Anti-Piracy Ads

Posted in Uncategorized on May 19, 2011 by Jarryd Bendall

This add has just become so blase people don’t even register it anymore. It won a brief reprieve when that technology was put into DVDs so you couldnt skip it. But it doesnt really have an impact at all, possibly because piracy is just such an accepted part of modern life.

Firstly, people don’t really see the criminality of it, mainly because there are hardly ever repercusssion. Certainly some people do get caught, and get fined pretty big, but it always feels quite disconnected, a newspaper story that could never happen to you. And it’s so commonplace! Everyone is doing it, so why can’t I? Very unlucky to be the one in a billion caught out.

On top of that, why is it illegal anyway? The common people can’t understand that it piracy is costing the industry a lot of money. It doesnt seem to have any impact anyway; movies keep getting paid, actors are still way too rich, the ball keeps rolling. As said in a post a few weeks backs, the industry needs to create for the sake of creating, for art. And if more people can get their hands on Avatar or whatever else, and be inspired by it (hopefully inspired enough to make a better movie than avatar), then that is worth Warner Brothers getting ripped off the sale of one DVD.

Would hate child-Spielberg to not have had the cash to see a movie and then never make some of his classics.

 

People should be nice

Posted in Uncategorized on May 16, 2011 by Jarryd Bendall

ALTRUISTIC! Altruistic, altruism is the word I was looking for that entire post about creative commons. I want people to be more altruistic.

Bill Gates has enough money. Microsoft makes enough money now. Why can’t they just publish all their software for free? Make it better instead of profitable?

I miss art for the sake of art. People don’t do anything out of the goodness of their hearts anymore, for the good of the common man. But I guess, if Bill Gates did, he never would’ve made that money now would he. And he needs to money to create the product anyway, right? Without the funding, the product never gets made, to have to be sold to make back it’s funding.

Capitalism man. Capitalism ain’t altruistic.

Creative Commons License

Posted in Gradeable Post - Net Com with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2011 by Jarryd Bendall

All works on this blog are licensed under an Attribution/Non-Commercial/Share Alike Creative Commons License.

This particular license allows other producers to use my work to create new works of their own, so long as the credit me, do not profit from the new content they create, and use this same license on the new content. I chose this license for a number of reasons.

Originally I was going to suggest that it is important to be acknowledged for the labour I have done in creating this content, that I should get some sort of praise for doing a good job. However, this doesn’t suit  my genuinely modest behaviour, and exactly this was called into question by Stallman suggesting that citizens do have some sense of having an obligation to the public good (2002, 133). The fact is that I don’t write in order to get rich. The wealth and accompanying easy living is not my goal. Instead, I write because I love writing. I also love the feeling of inspiring people through my work, and making their lives a little more enjoyable through my art. In this way I’d like emulate the great medieval artists (Stallman, 2002, 122), quietly enjoying my successes by living through other people, rather than enjoying loud public acclaim. Stallman believes these two reasons are why the creative commons license can survive and thrive (2002, 129), because people do it for the fascination with the field of study or the “perceived value to society” they can contribute through it. Such is my incentive to keep producing writing as artwork, not because of any financial motivation.

Despite all this, it is irrelevant whether I add this license or not. People are going to take and use my work if they see fit, such is the nature of modern society. What right of response do I have, really? I have put my work out there on the web, for the inspiration and appreciation of the people, and then I get upset when they ARE inspired by it, and go on to do something themselves which is appreciated and perhaps profitable. If I were truely a good person, I would be happy for their success.

However, if profits do rear their ugly head, the license does have somewhat of a legal function in being able to function as copyright if I wish (Garcelon, 2009, 1314). While I believe that free sharing of content and open source are important aspects of this media, as they are valuable for the continuation and development of this media, I have chosen not to profit, at this stage, from any of my work here. I still reserve that right for the future, and in any case, if a person gains from my labour without some sort of payment for me, that is stealing in any other sense (and remains so despite the medium). However, this should not stop people from being inspired by my work, and improving on it in ways that I may not have been able to or even thought of, so long as they maintain the same principals of free sharing that I aim to uphold.

To reiterate a previous point however, sharing and open source are a valuable and vital way to grow this form of media, and also people, through inspiration, revision and refinement. If I have allowed people the opportunity, they should allow others the same opportunity, hence the “Share Alike” aspect of the license I have chosen. Also, the “Attribution” part may allow admirers of other works to round-about find the original source (my work) and be further inspired by that. Not only does this “facilitate more open access to creative work” (Garcelon, 2009, 1310), it also makes it more efficient for them to access similar works. It is not an egotistical move by me, to get attributed so that people will admire me, it is one of helping the “other” as much as possible in their future endeavours.

As Jefferson says; “Ideas should be freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition” (Lessig, 2005, 353). Not to get all preachy on you, but ideas don’t benefit anyone if a man keeps them all to himself, least of all himself. Get it out there amongst the people, hopefully they do something good with it, and you can be content knowing your legacy was a positive change in the world.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Garcelon, M. “An information commons? Creative commons and public access to Cultural Creations”, New Media & Society, Vol. 11, No. 8. (2009). 1307-1326.

Lessig, L. “Open Code and Open Societies”, Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software. Eds: Feller, J., Fitzgerald, B., Hissan, S.A. and Lakhani, K.R. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (2005). 349-360

Stallman, R. “Why Software should be free”, Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard Stallman. Ed: Gay, J. Boston: GNU Press. (2002). 121-133

Week 10: Explain why you chose the Creative Commons license that you added to your blog and discuss the relevance (or not) of adding the license.

Herald Sun misses the mark

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 9, 2011 by Jarryd Bendall

http://www.worldmagazine.co.uk

On May 2nd, Herald Sun ran this image as their front page with the title “Kill Cam”, alluding to the White House officials watching the confirmation of Osama Bin Laden’s death.

The term “Kill Cam(era)” is taken from popular first person shooter video games, namely Call of Duty. It refers to a camera which, after you have been killed by an enemy, shows you footage from their first person perspective as they kill you.

Perhaps the Herald Sun has not applied the phrase entirely correctly on the front the page, but interestingly, they have used a quite modern, pop culture reference, which is specifically aimed at a youth market, to promote some very serious media. Whether or not young people are interested in this report is quite debatable, so it’s confusing that an attention grabbing headline has missed attracting a large proportion of the (older) populace with this obscure video game reference.

Ned Hepburn is nedhepburn.tumblr.com

Posted in Gradeable Post - Net Com with tags , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2011 by Jarryd Bendall

It is difficult to say blogs have matured beyond a platform of self promotion/expression, as they were surely originally designed for. Forums and wiki’s are a much better medium for communication and collaboration between users, whereas blogs are simply a one-way conversation between one man and the world.

Having said this, the somewhat negative tone Lovink expresses when describing blogs as being “primarily used as a tool to manage the self” (2007, 28) is a little unnecessary. Such blogs can be of great boon to the individual writing them, and provide inspiration for thousands of their followers. Ned Hepburn, in a self titled blog, is such an individual who, while no doubt benefiting from the self-promotion and notoriety his blog brings him, gains a great deal of mental relief from expressing himself through his blog, and also passively helps others through what he brings to them to read.

Hepburn certainly doesn’t shy away from the way his blog “fabricates celebrity on every possible level” (Ibid). He enjoys doing interviews based on his own notoriety and popularity, and doesn’t miss an opportunity to mention how other celebrities are quoting or referencing him.

However, Hepburn does usually update his blog about his whereabouts, and invites any of his readers to drop him a line if they live in New York, Los Angeles etc. and want to hang out while he is visiting their town. While it is not interaction to the extent of personally responding to each and every piece of fan mail, Hepburn does show some signs of wanting to create a community, albeit a community that is based around and dictated by himself.

Hepburn saturates his blog with self-promotion, linking to pieces he has written for other websites and advertising other media in which he had been published. Certainly this if of benefit to Hepburn by hopefully enticing professionals to go and read his professional work and hire him for paid writing in the future.

Yet this blurs the line between Hepburn being a Professional (and paid) Journalist and an Indy or Citizen Journalist, a definition which Flew says is difficult and perhaps unnecessary anyway (2008, 151). Certainly he functions under both roles, as any articles he cannot get published end up on his blog anyway. What is clear is that Hepburn certainly wins back the role of “journalist as hero” (Flew, 2008, 154) by being popular, entertaining, informative and trusted by both the professional and (more importantly) public spheres which his writing reaches.

Lovink suggests that the blog is instead left “to perform the introspective duty of the online diary” (2007, 29). Hepburn certainly utilises his blogs capability in this respect. After the death of his father, Hepburn posted many personal and reflective pieces about his father, much like an extended eulogy. While readers offered little in the way of support or response at the time, Hepburn used his blog as a coping mechanism, and credits writing those pieces as being large part of helping him come to terms with his father’s death. Lovink warns that “it is dangerous to ‘vitalize’ Internet applications” (2007, 3), but the same could be said about becoming addicted to alcohol or illicit drugs. Hepburn did not become totally reliant on the blog, and posts because he wants to and enjoys doing so, not because he feels he has to or needs to.

Ultimately then, the blog is place for Hepburn to express his thoughts and opinions in his own unique style (Lovink, 2007, 28 & 31). It is a place he is allowed to be creative, to have fun, or to speak his piece when he feels he has something important to say. Inconsequentially, readers of his blog enjoy his writing and what he gives them to read, and occasionally feel inspired by his words and what he is trying to communicate. Hepburn doesn’t necessarily set out to use the blog as a platform to communicate with others, but is happy when it serves this purpose without too much effort from him to encourage this aspect.

But mostly, it is an outlet for Hepburn himself; a celebrity making machine, an promotional agent, a psychologist and an artists canvas.

So here’s the link-

http://www.nedhepburn.tubmblr.com

– Check him out. He certainly doesn’t need or worry about how many readers he has, but he does look after them with interesting articles, and you will certainly find him interesting and inspiring. I sure am a fan.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Flew, T. “Citizen Journalism”, New Media: An Introduction. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. (2008). 143-167

Lovink, G. “Blogging, The Nihilist Impulse”, Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture. London: Routledge. (2007). 1-38

Week 7: B) Lovink (Reader, page 222) also argues that: “No matter how much talk there is of community and mobs, the fact remains that blogs are primarily used as a tool to manage the self”. Discuss this argument by giving an example of a blog.

… But YouTube sucks? Right?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2011 by Jarryd Bendall

So following on from thinking about YouTube, tutorials got me wondering how the low resolution format of youtube contradictorily gained a bigger audience.

You would think, in general, that doesnt really make sense. Why are blurry, poorly shot videos so popular? That doesnt sit with the high standard of moving images that Hollywood and TV have set. We should just be annoyed by the poor quality and lose interst pretty quickly.

But I guess that reasoning has been proved wrong simply by the fact of YouTubes popularity. So, how, HOW, I have to question.

I guess it is easier to download low resolution movies. If you had to download it in HD, you would get bored waiting, and so you wouldn’t watch it anyway. Also, YouTube has practically every type of video possibly available. So you can watch whatever you want, rather than just maybe, hopefully, luckily finding something you like in the video store.

Still, sometimes YouTube is just such poor quality I feel like going outside and doing something else. Scary…

 

Popularity in YouTube Communities

Posted in Gradeable Post - Net Com with tags , , , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by Jarryd Bendall

Ranking tactics, such as the system used by YouTube (www.youtube.com), have a significant impact on the formation of new online communities. Specifically, the ranking system determines the content, structure and limitations of the community, which is then inhabited by users.

An online community is “a group of people with a common purpose, interest, or activity” (Kim, 2000, 28), and the people regularly engage each other about those topics within the same parts of cyberspace (Rheingold, 1994, 62). The community is thus both content and location [figuratively, of course] based.

Not all of the members of an online community need to be “active users”. In fact, for a site such as YouTube, only about 13% of the community produce or upload content (van Dijck, 2009, 44). The majority of the rest are only proliferators, re-uploading the same content, sharing links to the content with others, or just simply watching videos (Arthur, 2006) but not contributing to the growth of the community themselves.

It is the latter group of users that YouTube is able to impact, developing, structuring and limiting the community [unknown to them] through the design of the site’s interface.

YouTube prioritises the promotion of videos which are most popular, as judged by how many “likes” the video has been given by YouTube users (in this case viewers of the videos), as well as how many times it has been downloaded. These evident and hidden variables, respectively, constitute the ranking tactics YouTube employs (van Dijck, 2009, 45).

The more popular a video is, the more YouTube promotes it internally on the website. The more promoted a video is, the more people will see it and “like” it, thus making it more popular and more promoted etc. (forming a positive feedback loop).

Thus, if the users are just passively watching videos, they are likely to watch only those that YouTube prompts them to watch, the ones it has judged to be most popular via its ranking system. The “branching tree structure” of the interface creates “a set of pre-determined options” (Beer and Gane, 2008, 92) which limits the choice of videos to similar popular videos, thereby limiting the community. Those who watch these videos form an online community, which was initiated by the interface itself.

The home page of YouTube features an example of how it has created an online community around the most popular sport video: “World First BMX Triple Backflip – Jed Mildon May 28, 2011” (see below). . It is the most popular with 1,968,157 views worldwide as of 30/05/2011. The community has its genesis in a video selected by the YouTube ranking system, and attracts the attention of people who share an interest in BMX riding. They enjoy interacting on YouTube with people of the same mindset. After watching the video, the interface links users to other similar videos about BMX riding, jumps, or Jed Mildon, all selected by the ranking system.

Thus, the ranking system has selected a group of videos, which are communicated to the users via the interface, which attracts a group of like minded individuals, who then form an online community which is based around these videos and is structured by the ranking system.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arthur, C. “What’s the 1% Rule?”, The Guardian (Technology Section) 20 July, http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1823959,00.html

Beer, D. and Gane, N. “Interactivity”, New Media: The Key Concepts, Oxford: Berg. (2008) pp 87-102

Kim, A.J. Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities, Peachpit Press. (2000) 28

Rheingold, H. The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. Secker & Warburg. London. (1994) 57-80

van Dijck, J. “Users Like You? Theorising Agency in User-Generated Content”, Media, Culture and Society, Issue 31. Sage Publications: Los Angeles. (2009) pp41-58

 Week 5: Analyse critically the following statement by Mark Zuckerberg while comparing it to privacy issues raised by online social networking collaborative practices: “When people have control over what they share, they’re comfortable sharing more. When people share more, the world becomes more open and connected. And in a more open world, many of the bigger problems we face together will be easier to solve.”