REFLECTION POST

My first reflective post is on my third blog on Copyright Laws entitled “Watch, but don’t touch! Copyright, ownership structures, and industry control”. I learned that copyright is the legal concept that rewards the creator of an original work. After writing the blog, I now view media copyright as a serious matter as I understand it is unfair to use contents created by others without giving due credits and will endeavour not to violate copyright laws when using the media. 

I also wish to reflect upon my fourth blog post on technological convergence entitled “I ♥ gadgets: platforms, permissions and ideologies in technological convergence”. I learn that convergence is convenient, but it also culminates in the consolidation of power and wealth in the hands of a few powerful multinational conglomerates who dictate what we see or hear. This knowledge changes my perspective of the media and consequently, I am now more critical of what I read or hear from the media and no longer take them to be gospel truths. 

My final reflective blog post is my fifth blog on user empowerment, entitled “Will you be my audience? User empowerment, access and participation across media platforms.” I discovered that, thanks to the convergence of various technologies and devices like the Internet and smartphones, dialogic media have revolutionised the world. For example, Wikipedia, a free, collaborative, online encyclopaedia enables users worldwide to access information from it and edit information into it, converting passive consumers into active prosumers. Now, I truly appreciate the impact of technological convergence, and find it wonderfully useful as it helps me a lot in my research work. 

I enjoy myself most writing these blogs as they give me many interesting ideas of the role of convergence in the media industry.  The implications are my audience would appreciate copyright laws and technological convergence as well as be more critical of what the media churn out.   Writing these blogs have definitely widened my knowledge of the media and helped me to appreciate how the media operates.

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Week 10: BCM112 #mencallmethings: identity and difference online.

Hello there, I’m Ram Peow Loong Naidu and this is my University assessment blog.  In the tenth and eleventh-week of class, we had a guest lecture on the dark side of online trolling and misogyny.

Trolling is the intentional sowing of hatred, bigotry, racism, or misogyny. Trolls are emotionally immature and profligate behind the shield of anonymity, where they post public comments on blog sites, new sites, discussion forums and game chats.  Internet trolling is an anti-social act which is a form of cyber-bullying(Mitew, 2012).  It aims to create interpersonal conflict and shock-value controversy online. Hateful trolling by misogynist men is a serious matter, with many female writers and columnists proclaiming that they have received violent threats, including threats of sexual abuse, death and rape threats, crude insults, sexism, and misogyny.  Misogyny is defined as ‘the hatred of women’ or ‘Great dislike of women’ (Mitew, 2012).

Sexual harassment and flaming is rife in cyberspace. Many individuals or social groups are being targeted and discriminated against in the online community due to their gender and sexual-orientation. This is not surprising as cyber space is male-dominated. According to Dale Spender, the absence of women in cyber space has to do with technology and culture rather than women’s abilities(Mitew, 2012). Spender explains that since men structure cyber space, the domain of cyber space reflects male socialization and interests. Spender opines that the current disparate situation can readily be changed and insists that the problem lies in cultural change. Spender‘s concern highlights the perpetual battle women have to combat against our patriarchal, male-dominated, sexist society (Spender, 1997).

The columnist Laurie Penny, herself a victim of trolling, has decided to reveal the amount of abuse she receives in order to encourage online discussion forums to monitor abusive comments more effectively. According to Penny, misogynist abuse dates back to the 18th century, with the problem reaching epidemic proportion, no thanks to the internet (Mitew, 2012).

Karalee Evans agrees that trolling is not new.  What disturb her are that compliance trolling and the phenomena of anonymous digital misogyny or sexual intimidation and flaming is rife in cyberspace. She reports that sexist trolling is committed nine times out of 10 by anonymous men. This is cause for concern as sexual trolling affects the victims’ confidence, their security and their credibility. Feminist blogger Sady Doyle endeavours to counter this social menace by raising awareness of the issue when she started the #mencallmethings Twitter hashtag and conversation, a campaign which encouraged female bloggers, columnists and twitter regulars to discuss their experiences and name their perpetrators with the intention of shaming them(Mitew, 2012).The movement is empowering women to hit back by providing them a platform to name and shame their abusers. Just recently, Blogger Xiaxue of Singapore responds to ‘flaming’ by posting pictures of her perpetrators on her blogs. Although such online participatory culture will not end the culture of online abuse, it may help women feel less threatened and more empowered(Mitew, 2012).

