Lessons Learned

This project was very multidimensional and allowed me to apply multiple theories. It allowed me to apply the theories we learned in class into the research for the project. At times I was using different theories without even knowing. Since my project focused on the influence of social media on the music industry I focused on the ideas of digitalization, identity, community, shared experience, distributed networks, connections and interaction. I believe a project like this benefits a new media student a lot because it encourages them to apply what they have learned about new media into a project. Therefore, while creating the project they gain a better understanding of the concepts. I think it is important for students to apply what they have learned in class because it further expresses their understanding of what they learned in the class. A downside of this project is that it is difficult to narrow what type of project you want to do, that will encompass the class. It could be that a student has a great idea, but it won’t completely express their main points of the class. It can also be limiting to a student who is not as passionate about media because this project requires a lot of effort. I also think that students who are very passionate about media will enjoy it more, while others will try to do the minimum required.

Like I stated earlier the research for this project really encouraged me to apply the ideas and theories we discussed in, which is evident in the ways I analyzed and engaged with my sources. I think the research for this project gave me a better understanding of the course because I was viewing it through the lens of the music industry. Therefore, it enhanced my interest in the project. Specifically it helped me understand how new media influences our daily lives because it revolved around the concept of social media. And social media is something that is constantly present in our daily lives.

Danah Boyd’s article “Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace” was very important for my project because it discusses the purpose and influence Myspace had on users and those apart of the music industry. It provided groundwork of understanding to the initial impacts of social on the music industry. Further, it allowed me to draw on the interactions that occur with fans and musicians. In the end it was very beneficial when used to analyze different pieces based on consumption, interaction and beginnings of social media within the music industry. Another piece that was important in the construction of the argument of the project was Nancy Baym’s piece The new shape of online community: The example of Swedish independent music fandom. This piece was the very base of the project because I spent significant amount of time discussing music fandoms. It also provided examples for the section in the project that talked about independent artists’ interactions with social media. Baym’s piece was easy to apply broadly in the project, but also specifically in subsections of the project.

Based on my experience with this project I think that new media specifically social media is shifting into a powerful role within society because of its economic and cultural influences. I think in terms of the music industry, social media will either become the backbone of the industry and can either change it for the better or worse. While social media is great for reaching a large audience, it promotes the idea that in order to be a successful artist you need to have a large audience and be a people pleaser. Therefore, while it can open the door for artists that would normally not have the opportunity to break into the music industry, it allows opens the door for anyone. So I personally think it lower the standard of the music industry. Yes I think it is amazing that so many smaller artists are getting a chance, but what about when they do get discovered and realize that they need to conform to the new norm of social media in order to remain relevant. They run a higher risk of losing themselves in social media. In the end only time can tell, as well as how the music industry decides to react to social media.

The most important lesson I learned from this project dealt with group work. I decided to have a partner for this project, but quickly learned that I would be doing the majority of the work. Therefore, an important lesson I learned it the need to be more clear and assertive when working within a group. I also learned that I need to take more time and think about the project and if id be better off doing the project on my own or with a partner. I feel that if I had known sooner what I wanted to do my project on I would have chosen to do it alone because my topic is something I am very passionate about. I learned that I need to stand up for myself more and not let people walk over me because in a project setting it ends up with you doing all of the work. I keep calling it my project because my partner was absent for the majority of of it, so yes I am still bitter, but I have learned from it. I am proud of my project, but I think it could have been so much better if I had worked on it by myself because I would have narrowed down the topic more and not had to do my partner’s part last minute. In the end other than having problems with my partner I really enjoyed this project because it provided me with the liberty to research a topic I love and apply my schoolwork.


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Media Analysis #1

Recently over break I attended a concert of one of my favorite bands, The 1975. I have always been the type of person who is passionate about music, but especially live music. So whenever I get the chance to go to a concert I try to enjoy every second of it. One of the main reasons I enjoy going to concerts is because I enjoy their “liveness”. The Dead Media Archive defines liveness, as “the absence of writing” but a place where “encoding and decoding [are] happening simultaneously”. When I talk about liveness in terms of concerts, I define it to be a presence that is spatially and temporally live. The Dead Media Archive goes into detail defining the differences between different types of liveness, including the one that will be focusing on more. Concerts are temporally live because they are only live for a short period of time. They are also spatially live because you have to be present in the location the concert is occurring. Both of these are important components of liveness because “there is an uncertainty to liveness” (Dead Media Archive). The uncertainty is evident in the differences between performances because “a performance one night may be longer than the next; a performer can make a mistake or intentionally cause problems” (Dead Media Archive).

Here are a few examples from my concert I attended. I arrived at the venue 4 hours before they would be opening the doors, and during this time I spent it with friends as well as interacting with other fans. I think that once you are waiting in line for a concert, the concert experience begins. Therefore, not everyone who is waiting for a 1975 concert will experience the same things as other. For example, there were fans that camped out the night before, so their experience before and during the concert were completely different from mine. An example of the uniqueness and uncertainty of liveness was clear in how Matty (lead singer of the 1975) addressed the audience. There was a moment between songs where he took the opportunity to ask the audience to take a few steps back because there were too many passing out and with no room. First of all he normally doesn’t have to ask audiences to do that, but the amount of fans that were passing out was incomparable to their other concerts. Another example had to do with a song they performed, Milk. They normally don’t play this song live, so the change in the set list added to the unique aspect present in liveness. There were multiple examples of liveness within this concert, but these are a few that closely fell with the spatial and temporal liveness.

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Daily Question #10

Jarvis states that we “have the tools (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube…) to create and join publics, establishing our own identities and societies. I see that as a purer form of the public, built not around the interests of the powerful but instead around our own interests, desires, and needs.”

