Digital Storytelling

The Sound Of My Voice

The trailer for this movie was suspenseful and intriguing. The music contributes immensely to the work, from the beginning of the trailer I felt a bit nervous and did not know what to expect. 

At first I thought it was going to be a horror type of movie, it seemed like they were going to be brutally murdered. Then it looked more like they were entering a cult. The introduction to the movie is done quite well, as the viewer is immediately hooked. What am I watching? Where is this going? It’s very intriguing and successful in that aspect. For all the suspense and seriousness, the handshake came as quite a surprise and was quite comical to me. But it still had me wondering, how did the man know the handshake so well? How long have they been preparing to come here? It makes the viewer realise that this is no accident, this journey is premeditated. 

The story that is told by the girl is full of suspense as we don’t know what happened to her. I think the way the trailer is left is perfect, as it makes the viewer want to see more of the film. The girl is from 2054, how did she get here? What is she doing here?

This story is effective as it hooks the viewer in and leaves the audience asking questions that need to be answered. 

Take This Lollipop

Well, it’s safe to say I’m scared shitless after watching this, so it’s definitely done it’s job. I would never normally allow apps access to my information on Facebook, but because this was for uni I thought it would be fine. HA. 

The clever way in which the creator has used personal information from Facebook to personally target the viewer is ingenious. It certainly highlights the slack privacy settings on Facebook, and also how flippant people are at allowing any sites/people access to their settings. I have no idea how they so quickly accessed my information and put it into the movie, but I am very impressed and very scared too! I’ll certainly think twice about allowing access to my Facebook information from now on, thanks to this movie. 

Goldilocks

I think this movie wasn’t as effective as the others, probably because it was amateur and shot on an iphone. The storyline was strong however, and the music added to the suspense of the piece. Once again the audience is forced to ask questions of the piece, who is Goldilocks? Why are all these people being shot? Why is her death being faked? It leaves the viewer wanting more, and at the end of the piece the viewer is encouraged to click a link to see the next episode. I think this is a successful and intriguing piece of storytelling. 

Advertisements

The App Phenomenon

I’m not sure whether ‘phenomenon’ is even the right word to describe apps. They have become such an ordinary part of our everyday lives that they really are now the norm. When I think of apps, I invariably think of iPhone and Apple. I suppose that’s because there are now more iPhones sold than people are born in the world everyday… So that’s 402,000 iPhones sold everyday, and 300,000 babies born. Crazy. However, you can of course also get apps on Android phones. 

So now we have apps, there is literally no end to what we can do with them. You can e-mail, do your banking, your shopping, make calls, book flights, read books, play games, take photos, edit photos, get recipes, make movies, use Facebook, learn new things, find restaurants, get fit, look at maps; I could go on forever. Apps have completely changed the way we live. They aren’t just important in the contemporary mediascape, they are important. Full stop. They help us, entertain us and educate us. Of course, we could live without them. People have for hundreds of thousands of years. But why would we? Our lives have irrevocably been changed forever by them. And for the better. 

I can’t even think of any cons about apps, and I’m normally pretty good at picking out what’s wrong with something. Apart from the fact that we are now living online and on our phones rather than in the real world? I’m not sure. I think we are still living in the real world, our phones are just making our lives that much more incredible. 

Tagged

The E-Book Phenomenon

As someone who really loves to read– from actual books, I haven’t climbed on the e-book bandwagon yet. I love the feeling of climbing into bed, opening up a book, and feeling like I have escaped from the technologically driven world of today, where all day I stare at my computer screen/phone/television. My eyes feel like they can ‘relax’ a bit more when I read a book, I don’t have the blinding whiteness of the electronic screen staring me in the face. I can’t imagine climbing into bed and reading my favourite book from a screen. It just wouldn’t be the same.

Many people, however, would disagree. The E-book (electronic book) phenomenon has taken the world by storm; now you can read books on a number of devices, including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, PocketBook, and of course the iPad. The portability of these devices makes them ideal for travelling, whether it be to and from work, or around the world, an e-reader allows you to carry hundreds of books and it weighs less than a kilogram. It is also space-saving, if you don’t have room in your home for a library of books, you can still own and read any book at any time. E-books also save trees, and in our current global climate anything that is environmentally sustainable is worth doing. Friends of mine have e-readers, and they tell me that it’s great for reading in bed at night. Because, you know, when you are lying on your side and your head is at a funny angle, because your book needs to be turned a certain way to be able to read it? Well an e-book automatically rotates around. So no more sore neck after reading for hours in bed! E-books have also revolutionised education today. When I was at school, which was not that long ago, I had to carry heavy maths texts books, history books, novels, a huge french dictionary, the list goes on. Today, all students need is an iPad or e-reader and they have all their text books available to them at the touch of a screen.

Funnily enough the idea of e-books was around a long time before the Internet or anything like that. Apparently in 1930 a man named Bob Brown came up with this idea of “The Readies”, which he described as a simple reading machine which could be carried around. Brown claimed that these ‘readies’ would revolutionise books and reading, which indeed they have.

