Sharing and Collaboration in the Digital Age

Blog Assignment: Transformed Media Landscape – How is media transforming?  We’ve had a number of conversations about the new collaborative nature of media, specifically about Clay Shirky talks on this idea as it relates to the notion of ‘cognitive surplus’.  After viewing both of the required videos for this unit,  pick one or two points from his presentations and write a blog on how you see yourself or society applying a more collaborative approach to media.

I hate to break it to the world, but I think we have run out of ideas.  Hold on, it’s not as bad as it sounds.  Think about it, we’re well over fifty years into this modern, mass consumption culture.  I mean, how could this not happen?  Now, let’s get past all that.  Because once we do that we can then begin to learn from our past.  What worked?  What didn’t?  What Inspired?  What mistakes should we want avoid?  How would we do it differently if given the chance?

I think the future of media is collaboration.  Today its more about using one source of media to inspire something else.  Don’t know what I am talking about? Watch an episode of Family Guy. The show is primarily made up of references to the past, while it’s also uniquely its own creation.  Because I think, to be successful, this has to be something more than just simply making what’s old, new again.

I’m an avid EDM (Electronic Dance Music) fan and it’s in our culture to share a creation and have others remix it into something new and uniquely their own.  It’s actually why I fell in love with the genre.  I love how a big room anthem could be remixed into a lounge-y poolside song for the summer, or a tribal anthem for a pride event, or a tricked out dub step banger.  Great things can be gained from collaboration, while the memorable moments of the past should  be allowed to be future sources of inspiration.


Web Browser History

Blog Assignment: Internet History Blog – Write a blog that incorporates a bit of Internet/Web history. This could take many possible forms so feel free to be creative!  Don’t think of it like an assignment to list the historical details.  You could write a sweeping commentary on the history of it all, you could write a biography of an important personality, or break down for us the history of Google. Incorporate multimedia – think web literacy!

Web Browser History

I present to you the complete, increasingly complex, history of the web browser… in a photo, yes one photo!

But seriously, the web browser has been around for a long time.  It’s also come a long way since the days when dial-up modems reigned supreme!  Today I am thankful that there is no one browser that dominates market share.  90’s was dominated by Netscape (unless you were using AOL or MSN), the turn of the millennium brought forth a decade dominated by Microsofts Internet Explorer (perhaps all those anti-trust lawsuits explain why?).  Today it’s a race between Safari, Firefox, IE and Google’s Chrome. You know what they always say, variety is the spice of life!

CwF + RtB

Blog Assignment: Rise of the Mass – Read the forum post by Trent Reznor on the changing music industry as well as the article about making it as a New Artist. Write a blog on the article incorporating ideas presented in class: i.e. the transformed media landscape, methods of communication throughout history, etc.

Do you agree or disagree with Trent? Why? Why not?

I ran across this other blog that perfectly captures Trent Reznor’s whole CwF + RtB philosophy. I couldn’t agree more! The future isn’t about fighting your fans. The fight everyone should be focused on is our modern day short attention spans due to over saturation. The successes know how to become a brand, and that doesn’t mean selling out. A good brand should define exactly who you are!  It’s important to take control of your message; what your about, how you want to come across, and what you’re looking to accomplish, etc.  But remember, it’s not only getting people interested, its even more important (and difficult) keeping them interested!

If you have 15 mintues watch this presentation by Michael Masnick at this years MIDEM09.  This is a perfect example of how a brands (NIN) can connect with their market by developing channels that are relevant and engaging.  If only more companies took the time to truly understand their customer on this level.

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Communicating With The Web

Blog Assignment: Web 2.0 has been called the “participatory web”. The web seems to urge us to interact and to create. We will begin following and commenting on each others blogs as a form of interaction. Throughout the rest of quarter you will read these blogs and continue to comment.

This is something I do each and every day, from when I wake up to when I go to bed… I have always loved the internet because it allows me to connect and communicate with others.  I do about 90% of my communication through facebook.  I also read and comment on a large variety of blogs online:

I not only get information from these blogs, I also get to meet and communicate with people who hold similar interests to my own.  The internet today is more social then ever and I couldn’t be happier!

Jaron Lanier

Blog Assignment: Read material regarding Web 2.0. Read selections from You Are Not A Gadget available in the library or find information about Jaron Lanier online blog about what you read. Rather than writing a school report, simply strive to find an interesting part of the article and comment on it.

