Skype and Brun’s 4 Key Characteristics of Produsage

Produsage is a term coined by Axel Bruns and is a compound of the words ‘production’ and ‘usage’.  According to Bruns it is “the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement.” and this concept is described as user-led content creation via the users’ ability to build, collaborate and change content information in a variety of online environments. The role of the audience shifts from passive consumption to active production.

Bruns argues that produsage has four defining characteristics;

  1. Open participation,
  2. Fluid heterarchy and holoprism,
  3. Palimpsestic artifacts and granularity and,
  4. common property and individual rewards

Bruns used the online resource website, Wikipedia as his example if media meeting the four features of a produsage model. However does Skype hold up to qualification in terms of produsage?

Skype holds the title as one of the most popular media platforms to contact with loved ones through voice or video chat near and far. The application around the multitude of media devices such as phones, tablets and desktop can be updated for callers to use Skype with their latest technology with the ‘Check For Updates’ option. Those who are appreciative and loyal to Skype reassures users for reliable methods of chatting to their friends and family. Users can show their critique of program performance by submitting reviews through Skype as they occasionally ask for feedback on the call quality and they can also discuss issues and ask question through the Skype Community forum. This participation also leads to a sense of community between the registered users of Skype as they offer a customer’s perception and idea of satisfaction thus improving the product, creating success and customer loyalty. Therefore Skype creates community and is constantly improving itself.

Skype, however, is a closed media platform and the content cannot be customised or changed to the liking of a user. By keeping the program simple and easy to use, Skype provides assurance, ease, and efficiency to the users and by acting on copyright laws, this technology reduces the ability of hacking-further reminding the reliability of Skype.

References:

Bruns, A, 2007, Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-led Content Creation in Proceedings Creativity and Cognition 6, Washington, DC.

Bruns, A 2007, ‘Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation ‘, Proceedings Creativity & Cognition, vol. 6, p./pp. 1-3

Jenkins, H 2008, From Production to Produsage: Interview with Axel Bruns (Part One)Confessions of an Aca-Fan, Blogpost, 9th May, viewed 15th April <http://henryjenkins.org/2008/05/interview_with_axel_bruns.html>

O’Malley, R 2011, A summary of “The key characteristics of Produsage”…,HCI Crossovers, blogpost, 9th March, 14th April, <http://hcicrossroads.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/summary-of-key-characteristics-of.html&gt;.

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wow remix much culture

Remixing is defined as the act of rearranging, combining, editorializing, and adding originals to create something entirely new. (Jessel 2013) and it is a form of distributed creativity as they are projects which harness the creativity of a large range of participants to build on and extend an existing pool of artistic materials. (Bruns 2010) It is said that we live in the age of the remix.

The first thought that comes to mind upon leaning about the notion of remix culture, is the association with remix in music, like Australian DJ, Flume’s work, covering an song by your own twist or combing tunes into a mash up. However, it take many forms in our day to day lives and multiple media formats.

An example of remix culture is internet memes which according to Know Your Meme is a “piece of content or an idea that’s passed from person to person, changing and evolving along the way. A piece of content that is passed from person to person, but does not evolve or change during the transmission process is considered viral content.” The idea of remix culture is seen in the famous internet phenomena, Doge.  It evolved to innocent photos of a Shiba Inu on a Japanese Kindergarten teacher, Atsuko’s blog to the “I Swear On Me Mum” meme to it’s final ultimate form, Doge, creating 2013’s trend of speaking ‘doge speech’ like “wow such happy many fluff” and when in written form using the much hated font, Comic Sans as a form of irony. These memes spread across the internet from Reddit, 4chan, Tumblr and eventually as the popularity dies, Facebook. Although, usually the essential image of the Shiba Inu is present, images, words, and meaning interchange while basing its relevance on the existing format.

 

 Know Your Meme, (2008). Know Your Meme. [online] Available at: http://knowyourmeme.com/ [Accessed 15 May. 2014].