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Reference List:

Mitew, T, Dreher, T 2012, BCM112,‘#mencallmethings: identity and difference online’, lecture notes, accessed 19/5/2012, eLearning@UOW,  http://www.slideshare.net/tedmitew/mencallmethings-identity-and-difference-online

Mitew, T, Campbell, R, 2012, BCM112, ‘How and Why Nerds Became Chic’, lecture notes, accessed 7/5/2012, eLearning@UOW,

Spender, D 1997,‘The position of women in information technology – or Who Got there First and With what consequences?’, Current Sociology 1997, vol. 45, no. 2,pp135-147, accessed 16/5/2012, http//csi.sagepub.com/content/45/2/135.citation

Week 10: BCM112 #mencallmethings: identity and difference online.

Blog Post 10

Week 11: BCM112 #mencallmethings: identity and difference online.

Hello there, I’m Ram Peow Loong Naidu and this is my University assessment blog.  In the tenth and eleventh-week of class, we had a guest lecture on the dark side of online trolling and misogyny.

 

Trolling is the intentional sowing of hatred, bigotry, racism, or misogyny. Trolls are emotionally immature and profligate behind the shield of anonymity, where they post public comments on blog sites, new sites, discussion forums and game chats.  Internet trolling is an anti-social act which is a form of cyber-bullying.  It aims to create interpersonal conflict and shock-value controversy online. Hateful trolling by misogynist men is a serious matter, with many female writers and columnists proclaiming that they have received violent threats, including threats of sexual abuse, death and rape threats, crude insults, sexism, and misogyny.  Misogyny is defined as ‘the hatred of women’ or ‘Great dislike of women’.

 

Sexual harassment and flaming is rife in cyberspace. Many individuals or social groups are being targeted and discriminated against in the online community due to their gender and sexual-orientation. This is not surprising as cyber space is male-dominated. According to Dale Spender, the absence of women in cyber space has to do with technology and culture rather than women’s abilities.  Spender explains that since males structure cyber space, the domain of cyber space reflects male socialization and interests. Spender opines that the current disparate situation can readily be changed and insists that the problem lies in cultural change. Spender‘s concern highlights the perpetual battle women have to combat against our patriarchal, male-dominated, sexist society.

 

The columnist Laurie Penny, herself a victim of trolling, has decided to reveal the amount of abuse she receives in order to encourage online discussion forums to monitor abusive comments more effectively. According to Penny, misogynist abuse dates back to the 18th century, with the problem reaching epidemic proportion, no thanks to the internet.

 

Karalee Evans agrees that trolling is not new.  What disturb her are that compliance trolling and the phenomena of anonymous digital misogyny or sexual intimidation and flaming is rife in cyberspace.  She reports that sexist trolling is committed nine times out of 10 by anonymous men.  This is cause for concern as sexual trolling affects the victims’ confidence, their security and their credibility. Feminist blogger Sady Doyle endeavours to counter this social menace by raising awareness of the issue when she started the #mencallmethings Twitter hashtag and conversation, a campaign which encouraged female bloggers, columnists and twitter regulars to discuss their experiences and name their perpetrators with the intention of shaming them. The movement is empowering women to hit back by providing them a platform to name and shame their abusers.   Just recently, Blogger Xiaxue of Singapore responds to ‘flaming’ by posting pictures of her perpetrators on her blogs. Although such online participatory culture will not end the culture of online abuse, it may help women feel less threatened and more empowered.

Week 9: BCM112 citizen journalism: collective intelligence and the price of content.

In the seventh-week of class, we had a guest lecture on the implications of new forms of information gathering and dissemination such as citizen journalism for traditional news media outlets. We concentrated on the new types of participation and the value of content in emerging media ecology with no gate keepers (O’Donnell, 2012).

If you are a tweeter, a blogger or just a Facebook user, you are a Citizen Journalist. Whatever you post is considered news, although it may not be newsworthy! In the words of Jay Rosen (2006), citizen journalists are “the people formerly known as the audience who were on the receiving end of a media system that ran one way in a broadcasting pattern with high entry fees and a few firms competing to speak very loudly while the rest of the population listened in isolation from one another and who today are not in a situation like that all.” They are, according to Rosen, “The writing readers or the viewers who picked up a camera,” (O’Donnell, 2012).

Citizen journalists are individual citizens who collectthen process and analyse news items or information.  Like the professional journalists, they disseminate information and news and in this sense, they serve society a purpose. However, they are actually a bunch of amateurs with no formal training as journalists.   Unlike professional journalists who are expected to provide news in its honest and truthful form, the citizen journalists provide news based on their own opinions and personal judgment, and not entirely based on facts.

