Media Audiences

Media Audiences

To be honest, I found this reading a little bit dull. I feel like all the concepts we are learning are just follow on from each other in a natural progression – although this is normal for any course, in my opinion the progression is so natural that it barely takes a minutes thought to understand.

The media audience’s readings although dull, were very insightful. It made you think about what an advertisement must actually include to target their audience. Livingstone states that these three aspects are:

Technology – what is the technology and how will the audience adjust to it? It’s important for advertisers to grasp this concept fully as is their product an add on from a previous technology? Or a brand new piece of equipment that teenagers themselves need to be taught to use. If so, who is really their target market?

Social Space of the product – is their product going to be accessible 24/7? Or only at certain times/locations? It is interestingly to note that the more popular products amongst all age’s groups are the ones that are accessible 24/7. This is because there is no longer an “average working day” and therefore people require the products use at different times.

Experience – this point refers to the change that the product will bring about in both the individual and as a society. This point is of vast important to me as it reminded me of something i once learnt in a Biotechnology subject, my lecturer once said to me “A new product will only be successful if it is a solution to a problem in society”. I believe this relates to experience as the product will only bring about change in the individuals life, if society as a whole believes it to be a problem too.

Although there was much more to the readings, I believe this blog has covered the most important bits. The rest, as stated above, I believe one could gather by reading briefly the introduction and conclusion.

Hope it makes sense

Natasha Boustani xx

Castells

Informationalism

Castell reading was very usefull to understand some terms I have listened and couldn’t understand them completely.

I totally agree when they said that networks constitute the fundamental pattern of life, on network that really impress me is Facebook, specially when you can see all the connections between your friends, when you se this you can really realized how you are connected to all people.

All of us are part of a network, it could be one or many, religious, social, political or whatever but this networks give us a part of our personality, and sometimes we mold it to fit in or be part of it. So that’s when we become a network society… Castells argues that it is not purely the technology that defines modern societies, but also cultural, economical and political factors that make up the network society. Influences such as religion, cultural upbringing, political organizations, and social status all shape the network society. Societies are shaped by these factors in many ways. These influences can either raise or hinder these societies.

Also Castell introduces to a concept named Space of flows is a high-level cultural abstraction of space and time, and their dynamic interactions with digital age society. The concept “reconceptualize new forms of spatial arrangements under the new technological paradigm”; a new type of space that allows distant synchronous, real-time interaction. (Castells, p.146).

When he talked about timeless time I got a little confused but I think he means that a lot of media and broadcasting like the internet is timeless, there is no day or night. I think this makes us wanted to be online more time, because it could be very late but you can still do a lot of works on the internet. You don’t have to be tied up to some schedule.

Media Audiences

Media Audiences

The most important thing about this reading is to understand what are the media audiences, so we could understand who were the intended readers oh each advertisement. According to Livingstone they are three issues or challenges that we have to know to understand the audience research.

Technology: Where she told us that we have to understand audiences’ relationship to a new spectrum of media outlets, like the interlocking of old and new media, that now we know its convergence.

Also the Social/Spatial: To see that while technology is changing also the physical and social locations of the audiences are. We were simple audiences and now because of all the developing we are a contemporary “diffused audience – that is almost permanently connected to one electronic medium or another, across almost every activity of social and private life” (Abercrombie and and Longhurst 1998). This is so impressive but know I’m getting used to it, along all the course I had realized that we are really connected to media almost all day long. We are becoming very dependant to it, and I’m sure most of us couldn’t live one day with out technology. After talking about that last concept, they introduce us to the contemporary audiences that are diffused across space. So now we can related this to some of the past lectures where we learned that now the media targets are more complicated because we used a lot of broadcasting sources.

The last issue is Experience how is the audience experiencing any change, like individualization and interactivity. About these two we fit perfectly to it, because for example we have our own computer and facebook.

Following the reading I think I found a lot of similarities to the past readings, because they mentioned about the importance of reality T.V or making the audience part of the show. That now especially in the USA the viewers dream of becoming part of the show, because its getting easier to become “famous”. I think this is very influential but this is also hurting society, because a lot of people specially teenagers are basing their lifes in becoming famous.

Also this cultural and social changes have produced a different type of audience-experience that Abercrombie and Longhurst call it diffused audience. Telling us that “in contemporary society, everyone becomes an audience all the time.” And this is true because media is part of our everyday life. I love when they refer to this concepts like inseparable. Another way to understand it, was when they talk about how people are simultaneously media performers and audience members.

