Week 12 identity

June 9, 2010 by

Who we are?

In digital media, we can be the other person. We are represent by an IP address on internet. We can be considered as an email address to log in Facebook, twitter. On FaceBook, Twitter, the profile photo makes a little more ‘human’. Compare 5 years ago, when icq is the main stream of instant text messenger, the interface was only a text box. Now the latest icq 7, release in March 2010, had a similar appearance of MSN Messenger.

On Ebay, we are  ‘self brand’ and ‘brand’ by the public. The feedback from other sellers and buyers give the feedback rate to determine you can be trust or not. We can be a trust person by selling items as listed.

On Twitter, we can brand ourselves and see how many people follow our ‘twitt’.  Interesting, in China, many interest users break the state-censor programme to follow a ‘twitt’ from a Japanese porn star, Sora Aoi.

http://www.chinahush.com/2010/04/14/japanese-av-star-sora-aoi-on-twitter-creating-buzz-among-chinese-netizens/

No matter who we are, we need to be repect. Both on real world or digital world.

Week 11: Qualitative Research

June 4, 2010 by

The approach to conduct a qualitative research is different from a quantitative research.

As a former science student, I familiar with writing  quantitative research report.

In a quantitative research, first a hypothesis is generated. Then procedure is made to find out the hypothesis is true or not.

However, in qualitative research, strong and persuasive argument must be given, with supported by concepts, to draw the conclusion.

Recording the diary as well as carrying an interview, are the key to understand  the findings.

Open structure questions are preferred to let the interviewee express as much as possible.

Besides interviewing my participant, I observed her media usage. So I can clarify why she did such action.

Carrying this research not only improve my English skill, but also make me feel I am really an Uni student, which I did something to reflect and perfection, not simply for examinations.

Week 10 – Semiotics and Meaning

May 30, 2010 by

Signifer

Signified

Sign

Above three words are the basic to understand semiotics.

I found an example to make it easy to understand the terms above.

Short text Message Service (SMS) are widely use in mobile phone for communication. Especially popular among Asian young girl, who prefer to communicate via SMS. Each message is limited to 160 character in each message. In order to maximize the content in each message, different abbreviation are produced, as if a new language: SMS language.

Take ASAP for example.

ASAP is a ‘Signifer’, which is the physical form of sign.

ASAP, from the initials of As Soon As Possible’ , is ‘Signified’ to be ‘as soon as possible’.

The ‘Sign’, ‘ASAP’ is formed. From being meaningless, to can be interpreted as  ‘as soon as possible’.

Some ‘signs’ are more creative.

like ‘^_^’ is a happy face. or ‘:)’ is also a smiling face. This codes condense the meaning into picture. Vibrant the text message.

SMS usage also appear in Movie. Example can be found  in ‘The Departed’ (2006). In one scene, Leonardo DiCaprio sent a SMS with a symbol ‘$’, to alert his boss Queenan, acted byMartin Sheen, the drug dealer is doing transaction.

Reference:

Srivastava, L. (2005) ‘ Mobile phones and the evolution of social behaviour’  Behaviour & Information Technology, Vol. 24, No. 2, March – April 2005, 111 – 129

Week 9 – Media Audiences

May 30, 2010 by

Reading: Couldry, Nick ‘The extended audience’.

According to Couldry, there are three types of audience.

Simple audience, refer to book readers and drama viewers.

Mass audience, refer to readers to mass media, like newspaper, radio, and television.

Diffused audience, refers to audience connect to more then one media form.

At the time of simple audience, say the beginning of 20 centry to 1950, cross platform media is not usual.  At that time, magazine is the popular media. At the Second World War, LIFE magazine act as the ‘messager’ to bring readers to the war zone via the photos. Although readers read the photos days or weeks after the event had took place, most of them still enjoy. Because magazine is the only reliable source of information.

At the era of simple audience, there are a clear boundary between producer and consumer. Due to the fact that the majority could not afford photographic equipment.  Germany made Leica or Zeiss are very popular that at time, and it cost more then a month salary of a worker. More over, the film process required trained technique.   These hinder the participation of amateurs.

As time pass to 70’s, the LIFE magazine closed. No one would like latest news weeks ago. TV and radio broadcast replace magazine to show the audience first hand news. Life video broadcast available as the digital recorder was made, which was use at the Apollo Luna Mission. After that, video no longer required the chemical develop process  and can transmit directly for edit or broadcast.

