Archive for the ‘networks’ Category

Playing with the List

May 6, 2010

First of all, sorry that this is so late and that i wasn’t in the tute, i’ve been attacked by a vicious flu and am bed bound for another day or two. But on the bounce up, i’m taking the opportunity to catch up on my overdue blog love.

I’ll be focusing mostly on “Programming Your Own Channel”. I hold a particular interest in networks, mobility and the use of space and time, and this reading really fascinated me. I have a confession. I am a TV addict. Not in a “spending my whole night watching crap”, but every night before bed, often when i’m doing work, or just conducting life admin, i will be watching something. Whether it be Brothers and Sisters, Bondi Rescue, The Zoo, Royal Pains or How I Met your Mother, I appreciate the power and creativity of good TV. Unlike previous couch potatoisms being thrown around, i do not feel guilt, remorse or shame for this constant TV watching. Rather i put it down to a well planned, scheduled day. I can watch what i want, when i want, how i want and why i want to. And i have playlists to thank for that.

According to Rizzo – I am able to defy time, i am empowered by choice and i can personalise my viewing experience. Therefore life is dandy! But I don’t think this would work for everyone. My personalisation revolves around evolving drama series, sit coms, and reality based events of little “newsworthiness”. However, if it was my brother subscribing to my media habits, then things would be different. He would know the Sports scores before he could watch it, his friends would’ve already told him what happened in underbelly, and the news stories would be broadcast across various media platforms that what is record would be irrelevant. However, what if my brother was much more reliant on mobile media devices rather than tv and playlists, his network preference differs, but suits him and his tastes.

No matter the changing network choices, the flow remains a constant issue, we are both being advertised to constantly. Even when i’m watching catch up episodes on the channel 10 website i’m exposed to advertising in breaks of my shows which i have no control over. Much like my brother browsing the web on his phone, there is a constant flow of advertising and strategic messages customised for our network choices.

Either way, these networks are well constructed and thought through processes of which there is a constant understanding and deliberate architecture of flow. So, Rizzo, am i really empowered?

“Just found 20c under the sofa! = D” – Communicating for Communication’s sake

May 4, 2010

This weeks readings i found to be a little divisive from each other, however i will focus on Manuel Castells’ paper, “Informationalism, networks, and the network society: a theoretical blueprint”. Whilst i for one can wholeheartedly admit this reading could at times do quite well to lose the reader, although in turn did raise points that i personally wonder with the advent of such ‘conveniant’ new technologies.

Castells’ theroising on how networks operate and the value nodes have on the goals of the network, makes me wonder about the benefits of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. What is the goal in this respect? To connect? If so, i would say that they achieve this quite resoundingly. My use of facebook has indeed made me closer to some people – but is it for the better? Am i now so close that ‘close’ is too close for comfort? should i keep asking rhetorical questions when i dont have the answers? (on a small side note here i noticed as i was reading in my head my voice getting higher with each question.)

Castells is quoted:

“The ability of networks to introduce new actors and new contents in the process of social organization…increased over time”

Here in this paraphrased quite i would like to particularly acknowledge “new actors and contents”, as it displays in essence what i am doing right now! every blog has the potential to introduce new actors, whilst many, many others drift off into the virtual stage left. Blogs allow us to siphon power away from the traditional media sources, yet is all of it good?

Castells’ also goes on to say that “the new culture is not made of content but of process. It is a culture of communication for the sake of communication.” And here comes the crux of my argument: social media as mundane as Twitter is simply fulfilling a role we shouldnt have to fill. It is in my opinion communicating for the sake of communicating, and of course is not entirely bad, however fulfils that category as well. Heres a video on how twitter really does make our lives beautiful. /sarcasm

Castell’s reading not so much condemned the new social media networks as anaylsed their role, which is undoubtedly increasingly influential. Twitter is by all means a fantastic medium, i mean c’mon, 20 cents!

Changing the Flow

May 3, 2010

Teresa Rizzo’s “Programming Your Own Channel” ties in nicely with what we have been talking about all semester in terms of the ever-changing roles of media with the emergence of new technology. I found it particularly interesting the notion that the television, once designed to bring families together to watch programmes in the “family room” is now outdated as televisions have adapted the new role of creating separate spaces for family members.

