As part of the 182MC module we have been given the task of creating a online individual research diary, while we make our behind the scenes video.
While some might argue that a diary should have a clear linear progression, I think it should be treated more like a scrape book. Adding theory, notes and ideas while making the behind the scenes video, I have created this diary with this idea in mind.
I wish I could say I have enjoyed every second of this module, however as I think many people might be able to understand there have been tasks that I have enjoyed more than others, such as the disruption task. I also like being able to take the photos that where used as an over lay in the sensory module (turns out that photography advantage module came in hand after all). That being said there were also times when I found the tasks frustrating. While the smell of money is a good idea, we struggled to come up with a way to represent it at first.
Over all I have enjoyed being able to use the theory from both the readings and the lectures and building something form that. Through our group discussions we were able to plan and asses our tasks based on the main theory.
Well as with many plans, they do not always go the way you plan (sorry about the pun), At the start of this module, as a group we wanted to try and edit while we went along. this way it would get to a week before hand in and we would be ready. However we found with the amount of footage we recorded when both discussing and doing the tasks that editing took longer than we had anticipated.
So the last the week has been a compilation of late nights in the library, hunched over laptops editing and re-editing of the tasks and completing a number of other coursework assignments. With what seems to be a unnatural amount of hot chocolate consumed, along with nearly 40 biscuits, 3 subways, 5 oranges and enough chicken Tikka to feed a family of four, finally the end is almost here and the video is on the brink of being completed, and ready to be handed in.
Beltran, Mary. Meanigful Diversity: Exploring Questions of Equitable Representation. Flow 12:07, 2010.
- Are the characters of colour fully realized individuals?
- Do the writers and producers appear knowledgeable about and interested in the worlds and perspectives of the non-white characters?
- Does the diversity of the cast appear natural?
- Do the series or film producers exploit the natural diversity of a story’s setting or subject matter?
Researching the Visual
- noted number of questions that could be asked regarding the sense that representations make of the world.
- who typically represents whom and in what ways. (power and Ideology)
- suggests ways in which students of media might analyse specific examples of stereotypical representations.
- also examined the questions of ‘pleasure’ – what pleasures are forced by a text and to who?
- links with a senses of self and the process of identification.
- how we become absorbed into a characters role or positioning the narrative
- inorder to engage interest media representations must provide something pleasurable.
- Whos point of view is it shown?
- Do audience members all get pleasure from something in the same way?
- who has the right to speak?
- who is silenced in these representations?
- predominance of white middle-class males in media industries could lead to some views being over-represented of tv. They are then seen as normal or ‘common sense’. Representations seen as ‘ideological’
- need to see representations as constitutive.
- do events really have a fixed true meaning?
- representation cannot capture the real event, because what is being represented (the initial event) is dubious in the first place.
- Reality is not fixed or known
- Reality has no fixed meaning until it has been represented.
- Hall argues’ reality does not exist meaningfully until it has been represented’ ‘nothing meaningful exists outside of discourse’ (1997a)
Researching the Digital
- an old utopian promise
For this weeks task we were given the assignment to make a visual representation of a smell. Our group chose the smell of money, specifically the smell of coins. When we first met to discussed this takes we attempted to represent coins through the sound they made when you dropped them. But when we talked to our lecturer she suggested that this wouldn’t represent the smell successfully. So we went back and decided to take two photographs one of a two people exchanging money and then we took a second photo conducting the same transaction but with dirt replacing the coins. This was to represent the musty smell that coins have.
I edited this task together, the discussions we had, were looking at the idea that senses were connected to memory. We also talked about the social connotations of money, making the suggestion that money is simply numbers in a computer and it does not have the same physical presence in real life.
For this task we had to conduct either a focus group or an interview, asking questions in relation to their use of social media. Looking at we as a society make scene of ‘friendship’ in the age of social media.
At first we wanted to attempt to conduct a focus group, however we came up against some difficulties obtaining enough participants to take part in the focus group. So in the end we decided to do individual interviews with individual participants.