You Are Not a Gadget (2010) In his book You Are Not a Gadget (2010), Lanier criticizes the hive mind of Web 2.0 (wisdom of the crowd) and describes the open source and open content expropriation of intellectual production as a form of “Digital Maoism”.[14] Lanier argues that Web 2.0 developments have retarded progress and innovation and glorified the collective at the expense of the individual. He criticizes Wikipedia and Linux as examples of this problem; Wikipedia for its “mob rule” by anonymous editors, the weakness of its non-scientific content, and its bullying of experts. Lanier also argues that there are limitations to certain aspects of the open source and content movement in that they lack the ability to create anything truly new and innovative. For example, Lanier makes the observation that the open source movement didn’t create the iPhone, but it did create Android. In another example, Lanier claims that Web 2.0 makes search engines lazy, destroys the potential of innovative websites like Thinkquest, and hampers the communication of ideas like mathematics to a wider audience. Lanier further argues that the open source approach has destroyed opportunities for the middle class to finance content creation, and results in the concentration of wealth in a few individuals—”the lords of the clouds”—people who, more by virtue of luck rather than true innovation, manage to insert themselves as content concentrators at strategic times and locations in the cloud.

What a crock of BS!  I’m sorry but I just don’t agree.  Generally, as things improve, they tend to become less complicated and more simple.  In my opinion, this is not a bad thing.  Because technology is becoming simpler to use, it also becomes much accessible.  Now Grandma, who previous vowed to never touch a computer, has no issue using her smartphone.  The smartphone doesn’t intimidate her, allowing her to get past her fears and, in the end, find ways to better her connection to others.

One is still able to get as nerdy as they like, with they’re operating system of choice.  But don’t chastise technology (and its future as a whole) simply because you think it should stay alienated for the true nerds out there.

The Story of Logan Spencer

Blog Assignment: Project

Many of you have or have had mashup project in your one of your classes. Blog about this process. Share the processes you used, experiences you had, trials you’ve overcome, etc… Share with us your work in progress or a finished work if you have it.

Mixing & mashups are something I have been doing as a club DJ for years now.  What seems like forever ago, I had a dream to become a DJ/Producer.  I had no idea where to start, just that I knew I loved music and someday I wanted to control music for myself.  I think that’s the hardest part, at least it was for me; where exactly does someone start?  It was after a trip to San Diego, CA with my friends over Memorial Day weekend.  We went out to a club one night and I swear I didn’t leave that dance floor.  At the end of the night I waited to give my praise to the DJ.  When I thanked him for a job very well done he just looked at me and stated, “I saw you out there, you can feel music too… have you ever thought about DJing before?”  
When I got home all I could think about was what he told me.  I then realized that the only way I will ever realize my dream is by working for it.  I downloaded the trial version of Virtual DJ and just worked at it.  It was very, very hard at first.  You almost have to retrain the way you listen to music, breaking down the structure. I also had to learn about keys and harmonies, learning about what sounds good together… and what doesn’t.  
Once I got the basics down, I then focused on creating an online presence… primarily for support.  It’s not fun to be mixing just for yourself, I wanted to entertain others.  I joined PodOmatic and started sharing my mixes.  Eventually I grew a following, this following provided the support I needed to motivate me.  What was hard eventually became far easier allowing me to learn other skills.  
It all became professional when a local area club discovered my DJ facebook page.  They wanted me to become their resident Saturday night DJ.  I was floored!  Fast forward three years later and now I have played at countless clubs, I’m the resident DJ for both Fridays and Saturdays now, I have a following on both facebook and Podomatic… and I am realizing my dream of producing music by going to school at IPR in Minneapolis, MN.
Yes, it all starts somewhere… starting is the hardest part!  I included my most recent ‘House-101’ Podcast below.

Blog Assingment Number ONE

First blog: Write a blog about yourself. Who you are, where you’ve come from, and why you are here at IPR.

Hello, my Name is Brandon Butkowski.  I am a 28 year old male that currently lives in St. Paul, MN.  I grew up in St. Michael/Albertville then moved to Fargo, ND for college.  After a few semesters I decided to put school on hold and move back to MN.  Fast forward roughly eight years and I now find myself back in school, at IPR in Minneapolis, MN.  I often get asked, “Why IPR?”  The answer is simple, I LOVE music!

When I was originally going to school at NDSU in Fargo, ND I was pursuing a degree in marketing.  I never truly felt a love for it, in fact I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  I felt as if I was just going to go.  When I finally came to terms with that I realized what a waste of time, effort and money this was. 

I moved back to MN and chose to focus solely on full-time work until I had a better idea of what I wanted to do with my life.  About four years ago, around 2009, I started to DJ local clubs and bars in the area.  This pushed me further into music, but it was always hard to find the time needed to dedicate myself to music because of my full-time job at AT&T. 

When I lost my job in the summer of 2012 I knew that there was no better time than now to make music my life.  I enrolled into IPR’s audio recording and engineering program and began my journey in the fall of 2012.  Two quarters into the program and I couldn’t be happier.  Unlike NDSU, I have no hesitations or reservations about the path that I am on… I think I made a good choice!