Archive for March, 2010

Value of time

March 30, 2010

I concentrated on the John Hartly reading because I liked the idea that time determines how we value media.  Essentially the traits that we value are polar opposites, the first being frequency.   With Internet and mobile media the information we receive is now second by second and it is a standard that we have come to expect.  Daily Newspapers are feeling the pinch, as their morning delivery is no longer relevant by the early afternoon and as a result have moved to online news.  When you think about it, News has always been time sensitive the difference is that now we are aware that we are behind whereas before technology meant that we were calmly ignorant.

Media leaks and “coming up” sound bites on radio and “breaking news” are an attempt at news before it happens.  The problem here is in the rush to publish first there is a decline in quality.  Consider Chk chk Boom Clare went to air before her story was even checked

Channel 10’s nightly News still boasts the slogan “First at Five” illustrating the competitive nature of time in media.  Notice it doesn’t at all mention the quality of the news (ABC states that’s it’s the most respected news source in the country) nor does it mention that a majority of the news stories have been reported on their website already throughout the day.  I feel like more traditional forms of media are like parents getting facebook in an attempt to keep up with the times.  While the effort is there, it isn’t a smooth transference.

The Onion is a good example when it does work:

On the other side of the spectrum, longevity it the other time trait that determines media value. Hartley refers to it as the wavelength of consumption, the period a text spends in a public domain.  When you consider academic writing, it takes years for to be written and just as long in the editing and publishing stages but due to this quality control they remain on shelves, in stock and relevant for much longer than a news flash.  It’s able to maintain stability.

While I’m sure broadcasters, networks and newspaper publications and publishers alike could put a dollar value on which they would prefer, as a consumer comparing frequency and longevity is like apples and oranges.  It depends what your after and as the reading goes on to say –in terms of media we are hunters and collectors.  We know what’s available and pick and choose to our own taste.  I personally read the ultra trashing telegraph online but balance it up with the ABC news at night.

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Moore’s Space: mine or his?

March 30, 2010

After reading Moores “Doubling of place” article, and subsequently all of our own opinions on the reading, i would tend to agree that i too beleive it to be a different approach to what is essentially “domestication”. However, I feel that Moore, whilst he did explore the emrging of technologies in the home (telephone, internet + television and radio), he also covered quite competently the increasingly blurred lines between what we define as ‘public’ and private’. His example of the woman talking (in what i found amusingly described as ‘far-from-dulcet tones, i mean who uses dulcet tones!) on her mobile phone to her boyfriend is one instance in which the degeree between public and private is being blurred. The ‘social position’ Moore describes is one in which we ‘wish’ things to be private when in fact we are publicising them.

This youtube video explores how Facebook, and in particular their ‘privacy’ settings, are in fact a contradiciton to exploiting one’s self on the internet. (And in my case quite happily + shamelessly haha)

The vox-pops in this story almost to a unanimous degree all agree that what is on the internet is public – then by definition doesn’t that contradict Facebook’s privacy settings? I mean after all we are publishing ourselves on the internet, and by choosing these settings we can select only our friends to view them. But wouldn’t our friends already know these details? Although i find it an interesting paradox, the privacy settings are of course needed however they are a neat contradiciton.

I felt that my own facebook example mirrors that of Moore’s “Blue Sky” citation, where he explores how people living in a ‘second’ or ‘virtual world’ are not seperating public and private, but rather “online relations do not occur in a cultural vaccum”. This vaccum, i would argue, is getting increasingly and frighteningly lax, as sometimes what i would consider private is public, and vice versa. Has anyone had the experience of telling a friend a story when they interrupt you and say ‘yeh i read that on your facebook’? Besdies the fact you now consider them a little creepy and a web stalker you still have to admit that you were the one who uploaded it…

This ‘social position’ Moore explores is a concept that i find intriguing, a little frightening, but in the end its a development like all others. The internet, with all its idosyncracies, dangers and laughs (and facebook turban groups too, anyone noticed?) can be either used beneficially or abused. I’d like to think that we are travelling in the right direction, but then again who can tell where the internet as a ‘double place’ turns out to be such a big place!

My Place or Yours?

March 29, 2010

I think it’s funny that we have so many synonyms in the English language especially when it comes to describing our relationships that we still double up when it comes to the language we use in media.  It’s no accident though -creating new terminologies for online/electronic interaction and relationships would mean disregarding their importance and connection to the “real world.”

