Memes

A topic covered in this module which captured my interest is memes (and remix culture). Mainly the fact that a meme is actually non-genetic behavior; to put it in context, genes determine physical characteristics of an organism and memes determine the behavior of an organism. A debate that was brought to my attention due to the module was whether memes and viral remixes have a positive impact on society. As mentioned in the presentation, the likes of Sweet Brown and Antoine Dodson (Bed Intruder Song) extremely benefited from these viral remixes.

Kim K with money

 

Disney Gasp GifWhilst internet remix culture only started within the last decade, remix culture has been around since the early 1900s. A major culprit of this is Disney, for example, most of its classic films are remixes of older stories. As we all know, the actual stories are quite grim.

 

One of the arguments against memes is the fact that creators disregard attribution and metadata, however the main argument is anonymity. Similar to YikYak, the anonymity allows people to be racist, sexist and promote other means of discrimination without having to deal with the repercussions. Could of the use of memes turn from being funny jokes to serious bullying?

 

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Sky Go

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 16.59.22Sky Go is an online television service from Sky UK Limited (formerly BSkyB), allowing users to live stream Sky’s satellite-only channels and provides catch-up/on-demand content from these channels. The unique selling point of Sky Go, like Sky Digital, is that it heavily screens American television programmes and has exclusive rights to certain Sporting events. In fact, copyright is so strict that some programmes can’t be streamed online – most notably The Simpson.

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Sky Go is free as part of a Sky TV Subscription, with the option to upgrade to 4 devices (from 2 devices) including games consoles. Having such strict copyright (and presumedly expensive) licenses explains why only 37.3 million minutes are watched on Sky Go (in comparison to BBC iPlayer which streamed over 400 million minutes worth of content). If the service was shared with the public under the Creative Commons Licence, despite the increase in users, it would become an extreme financial burden to the Murdock Empire – as it would also encourage it’s TV subscribers to cancel their subscriptions.

It’s actually quite hard to find me on Facebook

If we weren’t to have any mutual friends, none of you would of been able to find me on Facebook. Searching my name on Facebook would of return over 100 results and over 67,000 results on Google – it’s sometimes quite useful having an extremely common name (and another times not, miraculously someone with the same name went to my sixth form and emails never got sent to the right person – nightmare!). Although the first person who added me on Facebook at uni had to use a permalink to find me, and whilst I don’t appear to be that visible online, there’s probably too much information about me online.

Whilst I’m very aware of my online prescience at this moment in time, when I first signed up for Facebook back in 2008, I wasn’t clued up at all about online safety and shared all sorts of rubbish on the lowest privacy setting. Every time I get a notification from Facebook’s ‘On This Day’, I cringe so hard at the rubbish I posted and tend to delete it or change the privacy setting to ‘Only Me’.

I’d like to think my information is under my control, my Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are locked down, whereas my Twitter and Linkedin are not. The latter are not locked down because I purposely use these platforms to interact with the public. But at the end of the day, no matter how in control we think we are, someone can screenshot your content and re-upload it somewhere else for the entire world to see.

The Inescapable: Q&A

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Connor Franta doing an Q&A. (youtube.com/ConnorFranta)

YouTuber’s had a tendency to use Q&As (Question and Answer) whenever they had a ‘writer’s block’ and needed to churn out a video on time. However, over the years this has changed, with the growth of social media, YouTubers have used Q&As as a way to effectively interact with their audience.

The way the audience have submitted their question has also varied throughout the years, before Twitter was the norm, the YouTube comments section was used.  However, simple text questions are no more, many questions are submitted audio-visually through Snapchat.

The significance? YouTube has always proven popular with teenagers mainly due to being so relatable and the ‘stars’ are within ‘touching distance’. Now with the addition of snapchat, they can connect with their favourite YouTuber on a platform which can be considered quite intimate and on an audiovisual level.

 

BBC One, Two… and Four?

The majority view media convergence as something beneficial, as it generally makes life easier for them. However, there are instances were convergence is detrimental, such as the ‘transformation’ of BBC Three to an ‘online-only’ platform.

Over the past year, the BBC have been slowly putting in to action it’s plan to cease BBC Three’s linear broadcasting, claiming they’ll ‘reinvent it online‘. Despite major opposition to the corporation’s proposal and a £120,000 consultation, the BBC Trust went ahead and approved it. Frankly, this wasn’t a big surprise as the channel covertly degraded the quality of it’s output as soon as the proposals were announced.

Whilst it could be argued that moving the ‘channel’ online is convenient for both the audience and the BBC; at the time of writing (two days after the closure) it appears they have substituted it with quite frankly nothing.  Essentially the corporation are clinging on to a brand they know works and redirecting the audience to it’s already existing platform, BBC iPlayer. The audience have been made to turn elsewhere, the only thing new is the over the top content, which consists of links to news article, blogs and short videos. The audience turn to BBC Three for traditional content, not something that can be found on Tumblr.

A mere 48 hours before the channel ceased broadcasting, it was revealed that the ‘new’ BBC Three and BBC Radio 1 might be merged. Is this what media convergence is coming to? Merging everything together, eliminating variety?

Stat…ista?

Whilst conducting research for my media and society essay, I was experiencing great difficulty trying to find data about the UK version of Netflix. Many of the articles from the likes of the Guardian and the Telegraph did not report data appropriate to my essay. I then stumbled across the site statista; simply typing in Netflix in to the search bar displayed 279 statistics in a matter of seconds.

The site contains over a million statistics and contains statistics on over 80,000 topics from over 18,000 sources. It displays statistics in easy to understand charts and allows you to download the data in various different formats including .png (Portable Network Graphics), .xls (Microsoft Excel), .ppt (Microsoft PowerPoint) and .pdf (Portable Document Format).

Despite all it’s data, useful features and being used by the likes of ‘consultant firms, media agencies and marketing departments’, the site is unknown to the majority of the public and is only the 3,978th most visited site globally.

 

So, who actually invented the e-book?

According to Six Revisions, the e-book was invented back in the early 70s by Michael Hart. This alone was rather surprising due to the lack of significant developments in e-books until the millennium. However a quick internet search revealed that the origin goes back to the 1940s.

Ángela Ruiz Robles, a teacher, created a piece of hardware called la Enciclopedia Mecánica (the Mechanical Encyclopedia). She created the device in 1949 in an attempt to decrease the number of books that her pupils carried to the school. Despite the prototype on display in the National Museum of Science and Technology in Spain, she never received funding and the device never left the prototype stage.

Doug Engelbart and Andries van Dam are also considered the inventors of the e-book as they ‘developed the first working hypertext system.’ The system was later sold to the Houston Manned Spacecraft Center, where it was used to produce documentation for the Apollo space program – according to Stephanie Ardito. This is partially corroborated in Milestones in Computer Science and Information Technology by Edwin D. Reilly, who also says that the origins of the e-book can be “traced” to Michael Hart.

The majority of the internet believe that Michael Hart was the created – but why?  Hart himself says that “[he] certainly wasn’t the first person to type anything into a computer“.