Socially awkward Dani strikes again!

This really adorable old man just walked onto my tram (late 60s probably) wearing a suit with a colourful tie and a beret. He keeps smiling and looking thoughtfully into the distance.
I really want to talk to him and hear his story. Is that weird? I want to listen to him speak about his life and have a nice discussion with him. I think it is weird, but he looks so friendly and interesting!

Alas, I’m far too socially awkward to talk to a stranger, no matter how friendly or sweet they seem. I almost have a panic attack just thinking about talking to an elderly passenger and offering them my seat. So I stay seated despite my moral (and legal for that matter) obligations to switch with them.. I’m just too socially anxious to talk to them. Which is odd, seeing as I’m the most extroverted and talkative person in the world, but when faced with strangers I’m as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

Class #5

This weeks class made me feel reasonably confident in my ability, progress and achievements in networked media so far. Firstly, a class discussion about the readings was insightful and interesting and I felt myself connecting to and understanding the concepts and ideas brought up my other students. It’s always interesting to see different perspectives on a text.
I didn’t realise we had two weeks to do our Niki assignment, so my group with Courtney and Emerald smashed it out of the park in time for class today, as seen here:
I really began to love the kooky and bizarre Susan Blackmore and l her amazing theories about memes, religion, aliens etc. I think she’s bloody fascinating. So I don’t have to do any niki work this week yay!
Lastly, we got reminded that the essay/blog submission is due next Friday. I feel confident in some of my posts that they’re probably submission-ready. And I’m such a rambler anyway so the essay will be a breeze. Hopefully…

The Network Apocalypse.

I saw a film last night. I won’t say it was a phenomenal film or an intellectually stimulating film, but it was very entertaining, very interesting and surprisingly very relevant. The World’s End is the latest instalment in the “The Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” written and directed by British comedic geniuses Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright.

It started off silly enough, with a bunch of friends attempting to re-live their childhood in a gruelling and infamous pub crawl known as the Golden Mile. When they all return to their childhood homes, they see that the town’s been replaced by spooky robot aliens or ‘blanks’ who are exact replicas of the townspeople but more robotalien-like.

Basically, the reason I’m blogging about it was that in the end, the giant boss who created and led the invasion was a giant light who called himself “THE NETWORK.” I know right?! Totally relevant! Anyway, in an interesting rant by The Network, it said things like “Have you noticed a drastic increase in communication technology?” claiming that it’s a brain control device by The Network to pull humans away from nature and their environment, becoming entirely dependent on technology to survive. For a silly British comedy, this was a pretty fascinating and deep concept.

After the heroes “stick it to the man,” The Network flips its shit and blows up the technological world. This was referred in the film as “when the lights went out,” catapulting humankind back into “the dark ages” with absolutely no technology. They once again relied on candles, fires and growing their own food.
It really made me think, how much longer can we burn through electricity and energy to cater to our technology-laden lives? Will there be a time where all the lights turn off? Will that be our apocalypse?

My thoughts and feels as told via internetpix

If I wanted to type all the opinions and thoughts I was thinking, I would type and type and type until my fingers fell off and my keyboard wore down to blank black buttons. Networked Media is the kind of subject that makes you think and consider. I’m good at that. Maybe too good. Or not good enough.. Anyway.
I’m finding it easier to express myself via pictures I find on the internet. So this is my thoughts about the Network this week.

My first impression of Networked Media:

If you’re not familiar with this episode of The Simpsons, basically Springfield Elementary attempts to create conformist robots out of its students by (shock horror…) GIVING THEM UNIFORMS. In America and this episode, this is seen as a complete restriction of freedom and individuality. Relating to my life, I feel like university is the first time you don’t have to wear uniform (both literally and figuratively); you can do what you like, dye your hair whatever colours, smoke on campus, leave campus for lunch etc. HOWEVER. What is the ‘grey uniform’ of RMIT? The education system itself I guess..
We get told: read this, write this, listen now, do this, turn up at this time, bring this, argue this, hand this in then etc. I’m not particularly complaining, because you do learn a lot this way. However in Networked Media, the rain comes down, and our grey uniforms become rainbow psychedelic and funkadelic get-ups, prompting us to strip naked, run free and do and learn how we like.
That was my first impression anyway. So I feel like Networked Media is allowing me to ‘rainbow’ up the ‘grey uniform’ that the education system can often provide. I am Martin Prince in this example, frolicking fearlessly and prancing in the world of the network after being let off my leash. Yay.
To my next picture… Here is the downside of this feel.

Do I have any grounds to post what I post? What expert am I? Just because I have the technology to be free and post my heart’s desires into the vast chasm of the internet… should I? My opinion is a fancy schmancy self-justified thought process that gets buried under the thousands of others out there on the web. I feel so intelligent and cool and mature typing all these interesting observations about everyday life, but should I? I’m just typing all this down because I have the means to. Internet has given us the extremities of freedom of speech; a downside of this is now everyone’s an expert.

