Prototyping – Singles and Albums and Artists, Oh My!

For me, two of the hardest things for me to maintain whenever I start a new project, have always been time management and maintaining motivation. Looking into the future, it’s easy to say you can do something, but actually doing it is a whole other story. Unfortunately, this has kind of been the case with my Just Music blog.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m still writing and posting music related blogs, just not as regularly as I would like to be. And this entirely comes back to my time management skills and personal motivation. But I have thought about this a lot, and I have come up with some ways that I can rectify these (and some other minute) issues that I have encountered. I am also 100% open to suggestions, so if after reading this you think “Hey, I know how Jess can motivate herself”, PLEASE let me know.

The pile just keeps piling up

The problem with university is that, generally, subjects don’t really interact with each other. This means that more often than not, you end up with 3 assignments, 2 presentations and an exam all in the one week. Add writing weekly blog posts to the mix, and the pile of work seems to be never ending. Time management has never really been my strong suit, but it becomes increasingly obvious just how much I suck at it when weeks like this happen. In terms of Just Music, this has mainly affected my intention of posting weekly ‘New Music Friday’ posts. Restricting myself to  posting on a Friday was my first issue; assignments are always due at the end of the week, so if I’m not rushing to finish an assignment, I’m probably driving home, meaning I lose basically all of my Friday. This makes it really difficult to write a blog post about the new music that has come out that day, considering music is not released until at least midnight, sometimes even later. I’ve decided that in order to rectify this problem, I need to not restrict myself to posting on a Friday, and potentially open it up to posting anytime over the weekend. While not ideal in terms of getting content out as soon after a release as possible, it’s the only real way I can commit to weekly content with my current schedule. I think it’s easy to say that my plan for ‘New Music Friday’s’ was definitely a case of Fail Early, Fail Often, but now that I have identified this, I can work on figuring out a way that works best for me. This part of my process definitely involves a fair amount of breaking; I need to essentially break what I have already created, take out the aspects that worked, and put them back together in a way that works better than the original.

 

Motivation, where you at?

When it comes to projects, I am always either SUPER motivated or completely disinterested, there is no in between. Writing for Just Music, I have at times found myself with zero motivation to write a post, mainly when it comes to my ‘New Music Friday’ posts. Personally, I think this is because I am not always interested by the content that is released in a particular week. Some weeks, there is more new release music than others, this is just a fact. The issue arises when the new music isn’t by an artist that I usually listen to or of a genre that I like. This actually arises a few issues; it is a LOT easier to write a review of an artist if you have somewhat of a knowledge of their background, their audience and their older music and the same goes for genres. This isn’t really an issue that I can fix through feedback loops, it entirely comes back to me having inspiration and finding the motivation to actually write the posts. Another issue with this is the fact that the music industry is not regular; events such as festivals, concerts and interviews are not something that happen weekly or on a regular schedule. This makes it difficult to formulate a regular posting schedule, as I can’t always predict what content I am going to be able to write about in a particular week. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a way I can overcome this, I just have to try and stay on top of new content and write and publish posts as quickly as possible.

 

Engaging Engagement

You may not have realised, but I have also created an Instagram account to promote and direct traffic towards this blog. While the aesthetic of an Instagram account is incredibly pleasing, there a few issues when it comes to actually directing the traffic. It’s not possible to include links in an Instagram caption, which means that I have to then direct readers from the original post in the news feed to my actual profile, where the link is then in my bio. The problem with this is, people like to mindlessly double tap on Instagram posts, but very rarely do they actually go any further. To rectify this, I want to start posting more regularly so that my account becomes a regular presence in both my followers feeds and in the hashtags. Another issue I have encountered is that while I am getting a decent amount of likes, people aren’t actually following me. This also makes it difficult to use the Instagram Story feature, as I don’t actually have that big of a dedicated following who have access to what I post. Going forward with this in mind, I would like to focus more on the blog aspect of my DA, building that up and regularly creating content, before focusing too much on the social media presence. When I do eventually start to focus on the social media aspect, I will need to experiment with

It’s not all bad…

Despite the setbacks I have encountered, it’s not all bad news. Following my original pitch, I was approached by ‘Volume Media‘ and asked to review concerts and events. While I haven’t written any reviews yet, we have a few in the works and they will hopefully be coming soon!

So while there has been a little bit of a lull in content, I am working on breaking and remaking the way I produce content to better interact with my audience. Just Music isn’t going anywhere and the only way is up!

