DTC 356 – Final Thoughts

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Over the last several readings since the last exam I feel there are several important things that should be taken away from this class. These include: concept of sampling and remixing of both songs, lyrics and of technology. I agree with idea that all technologies spring from the remnants of previous technologies, in a sense, never truly ‘creative’, but at the same time I feel that creativity comes from the evolution and adaptation of new technologies. Just because something reminds you of something else or utilizes some of the same characteristics, or contains the same beat doesn’t mean that it isn’t beautiful, useful, or inspiring. But are there ever really, truly “new” technologies and creations?

Coming off of that, the issues of copyright and fair use are also very important. Again, what does it mean to be a purely new and creative work? How can it be defined by those complicated, outdated laws? Lessig makes a great point about how there are so many rules and regulations that are almost obsessively enforced, yet the last time the copyright laws were updated were in the 1970’s. Since then, the culture has changed drastically, and for some reason these laws have not been adapted to fit modern day situations. Something needs to be done about how we define creativity, how the government views creativity, and how the laws relate to those definitions.

As for what we can do now, in terms of copyright, is utilizing Creative Commons copyright licenses. Clearly show what you want done with your property and how. Make sure your wishes are defined and obvious. As Papacharissi discusses, privacy and safety on the internet is a luxury commodity; cherish what you have and protect it as much as possible, but still enable others to have some sort of access to it. Be smart about what you are putting out into the digital world.  Even if you don’t want anyone to mess with the content, make it available for others to use as is. Allowing for easier, safer spread of content will help more people, within the cognitive surplus of people out there willing and able to use and create new content and ideas based on or with your product, well…be creative! If all technologies sprout from older versions, then help plant new seeds and nourish the new branches!

Another important topic to remember would lie in the importance and effectiveness of social medias. They are free, they are easy to use and access, and they are powerful tools. Millions of people use social medias every day, whether it be to tweet about your day, or encourage political activism. It’s all how you can unite people, keep them up to date, give them a foreseeable goal, and tweet respectively and responsibly. Whether it be through forms of activism and slacktivism, in our day in age social medias influence our lives immensely. Tweets can bring together a community, inspire passion and anger over a subject, or help keep everyone informed on what is going on in the world. We are all connected this way. We are the generation of tweets and posts. This is a way in which we can communicate with people around the world with a flurry of button pressing. It is an amazing power we have access to. We should use it wisely and recognize how much we can do with it.

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Song Sampling – “Dragostea Din Tei” by Ozone (commonly referred to as “Numa Numa”)

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I chose this particular song mainly because of a video that went viral when I was in middle and high school of a man singing this song in front of a web came and dancing (quite passionately). It became quite a popular song around school after that, everyone wanted it on their MP3 players or as ringtones, etc. I was curious as to whether the song itself still floated around the music world. And yes, yes it does. When I searched it on the sampling site, three artists since 2005 have utilized parts of the song, one of them being an artist that featured Rihanna (2008). The most memorable part of the song would have to be the beginning and of course  the part where “numa numa” is used as part of the chorus. T.I and Rihanna use these particular parts, mainly going after the general tempo and beat of those parts. The song “Life Your Life” utilizes these parts in the beginning and as part of the chorus. They begin singing it then trail off into their other lyrics. This type of sampling is something that does not bother me. I am reminded of the first paragraph of the Keller article where she states that “New art builds on old art… We hear music, we process it, reconfigure it, and create something derivative but new…” This song is a good example of that. It doesn’t take the whole song and its original lyrics, it takes a beat, change the words, then quickly moves on to other parts that have nothing to do with the song itself. It is almost like a shoutout to the popular, and catchy song that lots of people know. Now when they think of that song, they think of O-Zone’s original and inadvertently link the two together. It makes you think “Oh, that’s cool, Rihanna and T.I. liked that song, just like I did! Man, that was a cool song…” You link that general opinion of the original song to that song. It’s a marketing strategy and a pretty good one. It’s not stealing, it’s just lightly piggybacking on the popularity of the old song, all while not demeaning or downplaying it. I have no problem with that. Had they taken a good portion of the words/song itself, I may have raised an eyebrow. Another artist who sampled the song also does the same thing, piggybacking on its popularity, and also adding to the humor of what is going on in the music video. You laugh at what is going on, then laugh even more if you recognize the song. It accents the video and the song more than it calls attention to the fact that that portion is from something else. The same goes for the third artist whose song makes fun of and includes portions of various viral videos, and memes from all over the internet. Its inclusions really served a humorous purpose and people were supposed to recognize it and laugh about it. Ultimately, Dragostea Din Tei was pretty well utilized and not questionably exploited! Yay!

