Ted teaches us about the long tail effect

BCM 206

WARNING MEME CONTENT

Due an oversaturation of information in our attention economy legacy media companies only distribute the top 20% of popular content. This is due to the method of trying to appeal to a mass audience, leaving a whopping 80% of content unavailable. This extra 80% of content is described as ‘niche’ content as it appeals to a much smaller audience. This niche content is then distributed through aggregators such as YouTube, Netflix and Amazon. The long tail effect is then comprised of this niche content.

 

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I decided to do this weeks remediation in a medium inspired by a Sims Machinima. Sims Machinima’s are basically short films which are acted out by the Sims in game. Sims Machinima has a very niche audience, which makes it part of the long tail effect.

Whilst my remediation isn’t technically a Sims Machinima and more of a stop motion slide show (because I don’t have the tools to create a Machinima) it still captures the basic concept of the niche media form whilst also being educational ūüôā

Points if you can spot the Easter Egg.

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Hallyu and the Hollywood Adaptation of My Sassy Girl

BCM 111

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Stephens, J, & Lee, S n.d., ‘Transcultural Adaptation of Feature Films: South Korea’s My Sassy Girl and its Remakes’,¬†Adaptation-The Journal Of Literature On Screen Studies, 11, 1, pp. 75-95, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, EBSCOhost, viewed 24 August 2018.

In this article, Stephens and Lee discuss the topic of transcultural appropriation in feature films by using the example of the Korean film ‘That Bizzare Girl’ (although more commonly know as ‘My Sassy Girl’) and comparing it to each of its remakes and adaptations. Stephens and Lee compare the original film both to its Korean sequel and other transnational remakes. Stephens and Lee make the point that when the original ‘My Sassy Girl’ “was released locally in South Korea, the box office success of¬†My Sassy Girl exceeded that of¬†Titanic,¬†Harry Potter and the Sorcerer‚Äôs Stone¬†and¬†The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”¬†The reason this film resonated so much with the Korean audience was that it was a modern retelling of popular folktales the¬†‚ÄėGyeonu and Jiknyeo‚Äô and ‚ÄėFool Ondal and Princess Pyeonggang.‚Äô This is why the focus of Stephen and Lee’s article concerns the folktale context of ‘My Sassy Girl’ and how this was translated into other cultures. Whilst Stephen and Lee highly allude to the fact that the folktale content of ‘My Sassy Girl’ was translated better in other south-east Asian remakes than it was in Hollywood through many examples, this point is not explicitly made.

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John Liu M, n.d, My Sassy Girl Lost in Hollywood’s Translation, Goldsea Asian American Perspectives, viewed 25 August 2018,¬†http://goldsea.com/Text/index.php?id=3299

In this article, John Liu discusses the unsuccessful American remake of the Korean film ‘My Sassy Girl.’ John Liu discusses this topic whilst also bringing to light the issue of Westernisation.¬†He makes this clear in his opening statement by saying; “There‚Äôs an idea that some of us subconsciously subscribe to that goes a little something like this: the rest of the world might have something mildly interesting going on here or there but the West is the center of the world and anything Westernized is automatically better.”¬†By addressing the issue of Westernization within this film review John Liu is bringing to light the issue of not giving Eastern cinema, specifically Korean cinema the credit that it’s due. He is trying to break the double standard between Western and Eastern film where Hollywood can seemingly¬†“put the best-looking actors with the best directors and screenwriters [and are] almost guaranteed international success!”¬†John Liu deepens this argument by making specific references to the lack of care that Hollywood put into the Americanised remake. For example, the element of fantasy that Hollywood saturated the remake in, whereas the original was purposefully made to seem like a real story because it was based off a true story. Secondly, the female lead in the American remake was depicted as deranged rather than as sassy. John Liu further makes the point that in American culture, men typically wouldn’t continue dating a woman who causes so much physical, verbal and emotional abuse as this caharcter does without being sexually satisfied.¬†Without keeping the significance, and motifs of the original film, and without then choosing to change some of these cultural themes to suit an American audience, the remake of My Sassy Girl essentially becomes just another poorly made romantic comedy.

