Starter Packs 101

The Starter Pack meme was one of the biggest memes of 2017 and continues to bring humour to social media in 2018. While it might me ‘just a meme’ the Starter Packs can reveal a lot about a persons online and offline persona. 

There is a Starter Pack meme for literally everything. Types of people at a particular event, people at school/university, people in their everyday lives, you name it, there’s a Starter Pack for it.

After this week discussing online persona and perception, we decided to see how Starter Packs could work in the real world and if they have the same effect.

After finding each other starter packs, I realised a few things:

  1. Just because you think you know someone well doesn’t make it easy when you’re under pressure to remember things about them
  2. Starter Packs CAN be made in the real world as well as online – even if a person’s persona in both realms is slightly different
  3. Kmart really does have everything

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

 

 

 

How to get to the Top of the Stack: An Idiot’s Guide to Getting ‘Noticed’ on Twitter

As a fangirl, it has always been a dream of mine to be ‘noticed’ by one of my ‘faves’ on Twitter. Whilst that might sound lame (and to be honest, it kind of is) being noticed is a big deal in the fandom world. But being noticed doesn’t just happen and there a few steps you must take to make it to the top of the fandom stack.

1. Own a device

This step is crucial. Without a laptop or smart phone, you don’t have access to Twitter, and it’s pretty hard to get noticed if you’re not even on Twitter.

2. Download Twitter and make an account.

Again, this step is crucial. What you make your Twitter account about is up to you, but generally people have accounts based around their love for a particular person or thing, which makes it a lot easier to get noticed.

3. Get followers

Accounts with more followers are likely to appear further up in a person’s feed and so are therefore more likely to be noticed. It’s just common sense.

4. Reply to EVERYTHING

This step can only be completed when you have completed all other steps. You must reply to everything your ‘fave’ tweets in the first thirty seconds after they tweet it, otherwise you have no chance of that elusive notice.

5. Repeat step 4 until you are successful

Now, all you can do is continually tweet at your ‘fave’ and hope that one day they take notice of you. And when they do, that is when you have officially made it to the top of the fandom stack.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

How Different We Would Be Without Disney

What if we didn’t have copyright laws? What if anyone could copy someone else’s work and play it off as their own? The internet would likely be a very different environment…

When it comes down to it, we really have Disney to thank for the extensive copyright laws that are in place today. When the character of Mickey Mouse was about to become available in the public sphere, Disney decided that this just wasn’t an option, and so now we have monopoly and copyright laws that extend until long after an author’s death.

This doesn’t stop content creators though, if anything, the volume of people creating their own content based on another person’s and distributing it for public consumption has increased. Fanfiction and fan art are two of the most popular forms of ‘recreation’ however there is also cover versions, spin offs and music remixes.

Take this audio clip for example. Whilst some of the melody might be recognisable if you listen really carefully, the edits that have been made to the original audio clips have made the songs virtually unidentifiable. But it is still a form of remix (just not a very good one).

So whilst copyright laws have made it harder for people to make their own content, it certainly hasn’t stopped them altogether.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

Meme is the Word

The idea that the internet is a copy machine is perhaps best represented in the world of internet memes. Memes somehow manage to transcend social media barriers, making them a popular form of entertainment across all social media platforms.

Individual memes generally start small and then explode as more and more people take the original and give it their own spin. Many would think that memes are a part of society’s ‘lower’ or pop culture, but literally everyone makes, distributes and appreciates memes.  When thinking of ‘higher powers’ that use memes to communicate with their audience, the first thing that comes to mind is the NSW Police Force. Last year (2017), the Police Force’s Facebook page became renowned for sharing not important information that is vital to the safety of citizens, but memes. police gif.gif

In terms of both a marketing tool and a public relations tool, the Police Force’s use of memes was genius. The relatability and humour of the posts allowed engagement with a whole new audience who are typically stereotyped as ‘not interested’ in such affairs; Millennials.

Sadly, the NSW Police Force memes have since died off, but the success of memes in the ‘fight’ against crime, whether legitimate or not is undoubtable.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

 

Modern Media ‘Moguls’

In today’s society, it’s all about who you know, not what you know. And it is this which gives social media ‘influencers’ their power, whether they deserve it or not. 

influencer gif.gif

There’s no real requirements to being a ‘social media influencer’ but they all have one thing in common; they love to tell you that they are. But while they can generate a lot of criticism, there’s no use in denying that they have power, even if it is only in the social media world.