O Donnell (2012) opines that the manner in which we receive news and information has changed drastically. Traditionally, our source of news is limited to mainstream media sources, such as the newspapers and broadcast media (O’Donnell, 2012). Today, we are bombarded with news from the general public by way of citizen journalism, thanks to technological and media convergence.  Not only has the source changed, but the speed with which we receive information is phenomenal as everyday citizens enthusiastically contribute and distribute information to a ‘hungry’ crowd.  This phenomenon poses a challenge to mainstream media channels (O’Donnell, 2012).

Instead of receiving news from television journalists like Anderson Cooper or Richard Quest of CNN, people are turning to social media.  Internet bloggers like Han Hanand celebrity bloggers like Perez Hilton are testimony to the huge success and popularity of citizen journalism(O’Donnell, 2012). In Malaysia, many people follow the news on the online sites like Malaysiakini, and the Malaysia Chronicle. 

While some journalists may frown upon citizen journalism for a lack of ‘gatekeeping’ and ‘professionalism’, the transformation from traditional news to user generated citizen journalism is here to stay.  Citizen journalism enables the audience to control how news is created and verify news from a variety of mediums, such as blogs, Facebook postings and tweets.   Therefore, the collaboration between and convergence of citizen journalism and   conventional media augurs well for the future in the right direction, as audience no longer are contented with being passive receiver of news.  Instead, they prefer and even enjoy posting news.  Hence, the prolific rise in the number of people who embrace Facebook and tweeters, as well as user-generated videos(O’Donnell, 2012).

In conclusion, I applaud citizen journalism for an alternative media platform, as we can choose to compare, believe or ignore news and information provided by either conventional news media or generated by current and trendy blogs as well as user generated videos.

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Reference List:

Ariens C, 2010, ‘Bill O’ Really to Interview Jon Stewart’, mediabistro, weblog post, Feb 2nd, accessed 12/5/2012, http://www.mediabistro.com/tunewser/bill-oreilly-to-interview-jon-stewart_b25602.

Leung R, 2009, ‘For the Record: Bush Documents’, cbsnews, weblog post, Feb 11th, accessed 12/5/2012, http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500164_162-643768.html.

O’Donnell, M, 2012, BCM112, ‘Citizen journalism: Collective Intelligence and the price of content’, lecture notes, accessed 19/5/2012, University of Wollongong, eLearning@UOW

Week 13: BCM112 Islands in the net: censorship, fragmentation, and divergent Media.

Blog Post 12

Posted: 7th May 2012

Week 13: BCM112 Islands in the net: censorship, fragmentation, and divergent Media.

Hello there, I’m Ram Peow Loong Naidu and this is my University assessment blog.  In the tenth to eleventh-week of class, we build on dynamics encountered in our explorations industries, technologies, and audiences to map current efforts to censor and fragment the internet. We discussed the significance and implementations of the US legislations such as SOPA and PIPA, as well as global censorship legislations such as ACTA.

 

Week 12: BCM112 stalking, friending, frape and photos: privacy and surveillance on social networking sites.

Blog Post 11

Posted: 7th May 2012

Week 12: BCM112 stalking, friending, frape and photos: privacy and surveillance on social networking sites.

Hello there, I’m Ram Peow Loong Naidu and this is my University assessment blog.  In the tenth to eleventh-week of class, we had a guest lecture on the fragility of online social networking identities based on a critical examination of Facebook we looked at the hidden costs of having a social networking profile, and explore the underlying issues of privacy, surveillance, theft, and discrimination.

Week 10: BCM112 #mencallmethings: identity and difference online.

Blog Post 10

Posted: 7th May 2012

Week 11: BCM112 #mencallmethings: identity and difference online.

Hello there, I’m Ram Peow Loong Naidu and this is my University assessment blog.  In the tenth to eleventh-week of class, we had a guest lecture on the dark side of online trolling, through homophobia, racism, and cyber-bullying.

Week 9: BCM112 citizen journalism: collective intelligence and the price of content.

In the seventh-week of class, we had a guest lecture on the implications of new forms of information gathering and dissemination such as citizen journalism for traditional news media outlets. We concentrated on the new types of participation and the value of content in emerging media ecology with no gate keepers (O’Donnell, 2012).

If you are a tweeter, a blogger or just a Facebook user, you are a Citizen Journalist. Whatever you post is considered news, although it may not be newsworthy! In the words of Jay Rosen (2006), citizen journalists are “the people formerly known as the audience who were on the receiving end of a media system that ran one way in a broadcasting pattern with high entry fees and a few firms competing to speak very loudly while the rest of the population listened in isolation from one another and who today are not in a situation like that all.” They are, according to Rosen, “The writing readers or the viewers who picked up a camera,” (O’Donnell, 2012).

