Our Instagram “Aesthetics”

Examining something that I use so routinely in my everyday life, like social media, in such a critical way has made me a lot more conscious about not only the way I’m using it, but the way others are.

More specifically the ideas of online identities. When using a social media platform like Instagram, I would never have given any thought to the amount of effort I and many of my friends put into the ‘aesthetics of their instagrams’. But, the idea of an alternate online identity has made me question whether we present ourselves on social media as we are or as what we want to be. Are we being deceitful?

Instead of deceit, I think it’s a bit more like branding yourself. I’m not a stranger to the idea of having to have a personal brand in order to be successful, but it seems like it’s something that we’re already doing just as someone living in the digital age. I would argue that you can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their Instagram.  For example, the instagram aesthetics on Jayden Smith’s instagram immediately let you know what a fashion forward hipster he is, or at least wants you think he is.

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You know you use them…

There are plenty of sites, two that I can think of in particular but will not name, that are ran solely on the premise that they offer shows that are not available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu.

Often times when you Google “*insert show* watch online”, at the bottom of the findings is something like this… Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 2.50.05 PM.png

The US Digital Millennium Copyright Act – long story short – in the lamens terms of Wikipedia “It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works”.

Regardless of this act, there are multiple sites that allow you to watch television shows without the permission of the distributors of the content. I guess my question is, how are they are able to shut down a few links without shutting down the source sites for the illegal content?

There definetly should be stronger laws and regulation for the amount of TV that you can watch online illegally and how easily you can find it. The outcome may be that people aren’t able to watch the shows, but it would in turn cost a lot less damage to the revenue and intellectual property of the people making the shows. Or even, the possibility of the creation of a sight that does this legally could be made if the illegal ones were stopped given that so many people watch their television online now.

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I’m probably everywhere and so are my pics..

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes is an online movie, TV, and (sometimes) video game review site. What I find most interesting about the setup of this online community, is that they have developed their own kind of rating system. The “Tomatometer”.

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They have found a way not to limit themselves to purely public, or critic opinion. Members of their online community are going to get a vast amount of varying opinions of reviews from both sides. Because of this, there are often times discrepancies between the audience score, for example, and the the level on the Tomatometer – facilitating discussion.

But, it doesn’t stop there. In a separate section of the site is the forums and, another, an editorial section for news on TV, movies, etc. These sections even further facilitate discussion and debate. So, while they are united with the understanding of the Tomatometer, there are various other forms for the judgement of the movies and television series. The forum section allows for anyone to author a forum on a specific topic.

Ultimately, Rotten Tomatoes is an easy to locate online community, facilitating discussion and information in a niche space.

YouTube Rewind: Now Watch Me 2015

“Celebrating the videos, people, music and moves that made 2015.”

I know that YouTube has already been mentioned, however, I wanted to bring into light the YouTube Rewind: Now Watch Me 2015.  For a few years now, YouTube has ‘collaborated’ with it’s user to make a rewind video. The video features the site’s most popular video makers creatively recapping the most popular trends from the past year.

Even though YouTube has helped in the production of the video, the content was almost completely decided by the audience. The most popular YouTubers, videos, and trends were decided by views. In this context, YouTube is showing the audience the power that they have to influence these things just by watching and commenting on the content, they ‘made’ 2015.

The video is almost like a tribute to the audience. Making them feel as included in the community as the YouTubers, who were once themselves just a part of the audience.

Wikipedia and eBooks

Some of the most influential examples of media convergence include Wikipedia and eBooks.

The convergence of old media texts to new media (eBooks), some may suggest, has made old media texts obsolete. For example, all of the essential readings for our modules are available as ebooks, we can go the entire semester without cracking a real-life book if we so desire.

Sites like Wikipedia have almost made encyclopedias obsolete. Granted, Wikipedia is not as reliable as a encyclopedia, but Wikipedia offers a wider expanse of information. This information also goes up faster than any hard cover encyclopedia could muster. If a video becomes viral over night, and the Youtuber in the video gains recognition a Wikipedia page dedicated to them could be up the next day.

With the availability of these resources on the internet, I wonder if the role of hard copy books will change or even diminish completely to the point that no one uses them at all. This interesting article in The New York Times, however, has an optimistic outlook for the future of print and it’s role in our society in the new digital age.

 

The Media Podcast

Upon my search for a useful online research for us, I found The Media Podcast.

Not only is it incredibly informative, it’s a nice contrast to obtaining information by our usual protocol of shoving our nose in a book. It’s also a great way to broaden your media consumption, assuming that like me you don’t listening to podcasts already in your free time.

The Media Podcast brands itself as “the most popular independent voice of the UK media industries”. Host, Olly Mann, sits down with some of today’s most influential media professionals and discusses hot topics and recent changes in the media industry.

A few of the podcasts ,for example, cover topics such as: “Would Channel 4 Survive Privatization?”, “David Schneider: making brands tweet good”, and “How Not to Pitch a TV Show”.

The podcast is a great way for us, as students, to get an insight on the thoughts of today’s media professionals on the issues and developments in the industry as they are happening now. Not to mention, a great way for us to gain tips from the people who we may very well be interviewing with for our future careers.