Cinema, Readings

Authorship and the changing narrative

The new hypertext and hypermedia narrative would not exist if there was no foundation of the print form. They are binary oppositions yet they exist because of each other. Due to the new interactive form we would “read” it differently.

Jay Bolter argues that there is no story just readings of it (different interpretations). However, the readings also make up the story but everyone person is likely to have a different one. ‘The story is the sum of all its readings’.

I wonder who is considered the author then or are there multiple ones? As Jay goes on to say ‘Each reading is a different turning within a universe of paths set up by the author’. Considering the reader now would has more control over the outcome of the material then the person who wrote it then does that make them an author as well? Also we would chose our desired order. However if we were able to physically add or change parts than that could bring us closer to be an author.

In Cinema class, we have been discussing authorship in films. It is hard to define but an auteur will have a distinct style to their film, like Hitchcock, Godard and many more.  There were critics who favored auteur directors and canonised them. I thought about this point of view but with authorship on the internet. Especially with sites such as wikipedia where almost anyone can edit the pages.

Relating back to my hit record post, the company is built on collaboration and that is at the core of how it works. Hit Record is built on people editing other people’s work. There is no one author even though Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the director of the projects. Would you say that we lose a distinct style with more collaboration projects or could the form be the style?


Symposium week 5

1. Should network literacy be focused on in earlier education?

In the talk about how coding is very important in our day and age. I briefly mentioned this in the my previous blog post about the organisation which primarily focused in the US but their aim is to have “Every student in every school have the opportunity to learn computer science”. I tested out the ‘write your own computer program’ lesson and I learnt about repeat-loops, conditionals (ifs and else) and basic algorithms. It uses the characters from popular games like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies to illustrate their lessons. You have to move the character to the end goal telling it instruments like ‘move forward’, ‘turn left’. It was only the first lesson so it was relatively straight forward but definitely introduced me to some of the basics. After you complete a level it show you the codes in JavaScript, which was helpful but I don’t think i remember any of them. It felt more like I was playing a game rather than learning basic coding techniques. I found out that coding relies a lot on problem solving big or small.

In this article, Joe O’Brien a CEO of EdgeCase, a company that specialises in software development.

“Even if a CEO never codes for her company, just understanding what is happening is going to be huge for her from a risk standpoint, from an understanding standpoint”

For students studying media, this would be even more crucial for us to learn how it works even if we don’t end up actually coding the next Facebook or Twitter. Last year in September, England was the first country to make computer programming a compulsory subject for all year levels. Furthermore, the US is expanding their reach but what about Australia?

Computer programming is overall increasing your network literacy. Even being able to understand it, you are giving yourself extra knowledge to equip yourself for the future.

Other Blogs, Symposiums

Looking at other’s blogs

“As most computerised programs are a simulation of something real and physical, the blog is essentially a simulation of a diary or journal.”
This was a really interesting thought from Mia’s blog. She goes on to say how a blog is different because of hypertext and it can continually link to more information. I wonder if you suggest websites or other books for your readers to check out at the end of a book if that is still considered hypertext even though its not online.

Seonaid explored more about what it is to be network literate, which we also touched on in the lecture yesterday. Changing the themes on our blogs, is that bringing us closer to being network literate? Not really. They designed it for us to personally change at our convenience but the coders are the ones we have being doing all the hard work. In the Network Media blog, Adrian linked us to some websites, here and here, that are providing students with the skills working towards being network literate. is an organisation that is aimed at giving access to all students to learn computer programming. They really emphasise the importance of learning basic coding for our generation.

Karlee brought up an interesting point on how hyperlinks don’t make books irrelevant “but rather, they will exist simultaneously and dependent on each other.” I also want books to be around for a long time even though I feel like it is slowly dying medium. There is definitely a shift towards e-books and online material opposed to buying/borrowing books. I think it will definitely be around for our generation since we grew up with books but perhaps the next generation won’t have that sentimental connection to it.


The Inventor of the web on the future of it


25 years ago the World Wide Web was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Some of Tim Berners-Lee’s hopes for the future of the web:

  • not fragmented into lots of pieces
  • Health care with privacy
  • Other 60% of people get on the internet
  • If a disaster happens we can response to it quickly while combining our resources through the internet

What kind of web do you want?

Here is a link the for other ones:


Reading Week 4

I always opt to print out my readings because I personally don’t like looking at a computer screen the whole day. But from the first line knowing that the reading was in non-sequential order would have be easier to follow through as an online reading with links to the other chapters. Later in the reading Nelson writes that is it “best read at an interactive screen” which linked up with my thoughts at the start.

It is almost a choose your own adventure book. Where you flip back and forth till you make it to the end or wherever you want to end up. You don’t follow the traditional from the beginning to the end even though it is a book/reading which is quite different.


It was written a while ago so I found it funny how the author thought that we might be extinct by 2020. Writing in 2014, I think we will make it. Also, many of his “hopes” for 2020 have come true to an extent. His hopes arise from the benefits we will get from sharing information with others. Like the globalization of information and resources. The structure is that there is no structure or order. Rather an interactive playground for ideas to roam, be found or created.

I thought it was clever how they used the form of the reading involving hypertexts to really illustrate and support their discussion. You are not only thinking about their points but also seeing hypertext in action as you read.