M.I.A, Lorde, Diplo Street (2014). Paper Royals. Available at: https://soundcloud.com/dj-eliz-1/paper-royals-lorde-ft-mia-remix [Accessed 16 May. 2014].

McFly, M. (2014). Doge. [online] Know Your Meme. Available at: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/doge [Accessed 14 May. 2014].

Transmedia storytelling in MyMusic

According to Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia storytelling represents 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” (Jenkins, 2007) These various stories are told over a range of platform and formats such as online videos, blogs, comics, audiobooks and video games.

Evidently, Skype does not have the ability to supply distribution channels that would contribute meaningfully to a transmedia narrative. Jenkins says “Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story” I imagine that could be extremely difficult to achieve that through Skype. Hypothetically, If the creators of content in the bleak chance, chose to allow their characters to speak to individuals or taking advantage of the free group calling now available, It would not be very effective anyway. Ultimately, Skype is not the best example for transmediality.

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(TheFineBrothers, 2012)

A great example of transmedia storytelling is the mockumentary sitcom, MyMusic created by youtube content creators, Benny and Rafi Fine. The plot follows the transmedia production company, MyMusic in which all the staff are referred to as musical genres with which they identify with for example, the CEO and founder, Indie. While the story is primarily based on 10 minute episodes, this story experience is also branching out to various formats, like character tumblr and twitter accounts, weekly audience interactive channel shows such as the Mosh, Tumblr Tuesday, video/audio podcast and merchandise.

However, in the case of MyMusic, The Fine Brothers succeeded in tying in many channels of content via Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, and Facebook, while individually giving off various new information while collectively making sense to the narrative system. By using transmedia storytelling practices, MyMusic has marketed their brand by allowing a range of entry points for the difference audience. Each form of media that the MyMusic universe initiates “addictive comprehension” through the various media outlets as the audience is pushed to review the overall understanding of the story. The producers managed to improve the experience by allowing real time interaction and participation by constantly breaking the fourth wall. These various channels are also all managed by the creators to ensure smooth coordination through out all of the media and shaping its essence.They also used these media channels to fill in plot holes, give extra details and lead to greater story lines. Unauthorised expansion has also taken place in the form of fan fiction, an unofficial extension of the MyMusic world and eases the audience’s want for extra content and explanation.

References:
Jenkins, H. (2007). Transmedia Storytelling 101. [Blog] Confessions of a Aca-Fan. Available at: http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html [Accessed 14 May. 2014].

 TheFineBrothers, (2012). MyMusic Teaser Trailer. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmvbYbL2dOY [Accessed 15 May. 2014].

TheFineBrothers, (2012). MyMusic Extended Trailer. Available at: http://youtu.be/O8LbT34kCYc [Accessed 15 May. 2014].

By the rage of angry Asian girls, Unite!

Screen Capture of Blog

Screen Capture of Blog

“We will no longer tolerate or endure silence. We will fight, we will scream and we will be heard. “

On Tumblr, I follow a blog, AngryAsianGirlsUnited and as the title of the blog suggests, It is made, run and for angry Asian girls. It is meant to be a safe space for women to celebrate their cultural Asian heritage and while there isn’t a clearly defined goal, one could argue that they aim to gather and empower like minded individuals who identify as an Asian women, diminishing social expectations and negative stereotypes, sharing and comment on Asian female representation in the media and providing an outlet to voice our relevant opinions and experiences. Followers may submit their personal stories, creative writing, web comics, selfies and relevant articles to the Tumblr blog and the moderators will publish their content as well as answering questions. The blog’s activity raises awareness of female Asian struggle in white society and boosts the moral strength of followers for reminding us of standards we do not have to meet and making us feel empowered by our gender and race. They do not tolerate racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-blackness, ableism, misogyny, cultural appropriation and fetishization.