I want to smooth out how I think both this reading and new mediums for communications have broadened our definitions of some spatial language:

When thinking about PLACE we should consider the actual physical location, or electronic placement (notice the words we use when talking about technology) we are in as well as our place in society.

I am IN my bedroom

I am ON my bed

I am logged ON facebook

I was ON the phone

As well as

I am a daughter and a student on minimum wage in the real world but thanks to the old school medium of radio my place in a different hierarchy is a little higher.  My age and qualifications are hidden and I have the power to play who and what I want.

Being CLOSE to someone is also vague now.  You could be standing next to a person but never met them and that still counts as close.  Online thanks to facebook you can know the everything from a persons relationship status to what they ate for breakfast to their deepest thoughts and fears (ok so typically these are known depending on what tacky song they quote) without ever physically meeting them –does that mean your close?  In the news its often said that “such and such tragedy brought the country closer together” – so now even simply sharing an experience even if that experience is only watching the same show redefines relationships and even our place in society…is it too far to say even our national identity?

Consider this video. 

Ben Fold was playing a concert to approximately 2000 people in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Those 2000 audience members were THERE at the concert in the same PHYSICAL place as Ben Folds.  But when he performed this improvisation song on chatroulette who was closet to the action or most involved?  The audience did get to see the whole thing unfold on a big screen but the ‘strangers’ who were ON chatroulette WITH Ben Fold got to talk and interact with the singer.  That said, they only got to see him in the instant they were paired with him.  Then there is us to consider –the views of the video.  We get to see the whole thing –from Ben to the ‘strangers’ to the audience.  We can see it clearly without a head popping up or a squeal muffling the sound –does that mean we are closest to the action?

Then even after that, while if we talk about this video when we should be paying attention in our tut does that shared experience bring us closer?

In the end my point is the same as the main argument of the reading – that it’s not an either/or situation.  Both online and ‘real world’ exist in the same world and interact and effect each other –they are not in a vacuum.  Taking this into account we can be and probably are in more than one place at once. Magic.

tutorial

March 29, 2010

hey guys,

sorry for those who dont do MDIA 1002, but because we have a strike all that day will we still have a 1090 tutorial at 2? by the way reading all the posts and loving it.

cheers,

stuie

Time Travel

March 29, 2010

I found Shaun Moore’s article, “The Doubling of Place” extremely thought provoking this week. It tied in very nicely with last week’s discussion of time and I really enjoyed this concept of space and the how media can cause things to “double.” To begin with his notion that live broadcasts in a sense double that time and place was rather confusing. I was not sure I bought into the concept that broadcasts caused this doubling effect to occur as conceptually the event is really only happening in one place (i.e. the sports field) and our watching is really only occurring in one place as well (i.e. our living room). However, the more I got into the reading the more I began to understand and accept this notion of doubling. The idea that we use broadcasting to connect with events that we are not directly apart of is rather odd. Not only do we watch these events but we feel as though we are apart of them, that we are personally connected even though the extent of our involvement is sitting in front of the TV with a bag of chips.

How is it that we have become so connected to these events that I will find my dad yelling at the TV when the quarterback messes up a play during American football, causing “us” (aka our team) to lose the ball. Or the example in the reading, of an entire city mourning the death of Princess Diana. In most cases we have never meet these people, we do not play the game, and we certainly are not members of the royal family. It seems rather strange that media has such a grip on our actions that we can take these things so personally. I guess, it is because we have come to a place in time where we believe we are part of the action. We think our voices can be heard through the television cheering on the home team. The fact that we believe we are so involved makes these events real to us, even if we are still just sitting in our living rooms.

The blurred line between media space and real life is something I hardly think about, yet after reading the Moore reading I not only was oddly aware, I was slightly discomforted. For example initially I decided I was going to write this blog as I sat in front of the TV. I knew that I would not really pay attention to the TV and it would just be background noise. After about an hour I surveyed what I had done: 1. Three sentences of the blog. 2. Looked at all the new photo albums my friends posted today on Facebook. 3. iChated with 2 friends from home. 4. BBMed (like text messaging for Blackberrys) a couple friends for approximately 45 minutes straight. 5. Snacked on Nutella. Clearly I was side tracked from real life (what should have been writing this blog) by all the media available to me (and Nutella!). Now I find myself cranking it out on the bus from the city to Randwick. 20 minutes. Three paragraphs. Countless rambling that will need to be edited upon arrival at UNSW but in all, much more productive than last nights attempt when I was surrounded by media (what will happen when buses have WIFI and my Blackberry does not die on me is an entirely new problem).

