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Final Week Reading

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Summary of: Critical Analysis of Social Networks by Michael Serazio

This blog will be a quick overview of the reading: this weeks reading was about mash ups. Even though a lot of readings this semester were about mash ups this one was by far the most interesting as it went into other areas not covered before.

Things I learnt:

-A mash-up is also called a ‘bootleg or ‘bastard pop’

-Reasons why remixing became so popular include… a new combination of MP3 source material; such as internet sites like Napster. Also DJ remix software becoming more affordable for the average consumer. These two reasons gives more people the resources to start remixing in their own home.

-2003 Time Magazine offered a step by step guide to “cutting and pasting together pop hits”.

-The start of DIY, when a consumer becomes a producer. This leads back to resources for remixing becoming more easily  available.

-The idea of a ‘democratization of Music’. -> Record labels having less control as Cd sales fall and also their new attempt to regain power with the “360” contract where they control everything about the artist.

-MTV executive told The New York Post ” We took it from the indie underground and are trying a mainstream approach” -> this quote is about remixes and I find interesting that the industry has changed their tune on remixes and are less worried about copyright

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June 3, 2011 at 2:45 am

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Week 10: Simplifying Podcasting

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Im going to open up this blog by telling a story… “My mother and I were waiting at the eye clinic as I was about to get an eye check. Now my mother is addicted to going to uni and every year she is studying something new. Well this year she is studying psychology. Going back to the eye clinic…. she was discussing with myself of the different ways people can learn and told which one I was out of the choices. I was according to my mother an auditory learner…”

So according to the reading “Simplifying Podcasting” learning through listening to podcasts is a better option for myself. Podcasts are a fairly new way to learn… so new that my spell check picks it up as a incorrect word as i type this post. “Podcasting is a simple process of capturing human voice, uploading it online, and sharing it with the whole world.” The different types of podcasting include: public podcast, personal podcast and professional podcast. They are a product of a growing digital culture and is considered a social software.

A podcast needs to be effective at conveying a message as this is the main job of a podcast. This stems to a relationship between enthusiasm and time of the podcast. The more enthusiasm in a short- mid length amount of time is when a podcast is at it’s peak. Even though podcast are most effective  learning strategy for a auditory learner, a good podcast can still be effective for visual learners, reading/writing learners and exploratory learners.

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June 3, 2011 at 12:43 am

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Week 9: a rather short reading

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The Digital Future of Authorship: Re thinking Originality

by Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Author’s background: “writing about the kinds of social and intellectual changes that digital publishing…”

Well according to the author, this post about the article is pointless. In this one page reading this week the author address the point that re printing an article makes more sense, but the internet takes it to another level. The author states there less reason to re print or copy and paste the articles, but it makes more sense for the third-party (in this case the editor of Cultural Machine)  to just simply link back to the article.

Author’s perspective on printing: “you publish something somewhere, and then sometimes, if you’re lucky, it gets re printed somewhere else, in whole or in part”.

Honestly from only reading a page on this authors perspective of the internet it’s clear that he/she grew up without the internet, when print was the only source of information. The author seems to not be comfortable with internet usage, but these assumptions are from reading only one page of their work, which is only a small portion.

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May 23, 2011 at 9:58 am

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Website update

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I have been having so much fun using html to create a website.

Wednesday is my final catchup with steven nasr, my friend who my website is based around. Hopefully he likes what I have so far.

In a meeting we will discuss what he thinks of what I have done so far and any suggestions.

With the website I have almost finished the homepage which will be finished in class tomorrow.

🙂

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May 23, 2011 at 8:27 am

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Essay: How New Technologies have Shaped Current Cultural Practices

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Concept Development Essay

Rebecca Baldacchino (s3291024)

The current media landscape is defined by the emergence of new cultural practices that are present today because of new technologies. The major new technology that had a large influence is web 2.0. This outbreak of the improved internet resulted to societies ability for file sharing which changed the distribution of music. This also gives the consumer the power to be a producer as well and leaving promoters with less control. Social networking websites are as well giving power to the producers to promote them selves.  This lead to the outsourcing of a new form of music called ‘mash-up’ or ‘remix’. Remixes are made up of two or more songs, which have already been created, put together to form one song. This produces a new issue for record companies: copyright. Copyright is an issue not only the problem for record labels, but for any consumer putting their information on the internet to which could easily be copied and pasted by any user of the internet. A new form of writing also originated from the introduction the internet, called a blog. A blog is where anyone with access to the internet can present a stream of regular posts which generally surrounding a simular subject giving internet consumers a choice to have an opinion for all to view. Also with social networking and mobile phones it has become less important for face-to-face communication, which creats a loss of non-verbal communication and deeper communication.