I agree him when he says we have more control about the public, but couldn’t it just be that the “powerful” are simply giving us what we want? Would you consider that as us having more influence or those who control the public sphere as simply appeasing us? And do you think we aren’t looked at as “faceless poll numbers and anonymous demographics” anymore? 

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Daily Quest #9

Kelly states that “not every artist is cut out, or willing, to be a nurturer of fans. Many musicians just want to play music, or photographers just want to shoot, or painters paint, and they temperamentally don’t want to deal with fans, especially True Fans.” She also states that when artist aren’t cut out to deal with their fans they have mediators do it for them. I was a little confused because she states that they can still aim for 1,000 fans, but wouldn’t it make sense for their “true fans” count to go up? To make myself clearer, my question is since there are more people involved in the artist’s career shouldn’t their true fans goal be higher because they have more people depending on the artist?

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Daily Quest #8

My questions stem from Nancy Baym’s statement in her article that “online platforms and locales have become increasingly specialized in the functions they serve for fans”. First, what are different examples of platforms that are “specialized in functions they serve for fans”, now? Second, since there has been an emergence in youtube, vine and musical.ly fans could it be argued that different platforms or apps are for specific types of fans or creators?

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Text Response Week #8

I currently have a friend that is taking a break from Facebook. Her reason behind the break has to do with the fact that the content on her Facebook is not at a standard that she thinks reflects her interests. Another specific reason she chose to take a break was because of the different types of political videos that were showing up on her feed. There was one specific video that caused her to go over the edge and make a statement that she would be off Facebook until the election had passed.

Honan’s article really goes hand in hand with what my friend was experiencing, prior her Facebook break. While she didn’t necessarily like everything she saw on her feed, Facebook started catering to the things she did like. I remember there was various times where she would show me videos or posts of things that would make her really upset and would never like. But since she had liked similar videos that were based on the same topic, Facebook simply kept feeding her posts based on that. Morgan touches on this by discussing her experience with the “algorithm does not understand the psychological nuances of why you might like one thing and not another even though they have comparatively similar keywords and reach similar audiences” (Morgan).

She recently told me how she feels less stressed ever since she started her Facebook break because she doesn’t encounter daily posts that would otherwise make her upset. Also she said that she doesn’t have to see what others are posting, which added more pressure for her to interact with them. I think this has to do with the fact that she has always been quite an active person on Facebook whether it was sharing videos and posts she agreed with or simply liking and commenting on other pictures.

One thing I am curious about it how her feed has changed due to the fact that she has been inactive for so long. Does Facebook track your log-ins, if so will her feed be different from what Morgan experienced? Does the prior level of activity of an individual have an effect on their feed after they decide to take a break or stop liking things? These are questions that I will update on, once my friend has started using Facebook again, but if anyone has had some thoughts feel free to share them with me.


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Project Proposal

Description: Our project will take us through an investigation on how fans and viewers’ interaction with media texts has evolved. We will take a look at interactions prior and post new media. As well as look at how this way of thinking may have influenced different things in the world.

Contributors: Ashlee Villasenor and Bryce Brakebill

 Why others will be interested: It will bring allow people to gain more insight on how new media has impacted fan and viewer interaction. As well as show the negatives and positives of this.

Materials: We will use videos and text to support our argument. Both of these will be distributed throughout a blog to make it more interactive to the audience. Also may use interviews from people who are fans of different media types and ages to see how they celebrate their favorite forms of media.

Resources: A blog dedicated to this project. Camera (in case we want to add personal accounts of how fans interact now). Testimonies, online sources, different reading materials.


We agree to…

·       Collaboratively work on the project

·       Evenly divide the work

·       Openly communicate

·       Work respectably with the deadlines

  •  Design Doc: Nov. 3
  •   Showcase: Nov. 29

·       Use academic integrity to complete this project

·       Not hate each other by the end of this

·       Try to be nice

·       Respect the syllabus

·       And the brilliant professor Boessen


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Text Response Week #7 (Draft)

This past week we discussed identity in terms of the Internet. We started off the week by answering in a private reflection questions about who we thought we were. I remember finding it very difficult for me to come up with answers to all these questions because I don’t know who I am and I think its okay for me not to know. Later on we established identity to be who we are, but it changes on our context. By this we meant that depending on the circumstances we can be slightly different. For example I act differently when I am around my grandparents compared to the way I act around my closest friends. This example is tied into another point we made about identity. It is that identity is tied with our relationship with others. Everyone in our life influences us and everyone is different, so it is normal for you to act differently depending on who is surrounding you at that moment. This allows identity to be characterized as mutable, because our identity is constantly changing within our lives with regards to the Internet and relationships.

The Internet has made identity even more mutable because it allows individuals to have more credibility and the freedom of anonymity. It has also impacted the levels of privacy by creating binary levels. Gilmor discusses in his article how credibility is difficult to determine on the internet because the capabilities of people are infinite. Another point he discusses is the fact that “anonymity is enshrined in our culture”. He acknowledges that it can be bad at times, but it is a freedom that the people cannot be denied.

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Daily Quest #7

Honan states that “the things we read and watch have become hyper-niche and cater to our specific interests”. And Morgan  argues that his facebook “feed has relaxed and become more conversational”, in result from his deterrence from using the like button. Maybe I don’t completely understand since I haven’t done the experiment myself, but if you aren’t liking new things isn’t your facebook feed simply going to be filled with topics or things you previously liked? Therefore aren’t our feeds still a “niche” of our specific interests even if we choose not to like things? I agree that the things we like add unnecessary clutter to our feed, but I think both Honan and Morgan are looking at it from extreme point of views. Are all the things that come up form our likes really that bad? 


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