Now that I recognize that I spend most of my days in 2 places, whether it be on my phone talking to friends from home while I ride the bus, using my computer to Facebook stalk while I am in the library “studying” or whatever else may be going on, how do we remedy this. I realize it’s a problem- I get easily sidetracked and caught up in other people’s lives (as that is essentially what all of this is) and yet I feel as though I am still fully focused on my life, my real time life. Is it so bad that we can be in multiple places at once? When I was little I thought time travel was possible- maybe this is just our first step towards that possibility.

MODERN DAY SUPERPOWERS-BILOCATION

March 27, 2010

Can we read minds? Become invisible? Have sharp claws like Wolverine? Unless we are part of the X-men team these abilities seem a little out of reach but after reading this week’s article I have found myself believing we all hold the power of bilocation.

I totally agree with the repetitive nature of this article but I did find it a lot easier to read (and more amusing) then the previous readings we have had. Moore’s reading on the “Doubling of Place” takes Scannell’s concept and relays it in terms of modern media, which is electronic media like internet and telephone (specifically mobile phones) and how these technological changes have assisted in the progression of this concept. He describes similarities in television and radio to “internet and telephone precisely because of the common potential that all these media have for constructing experiences of simultaneity, liveness and ‘immediacy’ in what have been termed ‘non-localised’ spaces and encounters”. I agree with this argument Moore makes as media has created a way for us change our “situational geography”. For e.g. a mobile takes us from our physical location and allows us to hear and speak to someone that is out of our physical hearing vicinity or the television allows us to visualise locations that we may, physically, be unable to go to hence this concept of “doubling of place”. We are able to be in two places at once. This advancement in communicative capabilities is a major asset in assisting our lifestyle but arguably can also be seen as an interruption and can cause changing actions within social situations (which we also addressed in earlier readings).

The examples Moore used I found quite amusing in demonstrating this for e.g. the young woman using her mobile on a train. The norm social interaction of strangers in public spaces is to acknowledge their presence then follow the “conventional ‘courtesy’ of averting the gaze”, we all know the drill. However as the young woman brings her “private” conversation into the public domain a passenger avoids this norm and actually listens to the conversation which then cause the lady to protest “do you mind?! This is a private conversation!” is it? I think you can argue that it is not, as we, the public, cannot block our ears or turn deaf. We are unable to avoid hearing this conversation. But is our new social responsibility to pretend we can’t? And hence brings us back to our changing social environment as a consequence of media and its advancements.

 On the Brightside however I also came to agree with his concepts that media like telephones “are technologies that have clearly helped this stretching or extension of relationships”. In some ways media as caused a “shrinking” of the world as our capabilities of reaching people away from our physical location has become easier. New media like Skype and facebook as well as telephones and television have allowed us to reach greater audiences and allow, in a sense, a global community whereas in the past “community” was often restricted to your geographic location.

Here’s a YouTube clip that explains the Skype process

So once again we come back to the question: Is media an asset or is it a detriment? I think this question has a myriad of answers from both ends of the spectrum and I guess I will just have to wait for the next reading to see if I can make a decision yet.

Alter-Universe

March 27, 2010

Hi all,

Well, let’s start at the very beginning (as one Julie Andrews would teach us). The Shaun Moores reading for me didn’t really bring forward any major new concepts that we haven’t already touched on in other topics. Domestication was a strong theme intertwined in this “Space” reading. However i found his key argument very engaging – applied more generally in the annalysis of those electronic media, such as Internet, telephone, which share with radio and television a capacity for the virtual instantaneous transmission of information across sometimes vast spatial distances. Although this is a very simplified explanation of what he elaborates on I felt it captured exactly what the key concepts were. The three account, sited by Scannell, of doubling of place were the centre pieces of this reading –

  1. Public events and the interruption of routine
  2. The Internet as part of everyday life
  3. Two ‘theres’ in mobile phone use

I felt that all three subheadings related strongly back to last weeks topic of Time and in particular our Frequencies reading. Particularly in the first two topics the idea of interrupted routine for media consumption (chatting on the internet, or watching an important event on television) seemed key to what was being put forward by Moore. The final subheading seemed directly linked to the domestication concepts we discussed in the first week – the idea of the private existing in the public world. The idea of space i supposed was an overriding factor that seemed very basic, in terms of the fact that we live in a spider-web of connections all across the world in all forms of communication. It is inevitable that through these connections we can co-consume different media across the world.

