Crossing Borders

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Transmedia – where integral elements of fiction are dispersed across multiple delivery channels. Wot?

Seriously, even though I full understand the concept, it’s still kinda confusing when reading it that way. So basically put, when parts of a storyline (sort of) are portrayed and therefore consumed via many different mediums. That definitely makes more sense to me, and is really how I understand the whole concept.

Transmedia allows for consumers to develop a deeper connection to the content they are consuming, and by consuming various forms of content, allows for a broader and more widespread understanding.

Take Spiderman for example (totally hypothetical because I have next to no idea about any of it). They release the comics, and then there’s a movie, and a few video and computer games, and a card game based off the video games, and before you know it there’s basically a whole Spiderman world out there. It’s highly successful and not only that, but original fans (in this case of the comics) aren’t the only fans that are now engaged with the content. Some consumers may join in with the video games, or buy the cards, but now they have become part of this world. The movement between the different sources is also completely non-conventional. It’s not linear, one platform onto the next. Users may engage with this content in whichever way they may like, and may go between platforms likewise.

Transmedia is the reality of how we connect with media nowadays. Almost everything we come across is interconnected to another platform where we may access further content. It’s like posting a YouTube link to Facebook, or me posting this blog post link to my Twitter. Anyways, I think you understand the general concept, but just to further that, here’s a link to my SoundCloud, which will link you back to here, which links you to my SoundCloud. It’s like a Transmedia-ception.

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I call FAKE!

 

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An emerging trend in the internet these days is fake and bias news. To be honest, I was absolutely awful with recognising any of it. I’d always click on “clickbait” because, hey, it sounded interesting. And I’d be reading some article about how Beyoncé was actually having an affair and she’s now a lesbian and I’m lapping this all up. Awesome, I think, as I click to the comments section because 1. there’s always good banter, and 2. I love watching people disagree online.

Fast forward to me reading through the comments, finding either two opinions from most commenters; 1. this is absolute baloney and we now hate whoever published it, or 2. we are shocked and pretty much believe the whole thing. I am number 2 (embarrassing). I consider myself pretty switched on, and with some ridiculous headlines that are completely legitimate these days, it’s super hard to determine what is and isn’t true or real.

So that’s the first issue, and if that isn’t hard enough, then there’s the issue of bias news (queue eye roll). In simple terms, because its even super hard for me to grasp let alone recognise, this means when the writer produces an article or story from a particular point of view. So the information you are delivered, is swung a certain way.

See for me, bias news is like absolutely impossible to recognise. Maybe I just assume people are good reporters and have no reason to report otherwise. But really, bias news is so influential nowadays because were taking opinionated and spun news as truthful and real. Low key brainwashing I’d like to say.

Okay maybe my video is an exaggeration, but then again, you’d be surprised. News and how it’s reported is dependent on many factors aside from just a reporter regurgitating what actually happened. Think of any scenario you have witnessed, others will have witnessed it differently and will recall it differently. But that’s not the issue at hand here. The real issue is that some people who support a certain agenda, will write to their agenda knowingly. A prime example is Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp, who was a disbeliever about climate change. So therefore, all the news sources under his reign, were biased reporting on such occurrences. This then fed out to all the consumers of the news i.e. the public, who were mis or even uninformed about the whole issue.

But enough of the facts and boring stuff. Fake news is a prominent and emerging phenomenon, as is bias news. All readers should be aware of this and consume news knowing so. An informed reader will draw their own conclusions and be able to assess news accordingly. So please, be me (recovering uninformed news consumer) and start paying attention!

 

#DRAFTOURDAUGHTERS

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How memes changed the world in real-time.

This is perhaps one of the most random, yet low-key phenomenal, occurrences that has recently taken place purely  online. Surprisingly (but not actually) it involved the U.S. election. What was so amazing about “Draft Our Daughters” was the fact that is purely developed over the internet, the movement was organised and carried out completely online. Yet, the effects carried into real life, with the possibility that they did in fact swing, or at least affect, the election outcome.

