Newspaper Articles on Frozen

In order to answer my essay question ‘How do Transmedia Worlds Exemplify the Networked Society?’ I decided to use Disneys film Frozen. In order to illustrate how popular the movie is and subsequently all of the promotional and transmedia content that has come with it I decided to look at newspaper articles on it through the search engine Nexis.

  1. http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/frozen-musical-confirmed-everything-you-7345086    By: Simon Keegan     Published: 10 Feb 2016

This article describes how the movie is now making its move to the west end with a musical opening up in summer 2017. The article also tells me the movie is on track to be the fifth highest grossing movie of all time, and is already Disney’s (DIS) biggest selling digital and Blu-ray release. Important facts which I will include in my essay.

 

2. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/01/star-wars-and-frozen-help-lego-to-1bn-pound-profits-for-2015    By: Graham Ruddick    Published: 1 March 2016

Another useful article I read was this one by the guardian. It details how Frozen and Starwars helped lego to 1bn pound profits last year with Lego Disney Princess: Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle being the number one best seller. This is a really good example of how stories can cross platform to allow audiences to continue the story on their own and so I will be sure to utilise it in my essay.

Newspaper Articles on Dating Apps

As part of my research for my Tinder essay I decided to use the database Nexis to look through some newspaper articles on the topic of dating in the networked society. I thought this would be a valuable task as the networked society is obviously a new and ever changing area and so I am finding it hard to find academic, published books on the topic. 

1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3442479/Young-adults-swipe-right-Tinder-just-game.html              By: Associated Press          Published: 11 Feb 2016

Through Nexis I found this article by the Daily Mail. It talks about the different ways in which young people are re-purposing Tinder and using it for travel advice, meeting friends and quick hook-ups. ‘It’s turned into a game,’ said Tim Smith, a 21-year-old student from Hampstead, Maryland. I thought it was interesting to look into how my generation is hacking new technology and dating apps to make them useful and relevant to us as in my own experience, very few young people actually use dating apps such as Tinder for their intended purpose.

2.  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/23/dance-halls-were-the-tinder-of-their-day                          By: Ian Jack             Published: 23 Jan 2016

The article opens by discussing how the figures surrounding dating apps are often contradictory and unreliable which is something I feel is worth noting for my essay. The piece is largely anecdotal and discusses how the dismissive algorithm of the app is cut throat but as we are not made aware of our rejection it is somewhat painless unlike rejection in person which we may carry with us for life. For this reason the author puts forward that this is much of the reason for the success of the app. Although I found the article interesting to read I don’t feel it will be useful for my essay as it is written with quite a personal bias from the author who does not personally use the app, and I am looking for more facts-based pieces to reference in my essays.

3. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/tinder-makes-users-less-likely-to-commit-to-relationships-experts-warn-a6807731.html                                  By: May Bulman                    Published: 12 Jan 2016

The piece by the Independent argues that Tinder makes users less likely to commit to relationships. The article has a couple of interesting quotes which I may reference when it comes to writing my essay:

It makes reference to the consumerist nature of modern dating apps quoting dating scholar Zoe Strimpol as saying “When you buy something, it’s novel and when you’re done with it you dispose of it,” she said. “There’s been widespread concern that web apps like Tinder have fostered that exact kind of disposability.”

Charly Lester, who runs the UK dating awards, believes that users are beginning to recognise this. “People are getting more selective again,” she said. “Tinder has given people a broad range of choices and now people are trying to pare back those choices with more niche dating apps.”

 

The Secret World of Tinder

As part of my research for the Sex & The City lecture I decided to watch The Secret World of Tinder, a documentary produced by Channel 4. The Documentary looks at how smartphone dating apps have revolutionised the way in which we are meeting and dating each other. I found it useful to listen to people speak of their personal experiences with the apps and how they perceived the app. One user Jack discusses how as a homosexual teen he had a lot of trouble finding people similar to him and felt very alone and isolated however when he discovered the app he said it changed his life as he was able to meet other people in the same position as him, saying “there is something quite empowering about that sense of freedom”. It was interesting to hear a positive view on the dating app and learn how it changed someones life for the better as many of the anecdotes we heard in class were negative.

 

Electronic Superhighways

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As part of my research for the Networked Societies class I decided to visit the Electronic Superhighways exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. The exhibition brings together over 100 works from the 60s to present day, focussing on the impact of the internet and computers on art and our lives.

I felt it was interesting to take an alternative view on the topic and look at how the internet is affecting the art we make. Many artist made reference to the way our relationships are being altered due to the advent of the internet and how we are communicating with one another in new ways.

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Rise of the Superstar Vloggers

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I came across this program Rise of the Superstar Vloggers on the BBC and felt as though it may be useful for my Networked Societies studies. The program explores the world of ‘vlogging’ where through YouTube, ordinary people film and put out their everyday lives into the world to be viewed by others. Through this medium many have found enormous fame and even fortune but the program touches on how this transparency and sharing of peoples lives can come at a price.

The program made me think about our lecture on Jeremy Bentham and his panopticon. The panopticon was a prison which allowed the governor to be central and a shadowy presence and the prisoners to be illuminated around the outside; This meant the prisoners often ended up policing themselves as they felt they were being watched even if this was not the case. In relation to vlogging I feel as though this extreme transparency may affect the way in which the subject is living their life as they must self-police to ensure their lives are perceived by others in a certain way.

