Digital Storytelling Post 4 – Conclusion

in conclusion, my research – discussed in my previous post – brought back some very mixed responses to my original question of if how television audiences use social media during and after watching television shows hinders or enhances the watching experience as a whole.

Although mixed, the main results discovered were this: it became apparent that the major form of audience participation on social media regarding the watching of television was live-tweeting and blogging and that although it may be a good way to be involved in the show and its fans it also is a very large source of spoilers for shows for many people. The ages of those involved in these social media activities were those from the ‘technology generation’. All this was unsurprising to me as I’m sure it also may not be a surprise to many others. And all up this led to many people stating that overall the audience participation online can hinder but also enhance the television watching experience.

Many people may have their opinion on this subject but it doesn’t look like audience participation is going anywhere any time soon, it’s just going to grow and grow, bigger and bigger the more technology advances. If interested to find out more about this topic perhaps reading this may be some use to you as it discusses social media and audience participation in regards to television.

Maybe one day the thoughts we have while watching our favourite shows will go straight from our minds onto our social media, cutting out the distraction of focusing on another device as well as our shows and spoilers will become a thing of the past, solving everybody’s worries of audience participation on social media while watching television and the medium can thrive and enhance the television watching experience rather than hinder.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Digital Storytelling Post 3 – My Findings

To get a better idea of if how television audiences use social media during and after watching television shows hinders or enhances the watching experience as a whole. I posed a short survey online which was open for 2 weeks and it received 20 responses.

The first question I asked was the basic “Are you currently on any social media?” question to get a general feel of how many people were on different kinds of social media, more than one response was allowed. As imagined almost all respondents but surprisingly not all of them (92.86%) selected Facebook. The second most common medium of social media with 9 responses (64.29%) was Reddit and third was Twitter (50%). Instagram and Tumblr as well as an ‘other’ option were available and although some responses were for Instagram and Tumblr they were significantly less than the media mediums mentioned earlier. Also no one had any ‘other’ social media responses leading me to believe that these five social media platforms are the most common used by audiences presently. The three most popular responses evidently are all media platforms where it is quite easy for audience participation and all, especially Twitter, are used frequently in the kind of audience participation while watching television I was looking for.

I also discovered the age group that is most likely to participate online while in television watching situations is those in the age range of 19 – 22 years old, closely followed by those 23 – 26 years old. This is more than likely due to the fact that individuals who fall into these age ranges are of the ‘technology generation’ who have grown up with the ever changing technologies we have access to today and although they may have had their fair share of pink flip phones and dial-up internet, they all know how to use an IPhone without asking for help.

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Of these 20 people I then asked if they were a part of those who participate or use social media while watching television. Choices includes yes, no or sometimes for those who sometimes have something to say but also might not be as avid as some. Majority chose sometimes as their response with 4 responses each being ‘yes’ or ‘no’

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To get a better idea of the kinds of participation television audiences contributed to online the next question was a follow on from the last question and asked “if yes, in what ways do you contribute online” again choice of more than one answer was allowed. Four who answered no to the previous question did not have to answer. Out of the remaining 16 100% said they live-tweeted or blogged, 5 said the participated in discussion forums, 4 said fan theories and one said fan art. This again emphasised that live-tweeting and blogging is the most popular form of online audience participation

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Finally, the question “do you think that this contribution online during or after watching television hinders and enhances the overall watching experience and why?”. Between the three available responses ‘hinders’, ‘enhances’ or ‘sometimes both’. ‘hinders and ‘sometimes both’ received 8 responses each while enhances received 4 responses. Participants of the survey responses to the why factor of this question helped shared further light on way the felt about audience participation. Responses varied from “It’s a fun way to get involved and meet people who are big fans of the show like you” to “spoilers” to “it lets you give your opinion and also the opinions of others but this can be good or bad”. And as you can see opinions varied on whether overall audience participation during or after watching television hinders or enhances the watching experience and it was hard to make an overall conclusion to my original question.

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Stay tuned, final post coming soon! 🙂

Digital Storytelling Post 2 – What Have Other People Said?

