Next Level Transmedia

 

 

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Screenshot

 

The benefits of Transmedia is that it gives us storytelling on multiple devices and in multiple formats. As defined by Henry Jenkins, a transmedia story is one that “unfolds across multiple media platforms” (2006).

I can´t even begin to think of how many story worlds I´ve completely lost myself to over the years. Since it first aired in 2015, I´ve been obsessing over SKAM- A Norwegian web series which also lets the viewers follow the characters on a day to day basis through social media.

The audience for “Skam” is taking up huge pockets of Twitter and Facebook, and most especially Tumblr. The series gained international fame after the third season where the viewers followed Isak, who struggled with homosexuality. The main character in the fourth season is Sana, a teenage Muslim girl who´s struggling with balancing her day to day life and her religious belief. One of the reasons the show is so addictive is because on an everyday basis the views can interact with the characters on social media and there´s even a website which tracks all their social media activity and group conversations.

“Once people find a story world that they really like, they want to stay there for as long as they can, and transmedia is just an incredibly efficient way of catering to that desire”. – Andrea Phillips

A story can be collected and enjoyed. We emerge ourselves in these story worlds because we can comment on what we enjoy in social media. Very soon there are going to be ways for the audience to actually enter into the story in some way and participate creatively by generating content, submitting it and having it curated and perhaps become a part of the story world. The audience is going to be able to participate in more and more immersive ways.

Modern technology is allowing and facilitating this notion of interaction. I am sure Transmedia will be the future of communication.

References:

Gaskins, K. (2012). Future of Storytelling Expert Series: a Conversation with Transmedia Creator Andrea Phillips. Available: http://latd.com/blog/future-storytelling-expert-series-conversation-transmedia-creator-andrea-phillips/. Last accessed 31st May 2017.

Jenkins, H (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press. 95.

Kickham, D. (2017). What You Need To Know About The Viral Norwegian Teen Drama Tackling Sexuality. Available: http://elitedaily.com/entertainment/viral-norwegian-teen-drama-sexuality/1839614/. Last accessed 31st March 2017.

 

Hashtag is Key

Hashtag

80x15 by  Théo La Photo 

The definition of hashtag is simply a word or phrase preceded by a # sign.

Hashtags can expand your content reach, target your market, grow your brand, get your content found more easily and improve your SEO. When it comes to building social media campaigns, especially on Twitter and Instagram, hashtag is key.

Hashtags began trending on Twitter but are now also used on other social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. Hashtags enable you to categorise posts and tweets you publish. It also makes it possible for you to identify all the content that has been published on social media on a specific topic. For example, I watch a lot of debate shows and one thing that is always trending during and after the shows is their own hashtags. by clicking the hashtag I can easily follow and interact further in the public debate in the “hashtag chat”.

Anyone can make a new hashtag, but not everyone can make their hashtag start trending. So how can you use your hashtag more efficiently?

Whatever your message might be, sum it up in one word. It´s crucial that you search the hashtags you know your customers or followers are using online. Go on social media to find out what people are talking about. Visit the different sites where people are using those hashtags and start to engage in conversations.

If you want to create and use your own hashtag ask people to use it in their content. you can´t own a hashtag because people are free to use is however they please. To encourage people to use your hashtag start listening to them. Everyone’s biggest fear is not to be heard at all. If you give people the opportunity by saying `use this hashtag and we´ll respond to you´ they will value you for that.

To promote your hashtag add it in your site banner, in your ads, and in your profile description.

Click here to find out what hashtags are being used for what.

How do you track the performance of your hashtag?

This tool will show you how much engagement your hashtags has received. Whether it´s positive, negative or neutral. It will also tell you how many people saw your hashtag, their geolocation etc.

If you create your own hashtag you will benefit by attracting more relevant users to join your conversation. As your hashtag becomes more and more popular you online reach will grow.

 

References:

Loren, T. (2017). The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags in 2017. Available: https://later.com/blog/ultimate-guide-to-using-instagram-hashtags/. Last accessed 30th May 2017.