I’ve decided to follow this blog as an effort to be informed about the female Asian culture and the effects of Western society. Far too often, I’ve forgotten my Chinese roots while living in an Australian Western society because while the signs are present like eating Oriental meals and listening to my parents in Cantonese. I found the blog through a fellow blogger’s repost-meaning AngryAsianGirlsUnited succeeded in audience participation and creating awareness for the blog’s content.

Prior to writing this blog post, I find that I make little efforts of online participation because I only take in the content created, while in exchange, I merely ‘like’ their posts, thus acknowledging I viewed the post . Possible forms of online participation could be sharing the content via ‘reblogs’, submitting the follower’s own or other’s content and generating commentary in a public sphere. AngryAsianGirlsUnited’s effect on my offline lifestyle is considerably minimal and internalised. While it makes me self aware of my ethnicity, I has simply created awareness rather than the needed active action.

Angryasiangirlsunited.tumblr.com, (2014). Angry Asian Girls United. [online] Available at: http://angryasiangirlsunited.tumblr.com/ [Accessed 12 May. 2014].

 

Media Brainwashing “Everything is Matter…Except Energy Of Course”

After the BCM110 Lecture plenty of questions popped up for me to consider on this blog’s topic. Who ‘controls’ the media? Why does it matter? Who owns the media I use? What difference does it make? Why should I care? My lecturer, Sue Turnbull talked about ideas of media ownership, various influential figures in Australian media and control serving to their own interests, ‘The Frankfurt School’ and media regulation informatively yet I still came out as puzzled and confused. So in response to that, I decided to tackle the issue on a level that I could relate to and how I can care about who ‘controls’ the media.

Let’s get a little anecdotal. My uncle is a Caucasian wealthy 70+ gentleman, and while I adore him, he does tend to say things like climate change and global warming doesn’t exist, my figure is a little too curvy and if lost weight, I might be pretty. I asked him once why he would think this way, and his reply was ‘Well, I heard it on the radio so I’m leaving my lights on’ and ‘I just want you to find a boyfriend already’. To me, a teenager girl exposed to plenty of body positive content for magazines like Girlfriend and social media blog, Tumblr, I’m not too worried about it and I don’t give in to absurd theories or ideals. However, the fragility of the self esteem and the compelling influence of the media is a real problem our society faces.

Much too often today everyday people see advertisements and their project level on ideals and standards, and as consumers, we subconsciously or not believe them to be true or not. It matters who controls the media, when they are setting such propaganda for their set ideals for beauty perfection and disregarding the limitation and standards of health and the human body. What is all this effort for? Well, beauty standards have been set for the goal of making profit. Corporations thrive on the low self esteem of their consumers and a delusioned need to fit that unattainable idea of perfection. Women never shaven normal body hairs until razors where introduced by magazines like Harper Bazaar and advertisements on summer dresses, early 20th century.

Spot the Difference (Mirror, 2014)

Miranda Kerr as recently set this example of distorted self image in this photoshopped picture. Previously posting the image on the right in November 2012, has edited her photo to show a slimmer waist and uploaded the image on the left to Twitter on 9th April 2014. She has since apologized but her fans, ranging to impressionable young girls may have accepted her ideal to be theirs too.

Reference:

Mirror. 2014. Spot the difference. [image online] Available at: http://i2.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article3400774.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Miranda-Kerr-3400774.jpg [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

When Will My Reflection Show, Who I am Inside?!

In the last few weeks, I found myself incredibly fascinated but cripplingly prone to procrastination. A terrible infection to my education but I’m writing like a madman, to get things done. I’ve learn many interesting things about the media, myself and lessons for life.

In Week 2, Students immediately dived into the nitty-gritty by considering the faults in the media effects model and concepts and theories in communication. I particularly liked this week, because I had to use a bit of psychology to understand the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ idea and the study of violence in children was educational and informative.