Ideating the Sims of EA

BCM 114

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Welcome, to this incredibly long blog post that gives insight into the ideation stage of my digital artefact the “Sims of EA.”

Instead of instantly revealing to you exactly what my digital artefact is, I think that the best place to start this blog post from the start of my ideation process. This way you can receive the full picture of how the idea of my digital artefact was developed.

After partaking in BCM 112 last semester and working on a digital artefact that I had no care for I had to start again from the beginning. What initially prompted my ideation process were the design questions laid out in the pitch format guide;

“In what area am I knowledgeable? What project would I want to continue if I could? What do I enjoy doing/feel strongly about? What do I know more about than most people around me? What communities have I identified around these interests? What communities of users of [something] am I a part of or familiar with?”

After some consideration I decided to stick with basing my project around The Sims. The Sims is a game that I’ve been playing since I was six or seven years old. Furthermore, ever since my discovery of social media at the age of 12 I have been heavily involved in the sims online community.

Firstly, I decided that I had to tackle the sad but true issue of boredom in the game. Now don’t get me wrong, I like all of the other hard core sims fan absolutely love the game. However, when you’ve been playing a series of fairly similar games since the year 2000, gameplay can become a bit monotonous. Whilst there are some ways to spice up gameplay such as game packs and mods, each of these methods have their drawbacks.

What simmers need is a way to change up their gameplay without any of those additional add ons, and the way to do this is through how they play the game itself.

Another issue with the Sims that I wanted to tackle in my DA is a feature specific to the Sims 4 called the gallery. The gallery is a feature exclusive to the Sims 4 which allows players to upload, share and download their sims and house build creations. However, the gallery has become a highly oversaturated platform with large volumes of similar content. Furthermore, people tend to have a certain playing style. Hence looking for sims and storylines outside of a players style can be difficult and almost pointless on the gallery as you’re essentially searching for something you can’t conceive.

In summation, here is the starter pack of the people my DA is tailored to.
Sims of EA starter pack

Now for the reveal of my Digital Artefacts concept…

Sims of EA is essentially a curated version of the gallery. It is a platform for people to feature their sims and spread inspiration for gameplay and create a sim. I want the Sims of EA to be a diverse platform, full of many different sims and storylines, suited to multiple gameplay styles. The Sims of EA is currently being run through Instagram, which you can find here.

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The process of how I run the account is different at the moment to how I foresee it to be run in the future. Currently, I source my featured sims from platforms such as Reddit and Tumblr as these are platforms where people like to showcase their own creations. When I see a creation or a storyline that I find unique I then reach out to the person and ask if I can feature their sim on my page. For example, this is a screenshot showing how I sourced my first sim Missy Books when I was just starting the project.

missy books origin

The ultimate goal would be to eventually have people submitting their creations directly to me either through email or direct messaging on Instagram. I have had one person directly contact me through Instagram in the hopes to feature a sim one day, but so far they have not recommunicated with me.

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Furthermore, the way that I curate my individual posts have been different to how I originally foresaw them to be, and as of yet I have not chosen a distinct style. Originally, as stated in my Instagram bio I wanted my project to mimic the¬† ‘Humans of New York’ Instagram page which includes a picture of the individual and a quotation as the post text.

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However, as I have developed my idea from being a curated version of the sims 4 gallery to being a space that encourages different styles of gameplay the way that I present the sims have changed. For example, in my most recent post I finish the description of the family by saying;

“All three sims are young adults, skill less and at the start of their careers. This family is a great one to play as if you’re a fan of working your way through your sims careers in a rags to riches style of gameplay.”

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Another aspect of my project that I have been testing is follower engagement through Instagram stories. I have recently recoloured my profile picture from a plain white background (as the actual EA logo is) to a more colourful  version of it. I feel that this recolour of my profile image represents diversity that I plan to represent in my project, and the inclusion of the audience in the decision to change it will hopefully create the idea of my digital artefact as an interactive community space.  

