Digital Activism and Creating online videos

Digital

“Digital” by James Cridland is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Before I began the process of making this video I spent a lot of time thinking about what subject to do.  I started with the idea of doing the cultural heritage topic. I downloaded about ten articles from the Deakin University Library, but as I started reading I wasn’t sure if it was the right topic. Then one day while walking to work I passed by some activist posters in the street. I took a few photos of the posters and this became my inspiration for choosing the topic digital activism.  I also included these photos in the introduction of my video.

So after deciding the subject, I downloaded another ten articles this time on the subject of digital activism. I read six but two of them didn’t inspire me in any way. One article (Abbeghoziladeh 2014) did however and this became the main focus of my video and also the article I learned a lot from apart from (Carty 2015).

After reading as much as I could, I then started looking up websites related to the topic and started following various social activist groups on twitter.  One of these was Equal Love.

I took some screenshots of the Equal Love website and was thinking to do more screenshots when I realised by re-reading  the assessment outline that there may be copywrite problems with taking screenshots. I would have to get permission. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but I decided to keep things as simple as possible.

I thought about doing an interview with someone from an activist organisation but found it hard to find “the leader’ to contact. I now realise this is the way many digital activism sites are set up these days.

For the introduction of the video I spent a few hours looking up pictures on flicker and also found the music to go with the introduction from  dig.ccmixter.org.  I noted down all the references for the photos and music as I went along.  Doing this proved to be helpful when it came to adding credits at the end, but I found the organising of the credits and providing links to the photos and music, very time consuming.

For a test, I recorded myself with a camera. But the sound wasn’t very good so I recorded myself with my Iphone and copied it to the computer.   The sound was better, but still not to a level I would have liked. I did some research on YouTube (recording a video with iPhone) and realised that it is possible to record a decent video using an Iphone but you need to use a microphone.  I bought a clip on microphone from JB Hi FI and spent one whole day writing a draft of what I was going to say. Then I recorded small 20-30 second sections of myself talking.

I wasn’t very happy with what I saw and heard of myself on screen and kept thinking of other ideas, even writing a creative script and getting actors but there didn’t seem enough time for that. Even after recording about 20 scenes, I found some sort of problem with every clip but despite this I put them all together to make the seven minute video.

Overall I know the continuity of the video could improve and there are editing glitches. But I am happy that I overcame my fear of talking and uploading a video to YouTube.

In the future I will work on filming more of my own footage, and editing it between talking to the camera and doing more voice overs.

(603 words)

My Broader ACL708 – related online activity

To further my online activity I have regularly created tweets, and tweeted videos or ideas I have liked, I’ve responded to all my Soundcloud comments and made other comments on others Soundcloud uploads. I have written blog articles, a recent one being how I created my podcast.

 

VIDEO CREDITS

Music: Lukas195 Snowflake  inside outside  (Chris Ramssey RadioRmx) CC by 3.0

“Posters around Footscray” photos by Colette Rhodes

“Digital” by Steve Jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Digitalism” by Alterna2 http://www.alterna2.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Digitalism” by Zepfanman.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Digital” by James Cridland is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“ran online” by tacit requiem (joanneQEscober ) is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“PGH2 12” by Marcellus Protest is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“nightime” photo by Colette Rhodes

 

References

Abbeghoziladeh,M 2014 To Do Something we are unable to do in Iran. Cyberspace, the Public Sphere and the womens movement in Journal of Women in Culture and Society Vol39 No 41

Carty, V 2015 Social Movements and New Technology, Westview Press Pg 1-16

Taha DE, Hastings SO, Minei EM 2015 Shaping Student Activists, Discursive Sensemaking of Activism and Participation in Research in Journal of Scholarship of teaching and Learning Vol 15,No 6 Dec 2015 p1-15

 

Advertisements

How to make a simple podcast using Iphone and Audacity

5052781294_0f6c24f6bc_o

Podcast by Ruta N Medellin CC by 2.0

I’m writing this mostly as a way to remember the steps I took to create a simple podcast on SoundCloud for the Online Blogging and Communication techniques  subject at Deakin University.  I decided to record my podcast onto the voice recorder on my Iphone. This was pretty to do and easy to edit.  I recorded the introduction and the main body of the podcast on two separate recordings. Recording small sections at a time. I spoke as clearly as I could and if it didn’t sound right I recorded it again until I had around five minutes worth of material. I should note that I recorded this in my car, in the garage, so the surrounds were very quiet.

Once I had completed this I emailed both sections to myself! I then downloaded it to my computer. Then I uploaded a music clip intro from CC Mixter  to Audacity, then the recorded voice intro then another music section and finally the main voice recording.

I uploaded all parts in this order. I didn’t try to edit and move things around on Audacity because I had found from previous experience that this was not particularly easy to do.