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

The Death of Legacy Media

The way we produce and consume content is forever changing. What could once be considered difficult to create, access and remediate is now easy than ever with the exponential rise of the internet and all the forums it presents.

Spotify has taken the place of traditional music forms like CDs and the radio. Netflix has become the go-to for watching TV shows and movies. Amazon has transformed the way we shop, completely normalising the concept of online shopping. YouTube has managed to create an entire platform which allows anyone and everyone to create and consume content.

week 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

But why has the new age of internet mediums overrun legacy media? There are two main reasons. Media created on the internet usually requires little to no cost to both create and consume and is not filtered based on quality. In comparison, legacy media can cost quite a lot to produce, which leads to a cost to consume, which means that a quality filter is placed on it so only content that will formulate a revenue is produced.

It is this difference that is causing the rise of the internet and the death of legacy media.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

CyberFAKE

As a child of the digital age, there’s never really been a time in my life when I haven’t had access to the internet. However, in the last few years, as our reliance on the internet has increased, cyberspace has become a mess of what is real and what is fake.

These days, all you need to create content that can be sent out into cyberspace is an internet connection and a device. This has made it easier than ever for people from all walks of life to create digital content, whether it can be considered fact or not.

cyberspace gif.gif

This clash means that there is no real way of telling what is fact or fiction when it comes to cyberspace. Because of this, everybody’s experience is different. Just because everyone has access to the same space, doesn’t meant that all experiences are the same, as it all comes down an individual’s perceptions and perspectives of the content that cyberspace presents them with.

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

 

From There to Here and Beyond

Earliest versions of the internet have been around for literally centuries. The first commercial electric telegraph was sent in 1837, which can be largely considered to be the starting point in terms of technological advancements of what we know as the internet today. But how on earth did we as a society go from sending telegraphs in morse code which could take hours to translate to communicating through social media in milliseconds?

That’s an answer that can’t be given in 150 words so I’m not going to attempt. Our society today is so heavily reliant on the internet that it could be considered a little bit ridiculous, however it hasn’t always been like this

week 2 meme - internet.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the early days of the internet as we know it today, not everybody had access to it. Although this ‘big and exciting’ advancement was initially made years ago, its value has only really been realised in recent years as everybody in the world gradually gains access. And it’s true, until everyone has access to the internet (even those in third world countries and societies) it will continue to remain somewhat of a curiosity.

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

It’s Not All Black and White

Donald Trump. The American President’s persona is certainly one which has quickly become a favourite of global media. Everything from magazines to websites to news broadcasts seem to love ‘sending up’ Trump’s somewhat obnoxious personality. Some are more political than others, leaving room for differing interpretations.

trump new yorker
The New Yorker’s upcoming cover by Barry Bliss featuring Donald Trump.

The above image shows the upcoming March 26 cover of the commentary magazine ‘The New Yorker’. On the surface, the cover looks to portray a stark naked Trump addressing what is implied to be the media. These observations are the denotations of the image; what is seen by everyone, no matter their background knowledge.

Whilst all of this is true, there can always be a deeper meaning uncovered when one looks a little more critically.

A few questions can be asked of this cover. Why is Trump naked? Why the extreme size difference between the media and Trump? What has Trump done to warrant such an event? The answers of these questions leads us to make connotations or the evoked meaning. Connotations of an image can be different for each person and generally depend on a person’s knowledge of the topic in question. In this circumstance, there can be multiple interpretations and answers to our questions.

Why is Trump naked? This could mean any number of things. It could be a comment on his previous status as a reality star, implying that this status makes him vulnerable to the media’s all-knowing eye. It could also imply that he feels he has nothing to hide, however the covering of his ‘private parts’ indicates that even he has privacy limitations. Ultimately, there is no one definite reason as to why Trump is naked.

Why the extreme size difference between the media and Trump? It’s no secret that Trump is a larger than life person. Perhaps his large size against that of the media is a representation of how he values himself over others and places himself higher, in order to feel superior.

What has Trump done to warrant such an event? The short answer to this question is any number of things. In the current political climate, the most obvious answers would be the push for changes to the gun laws or his new tariff laws.

Whilst all of these might seem obvious to some, in order to interpret the image in any of these ways, it is necessary to have background knowledge of other topics such as American politics and Trump’s history. Ultimately, interpretations, particularly of images, aren’t always black and white and we should always allow for a different point of view.

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