Moritz, D. (2014). How to Encourage Fans to Create and Share Visual Content. Available: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/encourage-fans-to-create-share-visual-content/. Last accessed 30th May 2017.

-. (-). Definition of hashtag in English:. Available: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/hashtag. Last accessed 29th May 2017.

-. (-). 3 Key Hashtag Strategies: How to Market your Business & Content. Available: http://blog.wishpond.com/post/62253333766/3-key-hashtag-strategies-how-to-market-your-business. Last accessed 29th May 2017.

A Gaming World Gone Wrong

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You say Virtual Reality, I say Black Mirror.

These days you need a lot of advanced and expensive equipment if you want the full VR experience.

People are keen on technology and would use any excuse to take a break from their own boring or hectic lives. The reality is that we´re already interacting more with our devices than with each other (Anderson & Rainie 2010).

This got me thinking of an episode of season 3 of Black Mirror. The episode is called “playtest”. To sum up the storyline from IMDb: An American traveler short on cash signs up to test a revolutionary new gaming system, but soon can’t tell where the hoot game ends and reality begins.

Cooper (The protagonist) mysteriously loses all his money and sees an opportunity to earn some fast cash by taking on a game testing role for the big SaitoGemu Company. Cooper is taken to a cold white room, which is where he will be conducting the testing- playing a video game where he is to conquer his biggest fears. The VR experience is downloaded directly into his consciousness through a micro device which is injected into his brain. The technology inserted in Coopers’ brain makes him see things that aren’t really there. When the game begins he is not capable of distinguishing what is real and what is augmented reality.  The technology is playing with his mind and his senses.

Playtest shows a disturbing vision of the future of video games and how far VR can go. Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts we’ll be closer to the Matrix-type VR experiences in 20–25 years

But will Black Mirror become reality someday?

I would say that a similar scenario could realistically play out in the future. It really makes me think of some “What if” scenarios. Both mind control and VR exists, so a fusion between those two is not entirely unimaginable for the future of VR. It is scary, but it is possible. This scenario might just happen, in a dystopian future, not too far from now.

 

References:

Anderson, J. & Rainie, L.. (2010). The future of social relations. Available: http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/07/02/the-future-of-social-relations-2/. Last accessed 16th May 2017.

Baer, D. (2015). The world’s most famous futurist just explained why VR will be important when people live forever. Available: http://www.businessinsider.com/ray-kurzweil-says-vr-will-be-important-when-people-live-forever-2015-11/?r=AU&IR=T. Last accessed 16th May 2017.

-. (-). Virtual Reality. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality. Last accessed 20th May 2017.

-. (2016). Playtest . Available: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5709242/. Last accessed 23rd May 2017.

-. (2011). Black Mirror. Available: https://www.netflix.com/title/70264888. Last accessed 17th May.

 

Practice- Led Research

Digital Story Website

Digital Story Proposal Website

Social Media Profiles:     Twitter Instagram Facebook YouTube

The Issue: Brand Considerations

An issue that concerned me during the digital story project was our choice of platform. From the very beginning, we were set on making a web documentary series on YouTube, where the first episode would be our 90-second video on the penalty rate cut. As things turned out, we ended up adjusting our whole approach to the assignment and made a website that would function as our new platform. We leaned more towards the direction of Vice Magazine and our concept went from being a web series to becoming a news site.

When you upload to YouTube, you can’t control the perception the consumer has of your brand. Often, “related videos” will show your competitors, and the YouTube logo will always be on your video player. Related videos shown after your video ends may lead traffic to a competitor’s site instead of your company’s. There’s really no unique branding available on the YouTube platform unless you spend a lot of money to become a Partner, and even then you’ll have to deal with ads in some form (Archer 2014).

Since the theme was cultural differences, all of a sudden it wasn´t only the penalty rate cut we had to worry about. After converting into a news site, we had to come up with more content about cultural differences.

