The Masks We Wear

YouTube link:


In the above YouTube video, I have simply recorded myself wearing three different masks and creating a specific ‘sign’ with my hands- the thumbs up represents Facebook, the heart represents Tumblr and the hashtag represents Twitter.

This is my way of representing the variety of ‘personas’ an individual can create on a wide spread of social media platforms; and how different each persona is when compared to each other and compared to the true identity of the individual. When we go online, we have created a ‘persona’ for ourselves- and that persona can be whatever we want it to be, if nobody knows the true ‘us’ we’ll tend to act differently to the real ‘us’ so people can accept the persona we have created. Whether it be through filtered photos on Instagram or carefully thought out tweets on Twitter, our true personality will not fully be shown when on the internet.

A persona is the centre of all posts, tweets, comments and photos- everyone sees who the persona is and what the persona does, not the person behind it all.

Along with this, the creation of a persona is easy while the maintenance of one is very delicate. An example of this is the ‘racist tweet’ incident with Justine Sacco and the Twitter trend ‘#hasJustinelandedyet’. Justine made a tweet before getting onto a plane heading to Cape Town, Africa and the tweet reads as follows:

Going to Africa.

Hope I don’t get AIDS! Just kidding.

I’m white.’

It’s no big surprise there was an uproar from the Twitter community, sparking the hashtag trend that lasted until Justine finally arrived in Africa eleven hours later. Any persona Justine had previously was instantaneously overlooked because of this one comment and she received many negative commenting and targeting from the public- this even resulted in her losing her job.

The persona is the most vital part behind all online presences- some personas on Twitter are not even human, or nicknamed ‘Twitterbots’, but people still follow what they say and do because it is ‘interesting’, ‘amusing’ or simply just a ‘part of a trend’.


We’re never truly ourselves on the internet.



For more information, check out these following sites:



Citizen Reporters

SoundCloud link:



SoundCloud transcript:

‘The definition of citizen journalism is ‘the collection, dissemination and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the internet’. Anybody that possesses a device capable of audio or visual recording (the most common and easily manageable form being a phone) can create their own news that are circled around current events occurring within a local or international perspective. Citizen journalism is being encouraged by groups such as local news channels, so the public can get a perspective on the issue from eyewitnesses present at the event and so the channels can have a more personal angle in their story. Through this, more individuals can become active participants in what information is passed off as news to the media public.

As mentioned before, the definition of citizen journalism states ‘especially by means of the internet’- this is where problems can occur when people create their own news. The internet is dialogic– there are no gatekeepers online to prevent or organise any of the content that goes out to the public. And, seeing as many people look to the internet for information, if one person voices out their opinion on a matter many others will do the same- the information can then become unreliable. An example of unreliable information that was then passed from one audience member to another is the Reddit ‘Boston bombings’ incident– Reddit users created the thread ‘findbostonbombers’ and collaborated theories and speculations. This ultimately ended with wrongful targeting of a missing- later revealed deceased -Brown University student as one of the bombers due to the unsourced information.’



We were once just formerly known as ‘the audience’- we were passive consumers of the internet. Now, with recent advances in technology and the digital media, we are becoming more active and, as a result, more people are starting to voice out their opinions on several matters at hand. The notion of ‘citizen journalism’ has been brought about due to this, where anyone can create their own content on the internet and use it as a form of information or news.

People are highly dependent on the internet for information; newspapers possess a cost and require the physical action of reading in order to obtain any information, while the internet comes in a range of different audio and visual mediums and all access to any content is entirely free. With this, people can add their own information within a matter of seconds rather than waiting around for over a week for their letter to be accepted by news companies. Also, passive consumers on the internet are more focused on content than what is actually provided as information in the news and feel more trusting towards content produced by other members of the media public.

The advances of the internet and its free roam and uploading nature is one of the main factors encouraging the amount of information by the public. Not only this, but news channels also encourage citizen journalism by asking people to send in footage on the issue at hand and then broadcast it to the remaining public. However, the reliability in this form of information is highly flawed- there are no gatekeepers on the internet due to its dialogic nature, so nobody can control which information is published or read by others let alone check if what people are saying is in fact true and backed up with evidence.

So if this information can be false and unsourced, can we consider this as proper journalism at all?




