21st Century Misogyny.

If social media had a gender what would it be? If you think about it, it is perfectly formulated for a woman, if you abide by the stereotypical belief that women are all about relationships, cooperation and communication.  With this is mind one would think the virtual world to be overflowing with women, which in some circumstances is true, ie, 97% of Pinterest users are female. So how is it that there are still questions about there being a gender gap online?

For one second STOP. And think. Off the top of your head name as many online influential male’s as you can. You’ve probably got names like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Sergey Brin popping into your mind. Now, name as many online influential female’s as you can. Mind blank? Me too. Feminists would define this as an online gender gap, but I beg to differ. I’d define this as a case of men indulging in what they have greater interest in than what women do. More men are interested in computer science and engineering than women. There are no gender gaps about it. Stereotypical as it may be, it’s just like saying there are more successful female hairdressers, news presenters and fashion designers then there are men. Perhaps this is sticking to gender guidelines, but with the coming of time is the fading of these guidelines and an acceptance.

Even with this movement in place, there are still problems with online mysogyny, where pro-feminists and female media personalities are being attacked by virtual hate mail. These mysoginists seem to believe that women are worthless, with their goal being to silence women through their threats which are quite often sexual and violent.

A big problem with an internet world is the use of anonymity. Giving people the option to freely express themselves. This leaves a window open for mysogynous and other cruel comments to take place. This is not accepted in the real world and nor should it be in the cyber sphere. Due to fear many bloggers are disabling the ise of comments, filtering comments and some even deleting accounts! Surely this can’t be acceptable!

Obviously something has to be done about this, but is tighter regulations the right approach? I think people themselves need to take a different approach to the way they criticise things; like my mum always said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.


Death Announcement: Music Originality

Very famous song by Alice Cooper. A favourite when it comes to covers. You may have heard Groove Coverage’s trance cover, or Tarja Turunen’s symphonic metal version or maybe even the bluegrass cover by Hayseed Dixie or the cover by South African singer Nicholis Louw…you may have even seen the cover that was used in a Volkswagon Passat add in Israel!

In this situation it isn’t copyright that is the issue the hand. It is the lack of originality. Of all the cover’s, I think the only one that shows thought having been put into the script is the Israeli commercial. It can be understood that cover’s are just cover’s, but surely artists could change the sound and structure to make it a more personal account.

In 2009, Australian band Men At Work were sued by Larrikin Music for copyright infringement, alleging that part of the flute riff from “down Under” was copied from iconic Australian children’s rhyme “Kookaburra”. “Kookaburra” was written in 1935 by Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition. Sinclair died in 1988, and the rights to “Kookaburra” were transferred to publisher Larrikin Music on March 21, 1990.

On February 4th, 2010, Justice Jacobson ruled that Larrikin’s copyright had been infringed as “Down Under” reproduced “a substantial part of Kookaburra“.

On July 6th 2010, Justice Jacobson passed the decision that Larrikin would receive 5% of the royalties. In October 2011, the band lost its final court bid when the high court of Australia refused to hear an appeal.

This case of infringement came as a shock to not only Australians, but many people worldwide.

With the rise of remix culture are there going to be more incidents like that of Men at Works? Even 30 years later?

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! … I should be posting this online.

The first time I saw Kony2012 I thought it was a virus. How and why is that so? Because it was all over Facebook and I’d never seen just one topic completely fill my newsfeed. For a couple of days I ignorantly ignored the videos and statii people were dedicating to this one man and hoped that my computer didn’t get hacked. It wasn’t until a few days later that I heard him mentioned on the news that I then understood there wasn’t a virus that had hacked into countless amounts of “friends”, but a real media issue. This particular story is a good example of  how we (being the people of the world) have progessed from a monologic media society to one of a dialogic.Previously, going as far back as the medievil times, news was passed on through towns via a script-reader, now all that’s needed to get a message accross the globe is a single facebook/twitter/youtube etc posting. Kony2012 really makes clear the difference in the people power of communicating one to many as opposed to the power of many to many.

In recent years, social media has become alot more than a place for people to create a false identity. Social media is our 21st century script-reader. This is again made obvious by several newspaper apps that are available on Facebook, hashtags on Twitter and video channels on Youtube (and not to mention the serious drop in print sales since the rise of the internet).  So why is it people are choosing to voice their opinions/share their works/spread news accross social media websites? The answer is simple. There are 845million Facebook users worldwide, which makes getting a message accross very easy. Although this is a lazy approach to getting something out there, it does work. The only problem being, it dies just as quickly as it grew. When was the last time you heard something new about Kony?

While this new way of spreading media has had its fair share of advantages, there is an equal of disadvantages. Rumors are just as easy to spread. This has caused problems, especially with the rise of employers seeking out information on possible future employee’s. This raises the question of whether or not the internet, in particular social media websites should use gatekeepers. I think the use of gatekeepers on social media as a whole isn’t necessary. But I do think quality control should be there for the news groups and corporations that spread the news over the social media sites. What do you think?

Portable Phone Apocolypse

Last week I became part of the crowd. A typical consumer. I bought an iPhone. And not gonna lie, I love it already. Why did I choose the iPhone you ask? Or better yet, why is it I am starting this blog off with a recount of what I did last week?