The task of not just creating content, but creating content that resonates with your readers, is a critical but difficult task to master.

As Neil Patel writes content marketing is also about using the best tools out there to promote your valuable content, in order to attract and retain customers.

Therefore we´re also relying on our social media sites to promote our website to solve the issue.

References:

Archer, D. (2014). CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: YouTube vs. Hosting on Your Own Site. Available: https://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/customer-experience/youtube-vs-hosting-site/. Last accessed 29th May 2017.

Patel, N. (-). How to Create Better Content For Your Customers. Available: http://neilpatel.com/blog/content-creation-how-to-create-better-content-for-your-customers/. Last accessed 28th May 2017.

Wainwright, C. (2012). How to Create Content That Actually Resonates With Your Readers. Available: https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33747/How-to-Create-Content-That-Actually-Resonates-With-Your-Readers.aspx#sm.00018nwhyzf3cd50rrz2mpmq0wzzo. Last accessed 29th May 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Story: Peer Review

Musicorum

A good concept where they play one song to a bunch of people with different nationalities. Many people, many opinions and so little time to tell it. The fast-paced editing and use of 2 shot were very impressive and it solved what could have been a problem with this type of reaction video. I liked how they played the song in the background while the people gave their answers. It saved time but it also gave it a better overall feeling. The only thing I would pick on that really annoyed me while watching this clip was the bright red face on the poster positioned right behind the interviewees. It draws the attention away from the actual focus. I would suggest running the background through PS and colour grade, maybe even manipulate the bright red to make it less `out there´. Except that, my opinion is that the group has done very well.

 

With Children

This project is about a child being bullied at school because she come from another country and she´s struggling with the English language. Absolutely heartbreaking and because the interviewee is a child it gets even more emotional. It´s a strong story. The fact that the interview is shot at the girls’ school could have raised some concerns since it involves children, but they´ve solved it well by not filming any of the other kids and still managed to make the visual work. What I am missing from this project is a strong social media strategy. From what I heard it´s being published in an Arabic newspaper. Bullying is a global problem and I believe ´With Children´ has the potential to reach a much broader audience if they use the power of Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube for publishing.

 

Risky Business in the App Stores

 

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Smartinsight: Percent time spent on mobile apps 2016.

 

The world is mobile and applications are for people on the go. Mobile apps have revolutionised the way we use our smartphones. These days we have an app for everything. In this post, I will discuss some of the risky sides of downloading mobile apps. I Myself have over 75 Apps on my iPhone. Most of them I´ve had for years and they are hardly ever used.

The number of apps continues to grow. As of March 2017, according to Statista, Android users were able to choose between 2.8 million apps while Apple’s App Store remained the second-largest app store with 2.2 million available apps.

“Applications for mobile platforms are being developed at a tremendous rate, but often without proper security implementation. Insecure mobile applications can cause serious information security and data privacy issues and can have severe repercussions on users and organisations alike.”

The mentality of the developers is to build more apps before the competitors build them. Security isn´t thought off.

“Application risk is increasing because we’re doing more and more applications on our devices,” – Chris Wysopal, CTO and Cofounder of Veracode.

Every time you´re adding an application to your device there´s a potential risk that the app either has malicious functionality with intend to trick you into downloading what you see but instead you´re getting something you didn´t ask for. It could also be a poorly coded app which leaks information because of the way it transfers and stores data in the clear and sends your private information up to an add network. The developer thinks they´re doing a good job, but they´re actually putting your data at risk, Wysopal goes on.

If the developer doesn´t build the app correctly the operating system isn´t going to protect the user. In other words; all the data on your device, personal data, your address book, your photos etc. is at risk.

Apps shouldn´t be able to access contact information without disclosing it first with the user. When you download an App you agree to the terms and conditions to let the app access other parts of your phone. Have you ever asked yourself why a simple gaming or weather app needs access to your Wi-Fi, contact list or camera?

