Monthly Archives: November 2012

Spreadable Media Artefact 1

One of the requisite of my Social Media Technologies module is to create media content that can be spread through social media platforms. The media content could be anything ranging from an image to a video to a photo. The content should be decent enough to get views/hits on the social media platforms. I could team up with another student who has their idea that can easily work together with mine. There is a risk that this content may not get so many likes and hits from viewers. My idea is; To create a super-cut video of the ‘Wilhelm Scream’ cliché.

“One sound effect that has found a following with many sound editors and observant movie
fans is a distinctive scream named Wilhelm.” (Lee Steve 2005 on Hollywood Lost and
Found.
Steve Lee (2005) through Hollywood Lost and Found, said that in 1951, the Warner Bros produced a film ‘Distant drums’ which was directed by Raoul Walsh the scream was recorded for one of the scenes in the film then Ben Burtt used the scream in the Star wars and named it Wilhelm after the character that let out the scream-Wilhelm. Today there is a Wilhelm Scream Store with T-shirts, tote bags, mugs and other memorabilia on sale featuring the official Logo of the sound effect.

The Wilhelm Scream Logo

Creating a super-cut video of the Wilhelm Scream may be quite challenging considering that some compilation videos have been produced already. It means that I have to try to match the others and/or even produce a different ‘feel’ altogether. This project will actually involve a lot of work,

  • At least I have already picked a topic
  • I have to locate sources of material, now I have found a list of quite a number of films that have used this scream in one or more scenes. This is well and good but I will need original footage of the films.
  • I have to download the video or rip a DVD. I have to work on legalities here, some of the footage or films maybe copyrighted and I need to research more on how to solve this issue.
  • The next stage will be to choose a video editor software, cut the clips line them up and finalise on the order of appearance. I think here that is the stage were I have to use my creativity. Which films from the list can I use for this? Am I going to use text on the screen for every clip? Am I going to cleverly choose a sound track for the video, bearing in mind that I do not compromise the original sound on the clips. Am I going to use narration at the beginning of the video? Do I use a screen with rolling titles of the films where the clips have been taken. These are just thoughts I have been pondering on, what the end product should look like will depend on my creativity.

Compilation video of this Cliché with that has the most number of view

For now this is my only idea and I have to keep thinking of some more.

Bibliography

Lee, Steve. “Sound Effects – The Wilhelm Scream.” Sound Effects – The Wilhelm Scream. N.p., 17 May 2005. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://www.hollywoodlostandfound.net/wilhelm/&gt;.

Baio, Andy. “Making Supercut.org.” Waxy.org: Andy Baio Lives Here. N.p., 16 May 2011. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://waxy.org/2011/05/making_supercutorg/&gt;.

Research Project update

A few weeks ago I posted a blog explaining one of my research projects here. This research in ‘The Future of Stereoscopic 3D’ has been a very interesting journey although quite involving. Sharon George and I have created a questionnaire survey  using one of the online survey softwares, Qualtrics. We formulated questions and went through our supervisor for approval. We then made it live but the challenge was to make it available to as many people as possible from anywhere in the world. I have just realised that what I have been learning in the Social Technologies module has surely made the publicising of this survey link more manageable. The use of hash tags on tweeter has proved very effective in this operation. With the hash tags used for example #3D or #stereoscopic, the survey got picked by an online 3D magazine 3Droundabout. The publisher made contact with us to run an article in the magazine with a brief overview of the research why we are carrying out this particular research and also a little bit about us the researchers. The article can be found here. Another online 3D stereoscopy news website picked the tweets about the survey and made another article here. We are using social sites, emails, and even word of mouth and just letting people know where to get the survey.  In 24 hours the survey had reached almost 80 responses.

When we created the survey, we included contact details and there has been very positive responses from respondents. For most of these emails, common is a question of whether we are going to be publicising the results and when. Considering the presented interests on the subject by the respondents, we will be publicising the results. Up to now we have 133 responses, and counting. We anticipate to close the survey in a week and a half’s time then start statistical analysis and then concluding on the research question ‘Is Stereoscopic 3D the future of Film making’.

The survey can be found here.

Internet Research Ethics

Halfway through the semester, the Research in Emerging Technologies: Social Tech class has curated content from all blog posts on Ethics of Internet Research by the class and information from #mscret touching on this topic. This collaborative work has yielded a database of different thoughts on areas covered in this module. This curated media is what I will be discussing about in this post, backing up with other sources and citing my own thoughts about the subject.

A progressive change of the Internet has seen a shift in to its application by users.

“…as the Internet has evolved into a more social and communicative tool and venue, the ethical issues have shifted from purely data driven to more human-centred.” (Buchanan, Elizabeth A. and Zimmer, Michael 2012).