Well, as coincidental as it seems convenient, this week’s Convergent Media Practices Lecture was about the evolution of the portable phone and the infamous war between Apple and Google Android. A big discussion that took place in the corresponding tutorial was who has which phone and why. The reason I chose the iPhone over the Android was simple. I am technologically inept and the iPhone is much easier to use. Only a million times have I been caught in a situation where my Android owning friends have asked me to send a text to someone off their phone. It takes me a minimum of ten minutes every time to figure out how to get the the text menu.

An argument that was bought up a lot by the Android supporters was the fact that Apple is a locked company, whereas Android isn’t. To that my response is simple. I do not plan on getting to the “codes” of my phone, and the locked application system is in no way putting me at a disadvantage. I plan on using my phone for its sole purpose and only using facebook in times of great boredom.

So how is it we went from this:                              

To This?                                             

Just on vision alone the transformation is amazing. Out of curiousity, I asked my father (who is old) what his opinion was of mobile phones having seen it evolve from the beggining. I did regret asking, about five minutes later when he was still ranting on, but nonetheless this is what he said: “Mobile phones are good for the use of urgent contact and contact with work. The use of them for texting and continuously speaking is surely a sign of inadequacy and uncertaintenty; the desire to feel wanted between two or more people. They also interfere with normal verbal intercourse between people. Pre-mobile days, it was considered ill-mannered around meal times to answer a ringing phone. Now it seems at meal times the mobile phone has become part of the eatting ettiquette.”

He then continued on to tell me that if he was at lunch with someone and their phone rang, if it weren’t work related or an obvious emergency he’d just walk out. He’s so old school… but I can see where he is coming from. The statistics shown in the lecture were alot larger than I thought! While I do agree with my Dad that being around someone who is on their phone the whole time is incredibly annoying, not to mention rude! I do disagree in that I think text messaging is handy and an easy way to get in touch with someone. I don’t particularly like phone calls. I never have. When organizing to do things with friends, I would much rather just send a text then make a phone call.

While the evergrowing tree of technology may be eye-opening for those of the older generations, it is very convenient, and the continuous convergence of technologies only makes these objects more and more popular as well as convenient and this trend is only going to grow.

Horse Drawn Carriages and Media Evolution.

I’ve always said I was born into the wrong era. I should’ve been around in the mid 1800’s, or at least the 1960’s. After reading Henry Jenkins. (2006). “Worship at the Alter of Convergence”: A New Paradigm for Understanding Media Change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (pp 1-24). New York: New York University Press. http:www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf, it  only seemed to affirm my heartfelt beliefs.

Of the entire chapter, there was one sentence that continually played on my mind for the rest of the time I was reading the article, and even afterwards. Jenkins had been retelling the story of the experience he had at The New Orleans Media Experience in 2003; come to page ten he tells us of the three messages he left the conference with. What struck me was point one, and I quote: “Convergence is coming and you had better be ready”.

It’s so upfront. And if your not ready there really isn’t anything that can be done about it.

I’m probably not the first to admit, but until reading this chapter I had been blissed by ignorance from technology and the continuous convergence. I mean, I own an Ipod, a laptop and a mobile phone. But my phone isn’t what Jenkins muses as “an electronic equivalent of a Swiss army knife”1, It’s a cheap chinese brand called Huawei. My laptop is simply of convenience and of the Toshiba range. And my iPod is a classic. One look at my lounge room and you would see very few “Trojan Horses”1. I’ve got a VCR, DVD Player, Set Top Box and a Wii cons0le (which I only use to play Dance games after I’ve had afew).

Throughout the reading I was in a state of pure shock. My technologic ignorance’s window had been smashed, and with each word I was further reading, the more my eyes were being opened to what was really going on. I remained in this same state until I reached the subheading “The Black Box Fallacy”1. Until then I was imagining the worlds I’ve only seen on TV (Futurama, Back to the Future) becoming a reality in the near future. This mini chapter put to ease the growing anxieties I had by explaining how all these new forms of media were not killing and forgetting the old, but simply shifting their functions to keep up with the new. The old objects are not long gone, they’ve just been made to be better.

It’s funny reading through this article and seeing, quote: “The old idea of convergence was that all devices would converge into one central device that did everything for you”1. Henry jenkins wrote his book only six years ago, and already that qoute has been somewhat fulfilled by noneother than the iPad. Although the iPad still might not be what is ideally written about in the article, it’s so close it’s scary. Is the iPad the piece of technology that has converged several technoligies into one that everyone has been waiting for all these years? Is the iPad the Universal Remote for today?

And funnily enough, the Subheading “The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence”1, was the section I could relate most to.

Social Media was already  growing when this Introduction was written, now, it’s taken the world by storm. It’s through networks such as Skype and Facebook that we can say ‘Goodnight’ to our loved ones when travelling. It’s through sites like Twitter and Facebook again that companies can advertise their product to the now huge consumer base of these sites. Social media has become a mean in which it keeps people in touch and on a polar opposite scale, helps people put their name/product out there.

Really, what has been gathered and processed through this weeks reading is that we are living and soforth evolving in a technologic world, where convergence is neverending. What we have to do as participants that weren’t really given a choice about where we have been put is do what we can to keep up with it; grow with the technology that is shaping our future. In the mean time though, I will continue to enjoy the language of the mid 19th century and the REAL music of the 60’s.

1. Henry Jenkins. (2006). “Worship at the Alter of Convergence”: A New Paradigm for Understanding Media Change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (pp 1-24). New York: New York University Press.  http:www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf