Is That…My Reflection?

When asked to pick out my best three blog posts for BCM112 and analyse them I thought, well how can I do that? They’re all so wonderful! After reading through them all I finally settled on my copyright post, “What’s in a Name?”; my clicktivism post, “Solve this problem, Facebook” and my cyberhate post, “Don’t CyberHate on Me”.

“What’s in a Name?” Focused on Shakespeare’s plagiarist history, playing on the hypothetical situation he would have found himself in if copyright was around in his time. I believe I applied copyright theory to Shakespeare in a way that is simple to understand for a broad, possibly global, audience.

I addressed the issue of copyright in a way I understood having studied Shakespeare for some years. In retrospect, I believe I could have been a lot more technical applying the copyright theory.  I could have gone more in depth with some of the topics I brought into my argument and elaborated more with my views. Overall, I believe this post is easy to understand, but I definitely could have made it more technical.

“Solve this problem, Facebook” was about the concept of clicktivism and whether it helps activist groups and movements or not.  I used the Human Rights Campaign on Facebook and the Occupy movement as examples, drawing on widely known and fairly recent causes.

I used reliable links to support my argument and included extra articles for my readers to consider. My introduction is quite bitter and I believe I could have improved it somewhat to include a wider audience.

I used a wide range of sources for this post and believe this is my best blog post so far. I supported my argument with reliable sources with altering opinions.

“Don’t CyberHate on Me” is my most recent BCM112 post and addresses the issue of cyberhate (obviously), sexism and misogyny online. Looking back on it, I believe I was quite strong with my opinion and could have stepped back from the issue to give both sides of the story. More links to outside sources would have supported my argument better and given more to the reader to consider.

I believe these posts are my best because they don’t go off topic as much as my others do and apply theories.learnt in the lectures to examples that are relevant to the topics and Convergent Media Practices as a subject.

In each of my posts I could have applied these concepts to the technology I am following for my final essay. If I had done this I may have understood each topic better.

Open or Closed?

Is closed media better than open media types?  First of all, what are open and closed media?

Open media is when a technology or platform is able to be tinkered with by its users and can be completely controlled by its users whereas a closed media is when a user is unable to change anything about the device and all programs or software are preloaded and cannot be modified, it is completely controlled by the producers.  When I think of things as opened and closed systems I think of the Xbox 360.  It is only closed to a point, it can be modified or hacked to be modified.  There are ways around closed technologies if people with the skills are willing to take the time to find them.

I have an android phone, an open media platform, but I know it wouldn’t bother me if I had an iPhone, a closed technology.  They do the same things, make calls, take pictures, keep me up to date.  I guess that’s just revealing my technologically passive nature.  I haven’t got a clue what I’d do with my phone if it was entirely under my control.  I would be absolutely petrified of stuffing something up that’s for sure.

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So, what’s better?  Open or closed?  Television and newspapers are a perfect example of closed media.  The producers of the content expect us, the consumers, to be passive to their brainwashing ways.  Whereas the internet is open to anyone’s ideas, opinions, lives, anything.  We become active in the production of content.  It’s like a cycle, we produce content for ourselves therefore we produce what we want to see.  Sometimes we see closed media, like TV, catch on to what we as consumers want to see.  This can be seen when a show is taken off air because there weren’t enough viewers.  This means that the so called consumers of the show didn’t consume as predicted, therefore what’s the point in keeping something on air that isn’t doing what was expected?

Henry Jenkins makes an interesting point in his International Journal of Cultural studies article “The cultural logic of media convergence”, page 40.  He mentions that the current music, film and television industries (closed media types) have reacted to consumer driven activity in ways that do not promote evolution in the industry, that is they have quashed any possible creative improvements or ideas.  He goes on to say that the gaming industry is reaping the benefits of their creative audiences and listening to their opinions to make improvements using “the best user-generated content” (Jenkins, H 2004).  I feel that the gaming industry has found the middle ground.  They allow their consumers to be producers, to improve on what is already there.  Many successful games would not be so if the players were not listened to and their ideas built on.

What I’m trying to say is, sometimes it’s not that black and white, sometimes the line between what is open and what is closed is blurred.  Even if we’re supposed to be passive to what we are “fed” there are ways in which we can make a closed media platform open.

What other ways can you open a closed media platform?