Talented Human Beings

There’s nothing that makes me happier than people that I love, music that I love and films that I love. Below is the epitome of all of these things mashed together. I remember coming home from a shocking day out and about a few weeks ago to find this video posted on Facebook by three of my good friends, consecutively. As soon as I laid eyes on it I cheered up. Last week in my post The Zen’s at work’ I mentioned that the music for the short film I had created was by an electronic artist who goes by the name of Leaks (or in the real world, Tom Guida). Well, this is the film clip of the song he wrote about his girlfriend, Bittie, mixed by Monty Harnett. The video was directed and edited by Declan Sands, his friends also helping him out with the camera work, lighting and colourisation. I could not have been prouder seeing three of the boys from back home collaborating to create something so beautiful – the sound is so crisp, the depth of field so shallow, the colours so starkly white, the aspect ratio so wide, the tracking shots so smooth and tom’s eyebrows…well they’re a feature of their own! If you’ve got a few minutes to spare (or even if you haven’t), those minutes won’t be wasted watching this clip I can assure you.

Leaks – Often It’s You (Live) from Declan sands on Vimeo.

Ye Olde Grey Area

There was one particularly interesting topic that came out of week three’s symposium: the grey area of ’embedding’ in regards to copyright.

To my understanding, to embed something on a blog is to use the html code for a photo, video, tweet or song and post it so that it shows up, not just as a link to the host page but as a ‘playable’ or visible link that streams straight from the host website (see my blog posts ‘If I was ever going to film a sci fi…’ and ‘The Zen’s at work’ for example).

Adrian Miles discussed the idea that because ‘container’ websites like YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr etc. actually have buttons that seem to encourage embedding (anyone can gain access to the codes at free will), it is then legal to embed other people’s work on your blog. This idea stems from the fact that if the original creator is publishing their work on these sites then they should apparently be aware that this is a function of the host container.

But then how is embedding different from someone simply ‘screen-shotting’ or copying and pasting another person’s work into their own blog posts? (because that is definitely breaching the copyright laws…)

Well, from what I can gather, embedding still enables the publisher to have ultimate control over their work. The person who blogs their work cannot alter it in any way. For instance, if I was to embed someone else’s song that they had posted onto SoundCloud I could not edit the music, nor could I change the settings they had enlisted on SoundCloud (e.g. I could not make the track ‘downloadable’ if the original poster had not already made it available). In addition, the publisher is still recognised as the original creator in some way, as embedding enables a link back to the original webpage. In contrast, when someone uploads another’s work onto their blog (not by embedding), they will generally not create a link back to the host page, nor provide accreditation.

I sincerely hope embedding does not become ‘illegal’ in the future. I think embedding is much like ‘sharing’ on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr and thus allows the online community to become even more interconnected.

Not another essay…

‘The Age of the Essay’ challenged my ideals in regards to the educational system that I know. For the entirety of my high school life, my teachers told me that the ‘formula’ to a good essay was an acronym known as ‘TEEL’.

Every paragraph would have a…

Topic sentence



and a

Linking sentence

I remember going through numerous sheets of paper just like these ones below when structuring my essays for assessment.


The body paragraphs would be sandwiched between an introduction and a conclusion (which wouldn’t present any new information and would generally just be a rephrased version of the introduction).

However, in this reading Graham suggests that an essay is really ‘something you write to try to figure something out’. You should start with a question instead of a statement and see where the concept takes you, even if the end point isn’t a definitive answer. This concept contradicts the emphasis generally put onto essay writing; I was always taught that everything had to ‘come back to proving the point’ and had to defend your argument. The reading made me think about how I write essays – I seem to always decide on an argument to persuade the audience of before even putting pen to paper (or fingers to keypad). Here Graham discusses the benefits of writing an essay for you, more so than readers. Although it is important to have in mind that someone other than yourself will read the piece, the power of the essay lies in the simple expression of words – sometimes just writing things down helps to clarify and form ideas.

So maybe its about time, not only I, but the general educational society reassessed our ‘learning strategies’… even if it is just acknowledging that there is more than one way to write an essay.

Network Literacy

The first reading for Week Three compared and contrasted print media and online media, similar to Week One’s reading on blogging (which I discussed in an earlier blog post: Reading 01). It specifically discussed print and network ‘literacies’ – not the general type of ‘literacy’, in as reading and writing, but the kind of culture which surrounds print and the internet.

Both ‘literacies’ are essentially an ‘implicit’ knowledge that is embedded through many years of teaching and learning; both provide a basis for education and both, when used correctly by a ‘participant’, help people to translate information into knowledge.

Books are linear and complete. A significant part of print literacy is knowing that pages, lines and words are ordered sequentially, so that they create a ‘whole’ – there is a beginning and an end. Network media, although still following the general principles of reading text as with print, is slightly different because there is generally no set order to web pages. As well as this, online ‘containers’ (like blogs and other social platforms) are constantly being added to, so essentially there is no one end point… nor is there one set starting point.

In addition, there is more room for users of the internet to ‘participate’ within the medium. In fact, in this reading it is suggested that ‘to be ‘good’ at network literacies is to contribute as much as it is to consume’, or in Axel Bruns’ words it is to be a ‘produser’. Print on the other hand cannot realistically receive ‘feedback’; although you could potentially write your own comments onto a book (‘defaming’ the text and going against general protocols associated with print literacy), there is no way for the original author to see it. This idea is quite dissimilar for Network media: it is not only accepted, but encouraged to ‘comment’ on or ‘like’ another person’s contribution to the world wide web.

At this point in time I don’t think I would be considered great at network literacies, but here’s to hoping I will be a master at it by the end the semester!