In my last post I briefly touched on the rise in audience participation while watching television. This increase in audience participation has led to television creatives in the television industry to believe that the traditional television is in danger of becoming the second screen to other devices including IPhones, other smartphones, IPads and tablets, laptops etc. fearing that not only will people be participating in these shows through their other devices while watching and not truly paying attention in the way that they should – In the UK up to 60% of viewers are guilty of this and have some other kind device running while watching – but also that online streaming on these devices could become the way we all watch television in the future.

Although many kinds of audience participation occurs every day on the Internet, one of the most common forms that receives the most attention frequently and I will talk about most is live-tweeting or live blogging. This form of participation receives the most attention as these days many live entertainment shows are using and encouraging audiences to tweet about the show and showing these tweets on the screen as the show airs. This form of participation is also used frequently by actors, directors, producers etc. of television shows encouraging their audience to participate in the airing and with them during. Some shows that use this include, Pretty Little Liars, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.

The Hollywood Reporter recently did a survey on some of the showrunners for a selection of television shows currently running, they were asked what it was like making content today and to finish the sentence “Live tweeting is…” Most showrunners felt that this was a positive thing for the overall watching experience, enhancing it. Some of the answers from show runners who felt it enhanced the experience included things like “A form of hubris that probably reaches fewer people than you think (unless you’re Shonda Rhimes), but that allows you to connect with your most passionate fans.” (Shaun Ryan), “A great place to connect with fans, share behind-the-scenes details, and find out all the things I’m doing wrong.” (Mark Goffman) and “Something I’ll never understand, since I watch TV in order to AVOID reading. But if they tell us it’s good for the show, then we’ll do it.” (Chris Harris)

However, a few of the showrunners had negative opinions on live tweeting hindering the experience these included things such as “Dangerous!” (Josh Berman), “Real time reviews and only painful if you’re human.” (Peter Lenkov) and “A garbage idea perpetuated by garbage people. Watch the show, enjoy the show. Twitter will still be there when you finish. “Unless my employers demand that I live tweet future episodes, in which case live tweeting is a grand idea and everyone should follow @jerslater.” (Jeremy Slater).

As you can see people have many opinions on this kind of audience participation, some positive and some negative. However, it seems at this stage that people’s biggest issue and hindrance with the watching experience when it comes to the example of live-tweeting and blogging is spoilers but this form of participation also enhance the watching experience by offering quick and easy ways to communicate with the other audiences. Although, live-tweeting is just one example, the same opinions at the moment apply to possibly 90% on all audience participation on social media these days when it comes to television. The only exclusion from this percentage seems to be content such as fan art.

Stay tuned, more to come 🙂

Digital Storytelling Post 1 – Introduction

Social media has been on the rise for years and these days more and more people are watching television shows whether they be live entertainment or the newest episode of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead while simultaneously or afterwards interacting with content and creating content on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Reddit. Because of this television has become something that audiences participate in rather than just sit back and watch. From live-tweeting (tweeting along with a show as it airs live) to crazy fan theories and fan art, the Internet is a big and scary place and it is full of all kinds of content just like this.

Audience participation during television shows has become so prominent in this day and age that the show Gogglebox is literally a television show where you watch other people watch television and give their opinions and you can also get involved by live-tweeting along with the show. Each episode of the show is then uploaded to the shows YouTube page for audiences to go back later and watch it again. To me this is quite surprising that this kind of television show is as popular as it is. Here’s a quick clip of the show in case you’re not sure what show I’m talking about. In the clip the participants of the show are watching and discussing the show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

 

My curiosity of why people participate in these sorts of things and the huge more recent boom in audience participation is the reason I chose to research if how television audiences use social media during and after watching television shows hinders or enhances the watching experience as a whole for my Digital Storytelling Project.

I have chosen to present this project as a digital storytelling. Over four blog posts, including this one I will discuss what other people have said about this topic, my findings when I posed a survey to individuals and my final post will be a conclusion post wrapping it all up and reflecting on my results and overall what I found and what surprised me or I expected when conducting this research!

