry points for old and new fans to interact with the original story and become part of the ‘Rocky Horror world’.giphy

The 1975 creation of the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ provides the basis for the overall ‘fandom’, however, has evolved greatly since its initial presentation. Audience participation at screenings across the world, in which fans throw props at the screen, dance, sing, and even recite lines back at to the characters of the film, has become something of a norm.
However, the overall continued success of the ‘Rocky Horror world’ can be put down to the efforts of its fans; who’re responsible for the creation of further media products such as:

The creation of multiple points of entry for a prospective audience to join the Rocky Movement has allowed increased success of the concept as a franchise as opposed to just a single film or stage play; so much so that many fan-study academics have utilised The Rocky Horror Picture Show as the foundation for their research.

Nate

Record Store Day Attracts Record Crowds in the Illawarra

Music Farmers Feature ImageKiera Street Record Store, Music Farmers: Home to the resurgence of vinyl in the Illawarra region.

Record crowds queued outside of Wollongong’s Music Farmers record store over the weekend, with the 10th anniversary of the annual Record Store Day seeing many limited-edition releases.

From approximately 8 am, around 50 people lined the front of the Kiera Street store eager to be one of the first to get their hands on exclusive releases from artists like David Bowie, Tame Impala, and Flume.

Vinyl enthusiast Joshua Wilson, 20, is happy that Record Store Day has gained so much traction within the Illawarra.

“I’ve been buying vinyl ever since I got given my Grandpa’s collection when he passed away,” he said.

“To have somewhere so close to home to continue building on that collection means a lot to me,” Mr Wilson said.

Record Store Day was initially started to counteract plummeting physical music sales and is seen as significant in the resurgence of the vinyl music market.

Local mother Samantha Redshaw, 45, queued with her two teenage sons from 9 am. Mrs Redshaw thinks it’s great that the younger generations are getting into vinyl.

“I remember lining up like this with my friends when were teenagers, so excited to get the newest vinyl to dance about to,” she said.

“I love that my kids are so into it [vinyl], it gives me an excuse to have a look too, just for old time’s sake,” Mrs Redshaw said.

Music Farmers owner Jeb Taylor told the Illawarra Mercury that this year was the biggest turnout to date.

“It’s been crazy,” he told the Mercury.

In addition to the multitude of limited releases they were offering, Music Farmers also had Melbourne band Rhysics play live in-store on Saturday afternoon – a backdrop to the browsing crowd.

Within recent years, the vinyl revolution has become increasingly prevalent within Australia, with not only independent record stores reporting great results.

JB Hi-Fi, Australian electronics major, reported that as of December 2016 vinyl accounted for ten per cent of their total music sales – jumping eight per cent in a two-year period.

Record Store Day occurs on the third Saturday of April annually, and is organised in Australia by the Alliance of Independent Music Stores (AIMS) and the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS).A full list of exclusive releases from this year

A full list of exclusive releases from this year is available on the official Record Store Day website, here.

 

 

Ctrl C, Ctrl V, Ctrl Me

Within the internet era, everything has become a copy of a copy of a copy.

The fashion industry, in particular, is one that is greatly impacted by the continual publication of an individual’s creations online. As within any creative industry, inspiration is vital to the overall development of ideas and products. As such, many turn to the internet in search of what may be ‘the next big thing’.

In recent times, one of the most notable cases of copyright infringement within this sphere is that regarding fashion elite Jeremy Scott and the fashion house Moschino. The world renowned fashion designer was sued for a breach of copyright regarding the placement of artist Joseph Tierney‘s work on products featured in their Autumn/Winter 2015 range. However, it is the circumstances surrounding this so called ‘work’ that questioned the lengths to which copyright held control. Tierney is well known for his creation of street art or graffiti, of which Scott used as a defence for his actions – if it’s illegal for Tierney’s work to be published, as such, then it shouldn’t be illegal for Scott to use in a legal manner. The case has since been settled, with both parties filing for dismissal.

Similarly, the lengths of copyright’s control were once again contested earlier this year when Melania Trump was accused of presenting a speech that was almost identical to one of which was presented by Michelle Obama in 2008 – although after much media coverage, the speech writer formally apologised and offered their resignation.

And so I thought, if I was to record myself reading the above blog post, and then post it online, am I breaching my own copyright? Can my own intellectual property be stolen by, well, me? In today’s confusingly replicative, online society, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Also note that the above track is licensed under a ‘Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved’, meaning anyone can download and/or remix what I have said.

Nate

Blurring Beats, Blurring Borders

Starfvckers Logo

The increasing prevalence of the concept of ‘remix’ across a variety of facets of society, has seen an overall increase in the interaction between individual cultures themselves. One of the most easily identifiable today is within the music industry, where the traditional ideals of individual genres of music are becoming more and more faded/blurred.

Koda Kumi, a Japanese singer from Kyoto, shot to stardom following the release of her 7th single – which was then used in the video game Final Fantasy X-2. Her initially quiet and conservative image has developed significantly from as early as 2003 (3 years after the release of her first single), with Koda adopting a sexier and more provocative style. This has made her something of an icon within the Japanese pop-music scene, and as a direct result, on an international scale also – being compared to Western pop stars Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.

Within recent times, Koda has gained further popularity with the annual release of her DRIVING HITS remix albums, featuring remixes of some of her most known songs.