The more apps you add to you phone the higher risk you put yourself in.

After researching this topic it´s safe to say that the number of apps on my phone has rapidly decreased.

 

References: 
Jain, A.K. & Shanbhag, D.. (2012). Addressing Security and Privacy Risks in Mobile Applications. Available: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/aa53/1e41c4c646285b522cf6f33f82a9d68d5062.pdf. Last accessed 23rd May 2017.

Spark, D. (2012). The Causes of Mobile Application Risk. Available: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-data-protection/the-causes-of-mobile-application-risk/. Last accessed 24th May.

-. (2017). Number of apps available in leading app stores as of March 2017. Available: https://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/. Last accessed 21st May 2017.

Security issues with IoT

 

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INTERNET OF THINGS BY PIXABAY

 

The Internet Of Things (IoT) refers to devices that collect and transmit data via the internet. But how does the IOT impact our security?

Anything that can be connected, will be connected. In 2008, there were already more objects connected to the internet than people. By 2020 there will be an estimated 50-200 billion connected devices,  According to Behmann & Wu.

Spamming is already a widely known problem on the Internet and could also affect the IoT. For example, criminals could change EPCs, so that tags point to banner ads instead of an ONS server, which would result in revenue for the spammer for each tag read (Weber & Weber 2010).

“As an industry, the IoT has failed to make it clear that if you put software on something attackable and connect it, it’s exposed. We have to aggressively and sanely excel the benefits of connected devices, while mitigating the risks. If we move too fast in developing new IoT applications, but don’t make security a paramount consideration, we’re leaving ourselves vulnerable for massive breaches with massive consequences.”

With billions of devices connected together security becomes a big issue.

The IoT holds great promise for cybercriminals who can use our homes´ routers, televisions, refrigerators, and other Internet-connected devices to launch large and distributed attacks. Internet-enabled devices represent an enormous threat because they are easy to penetrate, consumers have little incentive to make them more secure, the rapidly growing number of devices can send malicious content almost undetected, few vendors are taking steps to protect against this threat, and the existing security model simply will not work to solve the problem (Behmann & Wu 2015). Do not buy devices which have default passwords. Once you connect the device is exposed on the internet so anyone could find an address to a machine and connect to it and do whatever they please.

All IoT devices should have authentication. The password needs to be unique for every device so only the owner can log into it. Every IoT device should use encryption while uploading to the cloud, sharing data etc. so only the people that are meant to are getting the information. Protect your privacy. we don´t want these IoT devices to reveal things about where they are or who the owner is and how long they´ve been running. That sort of information needs to be hidden so only the right people can see it.

Attacks launched using IoT devices

We´ve already heard stories of Malware which searches for IoT devices and tries to take them over. Why is it so simple to do this? Computers have built-in security features, they have firewalls and antiviruses. But all these IoT devices have no security what so ever and most of them have a default access. In other words, the same set of password for all the devices from the manufacturer. If I buy a coffee maker and connect it to my Wi-Fi my new IoT device is exposed to the internet. Every IoT device has some sort of mini-computer inside it. Hackers are able to take over and use the device to launch DDoS attacks. Therefore, reasonable security measures need to be made.

 

References: 

Behmann, F & Wu, K (2015). Collaborative Internet of Things (C-IoT): For Future Smart Connected Life and Business. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 7-36.

Beaver, K & Rouse, M. (-). distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Available: http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/distributed-denial-of-service-attack. Last accessed 13th May 2017.

Hanson, J. (2015). Internet of Things Security Risks and Challenges. Available: https://www.pubnub.com/blog/2015-06-05-internet-of-things-security-risks-and-challenges/. Last accessed 11th May 2017.

Weber, R.H. & Weber , R (2010). Internet of Things Legal Perspectives . London, New York: Springer. 44.

-. (2016). DDoS Attack Against Dyn Managed DNS Incident Report for Dyn, Inc.. Available: https://www.dynstatus.com/incidents/nlr4yrr162t8. Last accessed 12th May 2017.