These are the key ideas i have picked up from this weeks reading. Have i totally missed the point or did everyone else find it repetitive? I also really enjoyed the second reading, but thought I would wait to see what everyone else blogs about it and just join in on the commenting forums.

Our ‘dasein’ and the media

March 23, 2010

I must say I am quite impressed with our mutual picking apart of these readings – makes for a better understanding in a class that challenges the domestication of convergent and overt technologies that embrace the human spirit of ‘dasein’ whilst analysing the specificity of our being in relation to the remote control – without having a clue what it means!

I’m going to focus on Scannell’s “Dailiness” reading not so much in that i enjoyed it but rather the difficulty I had in understanding it – after all who can you teach without teaching yourself! I think the core argument Scannel is quite scholarly enunciating is that we as humans, incorporating our being (dasein) have a profound cause-and-effect relationship with how the media shapes our sense of time. The terminology of  ‘dasein’ was one I struggled with at first, as it sounded similar to buddhist teachings, both in pronunciation and philosophy. The reading describes it as:

dasein: Human life in all its manifestations – past present and future.

And what Scannell continues to deliberate on is the concept of ‘dasein’ meaning our being, as in some kind of life force that we subconsciously inflict on others as we resolve those of the people around us. Although it sounded quite ‘alternative’ (now there’s a difficult definition), I think what Scannell is pointing out that the media, in our daily rituals, therefore is made for and requires the interaction of the audience – no matter what the medium. He continues to explore not so much how we as humans control or embrace our ‘dasein’, but how we extract meaning from it:

“Our interpretation does not aim to assign and fix meanings, but to show how they may be found by a virtue of a communicative intentionality that organizes things meaningfully.”

This organising of things in a meaningful fashion could almost be the definition of time; as in time represents a human attempt to meaningfully control the ebb and flow of human existence. To this point Scannell outlines three forms of time. He defines natural time: the flow of days into nights; abstract time: the time we as humans have invented to structure our lives, or clock time; and phenomenological time, essentially what we as individuals feel the time is. He continues to explore that the media is in fact emulating (and in argument, creating) what we think is the time. Who else relies heavily on the little clock in the corner in breakfast television? Or hears the second by second beep beep before radio news and automatically knows the time?

What I have found in these readings is really just how unaware i was of the subconscious effect of the media; sure it is used in our everyday lives and we rely on it for information, but the impact of me physically forming my life around the timeslots of television or radio programs sounds simply absurd in that context. I guess we as welcoming consumers let the media in a way ‘wash over’ us, forming an inextricable bond with our daily routines as Scannell points out, but also blurring to a shifted time with the advent of new social media – regardless of time, tradition and in some cases, quality. I guess at the end of the day all we here is radio gaga, without realising that the radio is to an extent, happily brainwashing us, with our full consent.

Will we start to effect media’s daily routine or will it continue to effect ours?

March 22, 2010

Although I found the concept of frequencies and wavelengths in journalism very intriguing in Jenkins and Thorburn’s “Democracy and New Media” I really was drawn to the Scannell article and the idea that broadcasting and a daily routine have so much impact on one another. Although you do not really think about this impact that often, after reading the article I cannot imagine there not being an impact of one on the other.

The concept of broadcasting revolving around dailiness or for that matter dailiness revolving around broadcasting as discussed in Scannell’s “Radio, Television and Modern Life” really hit home with me. I completely agree with many points he made regarding the joint impact of broadcasting on daily activities, however I feel there are some modernity’s that need to be added to update his argument.

Broadcasting is very routine. I know (at home in the US at least) that I can watch Grey’s Anatomy every Thursday night at 9pm on ABC. In order to watch the episode the second it airs I usually fit it in my schedule- having finished homework by 8pm so that I can then shower before the episode starts. When it finishes at 10pm I run to my room, finish getting ready, and go out for the night around 1030-11pm. This is built into my routine, my weekly schedule and rarely is it interrupted (unless I have a Friday test or something like that).  Where Scannell’s argument now needs a little updating is what happens when I miss the episode? I can now watch it online, the next day, at no charge.