This Week’s Readings

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After our readings and discussions on privacy and what social medias like Facebook, and others sites like Google do with the information we put out, what I ultimately see is that we need to make the effort to research the sites we use and post wisely. I would have to agree with what Papacharissi said concerning being social in relation to privacy and that to be a social being, part of our privacy must be sacrificed. Yes, we are using free sites,  but that does not mean we have to put EVERYTHING out there and that those sites are giving us this service for free out of the goodness of their hearts! They are present on the internet to make a profit, and you are their products. We are a great source of income for them, seeing as their projected earnings for the next year, as stated by Angwin, will be roughly 100 billion dollars.  It’s great that they post a public copy of their privacy policies, but still, do most people actually read it? The fact that it is public lures us into a false sense of security. It’s public, therefore it’s fine and nothing bad is happening.  If you are going to use the internet and use these kinds of sites, make sure you know what you are doing, what information you give to the world, and what those sites might do with the information you do put out.

Internet privacy is an interesting topic… As I tweeted about earlier, as children of the technology and internet generation, we have grown up with it, made it an integral part of our lives, and use it every single day. The internet is full of boundless amounts of information and increases every single second. It is put their by internet users like us. Maybe it’s because of it’s ease of use, maybe our familiarity and ignorance about the thing that is so entrenched in our lives, or maybe the idea that with all the information being put out, nothing bad will happen if you put down information of your own. Personally I find myself so easily putting down personal information, either on blog type sites, social medias, or even when wanting to order something or subscribe to something. The internet is so vast, so usable, so alluring that you often just don’t think about it… But in my opinion, nothing is private on the internet, whether we want it to be or not. JUST like we discussed in class, and what we did in our younger years, if there is stuff you want to get to, you CAN and WILL find a way around obstacles to reach it. Technology is not foolproof, and there are a lot of intelligent, tech savvy people all over the world… We can protect ourselves, keep ourselves safe and relatively secure, but we are not private. The information we put down while on the internet is there, maybe not for everyone to see, but it is there and stored somewhere. The internet is not a private place, nor do I think it ever will be.

 

PS, Kristin: I am not sure why but the post date says March 30th, even though it is 8 o’clock on March 29th… Just so you know!

Business’s Use of Social Media Systems – Project 3 Nintendo/Nintendo of America

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Nintendo of America – SMS Usage

201,983 followers

2,823 tweets

1,358 following

Profile for gaming news.

When making the decision to follow Nintendo on Twitter, checking out their Facebook page and YouTube accounts, I assumed that, like any company wanting to make a profit, their feeds and videos would be comprised mainly of product advertisements.  But with Nintendo I had the expectation that because they are such a big name in the gaming world and world in general, that their feeds would be targeted at a variety of different consumers, fans, etc. I have always seen Nintendo as a very friendly entity that is relatable and fun. Nintendo of America was literally the first profile that came up when I searched Twitter for Nintendo. But when I began to observe what Nintendo tweeted and posted I was somewhat angry: all they tweeted about, multiple times a day (3-5 on average), was the 3DS and the Wii-U. Not only that but when they actually tweeted about games, the were about the ones that I had no interest in whatsoever nor would I be interested in learning about them, seeing pictures of people playing them and so on. But that’s what they were giving me. What I realized afterwards was that I came onto this Twitter page with set expectations of what I would be reading and seeing: contests, people talking about lots of new/old games and why they loved them, shout-outs to Nintendo by people who were playing their games or have been playing their games for years, and so on. But the major mistake I made was not looking at how their identified themselves as, which is a profile for gaming news. Because Nintendo of America came up first on my search, I assumed my expectations would be filled. Later I discovered that I should have followed Club Nintendo which does involve more of that fan discussion and interaction rather than product advertisements. Okay, all the continuous posts about the 3DS and the upcoming system makes a lot more sense now. But what really disappointed me even after that revelation was the fact that Nintendo of America really did not utilize the large fan base that they had amassed. With over 202,000 followers, all of who will have played a Nintendo game (I am assuming) either now or at some point in their lives, the sheer lack of quality of participatory events was rather disappointing. Nintendo tweets and tweets often, but I don’t believe that they tweet very effectively.

The tweet writer for Nintendo tends to tweet challenges concerning a certain game and whether you can do a certain part of it (i.e. puzzle, maze), images of fans playing up and coming games for the 3DS, shout-outs to other Nintendo affiliated Twitter profiles, en masse tweets that promote those upcoming games and now and then a congratulatory tweet to a fan who won one of their little “challenges”. They post these positive, upbeat posts about how fans love the new games they are putting out, how they are interacting with the game and their advertising ploys.