Citizen journalists are individual citizens who collectthen process and analyse news items or information.  Like the professional journalists, they disseminate information and news and in this sense, they serve society a purpose. However, they are actually a bunch of amateurs with no formal training as journalists.   Unlike professional journalists who are expected to provide news in its honest and truthful form, the citizen journalists provide news based on their own opinions and personal judgment, and not entirely based on facts.

O Donnell (2012) opines that the manner in which we receive news and information has changed drastically. Traditionally, our source of news is limited to mainstream media sources, such as the newspapers and broadcast media (O’Donnell, 2012). Today, we are bombarded with news from the general public by way of citizen journalism, thanks to technological and media convergence.  Not only has the source changed, but the speed with which we receive information is phenomenal as everyday citizens enthusiastically contribute and distribute information to a ‘hungry’ crowd.  This phenomenon poses a challenge to mainstream media channels (O’Donnell, 2012).

Instead of receiving news from television journalists like Anderson Cooper or Richard Quest of CNN, people are turning to social media.  Internet bloggers like Han Hanand celebrity bloggers like Perez Hilton are testimony to the huge success and popularity of citizen journalism(O’Donnell, 2012). In Malaysia, many people follow the news on the online sites like Malaysiakini, and the Malaysia Chronicle. 

While some journalists may frown upon citizen journalism for a lack of ‘gatekeeping’ and ‘professionalism’, the transformation from traditional news to user generated citizen journalism is here to stay.  Citizen journalism enables the audience to control how news is created and verify news from a variety of mediums, such as blogs, Facebook postings and tweets.   Therefore, the collaboration between and convergence of citizen journalism and   conventional media augurs well for the future in the right direction, as audience no longer are contented with being passive receiver of news.  Instead, they prefer and even enjoy posting news.  Hence, the prolific rise in the number of people who embrace Facebook and tweeters, as well as user-generated videos(O’Donnell, 2012).

In conclusion, I applaud citizen journalism for an alternative media platform, as we can choose to compare, believe or ignore news and information provided by either conventional news media or generated by current and trendy blogs as well as user generated videos.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

Reference List:

Ariens C, 2010, ‘Bill O’ Really to Interview Jon Stewart’, mediabistro, weblog post, Feb 2nd, accessed 12/5/2012, http://www.mediabistro.com/tunewser/bill-oreilly-to-interview-jon-stewart_b25602.

Leung R, 2009, ‘For the Record: Bush Documents’, cbsnews, weblog post, Feb 11th, accessed 12/5/2012, http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500164_162-643768.html.

O’Donnell, M, 2012, BCM112, ‘Citizen journalism: Collective Intelligence and the price of content’, lecture notes, accessed 19/5/2012, University of Wollongong, eLearning@UOW

Week 8: BCM112 Rip/Mix/Burn: Music sampling and the rise of remix culture

Hello there, I’m Ram Peow Loong Naidu and this is my University assessment blog.  In the seventh-week of class, we had a guest lecture on the context of technology, and audience dynamics to explore music sampling, and the role of remixing and filesharing in the rise of produsage culture practices. We looked into various music genres as examples.

In this topic, the class explored the concept of remixing and watched the videos- Everything Is a Remix

 According to the video producer, Kirby Ferguson, everything is a remix. Remix or remixing is the combining or editing of existing material to produce something new. Hip Hop not only pioneered remix but also popularised it by incorporating sampling from existing recordings.  For example, Sugar Hill Gang samples the base rift from Chic’s Good Times in the 1979 hit Rappers Delight. Since then, that same base line has been sampled countless times, in other songs, like Everything’s Gonna Be Alright by Father MC(Ferguson, 2011). Today anybody can easily remix just about anything from music videos to photos, and display it globally and instantly, without any sophisticated gadgets or even skills. In the words of Ferguson, everything is a remix (Ferguson,2011).

Remix is not always illegal. Legal remixing include covers and knock-offs.  The former are performances of other people’s material whereas knock-offs are copies that stay within legal boundaries.  They account for almost everything the entertainment industry produces, in other words, almost everything is unoriginal(Ferguson, 2011).  Take the case of Breakcore, a type of music genre, which rearranges breakbeats to create a new music.  Rose explains that breakbeats are “points of rupture in their former contexts, points at which the thematic elements of a musical piece are suspended and the underlying rhythms brought center stage”. A breakbeat is a particular part of a song, usually a very popular portion, which is yanked out of its original song and used repeatedly in another. The song “Amen Break” by Jester Hairstone (1963) comes to mind, being the most used drum sample in the world – as it is used in commercials, movies and from techno to reggae(Harrison, N 2004). The most prolific culprit of illegal remix has to be the band Led Zeppelin which copied any people’s songs and passed it off as their own music(Ferguson, 2011).

