Dear everyone,

I thought that perhaps this final blog post should be a thank you letter.

Every Wednesday and Thursday we wake up and drag our tired selves to an hour long lecture followed by an hour long seminar. I am thankful for sitting next to people in the theatre who can relate to this amount of tiredness.

Not everybody is confident enough to present to a group of students (most of whom they have never met before) and it takes courage to just stand in front of the class. I thank my two co-presenters who presented with me- It’s not so scary if you are not alone. I learnt that copyright doesn’t have to be so serious once turned into an interactive activity and there’s more to what you copy than you think there is.

Speaking of presenting, I am thankful to my seminar leader who allowed us to laugh a little whilst still delivering us knowledge. He guided us along a path as we did his job for an hour and gave honest feedback the next week on how we did. I laughed so much in our meme themed seminar and the presenters did a really good job of explaining what they are and how they work.

I am also thankful for this module as it has allowed me to bond with friends I made last semester when we were all freshers and confused about times and rooms and floors (and sometimes what we were actually supposed to be doing). Thank you ūüôā

Also I thank the lecturers because even though, sometimes the lecture went on forever and the topic was confusing (Or dare I say a little bit tiresome), they carried on with their job and answered our emails when we sent them without complain. Thank you muchly (Yes it is now a word). The use of videos made concentrating a lot easier. The campaign lecture stuck in my memory as the kony campaign surprised me by proving that no matter what lies you tell, if you are convincing, you can be fooled.

In conclusion… we¬†have sat through ten lectures, ten seminars, written and thought about eight blog posts, commented on 16 pieces of work and delivered one presentation for a whole hour in a lead the debate discussion.

This was all done with other deadlines in mind (The dreaded production proposal will be the decider that makes or breaks us) yet we drudged on through the mess and come out on the other side as brighter students at the University of Westminster.

NOW GO FORTH! And er…finish the rest of the deadlines…

Happy Easter everyone xx

 

Where’s my ancestry.com?

Last year, around Christmas I wanted to dig deeper into my family history. I wanted to go beyond the 32 grandchildren/cousins I already knew. So I did what any person would do in this situation. I signed up to ancestry.com.

I filled in the details I knew and then a pop up appeared across my screen: Please subscribe to find out more information and to find more people in your family for just blah blah blah pounds a month…. Oh joy.

Perhaps under the creative commons licence this information would be free and available on the grounds that you can prove your identity and a family member can confirm your heritage (This way, being free still keeps you safe from identity theft- in case anyone was wondering).

If it was put under strict copyright control, then absolutely nobody would know their past. This is assuming, only the government can see your records. This would mean you could not print or record or mention your own personal heritage despite it belonging to you. How awful?

It’s bad enough¬†we can only access the third generation of our family trees for free before being told that’s all we get (unless you are willing to pay. I paid for a month and realised that in order to get the most out of the fee, you need hours and hours everyday to get something…and you have to search the details yourself.)

I believe I have mentioned enough limitations above and the only advantage I can really think of would be the protection of who you are and who is allowed to know what about yourself up to a certain extent.

I guess you could call this a rant instead of a post but hopefully you can see my point of view.

 

Me and my visibility

Admittedly, if you search me under the correct nickname, you’ll find a lot about me on the internet. I was smart enough to make¬†several nicknames from the start (this was probably¬†influenced by¬†my parents decision that I could not have a Facebook account in secondary due to privacy fears… so I created an alter ego).

Being very young, I had written a book that I am very glad people do not know how to find (it has cringe factor written all over it)  I have the usual social media apps like Facebook , twitter  and Instagram  and also of course, WordPress but for my own other purposes beside writing this module.

I share most of my information¬† with my friends but I don’t really have my family in that connection apart¬†from a¬†few cousins on Facebook.¬†I prefer to talk face to face with my family and close ones (also, it’s better to avoid embarrassment when you post silly pictures).

I control everything I do on social media and avoid posting anything that could affect my future as a journalist. I learnt that you are taken more seriously with a professional  platform on all levels. You cold however create a professional  persona online but think of how many passwords you would need to remember!

As a member of a university campus that focuses on the arts, I feel it is important to own at least two forms of social media because they can lead to connections with industry professionals (think Linked-In and twitter). The downsides to owning so much online is that anybody can find you easily and use information you don’t want them knowing. For example, you can now access your medical records online that displays your whole history from the start. People can also find out your family members just through searching your surname and viewing images of you with them.

As long as we protect our data online, nothing terrible should happen but its a case of us making the first move and deciding what we post in the first place.