The surfacing of the internet has changed dramatically how consumers access their music. The distribution of music has changed with a huge decline in CD sales and an increase in downloads. Statistics show that there is an increase in the consumption of music, even though it doesn’t appear in revenue. “Australians are consuming more music than ever before,” ARIA chief executive Danny Rosen declared.” (Digital Music News, 2011, The Collapse of the Australian Record Business…)This is one of the effects from the introduction of Web 2.0, which introduces the idea of user generated web sites. An example of these websites are file sharing websites such as “Limewire”. Consumers use these websites to illegally obtain their music, forcing the music industry to look for more diverse ways of income. As majority of consumers aren’t purchasing their music, this takes a huge segment out of the major and independent record label’s income source. An increase of live events such as festivals is a new way the industry are outsourcing another stream of income. BBC News talks about the rapid growth in festivals “ this summer over 3 million of us will go to a festival, with over 500 to choose from in the UK alone…”  (BBC News, 2008, UK Festival Fever on the Increase) Web 2.0 websites where users can download music for no cost but the at the expense to the music industry.

The internet has become a new source of downloading music, not just artist’s original songs, but a gateway to remixes. With the help of the internet the distribution of mash ups (or remixes) has become the norm. The word ‘remix’ was typed into YouTube and approximately 1,650,000 results appeared in YouTube alone. Though record labels didn’t view them as legal until 2001, when rapper Jay-Z remixed his own vocals on top of a song by Linkin Park. Remixes were perceived as impudent to be mucking around with other people’s work. They had a bad impression on people as McLeod said, “yet another sign of the end of the world, proof that our culture has withered and run out of ideas.” (Gunkel, 2008, p.502) This brought on “Grey Tuesday” which was a protest where a Hip Hop artist ‘Danger Mouse’ produced an album called “Grey Album” full of mp3 remixes which was freely gave out through the internet. (McLeod, 2005) Jay-Z’s release in 2001 assisted remixes or mash ups surface the pop culture. Through music history remixes have become socially expected in the modern era.

Not only remixes are a large copyright issue, but with photos or any other information that could be copied from the internet. This is because information is so obtainable and can easily be downloaded from the internet and re used with out the knowledge of the owner of the copyright. This has created a new type of copyright, Creative Commons. This allows the sharing of people’s work to be legal, but only on certain conditions. These conditions vary with each different licence in the creative commons available. These different licences’ include: Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivative Works and Share Alike. (Creative Commons, 2010, About the Licences) Creative Commons promotes creativity in people’s works as it gives people an option of legally using other people’s creations. This trend tries to fix the problem of the internet being an open source of information that risks the copyright of people’s works, to working with the growth of the internet and allowing people to share their works with others.

Social Networking websites are making it easier for artist’s to promote them selves lessening the need for promoters. Artists can promote them selves through many streams of promotion on the internet. One central way is through social networking websites, the spawn from web 2.0.This is done by loading videos of them selves performing on a site like YouTube and waiting for the views to increase. An example of a band that didn’t use a promoter to gain popularity was the Artic Monkeys who promoted them selves. Even well known artists use YouTube and other social networking website such as Twitter to reach there fans on an more intimate level. Lady Gaga, a performer well known for her unusual outfits, is known to post videos just for YouTube and tweets on Twitter, as she knows this is a modern way her fans are accessing her music. (Gen-Y Rockstars,2010, Justin Bieber And Lady Gaga Marketing) Another recent example of this is Justin Bieber , a pop artist who was founded by Scooter (a talent agent). When Justin Bieber was signed, he then promoted his first single by going to different radio stations and singing it for them. Once his fan base grew he used twitter to let others know which radio station he would be performing at next. Scooter comments “Bieber spends 2 + hours a day on twitter. This is a dude with a busy schedule. If you can’t find the time to connect with your fans, you might need to find a new passion to pursue.” (Gen-Y Rockstars,2010, Justin Bieber And Lady Gaga Marketing) This was one of the first examples of a child star not going through the usual stations like “Nickelodeon” to gain a fan base. Social Networking has changed how artists communicate with their fans and promotes them selves  in the music industry.

