When we first started this module, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I thought it would be of no relevance to me. However, I was proven very wrong. As a future filmmaker and writer, I realized how much the internet joined people together and would help further my career after this module. The lecture that I found most interesting was the one on convergence. When using multiple platforms for the same content it reaches many people. This relates to me because if, for example I made a film, it was adapted to an animation and a book this would reach more people, people who like animation and those who like books. We can use Les miserables as an example. Even if someone hasn’t watched or read this, they have surely heard the name. Les miserables is on many platforms. It’s a book, film, musical, play, TV show and an anime. Although it was popular previous to some of these adaptations, it has reached many people across the world. Although, I’ve heard the name I never knew what it was about until watching the anime about it. And this has given me many ideas on how to be successful in what I do when making films or writing books.
Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. It consists of a wide variety of people contributing and creating content. It is regularly updated and has on average 400 million visitors each month. Wikipedia has a creative commons license. This is why people are able to edit any article that is on Wikipedia. There are many advantages that it’s under the creative commons. One of the reasons Wikipedia is so popular is for the very reason that they give us as users the platform to publish an article, thereby informing others of something which we may be knowledgeable in. In addition to this, Wikipedia is regularly updated therefore unlike an actual encyclopedia book, on Wikipedia we may see a new article every day. There are however clear disadvantages to this creative license. Anyone can create an article and so nothing on Wikipedia can be deemed reliable. Furthermore, on an academic essay, Wikipedia is not seen as a viable reference and so that raises the question, if Wikipedia wasn’t under the creative commons license would it be seen as more reliable? It may be so, however although Wikipedia is not always reliable, it is a good way to introduce you to new topics which you can then study independently. And we wouldn’t have been introduced to the topic if not for the wide range of users.
The account I use the most is my Facebook account. My visibility always depends on what I post. When posting pictures of myself, I make them friends only. I also used to post pictures of my little sister. However, I constantly heard about the dangers of doing so and I have now made all of them visible to myself only. When I want to share an article or write about something public I don’t adjust my settings. This is because I don’t mind if people see what I think of certain situations happening across the world. For WhatsApp, I allow everyone to see my status but my profile picture is only visible to my contacts. I think the privacy settings are very important as they give us a choice in how visible we want to be. Although, hackers can probably find everything even if you have made it friends only, I don’t worry about this as I don’t really put everything online. The reason is because I think you shouldn’t share everything with the world. How many of us are really close with all of our Facebook friends, for example. Many are just acquaintances. The way we use our visibility online tells a lot about what kind of person we are. Some people are very open while others are very private.
An online community which I find positive is student room. This website has many different forums such as studying queries. When I was doing my A-levels, I sometimes looked through other people’s posts who were studying the same subject. It really helped as they put up links to good resources. There is also a section about universities. People who want to go to a certain university or do a particular course can start a discussion where they ask those who have already done so on their opinions. This can help in the decision process. Another section is about relationships where someone may have a problem and people tell them how to get through it. Although it’s useful I find that one of the limitations is that many people who have a solution don’t know what they are talking about if they hadn’t gone through the problem themselves. Therefore, their advice may not be helpful or realistic. There is a section for health and there are many discussions under mental health. It does say on the website that it shouldn’t be used to replace a GP but I find it brilliant that if someone is feeling a certain way they can find others who may give them tips and advice.
In the Graham Norton show, although the guests are a large part of it, I would argue that the audience are also very significant. Often, the guests react to the audience laughter and groans and this prompts them to exaggerate what they are saying further. Also, in some episodes Graham gets the audience to say personal things about their lives in order for the guests to be shocked. In one episode will smith sang the ‘fresh prince of bel air’ song with the audience singing along. In addition, one of the things the show does is the red chair. Someone sits in the red chair and tells a funny story. If it isn’t funny, they get thrown of the chair. Often, to measure whether the stories are funny or not, it depends on how much of the audience are laughing. The red chair wouldn’t really work without the audience. Also, sometimes a game is played where the guests guess which audience members are married and which are not. Something which many people have viewed was when, Jennifer Aniston came on the show and was shocked when he audience did the clapping that is in the theme tune of F.R.IE.N.D.S. Without the audience participation the show wouldn’t be as popular as it is or as entertaining
In the 21st century the biggest convergence we see are novels in my opinion. Novels from various authors from Charles Dickens to Stephanie Meyer have made their ways to the screen. We see TV series, films and even cartoons which are based on books. This convergence is very important as one implication is that the audience members increase, when someone watches a film they really enjoy if its adapted from a book there’s a high chance they’ll read the book as well and vice versa, if someone really enjoyed a book and it was adapted for the screen there is a high chance they’ll watch it. Therefore we see the same content but in a different form. However, there is also a recurring damaging notion that ‘I already watched the film, why should I read the book’ which some people say. As the film is generally shorter than the book, some choose to watch for example Oliver Twist but will never read the book. I think this is really disadvantageous, as many of the information in the book is not in the film also reading the book will almost always give you a wider vocabulary. If most popular films continue to be based on books, will we see a decrease in numbers of people reading books? I think yes.
I feel that SNAGFILMS (http://www.snagfilms.com/movies/classic_movies) and Black and white movies (http://www.bnwmovies.com/) are really useful resources. They are both websites which have old movies on them. Although the films are fictional it gives us an example of how people interacted before social media and as this module is called network, society and the media we should have an idea of how networks are shaping and changing the way we as a society communicate together. Films are stories and of course made up, however most genres, excluding science fiction are a reflection of society. In the way that, from many films we gain knowledge that New York is really busy and crowded. For those who have never been there but have this knowledge, most of us have learnt it from dramas. In that way, when watching a film, although we are being told a story, the film gives us information on that time period and the location. And so we cannot truly understand the effect the internet has had on us if we don’t have something to compare it to. When watching old films, we can compare the way the characters communicate in that time period to the way we live and communicate now. In that way we gain a better understanding of the effect of the internet.