Finally, the last feature of my digital artefact that I’m testing is the idea of creating an editor character for the Instagram page. This character will appear in the Instagram stories and will give insight into upcoming projects that the account is working on. Thus far there has only been one story post featuring this character, however, I am hoping this editor character will make the audience more willing to connect and interact with my digital artefact.

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It’s clear that I have certainly been thinking a lot about the function and future of the Sims of EA. Currently, I am in the observing phase, where I am testing a bunch of different ideas and seeing how my audience reacts to them. I am very excited to get to the stage where I can clearly define every aspect of my digital artefact.

Should we consider internationalising Australian Higher Education digitally?

BCM 111

Bell, M 2008, Internationalising The Australian Higher Education Curriculum Through Global Learning, n.p.: Research Online, Research Online, EBSCOhost, viewed 21 August 2018.

In this article Bell introduces the ‘global learning’ approach as a new way to internationalise Australian Higher Education. Bell’s method is founded on the understanding that students from low-economy countries can’t afford these exchange experiences, which results in these opportunities having a one way flow. Instead, Bell proposes utilising videoconference technologies to offer “a form of ‘virtual’ study abroad,” as a way to internationalise higher¬† education. Bells reasoning behind internationalising higher education is that “education is economic, framing education as a commodity existing within the ethos of trade agreements.”

To test her hypothesis, Bell conducted a case study involving students with students studying science from Australia, Ireland and America in regular videoconferences. Her findings concluded that the students enjoyed the unique opportunity to engage with one another and that the students felt that “the course supported them in developing understanding of the global perspectives of the debates around global warming and genetic modification, and on the positions taken within and between the three different student groups.”

Whilst Bells method for internationalising Australian Higher Education have benefits in internationalising education on a budget, there are limitations in her reasoning behind why we should internationalise Australian higher education. The biggest reason of why we should internationalise our higher education system should not be for economic benefit. Rather, it should be for the purposes of creating understanding and acceptance towards other cultures to help us function well as a global community. The emphasis should be on benefitting us as a connected globe, not on how we can benefit us as a singular country.

Gothe-Snape J, 27 April 2018, ‘International students are flocking to Australia, but the country’s infrastructure is not ready,’ ABC News,¬†http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-27/international-students-infrastructure-migration-housing/9693256

In this news article Gothe-Snape tackles the debacle of Australia’s infrastructure being inadequate to handle the amount of International Students studying in the country. With a 12 percent increase in International students from last year Gothe-Snape outlines the negative impacts that this has both in the International students and on the Australian public.

Firstly, Gothe-Snape identifies that the rise in international students has been the biggest factor of immigration growth. He backs up this claim by quoting demographer Liz Allen who said that “infrastructure development had not kept pace with the migration program in the past 20 years, and the blame fell on politicians.”

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Secondly, this continues to impact International students through the issues of employment exploitation which effects their income and housing opportunities. One of the biggest issues that International students face is finding affordable and safe housing. As International students “are only allowed to work for 20 hours a week, and it’s usually at minimum wage, though a lot of them get paid even less than that,” (Searle, 2018)

Perhaps a digital option as suggested in Bell’s research could be a good way to encourage Internationalisation of higher education without the physical effects of income, infrastructure and even violence? Contrarily, are some parts of cultural understanding and acceptance only learned through physical interaction? Would¬†a majoritively digital internationalisation program erode parts of this cultural understanding?

The Liquid Labour Chain

BCM 206

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We live in an information economy, filled with knowledge workers. To sustain an information economy there must be a free flow of information, this demands labour that is always available and unrestrained by boarders. Hence, these knowledge workers spend their time partaking in the chronic task of sorting. However, these workers don’t get paid, because unknowingly these workers are you. This is the reality of liquid labour.

My remediation this week focuses on the topic of liquid labour. ‘But what is liquid labour?’ you may ask. Let me explain.

