Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Doco issues

In Transient Spaces on April 30, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I just had a thought. If I want to use music in the background do I have to pay royalties? Will it be possible at all? I’ve been researching podcasts and they definitely have a lot of trouble with the legalities involved with playing music. An email to Jenny is in need!

I also filmed some of piece to cameras (PTC). And it felt really lame. I don’t have any crew so I have to set the camera up, head around to the front and talk to the camera. I’ll see how they turn up but it feels a little artificial, I might end up just doing voice overs.

But then I need to decide whether I introduce myself? Or should I be the omniscient narrator. All seeing but never actually there.


Does online communication help face-to-face interaction?

In Transient Spaces on April 30, 2009 at 12:18 pm

We talked in the lecture yesterday about the role of virtual communities in geographical communities.

From my experience and examples I’ve seen, virtual communities do appear to support face-to-face communities. There is a scale though, and things can tip too far towards the virtual community.

Using Queen’s as an example, there are two main virtual communities used. Facebook, which most students are on, and the Queen’s intranet. The intranet is available to everyone in the college (including alumni) and has a directory of members, with photos and personal information. There is a calendar of events, information on the menu for the week, as well as an announcements board where most people get all their college information.

Most of the elements are practical and support the face-to-face side of Queen’s.

There are also forums, where you can post up topics, anything from lost items to your unhappiness with the dinner that night. This is also very useful. But you can certainly get to a stage where you end up spending too much time online to the detriment of the face-to-face relationships you have.

It’s a problem with Facebook as well. It’s an extremely useful social networking tool, but for some people it can end up taking over, or taking the place of face-to-face interactions.

Is this a bad thing? I guess different people would say different things. But I think it can definitely begin to be a negative thing to rely too much on sites like Facebook for entertainment, and even worse when it begins to take the place of face-to-face social interactions.

Podcast review: Daily Source Code

In Honours blog on April 29, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Adam Curry is called the “Podfather” by some people. He’s credited by many as launching podcasts, and the Daily Source Code is the first and obviously, now longest running podcast.

His podcast features news and current affairs, rants, chat, music, other podcasts bits and pieces they send in, tech info. The 17th Feb episode goes for an 113 minutes.

The intro sequence has the words, “we don’t need no stinkin’ transmitter”, highlighting one of the biggest strengths of podcasts. Their independence from transmitters. Meaning podacsts can be downloaded (automatically using RSS) put onto your iPod, then listened to at leisure. So I’ve been listening to Curry’s podcast while at work. So I’m earning money, being entertained, blogging and doing uni research at the same time. Which apart from being very satisfying also complements this study on women being able to multi-task. Oh, now I’ve gone off topic, so you can add procrastinating to that list as well.

So Curry. Podfather. His podcast should be pretty good right? Well it’s ok. I listened to it. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. There was a fair amount of ranting. He was very unhappy about the new stimulus bill being pushed through.

He also thinks global warming is a big conspiracy theory/generally a lie. Which I disagree with, but everyone can have an opinion, so I’m not going to hold that against him. And he had a big rant at a fellow online contributor, Leo Laporte, who hosts TWIT, for bagging out his friend for voting for Palin/McCain as well as for bagging global warming sceptics. I’m not a big fan of people criticising people in a long, convoluted way. He could have made his point and moved on. But maybe that’s his style, and what his listeners are after. It was all a bit angry and aggressive for my liking.

The music on the show was great, a huge variety, but he had a reason behing most of them. One was a song he wanted played at his funeral, and he used it as a tribute to his listeners. Aw…schucks Adam.

It was very relaxed. He talked about his family and what he’d been up to. The amount of sleep he was getting. He burped, there was swearing. Very natural, very real. Polished, but in a confident way, there’s nothing clinical or over-produced about it.

He obviously lives and breathes the internet. He seems like a person worth listening to if you’re interested in techy stuff.

And he hadn’t done an episode for two weeks. He has other projects that are taking up his time now. He said it’s been a while since it’s been a Daily Source Code.

Overall it was entertaining, but I don’t think I’ll subscribe. Lots of interesting elements to think about for my podcast though.

Article summary: Richard Berry

In Honours blog on April 29, 2009 at 1:31 am

Richard Berry, “Will the iPod kill the Radio Star?”, Profiling Podcasting as Radio, University of Sunderland, Sage Publications, 2006

Is the podcast the death knell of radio? Berry doesn’t think so, but he does think they’ll have to make some rapid innovations to keep up.

Just as radio didn’t destroy print, and television didn’t destroy either of the former, podcasts will impact, but probably not end radio as we know it.

It does have many benefits as Berry describes. “Podcasting not only removes global barriers to reception but, at a stroke, removes key factors impeding the growth of internet radio: its portability, its intimacy and its accessibility.” (pg. 143)

The growth of podcasts has been exponential. In 2004 “…a Google search for the word ‘Podcast’ would return somewhere in the order of 6000 hits (Terdiman, 2004): today (November 2005) the same search return over 61 million hits” (pg 144). And today (April 2009) there are 140 million hits. Which is a big jump to make in a little over five years.

This quote does also demonstrate that this research is dated. It is almost four years old, which in internet years is probably 100 (or maybe 70, a bit more like dog years perhaps? Just found a reference. Apparently it’s more like three years). Anyway, the point is, things move so darn fast online that I’m already starting to think that this research is useful to me for a historical perspective of the situation of podcasts. Hmmmm….this is another element to my research that I need to think about. When do my sources become outdated?

I have distracted myself. On with the summary!

“Podcasting is not only a converged medium (bringing together audio, the web, and portable media devices) but also a disruptive technology and one that has already forced some in the radio business to reconsider some established practices and preconceptions about audiences, consumption, production and distribution.” (pg. 144)

“It is an application of technology that was not developed, planned or marketed and yet its arrival does challenge established practices in a way that is not only unprecedented but also unpredictable.” (pg. 144)

“The listener is now in charge of the broadcast schedule choosing what to listen to, when, in what order and- perhaps most significantly- where. Effectively there is a move in power from programmers to listeners.” (pg. 145)

“There are, however, no data to indicate how many of the downloaded Podcasts are actually listened to by the subscribers.” (pg. 146) But then again, you don’t really know how many people subscribe to a daily newspaper and end up not reading it…or am I drawing a pretty long bow here?

“…Bridge Ratings and Research in 2005 projected that only 20 per cent of downloads are even transferred to an iPod or similar device” (pg. 146).

“It is clear in the Podcast world it is content that is king” (pg. 148).

“For the BBC, Podcasting is an extension of their public service…’time-shifting’ of content has proved to be hugely successful” (pg. 149).

In The Dawn and Drew Show, “Inevitably the topic of sex comes up and is talked about openly, frankly, and occasionally in graphic detail. Such exploits would be sure to outrage a broadcast audience but, it seems, in the wold of Podcasting this is acceptable material.” (pg. 152)

“Branson’s Virgin Atlantic has…a series of Podcast guides” (pg. 154)

Several universities are “giving students the option to download lectures…give presentations, or as a way of researchers publishing their findings.” (pg. 154)

“However, in the future live broadcasters will need to become more interactive, more drawn to speech-driven or excitement-driven formats, offering content not available on other platforms.” (pg. 159)

“The iPod has not killed the radio star (yet)but radio may require some retuning.” (pg. 159)

I’ve changed my mind. Internet years are not moving so fast to make a four-year-old study redundant. This does have lots of very useful and very relevant information.


Book review: Podcast Solutions

In Honours blog on April 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm
Michael Geoghegan, Dan Klass “Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Audio and Video Podcasting”, Published by Apress, 2007
A fantastic resource! This really is the best source I’ve found yet about how to actually go about creating your podcast. They talk about everything from RSS feed, to networking, to sound quality.
It was interesting to read about the history of podacsting and how Adam Curry basically decided to make it happen, even though he didn’t have the technical skills, he was able to attract those that did.
There is lots of practical information, including giving you the major podcast directories that you need to be listed on. The biggest ones are iPodder, iTunes and Podcast Alley.
Apparently you need to ping podacst trackers, which lets them know you’ve created another podcast.  See here for a running list of the most current podcasts. It gives you a little perspective on just how many podcasts there are out there.  Which is freakin’ heaps.
There are all sorts of things I’ve never heard about like podcast badges and selling yourself through promos.
A super duper resource.
PS. I have noticed I’ve been a bit slack with hyperlinks, naughty me. I will endeavour to improve. And as Blood says, blogs have been characterised by their emphasis on hyperlinks (Blood, R. “Weblogs: A History and Perspective”, 2000) So I suppose I ought to start conforming to that mould a little more.

Article summary: Neil Thurman

In Honours blog on April 27, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Neil Thurman, “Forums for citizen journalists? Adoption of user generated content initiatives by online news media.” City University, UK, 2008

This article looks at the online response of news websites to citizen journalists and online contributors. It explores the feasibility, methods and success of user-generated comments on news websites.

An interesting article that explains the difficulties in moderating comments. And explains some of the reasons why, for the UK at least, some news websites have been so slow at taking up user contributions.

Here are some of the key points:

“…there is no doubt that those who have traditionally consumed news are increasingly ready and willing to produce content.” (pg. 140)

The results from a survey undertaken by the author revealed there are “seven major formats for participation: ‘Polls’, ‘Have your says’, ‘Chat rooms’, ‘Q&As’, ‘Blogs with comments enabled’, ‘Pre-moderated message boards’, and ‘Post-moderated message boards’.” (pg. 140)

“…non-professionally produced content challenges journalism’s professional norms.” (pg 144)

“…most online editors seek out content that has a broad appeal. The niche audiences reached by most bloggers are very different.” (pg. 144)

“…the emphasis blogs typically give to the personality of the writer- the messenger rather than the message- may have contributed to their slow adoption by mainstream news sites.” (pg 146)

“The fear if action from libelous comments posted on unmoderated used forums was an important contingent factor explaining the sometimes-wary attitude to user-generated content initiatives at some of the sites studied.” (pg. 150)

Overall an interesting article with some useful insights into mass medias uptake of user-generated content.


