All In One

Living in contemporary society has meant that I have become very apt with new technology being released and grown to be quite technologically savvy.  The constant convergence of new and old media that is frequently happening today is the thing that interests me.

More and more people are coming up with creative ideas of merging two types of media. Whether that be social media and video gaming or television and handheld technology. The constant wave of converged media is more popular than ever now.

With most people I know owning a smart phone they are all buying into this converged media that we all live in. The iPhone, for example, is able to do practically anything, it can take the old media of T.V, film and video gaming and compress it down into one device, all available whenever you want it.

It has also now been able to replace your bank card when paying for things, your Sat-Nav when driving somewhere new and your MP3 player when listening to music. Smart phones have and still are taking over the world with their popularity and complicated technology.

This interests me mostly as before I just took my smart phone for granted, thinking that it was 2016 of course my phone can play films, but after studying and learning abut converging media and our medias convergence culture, it brought to my attention how drastically things have changed in the sphere of technology and smart-phones. With more technology rapidly being innovated, I, for one, am excited to see how far our technological advancements take us.

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Spotify is doing it right

Spotify is a music listening site. It allows users to listen to their favourite songs, create playlists and share these with their friends. The concept is a lot like Apple’s ping which was released in 2010 but the restrictions on this website meant that it never took off.

Spotify gives the user two options when it comes to usage. Listen to all your music free, but, endure the regular adverts that pop up between your songs which Spotify are making money off. Or, pay the subscription fee of £9.99 a month. Allowing you, unlimited music, offline and online, high quality audio and the money-maker, no adverts.

In the music industry nowadays, artists do not make as much as they could on their song. We all are guilty of streaming and downloading albums that just came out from the internet. Spotify has opened a new platform to listen to new and old music whilst crediting the artist and making money for them and making money for Spotify.

This way of working around copyright and other restriction is perfect. The platform which allows you to listen to all of your music, for free (if you so desire) but whilst still making money for the artist and not infringing any copyright laws, now that’s a well thought out platformopen-graph-default.png.

My Not-So Private Life

I have signed up to basically every social media out there (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Tumblr) and all of these sites have my details stored on them. Some of these sites I use a lot more than other but this doesn’t change the fact that they have my details and after I typed them into their system, they have the power to do what ever they want with them .

Before coming to uni I never really thought about my online privacy, I must admit I was one of those people who adopted the ‘I got nothing to hide’ mentality. However, especially this semester, it has made me think a whole lot more about me online. My Instagram and Facebook are private, however we all know Facebook privacy isn’t strong at all and constant monitoring of your privacy settings is required. My Twitter on the other hand isn’t private. This is mostly down to the way I use it. I see it as a platform to engage with other who share the same views and interests as you, so having it private would hinder my use of the site and it wouldn’t be the same.

I am now a lot more conscious of my online self and have professionalised myself online in a way, knowing what I know now about corporations and the loss of ownership of my details has made me try to recover my lost private life that I gave up to the internet.

Playstation Communities

Ever since the launch of the PS1 Sony’s Playstation has grown in popularity. On the forefront of gaming console technology, Sony have released the PS4 which has been doing incredibly well.

Along with the PS4 came the online community. It provide the perfect platform for gamers to connect with one another. It allows for users to select their specific need or interest, whether that’s a type of game or a type of support needed. Looking at the website it is clear to see how the community is used by the staff as Sony to cater to the gamers needs, problems and offer support, making them part of the community too. This is vital to the success of the platform. The users know that their issues or gaming comments will be read and answered. It keeps the platform professional and well balanced.

They have an ‘about‘ page regarding the community where they set out rules about the communities that users are joining and instructions on how to do so.  However, the limitations of this community is that the curation and upheaval of these rules are not as strict as they lay out, so sometimes the comments and the feedback can be immature and not constructive. But overall the Playstation community has thrived with the release of the new console, and will continue to do so with the introduction of new games.

Twitch

Twitch is an online streaming service, where people can live stream them playing video games.

The streams have a comment section where viewers of the stream can comment and talk to other viewers. The streamer can see these comments therefore it allows a direct link between producer and viewer, closing this gap between both.

I regularly watch streams and peoples comments massively shape the way that the content producer makes their stream. The audience can comment on the content, ask for certain games to be played, they can comment on the music bed being to loud or anything like this.

Streamers will look and see a trend in the comments and learn what their audience want and improve on this for the next stream. This showing how significant the audience is in a stream as they are shaping what the user is streaming and how they do so. Most streamers will listen to their comments as they are making content to get viewers and keep their audience happy so they are very open to audience participation and happily allow audiences to change the way they are doing their stream or shape the whole feel of it.

Media Convergence: Video Games

Video games, in the modern age is a perfect example of media convergence.

Being able to play video games online has resulted in people being able to play the games together. It has significantly changed the industry by allowing gamers to increase the value output of the game and for communities to be set-up.

The main example I’m going to use is Farmville. We all know Farmville as the annoying Facebook game which people spam requests out every minute however, Farmville is a great example of showing how media convergence has shape the industry.

Video games meeting social media has meant, more of a community has been built, it allows people to invite players from all over the world and finally allows gamers to create and share their own content (their farms) to their friends on Facebook.

These games can only exist through convergence as Facebook markets, distributes and provides the platform for these to be played on. These have spawned like-for-like games such as Cityville. Showing how this innovative move by creating games on social media has inspired other games and started a whole new industry of video gaming.

Video gaming has changed immensely due to convergence and now they are arising via all different mediums.

BBC Radio 4 – The Media Show

I know it’s not exactly the most exciting station in the world, however, BBC Radio 4 have a weekly podcast that airs every Wednesday called The Media Show. Hosted by Steve Hewlett, it is a show where various people come on to discuss debates and topics that are involved in the modern media. They cover everything from sport to politics and the show really highlights some issues in the media and how the media do certain things.

 

I think it is incredibly helpful for us for during this module, the range of knowledge brought to the show by the various experts an academics offers great insight into the media that we are studying. The debate topics are usually very relevant and interesting, some might even be able to help us in the course.

 

A noteworthy episode is the BBC debate . It surrounds a subject we have spoke about throughout the year and i’m sure will continue to pop up throughout. There are many other episodes which will not only interest but benefit us on this course and that’s why this show is definitely worth a listen.