Troll Culture: The Celebrity Curse

We, society, are enthralled with the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. We need to know everything about them and we need to know it now. However this has led to a sense of entitlement when dealing with celebrities. People feel like they can say whatever they want. While some of it can be dealt with in a fun and humorous manner,

Most of it cannot. Particularly the level of hate perpetrated to female celebrities on the internet. The large majority of female based trolling is cruel and rife with misogyny.

Why is this?

The constant attention drawn to celebrities gives us a feeling of proximity to them. We feel like we know them. This lends itself to us, as more than a consumer, giving opinions that we feel are warranted. While negative opinion and public debate are fundamental in an internet culture,

Rape “jokes” are not. Physical violence threats are not.

When intelligent women, such as Lauren Mayberry, singer for the band CHVRCHES and singer Sky Ferreira need to pen op-ed pieces in hope that internet trolls will stop, we know that we have gone too far.

This in-sensuous level of internet trolling can have dire consequences.

The unfortunate death of Charlotte Dawson, a television personality who constantly dealt with internet trolling, highlighted the need for people to be more cautious and aware of themselves on the internet. It also sparked key debate on what can be done in an online environment to stop the constant abuse that celebrities, particularly female, are receiving.

They say any publicity is good publicity. Yet when this publicity stems from harassment and abuse it makes it hard to comprehend. While there is hope for a troll-less future, the doubt will not waver.

 

#OurABClicktivist.

260,043.

The Protect our ABC (#ourABC) campaign run by the GetUp! company has established this many signatories. Fuelled by the imminent cuts to the public broadcaster the mobilisation of this campaign has been predominately online. While this seems like a phenomenal amount of support, what does this number actually mean? Does it really represent the level of support for the campaign or is it just another example of an increasingly ‘Clicktivist’ society.

Clicktivism at its core is the use of social media to disseminate a message to a wide audience. The ease and pace of this transference makes it ideal for activist movements. The two most notable Clicktivist campaigns are Kony 2012 and Occupy Wall Street. Fronted by pseudo marketing companies these campaigns gained notoriety through a two layered approach, both online and physical. The question that this successful approach garners for the protect our ABC campaign is,

Can it create change without a physical presence? 

While the twitter hashtag shows that there is a certain level of physical activism, the level is nowhere near that of other successful campaigns. In fact it was dwarfed by the opportunistic demonstration shown by students on the television programme Q&A in regards to the deregulation of universities in Australia.

This display gained mass attention, particularly on social media and will continue to anchor this campaign. It will also continue to give this campaign a reference point, similar to a ‘make Kony famous’ or a ‘we are the 99%’ both catch cries of the aforementioned campaigns.

Time will tell through the Federal Budget whether this campaign was a success or not. However the plight of the clicktivist will continue. While online campaigning is now a necessity, it also seems an embodiment of this ideal is crucial to its success.

 

 

Copy, Transform, Combine. The Remix Culture and Music.

“I jump ‘em from other writers but I arrange ‘em my own way.”

Blind Willie McTell

Remix culture is embodied through music. It has origins in early blues music where the adoption of other musicians lyrics to your own melodic structure often occurred.  This ability to take from others to change and adapt for your own creative output has developed dramatically in the years following this. This prominence has occurred particularly since the turn of the century, as the ability to source music has grown with the web 2.0 revolution. Kirby Ferguson refers to this as the ability to “copy, transform and combine”.

This ability to copy, transform and combine has led to remixing becoming engrained in the musical culture of today. Almost every modern hit is disassembled and recreated to inspire new meaning from the original content.

This remix released last week has almost reached 1.5 million views. IN A WEEK. It would seem that the increasing popularity of EDM (electronic dance music) has spurned a new arc of remix music.

But, will this arc be sustained?

Lev Manovich believes that like many other cultures, remix will probably end, lose popularity or be adapted and transformed into something else entirely. He argues that if everything is a remix that eventually people will become tired of the “cultural object” nature of the music created. From here he believes that this discontent from the continued sampling of our cultural database will cause the birth of our next prominent culture.

However it seems farfetched that the world of remix, particularly in music could meet its demise so soon. The length of time it has taken to reach prominence would suggest a staying power particularly in youth culture.

Over 9000! Transmedia and Google Glass.

Maybe it’s the fan boy in me but as soon as I saw Google Glass I envisioned this:

and as soon as the idea of transmedia story telling was presented to me I thought immediately about this clip and it’s possible implications.

