Week 12 Wrap-Up!

Week 12? Wow… that flew past! This week we’ll be looking at everyone’s final assignments ( DUE NEXT TUE Oct 20, 5pm ) , and I thought I’d try and re-cap some of the course in this post, as well as point to possible directions forward from here.

This course isn’t about specific software or hardware, but rather the idea that your already existing audio skills can be very nicely complemented by other kinds of skills : visual technology skills, writing skills and network skills. The network skills in particular, are about more than just learning how to distribute or publicise your work – and can dramatically enhance your abilities to research, collaborate, get feedback and even produce. But how do we develop skills for using a network like the internet?

We’ve learnt about blogging this semester through wordpress, but the important parts of this aren’t about the specific ways it formats our text or media. By participating in a network, we can start to understand several dimensions of its operation : technical, social, economic. By playing in a network, we can start to understand what is possible, what its limits are, how people use it to interact, forge connections, remember, how they collaborate and how they leverage its potential.

We learn more about the network – through participating : blogging, twittering, giving feedback, learning about technologies.

Does this video clip make more sense now?
Where to from here?
– RSS Feeds – If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend using RSS feeds as part of your workflow. Every media student in 2009 should be harnessing RSS feeds to gather their information in a more controlled fashion.
delicious bookmarking is another great research tool – for two reasons – organising your own online research bookmarks, and for tapping into the collective bookmarks and research of others in very specific topics.
– collaborations with others ( Lots of opportunities available – explore how people are using online tools : eg http://www.starwarsuncut.com/ )
– technical learning curves, getting under the bonnet
Good examples to learn from? rocketboom // boingboing // blogotheque ( as mentioned earlier by a student ) //

Bloggers who developed a niche, gathered an audience, and translated this to large mainstream book publishing success?
The Perry Bible Fellowship is a comic drawn by Nicholas Gurewitch.
XKCD – another popular geeky comic, now a book.

Sites Worth Exploring
Each of these sites are worth playing within, worth understanding on social and technical levels. Each will reveal opportunities for you, and glimpses of where future media is going:

Mobile Media
We haven’t really touched on mobile media during this semester, although it’s obviously something that is becoming increasingly important.

Elsewhere @ RMIT, Jenny Weight discusses ‘mobile media’ ( it’s a long way down through her post ), and its ideal characteristics, the opportunities available, examples, and issues for mobile phone delivery:

“John Seely Brown implies that the 3G mobile phone will become an aspect of youth’s burgeoning “culture of tinkering”: What a great way to learn–acculturating into a new, distributed kind of apprenticeship where the community mind becomes the expert to which one apprentices.
As a result, institutions and media makers can’t try to be the traditional gatekeepers of information and media. We’ve got to see ourselves as facilitators rather than controllers. This is a post-auteur, post-industrial model of creativity. If you’re still holding on to modernist notions of artistic genius as part of your career goals, then clearly this would be a threatening model….”

In 2009, mobile media increasingly means accessing the web on a mobile phone. Dan MacKinlay’s Net Cultures course @ UTS recently offered a useful outline of the mobile web, and social software on mobile devices.

“What difference does mobility make to the web? Portability? A survey of the landscape of the emerging ubiquitous web – the gradual bleeding between electronic space and real space.”

And from the same course, a discussion of mash-ups:
“A mashup is a combination of two separate data sources available on the web, into some service or data set. Like the sampling sort of mashup, web mashups tend to be particularly valuable if their are surprising or subversive – but just plain useful is also good.”

Books to Read?
Clay Shirky – Here Comes Everybody : The Power of Organizing with Organizations ( Penguin, 2008 )
David Weinberger – Small Pieces Loosely Joined
Lawrence Lessig – several books : Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Free Culture, Remix.
Wikinomics : How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything Don Tapscott + Anthony Williams, Portfolio ( 2006 )
The Wisdom of Crowds James Surowiecki ( Doubleday, 2004 )


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