Mass audience adopt the use of mass media. But each media seems do not coordinate cross platform. More importantly, boundary between producer and consumer is still clear.

The most influence event in the past decade is the attack on World Trade Centre at New York, USA, on 11th September, 2001.

This can be regard as the last live broadcast via mass media, the CNN. Later on, the latest news of South Asia Tsunami and the Death of Michael Jackson are captured and post on web. From web and report by the mass media.

Diffused audience appear after year 2000. They can participate the news making. Boundary between producer and consumer  become vague. Due to the affordable camrecorder and the spread of internet.

Internet provide the platform which can access anywhere (a good network). Like the Queen has her only channel on YouTube.

The traditional print media, like Wall Street Journal, has the online version, provide free access.

LIFE magazine, which fade away, alive on Google Book.

Week 12- Identity

May 25, 2010 by

During, S (2005) “Debating Identity”, Cultural Studies: A Critical Introduction, Routledge: London, pp 145-152.

In this weeks reading it focused on identity, this reading makes the point that many aspects come together to create a person’s identity. During also suggests that we do not have one identity (During 2005, p. 146) but plural “identities” and that a certain identity may have more importance depending on the social setting one is in (During  2005, p.146).

During also makes the point that “individuals have little power” (During 2005, p. 145) over which features define their identity, rather identity is often created from “the outside” (During 2006, p. 145). This reading also discusses the topic of “identity politics (During 2005, p. 147) which reminds us that the way we identify not only ourselves but the way we look at and identify others has consequences.

This reading makes me think more in depth about the identities we all have, what traits contribute to it? and what identities society puts on us all.  Another good point made by this reading is that identities are extremely important as they give us a sense of “belonging” to different communities (During 2005, p.152) and argues that society can simply not exist without certain identities such as “names, family or nation” (During 2005, p. 155). This reading made helped me to understand that identities are a big part of our culture as humans and will continue to be for a long time.

Week 11 – Research Interviewing

May 25, 2010 by

Weerakkody in their writing, “Research Interviewing” highlights the importance of developing an appropriate interviewing technique during the qualitative research process. The author makes some important observations about the holistic approach to research interviewing from the styles of interviewing, how to approach and treat an interviewee, the advantages, disadvantages and types of research interviews, and the application of these interviews. This reading contains numerous concepts applicable to the first part of Assignment 3 for the Art 1090 course.

The author notes the use of semi-structured interview which allows open ended questions, providing a “mixture of both the respondent’s and the researcher’s points of view” (Weerakkody 2009, p. 167). Similarly, this level of flexibility is further enhanced through unstructured interviews which allow unique characteristics and circumstances to be considered through open ended discussion with the respondent. I believe this form of interviewing technique will be applicable when interviewing my subject for the third assignment. This will allow me to grasp an understanding of the subject’s views regarding their media usage as well as enable me to direct the interview through certain open ended questions. Similarly, I will be able to use a mix of descriptive, structural and contrast questions. For example: an ‘experience question’ might be, “can you give me an example of how you believe you used your iPhone to improve your mobility?” Alternatively I may ask a ‘contrast question’ such as “What is the difference between using an iPhone as oppose to a regular mobile telephone and how has this impacted on your life?” “What was it like before the iPhone?”

I believe an important point raised by the author is the importance of developing a rapport with the interviewee and ensuring they are treated “fairly, with respect and politely” (Weerakkody 2009, p. 174).

When collecting and analysing the data, particularly for Assignment 3, it is important to note the disadvantages, or limitations associated with research interviews and Weerakkody notes.

In explaining the types and genres of qualitative research interviews, the author notes ethnographic conversation, depth interviews, group interviews, narrative interviews and postmodern interviews. Of most relevance to assignment 3 I believe is depth interviews as Weerakkody notes, these types of interviews “are often used in media and communication research.” (Weerakkody 2009, p. 178).

Liamputtong in the reading, ‘Writing a Qualitative Research Report’ unlike Weerakkody focuses on the actual construction of a research paper to report on your qualitative research. This is very much applicable to the second part of Assignment 3 for this course. I believe the core argument of this writing is that qualitative research is about being able to produce and report on results such that they can be read and inform others of the results in a “convincing argument” (Liamputtong 2009, p.317) of a particular research project.

An important point I gauged from the reading was that of structure and the need to ensure “careful attention to structure and meaning” (Liamputtong 2009, p. 318). This is due to the fact that qualitative writing will often include discussion throughout the entire paper which, if not structured properly, can often lead to confusion for a reader and the potential to sway from the specific point or topic area.

