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:
Just because you think you know someone well doesn’t make it easy when you’re under pressure to remember things about them
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 remix. Sure, this might be a bit of a bold statement, but it’s not such a silly one.
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.
In our ever-changing technological era, the focus is generally placed on the messages we receive from the media as a whole. Every day we take in new information and disperse our own interpretations of it. But the way in which we are presented this information is a lot more important than many would think.
Take Twitter for example. The online platform has over 330 million monthly users, approximately 1.8 billion less than Facebook. But why does Twitter have so many less? Twitter’s format attracts a different, smaller demographic than Facebook, primarily because of its short, straight-to-the-point way of communicating.
But what does this have to do with ‘the Medium is the Message’? The medium of Twitter dictates the way messages are portrayed on the platform. Everything from the character limit to the ability to add gifs to a ‘tweet’ appeals to a specific market, whom best use this particular medium to their advantage. If it was freeform, allowing longer posts like Facebook, well, it wouldn’t be Twitter anymore would it? It would simply become lost amongst the thousands of other communication platforms across the internet.
To me, the medium in which we communicate our individual messages really is an extension of ourselves, even if sometimes we wish it wasn’t.
Whenever I’m talking to someone about uni and I’ve said that I have to do a ‘Digital Artefact’, I’m usually met with blank stares. I then usually go onto explain that it’s ultimately a collection of media based around a topic, produced on the internet for public access. Seems easy enough right?
I mean, once you actually have an idea, a means to go about said idea and a projected audience, it really does seem somewhat achievable. However, the process to actually get to this point is exhaustive, and one which I’m still chipping away at.
I’d like to think I had a breakthrough this afternoon. After using Travis Wall’s ‘Project Starter’ I realised that yes, there was something that I know more about than the average person. Musicals. Because of this discovery, I’m ‘tossing around’ ideas of content that I could create to educate, entertain and enthuse musical lovers like myself. The front runner at this stage is a series of short video summaries of popular musicals, done in a comical style. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if I’ll actually be able to get this idea off the ground…