My Digital Storytelling Project Reflection

The locative nature of checking in on social media platforms and what this signals about someone is what is at stake in my digital storytelling project. I decided to discuss Location Based Media (LBM), which are “digital media applied to real places and thus triggering real social interactions.” Place and locative media demonstrates an “intense focus on mobility as a crucial element of intense investment being given to spatial positioning, and location technologies” (Crawford and Goggin, 2009). I have attempted to present this concept in my YouTube video story that features my family friend Nicole Lennon, who has over 700 check ins at places and spaces on Facebook.

“Location became a feature [on Facebook], not a focus.” (Tech Crunch, 2013) For many of us, check ins are just another feature such as tagging a friend in a photo or status, but for more and more social media platform users it is a way to connect with others and show where you are and start a conversation about that space. “the use of technology in everyday navigation of the world can both deepen understanding of place and reduce place to commodity. The direction of this is a function of the mood of the user, rather than the technology itself.” (Evans, 2015)

Nicole discusses in the video how location services can be used to keep in contact with people on Facebook in a fun way while still staying professional online. I tried to explore this concept in my project and found a myriad of supporting evidence, “the most interesting kind of proximity is the digital proximity that allows people to keep in touch virtually without having to be co-located most of the time. Location is a feature of friendship, communication is the focus.” (Tech Crunch, 2013). The article I have quoted discusses proximity in a virtual world and supports the idea that “place has become less about our origins and more about forming connections with the many sites in our lives” (McCullough, 2006)

I chose to create a video with audio and images that Nicole has shared with a location tag, as her images support what she thinks these updates signal about her, and how media practices are spatial in nature. “in late modernity, we are oriented to understand the world (and those things in that “world,” which would of course include places) as a realm of resources to be used in the achieving of human aims.” (Crawford and Goggin, 2009). These resources are becoming increasingly more convenient for all age groups, and can serve a multitude of purposes. What do you think sharing your location online signals about you? The physical implementation of location media is not tied down to the same place that the content refers to. (Pie, 2010)

Does sharing your location often mean that you are always out and on the go? Does sharing less make you less connected to people you communicate with already? Or does it mean you only share the positive and social moments? Nicole explores these questions in the video, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what is conveyed through location based media.

Working in tandem with another person on this level for the project was a fairly new experience, but using collaborative ethnography proved to be a smooth process. I played with the idea of “the death of the author” and decided not to include myself asking questions in the interview, as I am not the only voice and my intention for the video does not matter. The aim of this piece is to have the audience question themselves and what location based media creates in relation to physical and virtual space.

References:
Crawford, A. & Goggin, G. 2009, “Geomobile web: Locative technologies and mobile media”, Australian Journal of Communication,vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 97-109.

Evans, L., 2015. Locative Social Media: Place in the Digital Age, Palgrave Macmillan.

Lomas, N. (2013). Stop Trying To Make Proximity-Based Social Networking Happen. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/23/location-vs-communication/

McCullough, M. (2006). On the Urbanism of Locative Media [Media and the City]. Places, [online] 18(2). Available at: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/84x6m3nf

Pie, (2010). Location based Media. [online] Available at: https://pieonedotzero.wordpress.com/location-based-media

Locative Social Media

For my final Digital Research Project and reflective report, I will be focusing on the topic of locative Social Media and sharing location with locative Social Media. This project will focus on how checking in “affects users’ experience of place” and demonstrate “a deep understanding of place as a meaningful existential locale.” (Evans, 2015)

I am going to attempt to interview someone who regularly updates their location status or “checks in” on Facebook. I am still uncertain on which platform to display my project on, these choices include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Which platform do you think I should use for my digital story?
Below are some links I found useful to this topic.

1. Tech Crunch- Stop trying to make proximity- based social networking happen
2. CRN- 8 Cool location- based social networks
3. On the Urbanism of allocative Media
4. Geomobile web: Locative tech and mobile media
6. The convergence of locative media and online participatory culture
7. Locative Social Media by Leighton Evans

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A Great Title

It’s time to reflect on all of the blog posts that i’ve drafted, written and submitted. It is also time to commemorate the blog posts that were scrapped and put to the trash can, may they rest in cyber-peace.hqdefault

(Image via YouTube)

I’d like to think i’ve come a long way since starting at UOW and enrolling into my first class of BCM110. I had no idea what a RSS Feed was, let alone the entire medium of WordPress. I’ve gradually become more comfortable in the realm of public blogging on this website as well as the idea of expressing my writing and sharing it with others. Through my blog posts over 2 years and 6 Communication and Media related subjects, I have attempted to engage my audience through twitter. I love to read things with lots of images and evidence to support the context, as well as including humour and utilising a relatable tone, as you can probably already tell.

Many students make the mistake of thinking they are a professional straight away, but it’s not about content, it’s all about the quality of you work. Is your post even relevant? Make sure you know where you’re going. This Fractus Learning article lists 6 Tips for Quality Student Blogging, with the first of course being a great title for your witty posts, I have demonstrated this tip through the title of the post you are reading now.

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(Image via papidaddy)

A major (and in my opinion, the hardest) obstacle is where to start with your blog post- what do you need to write about? Who is Henry Jenkins?!?! What is going on? There is a myriad of articles on how to overcome this block. Of course you can post verbatim information about your subjects and their topics, but how do you make your blog post stand out? There’s a lot more to consider than you think, such as your theme, text type, widgets, recent comments, images and hyperlinks. Once you get started, you’re on a roll.

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Weekly writing may seem impossible and annoying at first, but if you think about it, it keeps you on track and helps further your knowledge on current topics. Research in any form can help in the development of new thoughts and ideas, and I have found this to be true with writing a blog that people read publicly and not just a virtual submission to a tutor/teacher.

When you blog, you know that others will read what you have written. That means that you write with an awareness of the possibility that others may disagree with what you have written. Steven Johnson is an author who’s found he became twice as productive as a professional writer after he started blogging as well. Blogging, Johnson wrote in his blog, is “an intellectual version of going to the gym”. – Jill Walker Rettberg, University of Bergen

Blogs help for students to gain confidence and also practice their writing skills outside the classroom. My writing style is quite colloquial- which I have adapted from a very stiff and formal approach.

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(Images 3 and 4 via Giphy)

In summation, I have found much of the research related to student blogging and students learning through blogging to be true. Blogging and using research in these blog posts forms as an amazing support for academic writing and content creation, both vital skill for university students. Public writing over the last 2 years has increased my repertoire and knowledge on real world issues revolving around Communication and Media studies. I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey so far, and hope you have too.

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)