For This I Thank BCM240

“I blog because I think the world desperately needs to hear my opinions, and I like to oblige.”
– Ophelia Benson

Over the past six weeks I have been exposed to, involved with, and become accustomed to the world of blogging for the second time in my University experience. After completing six weeks of blogging tasks throughout the duration of BCM110 I was surprised to find I had to spend another 9 weeks in BCM240 becoming more and more involved in the blogosphere and research even more in-depth and complex topics surround the notions of media audiences. Blogging is an particularly rewarding and abstract way of creating an academic understanding, however has proven to be extremely effective over this course… even though it does have its challenges (…which I managed to find plenty of).

At first I felt extremely challenged by being asked to post my own writing on a blogging site that any person around the world could read. It was a learning curve when choosing what style to write in and what topics to choose as I had to take into consideration the vast types of audiences that might stumble across my blog on the World Wide Web. The biggest and most confronting challenge was the attempt to try and keep myself somewhat entertaining however professional and academic all at the same time. In the end I stayed completely true to my original blogging style from week 1 where I tried my hardest to include all the relevant information asked of me, as well as research, whilst adding in my own personal experiences and opinions which could often be found in brackets and italics, kind of like the little devil on my shoulder whispering into my ears projected onto my blogging word documents to keep myself involved in my writing. Although I found all these aspects quite challenging after the first few weeks I found myself getting into the swing of things and finally becoming comfortable and familiar with the practice of blogging.

As a person who is highly involved within social media numerous points made throughout lectures appealed to me, particularly when it came to multitasking. I could really connect and therefore develop and interest in Nielsens’s 2013 report surrounding multitasking and the notion that three quarters of consumers are multitasking with two sets of media content whilst watching television at the same time (Neilson, 2013, p.3). To further this concept as I speak I’m sitting writing this blog reflection with old re-runs of “Australia’s Next Top Model” on the television in front of me, whilst also maintaining a few conversations on my mobile phone through Facebook (…all at the same time I’m enjoying a good old cup of tea which is really multitasking at it’s finest). The week segment on multitasking really opened my eyes as before I didn’t realize exactly how many things I was doing at once and how divided my attention was. Since the multitasking research blogging task I have tried to implement a finer attention span to individual tasks to try and change my multitasking ways into an increase in productivity where I mentally take in more information (…and yes I turned Australia’s next top model off and put my phone on silent so I’m not contradicting myself… I still have a little more work to do on changing my ways). The topic of media space through the research of H. Lewis dated back to 1953 was also an intriguing area to investigate as I could relate a number of personal modern day experiences to his concepts. Within the BCM240 course structure the topics have clearly been chosen very carefully to allow students such as myself to both learn from them and be able to emotionally, physically, or mentally relate.

Over the 9 weeks of blogging a number of interesting topics were uncovered and investigated such as the introduction of television, the NBN, and cinema which I had never conducted any previous research on. To be brutally and embarrassingly honest I had to call my mother asking what the NBN is and she sadly knew a whole lot more than me (…a little mortifying I know). However this is something I can take away from the BCM240 course as my lack of understanding of media topics was uncovered and has now been heavily expanded. Growing up in such a technological savvy society it is an extremely handy skill to have the knowledge of media trends and history therefore for this I thank BCM240.

If I could travel back in time 9 weeks the only difference I would make to my blogging experience is interacting more with other students blogs. Although I read a lot of them and often went browsing into the depths of wordpress I hardly made comment. In my defense I didn’t realize it was necessary so to avoid my usual problem of “foot in mouth syndrome” I decided it was best to keep my comments, good and bad, to myself. I made a lot of comments on blogs outside of the wordpress platform where I could hide behind my words and my comments were more likely to fade away into the millions of other comments. I found this is an area I must work on where I am not afraid to share my thoughts and take rights to my freedom of speech.

I managed to find through a lot of the weekly research topics that I was a guilty culprit of each. I embarrassingly discovered I was indeed once upon a time an annoying cinema audience member, a repeat copyright criminal, and an Australian film ignorer. It was interesting and extremely curious to find that such a subject could make me realize so much about myself and my own media habits which I had never paid previous attention to. In this regard and also in regards to the academic reasoning and research behind the topics I have definitely found a learning curve and will be taking away many new self developments and improvements as a result.