In Week 3, our lesson was about the exploration of possibilities of semiotics in reading complex signs and representation. While the confusing definitions of words and try to remember which is which was a challenge, I found that I understood the idea and found it good to learn about because it got rid of my assumptions of one reading of a text and made me a more openminded about the meanings of complex signs.
The topic of week 4, on media ownership, control and regulation and the knowledge of leading media moguls editing information to their own interest, had me puzzling and I found it hard to follow. I understand it now but in writing my blog I got a bit lost. I wasn’t sure about the content I was meant to be writing about and tried to bend the question to fit my issue and case study.
I also really enjoyed Week 6 and learning about the role of media and the notion of a mediated public sphere. I was something I found that I could really relate to and find relevance in my personal life as a content creator on the internet as well.

From my journey through the first year of university, learning in BCM 110 and BCM 112, undertaking a double degree course in Communication and Media with International Studies, I can now look at myself and see some red flags. I realised in week 3 that perhaps this is not my passion and the right course for me even though I genuinely loved this subject, the entertaining and informative lectures by Sue Turnbull, and the lovely easy-to-understand tutorials by Susan Efira. It might not be an accurate analogy but why be an astronomer, when I can be the astronaut. What I’m saying is that, I want to create media content, not study the effects and outcome of media on the audience and how it’s being distributed. I will pursue my passion of film making by transferring to Digital Media. However information I learn here has not gone to waste because now I’ve learnt to be more aware of the effects of the content I create, to consider the multitude of perspectives in the media and the detrimental effects of accumulating work. In the end, I enjoyed myself and know that what I’ve learnt so far might prove to be useful.

Whovians in the Mediated Public Sphere

The popular British science fiction, Doctor Who follows the adventures throughout space and time led by timelord, The Doctor and the companions he invite on the TARDIS. Internationally cultivating worldwide appreciation,  multitude of fans have actively expressed their love for the show by creating content and generating debate in a mediated public sphere.

The 2005 revival held onto its charming storytelling and became a hit, gathering fans, new and old who call themselves ‘Whovians’. With the incoming wider range of representation, the broadcast has incorporated different notions of gender, sexual expression and orientation and races. Some of the modern characters and themes shown has made the Whovians exhibit great gratitude for highlighting these diverse qualities. Some audience identify well with recurring characters like pansexual time agent, Captain Jack Harkness as portrayed by openly homosexual John Barrowman and the African-English aspiring doctor and strong female symbol, Martha Jones played by Freema Agyeman.

(Weheartit, 2014)

We have many different methods of contributing discussion in a mediated public sphere.  By providing this variety of representation that the audiences can identify with, makes them want to also make their own forms of content. We have Sydney pop culture conventions like Smash, as a gathering of fandoms to buy merchandise, dress up in cosplay and if we’re lucky, talk to cast. On an online aspect, Whovians have taken to media platforms such as Tumblr to vocalise their passion by means of fanart, fanfiction and online discussion.

(Tumblr, 2014)

(Youtube, 2014)

Much controversy came with the anticipation of a new doctor to be announced for the 8th series. Many Whovians wanted to see a variety for the doctor rather than cast ‘white males’. Some Whovians wanted a more diverse image of their community to challenge the conventions of the character such as creating a person of colour or woman doctor. However expectations were not met with the reveal of the talented Peter Capaldi. Amongst disappointed and negative responses. Ageist views on the recent casting were brought up as some Whovians commanded a younger doctor for the means of sex appeal, rather than the fresh portrayal of character Capaldi could provide. Capaldi also contributed in a mediated public sphere by submitting fanart and articles to May 1976 issue of the Doctor Who International Fan Club Magazine in his youth. (Veritas, 2014)

(Capaldi, 2014)

Reference:

Capaldi, P. 2014. Dr Who Titles. Doctor Who International Fan Club Magazine.