Communities combating cancer one step at a time.

Macmillan have an online community that is bursting at the seams with positivity. Why? Because people gather together to talk about the one relatable issue that unites them.¬†It’s hard living with cancer or with people who have it in your family.

The benefits of the members participation is the fact that being able to talk about such a strong, vivid topic with someone enables you to free your mind of troublesome thoughts. The members get a sense that they are not alone in the world.

The challenges faced with this community may be that- being how sensitive the subject is, those who are more strong minded may offend the more sensitive types by mentioning something offensive or touchy. There are also very cruel people in the world and trolling is not something foreign to any website.

I like the fact that you can ask as many questions as you like on the site. There is an opportunity for members to create groups (A little like Facebook) and discuss their own personal details with each other.

You can post reviews and blog pieces to help out people who for example are going into chemotherapy.

This is such a good community. There are videos and contact details to make sure you know that you can always talk to a professional if posting online isn’t helpful or hard to do.

In all, I feel like when I open the page I am welcomed into a positive, friendly environment. I am tempted to join myself if anything, to get the feel of what they are going through. I am so interested in seeing how a community helps lift the weight off of your shoulders.

 

The face of many faces

Art is and has always been a huge part of audience participation. So what better example than the Queen? For her diamond Jubilee, the charity FaceBritain collected 200,000 self portraits of children to create a huge display that aired on the front of Buckingham Palace.

Not only was this an attempt to break the Guinness world record, it also proves that by collaborating with people from across a nation can bring us all closer together.

As for the audience participation online? For starters, there’s¬†the get involved page where Prince Charles patiently sits down to talk about who can get involved and how to do it.

The charity website also has pages linking to the resources needed to create your portrait as well as what happens to your picture.

I think this is a collaboration worth mentioning because not only does it fit the brief of audience members getting involved, it encourages young children to become more creative and to experience things they never would of thought possible. After all, the Princes trust foundation (who FaceBritain are working with) are all about charity and involvement.

This is a topic that is much more interesting whilst exploring the site rather than reading about it. You leave the page with the feeling of wanting to take part in something. Being part of a group makes us feel as if we have become part of a community.

 

Look to the clouds…

Once upon a time, human was limited to teeny tiny amounts of data they were aloud to keep on their computers. This was because of the USB. Portable and easy to use, yet never seemingly good enough to store all you need.

With what started out as a genius device to store 16MB of information, soon left the techno world hungry for more and so the data bytes upped and upped until, one day, the cloud appeared. A shiny, fluffy cloud that stores all your information into thin air. All you need is an email.

A device you can hold in your hands converges into something you cannot touch. This example of convergence is something I regard as important because everyone wants to cherish memories or keep their work notes and if there is no room for it, then where do you put it?

But there is always a villain in every story and those are the downsides to convergence. Elderly people who may wish to join the beautiful land of storage memory may find difficulty getting to grips with how to use something simple to use such as email. At least with a memory stick you simply drag and drop without signing in or remembering one of the 200 passwords we try to remember.

Internet¬†is another issue. If it is down and your USB is stored away to gather dust in the deep abyss, you are done for. Forget your work. There’s only so much you can print before your allowance is gone.

Nevertheless, the kingdom of techno lives on and continues to converge and create weird (Internet hybrids- I still don’t get them) and wonderful things (Hello smart TV with built in camera-¬†goodbye privacy). And devices we cannot live without (Smart phone great!- Battery life? Not so much fun).

The End ūüôā

 

You have to read this. Now.

It is very difficult to find an online article that doesn’t repeat itself on every site you click. Which is why, should you happen to stumble upon a transcription of a speech, READ IT. And if it includes the role of media in society? read it!

This is the most valuable way to ensure you get first hand, knowledgeable advice from industry professionals. Just like the transcription I have found of a speech given in Vietnam by foreign office minister Jeremy Browne  (I have linked it above).

This is an important article because he isn’t just talking about the importance of media in our society. He is talking about the importance of media in a developing country where expression is sacred. Freedom of expression is important in countries where equal rights are a new concept.

The first part of the speech is only his introduction which isn’t necessary but then he touches on important points I think are valid for this module.

He talks about the vast changes in technology, how much it has changed. He refers constantly to Vietnam but that is because he has used the country as an example so that shouldn’t be taken seriously when reading the article.

He also talks about everything we have learnt and are learning but in such a collected way without any waffling that you can finish the article and understand all you need. I would write it here but it is much easier to read the article to help yourself make your own opinion.