The power of many

This weeks BCM112 lecture revolved around the transformation of the user between monologic and dialogic media. If you have been reading my previous blogs (as I hope you have been) you will be well aware of the shift from passive to active audiences, consumers to prosumers. Monologic media is ‘old’ meaning that messages are filtered through a gatekeeper (publisher, government, censor and the like) while dialogic media allows individual nodes to broadcast to the entire network directly by use of a weak or non-existent gatekeeper.

This shift in media technologies has no doubt evoked changes in the typical audience/consumer role but it makes me wonder; if there is no implicit filter and no cost of entry how is the quality of information being controlled. The answer: it isn’t. That’s not to say that every piece of information produced on the Internet is unreliable but it does raise the question of source credibility. The progression from the one-to-many method to the many-to-many method has created a surge of participation, which consequently has uncovered new types of users, paving the way for crowdsourced expertise such as Wikipedia to emerge.

But again can we really trust what we read? Examples of this are the Egyptian revolution of 2011 and #chinacoup.  Social networking sites including Facebook, twitter and YouTube contribute to empowering individuals most notably Wael Ghonim and Asmaa Mahfouz (in the case of the Egyptian revolution) by providing mobilisation, coordination, dissemination and civic engagement allowing viewers from across the globe to partake (however insignificantly) and ultimately sanction the voice of the individual.

However, social networking sites such as Weibo (the Chinese version of twitter) can have the opposite effect. As in the case of #chinacoup, out of control rumours (which continue to be speculated) lead to the government taking action, arresting over 2000 people and censoring/blocking all information about the rumours. Even today we still don’t know exactly what happened or even if anything happened. Does humanity deserve the right to complete freedom or do we need discipline and guidelines to keep ideologies and demeanour under control?

Confused? I know I am.

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Mercy or Murder?

For BCM110 the issue I have chosen to follow through the channels of the media is “post-birth abortion”. Of course this is a sensitive, moral and ethical issue that ties heavily with religion but the stark contrast of how it is represented in varying platforms has caught and managed to sustain my attention (which is a difficult task). Newspaper articles, television programs, blogs, tweets, journal articles, magazine articles, the list of my sources goes on and on with sometime slight, sometime significantly distinctive view points. In my blog posts relating to this topic I will attempt (and succeed) to unravel and highlight to what extend the media accurately portrays the facts and ideologies surrounding post-birth abortion and the thoughts and feelings of the general public in response to the considerable media attention.

Experts in the field (according to the Washington post, The daily telegraph, The journal of medical ethics) are arguing for and advocating post-birth abortions to the outrage and disbelief of the broader public, most notably with a headline from the Journal of medical ethics read; “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?” This article was ill received by readers, causing fury and even death threats (irony?) resulting in heavy debates on blogs, twitter and even YouTube videos.  However the authors, Giubilini and Minerva have issued the explanation that they intended the article to be “read by other fellow bioethicists who were already familiar with this topic and our arguments.”

This intense response to stories in the media raises the question; just how involved are the media when it comes to presenting and fuelling disputes over political, economical, environmental, and health issues? This is what I hope to discover over the course of this subject.

Good old Ideologies

This weeks BCM112 lecture delved into the battle the ideologies of media technologies including locked appliances that offer controlled, limited communication and generative platforms that provide choice and freedom.

The transformation of technologies is easily traced over time from the first telephone, the first PC, the first mobile phone, the first 3G mobile, and the first iphone (which I cannot believe was released in 2007). Technology has drastically progressed beyond the point of ubiquitous creativity with access to the Internet anytime, anywhere, for any reason. Interestingly (I think), higher developed countries with access to cables have a lower percentage of Internet usage on mobile phones than that of lower developed countries. Then again, it seems as if every time I turn around more and more businesses have a free Wi-Fi connection.

The most notable rivalry between locked and open appliances has been waged between Apple and Android (or Google for those of you who don’t know). Apple on the one hand creates and maintains control by allowing access to software only via a walled garden of apps (The app store) all of which are approved by Apple. This centalised system generates complete control over platform, content and user. Android on the other hand, encompasses the open handset alliance with an open garden of apps (The Android market) establishing no control over platform, content and user. So which is better: freedom and choice or stability and control?

To copyright or not to copyright?

