Warning- I’m not paying attention

Multi-screening in modern day is a given, as suggested by Alyson Gausby in the Microsoft Canadas’ Consumer Insights report. This phenomenon actually makes advertising more effective, as viewers fill in those boring gaps and are “primed for immersive experiences” and are more engaged overall. Consumers and audiences need to be stimulated mentally almost all the time and most especially when engaging in media activities.

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(Image taken and cropped from Microsoft Canada Report)

It’s becoming increasingly clearer that the … consumer is a second screen fiend, constantly doing two things at one time. – Shane O’Leary in his article Is multi-screening diluting our attention span and wrecking or brain? on Irish Consumers and Media Stacking

This attention economy demonstrates that many factors influence and shape your respective capacity to pay attention.

My favourite visual attention/awareness test

This can be seen in practice through an experiment I conducted with my Grandma. My Grandma and I were both subjects for an attention test using the medium of music. We both listened to 10 songs and were then asked 10 questions about the lyrics and tune of the 10 songs in a randomised order. This activity was periodic and uses the cognitive ability to stay focused for a prolonged amount of time. Link to other music attention span studies.

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( Image taken from Shane Oleary)

The results of this experiment were as follows:

Linda: 7/10 Questions Correct12077028_10203652113942047_1384895189_n

Caitlyn: 6/10 Questions Correct

Although minute, this difference demonstrates and gives some indication of the affects of multi-screening and media stacking. It is to be noted that my Grandmother, Linda, also uses more than one screen at a time- as seen in the image to the right, although this is to a lesser extent than my own multi-tech habits.

This experiment on attention spans and the affect on the consumers that multi-screen highlights the common results of a typical user. This change is not detrimental to media producers and entertainers in my eyes, and rather teaches them to produce something worth staying focused on.

Street Photography, Screens and Spaces

Screens in this day and age seem to be ominous. They’re everywhere, and you can’t miss them, unless you’re too busy looking at your own personal screen. These screens create an opportunity for profit and to bring strangers together, among other reasons.

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Television screens in waiting spaces eliviate the stress of waiting, and are normally awkwardly located, such as the television screen above at UOW. The television is crammed into the corner and has little to no spectators. As seen in the photo above, television has to work hard for attention, as there are many bright colours and brochures/flyers to distract people walking by. Television screens in places like this can draw crowds or mini-publics in the case of a tragedy/ large event such as the royal wedding, environmental distasters etc.

What is the proper ettiquitte with cell phones in public?

If you take a photograph of someone and that person confronts you about it, how do you react? The most common response… appears to be that provided you’re in a public space you can take any picture you want. That’s true, at least in a legal sense. But it does not really address the issue at hand at all: If someone does not want their photograph taken do you… just go ahead and do so anyway, because you can? I actually do not think that’s such a good idea. – Joerg Colberg

Permission and consent are important issues when dealing with public street photography. Colberg points out that ” people appear to have become much more wary of being photographed without being asked. Of course, this would appear to be ironic given that there are surveillance cameras everywhere.” although people have accepted ominous surveillance, photographs however, certainly do not have ongoing permission in public spaces.

When searching this topic I found a particularly popular celebrity photo on Reddit that someone took of Chloe Grace-Moretz eating in a restaurant. The image is captioned Socially awkward guy takes photo of Chloe Moretz eating in restuarant. with flash on.

The image captured the awkward stare of everyone in the restaurant, as the image was taken very obviously without permission. The comment section is flooded with “Oh my god I felt uncomfortable just looking at this.” and posted to subreddits such as r/cringepics and r/cringeanarchy.  This image shows a violation of a person in public, and is justified just because she is a famous actress. Colberg asks the question “What kind of culture have we created where it is acceptable for men to chase down young women at night so there will be photographs for gossips magazines? How can we justify that? How can we, who are active in the photographic community, in whatever form, justify that? My personal answer is clear: We can’t.”

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(Image via Facebook)

Morally, I feel that proper consent for photographs is incredibly important, many institutions have strict rules around this. During highschool a friend of mine was even suspended for talking a video of someone dancing in the girls’ bathrooms. In the first photograph I took a picture of Level 2 of the McKinnon Building at UOW with no-one in it, and I felt ethically comfortable taking this photo, as I didn’t have to ask anyone for their permission, no cringepics for me.

Hollywood Treasure

I see the perks of going to the movies alone, both arm rests, noone to judge me crying over anything even slightly romantic and not having to share popcorn- what more could you want? Well, I decided to share my snacks and took my Brother and Mum to the movies before they went overseas.

So we organised for my mum to drive us to see Trainwreck, which was crammed with crude humour and certainly shocking/ not appropriate for my 15 year old brother.

(Image via ps3)

Hagerstrand’s three constraints:

Capability- physically limits access, including biological abilities and physical barriers

Coupling- Proximity between yourself and others

Authority- Whether you have the right to be somewhere, or if you are restricted

I certainly sought to go to the movies with other people, which demonstrates the restraint of coupling. I had to organise with other people what we were going to see and at what time and which cinema to attend, which shows the constraint of capability. The restraint of authority was highlighted when my brother was ID’d to see if he was of age/ had the right to see the film.

Trainwreck (Gif via Bustle)

We sat close to the middle of the theatre and not far from a group of obnoxious laughing girls who made some uncomfortable moments even more cringe-worthy. I was definately the moocher, and stole all of my brothers’ Doritos.

Although cinemas are close to becoming obsolete, I thoroughly enjoy seeing a movie with friends, and often go to an independant cinema with my Grandpa to see international films. I find seeing a movie a social event and need, as do many others, and it is because of this that I feel cinemas will never truly die out.

