Changing Transmedia

 

Henry Jenkins’ (2007) definition of transmedia is “a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience”, for example Star Wars. The first Star Wars filmed was released in 1977 and was a major success. Many companies wanted to cash in on this major success and that’s where transmedia was born (Hamilton 2013). It started with the movies then went on to comics, book, radio channels, TV shows and video games. The thing that makes the Star Wars franchise so brilliant is that it all ties in together, every world is set the same and stories connected. It took what is called the canonical approach (Hamilton 2013).

Jenkins has 10 steps to define a transmedia products. These include:

1. That it is dispersed

2. Has synergy

3. Is world building

4. Has extensions

5. Has different entry points

6. Makes a unique contribution to story

7. Makes sense and has co-ordination across media sectors

8. Has collective intelligence

9. Provides roles and goals

10. Has gaps which give extra details or hints which make viewers keep interested and to speculate

 

Although, one flaw with Jenkins steps made in 2007 to define a transmedia product needs to be updated as we now have ever changing technology and participatory technology. So the question is should prosumers and produsage be added to the definition of transmedia? I think yes.

Instagram is becoming a great home for transmedia texts for example the hashtag is a great use of collecting and housing one story across multiple different platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The Planking phenomenon is a classic example of the power of the hashtag in a transmedia experience. The hashtag separates all other stories only leaving you with what you want to see, in this case Planking. It could be seen across Twitter and Facebook and even mades its way on to the News. People demand to be involved (Moore 2014) and it is ever so easy these days that I think Jenkins needs to update his definitions.

Sources:

Jenkins, H 2007, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Confessions of an Aca-Fan- The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, 22nd March, weblog post, viewed on 18th April 2014, http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html

Hamilton, J 2013, The Dawn of Modern Transmedia Storytelling: Star Wars, Jason Hamilton’s Blog, weblog post, 24th April, viewed on 18th April 2014, http://storyhobby.com/node/283

Moore, C 2014, Transmedia Narratives, Tutorial, University of Wollongong, 16th April

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Producer Users

“The collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement” (Bruns 2007)

So that is a basic definition of the term ‘produsage’. I thought I would start off with that quote so you could all follow where I’m about to go with this blog post. Produsage has 4 key characteristics listed by Bruns (2007). They include:

1. A shift from individuals and teams as producers to a broader based, distributed generation of content by a wide community of participants

2. Fluid movement of produsers between roles as leaders, participants and users of content and can either be professional or amateur

3. Unfinished and continuously under development

4. Based on merit more than ownership-  frequently employ copyright which prohibit unauthorised commercial use but enable collaboration on further content improvement

Bruns (2007) describes that originally products are controlled by producers and distributors and not by consumers. However this is not the case anymore in produsage environments. Consumers are no longer passive but consistently participate and are active in the development and updates of products.

Instagram shows themes particularly of an unfinished characteristic in Bruns terms. Instagram is a never-ending product as it allows endless ‘comments’ and ‘likes’. “Regramming” is also a frequent term now used on the social platform site. It describes the re-posting of images almost like “re-tweeting”, it is endless. The disposable nature of photographs these days also allows you to easily edit photos using other apps and then post the edited photo on Instagram.

You could also tie Instagram in with two of Bruns other characteristics. They are that the app allows for fluid movement and that it is permissive. We are producers and users of the app. We participate in communication and we use the app by sharing photos. Most users of Instagram are amateurs in terms of technology but the professionals are the ones that can update the app and have access to programming but they most likely use the app too. Instagram does not use the app but Instagram uses us. Instagram obtains information on our activity to develop the features that we want in it for example direct messaging which means we do not have to change between text messaging or Facebook IM but can be on the one app the whole time.

Sources:

 

Bruns, Axel (2007) Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington, DC.

