over the course of the last few months I have been learning about convergence in the media and how it is effecting our lives…the most basic example of how much this has changed in the last 15 years is this very blog post. that many years ago it would have been impossible for many to think that this sort of user-generated content would be available for everyone and anyone to view,edit,comment and submit for themselves, even something like twitter which is user generated posts of less than 140 characters gets up to 50million tweets per day (*)
During this course I have discovered many things about the rise of new media technologies, including theroetical insight about how the emphisis on content has moved away from the powers that be (Broadcasters, managers etc) and towards the creators themselves as it becomes easier and easier for a user to get thier message (or pointless video) out there. It is certainly changing our views on privacy, again less than 6 years ago people were reluctant to put thier full name online, now people put thier hobbies, intrest and thier e-mail address for anyone and everyone to read, Is this really a good thing? Who can see this data and what are they using it for? These are questions that has weighed on my mind and forced me to change my own personal facebook privacy settings.
My research lead me to a man called ‘Henry Jenkins’ he believes there are Nine sites where important negotiations between customers and producers are changing, these are revising audience measurement, remapping globalization, reengaging citizens, renegotiating relations between producers and consumers, redesigning the digital economy, rethinking media aesthetics, regulating media content, redefining intellectual property rights and restricting media ownership.
I had a heated discussion via convergent media (facebook) about music piracy the other day. I made the comment that with sites such as spotify becoming more and more popular it may get to the point that people don’t even need to ‘own’ music and instead just pay a fee to access a library…convergent media is bringing as many questions as it is solving problems and it will be intresting to see how things will change in the next 10/15 years in both technology advances and also societies reactions to them…will we ever get bored of seeing what our coursemate had for lunch via twitter? or is it just a passing phase? will there ever be a real solution to torrent sites that will suit both the producer and the consumer? somehow I doubt it but we shall see.
In conclusion 112MC module has taught me things that i didn’t consider before such as the sociological changes caused by convergent media but if it has taught me one thing, it has taught me that I should be both excited and also wary about what changes it will bring in my lifetime, because my generation is going through possibly the biggest change in society structure ever.
In this article ‘Lev Manovich’ talks about hybrid media in the 21st century, he first of all talks about special effects and the role they have played in films such as the matrix and 300, he also gives an interesting look into ‘(untitled) pink dot‘ and ‘sodium fox‘ commenting on both films ability to ‘remix’ films using special effects, he also comments that if post-modernism ruled the 80’s, then remix certainly ruled the noughties.
Remixing used to have a specific meaning and it was defined specifically to music. but now it’s meaning is more broad and can be applied to visual arts, texts and online sites. Manovich also comments that the subtle changes that became used widely in the late 90’s have led to a hybrid language with digital moving image. Manovich believes the change in ‘remixability’ occured when sfx and illustration software became relatively cheap for freelance designers and although the software itself did not mean to cause a revolution; infact it was created to help with what was being created already, the users managed to use it for a new form of media creation and remixing.
While reading through this article it becomes obvious how much technology has changed and also techniques to create media in the last fifteen years. It also opened my eyes to the amount of variables in the majority of visual arts created today.
As mentioned in my previous post, my original plan was to document my train journey home and although I got the footage to do this, I unfortuantly lost the SD card that the clips were stored on…No worries because I have a back up plan.
I have created a google map documenting a trip I made to New York over a year ago. now because it was so long ago I have not given a step by step map, but instead show the places I went to, but not necessarily the order they appeared…what follows on this blog is a step by step progress of how I created my map.
First of all I got a load of photos that I thought I ‘may’ use and uploaded them to ‘Flickr’
whilst that was going on I decided to start placing my placemarks on my Google Map, I started off with the hotel I stayed at as you can see below…
I then set on a route for my google maps I decided initially to just stay in the times square area as that is where I spent of most of my time in NYC (again please note: this is not the order I went to these places, just a selection of the best) I then moved beyond to places like the bridge leading into brookyln and liberty island…
You may or may not be able to notice in the picture above that I have added lines to indicate the route of the boat between NYC, Liberty Island and Eliis Island and I have also placed a shape tool around the area in New York in which I spent most of my free time.
I then decided to create a video to upload to YouTube to place in the google map…I now started to wish I had taken more footage on the holiday but I placed what I had (which was some clips of time square and some street performers) into a montage with the song ‘New york, New York, New York’ by ‘Tellison’ as a background song.
Once completed I uploaded the video to YouTube which was by no means an easy task, at home this would have taken minutes, at my halls of residence this took hours and the video constantly aborted itself causing no end of headaches.
I then started adding some of the pictures from filckr into my googlemap.
I did this for most of my other pictures but I have to admit I cheated slightly…You see as it was taking so long to obtain the pictures I copied and pasted some of the pics from my old Myspace account. now these pics are of much lower quality, but they get the job done on Google Maps. If I hadn’t thought of this alternative I may have been here for days waiting for some of the pics (and I wish I was exaggerating)
Once the video was finally uploaded to Youtube I copied the HTML code and pasted into my shape function on Google Maps as shown in the following screenshots.