As a consumer who does not own a 3DS or Wii-U, these kinds of things are not interesting whatsoever. But I feel that they are simply trying to get people who DO already own those systems and those games to speak their minds about said games and systems, hopefully in a positive light, in turn encouraging and interesting other people who do not have them to actually obtain them/it. The real problems I noticed with these kinds of posts are the lack of complex or really intriguing challenges. Completing a puzzle or beating a boss and then posting about it and seeing other people posting relatively the same thing is not intriguing or exciting! If you really want people to be attracted to a particular game and get people getting everyone else excited, do extensive, interactive challenges like described in Fisher’s article ‘5 successful Twitter marketing campaigns you should know about’. Make people want to play! Give them a plausible promise like Shirky talked about in “Here Comes Everybody”, give them a problem or test, tell them how they can help and give them a satisfying end product. Whether that be encouraging people to fight a boss or find certain objects at a convention, bringing them together and pitting them against other players, ultimately leading to a final prize for the winner, or having phrase contests where the winner is the one who posts the most unique 140 story of why they love a certain game or Nintendo. If we’ve learned anything from Clay Shirky, it’s that there are people out there willing to spend their time, interacting with a business or group of interest. Nintendo needs to utilize their fan base! They are there and willing, they just need some structure and encouragement! I’m not going to buy a 3DS to play one game that one person said was cool. That’s great but not a deal maker.

Coming off of my rant on some of the major issues, they do do some things fairly well. Going off of Toliver’s “7 Ways to Create a Memorable Customer Experience with Social Media”, they do give their customers “a place to talk” (to an extent) by posting questions that encourage people to talk a little, even if it’s all going to result in general the same responses. They make the attempt! Customer service and sales are their main goal and that’s what they do best. They advertise, they put their products out there and glorify them in a flood of images, videos, and positive posts. I did not notice a lot of complaints on their feed but if people did respond to a challenge, NoA responds often. They do seem to be listening.

This is where they seem to end in quality in relation to Toliver’s lists of 7. They listen and instigate, but the reward is lacking. I saw no chances to win prizes, systems, games, etc. That’s what I really hope for on a gaming company site. Again, no main final product with a plausible promise. I would not say the content is extremely compelling, it’s really rather dull and similar to an infomercial. They advertise to an audience that they assume has up to date Nintendo products, so a good amount of money/check seeing as their products aren’t exactly cheap. They do not stand out. As a profile piggybacking on several other similar Nintendo profiles that focus on different areas of the world, Club Nintendo, and many others, they don’t seem unique.

Coming off of that: audience and NoA’s understanding of that audience. Again, Nintendo products don’t tend to be cheap, as most gaming consoles and games tend to be. Their positive, happy posts tend to be written in a way that reminds me of how you would speak to a 8 year old if you were trying to get them interested in a game. Their vocabulary seems push more towards ages 8-early to mid teens. They are very friendly, very happy, and upbeat (in some cases, this can be described as rather cheesy and somewhat ridiculous). A recent tweet: “New scares await… How long will you watch?”. I am not a 6 year old, a Nintendo game is not going to scare me… It is tweets like that that annoy me. Where are the posts for us “older” gamers? Yes the 3DS’s are awesome, but there is a wider age group who actually use these systems. They do not seem to cater to that age group, which is very disappointing. They, like most social medias, initialize a “context collapse” in an audience (Boyds 122). They are all flattened into a single mass, individuals almost indistinguishable. The wording, the “challenges”, the tone, the ads, all of them do not interest me. I’m not going to buy these products, I’m not going to play them. They failed to suck me in and get me interacting.

Nintendo of America needs to realize that there are a lot of people who like Nintendo and their games. Many people use Twitter and they want to follow Nintendo. Make your site more interactive and interesting, interact with your fans more, be a friend, not a corporate CEO trying to sell you something. If they connect with people, they will get more sales. Don’t be as robotic and mechanical as your products, be human, and inspire people.

 

Works Cited

Boyd, Dana; Alice Marwick. New Media Society 2011 13: 114 originally published online 7 July 2010

Fisher, Lauren. 5 successful Twitter marketing campaigns you should know about. 15th May 2011. The Next Web. Web.

Shirky, Clay. Here Comes Everybody. Penguin Press. 2008.

Toliver, Dave. 7 Ways to Create a Memorable Customer Experience with Social Media.

