Module 2.1

Week 3 – 2.1 Entertain Me!

Who makes your entertainment? Institutions, audiences & participatory culture

This weeks reading The promise is great was a very long one about the movie industry and the lengths they have gone to to ensure their survival in an ever changing world of technology and modern home appliances. We as a society are needing to leave our homes less and less as technology brings more and more of the world to us.  This in turn has an effect on the movie industry, how do they get us to come out of our homes and spend the money on their movies. A very enlightening look at how films like Jaws in 1975 changed everything.

Today sequels, prequels & remakes are some of the most popular films at the box office and with the up coming release of Breaking Dawn – Part 1 the fourth film in the Twilight series we will see the ‘pre-sold identity’ that the reading talked about.  The movie industry is cashing in on the best selling books by turning them into movies like the Harry Potter and Twilight series.

The viewing this week was about Vidding a phenomenon that I had never heard of, although I am not a member of any fandom but that is not to say I am not a fan of anything. I learnt that vidding is music + TV and can be made from just about anything and that Vidding is about fandom but has its own fandom following.

My feelings are that some fans of TV series or movies may seem a little extreme to some but they are a necessary part of the industry. They create their own communities about the things that they love and some create vids or writings to take the story further than the makers intended. A bit of fun.

Finally there was the tut by Dr Tama Leaver. Tama discussed Joss Whedon and his fan base and how he has used that fan base to move into different mediums to spread his work. Whedon is best known for his Buffy series which was based on a medicore movie but he is also known for the movie Serenity that was based on the failed Firefly TV series. Whedon’s more recent creation Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog was a huge success even though there were only 3 episodes.

Tama explained that Whedon doesn’t have his own blog or web presence but uses the web presence of his fans to talk to them.  He also discussed how actors today have to do a lot more than act to keep working, many have become producers, directors and special effects experts. A great example of this is Ron Howard, who started out in the series Happy Days but is now an accomplished producer, director and writer.

“Participation, not just dissemination.”

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Module 1.2

Week 2 – 1.2 The Medium is the Message?

When the media converge

This week I felt the Henry Jenkins Video & the Lessig Reading gave two opposing views of the faults and benefits of the internet & cyberspace. People are tweeting and updating their Facebook status, blogging and spreading the word on what is happening in their local area so that by the time the news catches up the world has already heard the truth.

Great Video w/ Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture & How Media is Changing

Jenkins talked about who has the power to tell the stories, that no longer do we have to buy the newspaper and read the writings of journalists, writings that have been edited for the real world. Now we have the means to read the unedited versions of the truth.

Four Puzzles from Cyberspace

Lessig on the other hand talked about how free this freedom has become and the extremes of that freedom. That with that freedom comes the lack of regulation as to what can and can’t be accessed by anyone anywhere.

One of Lessig’s main points was “Anyone anywhere could publish to everyone everywhere” at first we think “Wow!!” but then Lessig points us toward the extremes of this and our Wow becomes more of a woe. Should this sort of thing be published on the internet where anyone of any age can access it?

So the unregulated world of the internet becomes a haven for the seedier side of life, an unsafe place for the innocent to fall to the perils of the tainted. This again points me to the education of our children with regard to the internet and all the things that it holds in its hand. The impact of what is available and its effects on the minds of the consumers. The virtual world is all in the mind but can easily overflow in to the real.

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Module 1.1

Identify Personal Media use & preferences

Wow when you are asked to site down and write a list of the media that you use and what your preferences are it can become quite a long list.

I use Facebook & Twitter on a daily basic so I suppose they are my preferences. To get the latest news & information I watch Sunrise & Nine News at 6 but I have been know to go to if I see something on twitter that I want to know more about. For communication I use Facebook & Twitter but I also have accounts with MySpace, Google+, msn & skype. Finally for entertainment I play Facebook games, I have my kindle & my mobile apps.

The Readings

Next was the video Did you know 4.0

Some quotes from the video

  • Convergence is everwhere, it’s easier than ever to reach a large audience but harder than ever to really connect with it.
  • Print circulation – newspaper circulation is down 7 million over the last 25 years.
  • Online readers – but in the last 5 years, unique readers of online newspapers are up 30 million.

Then it was on to Henry Jenkins and his Critical Information studies for a participatory culture part 2.

Jenkins talked about Fair Use, the internet expanding our horizons and breaking down barriers but there seems to be an ever increasing guardrail with signs saying Danger Keep Out.

He also talked about Civic media in countries like Pakistan to get the word out about what is happening – these are countries where the people can’t afford technology let alone know how to use it to let the world know what is going on.

Makes you think…

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And so it begins…

Today started out as a weekend off from Uni until the new units are posted on the BB only to find that they are up and running so I have introduced myself for both units, downloaded all my materials, added them to my readings page and I am ready to go.

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