Another main aspect of the music industry that was brought on by the introduction web 2.0 is the blogging sphere. Here anyone can start a feed of posts sharing their own personal view on any subject of interest to the blogger. Blogging has become increasingly popular and now a competitive domain where bloggers strive to become the most interesting blog on the subjects being posted on.  Research has shown that in 2003, 44% of adult internet consumers use the internet to share their opinions. (Richardson, 2008) It is a theory that the lifetime of a blog is in direct relation to how many comments it is receiving.(Aguiton and Cardon, 2007, Individualism and relation making)This is important for the amount of comments informs the blogger that other people are not only reading the blog, but finding it interesting enough to express their interest. If there are no comments, then the blogger could feel no reason for posting their views. As blogs are popular, bloggers need to be very controversial to stand out from other simular blogs to be read by individuals of internet. The more critical and harsh the blog is, the more interest it will have. An example of a ruthless blog on YouTube is a person known as ‘Kingsley’ with his blog called ‘Overexposed’. His blogs contain insensitive comments about music artists and songs that are popular at the time of the posts. One particular post about Rebecca Black (a singer with a popular song on YouTube) commented that ‘the song is annoying, she is annoying and her facial expressions are annoying. And I sincerely hope her fucking career goes nowhere.” (YouTube, 2011, Overexposed: Rebecca Black) This example reflects how viscous bloggers can be to grasp popularity.

The key change in cultural practices with the mass increase in technology is a decrease in social etiquette. This would include a downgrade in grammar in our schools and the lack of need of social contact from people. The London Times states, “People can read very widely and well, and they are still not able to spell, or construct a sentence, or work out whether there’s an apostrophe in ‘its’. It’s similar to music. You don’t just pick up how to play the piano. I feel kids are being let down. In a communications age, knowing how to write is a life skill.” (Bantick, 2006, Grammar matter, Period) With the introduction of spell check, the old way of using a dictionary is outdated, as doing it electronically is more efficient. Though some may argue that being more efficient isn’t necessarily better as it produces a lazier generation when it comes to English and grammar. This technology goes further to mobile phones where an iPhone (a product created by Apple) will automatically change an incorrect word. From the up bringing of social networking websites, mobile phones, Xbox live and Skype; these technologies are all responsible for the decrease in need for face to face contact with people in their social life. A study done by ‘Global Media Journal’ showed ‘Twenty-five percent of respondents reported decreases in desire for face-to-face communication with family” (Young Soo Shim, 2007, pg6) from the total of 405 questionnaires considered. This need isn’t as relevant as these new emerging technologies all help people keep in contact with their friends with the need for face-to-face contact. This also to some extent eliminates non-verbal communication, where information that is consumed through body language. Though also opened up the opportunity to connect everyday to people, that without these technologies wouldn’t be able to reach; such as people over seas. Even though technology has taken away societies grammar skills and takes away the necessity of face to face communication, it still opens up a lot of other doors in the communication world.

Overall, today’s culture has changed dramatically because of the emergence of new technologies. Music is becoming more accessible through downloads, but leaving the artist out of pocket for their work. A new form of music, ‘remix’, has grown with the help of the internet to an extent that a remix has become the norm of today’s society. Copyright has become a serious issue from the emergence of the internet, yet a positive outcome as this is the start of a new type of copyright ‘Creative Commons’. Blogging has become more common allowing everybody to form an opinion on any subject. The most important aspect of Web 2.0 has brought to our culture is allowing every user to produce anything from a piece of music to a journal, giving the power to the people.