On this year’s release, Sydney-based DJ duo Starfvckers (Kristofer Hutchison and Tom Nash) take on Koda’s track Money In My Bag. As icons of the Sydney club nightlife for over a decade, the duo now resides on the rooftop of Darling Harbour’s Home Nightclubwith their self-titled club Starfvckers. As someone who’s not a stranger to this iconic location, their remix is something that I can definitely see ‘blowing up at Church on a Saturday night’.

Check out their remix below.

Nate

“A Trump Sympathiser? Me? No!”

Man Enough - DraftOurDaughters

Many people seem pretty shocked by the creation of content like this, regarding Hilary Clinton. However, despite emphasising facets of her campaign that weren’t necessarily such major issues, everything is based on facts.

Therefore, it’s not the actual information (or rather an event) that is causing this shock to the audience, but rather the frame in which it is being presented.

With the ongoing comparison of President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, would finding a common ground with him be seen as the equivalent of being a Nazi sympathiser.

Am I a ‘Trump Sympathiser’?

I don’t think I am. But I can’t help but bring to light the frame/s in which Trump has been presented across both his campaign and now within his role as leader of the free world. Most of the information that has been presented to the world surrounding Trump isn’t necessarily that bad, it’s the preconditioned view of these actions that ultimately make them appear bad – Trump could come out tomorrow and claim he saved 60 people from drowning with his bare hands, but this would still be talked down significantly, ‘what about that 61st person?’.

It raises the question; if Trump was ‘framed’ in a more optimistic way from the get go, would he seem more successful in his role as President now?

Nate

One To Many, or One Too Many?

Within the current media landscape a clear shift between monologic media structures (one to many – a ‘hub’ sharing information directly to an audience) to dialogic media structures (many to many – interconnected channels of communication, sharing information with one another) is evident. The internet has been the dominant force behind this movement and in most circumstances, people see the trajectory of this convergence as purely beneficial.

However, not everyone agrees with this. In recent times, President Donald Trump has labelled a variety of seemingly reputable news sources as ‘Fake News‘, and in some instances directed these labels towards individuals – namely Jim Acosta of CNN. In Trump’s eyes, despite having stated he “…can handle a bad story better than anybody, as long as it’s true”; anything that is presented from a media perspective – be that a large media outlet or an individual on the internet, that doesn’t suit his agenda, is simply untrue.

This raises the question, ‘has movement away from the monologic one to many media structure led to an influx of one too many opinions?’. Donald Trump seems to think so.

Nate

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‘The_Media Started Following You’

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Within the current media landscape, it is no longer a question of “who owns the media?” but rather “who owns you?”. The legacy media sphere in Australia is one of the most highly concentrated in the world; meaning large portions of the media are owned and controlled by single media entities e.g. Newscorp, owned by the Murdoch conglomerate, who also has shares in pay-tv giant Foxtel

Under current Australian law:

  1. Individual media stakeholders are restricted from broadcasting to more than 75% of the total population, and;
  2. Are unable to hold a dominating interest in more than two facets of media – television broadcasting, radio broadcasting, or newspaper publishing, within the same region.

These laws attempt to reduce the ability for the ideology of a singular media entity to greatly influence that of their audience. However, as the legacy media sphere begins to converge with that of the ever-expanding digital landscape, these laws seemingly fade into the background.

“But why are legacy media groups merging into the digital landscape?”
Simple;
Because that is where the audience is.

Social media platforms, as well as purely online versions of legacy media outlets, have become the best location to reach a more extensive and receptive audience. Similarly, these platforms have created a stage for the modern ‘produser‘ to present their own content to the same audience. In a way, we are now living in a world where the content of a large media outlet such as The New York Times, and that of ‘just another student blogger’, hold equal value in the eyes of the ‘audience’ – if anyone can actually still be referred to as a mere ‘audience member’.

However, now that this content has moved to a predominantly digital location, focus regarding ownership moves to the key players of the online media industry. It is their ability to coerce you to provide personal information that in the long run, benefits no one but the media platform itself.
Do your friends care that you, as a teenage girl, ‘like Bondi Sands: Ultra Dark‘? – No, but the people who produce the product sure do.
It is this information that media platforms can then sell to third-parties in order to further enhance their marketing campaigns or the products themselves. This raises the concern of trust; who can you really trust within this digital world, and is:

“Thanks for signing up to ________________”

equivalent to

The_Media started following you”

?

Nate

 

If You’re Reading This It’s A Meme

Drake has released a new album. Wait, no, it’s a playlist.
Whatever it is, Drake is the perfect example of a musician, whose craft has frequently been altered in order to suit the demanding nature of the digital world.

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From single, to EP, to LP, to mixtape, to rap dependent album, to dance classic album, and now playlist, the ‘Drizzy’ empire has continued to grow due to its ability to provide its audience with regular content – in the form of relevant and innovative mediums. It is clear that the way in which people will interact with his music is at the forefront of Drake’s decision-making process; in the sense that a playlist is a collection of songs by various artists, generally created and shared in an online format – it markets itself.

Despite his latest release “More Life” featuring self-generated content, the ‘playlist’ claim still may not be so ambiguous. Drake has crafted an album that reflects his own current stylistic tastes, utilising the ‘playlist’ medium as merely a foundation within the unique digital landscape that surrounds the music industry.

Check out the album below.

Nate