Category Archives: Sharing

Social Media Week London – Friday

And so to the last day of Social Media Week London. I only made it to two events on the final day. First was The Future of being Social hosted by the Like Minds Club in which a panel of five distinguished media professionals grappled with what amounted to an impossible and unwise subject to predict. No one really knows the answer but the room where we were seated was packed to the rafters, reflecting the audiences desire to get some insight.

The panel traded jovial banter and disagreed over the perfect analogy for social media. First the ‘village’ was put forward, presumably taken but not referenced from Marshall McLuhan’s “Global Village”, and then ‘bazaar’ taken and referenced from Eric S. Raymond excellent book about the rise of open-source software, The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Perhaps the most articulate and succinct was Alan Moore, describing himself as, innovator, entrepreneur and mentor, who spoke about how our society needed to be more participatory. He’s also the author of the publication No Straight Lines: making sense of our non-linear world which discusses, amongst other things, “the emancipation of our information-behaviour”.

An interesting debate ensued but no one came close to sticking there neck out to predict the future of social, and nor should they because doing so could make them look rather silly in a few years time.

Next it was off to the other side of the City and Farringdon for the Twittamentary, a hour long documentary about everyday people who use Twitter. It’s directed by Tan Siok Siok, who crowd-sources the stories and videos for the project. The film is essentially a road movie accoss the United States that shows the diverse uses of Twitter from buying a pizza, stock trading and travel journalism to sex workers and homelessness.

[pro-player image=http://www.timrileydigital.com/phddiary/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/twittamentary.jpg width=’465′ height=’308′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6svkZQoqik[/pro-player]

Transcription time!

So we’re well into 2012 and I’ve been busy transcribing my interviews since before Christmas along with arranging the last phase of interview participants. Transcribing is a slow and laborious process. I’ve tried plenty of transcription software which managed to recognise words in the recordings (although often not the correct ones) but the real problem was that the words didn’t make any sense when put in sentences! Pretty useless really. It’s what you’d imagine using William Burroughs book writing software would look like. I could use a commercial transcription service to produce them for me but, apart for the fact that it costs money, I don’t think this is a good way of getting a rich understanding of the text. If you transcribe the interviews yourself it enables a greater understand of the themes that are developing within the data. It’s very time-consuming but necessary… I think.

On Monday I conducted an interview Peter Oakley who is well known for his YouTube channel geriatric 1927. He’s been broadcasting his thoughts through self-recorded online videos since 2006 and he regularly gets over 1600 hits for every video he posts. Pretty impressive. He’s a warm, easy-going and very approachable man who’s in the 9th decade of his life and still extremely alert and on the ball. It was a pleasure and a privilege to interview him. He gave me permission to mention him on this blog and to embed one of his videos.

After the interview we compared notes on our experiences of Art Foundation courses and going to Art College in different times and at different ages. Like Peter, my Art Foundation course was one of the most enjoyable and creative periods of my life. Anyway, here is Peter describing his thoughts and the experiences of his art education in one of his videos.

Application to Transfer Interview

Yesterday I had my application to transfer interview. The interview as one would expect was quite tough and a couple of the questions were difficult to answer. The interview started with a review of the parts of my research that worked well but as this was more concerned with critical aspects of the research these were not discussed.

Much was made of a need to be more explicit with my conceptual framework with my regards to my use of motivation within the research. However, the theory and concepts relating to creativity, generations and literacy were judged to be more clearly argued. About half an hour after the interview I was called to be told that the panel had recommended that I transfer to PhD status. This was more of a relief than an celebration.

However I did go out last night. I’d  already got tickets to see my favourite band, The Fall, (left) at the indigO2, a few months back.  This helped take my mind off the events of the interview, although I have slightly wooly head this morning!

Anyway now I can get back to progressing forward with my research without the worry of having to re-apply in the summer.

CAMRI Symposium

It has now become a internal part of being a PhD student that every now and again we have to present our progress and research findings. This takes the form of giving presentations at conferences as with Transforming Audiences 3 (TA3) in the summer and with this symposium that is hosted by University of Westminster each November. There’s doctoral representatives from other media based universities within the London area. The subjects within this field are very diverse within this discipline varying from digital games to the social networks in China.

My presentation went fairly well (below). It was very similar to the TA3 presentation. I had quite a few questions from the audience all constructive and none too difficult.

View more presentations from Tim Riley

Mozilla Festival at Ravensbourne

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been involved in teaching some first year under-graduate students at Ravensbourne over the last few weeks. This has taken the form of the introduction to and production of WordPress websites.

Part of this project was linked in with the Mozilla Festival which took place at Ravensbourne over the weekend. Students were asked to prepare WordPress sites ready to use and for filling with content over the course of the festival. It was heartening to see the multi-disiplinary groups of students firstly grapple with the new software and concept of content management systems and then steam ahead with innovative ways of using it.  Some implementing live feeds and others procured sponsorship and deals with local businesses.