For more information, check out these sites below:


Generation Remix

Remixing culture

Majority of content found on the internet is generally in the form of a remix– the mash-up of texts which in turn produce a new, individual text with its own original meaning. Some of these remixes include YouTube videos, film productions and the most common example of remixing is found in the combining of lyrics and rhythm from one song with other sounds or the altering of multiple existing rhythms which in turn form a new song as a whole. The concept of remixing in music has rapidly become a new wave of music genre in itself, as well as an expression of creativity and originality amongst active participants on the internet.
Audience members used to remain passive on the internet- merely watching and listening –but with the increasing evolution of technology, more artists are becoming active in participating in these cultural advances of remixes and mash-ups. Remixing of music is one of these cultures in which audiences can participate in freely and easily by simply downloading an app or searching up a website that enables them to mix certain songs and create their own version. However, the copyrighting laws behind remixes are much more detailed than the laws that protect original work- a remix is a ‘derivative work’, meaning that permission from the original artist must be given in order for the remix to be produced.

‘Good artists copy; great artists steal’

Lana Del Rey vs Cedric Gervais ‘Summertime Sadness’ ^

Tyler Ward ‘Talk Dirty to Me (Cover/Remix)’ ^


There are two videos above; one is Cedric Gervais’ popular remix of Lana Del Rey’s song ‘Summertime Sadness’ and the other is from YouTuber Tyler Ward, a cover artist who has covered/remixed Jason Derulo’s ‘Talk Dirty to Me’ using auto mechanical equipment as the background instrumental.

Gervais’ remix of ‘Summertime Sadness’ received many more views than Del Rey’s original song on YouTube- the remix receiving 82 million views while the original received only 54 million. When thinking about circumstances like this, should the original artist be given the credit for making the original song? Or because it is a remix of the original song and is in itself a new song entirely, does that mean the new creator gets the credit?
Same with Tyler Ward’s remix- is this considered as an original work?


For more information on remixing or the examples provided, check out these sites: -‘Summertime Sadness’ Gervais remix link to YouTube -‘Summertime Sadness’ Lana Del Rey -Tyler Ward ‘Talk Dirty to Me (Cover/Remix)’ link to YouTube– Tyler Ward Youtube channel


Our Digital Artefact- What’s helping us Achieve Our Goals?

Grace and I will be composing a series of book and movie reviews on our profile under the name ‘The Pun Brigade’. Grace will be writing the movie reviews while I will be writing the book reviews. In these reviews, we will be looking at:

  • Character creation
  • Plot and story setup (if the story ‘flows’ or ‘makes sense’); and, as an added bonus
  • Movie-to-book and book-to-movie comparisons: not ‘which one is better’, but rather which one better portrays the characters and will help in the audiences understanding of the story

For our digital artefact, we’ve observed 10 different sources and have made various short summaries on what to do and what not to do when creating our digital artefact. These are those sources and summaries:


Source 1: Amazon

This is our main site for our digital artefact- it is where we publish our finalised reviews. will be used for inspiration and guidance- we can observe other reviews on the same book and collaborate this information with our own as well as investigate how we can set out our own reviews so they are understood. Reading other reviews is also helpful so we can try to avoid ‘repeating’ what others have said about the same movie or book. The only problem with Amazon is you do not need to have read/seen let alone purchased the book/movie to make reviews, so few of these reviews may be inaccurate.


Source 2: IMDb

IMDB will be helpful for us to observe the differences and similarities between book and movie reviews. It will also help us in figuring out how to critique the movie in a similar way to the book to avoid the issue of being biased. IMDb is both critic and audience-based reviews, we will be able to observe critics opinions on the movies and compare them to the audience opinions for more insight on what key factors are noticed in movies between the two groups. However, they are very wordy and long being at least two paragraphs or more- we hope to make ours at least a paragraph long.


Source 3: Goodreads 

Goodreads is a prime source for ‘what (not) to do’ when writing movie-book comparisons. There are some strong reviews on a variety of books; something I’ve noticed is when it comes to book-movie comparisons there some bias towards one or the other- e.g., the book-to-movie reviews on The Devil Wears Prada focused more on Meryl Streep’s performance in the movie rather than character depictions. This is what we do not want to do- we’re hoping to limit the general sense of bias within our reviews. Some of the Goodreads reviews are also ‘clunky’, they continue on about the book and in the end the true meaning is lost.