Although my BCM240 blogging days may be sadly over, what I have learned and discovered, and the challenges I have overcome will always be of great value to both my personal and academic life.

References:

Lewis , H. D, 1953. Private and Public Space. Meeting of the Aristolian Society, [Online]. 1, 1-4. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4544511?uid=3737536&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21104591502037. [Accessed 05 September 2014].

Nielsen. 2013. TV AT THE CENTRE OF CONNECTED HOMES: Q1 2013 MULTI-SCREEN REPORT. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/au/en/press/2013/Q113-australian-multi-screen-report-release.pdf. [Accessed 26 September 14].

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It Took Exactly Three Trailers

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“’Australians watch a lot of Australian TV and listen to Australian music and every now and then they race out to see an Australian film, so it’s hard to find a rhyme or reason for it”. (G. Maddox, 2014)

There is without a doubt a number of renowned Australian actors in the market, and a sum of famous television shows and musicians. Australian film can also be considered just as good content wise as any other USA or British film industry, so this poses the question as to why the viewers and income are so much less and the sector is struggling?
In 2007 the Australian film institutes AFI awards went to “The Home Song Stories” and “Romulus” in spite of the fact they only brought in a combined figure of less than $4 million (P. Hawker, 2007), which in the film world is extremely low. The worst Australian film blunder was in 2011 where first time film director Gale Edward’s “A Heartbeat Away” cost a total of $7 million and only brought $44,204 back on 77 screens.

As someone who rarely goes out of their way to take an interest in Australian film I decided to conduct a little research of my own and delve into the depths of Youtube to find trailers of the latest and “greatest” Australian films. It took exactly three trailers and I had had enough. The films “My Mistress”, “Wolf Creek 2” and “Drive Hard” all had the same underlying depressing and uninspiring emotions progressing from my laptop screen (…not to mention once I realised “Wolf Creek” was a horror movie after 20 seconds I slammed my laptop shut and was to scared to watch the rest of it). I can’t base the entire reason why Australian films are so unpopular on my distaste and disliking towards them, however it’s safe to assume there’s a portion of the market that are exactly like me. This is where research needs to be implemented to detect such trends.

Through audience research it is easy to identify what audiences do, however it is difficult to distinguish why they do it. Many assumptions could be made as to why Australian film doesn’t gather a large audience as American films do, such as its trying to hard to be like American film to compete in the same arena, or it lacks the American humor, however at this stage without the correct amount of research the question remains unanswered.

The most interesting aspect of audience research is qualitative research which engages with a small number of individuals to gain a complex and more in depth understanding of their thoughts and responses to a performance or film. Qualitative research is a greater approach to Australian film audience measurement than quantitative as it provides a greater understanding into the motivations, emotions, and experiences of audience members to more accurately analyze what’s going wrong with the industry. Qualitative research would undoubtedly assist in discovering exactly what Australians want to see on their screens from the own filmmakers and the current trends of why the market is in such a decrease, which as a result will improve Australian film in the future.

“Australians are clearly wanting to watch Australian content because they are watching it on television, and people offshore are celebrating our films and filmmakers, but there’s a disconnect getting them to the audience.” (Roach, 2014)

References:

P. Hawker. 2007. Rich Content, Poor Return. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/12/07/1196813026890.html. [Accessed 25 September 14].

G. Maddox. V. Roach. 2014. Local audiences snub Australian filmmakers yet Hollywood loves them. [ONLINE] Available at: . [Accessed 25 September 14].

#BCM240

My Piles of Photocopied Music Continue to Haunt Me

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You scream, I scream, we all scream for free downloads!
The biggest regulation I have personally come across is the use of music and video copyright. My reasoning for downloading or exporting music is probably the same as majority of society out there… Why pay for the latest tune when I can either go on youtube to directly stream it, or turn the video into an MP3 using an online converter and upload it straight to my itunes and onto my mobile phone for free? It may take extra effort, but in todays increasingly expensive economy it seems viable to save a dollar wherever you can.