Each team chose a different subject to cover and during the weekend they filmed interviews, edited videos, wrote articles and constantly updated their site with content from the festival. I went along on the Saturday to observe and take in the festival. The project was a very good example of collaboration, networking, pooling skills and resource as well as learning how to work as a team.

Their sites are available here to view:

Ravezilla: audio and video innovation
Children and Education
Mozilla Gaming
Journewlism

Social Media Chapter & TVam reunion

Now that the Transforming Audiences 3 conference is finished I’m using this week to finish a book chapter I was asked to write back in the Autumn of 2009. There have been plenty of re-writes since then. The book is entitled The Digital Media Handbook. 

A member of staff from my previous MA, Digital Media course  is overseeing and editing the book and it’s final deadline is approaching. The chapter, titled ʻSocial Media: Sharing and Collaboration Onlineʼ, positions the contrasting views of media and academic commentators against a historical and descriptive background and links them to a pedagogical case study.

The chapter is in two sections. The first part is a historical and academically orientated study of the rise of social media and the second part is a case study that relates to the preamble. I’m collaborating with the course leader at Ravensbourne College as he wrote the course that we are using. The book is produced in association with Department of Applied Social Science at London Metropolitan University and is slated for publication in spring, 2012.

After many changes and iterations the chapter is now finished and currently with the editors for integration with the other chapters. I’m glad it’s done as I need to clear the desk for my last year,  although there will, no doubt , be more changes!

Last night I went to a TVam reunion where I worked in the early 1980s. It was organised via Facebook. TVam was the first commercial breakfast TV channel launched in 1983 and the reunion was to mark the anniversary of the industrial action that lost all 230 of our jobs back in the late 1980s. At least that’s what I thought it was, although on reflection it’s a strange thing to mark.

The event was held at the Elephant Arms in Camden Town just across the road from the old TVam building in Hawley Crescent, now the studios of MTV. There was a fairly average turn out and still the factionalised department cliques of the past, the graphics team (left) included. The event was a bit limp, uninspiring and slightly banal. There again, that’s what most reunions are, (sad) reflections of the past.

Interviews 16 -19

This is the last set of interviews I’m doing before I concentrate solely on the my methodology chapter. There’s one interview from each age group.

The first, an elderly lady who retired a few years ago after spending time in a office job, has developed a passion for digital photography. She takes her camera around London two to three times a week and uploads them to a group on Flickr.

The second interview was of a young man in his mid-twenties who also takes photographs but also has a blog, Boidus, that he co-writes with a friend. He’s soon to be married to a woman who he met and has had correspondence with on the Web over the last year.

My nineteenth interview was down in south-west London with a 50 year old self confessed “stay-at-home-dad”. He makes lots of music and field recordings on his computer and shared them with friends and online communities using Soundcloud as a platform of choice (play one of his recordings below). This was a extremely interesting interview as, although he was very familiar with and experienced at creating digital content, he was also highly contemptuous of it too seeking to create analogue versions of online platforms.

 

Shade by Richard Sanderson

Content is the Fuel of the Social Web

I’ve finished re-writing and updating my literature review which is now around 20,000 words. It covers a wide range of subjects including digital content creation and user-generated content, new technology and user agency, generations and technology, virtual/online communities, computer-mediated identity and digital literacy.

Just as I was finishing I found this slide show which gives some data from December 2010 concerned with the widespread use of content on the web (although I’ve not included any of this data in my lit. review). It’s orientated towards marketing, as much of social media is nowadays, but gives some useful quantitative research findings.

There’s also a web page called ‘State of the Internet Now’ which shows data from social network sites.

State of the Internet 2011
Created by: OnlineSchools.org

Re-starting the interviews 13 – 15

A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to an artist, Adam Justice-Mills, at an open-day in East Finchley. He told me about a project he was organising involving two Artists’ Open House Weekends in the first two weeks of July. This consisted of 50 artists from around the area opening up their houses so the public can view their art. This saves on renting space and gives the viewer the chance to see the art in a natural environment.

On Saturday I intended on visiting five houses but stayed at the first due to the willingness of two artists to let me interview them about how they use the web to create and share content. On the Sunday I managed to walk to five venues and arranged an interview for the following day.

What are really excellent idea this is. It’s community based and just a really relaxing and enjoyable activity for a summer’s weekend.

Everything is a Remix Part 3

I recently found this video which continues much of the content in my Remix Culture lecture earlier this year.

In it the film maker Kirby Ferguson argues that the basic elements of creativity are to: copy, transform, and combine. He cites Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, Henry Ford and The Ford Motor Company and Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web as all possessing elements and components that have already been in existence, which helped make their technological breakthroughs possible. Ferguson argues; “nobody starts out original. We need copying to build a foundation of knowledge and understanding”.

What follows this is an interesting examination of the rise of Apple computers via previous computer innovations from Xerox and Alto.

[vimeo 25380454 460 345]

You can watch the other two in the series here.