The most successful businesses on the internet such as Google, Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo all share a fundamental characteristic, connectivity. They provide a platform to connect people, and we do all of the work to maintain these platforms. By utilizing and contributing to these businesses we keep these platforms functioning and thriving, and this is how we get caught in liquid labour chain. Similarly with WordPress. WordPress provides a platform of connectivity, where people are able to publish and discover blogs for free. By me writing this blog post and by you reading and commenting on it (hint, hint) we are collectively adding data, participation, and views to the company WordPress. My remediation focuses on the one-sided nature of the liquid labour relationship that we have discussed this week.

Plug in and join us in Cyberspace

BCM 206

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The creation of instant global communication is considered to be revolutionary.  However, what I consider to be even more revolutionary is the day this system became a distributed network.

By creating the internet as a distributed network users inherently have control over how they connect and what they do when connected. It was an unprecedented and  outrageous thought for the time that the general public could individually and freely broadcast to the entire globe. This is where Cyberspace as we know it today was birthed.

Cyberspace is described by William Gibson as “a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators… A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system.”

My remediation for this week focuses on this idea of cyberspace as a non-place yet as a civilisation of the mind. The psychology of cyberspace is interesting as it explores the concept of cyberspace being both a computer generated false reality and as a part of our physical reality (both in the physical devices we use daily such as smart phones and watches, and in the memes we gain from cyberspace that become part of our personal reality.) Furthermore, I designed my remediation in a cyberpunk aesthetic to represent the culture that cyberspace created.

Globalisation= Westernisation?

BCM 111

O‘Shaughnessy, Michael 2012, ‘Globalisation’, in Media and society, 5th ed, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp. 458-471

Michael O’Shaughnessy’s chapter ‘Globalisation’ in textbook ‘Media and Society’ predominately discusses the negative effects that globalisation has on issues such as poverty and culture. O’Shaughnessy uses the examples of the digital divide and subsequently cultural imperialism to showcase the negative results of globalisation. The Internet as a communication tool is what has shaped our globalised climate into what it is today.internet by income group.gif

O’Shaughnessy makes the point that having access to internet and global media is the key to having knowledge and power in todays society. The lack of internet access has created a digital divide, which further increases the gap between the rich and the poor. Consequently, lack of internet access can be very debilitating to developing nations as they are unable to contribute to the globalisation of the world.¬†This then results in cultural imperialism, where the most powerful country/countries ‘globalise’ the world with only their products. This can result in a monoculture, which ultimately wipes out the traditional cultures and customs of other countries.

Ultimately O’Shaughnessy raises two important problems which root from globalisation, and explains the internet’s role in aiding these issues. However, by placing a very heavy burden on the internet- which is only one aspect of the technoscape and the mediascape he considerably narrows his argument. Although the internet does play a large role in cultural imperialism, there are many other factors which contribute such as the finsanscape, the ethnoscape, the ideoscape and other areas of the mediascape and technoscape. Furthermore, O’Shaughnessy only focuses on how globalisation causes the homogenization of society and doesn’t consider any alternative outlooks such as hybridization.

Bhattacharjee, A 2017, ‘Impact of ‚ÄúCultural imperialism‚ÄĚ on advertising and marketing’, Journal Of Intercultural Communication, 2017, 45, Scopus¬ģ, EBSCOhost, viewed 7 August 2018.

Bhattacharjee’s study the ‘Impact of “Cultural imperialism” on advertising and marketing’ focuses on how different nations and companies partake in marketing and advertising both on a local and global level. Bhattacharjee opens her paper by discussing the popular notion of globalisation and it’s supposed link to cultural imperialism. People have begun to regard the terms ‘globalisation,’ westernisation,’ ‘Americanisation,’ and ‘homogenization’ as synonyms, with many even going so far to say that through globalisation America is creating a ‘McWorld.’