Media regulation plays an integral role in the concept of copyright in specific context to the music industry. Copyright can be defined as the intangible rights granted to an artist of production that is given the exclusive privilege to make copies for the purpose of publication or sale (Farlex, 2014).
There is however a way around the legislation of copyright known as the “Fair-Use Doctrine” which creates the power to protect educational and non for profit uses of copyright material. An example of why this law was created is through professor Lessig who argued that the excessive copyright enforcement of video content restricts students and others of their right to free expression. This form of liberation however can be troubling and contradicting where a musician’s purpose is to get their music out into the world, however consumers under copyright laws aren’t allowed to re-use the music for any homemade video or remix purposes. Restricting consumers in this aspect can in fact impair an artists ability to increase their recognition. From my own experience of musical copyright in public spaces the use of unauthorized sheet music is taken extremely seriously. I often played in musical talent competitions throughout my high schooling years and it was always overseen that all competitors were using purchased and original sheet music to perform with, and if it were a photocopy of an original you were forced to forfeit your position in the contest. This could be compared to the Fair-Use Doctrine concept as the sheet music was initially photocopied and used for educational purposes, to increase musical abilities, but this doesn’t seem the case and is considered illegal (… the pot is always calling the kettle black). Although some methods may seem contradictory, it is insurable that the laws have been enforced in this copyright instance.

Sheet music copyright can create social anxieties where photocopying is condoned illegal. Music teachers are expected to have all original copies of music to teach to their students, however when the student leaves the institution to return home and practice they are also, under law, expected to own original copies. This can be considered just, however when each sheet of music costs up to $30 and above it can be outrageous and expensive when matched with the cost of musical lessons and the amount of music a student has to learn. This law can put the moral compass of both the teachers and students in jeopardy where teachers cannot photocopy their music for the student, and the student cant turn up to the lesson without original purchased music (…my piles of photocopied music continues to haunt me).

In todays growing technological savvy society musical artists are only separated to their fans by the click of a youtube button (J. Sununu, 2013), proven by the streaming and downloading statistics attached to the files. Audiences were once blocked from content however with the increase of technology it is becoming easier to freely reproduce or use musical content for personal use copyright laws considered or not.

References:

Farlex. 2014. The Free Online Dictionary. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.thefreedictionary.com %5BAccessed 21 September 14].

Sununu, J. September 2, 2013. Music dinosaurs pick a bad fight, The Boston Globe. [Online]. Available at: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/09/01/lawrence-lessig-and-lisztomania-record-companies-road-not-taken/sLdE8JII1zIp6hw8KthzDI/comments.html [Accessed 21 September 2014]

#BCM240

Purely Out Of Spite

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Some say they would rather do one thing well than five things badly, but wouldn’t it them take them ten times as long?

When I first started to consider multitasking I had the initial idea that it doesn’t play a big role in my life, but then when I realised whilst I was thinking about it I was also listening to music on my Ipod, checking Instagram on my phone, and messaging a friend on Facebook, oh and eating rice bubbles all at the same time. It was about at this point with ear phones plugged in, phone in my hand, laptop in front of my face, spoon in my mouth, and thoughts in my head that I truly realised the beauty and purpose of multitasking, and just how predominant it is in my everyday life.

The phenomena of media multitasking has increased as consumers are being bombarded with marketing and advertising messages through media platforms continuously through everyday activities such as watching television, listening to the radio, or checking social media, etc. According to Wilson (2008) the only way to keep with todays overflow of media options is to multitask between media platforms as technology is producing new media faster than the average consumer can adapt to at the one time (Wilson, 2008 pg. 4). Marketers and Advertisers are being faced with the backlash of this concept as new media is impacting and effecting the way consumers initially used traditional media which places an uncertainty on the economy via the way consumers are choosing to purchase. An example of this can be highlighted in “BIG researches” 2008 investigation into how multitasking media is connected to marketing and advertising which showed television influences on consumers to purchase goods and services has decreased (by 14.4%) and new media options such as online and through social media have alternatively increased (by 22%). It was concluded that consumers were seeking information from digital platforms (Wilson, 2008 pg. 20), however marketing within traditional media platforms such as newspaper inserts appear to be increasing as consumers are forever looking for ways to stretch budgets in such a tight economy.