So once again I found myself in a crowded lecture theatre furiously scribbling down everything I can manage and once again I find myself in front of my computer screen trying to make sense of it all. This weeks BCM112 lecture and readings primarily revolved around the notion of copyright and the question of the possession of scarce resources.

Introduced in 1710 with the statue of Queen Anne (but I’m guessing you all know that), copyright has since become a necessity in modern society due to the fluctuations and advances in technologies. The worldwide web, or Internet, or web 2.0 has dramatically altered the previously accepted structure of copyright with customers becoming prosumers with the world literally at their fingertips.

The movement from analogue to digital media has caused the value and cost of intellectual work to disintegrate creating a need to reproduce artificial scarcity and to introduce the idea of fair use. Fair use is a defence that prevents oppressive monopolies by (in theory) balancing out the strict copyright regime. In the case of Stephanie Lenz and her “Let’s Go Crazy #1” home video the defence of fair use was able to stand against the multimillion-dollar company Universal. Which gives me some hope that censorship hasn’t infiltrated every aspect of society.

However a continual war rages over the content of industry and consolidation models between aggregators and distributors. Aggregators (Amazon.com and Google) merely collect information and allow access to it where as distributors (Disney and Time Warner) control and restrict information available. The question still to be answered is who will win? Do humans desire choice and freedom or authority and guidance?

For better or for worse

Howdy!

So for my BCM112 assignment I have chosen to focus on the Sony Playstation 4 A.K.A PS4. Yes I am aware that it is a gaming console and yes I am aware that I am female (for all of you questioning my intelligence) and while I myself can appreciate barbies, rainbows and unicorns I am also an ardent gamer. For those who have a problem accepting that or for those who prefer the xbox I’d advise you stop here or drastically alter your perspective(preferably).

Although no release date has been confirmed it is generally accepted to be pegged at late 2012 however PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan has labelled it “undesirable” to release it before or alongside the next-gen Microsoft xbox 720 console. In any case many enthusiastic fans are anxious to share all the newest spoilers and sneak peeks regarding the future Playstation, drowning me with information that I will (undoubtedly) be sharing with you in weeks to come.

This weeks lecture literally blew my mind, I mean everyone knows ( or at least they think they do) the ever expanding black hole that is the world wide web but when you really stop to think about the millions of pages, people and genuinely useless facts out there it does your head in. It took me at least a week (perhaps longer) to grow comfortable with the idea that I was going to have to start a blog. That my private thoughts were going to be out there for all (very optimistic) to see, read and judge. And possible the only reason I have is because it goes towards 40% of my subject mark. So here we have it. . .

Media platforms are constantly changing and evolving enabling us (the keen bloggers that we are) to not only access the gold mine that is the internet but to contribute to it, to etch our name into history. Emerging media platforms transform the conventional role of the audience from passive (recievers) to active (consumers) demonstrated most notably by Gary Brolsma (LEGEND!) and his rendition of “The Numa Numa Song!”

Wow. . . Just wow

HELLO WORLD! I’M GONNA GETCHA!

Alex Tickner. 18. Studying a double degree of Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies and Bachelor of Arts at Wollongong University. Pretty standard stuff. I live in the shire so I have had a relatively sheltered upbringing (according to most) but I am eager to learn and always looking for a challenge. I plan on majoring in International Media and Communication for my BCMS and history for my Art degree while minoring in english and war and society. So I have an exciting four and a half years ahead of me!

My goal in life is to graduate Uni, find a husband (preferably rich), have at least three children (ouch), move as far away form the Shire as possible (just kidding mum) and become a museum curator. Yes, you read that right. The idea first occurred to me while on a family holiday in New York. Young and impressionable, I was stumbling through the hundreds of displays featuring animals, ancient artefacts, and slightly creepy, emotionless mannequins. I was eyeing off a particularly menacing grizzly bear when I realised that someone had to have researched, designed and arranged this environment before me. Being the lover of history that I am why couldn’t that person be me (unrealistic I know, but then again I’ve never been one to settle)?

This blog will mainly be used or the purposes of my BCM110 and BCM112 subjects but occasionally I may just need to vent or rant or merely crave the appreciation of adoring fans (HA, I wish) so stay tuned. The 250 or so words above are really everything of interest worth knowing about me but just incase feel free to follow me on twitter (be warned that I am an extremely boring individual) @Lex933. On that note I will leave you with the infamous words of one Buzz Lightyear-“to infinity and beyond!”