Remixing is also common in films.  In fact, most box office hits owe their success to existing material. To quote Ferguson, “Transforming the old into the new is Hollywood’s greatest talent.”  He opines that original films are few and these films are called genre films which follow simple templates called genres which follow sub genres (Ferguson, 2011).

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Reference List

Ferguson, K 2011, Everything Is a Remix, accessed 9/5/2012, http://www.everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/.

Harrison, N 2004,  The Amen Break – The world’s most important 6-sec drum loop, accessed 9/5/2012, YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac.

Whelan, A 2012, BCM112 ‘Rip/Mix/Burn: music sampling and the rise of remix culture’, lecture notes, accessed 26/04/2012, eLearning@UOW. http://www.scribd.com/doc/90750931/BCM112-Week-8.

 

Week 7: BCM112 Triumph of nerd: how and why nerds become chic.

Hello there, I’m Ram Peow Loong Naidu and this is my University assessment blog.  In the seventh-week of class, we had a guest lecture on the context of participatory cultural dynamics, to explore the rise of nerds in popular culture, and the significance of this development. We also discuss how the media is used to create identities. 

Wikipedia characterised the “nerd”  as an intelligent but single-minded fellow with a non-social hobby or pursuit. (Mitew, 2012) 

Abby of NCIS, Chuck of the TV series ‘Chuck’ and Richard Castle of ‘Castle’ come to mind. Nerds have been stereotypically portrayed as being ‘uncool’, unfabulous’, ‘unstylish, ‘unattractive’, and simply ‘uninteresting’. In common parlance, they were social outcasts.  They were the ones who get picked on in high schools, simply for being themselves. In the olden days, nerds were recognised by their high waist pants, gaudy clothes, bow ties and belt. A pair of round-rimmed, taped-up glasses completes the look.  Of course they were perfect targets for bullying. (Mitew, 2012)

On the upside, some artistes portray the nerdy characters to gain popularity. Today, the media have portrayed nerds in the most interesting and bizarre fashion, thereby giving them a new and more fashionable identity.  Thanks to “the prominence of technology executives like Facebook Inc’s Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs of Apple Inc, it’s no longer an insult to be called a geek.” (Malaysia Chronicle)  Nerds have metamorphosized into ‘cool’ characters, ranging from super villains to heroes, and rock stars to politicians. (Mitew, 2012)In the real world, President Barack Obama is now a cool nerd.  So is Bill Gates.  Don’t’ forget the late Steve Jobs.  The media have helped to alter the image of nerds, transforming them from unpopular social outcasts to cool, important individuals. (Mitew, 2012)  Pop culture and popular US television shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Glee” make geeks cool. So, what has caused this transformation?  The answer is ‘MONEY’. ‘Nerdom’ is getting ‘coolified’, thanks to the awesome wealth of nerds.  Nerds are also highly employable.  The computer revolution of the 1980s saw nerds like Bill Gates become super rich, powerful and influential.  With such great disposable incomes, entertainment and technology industries pander to their whims and fancies.  In the words of Henry Jenkins, they are “Inspirational consumers”. (Mitew, 2012)

In fact, just the act of claiming to be a ‘nerd’ is itself cool. Nerds have been given a new lease of life, a visibility and platform by the entertainment industry.  Tina Fey, J J Abram, Jon Stewart, among many others have helped to uplift the nerd label. Gone are the bespectacled, lonely, social outcast; the nerd today is more like Chuck – the man of the hour who saves the day.  Previously, nerds were marginalised and ostracised. “Once pejorative, the word “geek” is now synonymous with “aficionado”. ” (Malaysia Chronicle)  Today, nerds are mainstream and acceptable.    They have gained credibility, legitimacy and a sense of place.  “Nerdom” has also been given a boost by the internet. The geek is now cool. The nerd is now chic.  Long live the Nerd!(No author, 2012)

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Reference List

Campbell, R, 2012, BCM112, ‘How and Why Nerds Became Chic’, lecture notes, accessed 7/5/2012, eLearning@UOW, http://www.slideshare.net/tedmitew/mencallmethings-identity-and-difference-online.

Mitew, T,Campbell,R, 2012, BCM112, ‘How and Why Nerds Became Chic’,lecture notes, accessed 7/5/2012, eLearning@UOW.

No author, 2012,‘They’re here. They’re geeks. Get used to it.’, Malaysian Chronicler 26 May, accessed 28/5/2012, http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33780:theyre-here-theyre-geeks-get-used-to-it&Itemid=3.

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