This is how I feel my relationship with the Network is:

I’m sadly in the yellow…. the multi-faceted universe of Media and The Network is sadly in the blue. I love the media industry, I love blogging, I love the Network and I love being able to type this and post it as my own content into the world wide web.
But it doesn’t particularly love me… Just like Bec stated in the unlecture, my opinion is buried underneath the thousands of webcam superstars with 2 million hits around the web.
Adrian’s response to this was that we need to get experience, work hard and be able to produce high quality content in order to be that much better. And succeed. He discussed how the fact that nobody’s watching you dance or paint is absolutely no reason to not do these things. What I took from that is that giving up because people aren’t appreciating your work is so easily. But seriously, shouldn’t it be more about you, improving your skills and doing what you love? 

Also… what do you get out of having 6 million views on a Youtube video of you dancing to Lady GaGa’s latest Song?
The people who make these are merely content producers, and content is not king. (thanks Adrian!)
Unless you spend hours working on videos that are cleverly written, created and produced, YouTube views don’t accurately reflect talent and success…. The kids who make videos on Photobooth saying some 5 minute “comedic” rant and receive YouTube fame are essentially mere content producers who can see what people like on the net and mindlessly re-produce it. Like this:

What’s ‘trending’ becomes who you are and what you’re about. That’s not cool. It’s about being talented, working hard, keeping your individualism and not being content producers, but being knowledge creators. Deciding what content producers should produce.




Mrktplce 101

So now Marketplace is a thing! Woo!

I think this is an excellent way to create a community between the Networked Media students, as I’m learning from them instead of just learning from the teachers/lecturers.

I’ve already utilised the advice from three students regarding adding an Instagram feed on the side of my blog, embedding a photo and using the wordpress app to blog from my phone.

Thank you friends. Your internet advice is fantastic and valuable to the bizarre concoction that is my blog.

Unlecture #4

There were two key points and topics that I walked away from the unlecture still considering and contemplating.

Firstly, the ‘content is not king’ point was alarming yet interesting, as Adrian poetically told us that to merely become ‘content producers’ was to place outselves at the bottom of the media food chain. Which is a nasty place to me. Instead, he encouraged us to be idea and knowledge creators, figuring out what content needs to be created, not just idly and passively making what’s trending at the time.

A girl behind me, Bec, asked the bitterly realistic question of “if 14 year olds are posting videos on Youtube and are more successful than me, why should I bother?” essentially talking about how everyone has access to the same materials to it’s almost impossible to stand out. This question rang so true to my fears about being in the media world. I don’t want to put hard work into a project only for it to buried under the success and popularity of the newest ‘Cat Walks Up Stairs’ video made on someone’s iPhone.

e.g. This is a 20 second video of cats staring at each other (still pretty fantastic) that has 72,000 views… How many views do my short films have on vimeo? About 1/72 of that…


I think Adrian managed to answer this quite well, by stating that bloody Uncle Ben and his DSLR and iDVD can produce any old crap, so we need to sell and advertise our experience, not our quick access to equipment, which essentially everybody has. We can’t just learn how to use a camera or how to add a cross dissolve between these two shots, we need to learn how to make brilliant things and gain experience over the technologically-illiterate.

For some reason, I didn’t feel I engaged with this unlecture as I had the previous 2 or 3. This may have been the comedown from my caffeine high due to an 8am start, or the fact that I’d just had my brain turned to scrambled eggs after a stressful Broadcast Media class.  I felt like the lecture was slightly a bit too “conceptual”; the top three questions to be answered were all very broad and conceptual, unlike the one from last week that was essentially “why are we doing this?” which could get answered in a very conceptual yet specific way.

I do, however, like the idea of each class posing a few questions to the panel to be answered.


Reading – The Computer, Hypertext and the History of Writing.

This reading really reminded me of a Communications History and Technologies reading, as it was about the history, logistics, economics and technology behind communication. I found it quire interesting as I’m a massive history buff so it was like gazing into the past of the writing and printing techniques, which we, in the 21st century, really take for granted.

The first page had some really great points about writing; it’s about preserving and passing on human experience, social organisation (as it provides a culture with fixed laws, history, literary tradition) and is the preserver and extender of other technologies.

The computer truly changed the notion of ‘machine’ as it produced information, not power. Bolter argues, “It’s hard to think of a marginal technology in the history of writing that the computer cannot imitate”, meaning that it provides electronic writing, which has borrowed and utilised all the best aspects of previous writing technologies. It’s awesome to think about this because people always think the computer just popped up as a new shiny toy; not an update of anything else, but really, it’s a combination of the successful elements of a number of different machines in different fields. The computer allowed for cleaner and clearer writing space. The push towards further mechanization thus pushed away from the need for human muscle and control over the printing process.

The ‘second nature’ point was interesting; like a musician playing their instrument or a surgeon using tools, a writer may become so familiar with their technology or equipment that they can do it without conscious or labored effort. That’s exactly what is happening right now, as I type this I’m staring at a dog through the window of the café I’m in, contemplating what soy milk they use here and whether or not it’s worth getting a gluten free banana bread, not even looking at the keyboard.  I’m truly a creature of my generation’s complex creations, as Bolton states on p37.

The history of writing sections were also interesting, but I feel like I conceptually engaged more with the above points, so decided to unpack them.

This was quite an interesting reading as I love history and love the concepts around communication.