Draft our Daughters came as a result of Hilary Clinton revealing that she supports women registering for their countries draft i.e. enlisting for the military. A Trump supporter posted a ridiculous meme on Twitter,

 

basically mocking Clinton. This seemed to sit well with fellow Trump supporters, who discussed this on 4CHAN. 4CHAN is an online forum type of platform, in which users are all anonymous and are given specific codes so they can be recognised during the conversing on the thread. They also have their country flag next to their anonymous code. Here’s the thing, there is no threading, they can reply to certain posts however. Another feature, they have no profiles, you cannot see their post history (i.e. what else they may be posting on) and possibly most importantly for me, they cannot directly message each other. So really, it’s just anonymous conversation where all is out in the open, and no-one will ever or can ever be revealed.

So this media space starts discussing the memes creation, and the genius behind it. The users start thinking about potential hashtags, creating more and more memes, ridiculing Hilary’s support for women enlisting. They use satirical captions, text that almost distorts Hilary’s actual view on the subject. This happened in real-time. People were posting in this thread, asking for feedback before releasing their creations into the wider web.

Concepts were discussed through the thread, they were sharing a logo, even a font, and even discussed colours text should be in. Slogans were created too. So this was being created as it was released in a more public domain. The anonymity of the thread helped many users to become involved as thoughts, ideas, and creations could be criticised without being connected to a certain individual or persona. In other words, your meme could’ve sucked, but no-one would ever know it was yours.

Eventually, the hashtag #draftourdaughters was created. Many memes were posted on Twitter and some on Facebook. The collective intelligence allowed for a professional look, the real logo and the similarity of each meme meant they appeared as if they were really from Clinton’s campaign. Even those memes which did appear quite harsh, with black humour which could be recognised as not legitimate for Hilary’s campaign, still caused their consumers to second guess what Hilary’s support of enlisting women really meant.

This all occurred in October, very close to the election day. Of course, it is impossible to distinguish a link between consumers of this campaign and if their vote was effected. However, from a personal point of view, users who mainly source their opinions and values through the internet I believe would’ve been highly likely to have been swung, effected, or even just second guess themselves after being exposed to this propaganda at such rapid and constant rates.

So after all that, there’s a prime example of how memes really can change the world. Or even change how we think or how we interpret information.

P.S. Another example memes effect on society and of the use of 4CHAN here is the bendable iphone movement.

Changing the World, One Meme at a Time

Contrary to legacy media, memes are unstructured, easy to make, and in most cases do not require a large cost, or risk a large amount of failure. They are widely consumed, easily consumed, and if are not consumed, do not suffer from vast ramifications.

Quick side note, this post is purely my opinion on memes and my experience with them, melded together with what my tutors and lecturers have told me. Okay, unpause, continue article.

Personally, I associate memes with humour, whether dark or lighthearted, well thought through or simple Neanderthal jokes, they all strike a funny bone in my body. Before taking the course I’m now taking, that’s all they were to me; a regurgitated idea presented in a creative, simple manner, and were able to be quickly consumed. Nowadays, I think quite similarly, except I add one more element, that they in some way affect your method of thinking. Not in a crazy, trying to change the whole world in a 5 line string of words way, but in a sneaky, dark alleyway sense. Okay not that dark, but in a concealed way. In a way in which you come across election memes 3 times a minute, and don’t realise the effect they are having on you. You see, before this course, what pretty much never crossed my mind was just how effective memes really are.

Picture this, you’re scrolling down your news feed and you see a meme about an issue you have little to no side on. You read it, have a laugh, or show a friend, and then keep scrolling. Doesn’t seem like a huge issue, but slowly more and more memes about the same issue come up. And suddenly without knowing it, you slowly begin to take a stance on the issue. You start scrolling through the comments, engaging in debate on the issue. Or maybe you stay on the fence, but still take memes as “real” information, legit information that helps you build a backbone for both sides of the argument.

To me, memes work like advertisements, except simpler and not always intentional. But they are similar in the sense that our overexposure of certain issues means we subconsciously dedicate brain space to them. Much like you remember certain catchphrases to ads, you too remember certain memes and therefore issues you may not have exposure or interest in, you are almost unwarily being subjected to.

So really, after all this waffle about memes are how they low-key affect you, I’ll leave you in suspense for my next post; a clear example of how memes really did change the world in real-time.

P.S. it has to do with the American election and I promise you it’ll interest you as much as it interested me.

The Most Interesting Man In The World - what if i told you memes are changing the world around us