Project Brief 4 – Final Reflection
From the beginning of the semester, the ‘Old’s Cool’ studio provided fascinating insight into the past forms of media. I wanted to be in this class to learn about old media technology. Simply due to the fact that my main interests are all related to the media industry, I have had a basic understand of new media technologies from a young age and so I wanted to learn about the roots of the principles I use today. The internet age we exist in today ensures that children growing up right now are capable with some sort of technology. Most homes in the Western world have some sort of electronic device, usually a computer, tablet or smartphone. This was corroborated in a study undertaken in 2009 by the British Journal of Educational Training in which they found that “every participating family had at least one home computer and broadband access to the Internet. Each had at least one TV set, mobile phone and game console.” (Mcpake et. al, 2013, pg. 421) Having a society so dependent on technology, I believe it is vital to understand the origins to inform our future experiences.
During classes, as we explored the old media technologies, I always had the urge to share my experiences online. When we experimented with the Lumen Prints, I made sure to take a photo of them so I could share the results on Instagram. I wanted to further explore this urge, which led me to project brief two in which I researched a person’s relationship with media content and the online social media experience. The ease of use and the high level of control combine to make the online experience so inviting to millennial consumers. “We have entered an era of media convergence that allows the flow of content across multiple channels” (Veglis, 2012, pg. 314) and this allows for communities to be created easier than ever before. To foster an online community, users constantly update their profiles, posting pictures and videos to add to the endless stream of information.
During project brief three, I created a video based on the craft of running a dive bar and creating unique alcoholic shots to explore the way humans create a community away from their computer screens. “Society is essentially the network of transactions, exchanges and interactions between individuals and families, and in some contexts, between organizations, groups or institutions” (Sinha, 2014, pg. 50) and most humans thrive when they are a part of a community. My take away from this project was that I wanted to explore how social media has changed the way communities develop as the next step in social growth.
This goal transferred over to project brief four where I joined a group with Adrian and Cody. They presented the idea of creating an 80’s style talk show as a way to explore the aesthetic development of video from old to new media. The television talk show has undergone a lot of changes since its inception in 1951 and “in a sense TV talk shows have been evolving together with technological developments, social changes and moods” (Piotrowicz, 2013, pg. 609). Being a cultural touchstone for many adults, American late-night talk shows follow a similar format; the host’s opening monologue commenting on the day’s events, followed by a few interviews with celebrities promoting their latest wares.
The TV talk show genre is a product of the twentieth century broadcasting, “built up on the tradition of entertainment and news […] that encompasses forms of conversation and communication and evolves around talk” (Piotrowicz, 2013, pg. 610). The continued progression of new media technologies, such as online streaming through websites like YouTube, have granted users the ability to control the content they consume based around their own personal schedule. Due to the current American political climate, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has gained a large surge in popularity due to his politically charged conversations. Yet, with the amount of content available across a variety of platforms, the social discussion continues in online spaces as his monologues and interviews are uploaded online. This allows audiences to watch specific segments at their own leisure with the ability to share the video with whomever they like, furthering the shows reach.
The internet defines the new media generation, supporting the old media principles by giving them a new platform in which it is easier to find a new audience. A clear way to see new media’s effects is to examine how advertisers utilise the technology. Old media marketing considered an audience en masse, grouping their consumers together. “As advertisers see it, traditional mass media bring and sell their audiences to organizations, but in that process they also perform a role of gatekeepers, performing agenda setting, framing, and priming, and agenda building, cutting, and melding” (Zerfass et. al, 2016, pg. 506). New media audiences have the freedom to choose the media they consume and so advertisers treat them as separate customers, targeting individuals with specifically curtailed messages based on information gathered through the user’s online footprint.
I wrote two advertisements for our final video based on a time-traveller from the year 2017 arriving in the eighties in an attempt to explain Facebook to someone with no knowledge of social media. The tone of the ads are in line with the exaggerated lunacy of the rest of the piece but they also explore the changes social media has had on society. Getting in touch with friends is now as easy as pushing a button on a phone, making it easier to grow a community but arguably losing the cohesion face-to-face discussion elicits in a relationship.
Our fourth project brief aims to humorously explore the way in which old media principles have been changed by the emergence of internet culture. The talk show has evolved along with audience desires throughout the decades, changing the way it delivers segments to audiences. The genre is so common that spoof versions of those shows have generated dedicated audiences as well. In addition, “the proliferation of new media has allowed more people to take part in content creation” (Chao-Chen, 2013, pg. 183) and the explosion of social media as the norm for millennials is proof of the impact of these modern principles. As new media continues to remix and adapt old media techniques and principles, it is important to continue to understand the roots of our information society.
Chao-Chen, Lin (2013) ‘Convergence of new and old media: New media representation in traditional news’, Chines Journal of Communication, pp. 1 – 19
Mcpake, Joanna; Plowman, Lydia; Stephen, Christine (2013) ‘Pre-school children creating and communicating with digital technologies in the home’, British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 44(3), pp. 421 – 431
Piotrowicz, Magdalena (2013) ‘American TV Talk Shows as Sicko Circuses of the 21st Century, International Journal of Arts & Sciences, vol. 6(3), pp. 609-625
Sinha, Sitabhra (2014) ‘The Importance of Community Studies’ Microeconomics, vol. 2(1), pp.49-61
Veglis, Andreas (2012) ‘From Cross Media to Transmedia: Reporting in Newspaper Articles’ Publishing Research Quarterly, vol. 28(4), pp.313-324
Zerfass, A.; Verčič, D.; Wiesenberg, M. (2016) ‘The dawn of a new golden age for media relations?: How PR professionals interact with the mass media and use new collaboration practices: How PR professionals interact with the mass media and use new collaboration practices’, Public Relations Review, vol. 42(4), pp. 499 – 508