Source 4: 7 Tips for Writing a Film Review

A ‘How to’ series of 7 dot-points on how to write film (and book) reviews. With these points in mind, we can be more careful when writing and publishing- for example spoilers, where this suggests to avoid using spoilers unless you give the audience a heads up first. The first 5 dot points will be very useful and handy as a guide to organise the writing style of our reviews; in the case of the last two dot points, they focus more on the actual cinematography of the movies- this will be used in our ‘movie only’ reviews as they will not be a main focus in our book-to-movie reviews.


Source 5: Cinema Sins

A YouTube series of short summaries on a variety of movies from an audience perspective. These summaries are not entirely focused on the creation and production of the movies but rather on the plot and character development. For entertainment value some small comments of dry humour are added. These are helpful in understanding the small pieces of information that audiences pick up on while watching a movie. While we may not comment on movies in this particular way (as they focus more on the negative views of movies), this will be interesting to observe what the audience sees and what they notice in movies that do not make sense.


Source 6: The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill- Book Reviews

A more formal source that delves into what exactly a review is- very informative on the components of a review and how book reviews are all about perspectives despite their similar qualities. It also presents a couple of examples of what these perspectives can entail when the same book is reviewed by three different people, along with some notes as to why these specific audience members might have this view on the book. It is very interesting to observe what features stand out the most to a specific reader based on their background and experiences.


Source 7: Rotten Tomatoes

Similar to the IMDb source, Rotten Tomatoes is useful in observing reviews on certain movies. Unlike IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes is more ‘critic based’ and is a shortened, more formal series of reviews than IMDb’s longer audience based ones. These reviews are at least one sentence in length and some of these reviews simply make a statement of whether the movie was good or not. This proves as a problem because, due to the length and vagueness of these reviews, it’s hard to understand exactly what features of the movie did not work and caused confusion.


Source 8: Watch Mojo

An informal series of YouTube reviews similar to the style of the previous source ‘Cinema Sins’- where Cinema Sins focuses more on plots, characters and negative factors of the movies that made them hard to understand, Watch Mojo focuses more on the design and layout of the actual film. While these series are usually in a ‘comparison’ or ‘top ten’ setup, their reasoning behind why will be very informative on understanding their reasoning behind their opinion and what exactly ‘worked’ within the movie. Same with Cinema Sins, we will not be entirely focused on comparisons of movies or negativity towards the movie to prevent bias.


Source 9: What Not to Do- ‘The Book is Almost Always Better than the Movie’: Barnes and Noble

This blog post focuses on the features that differ between movies and their book counterparts, explaining that through the short storytelling of movies some audiences do not ‘receive’ the full story compared to reading the book. They also include examples of how movies have their own effect of added suspense- e.g. Jaws and how the audience never sees the shark. Despite all this, the overall topic of the article is that ‘books are better’. While we will focus on aspects the movie possess compared to the book and what connections the audience have to them, ‘comparative dominance’ of one over the other will not be established within our comparative reviews.


Source 10: Book Journey Blogs

A series of blog posts based on ‘Book vs. Movie’ explained in short summaries- one paragraph each for both book and its movie counterpart. One of these examples I looked at was one on a book I myself am interested in reviewing- If I Stay by Gayle Forman –and how the author felt the movie brought out more emotion because of its visual imagery and how it was easier to understand. Before each argument, the author writes a brief synopsis of what the story entails before diving into the differences and similarities. The problem with this source is the summaries are too short, with the author briefly stating she liked it or not and sometimes focusing on one version more than the other in her reviews.


Thank you for reading! If you would like to check out our progress on our digital artefact, click on this link to check out Grace’s site where a copy of each review should be posted as an individual blog. Speak to you soon!


The Branches of the Storytelling Tree

I can’t make any promises, but I’m going to try my best to not ‘nerd out’ in this blog … Who am I kidding, let’s do this!