This phenomenon, of watching TV on the Internet has to have some huge effects on how broadcasters now view their method of dailiness. Early in the article, Scannell mentioned that listeners or viewers have an idea or what type of broadcasting belongs at what time of the day. There is the morning news, soap operas, children’s programming, the nightly news, and then prime time during which Grey’s Anatomy will be aired. However, when I view Grey’s Anatomy the next day, say around 3pm when I finish classes do I still have the same experience as someone who viewed it the night before? Does the time of day change my perceptions on different aspects of the show?

As technology changes our view on time must change too. Scannell asks, “Would time feel different for us without radio, television, or newspapers? Would it run to a different rhythm?” I now wonder, does time run to a different rhythm with all these sources of media available at our fingertips? Maybe it runs more on ”my-time” rather than the world’s time?

Tying into Jenkin’s and Thorburn, the changes in technology have had a very clear impact on the type of media we consume, and the frequency at which this media is produced. As we begin to demand everything to be available online at our fingertips the once daily news program now has transformed into a constant news update online. This past fall when many of my friends were just “hanging out” in a room someone went online to CNN to find a “breaking news” story of a little boy who flew away in a home-made balloon. Although this sounds absurd and it turns out the boy was hiding in the house at the time the balloon flew away, we all found ourselves glued to the computer screen, watching the live action of the balloon’s flight, decent, and then getting taken apart in search for the boy.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33330516/ns/us_news-life/

Had we waited a few hours to watch the nightly news we would have seen a 2-minute clip on the balloon followed by the fact that the boy was fine. However, we were so caught up in the moment, of the live action, that we watched the balloon flight for a good 30 minutes. This clearly impacted our routine, and the other, more productive, things we should have been doing. So I will end this blog posing these questions: has the news become too instantaneous that we will find ourselves in the future spending more time watching/ listening/ reading it at that moment when the story may turn out to be completely meaningless? Can we get too caught up in the moment of up-to-the minute coverage?

-Lauren

Like sand in the hour glass so is the media in our lives

March 21, 2010

I’m going to confess that these readings (once broken down and understood) are really beginning to open my eyes to the incredible, and most often subconscious, impact of media on our everyday lives. Claudia, you brought up some really good arguments on the Jenkins and Thorburn reading and your relevant examples were a great in helping me understand so instead I’ll focus my attention on the Scannell reading on “dailiness”.

The concept of time is explored in “Radio, Television and Modern Life” in terms of routine, special events and “everydayness”. The concept of dailiness is described fairly succinctly by Scannell:

 “service is produced everyday (without exception) a routinization of the production of the service is required in such a way that that, precisely, is the outcome”

When you sit down and think about what Scannell is saying you come to realize that your everyday life is often navigated and routinized by the dailiness of media surrounding us like radio. From personal experience I know at 4pm every weekday the Hamish and Andy Show are rearing and ready to broadcast, I also know that when it is summer holidays, reruns of the show will still be playing, 4pm, every time. Does this routine also give u a sense of a comfort? I think in a way it does because when it does change, say a show is cancelled, you feel as if something is missing at this time, until you begin to associate the time with something else.

This idea I see of comfort is further explored when it comes to time associated with everyday “events”. Media often has a role in bringing these events to our attention and often causing us to care for them more than we naturally would be inclined to. Scannell highlights the idea of a “broadcasting calendar” that is “a directedness towards that which is yet to come, thereby giving substance and structure to everyday life”. He goes on to describe that the disturbance of this “patterned regularity” can cause major upsets. It amused me when he used the example of popular TV. programs like “Dr Who” being shifted in their time line-up which can cause pandemonium from the masses. This example reminds me of the uproar that ensued when the popular day time soap “Bold and the Beautiful” changed its timeslot from the afternoon causing many stay at home mum’s to become upset as their schedules and “my-time” had been ruined by the change.

This is an excerpt from a Bold and the Beautiful forum “ I know the time slot is lousy, but you can always record them and watch them But as they have changed the timeslots I can’t really fit it in anymore”

 (http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=21959843).

Like he claims, schedules in media (like TV. and radio) become a part of people’s everyday lives, become “events” to look forward to and when they are moved around, our schedules become disturbed affecting us personally.

These are the main concepts and ideas I picked up in the reading and personally, I tend to agree with what Scannell has put forward and again I’m hit by the harsh reality that has me seeing the undeniable influence of media over many aspects of our personal lives.