Tumblr. 2014. Jack, meet the 12th Doctor, (re)meet Jack. [image online] Available at: http://halorvic.tumblr.com/post/81722664355 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Veritas, U. 2014. Oh, nothin’, just some Doctor Who fan art… by Peter Capaldi!?. [online] 1/18/14. Available at: http://observationdeck.io9.com/oh-nothin-just-some-doctor-who-fan-art-by-peter-c-1504177150 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Weheartit. 2014. Captain Jack Harkness. [image online] Available at: weheartit.com/entry/97594512 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Weheartit. 2014. Captain Jack Harkness. [image online] Available at: weheartit.com/entry/97594512 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Youtube. 2014. *SPOILERS* Peter Capaldi is introduced to the world as the next Doctor! – Doctor Who – BBC One. [image online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Zim8zL3Q5k [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Venez comme vous êtes to Maccas

When you watch this short clip  (Giannoli, 2014) what do you see? On the surface of the video, we see the interaction between a father and son in France. The boy looks longingly at his class photo and receive a phone call, exclaiming that he misses the one on the other line. The father returns with their meals and reminisces about his youth and the ease in which he seduce the ladies. He says the line “Too bad your class is all boys, you could get all the girls” and his son responds with a sly peaceful smile.

Its pretty easy to decipher the message, Mcdonald’s is trying to portray. A boy is missing his boyfriend, possibly after graduation, and is comfortably in the closet while his father assumes his sexual orientation to be straight and brags about his ability of seduction. Though this is not as certain, we can even imagine different scenarios like perhaps the mother is absent in their lives and a single father is doing his bring his son up, so the son is hiding his homosexuality for now and we can even go so far as to say perhaps, the boy is coming clean and coming out to his father in the restaurant, playing on the words of the title.

Directed by Xavier Giannoli, The commercial is part of the French Mcdonalds’ campaign named as “Venez comme vous êtes”, or in English, “Come as you are” invites their diners to eat in peace and in embrace of their unique individuality. It was a statement of the accepting nature of the Mcdonalds franchise, their establishment’s atmosphere of being a comfortable environment and the understanding of the diverse variety in their French customers.

A variety of reactions came to light to express the different responses to the viral advert. According to Campaign’s web article,  (Banham, 2014) the man of poor journalism and controversial standards of news telling, Billy O’Reilly, known as Fox News anchor, compared the commercial to Mcdonalds encouraging terrorism by asking “Do you think they have an ad for Al Qaeda?”. ABC News (Gomstyn, 2014) has also wrote an article explaining some accusation of hypocrisy by LGBT advocates. Activist, Justin Nelson, the president and co-founder of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce “They were looking to portray themselves as an advocate of the LGBT community or an ally … when it was completely counter to what their actions here in the U.S. were.”. Another voice asked how a ‘closeted boy’ can assist the LGBT community.

Reference:

Banham, M. 2014. French gay McDonald’s ad causes controversy. [online] 07 June 2010. Available at: http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/1008289/french-gay-mcdonalds-ad-causes-controversy/ [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Giannoli, X. 2014. venez comme vous etes. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SBuKuA9nHsw [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Gomstyn, A. 2014. Gay Group: Don’t Trust McDonald’s Commercial. [online] June 22, 2010. Available at: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/mcdonalds-commercial-france-prompts-charges-hypocrisy-us-gay/story?id=10975302 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].

Jenkins and the Downfall of Skype Mobile

427487283_640

10 years ago, Henry Jenkins said “convergence is more simply a technological shift. Convergence alters the relationships between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences. Convergence refers to a process, but nor an endpoint” in 2004. The way that audiences receive content constantly evolve as they transition from passive consumers to active prosumers. We are now the media. The shifting role of audiences and their participation in response to content is a key change in the world of media.

In relation to Jenkin’s notions that consolidation of platforms and technologies in mobile devices and new forms of community, participation and knowledge production with migratory habits, we can view my case study of Skype. Skype is a closed source media platform and its capabilities are limited by the willingness of users to invest in premium options. Despite being accessible to many devices such as mobiles, tablets, TV, homephones and game consoles, Skype has been too preoccupied with makings sales and getting profit to properly adapt Skype to a mobile format. The app design is inconvenient with its poor access of sent files, poor video quality, frequent crashes and call drops. Skype mobile is capable of basic messaging, and free voice and video calls but not much else.