When considering the structure of a qualitative research report, the author notes the importance of giving consideration to the audience. In this instance, Assignment 3 is written for submission to the Arts Faculty and as such will require a basic academic approach. Communicating your research effectively to your target audience can be done through selecting an appropriate writing format such as a report, article or book. In the instance of Assignment 3, the research will be presented in a report format, however in all three instances, the author has noted the importance of developing and maintaining a clear structure, with key components, sequence and content with flows smoothly, with linkages to previous paragraphs and chapters.

Both authors have clearly identified mechanisms to ensure that qualitative research and qualitative research reporting writing is capable of producing the most effective results. Some main concepts I have taken from these readings, which can be applied to Assignment 3 of this course include that of:

  • Appropriate interview technique, questions and approach to the interviewee;
  • Maintaining structure and linkages in the report writing process and using graphics to support discussion; and
  • Producing innovation and well connected research reports through appropriate selection of report format, effective analysis of research findings and communication of the key issues.

Week 11- Research Interviewing in Everyday Life 2

May 24, 2010 by

Weerakody, N. “Research Interviewing” In Research Methods for Media and Communication. London, Oxford, 2009, 166-185.

This article focused on the research method of the interview, something we as students of the ARTS1090 course have become familiar with in our research proposal and research assignment.

The different types of interviews are explored in this reading including “structured, semi-structured and unstructured” (Weerakody 2009, p. 166) it examines which situations to use which style in, which was very helpful in guiding me for my assignment. This article is great as it gives examples of each style to make it easier for the reader to understand exactly which each type entails.

This reading discusses how conduct a research interview in great detail – an excellent guide for anyone wanting to know more about how to conduct an interview. Some of the steps discussed in detail are “preparation, equipment needs, location of interview, conducting the interview, duration” (Weerakody 2009, p. 171) as well as what to do “after the interview” (Weerakody 2009, p. 171).

This reading is to me an extensive guide to how to conduct an interview as well as a helpful tool to use as a guide when researching for our own assignments. This article reminds me that qualitative research is very valuable and needs as much thought used as quantitative research. I would like to read the other chapters on quantitative research by Weerakody as I feel this article was very helpful in understanding the research concept.  This reading raises the question to me, what other aspects could make my research technique more effective?

Week 10 – Semiotics and Meaning

May 18, 2010 by

The core argument in Schirato and Yell’s reading regarding semiotics and the development of new theories about meaning is associated with two main concepts:

  1. Words are problematic; and
  2. There are differing meanings of words and these can be manipulated to suit certain acts and experiences

These two concepts are very much drawn upon by Volosinov who highlights the importance associated with words and their potential to create problematic situations. Similarly, through this, he highlights the importance of context in manipulating meanings of words. For example the value and meaning of a woman (or signifier) and the way they are treated in a culture is representative of the “ideological struggle” (Schirato and Yell 2001, p.26) associated with meaning and differing contexts. If women are associated with domesticity, lack of freedom and unprofessionalism, it is difficult to change the conditions in which they find themselves and the cultural perceptions of this gender.

Similarly, the politics of meaning as described by the authors through the use of the white settlement/invasion example depict how the through various strategies only one set of meanings are conveyed as the most rational, sensible and truthful. As the authors note, this creates a “conflict over meanings” (Schirato and Yell 2001, p. 33).

Lury applies this concept of influencing context and opinion through describing the widespread use of the logo sign and symbol, its positioning and content. The author notes that “marks or logos organise a process of identification, presenting a mark of social identity” (Lury 2004, p.75). Using this example, Lury is able to highlight the importance of this semiotic approach, in creating a symbolic and iconic item (or recognisable logo) and influencing individual’s perceptions and behaviour linked to certain products. Through strategies such as repetition, brand positioning, personification, indexing (secondness) and iconic figures/symbols (physiognomics), Lury highlights how the logo is able to “focus and channel sense and meaning” (Lury 2004, p.78) whether it be to users, consumers, company officials or the general public. For example, the use of Virgins CEO Richard Branson as a logo, the use of Dick Smith as the product name for Australian condiments and other products, Nike linking the use of their products with iconic sporting individuals, Kleenex or Kodak which has a ‘no-nonsense’ tone which is easy to commit to memory. All these examples, as Lury notes, have a “lasting, emotional tie with consumers” (Lury 2004, p. 90).