Extract from: Nelson, Theodor Holm. Literary Machines 91.1: The Report On, and Of, Project Xanadu Concerning Word Processing, Electronic Publishing, Hypertext, Thinkertoys, Tomorrow’s Intellectual Revolution, And Certain Other Topics Including Knowledge, Education and Freedom. Sausalito: Mindful Press, 1992.


Symposium week #4 notes

One of the stand out points I was left wondering about after today’s symposium was the distinction between content and form. Also, how much understanding we have about the difference between them. It linked up closely with our discussion on if we are network literate just because we know how to write content on the internet. Does knowing how to work a website make you network literate or do you need to know how to actually make the website (coding etc.). If we relate it print literacy if we know how to get a book made does that count. We seem to pass things over to a 3rd party to do the really technical parts. Are we losing knowledge but not knowing it, should it be an essential skill? Adrian agreed that I was disempowering us in a sense but giving over the control.

Another take away point is this statement that Adrian said “You are not an author until the book creates you”, basically you are not an author till you publish the book. You are not an author if you just write books. Another profound line was that “The object constitutes the person”. These lines definitely left me thinking after the talk.

Just on a side note Betty recommended reading this book called “Divine Art, Infernal Machine” by Elizabeth L. Eisenstein which I think would be interesting to check out.


The Age of the Essay

The Web may well make this the golden age of the essay

This is a statement I would have disagreed with before reading through the reading for this week. Most of us probably think of essays as something we only write in school (every year) – usually about that book we studied in english. This reading argues that the ‘real essay’ is not the one are we typically used to. That it doesn’t take a position and then defend it. There is more freedom to a real essay where you are writing for yourself and exploring ideas however at the same time you do have an audience. It is interesting to what really constitutes towards an essay. The essay we write at schools has been inherited from old traditions and academic writing (like college professors).

Relating back to the statement, essays are not restricted to a medium they are about the content so really the web allows us to have more access to the Paul Graham’s idea of the real essay. On the internet there are no restrictions to what you can write about opposed to in a school there is structure and essay topic to always relate back to. Just having that freedom could make it the ‘golden age’ of the essay.


Symposium #3 notes

Before I start talking about this week’s symposium, Adrian brought up some points from last week to think over again.

  • A blog does not have beginning or an end like a book – there is no edge to blogs
  • You can say that a blog post has a end but it can link to other people’s blog and they can link to yours – it’s ongoing and keeps connecting
  • A different way to look at shifts into different mediums like written material (books) into online material (blogs) is not to find ways to make it the same but what we couldn’t do before? Or what this might enable us to do now?
  • For instance, blogs are more interaction, anyone with internet access can write a blog while it’s harder to publish books, you can continuously edit blogs
via Flickr

*Image via Flickr

Talking about defamation and copyright a lot in the past weeks has made me more aware of every time I site something or use an image. However possibly to point where it has unnecessarily restrained me because most of the rules I already followed. For example covers of songs are breaching copyright however there are so many you tubers who specifically just cover songs. They haven’t been prosecuted mainly because there isn’t going to be much benefit from doing it. Some of the key points I took away was that:

  • We should be writing critically rather than just an opinion with no evidence – what we write about has to be based on facts and information presented to us
  • The intent doesn’t matter – the reception (how your audience perceived it) matters
  • If you are publisher of the site you are responsible for all the content (even the comments)
  • However they are trying to introduce as system where the server provider is responsible for all the content

*Image sourced from flickr


Are we recording yet?

While we have being talking a lot about copyright and creative commons this week it reminded me of this production company which is unlike others.

*Image via flickr.

*Image via flickr.

It’s called hitRECord and was founded by actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Collaboration and sharing is the backbone of the organisation but this involves using other people’s work to rework/remix/edit in whatever way. What is incredible is that there is a community of thousands of people who are uploading their work (songs, illustrations, video clips) and giving it up for people to use. It isn’t breaking copyright because they have given permission for their work to be used but it does contrast from the other parts of society who are desperately trying to ‘save’ their work. This system involves a lot of trust in the people who are on these sites.

One of their projects was a book called tiny stories (volume 3) and there were over 20,000 thousand contributors. If you re-upload someone’s work that you have edited you give credit to that person and any other people who they have credited to keep track. It’s giving the responsibility to them to make the system work which i think doesn’t happen that much since people are afraid of people abusing the system.

*Image sourced from flickr  from Michael Galpert titled SXSW Spring Spectacular.


Symposium #2

Last week’s symposium was confusing at first and took me a while to understand the main point was. The networked media symposiums are not typical lectures but are more provocative. We are not just consuming what the lecturers/tutors say but are really encouraged to engage and offer up our thoughts.

The discussion really kicked off with how we would describe a book to someone who knew nothing about it. The more we (tried) to describe it the more it make a book sound over complicated with many unnecessary parts like why we have about 3 cover pages telling us the title. Adrian argued that ‘the form encourages the length’ and that there is a beginning, middle and end due to the medium. It really makes you start to question things. I mean if you could re-do/remake books, society, anything would it look the same? Would you keep it the same?

This may not have been the “main point” but what keeps getting reinforced in this course is that we are not here to learn what is right or wrong. It is more about exploring what we find is interesting and breaking away from conventions.