I know in my house the television in the basement is the “kids” tv. This means that my brother has mostly taken it over, especially since I am hardly home. It is assumed he is down there playing Playstation or watching ESPN. The living room is still the “family” tv and the one I will use when I want to watch something. I can generally control the remote for prime time shows such as Grey’s Anatomy. Around dinnertime and on Sunday nights the remote here belongs to my dad. 1. For the nightly news and 2. For Sunday night football. The television in my parents room is the one my mom uses primarily, mostly because she does not have an opportunity to have control over the other remotes. Although I never thought about it before it is amazing how routine these roles are.  In my household, the remote is a way of controlling what we watch- whoever has the remote gets to choose. To add to that, as stated in the article, the remote is “a way of asserting control over the viewing experience.

Our methods of watching television have changed greatly since the 1950s. Now we can get it any time anywhere and we do not need to wait until a certain time of day to watch our favourite show. Our lives are no longer dictated by what is on television when. Rather we dictate what is on our “playlist” when.

In regards to the playlist notion I particularly liked the section on “flow” and now wonder how we are changing this notion of flow as we create our own playlists. It is easy for me to relate this to making a playlist for my iPod. All the songs I have bought are part of some well thought out album and here I come along and pick and chose songs, mix up the order and throw them together in a completely different fashion than was originally intended. Obviously I enjoy this more as it is personalized to me but what are the effects on the music producers? The television producers? The flow they have created is designed to keep me watching, yet if I am just taking bits and pieces of their flow to create my own playlist will I watch less? Probably not. But it does lead to an interesting predicament for television producers. Their current models may not be working as well so they will need to adapt to consumers creating their own flows.

Overall I thought this article tied in well with the previous readings, especially those concerned with how television has created new roles in the family and new spaces and times for those of us who view television programmes in our own way. I am especially curious what everyone’s thoughts are regarding the “flow” argument and how flow may be changing in the next coming years. As more people continue to disregard the flow created by broadcasters in favour of creating their own personal flows how will broadcasters react? Let me know what you all think!

Networks- time to party?

May 3, 2010

The Castells reading “Information, networks, and the network society: a theoretical blueprint” opens up conversation on the emergence of network societies “whose social structure made of networks powered by micro-electronics-based information and communication technologies”.

Now, who in our and younger generations can say they have never associated themselves with network societies? Few and far between would be my guess. This point reflects the importance or even necessity to understand and grasp the components of network societies since they are a major contributor for information and social connection. Facebook, MySpace, MSN, Chat rooms, blogs, the list goes on and on.

These social structures allow a global connectivity which essentially give individual’s the power to distribute and gain knowledge and information which may have previously been limited to them. “The right combination of information and communication technology, development of human capacity to take advantage of the full potential of these technologies, and organizational restructuring based on networking becomes the key to ensuring productivity, competitiveness, innovation, creativity, and, ultimately, power and power sharing.”

We have the power. Is this good or bad? In a way I can see network societies as the falling of a wall in that we, inevitably, have access to many people, and sometimes this access can be detrimental. Point in case: “Kate’s party”. Here is an article by news.com.

Kate’s Party hoax takes aim at Facebook privacy

 

A screenshot of the original hoax “Kate’s Party” event on Facebook. It eventually gathered more than 60,000 confirmed guests. Source: news.com.au

ADELAIDE prankster David Thorne says his latest stunt to make waves in the digital world highlights problems with Facebook’s privacy settings.

Thorne last week created a hoax event listing on the social networking site that appeared to be a private birthday party for one “Kate Miller”.

The event was to take place at Miller’s apartment and had, seemingly, been left open to public viewing instead of set to private by accident.

Pretending that he had stumbled across the event, Thorne sent a link to his Twitter followers urging them to “hit attending & give the host an aneurysm”.

More than 60,000 people RSVP’d to the event before it was taken down by Facebook.

Thorne said he created the hoax to show how quickly events could go viral through sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“It’s like throwing a pebble into a pond and watching thousands of people jump in after it,” he told news.com.au.

So we come back to Castells’ final comments: the concept of network society “helps us to define the terms of the fundamental dilemma of our world: the dominance of the programs of a global network of power without social control, or, alternatively, the emergence of a network of interacting cultures, unified by a common belief in the use value of sharing”.

Like anything, some people will abuse the power they have but in the end, I see networks as powerful social structures that allow us, as an ever-growing global society, to deliver and recieve an abundance of information to better understand our own everydaylife and the world (and people) around us.