So, transmedia narratives. What is that?
Ever heard of Star Wars? Lightsabers, Jedis’, The Dark Side and the whole ‘I am your father’ shebang? It’s the highly popular movie series with two trilogies and a third trilogy set in the making about fights in outer space in a galaxy far far away… Only, it is not simply a movie series is it? What about the game Lego Star Wars? Or the T.V series The Clone Wars? That, in its simplest form, is what transmedia narratives basically are.
Transmedia storytelling is the process in which multiple stories are told through multiple media platforms- through this, a wider range of audience and response can be achieved. It can also allow a form of connection between the audience members. Each platform of the story that is created forms its own standalone storyline that contributes to a larger narrative. For example, the Walking Dead; the T.V series story takes a similar appeal to the graphic novels it is based off of, but some aspects are different; and both novel and show are contrastingly different to the plot of Telltale Games’ app and Xbox game ‘The Walking Dead’- which features new characters, a new plot and more interactivity and reaction from the audience through the decisions of the players affecting the gameplay and storyline.



But they are still based in the same world as the show and novel ‘The Walking Dead’! This, in its entirety, is the basis of transmedia storytelling- audience participation and multiple stories on multiple platforms that ultimately form a larger story.

T.V Show poster (left) and Game poster (Above)


transmedia narratives
Now, let’s talk about Pokémon- in case you’re unsure what that actually is, Pokémon is a highly popular Japanese Nintendo game series for children through to young adults where they catch, train and breed ‘Pokémon’- creatures that you can use to battle other competitors both in-game or online. In case you still have no idea what I’m talking about … Pikachu- you’re bound to know Pikachu yeah? That’s a Pokémon.

Anyways, Pokémon has branched out onto a variety of media platforms, extending past the Nintendo DS: there are Pokémon movies, T.V. shows, battle cards … Even Youtuber duo Smosh have made a series of videos titled ‘If Pokémon were real’. Each possess their own individual stories and characters, yet focus on the same world. A notable platform about Pokémon currently, is their latest addition ‘Pokémon Go’. Pokémon Go is a new app audience members can download onto their Apple or Android product and gain a ‘real life experience’ of the traditional Pokémon games, where they ‘find’ Pokémon out in the world and ‘catch’ them via their device.
Pokémon Go is a prime example of transmedia storytelling and how it is a fully participatory occurrence between audience individuals. Through this notion of downloading the game onto your phones and incorporating it into your surroundings, audiences can actively participate with the media platform and gain a new experience and perspective on the original DS series.


That’s all for this post, talk to you soon!


For more information on transmedia narratives and Pokémon Go, check out these sites:


Check out for one of Smosh’s videos and more!
‘Pokemon in real life’



Digitalisation- the Craft of the Future?


It’s no big surprise that the media is in a constant state of evolutionary change- if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be writing anything. But today, I will be looking more at the media and its constantly evolving form between the analog and the digital remediation.

Today, the boundaries between creator and viewer are ‘breaking down’ in the sense that; new waves of creators are being formed through the dialogic nature of the internet (where everyone has easy access to practically everything- check out my previous blog and this site for more info on dialogic media) and that audiences are now able to interact more with the digital media through the remediation of the analog. Because of this, the boundaries between production (the creation) and conception (the idea) are also, in a sense, breaking down.

The prezi that is linked above is a series of brief summaries I’ve written up about the remediation of the analog and the digital, along with a couple of examples of how craft and content is being dramatically changed by the digital media and its new creators: these examples being live streamer xMinks and the ‘humanoid robots’ being created in Japan.


Thank you for reading and I’ll speak to you soon!



Check out these sites for more information on xMinks and the humanoid robots:

All for One and One for All

Everyone wants to be heard- this is the one major(ly annoying) trait that we all possess, no matter your gender, age, culture, etc., everybody wants somebody to listen to them. This (on media platforms) has resulted in the common occurrence of media users not only listening or observing information, but they are creating their own information.

Hence, the topic of this blog- Passive consumers, active participants and what is truly considered as ‘journalism’.

Will you be me audience

Media audiences used to be ‘passive consumers’- the simple act whereupon the individuals of the audience would do no more than view or listen to any media content that was shown to them (for example, you can’t do much else when watching television except for watching the screen). However, the encouragement of ‘active participants’ within an audience has increased rapidly in recent times as media platforms have evolved- this means that not only are we consumers of the media, but we can also now be producers of media: or ‘prosumers’.