The wide usage and accessibility to the internet and provision of instant information has contributed to on-line researches. The use of emails, forums or instant messaging(to mention a few) offers direct contact to relevant people in the line of research or subject area expects. This research may range form ‘looking something up’ on the web, for example the meaning of a word, to gathering information for personal understanding for example, how far in mileage is Oxford from London, to students researching for an academic paper/journal. However the authenticity of the information gathered can be a problem, but this depends on the skills of the researcher to filter unnecessary data and identify the authors’ credentials. For a scientific research method involving gathering measurable evidence by conducting test end experiments on humans and animals. As discussed earlier about ease of internet accessibility, direct contact to relevant individuals in the area of study has resulted in some human subject based test or experiments carried out on-line. This may seem as arguably an easy way for large samples of human subjects testing with a possibility of diverse crowd rather than an area limited group whose data is automatically coded reducing human error not forgetting cost effectiveness. However, there is risk of repeated participation, subjects dropping out of the test, or start the test, stop and join after a while or even rush through the test. To overcome some of these detriments an email address can be requested from subjects at least to lessen multiple participation but not so much of a solution with individuals having more than one email account. For a ‘dropping out’ drawback, an incentive could be offered to the subject, if they agree to give their contact details they could be entered in a draw to win a prize. In one of our guest Lectures, Professor Trevor Cox in his talk Psychoacoustic Testing: Web vs Laboratory to my class, gave us an exercise to fill in an on-line questioner on Speech in Noise Experiment and at the end of the experiment there was a choice of entering into a draw to win an Amazon voucher. Some researchers may suggest that subjects give email addresses if they are willing to take part in other experiments in future or interested in knowing the result of the experiment and this email address will be the only link between the subject and researcher..

  • The honours now is on the researcher to ensure that the information presented to them is used appropriately and contacts stored securely. The researcher should ensure that privacy is maintained with the data captured because some experiments will ask sensitive issues from subjects and if there is no anonymity then data confidentiality should be in practice so that there is no harm to subjects by exposing their sensitive information.
  • For ‘cloud computing’ based experiments for example where information is shared on an on-line drive for example Google docs or on-line sharing platforms like Drop box,steps must be taken to ensure that only authorised individuals have access to the ‘cloud’.
  • For Experiments involving Minors there may be need for parental consent depending on which country the experiment is being carried out in.
  • Briefly giving a clear and understandable explanation of the purpose of the research and why the research is being carried out and how the data is going to be used before hand then subjects will have to willingly agree to be tested on and have a choice of opting out at any time probably without having to explain themselves.

For our research project, ‘Is stereoscopic 3D the Future of Film making’, Sharon and I have made a given out an information sheet and consent form, explaining what the research is all about, confidentiality and safety data giving an opt out option with out any explanation if subjects do wish so here.

Bibliography

Buchanan, Elizabeth A. and Zimmer, Michael, “Internet Research Ethics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2012/entries/ethics-internet-research/.

Reflection; My Unique Experience.

Looking back at the last 7 weeks of my journey into Research in Emerging technologies study at University of SalfordMSc Digital Media: Video, Audio and Social Technologies degree, it has been quite involving than I thought. This is a 2 part module consisting of Research Methods and Social Technologies with equal weighting. The Research Methods’ half involves an assessment of a mini research project. Sharon George and I are doing a Quantitative Research into the future of Stereoscopic 3D Film making. The aim is to gather information from responses through a survey questionnaire found here using statistics and be able to conclude whether Stereoscopic 3D is the future of Film making or not. The other, Social Technologies’ half aims to develop my online presence and network know-how. I am expected to participate in the online sphere through participatory media production alongside the academic study of digital culture and practices. I will then put my network know-how into practice through the exploration of ‘spreadable media’ basically using Henry Jenkins‘ theory by creating media artefacts, monitor, measure and analyse their spread through, my wordpress blog, twitter, or any other social media.

As I have said earlier on, this is so involving and requires a lot of reading literature in my area of study including books, journals, blog post to mention a few. Although I was kind of expecting this, the level at which I have to do it is slightly different. I have discovered that I aught  to have a critical awareness of relevant depth and breadth of knowledge in a professional capacity and a good level of communication. I was uncomfortable about blogging when I started the module. I had to blog because it is part of my assignment and I am being assessed on it, but as I posted blog after blog, I feel I am becoming more expressive. I may still be quite conservative in the way I discuss issues because of fear of risking mistakes but I see an improvement each time I blog.  Before I started this module, I had quite a number of social sites signed up. The main purpose was to communicate socially with friends and family and also browse for any interesting news. Some of these sites have been redundant and my main communication tool online was through emailing. I think this is because of the fear of risks of making mistakes(as mentioned above) on public domains leading to embarrassment and perhaps being ridiculed by friends and by communicating through email has more or less avoided a lot of online presence thereby reducing the risks. Also I was uncomfortable about exposing my identity online due to the talk that ‘Internet is full of Danger’ such as identity theft or stoking. Although this may be true, the same danger may well be the same offline.