One of the major impacts that influencers have had on media is a change in the way that brands use media to advertise their product or service. A post made by an influencer on the platform of their choosing is highly likely to generate a lot more traffic towards a brand than an advertising slot in a legacy media channel. Because of this, brands also have the ability to analyse the success of their advertisements through an influencer in a way that just isn’t possible with legacy media.

Whether this change is for the better or worse isn’t exactly clear, but one thing’s for certain; social media influencers aren’t going anywhere.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

 

 

 

 

Snapchat Storytellers

The way in which we find our news is constantly changing. There is no one set way to discover the latest breaking news.

With the election of Donald Trump in 2016, ‘Fake News’ has somehow made its way to the forefront of what a lot of us now take as ‘news’. A growing reliance on social media has also greatly assisted in this change.

But what does this mean for the news as we know it?

snapchat breaking news

It means that we now live in a world where anyone can share anything at any time to an open audience and have it classifies as an audience. Snapchat is the most likely social media platform (aside from Facebook, which will always be somewhat used as a news platform) to be used for such a purpose. This is because Snapchat is instantaneous; you can take a photo of an event and immediately share it with one person, all your friends or the world.

Whether this form of ‘news’ should be considered fake, well that will no doubt be determined in the near future, but for now, Snapchat stands as a ‘reliable’ news source.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

 

 

Off the Field and into the Media Spotlight (or not)

It’s no secret that there is a far greater ratio of televised news media of men’s sport in comparison to women’s, but exactly how big is that gap and what role does the media play in it?

Between January 2008 and July 2009, men’s sport made up a whopping 81.1% of Australian sports coverage in televised news media, whilst women’s made up only 8.7%. Given the fact that women’s sport makes up for only 7% of overall televised sports coverage, these statistics aren’t surprising, but that doesn’t make them any less concerning. These statistics haven’t changed either, with women’s sport televised news coverage being at 6% and overall televised coverage being at 7% in 2014. With the constant push for gender equality across all aspects of society, why isn’t the gap in sports news media getting any smaller?

Back to Basics

At its roots, the gender gap in sports news media is an issue of representation, wherein females are severely underrepresented. This isn’t an issue which is exclusive to sports news media, however it is one that is highly prevalent in the field.

The Ethics of it all

The MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics states that journalists should

“not place unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics”

which includes gender. With such a large gap between the coverage of female sports news and male, it’s hard to believe that there isn’t some degree of emphasis being placed on the gender of Australian athletes.

It Starts with the Journalists

Sports journalists are responsible for curating the sports news coverage we receive on a daily basis, so in a way, they are almost entirely responsible for the gap in men’s and women’s coverage (although other factors certainly play a part). That means that the issue of beginning to rectify the problem lays with the journalists, which, conveniently, appear to be majority male. In today’s society, it is reasonable to suggest that if women aren’t being given the opportunity to report on sport (both male and female), that the disparity between men’s and women’s sports media isn’t going to get any smaller.  For journalists, it is important that they make an attempt to rectify this gap, which can be done by hiring more female sports reporters and including more news stories and coverage of women’s sport on the regular as a part of all news mediums.

The Bigger Picture

The severe gap in men’s and women’s sport coverage isn’t just an ethical issue within media fields, but it can also have an impact on inequality for women within society as a whole. Sport is such a significant part of the Australian lifestyle, so the fact that women are not being given the representation they deserve will to continue to have a damaging effect on the overall equality of genders within Australian society.

What’s being done? 

Obviously, inequality in sport isn’t just a media issue, so there are already campaigns in place which are working to get more women involved in sport (eg. Girls Make Your Move). With the help of such campaigns, hopefully the gap between men’s and women’s sport both in the news and on the field will eventually be erased.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

An Analysis of Australian Music Festivals in 2018 (By Someone Who is Completely Unqualified To Do So)

As someone who has never actually been to a music festival (soon to be rectified in July), I like to think I know I fair bit about them. I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the ‘basics’ of every single Australian music festival on the festival calendar. I’m serious, just go and have a look through the Instagram tags and you’ll learn everything there is to know about them.

Music Festival Starter Pack

But sadly, in recent years, music festivals have become less about the actual music and more about the promotion and marketing opportunities that the festivals create. What you wear has become more important than what band is playing next and the photos you take are more important than the friends you make. You don’t need to go to the festivals anymore because your entire Instagram and Facebook feed will be filled with images from every single moment of the festival within 24 hours. Yet tickets for said festivals are getting harder and harder to come by.

Why?

