Thursday, January 30, 2014

My source for new music

8tracks has recently come into a big part of my life. It has unleashed a new creative side to me, the part of me that loves music. All of middle and high school I had been a huge participant in band and in college I am no longer partaking in it. I have to find a new way to get my music fix in and I found that in creating playlists, which is 8tracks specialty.
For a while I had used Spotify for listening to music, but I grew tired of the app because I only used it to listen to music I was familiar with. 8tracks has provided me with a great balance between the two. All you have to do is go in the search bar and type in an artist that you love and playlists that have a song or two with that artist will appear.
Through the site I have been introduced into new genres and artists that I didn't think I would be interested in and have given me a new muse for my writing.
While creating a playlist, generally it is a genre or general theme that is used for inspiration and users go from their to provide their take on a theme, some even do characters from their favorite movies, shows, books, etc. I have yet to find a playlist that hasn't introduced me to a new artist and it's enlightening to hear more than what the Top 40 radio stations have to put on.

The Benefits to Facebook..and some of the drawbacks

When you mention, Facebook, to just about anyone on the street they think about their high school or college classmates, maybe even their fellow co-workers. They might even mention games like Farmville/Farmville 2 or Candy Crush.
Most of the time the business benefits to the social networking site. Those 'like' pages you click on that could possibly giving you deals are businesses using the Facebook platform as an easy way of advertising their company through you to your friends. It is a cheap way to do it, in comparison to creating a commercial and paying to have it airing over several channels to potentially only convince a small number of customers to buy their product. Word of mouth has always been the most effective way to advertise and Facebook does it indirectly through the 'like' feature.
Now, Facebook can be counterproductive when you think about it as someone using the site to keep connected with friends and family. Sometimes people are just better off not knowing what is going on in everyone's lives. "Oversharing" can be a bit of a problem in a world where everyone has the ability to tell the world exactly what they think or what is going on in their lives. It can be even worse for people looking for a job. Facebook is now one of the many places that an employer could/will check before they hire someone. I'd suggest you delete those college party pictures off your profile!
The worst part about Facebook is probably the amount of time someone could actually be wasting on there. You can find out exactly how much here.
Now my opinion of Facebook isn't that high but it can be a great tool, if used right, to promote business and stay connected with the people in your life.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fragility of New Media

While I was reading in New New Media by Paul Levinson I really started to wonder about how my life would be without some of the sites that are in existence today. Things would be incredibly different. Without the discovery of Tumblr my writing style and confidence in my writing would be very different, I also would not have fallen in love with Photoshop, a program that I am still slowly learning how to use. My love for television might not have been harvested as well, a path that helped lead me to a career I hope to partake in after graduating college and that career would be a television producer. Without Tumblr I would feel much more alone, after having made many friends who I have many things in common with.
I also realized, while reading, exactly how easy it is to lose everything that one site has enabled me to have. In the press of a button Tumblr could be erased and contact with many of my friends may be lost forever.
But there is more to new media than making friends and discovering hobbies. It is the power to be your own creator. It is now possible to put products out there in the world, through sites like YouTube, which allow for free content creation and with enough time you can even get paid for what you create. None of this was around 20 years ago, many of these sites that are considered 'new new media' are just barely 10 years old and it only proves how quickly media is advancing; how it went from one-way traffic media, such as television and newspaper which only allows for producers to create content, to two-way traffic, where users are also producers.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Youtube media and the almighty Photoshop, but mostly Youtube

  • Software that you use - familiar with
Photoshop CS6-Extended is the one application that you will always find active in my computer dock, that is unless I'm working on something else that requires more computer speed because unfortunately Photoshop likes to suck the speed out of a Mac. Having the ability to edit photos and make my own creations when the inspiration hits me is handy, and having a program that allows me to create some of the best quality, if used properly. 
  •  Media that you engage with - other than software
Youtube is by far my favorite type of media. I am all for supporting the 'little guys' and their creativity. It is a platform that I hope to work on, given I find others who want to partake and help me share stories, visually, to the world. Youtube is proving itself to be a large contender in the entertainment world, there is just something different about being able to interact with your audience and have that instant feedback that can change a business; not to mention the amount of heart that goes into making many of these one man business shows.
  • What you think of as ‘ultimately cool’ convergences of English and media
Here I go again about Youtube, one of my favorite additions that they have made has been the addition of in video links. With this update it allowed creators to think about making videos in a different way. They allowed their viewers to essentially pick their own adventure, but instead of in the traditional book format, it is all in video.
  • Websites that have gone through an evolution that you don’t like
When a site makes it difficult to find the content that you want to see, but makes it really easy for you to find content that you don't really care to see; it can cause a bit of a problem. Once again, Youtube, likes to make things difficult. As innovative as the platform is, some of its constant updates can be a bit of a hassle. I still use the platform, clearly, as I want to support the people who make content that I enjoy, but it is a bit of a hassle when I have to click through several pages just to find the content that I have subscribed to. I don't always want to see content that a database thinks that I might enjoy.