So now for pretty much every printed book there is an electronic equivalent, which is cheaper, portable, space saving and let’s be honest just generally amazing. I have convinced myself, the most die-hard book-lover, that e-books are in fact pretty awesome.

I still don’t think I’ll get one. Everything is going digital, and I think I’d like to still hold one thing sacred… for now.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-book

Tagged , ,

Strengths and Weaknesses

Using the feedback given from level one, I have created an infographic using this website depicting my strengths and weaknesses from throughout the course. From the feedback it appears I have strong writing skills, however I need to take more time on tasks and read the criteria more thoroughly. Below is my infographic link:

http://infogr.am/MY-STRENGTHS-AND-WEAKNESSES

 

** For some reason it won’t let me embed it in my blog so I just had to use the link**

 

 

A Sweet Little Story

This is a photo of a tree, 

The tree is located at RMIT. 

Under this tree is where I first met, 

My first uni friend, this I’ll never forget.

We sat and ate lunch, 

Under this very spot, 

The leaves shaded us, 

when it was very hot. 

Image

You can find it on a map, 

Where we would be,

Use the barcode,

scan it and see!

And now we still sit, 

under this same tree, 

where we first met, 

at RMIT. 

 

Using Storify

I found using Storify quite easy once I had played around with it a bit. I picked the top ‘History of The Internet’ posts and made four Storify stories. I can’t embed the stories in my blog because I have a basic account, so I have just added the links below:

  1. Web 1.0 vs 2.0
  2. Why does Lev Manovich believe that the database is so important to networked media?
  3. What Does Hypertext Mean? 
  4. The Invention of HTML

Wall Of Salvation 4: Student Charter

Using Google docs to file share and edit is really easy and handy. We had a collaborative editing task to do. This is a screen grab of the student charter. My changes are in pink:

Image

I made these particular changes because the charter doesn’t say too much about seeking help and there are so many resources you can use to get the most out of university. So yes, Champion independent thought but remember you can always reach out for help. And yes, your course is your responsibility however there are numerous resources and people you can talk to if you are having trouble with anything. My final change was to add “return all equipment on time”. Media students are borrowing equipment all the time and the techs are pretty scary if you are late… so I hear.

I really like google docs and file sharing, it makes it so much easier and is better than emailing documents back and forth. It’s also been really easy when submitting tasks for my media subjects, and receiving marks back. My concern about collaborative editing would be that this document will eventually look like a child’s cut and paste page, because of the large class size. Only 3 people have edited it at the moment but there are many more in the course who still need to do it! So it’s good I got in early then!  A smaller group would certainly benefit from collaborative editing.

How Social Media Can Make History (Doubting Castle 3)

I watched the lecture given by Clay Shirky, “How Social Media Can Make History”. I wasn’t super impressed with the content, for the most part it wasn’t anything I hadn’t heard before, but perhaps that’s because I have spent the majority of my university life learning about social media. There was no real light-bulb moment for me watching this. Nevertheless, I must blog about it.

Shirky begins at the beginning, as it were. He discussed the beginnings of communication, and how it advanced to the wide range of communications we have today. It progressed like this:

  1. The Printing Press: one way mass communication
  2. Telephone: two way communication
  3. Recorded photos/movies/sounds: one communicating to many
  4. Radio and TV: again one to many
  5. Finally, the Internet: Many to many

His idea was that the internet allowed both ‘groups’ and ‘conversation’ to occur simultaneously. Many people could gather on the internet to gain information, and that information could also be discussed by, and between, many. Then he talks about the other forms of communication becoming redundant because of the almighty internet. Telephones, news, TV, radio, books; everything has moved to the internet.

Shirky then goes on to discuss citizen journalism, and how we are now not only consumers, we also have the potential to be producers. We are told about the way in which news is reported as it is happening, like this is the newest of ideas??? (This brings me to thinking, when was this lecture recorded? maybe a few years ago…) An interesting point was made, however, when he told us that Twitter was the first to break the news of a huge earthquake in China, rather than any news source or the US meteorology dudes. (If people were tweeting in China, it was a while ago…)

The nice thing about social media is that we have the power to become involved. Within half a day of the earthquake, there was a donation site set up and donations pouring in for the victims of the natural disaster.

Shortly after this earthquake, and the massive obstruction of the communist regime whereby Chinese people actually got to write some things online, the Chinese government shut down Twitter. In a subtle juxtaposed We’re-American-And-We’re-Better-Than-You show, Shirky then goes on to show us how Obama and his team set up a site (www.mybo.com) where anyone could jump online and join the conversation. Start a group. Create change. He tells us a heartwarming story about how Obama writes a letter to the members of a group who were opposing a bill, saying thanks for your input, but no thanks I’m doing something else.

And so America is GREAT because social media allows it’s citizens input into its governmental system and Chinese people are not. Shirky says this is a “mature use” of the social media platform. Hooray for America!