Bibliography

Websites

  1. Digital Music News, The Collapse of the Australian Record Business…,

http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/021711australia

Accessed: 2nd May 2011

  1. BBC News, UK Festival Fever on the Increase,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7499708.stm

Accessed: 2nd May 2011

  1. Creative Commons, About the Licences,

http://creativecommons.org.au/learn-more/licences

Accessed: 2nd May 2011

  1. Gen-Y Rock Stars, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga Marketing,

http://www.genyrockstars.com/2010/05/justin-bieber-and-lady-gaga-marketing.html

Accessed: 2nd May 2011

5.          Christophe AGUITON & Dominique CARDON, The Strength of Weak              Cooperation: an Attempt to Understand the Meaning of Web 2.0

http://www.idate.fr/fic/revue_telech/696/CS65_AGUITON_CARDON.pdf

Accessed: 2nd May 2011

  1. YouTube, Overexposed: Rebecca Black,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ9XIP6XNXs

Accessed: 2nd May 2011

  1. Christopher Bantik, Grammar Matters, Period,

http://www.theage.com.au/news/education-news/grammar-matters-period/2006/10/20/1160851135923.html

Accessed: 2nd May 2011

Journals

  1. McLeod, Kembrew, ‘Confessions of an Intellectual (Property): Danger Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Sonny Bono, and My Long and Winding Path as a Copyright Activist-Academic’, Popular Music and Society, (2005), 28: 1, 79-93.

2 .      Soo Shim, Young, ‘The Impact of the Internet on       Teenagers’ Face-to-Face Communication’, Gobal Media Journal, Spring (2007), Volume 6, Issue 10, pg1-20.

3.        Gunkel, David J. “Rethinking the Digital Remix: Mash-ups and the Metaphysics of Sound Recording”, Popular Music and Society (2008), 31: 4, 489-510.

 Book

1. Will Richardson, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, Corwin Press, California, 2008.

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May 4, 2011 at 1:07 am

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Week 8: Remixes We Meet Again

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The reading titled ‘Remix and the Rouelles of Media’ goes through the art of remixing videos. It goes right back to the time of the Ancient Irish storyteller called the ‘Seanchai’ who would share their mythical tales to the public, to which in turn the public would re tell the stories and slightly altering the story each time- an early form of a remix. These kinds of examples of remixes broadens how society defines them dramatically. For example going by this definition a student essay would be classed as a remix. For an essay uses other people’s research to back up their own argument. Though an essay is a legal form of a remix as using referencing confirms to the reader that the some research does not belong to writer of the essay. Also here as I write this post, this is a form of a remix, as i am taking ideas from the reading titled ‘Remix and the Rouelles of Media’ and reformatting ideas for my own use. And the list can go on and on and on…

The author concentrates on video remixing, how intensive the work is and how long it takes. It is stated inside the reading that “when commercial interests are set aside, new motivations for creating start to emerge.” This explains that a lot of the copyright issues these days is driven by the larger organization’s thrive for money. This leads to the large problem of creativity being pushed aside because from remixing stems an increase in creativity. The article also mentioned how one of the large industry’s pushing copyright was the advertising industry. I found this interesting because isn’t the point of advertising to produce exposure? To which a remix of an advertisement would still give? Wouldn’t you think that if an advertisement has resulted in a remix then its a positive sign that there has been exposure for the add and in fact the add would receive more exposure from the remix?

For an industry to succeed they need to learn to work with new technologies, not against it like copyright does.

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May 3, 2011 at 5:16 am

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Week 7, Reading Two

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The article ‘Cashing the Spectacle: A Forgotten History of Digital Sampling, Infringement, Copyright Liberation and the End of Recorded Music’ has a central topic  a band KLF using them as an example of the first ‘illegal art’. The author McLeod, challenges the idea that this band was one of the first to sample other people’s music raising the clear issue of copyright. KFL were known to rebel against the music industry in many different ways, increasing their popularity along the way. These musicians were very interesting to read about as they don’t represent the typical artist.

There are many examples of the extreme things KLf have done during their works and countless law suits from copyright. One example includes “they burned their own record while standing in front of the groups Popular Music business offices”- with prostitutes dressed as ABBA. This was done to help them win a lawsuit, which in the end helped. Another example is KFL ‘self-published 7,000 called ‘The Manual’ – a book on how to have a Number One hit the easy way. Funny enough an artist named Edelweiss wrote a song following this book and the song ‘Bring Me Edelweiss’ became a number one hit. The last example I will use is KLF entered a competition from the K Foundation trying to win “Worst Artist of the Year” with double the prize money of “Best Artist of the Year” and at the end won the title.

This reading was very interesting how a group like KLF could try and push the boundaries of the music industry. And if one makes the statement that KLF has no significance, then the fact that I am  writing a blog post about them now says it all….

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April 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

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