Oh, the trials and tribulations!

In Transient Spaces on April 22, 2009 at 10:12 am

It really wasn’t that bad.

But today was extremely frustrating. I had scheduled two interviews at Queen’s and I was going to film some footage of the grounds as well.

I got to uni picked up the camera, tripod and lapel mic, and rode to Queen’s.

I begun to set up when I realised there was something fundamentally wrong with the camera. No image was coming up, just a light blue screen. We contacted some IT experts at the college who had no idea. I called the RMIT techys who weren’t sure either.

So I rode back to Queen’s and swapped cameras for one that would work.

Got back to Queen’s. Camera was fine. Set up tripod. Gout out mic….and there was no cable! By this time my interviewees were running out of time. It’s about a forty minute round trip to get to uni and back to Queen’s. Decided I wasn’t meant to film today.  So rode back to uni and dropped off the camera. And ended up missing the Transient Spaces lecture because of all the messing around.

Oh well. At least I’ll be triple-checking everything from now on.

Article summary: Thomas E. Ruggiero

In Honours blog on April 22, 2009 at 2:37 am

Thomas E. Ruggiero. “Paradigm Repair and Changing Journalistic Perceptions of the Internet as an Objective News Source” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Vol. 10, No. 4, 92-106 (2004)

This article explores the way journalists have reacted to the growing dominance of the internet. What their initial reactions were and how that has changed.

Here are a few pertinent quotes.

“Reese suggests that, in protecting the cultural authority of their profession, journalists engage in ‘paradigm repair’, or the maintenance of the cultural boundaries of journalism.” (p. 92)

“Journalists establish what is objective and not objective based on how they portray journalists, journalism, and technology.” (p. 96)

“…the study sought to shed light on journalistic reluctance to accept internet news content as ‘objective’ as compared to traditional media news content.” (p. 96)

“This analysis indicates that those particularly in the mainstream media were often vociferous in condemning the internet as a non-credible news source.” (p. 99)

“…journalists may continue to portray the internet as in need of paradigm repair because many support freedom of the press in theory, but not in practice. Most journalists, Godwin believes, are ‘not ready for a world in which everyone gets to be Clark Kent or Lois Lane’.” (p. 102-103)

This is an interesting article because it looks at the reluctance of mainstream media to accept online media into the “objective journalism” circle. This reluctance, while lessening with time, is probably what’s going to harm mainstream media the most. Embrace new media, or get taken over by it I believe.

A ‘great’ source under my tag method.

Article summary: Edgar Huang

In Honours blog on April 22, 2009 at 12:08 am

I thought I might start writing summaries of the articles I read for my project and lit review.

Here is an article by Edgar Huang, “The Causes of Youths’ Low News Consumption and Strategies for Making Youths Happy News Consumers”, Indiana University-Purdue University, Sage Publications, 2009.

This is a study that looks at the way youth consume media. Especially the decline in their newspaper readership, but also the new media they’re turning to.

It’s based in the US and involved three rounds of in-depth interviews with 28 students, selected to represent the diversity found in society.

This was a highly relevant article for me. A few comments really jumped out, “more than half of all teens have created content for the internet,” 61% of those interviewed read “newspapers once a week or less”.

20 out of the 28 said “in 10 years, they would access news primarily via the internet with different digital services.” And 26 thought that hardcopy newspapers “would be gone for good in the future”.

Of the 28, 10 blogged, 7 created podcasts, and 3 created vodcasts.

Considering I’m lookign at the decline in mass media and bringing journalism into niche media, this study supports the former, and gives a reason for exploring the latter.

I’m going to tag my readings maybe, good and great. So that when I want to search through the most relevant are easy to find.


In Transient Spaces on April 21, 2009 at 11:50 pm

I begun to log and capture some of my interview footage yesterday. It surprised me how I’d forgotten all the shortcuts. And I also had some trouble because I’d been using a different camera to the bulkier ones I used for Journalism.

I think I’ll have to dig up my tech guides for my next editing session for trouble shooting purposes.

I also forgot how time consuming it is. I was there for a few hours after class, but still haven’t finished capturing, and this is for the first two interviews only!

I’ve teed up some more interviews and general filming at Queen’s today, so that will hopefully knock over the bulk of it. Then there is just the Master to interview.

I need to make some technical decisions about the doco. If I want to be a narrator, background music, special effects???

But at least it has begun!