So stay tuned and watch this space, more to come! 🙂

Television and Film Regulation in Australia

The television and film regulation in Australia is stricter than in most countries. Things such as Netflix, everyday television shows and films aired in Australia are edited by the powers above in an attempt to save shield the Australian public from possible things that might offend or upset. But I think most people would agree that this is just a major inconvenience for the viewer.

Certain television shows and films are only shown on paid for television like Foxtel and if the show is ever shown on free-to-air television scene too graphic or inapproriate are cut out sometimes causing confusion in the storyline of the show or movie. This is never something that paid for television does they play the content of the show or film as is, unedited.

Just the other day I was watching Pulp Fiction on free-to-air television and a huge chunk of the movie involving drugs was cut from the movie and it just skipped a head at least 5 minutes. Fair enough if the movie was playing at a time when children could have seen the movie, but this was at 11 at night, no need for edited content.

Australian Netflix also has far more less content than American Netflix, there are hundreds of shows on the American Netflix that aren’t available in Australia. YouTube is another media platform with regulations, certain videos are only available in certain countries.

All this media regulations mostly come from media anxiety. Subjects of the rules of regulations are usually vulnerable groups such as the working class and children, who are supposed to be most likely to be negatively affected by the media.

Regardless of all this, don’t you think we should all be able to access the same content all around the world? Why should one country not be able to access something that another can, we’re doing the right thing and not illegally downloading and pirating so why should Australia miss out?

I Have No Attenti…. Oh Look a Puppy!

This weeks blog task was to set up a small informal test that allows me to see what happens to someones attention of multiple media devices and report and discuss what I observe. And as I wrote this post while at chilly Tumbarumba near the Snowy Mountains I didn’t really have the materials or people around me to conduct a test like this so, I decided to test myself.

Media devices are a constant distraction for me, just the other day I was so immersed in my phone texting back my best friend that I slipped walking out of my boyfriends driveway and almost fell into the creek next to his house. Hilarious yes but really is an excellent example of how little I pay attention to things around me especially when media devices are involved. The same goes for almost everything I do; when I watch TV unless whatever I’m watching fully grabs my attention, I’m playing on my phone or computer or chatting away. At uni one minute i can be intensely listening to a lecture, the next I’m scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, texting my friends back or checking my Instagram feed. My main problem is media device distractions when it comes to me doing any kind of assessment for uni. I can never just and purely focus, I’m always being distracted by my phone or laptop.

So my test for myself was this, Ted was playing on the television and I set myself the task of watching the whole movie from one ad to another  – trying to include not getting distracted during ads – and trying not to let anything around distract me, then when if I made it through to one ad, I tried to do it again. If I got distracted I noted what distracted me and how many times I would get distracted and for how long I was distracted instead of watching the movie.

As expected I could not go the whole movie without getting distracted. But I found that everything was distracting me. I’m not sure if it could have been because I had seen the movie before, that I just wasn’t interested, that I was focusing so hard on not getting distracted by anything that everything distracted me or really it could have been a number of other factors or a combination of them all.

My phone was a huge distraction for me, I can get to everything on there. I can text, get on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, everything. Next my computer became the distraction and pretty much for the same reasons as my phone. After doing this DIY attention test it also became obvious to me that Facebook is sucking up SO much of my time and is one of my major distractions.

I’m hoping to work on these things in the future and reduce the amount that I get distracted by things and hopefully apply my new found attentiveness to important things like while watching uni lectures.

Preliminary Proposal for Ethnographic or Narrative Research Project

So as of right now I am not sure at all specifically what I want to do for my Research Project for BCM240. To be honest i hadn’t even properly thought about it until earlier this week, having been so preoccupied in other subjects assignments and trying to keep up with lectures and class work etc.

I know I would like to do something involving television as this kind of media is something I am quite interested in and perhaps my vast unnecessary knowledge of TV or TV shows from spending far too much time watching TV – whether it be binge watching or procrastinating doing things that are far more important – will come in handy for something and I can proudly tell my Mum all that TV watching wasn’t for nothing.