 

Center for Education Reform

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After looking at the CER main site and their Twitter and Facebook pages I’ve noticed that they both Tweet and post FB messages quite often. These posts often contain links to information about new legislature and various speakers who are discussing matters related to education reform. They don’t really seem to inspire activism directly, but they seem like more of a portal to other sites and various types of related information. They do use YouTube, posting videos of speakers, but I could not find a lot of other sites that they use other than Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. I feel they want to insight activism and societal participation in issues concerning education, but they do not do it directly, rather they point you in the direction of people who may or may not give you reason to act passionately about certain situations.

DTC 356: Blog Post #1

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From these first few weeks of this class, after all the readings and discussions we’ve had on said readings, I would have to say that there are a few things that definitely stick out. I am continually reminded that our culture is now so engrossed in technology; our children and beyond will be surrounded by it, and almost tech savvy the moment that are born. We are a technological and social society, based on communication via technology. Even now as I type this I have a YouTube video playing as white noise in the background, phone buzzing with a text, and am on a Steam chat with my boyfriend… It has become a completely normal thing for me to do. It is so strange to think back and remember doing my homework with pencil and paper, on the floor of my room, nothing playing, nothing going on. Now, everything is happening all at once! To do nothing is almost uncomfortable! Our world has certainly changed and will continuing changing as more technology comes into existence. And it has become even easier to be immersed in such a social culture with this concept of technological convergence. We can chat, surf the web, make a call, play a game, map a route, etc. etc., all on a single cellphone…all at the same time if we REALLY wanted to…  It is so easy to access multiple forms of media on a single device.

Now because it is so easy to access all these different medias and applications and such, we are all so much better connected to each other. It is AMAZING to see how many people and how quickly people can respond to something, whether it be a stolen phone, a hungry family, a cry for help, or even a simple question posted on a forum. People are out there, they are reading, and listening. If you put yourself out there, people will be there to help you. I particularly agreed with some ideas we discussed in class about how the world population is a contributing and collaborating force whose free time and talents are utilized in sharing and creating via internet or other forms of technology, and a huge portion of them have access to those kinds of technologies. And whether those people are posting and contributing for communal or civic value, something will get done. That’s the beauty of the internet.

The only real problem that I had was the concept that you will not get a large amount of people flocking to your cause/site etc. unless you advertise and use effective rhetoric. To me, the way the internet society is portrayed is a place where your questions are answered and people will always answer and help you. But that can often be very untrue. I know from personal experience that people will often times simply ignore or downvote… I have posted questions on Reddit, on several of the larger subReddits, and received absolutely nothing, even after getting a couple upvotes (thus moving it higher on the list of posts). I have discovered that if you don’t have a lot of fellow Redditors who read what you post and enjoy what you post, most of the things that you ask or submit will be generally unnoticed by the general users. You need to be well connected, social, and very conscious of what you are posting, how you are posting it, and where you post it.

Convergence, value, social and techno culture, communication, connection, and rhetoric are all things that I have zoned in on during our first few weeks of this class. Fascinating and thought provoking stuff, Kristin!!

Blog Post 7 – Perfect Portfolio Website

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In regards to the Smashing Magazines tips on web portfolios, most of the tips shown seem to be common sense type things. Be clear, show your intent, show them what you’ve got, show them where to find you!

In my case, I can’t really utilize the tips like the logo, or a really unique style to showcase, but if I did, they would most definitely be on my portfolio site. One’s personal site needs to be, well…personal. I want bright colors, a laid back attitude, and a general easy going feeling about it. So what am I going to do? Have vibrant colors, easy to read and find links and pictures, easily accessible information about who I am, what I am like, and how to talk to me, whether that be through Facebook, Google+, Twitter, email, etc. I don’t have much to offer but here’s a nice looking website to look at for now!

I see the personal touches in all of the different portfolio examples. I don’t know how long they’ve been doing it or even if they’re professionals at it, their sites still look accessible, unique, and interesting. I also don’t know if they designed the entire thing by hand or found a template and modified it to their needs, it doesn’t matter, they still utilized their options and went with it, which is what I plan to do with mine. Although I may use a premade CSS template, doesn’t mean that I don’t like butterflies/nature, the color green, or the general setup. Just means that I chose this out of all of them and made it mine.

I really like Nine Lion site, not only for the art style, but for the simplicity of it. He has a logo, justifies the logo, states what he is and what he does, and has huge links for contact and other information. Simple, classy, unique, and informative. I see him using his own work on the site, making it an integral part of it. If I was a more defined artist I would do the same, using my work in new ways to put out my identity and purpose. I’m not sure how I will use my works as they are not ultimately connected or uniform in style, but they are still mine and I will find a way to show them to the world.