I have study Foucault but I didn’t understand how the concept “power” was related to the reading.

The next concept they talk about was Media Culture, that was introduced by Alasuutaari in 1999. And he refers on how we are orientated towards media and deal with them on our lives. When I read this I remember of our inquiry about collecting all the media that one person used in a week, and also I related with the further reading “Research Questions for the Evolving Communications Landscape”, when they talk about mediated communication, especially the part when the make us think why we choose each media amongst all the possibilities, and when we use one medium amongst the others, or like they call it between the repertoire of practices.

They talk about how is getting very popular to be on the set of your favourite programs and I remember this last Easter when I went to New Zealand and went to the set of Lord of the Rings and Narnia. At last they tell us about the distance between audiences and media industry that is stills being real but we can cross it symbolically like with Skype. We can related this with the second reading when talking about evolution, because I remember when I was like 10 years old and our School took us to the US embassy so we could talk with some kids form another school in Texas. That was a huge step for us, and now is funny to think that now all people that have a computer and internet can have this kind of broadcasting.

Informationism

Today I’m going to be blogging about Castell’s article regarding Informationalism. I have to agree with my fellow blogger – s2juliees2 –that these reading seemed like a chore. This was mostly because I disagreed with some parts of his article.

The first thing Castell argues in his article is the concept of network societies and nodes, and how due to these networks not having a centre core – they are decentralized. Using facebook as an example, Castell argues that – if the nodes are people’s profile – and therefore no real “centre person” it is decentralized. I would have to disagree with this as I believe the central core is people’s profiles. The fact that one can move from one persons profile to another with such ease is evidence of a centralized system. Also the fact that one person can find out so much information about a person they don’t even have to meet, is also evidence of a centralized system. How else can it be explained?

Another thing I strongly disagreed with was Castell’s definition of a hacker. Castell implies through his article that Hackers are people that share information. When reading his article I pick up on sort of a Robin Hood vibe about his perception of Hackers – how they take from the rich and give to the needed (e.g. Limewire). To me a Hacker has a very negative spin to it and to imply that Hackers “share information” and steal property from someone to publish to the world seems wrong. A hacker is someone who is doing something illegal and therefore Castell’s positive spin on a Hacker is indisputably wrong.

To sum up Castell’s article, he also talks about some other concepts that i believe need a mention, such as “networking societies” and timeless time.

These concepts are both easily definable and tie in to the central core/node concept above. Networking societies are where a society can exist online, where friendships and relationships are formed through online networks. Again facebook is an example

Timeless time is that of something like the internet; which a place that doesn’t run on biological or clock time – it’s really timeless.

I really just wanted to make evident my view of this article and how I really disagreed with a lot of what Castell’s was writing. I intend to bring these points up in the tutorial as I would really be interested to see how many people agree with me – especially in regards to the Hacker aspect

Hope it make sense,

Natasha Boustani xx

 P.S. sorry about the late Post. i had troubles getting onto the wordpress site. Please note Penny, that i sent you an email about this blog and you have an attachment showing it was done last week.

Thanks. My week 9 blog will be up later tonight xx

Networks

Where we read: Informationalism, networks and the network society: a theoretical blueprint

To be honest, these readings sometimes feel like a chore, yet other times are actually quite interesting.
This week, it’s actually quite interesting. In this reading Castells interprets networks in many ways.
He defines ‘network society’ as “a society whose social structure is made of networks powered by microelectronics-based information and communication technology”.

This widens my span of knowledge in regards to networks as i always thought of that term being very broad, and i’m right but in other ways I am not. Castells states that “a network is a set of interconnected nodes”, when i read this sentence my first thought was “what the heck are nodes?” however, being such a smart cookie, Castells define the term ‘node’ as the point where the curve intersects itself.

Which instantly makes me think that a network may look  a little something like this:

According to Castells, “a network is defined by the program that assigns the network its goals and it’s rules of performance”. His idea that networks work a binary logic which is made up of inclusion and exclusion was pretty much new to me, but understandable. He words things in a simple matter in which, someone who know snothing about networks can read about it and understand.

This reading made me realise that the network society wasn’t ‘just’ created, but has always been around.  If Castells is right about the fact that networks constitute the fundamental patterns of life. Then wouldn’t it mean that networks has always been here with us? right before technology was created.

If we were in a world without ‘networks’- that is if the word didn’t even exist, how would we connect now?

I find myself repeating this alot, but, imagine a world without things like facebook, msn, telegraphs, phones, mobile phones, wireless internet etc…

what do you think you would do?