-. (-). Big Data and the Internet of Things. Available: https://www.infragistics.com/community/blogs/mobileman/archive/2015/12/15/big-data-and-the-internet-of-things.aspx. Last accessed 12th May 2017.

User Experience: The Power of Colour

The meaning and understanding of colours are different from culture to culture. This is written from a western-centric view.

As we are scrolling through websites we are searching for the next thing, by looking for something new to click.  Therefore, it´s important to make what´s clickable visible.  Krug writes “As we scan a page, we´re looking for a variety of visual cues that identify things as clickable- things like shape (buttons), location (in a menu bar, for instance), and formatting (colour and underlining).” No matter form or location it must be stressed; the colour plays a significant role.

“Use of color is extremely important in your marketing materials and especially your branding. Psychologists have noted that the impression from color can account for up to 60% of the decision to accept or reject a product or service.”

Designers spend a lot of time considering the different colour combinations used on their websites. The right combination appeals to the mass audience in a very pleasant manner. One can say that colours speak louder than words.

Emotions are associated with different colours. For instance, red is the most stimulating colour. Red represents determination, power, danger, passion, love etc. The colour brings text and images to the foreground and it stimulates people to make quick decisions (Fiore 2010). In other words; quicker purchases.

Also, consider the fact that 5 percent of women and 8 percent of men has some sort of colour blindness. The red/green colour blindness is the most common. Therefore it´s wise to use strong contrast red/green colours.

However you choose your design, do not underestimate the power of colour. Colour is used to improve web design and user experience. It´s used to impact emotion, draw attention and make visitors make purchases.

The colours used in a website should be based on the type of industry and the theme to make it more expressive. Colours interacting with each other can have a whole different meaning than single colours together. The use of right colours, coupled with the right use of designing and branding, can help your brand reach to the whole new levels of notoriety.

References: 

Brown, E. (2014). [INFOGRAPHIC]: Color your Brand Industry-wisely!. Available: https://www.designmantic.com/blog/color-your-brand-industry-wisely/. Last accessed 4th May 2017.

Fiore, A.M. (2010). Understanding Aesthetics for the Merchandising and Design Professional: The Elements and principles of Design. 2nd ed. New York: Fairchild Books. 164.

Krug, S (2014). Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. America: New Riders. 36-37.

-. (-). Color Meaning. Available: http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html. Last accessed 3rd May 2017.

-. (-). Colour Blindness. Available: http://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/. Last accessed 10th May 2017.

-. (-). The Psychology of Color. Available: https://www.bizmarquee.com/the-psychology-of-color/. Last accessed 4th May 2017.

Practice-Led Research

 

The Issue

´The Issue´ is a weekly web series discussing the issues concerning you. The first episode will focus on the effect the penalty rate cuts will have on immigrants in Australia.

 

Our group consists of Dylan, Jason, Jeremy and myself. Our Digital Story is about The Fair Work Commission´ penalty rate cuts and how it´s going to affect immigrants.

According to unions, the decision will affect around 700,000 workers, including some of the lowest paid who need the penalty loading to survive.

 

An issue we´ve had regarding this assignment is how to angle the story and make the penalty rate cut strongly and solely about cultural difference. At first, we wanted the focus to be on how the cut will affect youth because cutting Sunday penalty rates will hurt young people the most (Daly 2014). After a discussion with our tutor, it was clear that we needed a stronger cultural focus/aim. Therefore, we decided to make the documentary about how the cut will affect immigrants. People from overseas take up a good percent of the jobs in retail, hospitality and fast food industry in Australia. Therefore, it´s a group that will get affected badly by the cuts.

It is hard to find data, let alone any information about immigrants in the work field. The information I´ve gathered is mainly looking at gender and age. The cut will worsen the gender pay gap.

