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

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

 

 

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

The Medium is the what?

The Medium is the Message. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, a message is “the change of scale or pace or pattern” and the medium is “any extension of ourselves”, but  how do they relate?

kanye gif

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.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

What the hell is a Digital Artefact?

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?

Wrong.

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…

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

Introductions

You know those people that always say “It’s so hard to write/talk/post about yourself”? Yeah, they really weren’t joking. But that’s what I’ve signed up to do, so here we go…

Hi! My name’s Jessica (but literally everyone calls me Jess) Oehm and I am a first year student at the University of Wollongong studying a Bachelor of Media and Communications/Bachelor of Arts. Nice to meet you!

Rather than spend 300 words telling you where I grew up (Wagga Wagga – born and raised) and what school I went to (Kooringal High School), I thought I’d introduce you to 3 key things that are essential to the ‘Jess Oehm Starter Pack’. Let’s get started:

Starter Pack
All the essentials required to be me

1. Performing Arts + Music

I’ve always been involved in performing in some way since I was 5 and to say I love being on stage would be an understatement. I took drama classes for 10 years through primary school and high school, performing in small productions with other kids. When I went to high school, I quickly got involved in the annual musicals, and that’s when my love of performing extended to music. I acted and sung in every musical from year 7 to 12, as well as performing solo and in ensembles for other school functions. Music has always been an ‘escape’ for me, and being able to perform both music and theatre for other people is just an extension of my love for it.

2. YouTube

I believe YouTube and YouTubers go through phases, and my interest in them has been no different. I’ve always watched YouTube in some way, however the actual YouTubers I watch are constantly changing. I’ve had (and continue to have) a Troye Sivan phase, I once binge watched every Tyler Oakley, Zoella and Connor Franta video and I am still deeply invested in the Dan and Phil ‘Phandom’ (including spending over $200 on meeting them – totally worth it). As well as these guys, I’ve watched my fair share of Vine compilations, music videos and fan theory videos. If you ever wanted to find me, your best bet would be that I’m holed up somewhere wasting hours on YouTube (what can ya do?)

3. My Phone

At a year 12 function, I was voted ‘Most likely to walk into a wall whilst texting’ and believe me, that is not an understatement. Whilst I may not always be texting, it is very rare to find me anywhere without my phone, and I am constantly snapchatting, instagramming and facebooking. Some may call me ‘anti-social’ but I just tell them I am being social, just not with you. In the new technological age we live in, I think it’s important to always be connected to the broader, online world (which is part of the reason I chose my degree – but that’s another post) and my phone is the easiest way to stay connected, hence why it’s always with me.

 

So there you have it. That’s me in a nutshell. I’m sure you’ll continue to learn more about me in later posts, but for now, that’s everything you need to know to understand me.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x