For one, i think i’d go crazy, but then hey, our ancestors survived didn’t they?
 Maybe, it’s because we were brought up in a place were the ‘network society’ are completely a normal and a taken-for-granted thing.

always,
Photobucket

Networking: Finding a Place in the Present.

Every week it is obvious how the readings tie in to the other notions of media in everyday life that we have studied in previous weeks. This week, reading about networks, the relationship of the topic to notions of temporality and space is solid and significant; To me, studying networks has given me new perspectives on temporality and spatiality.

In Castells’ article, he discusses the networks role in creating a shift from “becoming” into “being”. This idea led me to consider contemporary forms of media (i.e. instantaneous, micro-electronics based information and communication channels) as creating a time space of a present tense; no longer is news or media something formulated on a periodic basis, nor is it fed to us by way of long channels of communication. Instead, news and media, as well as social interaction, is something constantly updated, something that transforms “audiences” to “users”, as discussed by Dr Bruns in his readings (see – the “Watercooler Effect” and “citizen journalists”, and  in my blogs in previous weeks), and a temporal shift that creates new emerging “spaces” – my next point.

Networking’s impact on spatiality is that, as Castells explained, it cancels out the traditional “society” unit to a large extent, instead forming micro-societies, based on relationships of identity, interests, and digital space. The ability to network all over the world renders the traditional meanings of “culture” old fashioned; now a “culture” can be a group of any collection of people, from any number of places on Earth, their culture based on something they share in common – be it an object, an identity, or an idea.

These are the major ideas I have gained from studying Networks this past week. Being absorbed in a number of networks myself, I am considering the relationships they have created, why I am part of some networks, and how I came to be a part of my different networks; also how I engage with these networks on a regular basis. Definitely some food for thought this week.

Lastly, I just wanted to bring another episode of South Park to everyone’s attention again (South Park seems to illustrate all these ideas really well for some reason!) The episode is called “You Have 0 Friends“, and is about Facebook, new media networking, and the importance we place on the networks we build. Definitely a good laugh, but also very true.

Networks

According to Manuel Castells in his work Informationalism, Networks and the Network Society: A Theoretical Blueprint, a network society is defined as, “a society whose social structure is made of networks powered by microelectronics-based information and communication technologies.” (Castells 3) To further break down this definition he describes social structure as “the organizational arrangements of humans in relations of production, consumption, reproduction, experience and power expressed in meaningful communication coded by culture” (Castells 3). He says that networks are sets of interconnected nodes. The main point of his article is to argue that we are not, in fact, in the age of information or age of knowledge, but rather a network society. He argues that the three main features of networks are flexibility, scalability and survivability. Flexibility means that networks can change and reorganize based on changing environments. Scalability means that networks can alter their size without affecting the system as a whole. Survivabilility means that networks are durable because of the way they are set up. They can resist attacks on their nodes and find other ways to perform. Like other authors we have read thus far, Castells is concerned with the issues of time and space and how they relate to media. He believes that in a network society “the relationship to time is defined by the use of information and communication technologies in a relentless effort to annihilate time by negating sequencing” (Castells 37). In terms of space, Castells discusses the term “space of flows”. He says that space of flows is not placeless, but rather “places connected by electronically powered communication networks through which flows of information circulate and interace, which ensure the time sharing of practices processed in such a space” (Castells 36),
This issue of time and space brings me to one of the other readings from this week: Terese Rizzo’s Programming Your Own Channel: An Archaeology of the Playlist. In her article Rizzo discusses the evolution of the “playlist”, a term commonly used in music, for television. This is due to technological advancements such as Foxtel iQ, TiVo, YouTube, the iPod, etc. Because of these new inventions viewers are able to choose what they want and when, ignoring the “flow” set up by broadcast networks. This also prioritizes more specialized channels as people can pick and choose from different channels as opposed to watching whatever was offered by the broadcast network. I found her case study on Foxtel iQ particularly interesting. I am not familiar with Foxtel iQ but from what I have read it seems to be very similar to TiVo which I have had in my home for years. I have used the machines capabilities to personalize my television viewing in many ways. This includes “TiVoing” an entire season of my favorite show so I can watch each episode whenever I have time or all together at the end of the season if I choose. I also often Tivo a show even if I am home to watch it, just to avoid commercials. By waiting to watch until ten minutes into the program I can just fast forward through the commercials to make my viewing more pleasurable. TiVo/ Foxtel iQ is a really good example of how technological advances have changed our long established networks by making them more personalized.