How I discovered the digital media industry

MAJOR ESSAY ASSIGNMENT

All Rights Reserved: Kris Olin

All Rights Reserved: Kris Olin

Knowledge production and dissemination is an ever-changing process within the media industry, posing a number of opportunities and challenges for media professionals. My experience as a Digital Communications Intern at Netball Australia has informed my ideas of this changing media landscape and these potential challenges I may face when entering the media industry. It has deepened my understanding of the industry, the expectations of industry professionals and consumers in this space and the innate influence technology has on this industry.

Miles (2007, p. 213) describes network literacy as “being able to participate as a peer within the emerging knowledge networks that are now the product of the Internet.” Through my internship at Netball Australia, I have been enabled an opportunity to strengthen my network literacy, with a strong focus on technology and the Internet. My internship has also allowed me to consider the following question: what did communications roles consist of before social media existed, and if I was a media professional when I was born, what sort of job would I have?

All Rights Reserved: Mark Smiciklas

All Rights Reserved: Mark Smiciklas

Technological developments have allowed for change in the communications industry, and change how media professionals communicate with consumers. This directly relates to the ideas of Potts and Murphy (2003, p. 11) on technological determinism, believing that “technology is the agent of social change,” and “if implemented on a sufficiently wide scale will generate a new type of society.” (Potts and Murphy 2003, p. 12). This new type of society is one that relies on social media for information.

Potts and Murphy (2003, p. 20) further this stating, “the characteristics of a society play a major part in deciding which technologies are adopted, and how they are implemented and controlled.” At Netball Australia, we are constantly inundated with fans contacting us via social media to ask questions about game times, broadcast information and general enquiries. People are turning to social media as an information portal, for one-way news that is communicated to fans, although also as a way for fans to communicate with organisations.

This is particularly relevant in how the magazine industry has adapted and developed to survive in the Internet age. With the information in magazines being produced weekly or even monthly, the industry struggled to keep up with the Internet age. Immediacy is considered more important and immediacy is what the Internet can provide. The magazine industry had to revolutionise the way it produced and distributed content to maintain their survival. Duffy (2013, p. 4) explains, “most publishers have seen consistently declining revenues as both audiences and advertisers migrate to free, immediate, and interactive platforms,” those platforms prominently being the Internet-driven social media websites.

All Rights Reserved: Emily

All Rights Reserved: Emily

Duffy (2013, p. 40) emphasises “publishers began to realize the crucial need to create web content for the swiftly growing population of Internet users,” as they were losing substantial revenue and readership, and essentially the industry was dying. This meant that the magazine industry had to do what Miles (2007, p. 207) describes as “being comfortable with change and flow as the day to day conditions of knowledge production and dissemination, and recognising that all of this may change.” Instead of crumbling under the pressures of the Internet age, they had to adhere to the age-old saying of ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’.

As a result, the magazine industry underwent a hefty transformation to become the multi-media faceted platform that it is today. Duffy (2013, p. 43) explains “in addition to continuously updating their own multimedia websites, most magazines offer audiences the opportunity to engage with their brands across what has been called the “social mediasphere.” A magazine is not just simply a printed and bound, tangible publication. It is a website with web articles expected to be published within the 24-hour news cycle, it is social media accounts that post extra content and the printed product is expected to excite and mesmerise readers. A simple printed and bound publication with articles, images and advertisements is simply not sufficient.

Consumers almost expect now that some sort of technology will be intertwined with every print production. This sentiment is known as convergence. Duffy (2013, p. 3) defines convergence as “the blurring of boundaries between different media channels as well as the blurring of roles held by producers and consumers.” Duffy (2013, p. 3) goes further by explaining, “in light of the boundary shifts associated with media convergence, producers are ostensibly compelled to redefine their industries, their roles, their audiences, and their products.” This is apparent in the magazine industry. For the purposes of demonstrating this, I have published this essay on my blog to mock how the websites of magazines do this. They have links, videos, images, and interactive material.

All rights reserved: Jason Howie

All rights reserved: Jason Howie

Readers want bang for their buck, and that bang comes from innovations such as mobile application interaction such as the ability for users to scan parts of the magazine with an app to get extra content such as video interviews and behind the scenes images from a photo shoot. This is being innovative, and it is innovation that consumers crave. Duffy (2013, p. 5) explains, “as content spills off the printed page and across the internet, iPad/tablet, mobile, television, and retail industries, magazines are seemingly evolving from objects into brands.”

This then begs the question, will the children being born today know what a magazine is, or what it used to be? Or will they only be familiar with a converged media landscape? Duffy (2013, pg.1) discusses this idea in relation to a video named ‘A magazine is an iPad that does not work’. In the video, a one-year-old girl is seen happily playing with an iPad, although when she picks up a magazine she is confused as to why it is not interactive. View the video below.


Created by UserExperiencesWorks via YouTube

Being innovative is a quality that was communicated to me as being important and essential when applying for my internship at Netball Australia. I had to be modern, I had to look at ways that netball could appeal to its current fan base, but also extend and grow to new lovers of netball. Some days at my internship I have been required to scour the Internet for new trends in social media and ways that sporting organisations all over the world are communicating with their fan base.

As media professionals we are constantly required to be creative, think laterally and be across all new technologies that are created and appeal to our fan base. This relates back to Miles (2007, p. 207), as I have reached an understanding that what I learn at University and my internships will not give me the sufficient information to execute my role as a media professional for the rest of my career. I must upskill, continue to learn about these new innovations as well as learn about the audience, what they like, what they don’t like.

