What is a Mash Up?
A web mash up is a web page or device application that aggregates data from two or more data sources usually via open API’s. They bring together relevant data and combine it with additional functionality to make the sourced data more useful to the user.
My Web Mashup - Reflection
It is a reflection of my life and my personality that I can not do anything unless I see some value on more than one or two levels. I know that is boring, but I can rarely indulge in superficial activity. It bores me. Consequently, my mash-up needed to have a real-life application for it to enter my thought space.
My mash-up is focused on aiding the communication process during a natural disaster. In these times, people are often overwhelmed with what is going on around them and do not know where to turn for information or assistance. The DisasterNetwork mines the web for real-time data on information relating to (Australian) natural disasters. A natural disaster being a cyclone, flood, bushfire, serious accident, earthquake etc.
Maps, government information, social media posts, news updates etc are all filtered into the website to provide the user with a comprehensive, real-time version of events from multiple sources. Of course disasters only occur once or twice a year, so this website will not always be active. The website will not sell advertising space in order to stay 100% neutral.
I am looking forward to developing this idea into a working website. It has a real world application and could potentially be of assistance to many people.
Working In/With New Media
In a trifecta of insignificant events, the word “bohemian” bounced into my life 3 times last week. Firstly, listening to JJJ on my way to Uni, The Dandy Warhols were played. “Bohemian Like You”. This is a song that I had heard many times but this time it triggered thoughts of how wonderful the word bohemian is. No sooner had I started thinking this than I received a simple text message from a friend of mine, “Good Morning bohemian Ali ”. I laughed and thought to myself what a funny coincidence, although not overly surprised because odd events like that seem to happen to me all the time. You can imagine my surprise when I arrived at Uni and started my weekly New Media readings and there is the word technobohemian. I could see a theme developing.
Technobohemian is a little bit like the word from the glory days of Web 1.0, cyberpunk. I love the way these words mesh together a 21st century word with an old-school subculture, creating a whole new vision of the future. Peta discusses this in her blog.
On completion my weekly blogging exercise, one thing is clear. The world is has been altered by the changing of the media guard. It not only brings new technology and language. New employment opportunities and lifestyles abound.
Gill, R. (2007). Informality is the New Black. In Technobohemians or the new Cybertariat? New Media work in Amsterdam a decade after the web. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures: 24-30 & 38-43
Patient: Doctor, Doctor. Google told me I am suffering from Cybercondria…..
Doctor: Disconnect, take a walk to the park. Come back and see me in a few days if your symptoms have not disappeared.
It’s a brand new world.
Smartphones. The Blogosphere. Social networks. Screen names and avatars. Platforms for every connected individual and business to connect, narrate and brand themselves. We are now living a media life (Deuze, 2011). Connecting has never been easier. Creating a self-narrative has never been more public and using these new platforms to develop your brand is developing into a postmodern mania. In the business world, brand development is a day to day activity. With the explosion of new media, people are rushing to get their Bieber on and carve out their own unique online persona.
I agree with Hartley (2009) in that “being savvy online is not as easy as it looks”. Should we be taking a leaf out of the marketing strategy of any well constructed business and develop a personal brand strategy in order to maintain transmedia consistency? Writing a set of guidelines to refer to before we tweet 140 avant-garde, and potentially misconstrued characters?
The challenge for all new media users is in our new found ability to connect, narrate and brand ourselves is the choice of using your faceplace to sell a pimped up version of reality, a cyber-nirvana or the tried and true real-world approach of keeping it real.
Deuze, M. (2011). Media Life. In Media, Culture & Society, Volume 33, issue 1, pp. 137-148.
Hartely, J (2009). John Hartely Int. P. Brown. Use Your Bloggin’. http://www.cci.edu.au/sites/default/files/alawrence/Use_your_bloggin
_Hartley_interview_Brisbane_News_725.pdf. (Accessed 2nd April, 2011)
New Media, Beliefs, Politics and Ethics
Creeping up, in what seems like overnight, has been an explosion of challenges to long standing belief, ethic and political structures. All of a sudden, old political regimes are being crippled by their peoples’ ability to be in touch. By the populations harnessing the power of collective intelligence and communicating using new media, oppressive dictators are falling faster than US banking stocks during the GFC.
New media has provided us all with an opportunity for civic engagement. Whistleblowers and keyboard warriors have substantial platform to field their issues. Whether voting in an online survey, commenting on a YouTube video or blowing open the previously classified information of a major political force, we now all have the chance to chatter about our beliefs in a public way.
Freedom of speech is a basic human right. Self regulation should be a basic human responsibility. Hold a smart phone in your hand and you now have a portal to text, tweet, or post. This capability has been revolutionary to some and costly for others. Before you hit send, double check what you are saying is worthy of the potential audience it is about to be open to.
Flew, T. 2008. New Media: An Introduction. 3rd Edition. Melbourne: Oxford University Press
Hamelink, C. J. 2006. “Chapter 7: The Ethics of the Internet : Can We Cope With Lies and Deceit on The Net? In Ideologies of the internet, edited by Katharine Sarikakis and Dava Thussu, 115 130. New Jersey: Hampton Press Inc.
Leung L.. 2009. User-generated content on the internet: an examination of gratifications, civic engagement and psychological empowerment. New Media & Society. http://nms.sagepub.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/content/11/8/1327.full. pdf+html (Accessed 28th March 2011)
McNair B,. 2011. Chapter 2: Politics, Democracy and the Media in Political Communications. United Kingdom, Oxon: Routledge.
Shirky, C. (2011). The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change in Foreign Affairs. Volume 90, Issue 1; pg. 28, 15 pgs.
The New Media Amusement Arcade: Music, Games and Films
New media has transformed the way we entertain ourselves. It has developed new oppotunities for storytellers, musicians and game developers in the creation and distribution of their product. Sporting events can be streamed to mobile devices. Kindles and other tablets have given us new platforms to read.
The low cost of technical equipment and variety of distribution platforms: game developers (device apps like iPhone), movie makers (YouTube), musicians (MySpace), have led a range of diversified content and the rise of what Leadbeater and Miller describe as the Pro-am revolution. We are now in an age of paticiptory media. Where users are the content creators.
This said, the convergence of these media platforms has opened opportunites for the commodified entertainment industries. Transmedia story telling inolves the collaboration of movie makers with game developers, web designers etc. This allows story tellers the opportunity to develop plots and characters in further detail. The Matrix franchise was the first to work this concept well. Jenkins describes transmedia story telling as “entertainment for the era of collective intelligence”.
The face of the entertainment industry has been modernised. The audience is now in a better position than ever to select content according to their personal taste and persuasion.
Flew, T. 2008. New Media: An Introduction (3rd Edition). Oxford University Press. Melbourne.
Jenkins, H. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York UniversityPress, New York
Leadbeater, C and Miller, P (2004). The Pro-Am Revolution: How enthusiasts are changing our economy and society. http://www.charlesleadbeater.net/archive/culture.aspx (accessed: 20th March, 2011)
Levy, S. (2006) The Perfect Thing: how the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture and Coolness, NewYour: Simon and Schuster
Singh, M. (2008). Bollywood’s Viral Video in Time International (Canada Edition), Vol. 171, Issue 14 (accessed 18/03/2011)