What if the ability to see people’s life force was possible to bring a game interface to a augmented reality was possible? Surely this would be the ultimate interface for avid fans of media to interact with the story line? Like geocaching on a much broader and complex level.

Even this April fools joke by Google Maps had die-hard fans of the Pokemon realm salivating. Surely this is the future of narrative,

Little did I know that at the time major movements in transmedia storytelling in the Google Glass realm had already happened. The web series State of Syn was already in development for a Google Glass App that would disseminate information that wasn’t made previously available. It is interesting to think of cult series like these in terms of potential user markets for Google Glass, particularly when a target market seems difficult to pin down.

This user issue evidently presents the biggest issue for Google Glass and an augmented reality transmedia story text. While Google Glass has the ability to do all that Jenkins says it should, it will be a waste without a greater user base. There is no point telling a story in a transmedia sphere if there is no one watching, listening, responding and adapting. However, if the user base is there the possibilities of the technology could very well be endless.

The Ultimate “Produser” – The Google Glass Explorer

It’s as if Dr Axel Bruns had thought it up himself.

A technology that seemingly typifies what the very idea of “Produsage” is. The Google Glass Explorer experience is the perfect meshing of the main focus of Produsage – the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement”.This innate sense of collaboration comes from the community that the Google Glass testers have built.

Due to this broad-based collaboration the testers have extended and improved what the technology and software can do for them. This ability to improve the software is typified by the number of new Google Glass Apps (over 100) and what these apps are making possible. You need only search for google glass in YouTube to find a myriad of different abilities for the technology. By far the coolest is…

The testers have also engaged with the ability to make and create apps for their own use. This ability to shift from creator to user is typified in a Produsage technology. Whilst a lot of the apps are disseminated by professionals due to the characteristics of the Explorer, some amateurs have built apps to great effect

The slow development of the next Google Glass update is due to the constantly changing nature of the technology and the market and what it needs from the program. It is definitive of the idea that these technologies are always evolving and reshaping themselves. This continued development yielded little results into how the Glass copyright systems would be deployed, although at a glance it would seem that the app nature of the technology, would render it similar to copyright laws of other mobile technologies.

It’s not hard to see why the Google Glass is a Produser’s dream and will only become a more effective user led tool once it goes onto the retail “market” (today…for 24 hours…for $1500 US).

“Don’t be a Glasshole!” The Google Glass Audience

The Google Glass audience looks something like this.

The Google Glass “Explorers” are a variety of beta testers that are testing the product for the company. This audience is demographically vast but are defined by the want to be at the forefront of the innovation instilled in the Glass project and the fact that they could afford the $1500 (US) billing for the experience (Let’s just say I couldn’t be in the cohort).

…But this guy could and he’s awesome!

Other interesting Explorers are found in the Google Glass community. This collection of dialogic media inclined testers has formed a surprisingly strong bond over the eyewear. Often into the Google+ or Blogging sphere you will find hints, tips and tricks that allow other users to more freely and to better respond with the software. It remains to be seen however if after the testing period has finished whether this strong sense of community will live on.

Seemingly the reason for the high level support of the testers is Google’s gain. By providing this network it allows for the Explorers issues to be heard and hopefully rectified within the community. As with most testing it is important to keep the Explorers on the product and not have them lose faith or interest in it. This hopefully constant testing should allow the bonded relationship of the Glasses and the Explorer, which Google are hoping will be the main selling point of the Glass.


Opposition to the Glass however has come thick and fast from outside of the Explorer community. While most comments are in jest about how ridiculous the Glasses are this could be a major issue for Google once testing is done. By saturating the media with ill feelings about the product this could prevent an uptake by a wider audience base.

To Henry Jenkins and Beyond: Is Google Glass the Future, Now?

“We need to shed some of our own intellectual and ideological blinders, to avoid knee jerk or monolithic formulations and to imagine new possible relations.” Jenkins (2004, p. 42).

The convergent media landscape can be tricky for media creators and its audience to navigate. Often there is a tension between what the creator wants the audience to be able to do with their medium and what the audience wants from it and how it would like to use it.

In the above quote from Henry Jenkins article “The cultural logic of media convergence”, Jenkins describes the tension that arises in the new media landscape. It’s all about control and ownership, both from a technological and content sense. Jenkins depicts this tension through 9 important negotiations that current producers and “prosumers” will need to navigate as we continue to develop in this new media landscape.

