Intro to WEB207June 4th, 2012 by Paula Lay
It has been quite some time between my last web musings, having had a study hiatus for a 12 month period. I’ve picked up where i have left off, having just completed NET204 (Internet Communities and Social Networks) where we held a successful online conference looking at streams of Community, Web 2.0, Identity and Social Networks. You can find my conference paper on Social Networks here.
This study period, I face one of my most anticipated subjects, “WEB 207: Web Media”. In this unit, we are to compile a pitch and create a Reflective Web Media Creation (RWMC). We will look at the convergence and digitisation of media across a broad range of topics including television, film, gaming and photography.. any guesses as to which topic I will cover? ;)
Here are some awesome examples of works from previous students:
Video by Tamlin Dobrich
Video by Jackie Dwayne
Wondering where my creativity will take me in the next 13 weeks. Here are my discussion points from this units introductory week:
You’re asked to consider and comment upon is which (if any) of these topics is of most interest to you. More importantly, why is this particular topic of interest to you?
Photography. It’s my biggest passion in life and I am continually learning and evolving the way I take images as technology changes.
I photograph in both analogue and digital, and it is something I explore further on my own personal blog which follows my adventures between being an analogue photographer while studying/working in a digital space.
Inside the topic of photography, some of the biggest issues is ownership, copyright and value of a photograph. I recently went to a talk on photography (ed – as part of Head On Photo Festival/VIVID Sydney) and intellectual property – and in the digital era, there is a willingness by users to share their images without any further thought into who and how the image will be used. There was an example of the use of an image taken when a plane crash landed in the Hudson river – a passenger on the first ferry that came to pick up survivors took a snapshot which was retweeted thousands of time before he got back home that day. Had he claimed his ownership rights on the image – it could have sold for close to $6000-7000.
The tension between creating content and sharing content in photography today is something I’m definitely keen to explore.
Manovich suggests a few areas where the most interesting and innovative responses to social media are being produced – what are they, and how might (or might not) these be indicative of new forms of creativity unleashed by digitisation?
Application Data – API’s and App’s are a great example of how innovators have responded to social media. Web 2.0 may be a thing of the past as more and more users adopt mobile devices for internet browsing – websites themselves are being remixed into more simplified applications. API’s are being used by programmers to develop more creative ways to work with data and user content. I personally remember someone utilising the Google Maps API last year to create a sausage sizzle locator for the election season. The API was continually refreshed and updated with user contributed information through Twitter. If that’s not creative, I don’t know what is!
Conversations Through Media – The discussion that take place on social networks is not only between the people involved, but also the public/audience of other users who are able to view conversations happening without being involved themselves. I think this aspect of having digital conversations links in with our own personal identities as the language and content shared is constructed and edited carefully before being sent into the digital landscape. The manner in which we construct our conversations or online responses allow us to be creative in the way we present ourselves.
In a way, digitisation has also in a way ‘stopped’ innovation. To me, innovation is the creation of spontaneous and new ideas – whereas as identified in the article, many digital content is ripped or templated off commercial success. Creation is changing to allow more user feedback, to bring out a more commercially viable product to the audiences. Whether or not that is a good thing for creativity is still to be decided.
Jenkins suggests nine areas where the relationships between consumers and producers are changing. Which seem most important, and how far have these new relationships emerged?
Redefining intellectual property rights – The digitisation of content has enabled the proliferated use and/or remediation of copyright content for producers of content. With social networks allowing for viral sharing – it is often too late once published to claim stake or have that content removed entirely from the web. We are in an era where consumers see produced digital content as free, without respect to the original creator.
Renegotiating relations between producers and consumers – This ties in with copyright and intellectual property, and finding solutions for both producers and consumers. While previously, P2P and streaming of music was illegal, there are now solutions that being developed to cater to both producer and consumer. This is witnessed through apps such as iTunes as well as websites such as indieshuffle.com, hypem.com and platforms like Spotify. It is now up to the producers to identify ways that they can bring intrinsic value to their work that can’t be obtained simply by downloading or stealing for free.
Re-engaging citizens – Conversations online are no longer one way, top-to-bottom. Although written in 2004, Jenkins refers to convergence as both a ‘top-down’ corporate driven process and a ‘bottom-up- consumer driven process. With the convergence of media, users wants and needs are adapting to the affordances provided by new technology, and like the area of ‘renegotiating relations between producers and consumers’, businesses need to find those needs and wants to re-engage their audiences. Look at the demise of Borders who failed to embrace digital, unlike Amazon, who have continued to reshape themselves as users adapted globally to the changes surrounding them. This is very much an area of issue, as the shift of power to consumers has a larger effect on any sized company, as demonstrated with Borders.
As both a producer and consumer of content, I hope to look at the tension in the relationships formed and identifying solutions to break the divide. If you’re a producer, would like to hear your thoughts on convergence and digitisation of traditional media.