I have had a gradual integration into social media, by participating more, I have seen an increase in my presence on  already signed up sites and have recently signed up  for more. Through lectures by  my tutor Helen Keegan and talks from guest speakers, I have managed to learn more social medial sites that have a great importance to my line of study as well as in building my professional online identity. Although creating a blog was part of my course work, I strongly feel that this has brought out the other side of me that has been hidden through communicating and interaction.  Cristina Costa gave my class a talk on a number of  issues, what particularly drew my attention was the ‘open access learning’ whereby some academic, journals, theses or even monographs are available to the public free of charge. I imagine the joys of stumbling upon a piece of information that is very relevant to my research without having to pay for it and would like to share the same feeling with the next person. In that light, I have managed to gradually built on my diigo and bitly bookmarks. anyone in my line of study may just find one of my bookmarks useful to their research.  Another speaker Hugh Garry, presented an in depth lecture on spreadable media and I have managed to reflect on that here.

These seven weeks have been quite challenging, there has been some trial and error posts, a lot of reading and research into blogging or tweeting for slightly different purposes other than just social interaction with friends and family. Coming from an ‘always someone else’s duty to produce such work’ I feel I have done reasonably well, however I have to keep blogging regularly and tweeting more to maintain the following that I have managed to build and possibly increase it. A weakness that I have found out is, I may be blog-posting weekly but I am not engaging well by commenting or reblogging on other blogs. This interaction may just help traffic to my blog. On twitter I may be a bit passive too but I am picking up. I have been following quite a few people as well as @SirNige who is a moderator of #263chat, every tuesday at UCT +2 hours the #263chat have a chat topic each week and I have been quite active there. I have been discovered by followers and have discovered mine through this chat-room and a few re-tweets that I have done.

Spreadable Media

Digital creative, event organiser, speaker, 15 years at the BBC Hugh Garry gave my class a talk on Spreadable Media. Very inspirational presentation which covered a lot and I managed to understand and pick on a few ideas concerning this topic.

We have come a long way in terms of media production and consumption. Since the advent of Radio Broadcasting by Guglielmo Marconi in 1901 and later Television catching up, this was just a one way communication whereby the ‘Consumer’ would listen or watch content from the broadcaster. Then came an era of the ‘Contributor’ were the consumer was able to contribute to the broadcast content through phone-in programmes or even writing to the editor in the case of print media. With advancement of technology, the era of the ‘Circulator’ followed, here the consumer was able to pass on some media through different platforms because of ease of technology. Then came the ‘Influencer’, for as simple as a product reviews posted online by shoppers, one’s decision on purchasing a product can be influenced by these reviews. Sometimes it only takes one person to post a critique on Twitter and a whole movement can begin. Then came the ‘Producer’ by now the consumer could produce own content and broadcast it themselves, a good a example is YouTube, I have explained how this process works in my previous blog post here. The evolution does not end here, we now have the ‘Financier’, here individuals are sponsoring(monetary) ideas they believe are worth developing for example Kickstarter. This is a funding platform for creative projects. These range from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others. Last but not least , Media Proprietor’, such as Netflix or Hulu, these platforms offer instant watch of films or television episodes streamed over the internet to your TV via a PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 or any other device or on mobile phones, tablets or computers. But some of these eras overlap in time of happening for example, social media movements are still happening to date as well as the era of media proprietor or financier.

The eras I have discussed in the paragraph above are part of today’ s Media circulation. This is only possible if there is active participation in passing on content among individuals or between a television show and its audience or between product manufacture and consumers. This permeability will allow constructive critisim of say a blog post, feedback on a television series or product reviews. Such interaction is important to improve a product or even a next blog post or get feedback on what the audience wants for the next series of a Television programme. If these are implemented well, a retention of followers may be possible or better still increase on the number of followers.