We conducted three interviews with different people. In the hub and the library. Before the interviews we created a topic guide in order have set questions which we could use to ask the participants. However with some of the interviews we felt it stopped us from conducting a non-formal interview, as we felt we had to ask these set questions. We struggled to adapt the questions to some situations. For example in one of the interviews the interviewee answered questions from later in the topic guid in the first question, it put the interviewer on the spot and made her a little nervous about asking the same questions again.
I edited this task together after we had completed the task. With some of the footage there was a slight lack of theory based within the footage, so we will have to create a voice over to explain parts of the interview technique to as the video is playing. For example the suggestion that the small talk at the start of the interviews are a key part of making the participant feel at ease for the interview.
- Front end/back end of the social web
- How can we think about digital media.
- Techno- utopia vs. Techno dystopia
- Analysis focuses on front-end
- Positive association with the possibilities of social media
- People control technology
Analysis Focuses on the back-end
Technology controls people
We need to tale both sides and combine them because social media is so complex.
Promise of “web 2.0”
Clay Shirky’s Here comes everybody.
Before social media it was every difficult to get communication up of the group and make their voice heard.
The web 1.0 was difficult for every one to be connected.
There is now more access to communication
Blogs Wiki is an example of this utopian ideal
Dad sets up account to document his daughters life.
Google promises you that the web is so stable.
However the web is always changing there is no promise that it will be the same in 10 years time.
We don’t have control of al the web, the sites might change or shut down.
There are limitations
Four assertions that limits this type of analysis
-voluntary user contribution are, indeed expressions of authentic personal opinions with no connection to in
The downsides of web
Crowdsourcing as free labour (e.g Yelp) You add your knowledge but don’t get paid, they still make money off or advertising.
“authentic” participation has hidden goals
“if we take the creation of voluntary communities and the provision of new infrastructures as the twin dimensions of the social web, we can see that the phenomenon as a whole is characterized by two contradictory dynamics
one is decentralized, ad hoc, cheap, easy to use community oriented, and transparent.
The other is centralized, based on long-term planning very expensive, difficult to run, corporate, and opaque.
If the personal blog symbolizes one side, the data centres represents the other.
All the trappings of conventional organisations, their hierarches, formal policies, and o
“thus, there’s a tension at the core of the social web created by the uneasy (miss) match of the commercial interests that rule the back-end and community interests advanced through the front-end. The communities are embedded within privately owned environments so that users, usually unaware of the problem.
The surveillance Economy
Your are the product.
Facebook can sell your information.
“every activity online generates a trace that can be gathered and compiled, and companies go to great length making money
Real time tracking is a new form of power
Should it remain in private hands?
“Code is Law” (Lawrence Lesig)
In this new age to collaboration, there is issue of copyright brought about. We are encouraged to share information, but sometime you might want to share things which are copyright protected. Sharing only goes so far, but as soon as you encroach on the intellectuality you are told no.
Front end, we are told to share
Back –end code prevents copyright, we are punished for sharing
Neither utopia nor dystopia in web or social media, you need to focus on both the front end and the back end of social media.
More access to the back end of social media
“we must own the goddam server”
- Sensory Ethnography Seminar
- We are participating in a bodily way. For example if we looked at what types of people do drag racing actually getting into a drag car will give us an understanding of what it feels like to do drag racing.
- The concept of embodiment suggests that we need to intergrade our body and our mind.
- Surveys are blunt tools, people don’t like doing them. People might lie. They don’t tell details. Good for quantity.
- Sensory ethnographers are trying to find out what people really feel like. In order to do this they need to be with them so they can understand their environment. There is a level of bias with this. Where is the limit? (studying cocaine use, it would be harmful to take part in drug use)
- What cultural representation does smells have?
- Some smells remind us of different people. Some have a masculine connotation like oil. Some have a feminine connotation (mostly food).
- Our visual experience is constantly being added to by our other senses.