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].

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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

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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&. [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.

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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’

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Skype running on the PlayStation Portable and Vita handheld consoles

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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].