My project will have a particular focus on how the audience of a certain TV show or perhaps multiple TV show’s engage with said show and then how they engage with this media on other types of media such as social media including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or personal blogs. I realise this might be a bit of a broad research topic and I will work over the next few weeks to rein it in and make it a more specific and simple topic to research.

I would like to know and learn more through this research about how the audience uses different social media after having consumed a certain show. For example, if they didn’t particularly like an episode do audience go online and voice their dislike for the episode or vice versa for an episode they see as good or even excellent.

I’m aware that certain television shows such as Game of Thrones and Pretty Little Liars all have an audience that are all very loud online. Although these two shows possibly have two very different audiences as the shows are VERY different, both shows share a common factor of how their audiences use their voices online. Audience’s of the show use the social media online to voice their opinions, discuss theories, vent, post fan art and all kinds of other similar things.

For my ethnographic research project on this topic I will observe those who voice opinions online, collect surveys and maybe even hold a focus group. All research conducted will be ethical and permission will be sought if needed from participants of any surveys or focus groups so that I can use the information I receive from participants in a final write up of my findings.

I have not decided yet if the final write up of my findings will be publicly posted online on this blog or if I will use a different format such as a video on YouTube or a Prezi in all cases again permission will be sought.

As I am still uncertain on all the details of my research project any suggestions or help would most certainly be welcome 🙂

 

Personal Devices and Public Spaces

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So have you ever seen someone walking around fully immersed in their phones or really any kind of personal device completely oblivious to what’s going on around them? Maybe, like myself, you’ve seen someone so preoccupied with their phone they’ve almost run into a pole and then you’ve had to try really hard not to laugh and look like a complete weirdo sitting alone at a bench at uni?

Well maybe you don’t have a story that specific like I do but we’ve all done it, and if you say you haven’t then either you’re like my 65 year old Grandmother and technologically impaired or a liar or I mean maybe you’re one of the very few left that can restrict themselves to just walking while walking, it’s hard I know. Personally I feel like sometimes people who always walk around on their phones or other devices constantly are missing out on life around them and sometimes poles right in front of them.

Recently with the release of Pokemon Go this has become a more increasingly prominent issue especially at the university. As my boyfriend has told me, there a SO many Pokemon at the uni and Pokestops and all of that, but not knowing anything about Pokemon and having it all explained to me I can see now why people might be paying more attention to their phones while walking around the University.

For this weeks task we were asked to take a photograph of someone using a personal device in a public space. Unfortunately  I wasn’t able to get a picture of anything like that, the photo I took was from a bench across the duck pond. It’s not totally clear – I was trying to avoid looking like a complete weirdo, alone and talking a picture – but the picture is of other students of the University of Wollongong sitting on the grass outside building 67, playing on their phones, working on uni work, listening to music. All doing something on their personal device in a public space.

Of course there are a number of laws and ethics that come into play when taking photos of people in public that need to be taken into consideration especially for this task. In a photo such as mine, the privacy of those in the photo is kept in tact as you cannot specifically identify anyone in the photo, but in other cases if the face of a person is clear and can be identified then their privacy rights are breached if you do not have their permission. When taking a photo think of it this way, if you were the one having the picture taken of you against your knowledge would you like it?

Laws regarding the privacy of others when taking photos include things such as not being able to take photos of people at the beach or in some schools but lots of this just comes down to being ethical and the people taking the photos to choosing to do the right thing at the end of the day.

 The Arts Law Centre in this weeks readings talks about this as well as the other limitations and rules that should be used and followed when talking pictures such as respecting people to making sure you get a persons permission before taking their photo particularly when the images involve children or going on private property.

So whether you’re using your phone in a public space to take pictures, play Pokemon Go or simply just texting always think about whats going on around you. Make sure to watch where you’re walking and most importantly be mindful of the privacy and rights of those people around you who could be pictured when you’re taking that aesthetic photo for your Instagram.

My Cinema Experience

So this week we got to go to the movies to write this post, the movies you guys. How is that homework?!

So for the second time, I went to see Suicide Squad with my boyfriend who was unsurprisingly more than happy to be dragged along. Overall it was a successful trip to the cinema, but that could have something to do with the fact that it was a Tuesday night and there was about 10 people in total in the entire cinema. But everyones idea of a successful or unsuccessful cinema trip is different.