 

Lets Rewind

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Channel 7 news

Children in the media can be a bit of a touchy subject for some. I feel as though parents would be the most concerned. Stories about children in the media do not necessarily have to relate to the sexualisation of children, which creates the most concern, but can relate to children and body image or children and food. It is not just the media that should be more careful about what they say but the parents. I feel as though parents who watch the News or A Current Affair programs are brainwashed that everything is bad for their child. Looking at McKee’s (2005) themes of the public sphere you notice how most of these News programs instill fear into the public by the use of spectacles through their over exaggerated headlines such as those on 7 News. As these kids grow up their appearance is what they will be most worried about. If they are told that “that dress is too short and tight” or “these clothes don’t flatter this shape” girls in particular are going to grow up with serious body image issues. Our parents grew up in the 70’s and they were probably the most wild and free spirited generation yet they like to wrap their kids up in cotton wool. Something bad must’ve happened to them in their teens that they’re not telling us.

Children are very impressionable so everything they do or hear will impact them in someway. A positive impact in this day and age may be that children are taught via kids TV shows and at school is that a healthy diet and exercise are very important! Having been taught this from a young age allows kids to understand the negative and harsh impacts of junk food. I think people do not realise this good change because they still are in a moral panic (Cohen 1987) of television making our children fat and don’t look at the initiatives that are actually in place (Cancer Council 2013).

I have quite enjoyed writing my blog posts for the past few weeks. I loved researching the topic of semiotics and liked to see how every ones opinions and ideologies were varied. This last topic of “Children in the Media” I quite enjoyed too, especially our tutorial (Middlemost 2014) about the young model Thylane Blondeau. As I know lots about fashion and models I found that my opinion on her Paris Vogue story in 2011 differed to others as I was not as shocked by the case in which a young child was dressing as an adult. I enjoyed reading other peoples blogs and getting to see a glimpse into their minds and seeing how some differed from my own opinions. One topic I did find the most baffling though was the topic of “Who Runs The Media”. I think this is because there are just so many owners of news stations and newspapers and so many different owners within each company that it got a bit confusing. I didn’t find that topic to be as interesting as the rest because of that reason. I did try to gain a further understanding of the topic when I was studying so I wouldn’t be hindered on writing my blog post or future exams. As I wanted to get my blog posts written on time and not fall behind, I feel as though I didn’t really put as much of “me” into my posts as I could have for example I would’ve talked more about fashion and popular culture rather than just finding the first few news story i searched for. In saying that I was interested in every story I wrote about otherwise I wouldn’t have picked it. All in all I enjoyed writing my blog posts and have opened my mind to the different tricks of the media.

Sources:

McKee, A 2005, The Public Sphere: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 1-31

Cohen, S 1972, Folk Devils and Moral Panics, Routledge

Cancer Council VIC 2013, Obesity prevention initiatives, Cancer Council VIC, viewed on 11th April 2014, http://www.cancervic.org.au/preventing-cancer/weight/obesity-programs

Middlemost, R 2014, Children in the Media, Tutorial, UOW, 8th April 2014

Does Being Famous Allow You To Run Riot?

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CNN, Image from Getty Images

“A domain of our social life where such a thing as public opinion can be formed where citizens… deal with matters of general interest without being subject to coercion.. to express and publicise their views” (Habermas 1997 pg. 105)

One popular media text, well a song and the artist in this particular case, caused massive outrage in the public and not only nationally but worldwide. Odd Future are renowned for their misogynistic and homophobic lyrics. Their brutal “women bashing” lyrics disgust many journalists, feminist and basically everyone who doesn’t like their music creating a perfect topic to talk about in the public sphere. Personally I love Odd Future and have for a very long time, obviously not because of Tyler, The Creators derogatory lyrics, but he does rap about some major important downfalls and hard times in his life which I guess many of his fans can relate to. Also Odd Future are the funniest bunch of guys you will ever meet, they take the piss out of EVERYTHING. Their “don’t give a shit” attitude I think is how most teens act too. Although, most people wouldn’t know this other side to the rap group and only see the bad. 