The internet is what is called dialogic– meaning that anyone can broadcast any message directly, and that gatekeepers (that normally manage and maintain any content produced) are weak or non-existent. With this, groups of individuals or a singular individual can produce their own opinions through media content- giving access to any and all who are willing to view or listen to this content, hence the ‘All for One and One for All’ method: one person to many or many people to one. An example of dialogic media that encourages ‘active participants’ are the social media giants that we are commonly exposed to on a daily basis- Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


Through social media platforms similar to that of the Twitter or Facebook style of posting, tweeting and commenting, audiences are actively engaging with what they see or hear almost instantaneously. This is a rapid process because of the privacy of the audiences identity- they say whatever they want through these medias because of their anonymity, thus, in turn, encouraging activity of audiences through the written (or typed) word. Similar to me writing this blog- I write my opinion, others read said opinion and then comment their opinion based on what is read or seen. It’s a never-ending process of opinions and comments! <- check out for more on the drone footage!

Above, you will find footage captured from a drone that was uploaded onto YouTube in June 2013. The drone captured footage of the police clash that occurred in Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul on the 11th June 2013. Something to consider: is this a form of journalism? Potentially, they have captured footage and are actively posting it onto a media platform- which in turn encourages activity in audiences to form an opinion on the situation. This is also an example of how audiences are dependent on the internet for information and news on situations around the world.


An interesting question was brought up during my lecture about this topic- seeing as audience members are becoming more active and are producing their own news; are we seen as journalists because of our comments, blogs or even tweets? And this was asked, ‘If someone was killed- if they’re seen as a journalist through active participation –does that mean we are killing journalism? For example, the drone mentioned before was shot down- so if it was recording for journalistic purposes …

Was journalism ‘ultimately’ killed?




For more information, check out these sites:

The Battle of the Ages- Apple vs. Android

Quick! Tell me which one you think is better? Apple or Android? You have to pick one right now!

Got an answer? Good, so ask yourself this: Why do you prefer Apple over Android? Or why do you prefer Android over Apple? What is it exactly that makes you choose this specific phone?

As for me, I honestly do not care which is better- they both serve a purpose as a platform for the public, and the choice of preference (in the end) is all up to the user’s desires.


This meme I created is a take on the famous LOTR meme, expressing the opinions, that many of the public have, over how they prefer Apple over Android and how (for lack of a better term) aggressive these arguments can get over the simple question of ‘which is better’. Many of the public agree that Apple is better, because it’s ‘innovative’ or ‘looks better’. But this is not the case- it doesn’t matter which platform is the ‘good guy’ or the ‘bad guy’, nor is it about the features of the platform either. In the end, what we should focus on is the accessibility of these products and the individual preferences of the users.

The first thing everyone notices about Apple products, is the appearance of the device- anybody talking about Apple will first mention the apps that can be downloaded or the way the device looks. In reality, not many people who possess an iPhone will be aware of the IOS operating systems and the devices limitations. Apple’s IOS system is a closed source: this means that the Apple company have complete control over the platform and content, and have a very strict set of guidelines- customisation within the public is very limited. The Apple IOS system, is also only compatible with Apple devices, unlike the Android where the flow of content spans across multiple platforms. Other limitations that Apple device itself possesses, is the limited memory space on the device and the situation of the enclosed battery.

Android, on the other hand, was created in response to this as an open platform; meaning, that the system is generative- customisation is free for control by the public! Google has no complete control over the platform, content and user, nor does it have any control over the kind of apps that can be run; unlike the IOS system, where the apps have to first be approved. Despite Apple being the more ‘user-friendly’ device and its popularity and sales being based on the look of the device, Android marketing is significantly higher than that of Apple’s due to Android’s free access and easy manipulation of its system. It is also highly popular, because of its PC-like characteristics, it’s free flow of content across multiple products (not just Android-based) and there are no restrictions (unlike iTunes) to put music onto the device.

Regardless, whether you prefer IOS or Android is strictly up to you- everything about these systems still all comes down to the user’s preference. That is all I have to say for this topic- and I’m going to end it with the age-old question that started all of this.

Which do you prefer? Apple or Android?