Because music festivals have become increasingly about perpetuating a persons’ brand across all media platforms. Say a girl wears a skirt from a ’boutique’ brand to a festival. She’ll (no doubt) take photos, post a couple of them to her Instagram, most likely tagging the brand and hashtagging the festival. This then leads down two different paths. The brand may take notice and potentially repost the girls’ photo of her wearing their clothing, which gives the girl positive exposure (and in this social media age, who doesn’t like that?) and the brand also gets exposure to a whole new market (being the girls Instagram following) by being tagged in the original image. Because she also hashtagged the image with the festival, thousands of other people will see the image, increasing both the brand and the girls’ following. Plus, its inevitable that her followers and friends will find themselves suffering from a case of FOMO (fear of missing out). A similar pattern can occur across all media platforms including Facebook and YouTube.

This increase in the need for people to share their lives on social media, specifically when it comes to music festivals, has also led to an increase in transmedia advertising for brands generally linked to music festivals. And this trend shows no sign of slowing, whether this is a good or bad thing, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

 

 

There’s Something About Beyoncé…

I have to begin this weeks blog with a disclaimer. I’ve always thought of Beyoncé as overrated. But I am also (somewhat) proud to say that after listening to her Lemonade’ album on repeat for the last few days, I have been converted. Her catchy songs and distinguishable persona make her almost an enigma, someone to be idolised.

Given this, when posing the question ‘Does Beyoncé matter?’, perhaps it shouldn’t be a question of does Beyoncé matter, but rather why Beyoncé matters. For this, I’m going to focus on her 2016 visual album ‘Lemonade‘.

Queen Bey’s 2016 musical offering has been often praised for its approach to tackling some of the biggest issues within society; feminism and race.

Beyoncé has certainly tackled the issue of feminism in her music prior to ‘Lemonade’, but in the 2016 album, her portrayal of feminism becomes more about the female identity and the ways in which women are represented rather than being a feminist in the general sense. On ‘Hold Up’  Beyoncé repeats the lyric “jealous or crazy” before she eventually decides ” More like being walked all over lately, walked all over lately, I’d rather be crazy”. This anger is something that is rarely expressed by women across all walks of life, usually for fear of being labelled as ‘crazy’ or ‘hysterical’. Because of Beyoncé’s position of power in the music industry, her addressing of such an issue in regards to feminism makes her audience stand up and pay attention. 

hold up

When her addressing of feminist issues is paired with racial themes, ‘Lemonade’ becomes almost targeted to Beyoncé’s black, female audience. The lead single ‘Formation shows Beyoncé’s embracement of her racial identity whilst singing “I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils” along with other racially themed lyrics. All of this is an example of Beyoncé using her platform for good, by bringing attention  to issues and ideas that matter to society on global scale, starting a much needed conversation.

formation gif

In a more industrial sense, Beyoncé continually ‘breaks the rules’. ‘Lemonade’ was not her first outing with a ‘surprise’ release, with 2013’s ‘Beyonce’ (again, complete with full accompanying visuals) breaking iTunes records within 3 days.

hair flip .gif

Following in Beyoncé’s footsteps, other artists such as Rihanna, Drake and Kendrick Lamar have also released albums without any promotion. Whilst ‘Lemonade’ didn’t have the full benefit of ‘surprise’ due to it being announced by HBO a week prior to its airing, it was still ground-breaking for the industry. Beyoncé initially released the album as a ‘Tidal’ exclusive for 24 hours, something which is not generally done by artists. As well as this, she debuted the visual aspect of the album in an hour long broadcast on cable network HBO, bypassing the generic routes of YouTube or MTV

Ultimately, Beyoncé’s importance to not only the music industry but society as a whole, lies in her choice to unapologetically always be herself and stand up for what she believes in. So in response to my initial question, yes, Beyoncé does matter and we should all take notice.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

 

 

The Reality of the Remix

By definition, a remix is “a version of a musical recording produced by remixing”. But in reality, a remix can be a lot more than just a song. Some might even say that everything is a remixSure, this might be a bit of a bold statement, but it’s not such a silly one.

everything is a remix gif
The four main sources of ‘remixes’; movies, music, books and TV

Think about it. Today, almost every movie, TV show, song, book, pretty much anything you can think of, draws its inspiration from something that already exists within our society. Your favourite sci-fi movie would no doubt take themes and ideas from the likes of Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who, and your romance novel follows a similar path as the likes of Romeo & Juliet and Pride & Prejudice.

Because of this, true originality can be hard to achieve, but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t create their own media and content. In fact, it means the exact opposite. Increasing fan bases and access to technology should be taking the advantage of having so much content available to them because of the internet and putting their own spin on it, essentially creating a remix.

It’s simply a reality that everything is remix in some way. We just need to embrace it.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x