Consumers have been granted access to increasingly popular apps like Whatsapp, Viber and Kik. With a collection of greater variety of companies and individuals to download from with a more concise focus of mobile messaging, users are migrating from Skype to a platform which are better suited to their needs.
Personally, use Skype for my PC whereas I have KakaoTalk on my iPhone because its easier to use and has the same abilities but more suitable to my needs and wants i.e. cute animated emojis, quick access to sent files, display customization and read receipts.

In our present day, we are able to see Jenkins 2004 predictions about the tensions and points of conflicts in media convergence in action in the media world around us.


 

– Leo Burnett, (2013), Henry Jenkins. Available at: http://b.vimeocdn.com/ts/427/487/427487283_640.jpg (viewed 04 April 14)

– Jenkins, Henry (2004), The cultural logic of media convergence, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Volume 7(1): 33–43.

 

 

Skype and the Fight with Copyright

Everyone knows of it, but the concept is hard to grasp sometimes. The complexity of it and the blurred lines makes it difficult to be defined. People often tend to break the prewritten boundaries without any intention of committing criminal acts. It’s not exactly common occurrence for police to knock down your door for playing music during a family BBQ because it just isn’t a big deal. The laws of intellectual property is disregarded.


Often while my mother sits besides at her desk, she is often watching korean reality shows (pirated of course), I often wonder how on earth these programs could play clips of songs like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and even the harry potter soundtrack. Like what Eat Your Kimchi suggests, It’s although the copyright laws in South Korea aren’t strictly enforced or even exist at all!

Another case which is concerned with my chosen media platform, Skype is the March 2009 heated copyright suit between the company founded by Skype’s developers, Joltid and Microsoft’s Skype. A quick run down of the ordeal would be that for 2.8 billion dollars, eBay bought Skype in 2006 however not the rights to the program’s Global Index Software, a peer-to-peer technology produced by Joltid. According to CNET article, “Joltid terminated its license for the software after learning that Skype had allegedly acquired unauthorized versions of the source code, made unauthorized modifications, and disclosed the software to third persons”.As the founders sold Skype but not the rights to the software, it was not open content form of licensing. By doing so they were able to restrict the consumer’s capabilities of customization, profit by ‘Skype credit and premium subscriptions and the software is more easily managed and simpler to consult for technical problems.However, hypothetically if Skype was using an open content form of licensing, more variety of options are available, company independence would suggest that use of software can be continued regardless of the activity of the company, however this freedom might overwhelm users with confusions and chaos when you navigate on your own as there will be a smaller support group who are willing to assist.


 

CNET. 2009. Skype Founders File Copyright Suit against Skype. Available at: http://www.cnet.com/news/skype-founders-file-copyright-suit-against-skype/. [Accessed 01 April 14].

NY Times. 2009. Skype Founders File Copyright Suit Against eBay. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/technology/companies/17skype.html?_r=1&amp;. [Accessed 01 April 14].

Business Week. 2009. Skype Lawsuit May Complicate Sale. Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/09/skype_lawsuit_m.html. [Accessed 01 April 14]

Eat Your Kimchi. 2013. Copyrights In Korea. Available at: http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/copyrights-in-korea/. [Accessed 01 April 14].

Eat Your Kimchi, 2013. Intellectual Property and Ripping Shit Off in Korea, TL;DR Wednesday [Youtube Video] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9AwCkzr_e1E [Accessed 1 April 2014].

CNET. 2009. Sold Ebay Jettisons Skype in 2 Billion Deal. Available at: http://www.cnet.com/news/sold-ebay-jettisons-skype-in-2-billion-deal/. [Accessed 03 April 14].