And that is how I created my Google Map, It was much harder than it had to be because of the upload speeds, but it is well worth doing one for yourself If you get the chance
Here is the finished piece for you to explore.
In my 112MC workshop I planned to create a draft route of my potential GoogleMaps journey, however Google maps on Coventry University’s Snail pace computers (in fact that’s an insult to snails, at least they go somewhere) has proved to be unbearable and instead I shall jump straight to the blogging process.
I plan to create a relatively small Google Map on either, My train journey from home to coventry, OR A quick guide to my home town. The reason beyond these decisions is down to the convienience of the timing of this project. I am going home this weekend for both Mother’s day and my kid brothers birthday, so I will be home this weekend regardless, however to get home requires a very long train journey that stops at more than a few locations, it may be worth creating a google map to show the ridicolus route I must travel to get between Corby and Coventry (nearly 3 hours on trains and waiting at stations, instead of a car journey that’d take less than 40 minutes) I will take photo’s of the different stations that I must stop off at during my journey.
My other map which I will make if I get the content I desire will be a quick ‘what to do’ guide of corby. My free time is going to be very limited, but I aim to go to the town centre and take images of the attractions around that area, if possible I will go to an area with a few pubs and take pictures to upload onto the google map.
After today’s lecture I went home with the intention of putting on a great blog post about how mashups are being created all the time and how often I use 2 or more different API’s in several sites on almost a daily basis. However at the beginning of that attempt to start a new post I recvieved a ‘Tweet’ or rather a ‘RT’ via the (fairly) popular musician ‘Chris T-T’ of this rather intresting video.
As well as being a cute animation and one that I found a bit of a laugh from after spending most of the previous night using Photoshop CS4 it got me thinking about how ‘A# I first came across the video and B# How mashups are occuring all the time’
I came across this basically via an RSS feed grabber/Firefox Add-On called EchoFon, what this does is grab all my tweets from twitter without the need for me to even visit the site. It also allows me to send tweets using the interface which when inactive occupies a small space at the bottom of my FireFox browser (You may have noticed the logo in the screenshots from my last post) This goes back to what was mentioned in the lecture about the arrows now turning the other way on the internet and instead of us going to websites, it is more like the websites are coming to us, this saves alot of time in searching on the internet. Also what this video does is highlight the rise of mashups (albeit in a jokey way) Later on I shall try to come up with my own Mashup. But Mashups are a great way to get something new from two ‘products’ which already exist, for example I use Last.Fm’s Playground fairly often which is a nice mix of applications which draw from that site’s API but in particular I use the event map which is a Mashup of last.fm’s and Google Maps API and this tells and shows me events that are occuring in my area which are specific to the tastes of my Last.fm account.
(note the Echofon logo in the bottom right)
Nicely this shows me events within the circle I tell google to search and it also filters out events I have already said I am attending. Just one example of a vast array of mashups on the web
For my second task as part of my 112MC module I had to collect data from friends about an aspect of student life. I decided to look into the listening habits of students in the modern age. Music consumption has changed dramatically in the last 10 years and I believe we are on the verge of another dramatic change, as the switch to online library has taken place many people are building up vast library’s of music, much of it is acquired illegally, I believe we are about to see a change due to sites such as spotify where the emphasis will be on having access to this kind of vast library but without the need or will to ‘own’ the music. I conducted a questionairre and sent it out to students at not only Coventry University but other university’s in which I knew people (inc. but not limited to DMU, Northampton and Nottingham Trent) via the social networking site ‘Facebook’ The following are the questions that I asked:
What gender are you?
How many hours per day do you listen to music? (estimated)
How many Songs per day do you listen to? (estimated)
How much do you spend on music per month?
Do you download music from legal sources (iTunes, Amazon, etc…)
Do You Download Music Illegally?
How many hours per day do you spend listening to streaming music? (e.g. Spotify, Last.fm, Youtube)
Do you listen to the radio?
How are you most likely to discover a new band/artist? (choose one from the following)
Social Networking sites such as facebook/last.fm?
Word of mouth?
How much do you spend on music concerts/festivals a year (estimated)
Do you buy music memriobillia? (T-Shirts, Posters, etc…)
I received 26 returns from this questionnaire, I could have used one of many online questionairre services including freesurveys however I decided against this so I could guarantee honesty in my results, I allowed people to send me their responses privately, which is what the majority chose to do.
There are many other possibilitys in terms of visualisations which many eyes offers which I haven’t shown above because they may not be relevent to my data, also if you would like, please take my data set and see what interesting connections you can find using this data set, inform me of any good ones.
From viewing this I have discovered that I was wrong about my intial feeling that streaming is taking over the need to ‘own’ music however I feel that given time this will change as this time two years ago the streaming market was miles smaller than it is at present.
Here’s some montages summarizing my findings.
As a user of twitter i sometimes come across some intresting feeds and a few days ago something popped up on my firefox application EchoFon which popped up from one of the people I was ‘following”s twitter feed.
While I am no where near suggesting I’ll be able to pull of something like this for my second full task of 112MC It has given me ideas about how I can visualize my findings once I have settled on the figures. Expect to see a finished result within the week.