According to The SDA, Australia’s largest union, cuts to penalty rates will hurt women the most (2017). In the article ´how the penalty rates decision hurts women´ published in The Sydney Morning Herald, Caitlin Fitzsimmons writes “A cut in penalty rates isn’t anything to do with equalising Saturday and Sunday and whether or not we go to church on a Sunday. It’s actually just a pay cut for young people and women.”

A big issue for us is to find data that supports what we already know; foreign workers are going to suffer from this. Even though everyone in the industry gets affected by the cuts, the younger generation and women will struggle the most. Our biggest task/challenge will be to find the right interviewees for this story. And actually having to find the information by interviewing people and the unions.

We´re going to solve this by contacting the unions and talk to immigrants who is affected by the cuts to gather our own data, looking at different Visa holders and in which industry they work.

 

References: 

Daly, T. (2014). Evenings, nights and weekends: Working unsocial hours and penalty rates. Available: http://www.unisa.edu.au/Global/EASS/HRI/CWL/publications/PenaltyRatesReport_Oct2014%20Final_R1.pdf. Last accessed 10th April 2017.

Fitzsimmons, C. (2017). How the penalty rates decision hurts women. Available: http://amp.smh.com.au/money/how-the-penalty-rates-decision-hurts-women-20170223-guk5hm.html. Last accessed 11th April 2017.

Gartrell, A. (2017). Penalty rate cuts to hasten “mass casualisation” of Australian workforce: report. Available: https://mckellinstitute.org.au/news-and-media/penalty-rate-cuts-to-hasten-mass-casualisation-of-australian-workforce-report/. Last accessed 10th April 2017.

Jager, C. (2017). Sunday Penalty Rates Slashed: How Will It Affect You? Read more at https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/02/sunday-penalty-rate-slash-how-will-it-affect-you/#iuGVz0oL333xKtL0.99. Available: https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/02/sunday-penalty-rate-slash-how-will-it-affect-you/#72xYSPkHmRi5HiDQ.99. Last accessed 10th April 2017.

-. (2017). About the penalty rates case. Available: https://www.fwc.gov.au/awards-agreements/awards/modern-award-reviews/penalty-rates-case/about-the-penalty-rates-case. Last accessed 11th April 2017.

-. (2017). About the SDA. Available: http://protectpenaltyrates.org.au/about/. Last accessed 10th April 2017.

 

 

How Men and Women are Being Targeted Differently Via Facebook Ads

Facebook ads tend to lean on demographics. You can create different ads for different age groups and genders etc. In this post, I will talk about how some Facebook ads specifically target gender.

Facebook users are 76% female (out of 100% of all females) and 66% male (out of 100% of all males) worldwide.

There are two things you need to provide when you sign up for Facebook; your age and your gender. By providing this you´ve already done the ´dirty work´ for the advertisers. Now, all they have to do is simply to focus their ad towards, in this case, a 26-year-old female.

16 Million local business pages have been created as of May 2013 which is a 100 percent increase from 8 million in June 2012. Facebook marketing has transformed how business is conducted, and its use by local businesses to extend their markets continues to explode.

I started noticing how the ads in my Facebook newsfeed were different to the ones in my partners. I get spammed with sponsored ads focused on clothing, health and lifestyle products. Typical “Girly stuff” that I´m not overly interested in, and from pages, I don´t like. Therefore, I´ve come to the conclusion that these ads are targeting the female gender (and perhaps my age group as well). The suggested and sponsored ads are not a product of cookies but are gender specified, which is a pretty easy process if you want to promote your own brand on Facebook. But does it really work? Personally, I never click on the ads. Simply because they don´t interest me a bit.

 

My partner, on the other hand, gets all the ´cool´ ads, AKA the typical ´manly´stuff. Which focus more on speed, travel, and adventures:

 

 

References:

-. (2017). Choose the people who you want to reach. Available: https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads/ad-targeting. Last accessed 31st March 2017.

-. (2017). The Top 20 Valuable Facebook Statistics – Updated April 2017. Available: https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/. Last accessed 1st April.