I’m not impressed. (NB: I actually really like Obama, just not this lecture)

Anyway, something good that came out of this lecture is that we can see how social media can be used during natural disasters to:

  1. Alert people to the fact there is a natural disaster
  2. create a platform for relief donations

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, it was realised that social networking sites are an invaluable tool in the communication of messages, information and alerts (Vroegindewey 2011). Since then, people have obviously started using social media as a way to stay on top of news of natural disasters, and there are examples as recent as the fires this summer is Australia, where people have been using Twitter to track and let others know locations and magnitudes of fires. People are now being trained to use social media effectively as a form of disaster management (Vroegindewey 2011).

All in all this lecture was a repeat of everything everyone has ever heard about social media, with some subtle elitism sprinkled on top. Watch it and see.

References:

Vroegindewey, G.V, 2011, ‘Social media and social networks in disaster management’ Prehospital and disaster medicine, Vol. 26, S1, pp. 26.

Tagged , ,

Six Degrees of Separation (Doubting Castle 2)

I watched the BBC documentary “Six Degrees Of Separation” and found it really interesting. It focuses on two scientists who have developed this theory of “networking” as a scientific concept, and even go so far as to say that, eventually, everything will depend on the theory of networking.

The documentary itself was visually beautiful, with images from the world over representing how vastly different, yet scarily similar we all are. The documentary’s hook was an experiment run by the two scientists. They gave packages out all over the world to random people, and told them to try and get it to Professor Vidal, one of the scientists in Boston. The catch was that none of the participants knew who the professor was, so they had to use their own connections to try and get it to him. This is where the ‘six degrees of separation’ comes in.

I have thought about this theory of six degrees of separation before, and wondered if it was indeed true, (Imagine, just six people away from me could be Beyonce!) They mention it in the documentary and it is true, that the circles we move in, we may have around 100 connections, but they overlap with each other. They say we are “locked within our own social networks”, and that the world is a small place. So would it be possible to form a mathematical equation for the networking theory? That’s what these scientists are working on.

An interesting point was made by one of the scientists that this network theory is so important, that it has the potential to fight terrorism and combat disease. It is mentioned that, like on the internet, there are certain ‘hubs’ in the world where many people are moving in and out all the time. Places like airports. As soon as one infected person enters a hub, the disease could spread to the whole world. The way in which disease spreads is obviously through human contact.  If we are connected to anyone in the world through only 6 other people, then a pattern could be developed and the spread of disease could potentially be monitored.

We now have access to a huge social network online, Facebook. A study completed in 2011 suggests that all Facebook users are connected in less than six degrees of separation, with an average of 3.74 degrees of separation between one user and another. You can read an article on the study here. At the time of the study Facebook had 721 million members, 10% of the world’s population. Although this seems only a small portion of the world, researchers say that the numbers were ‘stabilised’, and that if the rest of the world’s population joined Facebook and the experiment completed again, the number would remain the same.

So are we all connected by six degrees of separation, or is it even less now, with our modern day online social networks? The BBC documentary concluded with professor Vidal receiving a package that originated from a woman in a small village in Kenya. He was the sixth person to receive the package.

The scientists claim that everything now depends on understanding the theory of networks. After watching the documentary and with further research, I for one am inclined to agree.

Tagged , , ,

China’s Media Censorship (Doubting Castle 1)

I watched the lecture given by Michael Anti: Behind The Great Firewall of China, and actually really enjoyed it. I was aware of the media censorship happening in China, however I was interested to learn that “copy cat” social media platforms have been developed in China to replace sites such as  Twitter and Facebook.

Lecturer Michael Anti stated that less than a month after Twitter was banned in China, the copy cat website ‘Weibo’ was up and running. This means that the site owners convinced the strict Chinese government in one month to replicate Twitter within its own borders. The government has just banned most forms of social media, so why develop a new platform? As Michael points out, it is beneficial for the Chinese government to have its own social media platform because they can easily and effectively monitor the movements and behaviour of over 300 million of its citizens. It was interesting to note that if you entered code words into your posts, such as “meet up” or “gathering”, Chinese authorities would be straight onto you and there would be “police waiting for you when you got there”. So yes, I was aware of the media censorship taking place in China, however I was not aware of the extent of it.

With further research, I learned that recently a liberal Chinese newspaper protested about China’s censorship laws for a week outside their building. The government arrested more than a dozen protesters, as well as forcing newspapers to run a pro-censorship editorial. The authorities also shut down any online discussion of the incident. In Australia, it would be almost impossible to shut down all online discussion of an issue, there just wouldn’t be any way to monitor it all. However, just the click  of a button in Beijing and everything ever written about the conflict was deleted. Pretty scary.

Although censorship is continuing to rise in China, it is a comfort to know that the Chinese have developed their own ways of social networking, and are able to spread news and thoughts amongst each other. Even if the government is watching their every move…

Tagged , , , ,