Next I converted the file to an MP3 file. This was done by downloading software for free that converts the file.  It’s called LAME from  audacityteam.org and also FFmpeg.  I also looked at lame.buanzo.org.  I’m not sure which site I used, but you need these programs to convert the Audacity files. Then when the file is converted to MP3, you can upload it easily onto  Soundcloud.

 

Creating an Online Identity

Is an online identity a real identity? Or is it completely different?  and who is to say that our real identity is better than a made up one? It’s all a matter of choice. Online is a place where we can be free to be ourselves or if we prefer, take on other identities.

“Secret identity” by Lance Shields is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Secret identity” by Lance Shields is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When deciding about what sort of identity I wanted to create online, I found David Gauntlett, (2007) to be particularly inspiring. In his book Creative Explorations, he analysed people’s creations of their identities through Lego and found that most people actually want an integrated personality. He refers to themes such as the ‘the will to coherence’ and the desire to assemble a ‘solid and unified view of self identity.’ (2007 p.195).  This is inspiring because it reinforces the idea that identity can be integrated rather than split.  He also makes the point that ‘all participants built their identity as one thing.  Complex with many parts but each represented a whole.’ (2007 p.188)

On the other hand a variety of identities on many different sites could be useful for some people in certain contexts (Brown 2016), but this is something I wouldn’t be able to do at least at the moment. It is far too difficult to maintain and could prove to be confusing in the long run, I mean it’s hard enough trying to remember all the different passwords as it is.

So, if I want to keep things fairly connected, then I need to think about what sort of image I should portray. For me the choice was fairly obvious. Just be yourself!  However this thought is a little daunting. The whole concept of ‘self’ is another story but for now, ‘be yourself’ could be considered the closest thing to the everyday self you usually are.  So, be yourself, show it to the world and risk rejection! Ok, well here we go..

photo                                         IMG_1888 (2)

Photo by Jazz Kallychurn (2017)          Photo by G Shardey (2017)

To be honest although there is fear involved, it is also liberating.  Sure there may be people that laugh or put you down, but self-expression and connecting with others, is a far greater reward than hiding and doing nothing in this ever changing world of technology.

I changed my picture from a front-on view to more side-on. I felt like this was less confronting without altering who I was.

Thinking further on this I also found I could relate to what David Gauntlett calls the travellers journey.  As opposed to the ‘dream seeker or ‘lonely traveller’ for example. I’d like to see the creation of my online identity as part of the journey of travelling through life experiencing new things. (2007 p.179)

 

How things have changed

So why is all this important at all? Well it’s the way the world is going.  As William Mirren (2009) suggests, there is a need for media studies to transform itself to adequately reflect the current media environment.  As the media is no longer controlled by the elite few, it is now open to anyone to take part and connect with others.  So, instead of the news being edited by large media corporations who often see the world through a narrow lens, we have people from all walk of life, getting involved and taking part. This also creates more peer-to–peer communications. (2009 p.22)

 

Let the collective decide

The voice of the collective is now welcome more than ever.  This is described by Levy (2015) as collective intelligence and can be seen in the rise of YouTube success stories and certain videos, blog posts and tweets going viral at any moment in time. It’s often unexpected and reflects the voice of the collective creating likes and followers for media that may not have been produced in the broadcast era.

So how do we get the collective to react to what we post? Part of the online identity is about coming to terms with the possibility of rejection and becoming active participants.  We need to get our ideas and thoughts out to the world in the best way we can by posting, tweeting, using hashtags and retweeting.

One of the first steps taken in this online journey was to start tweeting.

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

Sometimes you get a response and sometimes you don’t. That’s the fun of it! The above tweet created a bit of a response and a mini discussion online which was quite a surprise. I later made a comment about the TV show Black Mirror.

Tweet 3

As you can see I am using my full name. This was not the way my Twitter was initially set up, and it does feel a bit exposing, but I can also see the benefit in it.  I decided to change my name from  Colette.r  to Colette Rhodes after the suggestion of my ALC708 unit chair, Adam Brown. A part of me was happy about this as I would prefer to be ‘myself’ online rather than hide behind another identity.

background

“Sunset” by Colette Rhodes (2017)

I decided to put a picture I had taken as my Twitter and WordPress background. Overall I have chosen night time scenes, purple/red colours for my backgrounds. I am not sure why I have chosen these colours. I think they make me feel relaxed and calm and that’s the mood I want to create. I want the themes and pictures to be similar so there is a ‘brand’ in place.

With that thought in mind I have created a small infograph to explain this process of creating an online identity.