Odd Future were pulled from New Zealand’s leg of Big Day Out after gay activist Calum Bennachie protested against their performance because of their homophobic lyrics (Triple J 2011). Just recently too, Odd Future were denied entry into New Zealand to support Eminem’s tour because they were “deemed a potential threat to public order and the public interest for several reasons…” said a statement from Immigration NZ (Walker 2014). Tyler, The Creator then went on a twitter spree about the NZ government. Another incident in Sydney occurred in June 2013 when a feminist activist tweeted to Tyler detailing she would be at a signing at Culture Kings to “protest against @fucktyler” (Stone 2013). Tyler retweeted the status and at his concert that night made a shout out to Stone saying “Fucking bitch, I wish she could hear me call her a bitch, too, fucking whore. Yeah, I got a sold-out show right now bitch. Hey this fucking song is dedicated to you, you fucking c***” (Battan 2013). This grabbed media attention and Julia Gillard’s at the time almost revoking their Visa’s (Battan 2013). 

Relating to McKee’s 5 critiques I do believe that the band is fragmented but don’t all artist have a target audience? And also their performances and attitudes do rely on spectacle but that is just the individuals personalities and I believe is not deliberate to cause attention. 

Sources:

Habermas, J 1989, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Triple J 2011, Big Day Out issue statement on Odd Future shows, Triple J, viewed on 4th April 2014, http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/musicnews/s3356711.htm

Walker, B 2014, New Zealand refuses entry to rap group Odd Future, CNN, viewed on 4th April 2014, http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/13/world/asia/new-zealand-odd-future-ban/

Battan, C 2013, Tyler, the Creator Reported to Australian Police After Stage Tirade Against Feminist Group, Pitchfork, viewed on 4th April 2014, http://pitchfork.com/news/51072-tyler-the-creator-reported-to-australian-police-after-stage-tirade-against-feminist-group/ 

Stone, T 2013, ‘protest against @fucktyler’, @littleredfox17, Twitter, 5th June 2013, viewed on 4th April 2014, http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/watch-tyler-the-creator-verbally-abuses-woman-at-sydney-show/

 

We Create What We Want To See

The users and sharers of Instagram are also Instagram’s audience. Instagram is a prosumer content social platform (Moore 2014). We produce what we consume, we make and share what we want to see. We are in control of who we follow and unfollow and what we like or block. Instagram has just hit 200 million active users (Instagram 2014). While this number may seem a lot, in the scheme of things it is quite small. Facebook still reigns No. 1 in the top social networking sites with 1.31 billion active monthly users (Statistic Brain 2014) whilst Instagram is ranked No. 6 according to GlobalWeb Index (2014) and is the fastest rising social network with a 23% increase in the last 6 months (Lunden 2014). This rising number of users only means an increasing awareness of events happening around the world. The ability to snap and share heightens our access to information quicker than ever before whether it be seeing what your friend is doing on the weekend or images from news disasters around the world.

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GlobalWeb Index 2013

An interesting yet predictable web article I found detailed that the majority of Instagram’s users were between the ages of 18 and 35 (Kerr 2012). Duh! While I believe this is true, I think older generations aren’t use to technology quite yet and maybe in a few years they all will have moved from Facebook to Instagram. My mum is trying to keep up with whats new in technology and is the only one of her friends to own an Instagram account and she is 47 years old, certainly out of the age range of average users. I think this means that Instagram will only increase in users and activity.

Sources:

Moore, C 2014, Trajectories of Convergence, Lecture, University of Wollongong, 11th March 2014.

Instagram 2014, Instagram Today: 200 Million Strong, Instagram Blog, weblog post, 27th March, viewed on 3rd April 2014, http://blog.instagram.com/post/80721172292/200m

Statistic Brain 2014, Facebook Statistics, Statistic Brain, viewed on 3rd April 2014, http://www.statisticbrain.com/facebook-statistics/

GlobalWeb Index Q4 2013, cat. no. not found, Global Web Index

Lunden, I 2014, Instagram Is The Fastest-Growing Social Site Globally, Mobile Devices Rule Over PCs For Access, Tech Crunch, viewed on 3rd April 2014, http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/21/instagram-is-the-fastest-growing-social-site-globally-mobile-devices-rule-over-pcs-for-social-access/

Kerr, D 2012, Instagram users are young and Facebook users are old, C Net, viewed on 3rd April 2014, http://www.cnet.com/news/instagram-users-are-young-and-facebook-users-are-old/