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Bhattacherjee challenges these popular opinions with her research findings of the marketing and adverting activities of different nations, companies and brands. Bhattacherjee suggest that what is taking place today is a hybridization of cultures rather than a homogenization. She states that “Global corporations like McDonald’s or Coke do not adapt to local preferences because of any philosophical commitment to global diversity. They do so because they have discovered that local tastes are not easily changed or homogenized.” Bhattacherjee concludes with the notion that what is taking place is multiculturalism and not homogenization.

Bhattacherjee’s method of focusing on the ideoscape by studying marketing and adverting patterns is a good way to measure how westernised the world is at this point in time. However, her study doesn’t identify or explore any of the negative effects that this marketing and advertising may have on people and their traditional cultures. Furthermore, Bhattacherjee argues that if a western brand adapts to the eastern culture it has inhabited there is therefore no westernisation taking place, such as her example of McDonalds. However, following that example, just because McDonalds adapts to accommodate the eastern pallet doesn’t disregard the fact that it has also brought the custom of fast food restaurant’s and it’s western brand monopolies into the eastern culture.

Too saturated for the truth

BCM 111, BCM 114, BCM 206

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After the invention of the telegraph people were forced to shift from the process of slow moving information to a word of rapid global communication. Shortly after people began questioning this shift, asking ‚ÄúWhat need is there for the scraps of news in ten minutes?‚ÄĚ claiming that the invention of the telegraph had resulted in information spreading ‚Äútoo fast for the truth.‚ÄĚ

The creation of the internet and the widespread access of it has only further propelled this notion of information spreading ‚Äútoo fast for the truth.‚ÄĚ Now that everyone has the ability to instantly communicate information, ideas, and memes to a global audience we have entered an era of information overload. This information overload creates problems such as fake news, and an imbalance of useless to useful information ratio. Hence, my iteration is a representation of our modern information landscape which is, and perhaps forever will be ‚Äútoo saturated for the truth.‚ÄĚ

Harry Potter and the Framing of the Hogwarts Basic Bitches

BCM 112

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Can you tell that I’m a Hufflepuff who’s really freaking tired of this framing crap?

As you can see, above is my rendition of how the different Hogwarts houses are stereotypically framed in society. Gryffindor,  the house of the brave and the best. Slytherin, the evil shits nobody likes. Ravenclaw, the smart students. And Hufflepuff, the leftovers.

So how did this ‘framing’ concept come about? And why is it so powerful?

Framing is a natural part of making a judgment. When our brains receive a piece of information, for example, a sight or sound it has to process it’s meaning to create a reaction. There is an infinite number of meanings to this information. so our brains need a mechanism to simplify¬†it.

Funnily enough, our brains use stories to simplify¬†our information. We use stories to make assumptions about what information means. Framing is the technique of constructing a story or a perception of information.¬†Which is why everyone gets confused as to why Hermione, the cleverest witch of her age isn’t a Ravenclaw. Because it doesn’t fit with the story.

So fellow misunderstood Hufflepuffs, don’t drown your sorrows in Butterbeer. Know that you’re not a leftover, but that framing is just a necessary part of life.

A Bazzar Podcast

BCM 112

The Cathedral and the Bazaar

Once upon a time, there was a Cathedral and a Bazaar. The Cathedral was “carefully crafted by individual wizards or small bands of mages working in splendid isolation, with no beta to be released before¬†it’s time.”¬† The Cathedral took months of scrutiny to program and solve bugs.

The Bazaar was “a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches (aptly symbolized by the Linux archive sites, who’d take submissions from anyone) out of which a coherent and stable system could seemingly emerge only by a succession of miracles.” The Bazaar was visible and accessible¬†by all users. Many people contributed, and by learning from each other merchants corrected their ‘bugs’ in selling quickly.

-An analogy by Eric Raymond

This theory is used to depict the difference between open and closed sourced software.¬†I decided to apply this theory to a podcast and see if an open based, unplanned podcast worked better than a closed, preplanned structure. And if the audience response to my podcast would wrinkle out the ‘bugs’ quickly.

So take a listen and let me know what you think!

-Also apologies in advance for my excruciatingly loud laugh.