In content posting by individuals, fear of failure is the main contributor to hesitation but then again if you do not try how can you measure failure? Hugh Garry reiterated on how important it is to try and post any content on any platform even on twitter and how a 140 character count post can be able to change a situation, only when attempted in the first place. He also gave an example of how way back in the time of ‘Dub tape’, it could only take ten playbacks of a demo on dub tape before quality begin to deteriorate and maybe pay another £50 for a new one but technology these day can allow online hits even 200 as much as it may seem not many but miles better than 10 dub tape listens. Then stressed the point with this quote;

“A day in the wild is worth a month of guessing” Mike Krieger (co-founder of Instagram)

In 2011/2012 Arab uprising in Egypt and Tunisia, Twitter showed how social media is an interactive and ongoing conversation type of communication. Tweets helped to let others know where protests were taking place, and reach large numbers of people at once. In most areas media coverage was often censored and foreign journalists were not welcome, Twitter provided a way for protestors to share their unfiltered experiences with the world, and helped capture international attention and support. This may indicate that Spreadable Media is not only about marketing oneself but could be a way to get feedback on any subject and contribution to any Art and may very inspirational. Not all spreadable media is a success story but if it fails, then it may be a very good way of learning why and comeback with a better way next time, like a game. Overall this gives a chance to be part of a bigger network of bloggers, Instagramers and any other platform.

YouTube Culture

Since the founding of YouTube in 2005, it has grown so big that it is the third visited website on the internet and up to five million videos are viewed on this platform every month. Very interesting statistics can be found here. Most renowned Television stations are failing to match this for a number of reasons and I will briefly explain a few. Now YouTube tagline ‘Broadcast Yourself’ says it all, anyone who wants can broadcast themselves on this platform countless times. YouTube does not discriminate against quality of video or its content(needless to say that some posts have a very good quality), this alone is a passport for home video makers to post any video regardless, even from a mobile phone. As we all know producing a high end video will require a number of factors ranging from reasonable time input to decent cameras usually a bit costly (to mention but a few). Already its clear that probably more than twenty home videos can equate to, say  a half hour television programme in terms of cost or time. Individuals, even from their living rooms are able to broadcast themselves anytime of the day posting any subject area, we can safely say that to some extent boundaries do not exist unless if the posts are offensive in another context in which case YouTube admin will deal with that.

What content then do we find on YouTube? there are a lot of ‘How to’ videos, humour/fun videos, protest videos, parody videos, the list is endless. I have to confess that I have sometimes searched for videos on how to do my hair. 🙂 This kind of content seems, is what the population of today wants,  we need our hands held for certain tasks, in my case doing my hair, we need to laugh after a long day at work, we need to watch a favourite band live on stage for a show we could not attend, and the list goes on.

So YouTube becomes a source of free information of almost any subject area one can think of the same kind of set up as conventional Television stations(old media) differing on other aspect that i will not mention on this topic. The different channels on Television can be equated to the different channels on YouTube that post different subjects areas. Individuals package their little video and post it on YouTube and we can safely say become producers or journalist because they are telling some kind of story. Since this is directly linked to the traditional way of media coverage in the sense that we have a producer then we have the platform then consumer whereas  with YouTube(new media), is more or less using the same concept as old media but the consumer becomes a producer of content already there is a blur in consumer-producer relationship which Henry Jenkins has described as ‘Media Convergence’ here and is another big discourse area that i will not touch.

Why do individuals broadcast themselves on YouTube? The content type will determine how many views one will get on the post. The more a post gets viewed then sponsors get attracted and opportunities crops up for example appearing in advertisements as the face of a product since already there is evidence of a command of followers. This is just one example and some people are actually making a living by getting paid for advertisements featured on their video posts. Some people are just talented and they want a platform to showcase their Art and may just end up celebrities because their content has attracted so many viewers and those who just want attention from a lot of people or just want to have a bit of fun/laugh. According to YouTube, 72 hours of video is uploaded daily, what then do these numbers mean for individuals who uploads videos? Simply put, there is steep competition, there is need for that distinction whereby some videos can generate so many hits due to content or how the video is spread. This spread of content to the extent of up to a million of hits for a specific period is what Henry Jenkins explains in detail here, the theory of ‘Spreadable Media’. In some cases YouTube users linkup with other fellows who are doing well on YouTube, produce content and this may just increase their audience and hits.

There is also another side to this ‘glorious’ operation, the fact that thoughts, feelings and even identities are put out there for the whole world, it means YouTube users are at a vulnerable position to stokers, or disturbing comments on this platform. This is the reason why there is a number of people who are sceptical about signing up to internet sites because of fear of such happenings. But after all said, I was impressed with how, what someone may call a silly video can change another person’s life, Cory William who has 516 006 subscibers and a total of 228 899 880 YouTube video views says in ‘Butterflies YouTube Documentary Movie’ here, his ‘Make Poop’ video helped an Australian girl stop herself from committing suicide. This is quite positive in my opinion how a YouTube video can influence someone’s actions. Where YouTube is going and what may happen in a few years or months time is something we can predict.