5 ways to create an online identity

Here is another perspective of the same process via a slideshow:

Slideshare

So creating an online identity is a process involving sharing yourself with the online world.  It enables the creation of social connections and helps you to be more involved in the new era of media. This in turn can lead to a ‘sense of inner happiness and satisfaction in life.’ (Gauntlet 2007 p.196)

For that reason there is nothing to lose. Any identity you create may not be ‘professional’ at this point but the important thing is to get going, learn as you go and enjoy the journey.

 

My Broader Online Activity:

This includes an About.Me profile, LinkedIn Profile, Three additional blog posts in WordPress using two Creative Commons pictures. Four tweets, Responses to other blog posts and tweets.

1038 words.

 

 

References:

Brown, A 2016 Identifying Our/selves Anonymity and Pseudonymity Online – Talking Digital Media Episode 9 on Youtube  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_Em8gx17vk&feature=youtu.be

Gauntlett, D 2007 Creative Explorations , New approaches to identities and audiences, Routledge.

Gauntlett, D 2011, Media Studies 2.0, Theory.org.uk, January, retrieved March 2017 http://www.theory.org.uk/mediastudies2.htm.

Merrin, W 2009 ‘Media Studies 2.0: upgrading and open-sourcing the discipline’ Interactions: Studies in Communications and Culture Volume 1, No 1 pp 17-34.

Peters, M (2015) Interview with Pierre A Levy, French Philosopher of Collective Intelligence, Open Review of Educational Research, Vol 2 No 1 259-266. Routledge.

Creative Commons

Lion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: “Lion” by Colette Rhodes 2016

Creative Commons what exactly is it? To be honest it sounds boring although I know it is extremely necessary. The other day I attempted to make a video using Creative Commons music. I looked through a music website and spent about an hour trying to find something appropriate when I came upon a rap/hip hop tune called BeeKoo by Laswell. I’m not sure if I could have narrowed the search down by music genre or not?  So how do I attribute this? Is it Beekoo by Lasswell (CC by 3.0) This link has helped to answer that question a bit further: attributing material

Anyway, I added the song to some beach scenes found on a video editing program that comes with my computer called PowerDirector. The scenes are called nature.wmv. Which I presume can be used for free?  If not I will have to look into how to reference that in my video. Even though the video goes for only a few seconds, I was happy with the results. Not because it’s such a great movie, but because it’s a start to linking CC music with video. Something I hope to get better at. We will see but for now it’s fun learning.   

Here are some very clear fact sheets that explain the types of licences available.  fact sheets

From what we have been told the content with the Attribution licence seems to be the way to go. The others seem a bit more complicated and could get tricky so this seems the safest option. 

“6” by United Creativity is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What I do find interesting about Creative Commons is that people are putting their creative products out there to connect and give to others for free. I think this is a wonderful thing in the world today. It also gives the artist exposure and who knows, may lead to more work in the future.

refs:
http://dig.ccmixter.org/
http://creativecommons.org.au

Black Mirror

Midnight by moriakimitsuru CCby2.0“midnight” by moriakimitsuru is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Black Mirror, Fifteen Million Merits is well worth watching. The messages and themes are quite confronting. It’s similar to The Hunger Games where the system controls the individuals for entertainment of the masses. There are similarities between this world and real life where we have to earn money to live, but in this gamified world, there is very little choice other than to play the game.

Within this structure, the characters are faced with minimal choices. One of the main characters Bing decided to give his fifteen million points to Abi to enter a singing competition. However after making it though for an audition, she is then faced with having to make a decision that will effect the rest of her life. This impacts negatively on Bing who decides to work hard again to earn back his fifteen million points to get the chance to confront the game decision makers and say what he thinks of the system.

What struck me was that even though the main character stood for virtue and tried to do something nice for Abi, this decision eventually led to her destruction. This is because the system itself is so controlling that even good or kind thinking is wiped out. There is really no free will. In this way it is very dystopian.

Black Mirror, Fifteen Million Merits, Ep 2 of 3, SBS One October 15,2012 9.30pm.

Black Mirror

Information Overload?

I used to think that there was an overload of media content out there. There’s just too much information and most of it is useless. Sometimes you don’t know where to start and what to look for. Is it all worth it? But after reading the article by David Gauntlett at Media Studies 2.0. I now have a whole new perspective on the media as it is today.

His explanation of the shift to Media studies 2.0 describes a shift away from a focus on western media to the process of globalization. Previously marginalized groups and people from around the world can now be heard with the click of a button. The fact that the media is no longer dominated by large organisations and information is shared and less distorted is liberating. The internet provides a space where people can have their say without being censored or controlled.

Of course there are problems, like issues of privacy and bullying, but it is important for creativity and communication and overall something worth being part of.

 

 

References:

Gauntlett, D 2011, Media Studies 2.0, Theory.org.uk, January, retrieved March 2017 http://www.theory.org.uk/mediastudies2.htm.