I can heavily agree with this research as from a personal perspective I hardly pay not near as much attention to traditional media as I once did previously. Within my everyday life I cant remember the last time I had the radio playing in my car, or the last time I even held a paperback newspaper. Marketers and advertisers would only be able to reach me through social media where I am most likely to be spending all of my media time, multitasking and unconsciously noticing ads down the side of my news feed, or being tagged in the latest online sports shoes sales picture (…which is more annoying than anything else, I wouldn’t buy the products purely out of spite… they need a new tactic).

It could be assumed that consumers aren’t paying as much attention with new media marketing and advertising as they did with traditional media as the only option previously was to provide the media with full attention as there were no distractions. As a response to these changing dynamics in society businesses need to develop marketing and advertising plans that integrate the understanding of new media habits and replace the eroding influences of traditional media to purchase. This may be achieved by having more simplistic ads that don’t require undivided attention to stir purchase intention (… I know it takes a lot more than a pretty picture these days to sway my attention away from my social media, give me a catchy slogan and I just might take notice).

References:

Wilson, M, 2008. Media Multitasking. Multitasking Polls and Surveys: Advertising media and the Retail Industry, [Online]. 4, 1-27. Available at: http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/222060186?pq-origsite=summon. [Accessed 11 September 2014].

#BCM240

Never Granted With Consent

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Over recent years the demand for a mobile phone in everyday life has heightened. Phones are an essential item for safety and communication in todays society, and are generally perceived to be used for ones personal purposes. However, even if they are a personal item, the power of the mobile phone appears to be being abused and used to creep into everyone’s business, or personal space, within a public space.

A public space can be metaphorically described as an outdoor living room for all of society comprised of locations such as any accessible roads, parks, beaches etc. A private space on the other hand is a personal space in which one regards a psychologically theirs (H. Lewis, 1953). My main observation of mobile use in public areas is people photographing or filming others without their permission. As a violinist/pianist that busks and plays at weddings I’m all too familiar with the idea of having my own personal space invaded whilst in public. I can’t even begin to count the amount of flashing camera lights I see, or video recordings I hear when standing in a mall playing Christmas music during the festive season, all of which were never granted with my consent (I’m afraid of how many tourists holiday “happy snaps” I appear in across the globe). Mobile phones are giving people the power of taking pictures or videos of whatever they like at any given time, regardless of any form of permission or consideration of ethics. Until this weeks lecture I had never really given any thought about how I feel when people film me playing music, I’ve never been overly phased but now I’ve started considering what someone could do with such footage. I’d hate to be browsing through social media platforms such as Facebook one day and come across someone else posting photos or videos of me without my knowledge.

My case could be considered not so serious on the scale of things however as I’m indeed putting myself out their in the public eye for people to see me, therefore some may consider that permission enough to have me on their mobile phones. Other more serious cases are people being photographed/filmed without knowing doing something considered outrageous or funny, like wearing out of the norm clothing, and these images being sent through the mobile application ”snapchat”. Snapchat allows consumers of the application to take a quick photo or video using their phone, add a small caption, and send it to their list of friends. This may seem like a successful and innovative way of communication, however there is absolutely no filter on public privacy. Although it may be legal to photograph someone in a public space, it doesn’t make it ethical. Just as banks are allowed to sell shady loans with interest rates bigger than the loan itself, no mater the legal aspects there is still no ethicality (J. Colberg, 2013).
However there is hope, as something that is accepted now, may not always be accepted in the future. For the time being it appears it’s simply up to the individual, or in the eyes of the beholder, to whether ones privacy in public should be taken into consideration and ethical obligations should be applied to the situation. I know I have definitely learned from the research into this topic and have a new perspective of how people might feel if I were to take a “sneaky” snap chat of them and send it to my friends in amusement, and also how I now feel about people taking footage of me without my prior consent.

References:

E. Badger. 2012. How Smart Phones are Turning our Private Places into Public Ones. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.citylab.com/tech/2012/05/how-smart-phones-are-turning-our-public-places-private-ones/2017/. [Accessed 05 September 14].

J. Colberg. 2013. The Ethics of Street Photography. [ONLINE] Available at: http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/extended/archives/the_ethics_of_street_photography/. [Accessed 05 September 14].

Lewis , H. D, 1953. Private and Public Space. Meeting of the Aristolian Society, [Online]. 1, 1-4. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4544511?uid=3737536&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21104591502037 . [Accessed 05 September 2014].

#BCM240