All Rights Reserved: mkhmarketing

All Rights Reserved: mkhmarketing

Duffy (2013, p. 5) agrees with this sentiment in the magazine industry stating, “to keep their jobs, magazine workers are forced to balance specialization with being Jacks- and-Jills-of-all-trades.” Media professionals can’t just be good at one thing. At Netball Australia our graphic designer also creates some of the video content for the website. This position was not explicitly outlined in his job description when he applied for the job, however multi-faceted roles is the expectation in media industries.

Furthermore, the case study of the magazine industry and my experience interning with Netball Australia has allowed me to critically consider my role as a media professional in an ever-changing, growing and innovative industry. I understand heading into the workforce as a media professional, that the technology that I use today and that audiences relish and appreciate today, probably will not be the same technologies that audiences will value in 10 years time. I understand that it is expected of me to embrace technological advancements and deliver these to the audience who trust me the organisation I represent to be innovative and impressive. I appreciate that the company I represent may create my role without set boundaries, and it is expected that I will be across many technological platforms. However most importantly, I understand that it is not producers who foster the change in technology and what is appreciated in society, but rather the consumers and it is their needs that are ofupmost importance for excelling in this industry.

 

References:
Murphie, Andrew, and John Potts (2003). Culture and Technology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Pg. 11-20 Print.

Miles, Adrian (2007). Network Literacy: The New Path to Knowledge. Screen Education Autumn. Pg. 207-208. pdf

Duffy, EB (2013). Remake, Remodel : Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age. Project Muse. Pg. 1-68. E-book.

Farewell for now…Until the essay

Another semester, another year, another subject and my first blog experience comes to a close. It has had its ups and downs, but getting my thoughts onto paper has been relatively soothing most weeks. Waking up ridiculously early for my 8.30AM tute, not so much.

AnywayI want to end this blog on a high. So here is my cat, a tweet that was featured on The Block finale and another picture of a cat, this one isn’t mine but is gigantic and adoreable. Ciao!

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Safety first.

Your view, for the last time

This week Stephanie talked about her disappointment with the movie Gone Girl (please don’t say that as I’m really looking forward to seeing it!) and how the book is set out in a different type of narrative structure. Reading the book myself at the moment, I tend to agree with Stephanie’s point that it is an unconventional narrative that works REALLY well.

Rebecca shared some insightful opinions on Internet Protocol, the topic discussed int he symposium. They way Rebecca describes and discusses protocol, the word could be somewhat interchanged with etiquette, and how we as users of the internet are expected to behave online.

Wow. All I can say about Kerri’s blog post that she thought of in the shower is Wow. AND I WAS FRIGHTENED BY THE CAPS BUT YOU MADE REALLY GOOD POINTS AND I AGREE.

New media is so 2013

This week’s readings explore the ideas of Gitleman, who attempts to define new media. She sustains that all media is new media at some point in time. Media created centuries ago was considered new centuries ago, even though it may appear ancient now.

This made me think about a thought I regularly have about technology and the world. I think, how can people possibly think of something new to invent, because I believe we have everything. Will there ever be another innovation in my lifetime, such as the telephone, such as the internet, an innovation that changes the way that we as humans interact within our society.

And then I think, of course there will be. There is always room for media to develop and become more innovative, therefore branding it new media.

And so #InternLife comes to a close, as well as blogging

I have been incredibly lucky and appreciative of the internships i have acquired this year. After entering the year in a fluster as I had no genuine internship experience under my belt entering my third year, I began to work hard and put my thinking hat on.

I have been blessed to intern at Hockey Victoria, Netball Australia and Hawthorn Football Club this year, experiences that I will never forget.

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That should definitely be on my resume, right?

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Here’s how you saw it

This week, Nethaniel discussed how Facebook relates to privacy in the way that they use their information about users to sell to companies to create focussed advertising. He finds this as disturbing as I do, commenting that he thinks privacy on the internet is becoming obsolete.

In her blog this week, Stephanie shared her opinion on technological determinism, emphasising that she believes technology does determine behaviour and is important for this development. Knowledge is the key factor that Stephanie believes contributes to the growth of society and she believes technology has assisted in this.

Nicola’s obervations during the lecture are extremely hilarious! And the photos that she shares are stunning. Very different kind of blog and refreshing to see something new.

Not too long to go now

As exciting as it is to graduate from University after three years of constant study, I am a little bit petrified!

Nonetheless, the excitement is starting to build. I’m not counting down… at all.

Not too long to go until I become a media professional in the network world.

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Whoaaaaaaaa I’m half way there! The next couple of weeks are going to be tough, but bring on October 24!

The internet as a database

In this week’s readings, Manovick describes the internet as a database with no beginning, middle and end. Databases store data that is utilised in the digital space for organisation and ease of retrieval via search engines.

I tend to agree that the internet in itself does not follow traditional narrative structure as a book would. The internet does not follow a story. It is made up of a collection of various websites, that contain their own stories and narratives within.

Databases stored in print form, such as encyclopaedias, still have a narrative structure, as they are arranged for example alphabetically by topic. This can be true to the internet too, as stories within the overall database are arranged in their own narrative sequence. It may not be the overall internet that is a narrative, but there are narratives within the big database.

 

What’s this 80/20 rule business?

“Four fifths of our efforts are largely irrelevant.” That’s Pareto’s 80/20 rule, one that has been essential for the development of management.

This rule was adapted in the creation of Webpages using Power Laws. So what’s a Power Law? A power law, unlike most rules of mathematics, does not have a peak within its measurement.

So what has this got to do with network media? It shows us how complex and highlights in my mind how amazing these networks are.

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