Waiting for a Special Connection

The National Broadband Network has been said to finish its roll out in Australia by 2020.

Why is it taking so long? I ask my families opinion on the current political hot topic.

My family home has ADSL fast speed internet, which is better than standard internet. My Mother, Rachael states that the speed of this internet allows for easy access to information and online tools. My Father, Damon believes that ADSL is not fast speed, he says the fastest he has ever gotten is 6M download. My family wants what they don’t have, and that’s the special connection that the NBN offers, but that is not yet offered in our area!!

My brother, James, has five devices that can access the internet and two personal data plans. My Mother has three devices that have internet capability and also two data plans. My Father, Damon has the most out of the family with 10 devices and 3 personal data plans.

Both James and Rachael want to know why the NBN isn’t coming to our area in any hurry. My Mother also questions when the government will make the National Broadband Network cost free or cost efficient for the everyday family.

Dr Evil Meme - The NBN will cost  - 1 Trillion Dollars!

( Image via aussiememes)

My Father believes that by the time NBN is rolled out, it will be time to upgrade. He states that the promised speeds are average on world levels for current time, so by the time everyone has it, it will be behind. However, my Father believes that if the coverage is as good as they claim, then this connection will significantly improve life for our remote areas.

(Feature image via cvmail.com)

Why Personal Experience Matters in Media

Collaborative Ethnography is important as a narrative research on culture, for students to use this tool creates a better understanding of culture. Ethnography refers to the study of different cultures and people, which could and should be used when measuring the media audience by commercial corporations.

A summary on Ethnography Research

Collaborative, as you probably know, means more than one source working together to reach a goal that is mutually beneficial in the best case scenario (a win-win).

(Image via survivorsucks.com)

Commercial Research strongly favours charts and graphs when reporting it’s viewership (quantitative research), as can be seen in the Australian Multi-Screen Report by OZTAM. But do these numbers really grasp the full picture of viewership? What about qualitative research?

(Image via YouTube)

Ethnographic Audience Research could be a great alternative to simple data collection, as it allows for personal experiences to be a part of this data. Asking more about a viewer’s personal experience with media means a better reading on their engagement and enjoyment, and a better comprehension of the relationship. This could be easily done by interviewing consumers on their personal relationship with television, and media, much like the Interviews we conducted last week. This could also be done by collecting subjects for a focus group to ask questions about their own individual stories. Individual stories of media space experience could be a game-changer for commercial researchers.

Ellen Isaacs TEDx talk on Ethnography (Start at 5:10)

In the first video linked above, the caption states that “As markets become more complex and competitive, brands are looking for more in-depth insights about consumers, their environments and interactions, which can be difficult to capture using traditional market research tools.” Collaborative Ethnography “is a fantastic tool to use when there is no other practical way to understand what respondents are going through.” and this is exactly what we should be taking advantage of in our research.

Lost in (TV) Space

(Image via Hexjam)

For Week 2 of BCM240, I decided to interview my Mother, Rachael, as she was growing up at the same time as Television (conveniently) was being introduced in Australia, I thought it would be interesting to interview her. My Mum grew up with her parents and older brother in a humble home in the Sutherland Shire. She describes her first TV and the first she ever laid eyes on, as being little and in black and white, and recalls that it was kept in the back room. This room later became the TV room of the house. The small dual coloured electronic screen was the first of many.

The television had furniture pointed towards it and the heater to keep the family warm while viewing. She recalls her mother ironing while watching television and watching shows with her brother while playing games and with toys on the carpet in front of them. Rachael states that her mum didn’t want her to “just watch TV”, and their viewing time was limited to an hour a day, so as not to get “square eyes”. Rachael normally sat on the ground with her brother while her parents sat on the lounge behind them.

Some shows she recalls loving from her early years include:

Lost in Space (1965)

Lost in Space

Land of the Giants (1968)

The Partridge Family (1970)

The Partridge Family

The Comedian, Dave Allen (1970)

Dave Allen at Large

Solid Gold (1980)

Solid Gold Dancers #80's

It’s spectacular to see how unique these TV shows were and how different the view on television is now compared to the late 70s-80s era. A very small percentage of parents limit screen viewing time these days, and hearing the “square eyes” phrase is a rare occurance, if ever. It is also spectacular to hear how easily adopted this technology was into the family’s lives. So soon after it’s purchase, my Grandparents pointed their lounges towards the media and even brought a heater into the back “TV” room for comfort. My Mother still views television briefly during the day, as do her parents, an ingrained rule of not binge watching was brought into the family, although I admit, I’ve broken that rule more than once of twice (all Game of Thrones’ fault!).

My First Time Online

Hi everyone! I’m Caitlyn and welcome to my series of (hopefully) fortunate blog posts.

As a 7 year old I was introduced to the world wide web and ultimately the media world in a small apartment in Singapore. The online world was overwhelming and I soon became an avid player of Neopets, joining many chat forums and signing up as many friends as I could. I was homeschooled at the time, which took up four hours each day and the rest of my time was devoted to my neopet Kacheek. I then fell in love with the fashion world of Stardolls, the ultimate dress up game for any girl and later with Moshi Monsters, Club Penguin and many other sites.

These online interactions in my early life kindled a love for Media and created a positive connotation with online media and it’s many platforms. The power of being in media space and mass media doesn’t scare me, but often surprises. Practicing within this electronic setting became a safe haven for me, and still is a place I feel very comfortable. I enjoy the connections that digital technology can make and the convenience of it all. I could live without being present in the digital media space, but of course I enjoy it so much I wouldn’t want to go without.