So, How does Google Glass fit into this complex tension between old and new? Seemingly it does it using an open generative platform. This platform, which is a mainstay of Android ran products, allows users to control their own content and gives them the ability to change the platform. In fact, Google Glass encourages “explorers” to change how the system is run.

 

 

The nature of Google Glass seemingly builds the tension between the old and new even more. By being hands free and easy to access, Glass almost necessitates everything being public content, much to the disadvantage of old media producers. The ease and ability to make user-created content also increases the void. If Google Glass and augmented reality technology reach high levels of popularity the impact could be unforeseen, particularly on old media production.


Is Glass the future? Maybe, but there is little doubt it would change the media landscape.

Can I Go Incognito? Copyright and Privacy Issues of Google Glass

Since the start of Google Glass many sceptics have likened its introduction to…

google-glasses_o_1152659

Source: https://www.memecenter.com/fun/1152659/google-glasses

This frequently mentioned dystopian, post apocalyptic world has continued to drown the media and public opinion surrounding Google Glass since. This feeling is created more so from the public’s fear of the suspected lack of privacy and government control than anything else. Should the public worry about privacy and copyright issues when it pertains to Google Glass?

Many Google Glass commentators believe that poor dissemination of  information by Google about its useable eye wear technology has led to the fear mongering that many critics are doing. Jason Hong remarks that the lack of experience with the technology has resulted in ill-advised conclusions to be raised about its uses and abilities. He figures that over time this perception will change and people will feel more comfortable with Glass.

Embroiled in this lack of privacy issue is the idea of copyright and intellectual property. For some it is the  “who owns the selfie” argument. If someone takes a photo of you with their Google Glasses do you own the rights to it or can you stop the person from using said image. Concerns have also been raised about the “constant” recording and whether people would be willing to share intellectual property or content for fear of having that idea stolen (from pictures or recording.)

These concerns have led Google to publicly debunk Glass rumours in the past week, which they hoped would clear up some of the common myths and fears surrounding the technology.

However, this public perception may be harder to improve when stories like this surface

Google Glass: Fad, Fashion or the Future?

Putting Google in your brain. The notion sounds trivial but its something we’ve all thought (somewhat) about at some point in time. I’m forever thinking to myself, ah i’ll just Google it. So what if we had the ability to search something on the spot without having to go to our laptop or phone. Well lucky for us this is where Google Glass comes in.

google-glass-model

Source: http://chromespot.com/2014/03/21/google-glass-myths/

Later in 2014 (don’t quote me on this, Glass has had a constantly changing release date), people will be able to purchase Google Glass and have many of their favourite Google features and their fingertips, or rather, eye lashes.

But what was it designed to do? Why go to such great lengths to provide this to users? Google co founder Sergey Brin gave reason to this in a TED talk in February of 2013

The most interesting point from this TED talk is the idea of connection. Does strapping the internet onto your head in real life really make you more connected? If using your phone arbitrarily worse than being distracted but pretending that you are present? Google is banking on the idea of “freeing up” your senses to the world but is a world where you a constantly living through the Glass really doing so?

Many critics of Google Glass feel that privacy (especially government connected), legal (including copyright) and personal issues (disconnect) outweigh any positive that Google Glass may create. They also fear that the world will be overrun with general dorky-ness and will become a giant cesspit of creep. However will all of this negative attention be diminished when it circulates to a mass market?

This polarising technology has an interesting and exciting future, one which we will hopefully develop sooner rather than later.

Entering the Blogosphere…

lionel_richie_hello_lost_sign

Hello! My name is Peter and this is my introductory blog post. Albeit later than a Tiger Airlines flight but bare with me! In the first week I was doing this

And in the second week my internet was doing this

So, a little about me. I consider myself a young “maturey” at 23.(I swear i won’t ask ridiculous questions (maybe sometimes (I’m just going to go ahead and apologise now))). I’m studying a double degree in Journalism and Media and Communication. I have always been interested in media particularly sports, and am looking for a career in that.

This is my 3rd attempt at a career choice after finishing a degree in Population Health and an almighty failed attempt at thinking I could actually be a Geography Teacher (It lasted 10 months of my Masters, young adults are so mean!). After spending 6 years in the “what in the hell is my life going to be” wilderness i feel like I’m finally on the right path…

Outside of UOW I do normal things that normal people do: sport, music, work etc etc.

Thank you for reading my introductory blog, if you see me around say hello and please feel free to comment or get at me on twitter.

@peterwards

Pete.