Skype and Brun’s 4 Key Characteristics of Produsage

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;.

Advertisements

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.

http---makeagif.com--media-5-15-2014-5REHDd (1)

(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].

 

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].

Skype and The Development of 3D Video Calls.

Image

All You Need

All you need is a webcam, an internet connection and a computer or mobile device with a microphone and speakers. With these simple essentials, you can bring people far away a little closer. Since it’s release in August 2003, The freemium voice-over-IP service and instant messaging service, Skype has provided its consumers with easily accessible service and has been internationally recognised as the go to service for communication across distance and internet.

Image

The various functions of Skype messaging

This media platform grants the freedom to make an account and include its latest downloads, enable video and voice calls to anyone else on Skype, and Instant messaging and file sharing.  Users are also offered the opportunity for calls to mobile and landlines worldwide at low rates, send text messages from its Skype credit and hold conference video calls with up to 10 people.

ImageIn commemoration of Skype’s 10th anniversary, the company confirm its plans for developing the ability for 3D video calls in a BBC interview. Microsoft’s Corporate VP, Mark Gillett discussed that Skype labs has been working on producing both 3D capture and 3D display of video calls. They admire the progress being already made with TVs and computer monitor however predict that their idea will be realised within a decade. Despite its increasingly speedy advancements, the limitations of technology restricts their growth and there’s a requirement of testing and adjustment, to launch the 3D feature for live video calls via multiple cameras.

Image

Mark Gillett, Microsoft’s Corporate VP for Skype

Gillett states that Skype aspires to achieve more practical advances in the near future, such as incorporating its service into Microsoft’s Outlook email service and Windows 8.1 operating system, bringing 1080p video calls to devices and strengthening the mobile aspect. Taavet Hinrikus, Skype’s former marketing director expressed “Today companies like Whatsapp, Viber and others are leaders in the mobile communication space – that’s something that Skype has to fight hard to get back.” and believes that Skype should refocus on product improvement and customer satisfaction as opposed to corporate restructuring and ‘being bought and sold’

Image

Skype running on the PlayStation Portable and Vita handheld consoles

————————————————————————

References

1. “How can they be so good?”: The strange story of Skype | Ars Technica. 2014. “How can they be so good?”: The strange story of Skype | Ars Technica. [ONLINE] Available at: http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/09/skypes-secrets/. [Accessed 24 March 2014].

2.Skype Features – Call, video, instant message, text & share more online . 2014. Skype Features – Call, video, instant message, text & share more online . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.skype.com/en/features/. [Accessed 24 March 2014].

3.BBC News – Skype confirms 3D video calls are under development . 2014. BBC News – Skype confirms 3D video calls are under development . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-23866593. [Accessed 24 March 2014].

4. BBC News – Skype: How the online chat revolution changed lives. 2014. BBC News – Skype: How the online chat revolution changed lives. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-23862352. [Accessed 24 March 2

5. Skype, What you’ll need to get started, Image, Skype.com, viewed 24 march 2014 http://www.skypeassets.com/content/dam/scom/images/text-and-image/desktop/what-is-skype-laptop-image.png

6. Skype Building 3D Video Calls That None Of Us Will Likely Use | TechCrunch. 2014. Skype Building 3D Video Calls That None Of Us Will Likely Use | TechCrunch. [ONLINE] Available at: http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/29/skype-building-3d-video-calls-that-none-of-us-will-likely-use/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29. [Accessed 24 March 2014].

5. Darrell Etherington 2013, 3D Skype Logo, Tech Crunch, viewed 24 March 2014 http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/3d-skype.png?w=400

6. BBC, (2014). PSVITA. [image] Available at: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/69530000/png/_69530470_vita.png [Accessed 22 Mar. 2014].

7.Site Pro News, (2013). Gillet Mark Skype. [image] Available at: http://www.sitepronews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Gillett-Mark-Skype.jpg [Accessed 23 Mar. 2014].