Week 9 – Media Audiences

May 11, 2010 by

The core argument in Hadden’s reading is the increasing complexity associated with communications and technology including:

  • the ways in which we can influence the use of and place limitations on the use of technology;
  • the evolution of media and its connection to historical technologies; and
  • the changes in human routines to complement the changing technology.

Through this, the author has highlighted the benefits associated with the totality of communication practices and notes the relationships between these elements.

I believe the overriding point which can be extracted from this reading is that of the linkages of modern dynamics of technology and human behaviour with its history. Hadden notes that technological advancements are not solely associated with the creation of ‘new’ technologies, but rather simply the use of older technologies in new ways and increasing complexity (continuities between media). “The arrival of new ICTs leads us to use pre-existing objects in new ways and in general increases the complexity of communication practices” (Hadden 2005, p.12). For example: mobile phones have not displaced the land line, and text messaging has not displaced phone calls, rather these innovations have complemented the historic communication practices. This can also be seen in technologies such as the iPhone, where services such as the internet have not eliminated use of the internet on home computers, but rather provided an additional service through which to access to internet.

Through observing the totality of communication practices we can see the evolution of technology as not solely associated with the invention of new technologies but rather the development of more complex communication options through enhancing  existing technologies. These ultimately influence and complement the changing actions and habits of individual’s communication patterns, and the social acceptance of certain communication choices. For example: sending an email instead of posting a letter to announce a significant event or moment. This can be seen in the use of Facebook as an event organiser. Historically, inviting people to an event was done through personal initiations, sent to their address in hard copy. Nowadays, most events I attend have been organised through Facebook with no invitations posted to individuals.

Hadden notes that the limitations associated with her writing and suggests that she has not discussed social consequences associated with this changing balance. I believe that the evolution of this form of communication and changing human behaviour has had both positive and negative social consequences. Evolving communication material and the acceptance of these practices such as email and messaging has enabled a more instant and potentially efficient form of communication amongst its users, however in many instances I can see it fostering disconnection and a lack of intimacy/personalisation amongst individuals.  Social networking sites such as Facebook, while enabling more frequent contact, do not provide opportunity for physical contact. This limits intimacy and personal connection through things such as mass internet Facebook event invites as oppose to personalised invites which are posted or hand delivered.

Week 9 – Media Audiences

May 10, 2010 by

Couldry, Nick. “The Extended Audience: Scanning the Horizon”. In Gillespie, Marie. Ed. Media Audiences. Berkshire: Open University Press, 2005, 184-196 & 210-220.

 In his article, “The Extended Audience”, Nick Couldry engages with the idea of the media ‘audience’. He emphasises the need to “understand audiences’ relationship[s] to a new spectrum of media outlets…a more complex interlocking of old and new media” which extends beyond issues of convergence and considers how the things audiences do are being affected by the things with which they interact. Furthermore, Couldry believes “we must make new connections, extending the places and activities we study in order to grasp what membership of the contemporary audience involves”. Finally, we also need to consider the increasing individualisation of audiences’ access points to media…or the increasingly global scale on which audiences are linked because of media’s international flow and the internet’s automatic global link; or the new ways of engaging with media summed up in the word ‘interactivity’”.

 Couldry uses the theories of Abercrombie and Longhurst to discuss the various types of audiences, including the ‘diffused audience’ – the notion that in contemporary society everyone becomes an audience all of the time. Couldry proposes that the term ‘extended’ audience may actually be more appropriate as it “requires us to examine the whole spectrum of talk, action and thought that draws on media, or is orientated towards media”. In particular, Couldry discusses the extended audience in relation to ‘reality TV’. In many respects, there still remains a division between audiences and the media industry. For instance, when audiences travel to various media locations, such as the site of Big Brother, they are still visitors to a different space and “the underlying distance is unaffected”. On the other hand, the invention of new media technologies can be seen to alter the power relationships between media consumers and producers. Any individual with access to a camcorder and the internet has the power to broadcast ‘reality’ footage of their own life. This has the potential to turn ‘ordinary’ people into celebrities. A recent example is possibly Canadian teen Justin Bieber who broadcast videos of himself singing and performing on YouTube. After being accidently ‘discovered’ by singer/manager Scooter Braun, Bieber has become an international pop/R&B singer. Such examples demonstrate how the boundaries between audience and media production are in a constant state of flux.