This also relates back to Erving Goffmans theory about performance of the self. Goffman believed we perform our selves for others in order to be perceived in a certain way; However, we also give off involuntary sign-vehicles which can sometimes contradict the ideal self we are trying to promote. When individuals present themselves before others, their performance will tend to incorporate and exemplify the values of society in order to make us more likely to be accepted and conform.  I feel as though vlogging is a very literal example of this performance of self as the subject must make a conscious decision as to what to leave in and edit out of their daily lives for others to see.

The introduction of advertising and thus, revenue from YouTube has lead to a wave of vloggers. Companies are now sponsoring individuals to endorse their products often leading to a ‘blurred-line’ between viewer and vlogger as to what is truly their own opinion and thoughts on something and what is fabricated for personal gain. This false sense of transparency can lead to the manipulation of the audience as they may feel this is genuine and thus me inclined to purchase a product or service for the wrong reasons.

To conclude I feel as though vlogging is a very clear example of the way we perform our online selves and the problems which can arise when it comes to editing our identities. Choose to include too much and face scrutiny and judgement, include too little and lose viewers and revenue. Overall I felt that the program was useful in relating the theories we have been looking at during lectures to real world practices going on right now helping me to understand how the networked society can impact both our society and sense of self.

Networked Societies: Lesson 1

During our first lecture we looked at Manuel Lima’s RSA talk The Power of Networks.

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  • Problems of organised complexity occurs when we try to organise ourselves as human beings. 
  • The Internet is drastically changing this paradigm of looking at social structures from a hierarchal point of view. – Thanks to the Internet the social structures in our society have made a huge shift as people are now able to reinvent themselves in whatever way they want and self-promote to become who they want and surpass the repression of social hierarchy.
  • Information is being democratised – as the internet is now available to everyone, we all have access to the same knowledge.
  • Networks are omnipresent. – From the species on our planet to religion, networks are in place all across the planet and encompass everything.
  • Everything in life is interconnected.- I think this point is important because it highlights how everything we do is related to something else similar to the concept of karma.
  • Immense benefit can come from networked thinking. – I believe what Lima is saying here is that it is a good thing to know a bit of everything as opposed to being a specialist at one thing.

 

 

 

Dene October

The lecture today looked at the impact of modernist graphic design principals and debates about psychology, on fashion promotion. The lecture explores strategies in targeting the reader/consumer. Such promotion can be seen to both reflect and construct ideas about class, style and gender. The lecture focuses particularly on how Kay’s catalogue responds to these design solutions and how its readers interact with the catalogue.

As our reading we were asked to look at a piece by John Berger (1980) “Uses of Photography”. Berger talks about how taste produces hegemony which means leadership or dominance over others. Berger talks about the suit and says the suit fits the people its meant for, the rich workers who are sitting down all day but notes that the poorer classes or ‘peasants’ as he calls them do not look good or fit the suits. Berger argues they shouldn’t wear suits because their bodies don’t look right in them as they work all day and are a different shape to this who the suits are meant for. The poorer classes couldn’t afford a tailored suit so would all wear the same size to emulate the richer men.

Taste is always shared and we all like to think we have a sense of taste. But there’s copies of these tastes everywhere which is a massive paradox. Fashion must mass produce to be cost effective but it tries to sell it to us as individuals. The industrial revolution was what kick started modernity. People move to city as thats where the work is. We change our primitive urges such as sleeping in order to spend time out and playing. This was illustrated by an image by Francisco Goya titled The Sleep of Reason Produces WordpressMonsters (1797 – 1799). This image is a metaphor for how religion is being replaced by rationalism and modernity. Religion is slowly being displaced in our culture and new importance being placed on the city and globalisation in modern life.
This new culture of advertising meant we move from a culture of words to a culture of images. Adverts became much simpler and more direct. We are now a culture who appreciates many different things. Our elders were brought up to be thrifty and appreciate hard work. They were ‘sober’, focussed people who understood what their objectives were and worked towards them. We have become very different, and appreciate a completely new set of ideals. We need leisure time to be spending money to help the economy in our consumerist culture; our outlook has shifted from sobriety to hedonism and our body has become an expression of this hedonism. We are now addressed as part of the visual environment, everything we buy is geared towards our sexualisation and being seen and noticed. As product of this we as a culture moved from quite a private life to a public one, Dene put it to us that there is no private space anymore, we are constantly advertised to and recorded, there is CCTV everywhere we go we are being watched. This has lead to a great amount of narcissism. Consumer culture offers us a solution and can correct this and make us feel better about ourselves and so we are drawn incessantly to consume. We have gone from a great emphasis on self reliance to needing a audience at all times which is aided by Facebook and Instagram,  we need an admiring audience to feel self worth.
We then moved on to talking about men and how advertisers targeted them to try and get them purchasing clothing. Women were consuming, men were not. People felt although the world would fall apart if men cared too much about fashion and were frivolous. Psychology and Freud were responsible for changing this. Edwards Bernays talked a lot about public relations and was the real pioneer of PR. Bernays deployed Freudian psychoanalysis and ‘crowd psychology’. Bernays was employed to get behind Ballet Russes American tour in 1915. He decided the best way to advertise them was to take individuals from the ballet and treat them as celebrities and tell people interesting facts about them. This was extremely effective and magazines began making the Ballet Russes dancers become stars as people became interested in the people as well as the act. Bernays was  also behind the Lucky Stripe 1934 green packet which told people how smoking was healthy for them. This clearly shows how PR is a method of moulding peoples perceptions of things in order to react to things in a certain way.