Watch but Don’t Touch- The Evolution of Copyright

Copyright- the reason why you can’t download that song you want, the reason your YouTube video was taken down, the reason you can’t watch that new episode you’ve been dying to see because you want to know what happens next.

It’s highly frustrating, I know. But in its own way, copyright is good!

Before copyright made an appearance, the notion of property was only related to resources like land, animals and objects. Intellectual work such as writing had no protection because you can’t ‘own’ an idea. Today, any and all content by a creator can be copyrighted, and monopoly rights for the protection of a creator’s work has increased from 14 years after publication to at least 50-70 years after the author’s death. Disney even managed to successfully extend their copyright laws on Mickey Mouse to 120 years after Walt Disney’s death!

As the public, we can freely access any content that the creator makes, but a large amount of intellectual property that does exist on the media currently is already subjected to copyright. Even the song ‘Happy Birthday’ was copyrighted by Time-Warner! Don’t worry, it’s a part of the public domain now, so if you want to post a video of your dog’s birthday, that’s totally fine to do so.


The meme I created above is one such example of the heavy laws that copyright has placed onto the public, especially YouTube copyright laws. On YouTube, any audio sound that sounds exactly like, or similar to, a copyrighted audio piece already owned on this platform is immediately taken down. In one of these cases of YouTube copyrights, a video of a cat purring was posted onto YouTube, and the video was taken down due to copyright violation of the sound of the cat’s purr. Pretty silly right? Another example of this, is the dispute between Germany and Google over the banning of watching a YouTube video. Remember the good old year of 2013? It was the year that a meteorite crashed into Russia, and YouTube practically exploded with numerous dash cam videos of the meteorites’ fall. In one of these videos, while the person is recording the meteor from their car, a song starts to play from their radio.

You can only guess why the video was banned.

However, in cases like this, the doctrine of fair use (<-click for more info) can be used to prove that no copyright violations were made in YouTube videos.


Well, that’s all for today, thank you for reading, if you want to check out more on the Germany/Russia YouTube dispute click here,  and I’ll catch you in the next blog real soon!



The Medium Changes the Message

“The medium is the message.”- quoted from Marshall McLuhan

The Medium is in the message

^You’re probably thinking the same thing right now.

When I first heard this quote, I had absolutely no idea what it meant either, let alone what I’d be writing about in this post. It was new, confusing, complicated- and I did not like that. So, after countless hours of tormented thinking, I finally had an idea and something worthy to write as my opinion on Marshall McLuhan’s quote.

Simply put, the medium IS the message! Still confused and wondering ‘what is she on about?’ Let me explain…

Marshall McLuhan further explains in this quote, ‘This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium- that is, of any extension of ourselves –result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.’

To summarise, the medium is ‘an extension of ourselves’, and the message is ‘the change of scale, pace or pattern of behaviour’.

So what exactly is ‘the medium’?

Think about the chair that you’re currently sitting on. While sitting on that chair, the chair is an extension of yourself- therefore, the chair is the medium.

Now let’s say that you’re sitting on this chair in the middle of class, skimming through Facebook and this blog post. The chairs are all rowed before the teacher, who is the only one standing in the room. Now the classroom, and the chairs in it, are the medium. So what would happen if there were no chairs at all? The message of the classroom will have ultimately changed- if there were no chairs, everyone in the room will be standing, or sitting together on the ground. The message will change from the teacher having power to everyone being equal.

Now let’s look at how changes in media platforms can change the message of the medium.

Vinyl recor

I created this meme as an ironic sign of how quickly mediums can change, and how equally quickly their messages can change- influencing the pace, scale or pattern of behaviour. When vinyl discs were first created, they were used as a means of recording and playing music. However, where other mediums of playing music like cassettes and CDs were overtaken by new evolutions such as the mp3 player, the vinyl disc ‘mutated’. The vinyl disc was discovered for its new purpose of remixing music, and with this began the formation of its new ‘outer shell’ to further explore this new genre of music, and the ‘DJ’ phenomenon took the world by storm. It mutated to form the same medium, just with a new case- the change in medium resulted in a change with the message! What once was used for simply playing music to passive consumers, soon became a new form of media platform for active participants.

Well, that’s all I’ve got to say for now. I hope this made sense to you all out there, and I appreciate any comments you have about this post!

Speak to you soon!