I personally love going to the movies late on a weekday. It’s quite, theres no one chewing loudly behind me or asking stupid questions to the person next to them about the movie who has seen just as much of the movie as they have and do not know the answer, no one is kicking my seat and most importantly I don’t have to sit next to someone I don’t know for an hour and a half who’s arm is on my arm rest as well as their own.

But I also like the feeling of a full cinema, the excitement in the room to watch the movie, the chatter among movie goers before and after the film, that kind of movie experience whether it be a premiere at midnight or just one of the first days the movie is out its something everyone experiences and its never quite like any other movie experience.

To get to the cinema can sometimes be difficult, many things can get in our way and Hagerstrand identifies three categories of constraints, limiting an individual to perform any actions they want, thus influencing actions of people.

  1. Capability(can I get there): referring to the limitations on human movement due to natural causes. We are only capable to do what we can, managing space and time; thus those with cars and faster public services have a ‘spatial- temporal advantage’ over those who don’t. (Corbett, 2001).
  2. Coupling(can I get there at the right time?): refers to the need ‘to be in one particular place for a given length of time, often in interaction with other people’ (Corbet, 2001). Our schedules and path must link and plan with another’s in order to participate in a task.
  3. Authority(am I allowed to be there?): referring to the laws and rules that are set in place; restricting one from their actions.

For myself these three constraints came into play for my cinema visit. A capability constraint was could we get there in time, a coupling constraint would be did we have a way to get to the cinema and an authoritative constraint were we allowed to be in the cinema for example, was there an age limit on the film.

The cinema experience is something I don’t think is going to disappear anytime soon. So many people still love and enjoy going to the movies and having that experience, and no matter the price I think that its going to be an experience they pay for time and time again.

The Internet, Changing our Lives

A few weeks ago we were asked to ask someone older than us; our mum, dad, grandparents, whoever and discuss with them what television was like for them when they were growing up. So for this weeks task I returned to my mother and bugged her to answer more of my questions this time, about what her households access to the internet was like.

She was unclear on the exact time that internet became a ‘thing’ when she was younger and my Mum is quite young  but to the best of her knowledge it was some time when she was in high school that dial up internet was first introduced into the world. Of course computers were around but internet, a way to get ‘online’, the world wide web, it was brand new and interesting and apparently just the coolest thing ever.

Sure the internet is pretty cool now, but for many of us internet has always been around. Yes, of course I still remember having dial up internet but my whole life I’ve always had that access to the internet and growing up with school assignments etc. Having the internet made it all that much easier to do these things. When I asked my Mum about this sort of thing when she was younger she said that that’s what the library was for. Instead of just Googling it, she used textbooks and searched the library for the right thing.

She also said she didn’t have the internet at home when she lived with her parents, it wasn’t until she moved out that she had the internet in her home. It just wasn’t something that they needed when she was living at home. When you compare that to what its like in homes now, the internet is in almost everything we do at home, of course we have WIFI now and instead of it taking several minutes to get online we can be online in seconds.

We use the internet to stream Netflix to our TV’s, the WIFI allows us to scroll through our Facebook Newsfeed at home without using all our data, our computers use the internet to do anything online or even back-up our computers to the cloud.

The internet has changed not only these things but even the way we consume television, that television space talked about a few weeks ago, its become a lot different because of the internet. It was not an immediate change but gradually over time it has changed the way we consume television. Even right now as I write this post I’m streaming Netflix to my television. I don’t very often watch television with my family in the way my mum would watch television with hers. Each member of my family has a seperate Netflix account and we watch what ever we want but never together. That kind of closeness that my mother felt to her family watching television is not something my family feels when we watch television together.

The internet has become a big part of our world, even 20 years ago let alone when my Mum was younger it was never as big of a part of her world as it is ours. It has all changed so much and is changing so many of our spaces in not only our households but just everywhere, it is well and truely changing our lives. For better or for worse? You’ll have to be the judge of that.