Archive | March, 2011

Digital archiving – a way of remembering.

29 Mar

What's on your mind?

Pretty much almost everything we do online, such as updating our Facebook status, tweeting, tagging, creating a photo album, saving a webpage, accessing journals, looking for directions, and posting comments are all considered as forms of archiving.

How have these forms come about?

Since the growing population of the internet and the introduction of various new technologies including portable web devices, the amazing iPhone, E-readers and Youtube (to name a few), forms of archiving as well as methods of accessing data and even sharing what we are doing to others have undergone major changes. Nowadays, it doesn’t take much to preserve information and data and as a result of these changes, it has become so much of a habit that it seem’s as though we are archiving to remember things!

As mentioned in this weeks readings, an archive is basically any way of storing and arranging information for future access. One reading in particular that made things a lot clearer for me was the blog post by Jon Stokes who uses web giant, Google as a metaphor for this notion of archiving by stating that if the internet is an archive, then Google is the catalogue. Whatever we type into the search bar, Google will present us with multiple direct links to that content.

Lets look at memory.

Whenever post a photo onto Facebook, what we are doing is digitally storing our memories for later access. Months later we may look back on these photos and re-live, in a sense, that memory. Bascially, all the data we enter and post on facebook is archived as digital memory. This idea of technologies relationship to human memory was also mentioned in the book ‘Archive Fever’ by philosopher Jacques Derrida who states;

 The technical structure of the archiving archive also determines the structure of the archivable content…archivization produces as much as it records the event.

 Most of us are not aware that everytime we share what we are doing, or upload a photo from a night out – we are creating a personal archive that allows for peices of our past to merge in amongst the present. We are creating, what Matt Ogle refers to as ‘a tool for remembering’.

References

Stokes, Jon (2003) ‘Reading Notes: Archive Fever’, Ars Technica, June 27

Ogle, Matt (2010) ‘Archive Fever: a love letter to the post real-time web’ – http://mattogle.com/archivefever/ (Accessed March 27th, 2011)

Facebook image – http://www.chocolatemintsinajar.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/What-is-on-your-mind-facebook.jpg

 

 

The not so basic Actor-Network Theory…

20 Mar

And the theory begins.

Im going to begin by apologising in advance for this blog post. Although I managed to get through this week’s readings, I can honestly say that I was left a little confused, and hopefully I am not the only one.

This so called ‘actor-network theory’ is a sociological theory developed by sociologists Bruno Latour, Michel Callon and John Law that not only contains people, but objects and organisations as well which we would refer to as ‘actors’. What I was able to gather from the readings is that this theory (ANT) in in fact based on the idea of networks and the relations between the social and technical elements that exist within that network. What most of us may be unaware of is that this Actor-network theory can in fact be applied to our daily routines. For example, when we attend lectures at uni, the actor network that exists would include the students and the lecturer, as well as particular objects including the projector screen, the computer/lector and computer software, the microphone, notebooks, overhead projectors, pens and seats (to name a few).

What this theory aims to prove is that “any actor, whether person, object (including computer software, hardware, and technical standards), or organization, is equally important to a social network” in maintaining societal order. (Wade, M. 2005). What this means is that in order to maintain social order, all actors and relations must be continuously performed to avoid these networks from falling apart and dissolving. Another example would be at a train station. In order to ensure the smooth running of this network, trains would need to be operating on time, drivers would need to come to work and computers need to keep running. Here is a more complex look at the actor-network of trains.

Actor Network - Trains

Overall, ANT has proven to be quite a distinctive approach to social theory, but at the same time has faced criticism over-time and is constantly being questioned as a learning theory as it fails to consider the aspect of power amongst organisations/networks as well as HOW such networks are in fact created.

I came across this video that helps demonstrate the basics of such a complex theory.

It is quite obvious that my understanding of this concept is still a little unclear, but hopefully discussion in class will clear this up!

Video vs. Print: the new vehicle for content?

11 Mar

One of this weeks readings that grabbed my attention was the article by Beet.TV regarding Youtube as being a Primary Publishing Platform which had me thinking, is video the new vehicle for publishing content?

As mentioned in my previous blog, the convergence of technology has lead to the shift from traditional print publishing to digital publishing. However…exactly how effective is this mode? Lets look at Youtube. Many companies are now turning to Youtube as a vehicle for advertising, promoting, product information and more importantly, as a tool for physically interacting with their customers. In the reading, Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise states that this physical engagement model through online video does not in fact exist in the traditional publishing model. Print publishing does not offer customers a convenient opportunity to post comments, reviews or simply share content with others on a global level.

The same goes for news publishing. I’ll admit that I’d much prefer to WATCH news rather than READ it. This is merely due to the fact that video offers visual communication which I personally believe is engaging audiences and grabbing their attention more so than communication via print such a newspapers. The differences between the two modes are that video aims to get a message across in less than a minute, where as print offers as much information on a topic as possible… *yawn*

As video is continuously proving to be the preferred vehicle for content distribution, we often forget the disadvantages that come with it too. Can too much visual communication become a distraction? The following video by Charlie Brooker included in this weeks readings mocks the ways in which news reports are put together today. The video displays how news reports now rely more on visual camera techniques to attract viewers to the content which can actually result in viewers tuning out and watching, rather than listening to what is being said.

Whether it’s an effective tool or not, the use of online video as a primary platform for content is definately changing the face of publishing.

The future of publishing?

11 Mar

To kick off my first blog entry, I’ll begin by saying that, to my suprise….I enjoyed the first lecture! Ok yes, it may have been an introduction to the world of publishing, but it definately left me looking forward to whats to come!

This week’s readings defines the process of publishing as “the activity of making information available to the public eye”. As technology continues to converge, it is evident that publishing is no longer just ink on paper. The process of publishing has become a lot easier and much more frequent through the use of various recent forms of communication such as blogging, social networking, websites and even text messaging allowing us to to make something available for the public view.

One issue I found particularly interesting was that of the E-Book. With E-books becoming more and more diverse, it is quite evident that the notion of publishing has, and will continue to change. When was the last time you visited a bookstore? Or purchased a newspaper? I actually cannot remember my last time. I dont know about you, but I just find it much more conveninent to read my news via Google on my iPhone and I’m almost positive Im not the only one with this attitude which is definately causing a disruption in the traditional book/newspaper publishing industry.

Australian Society of Authors director, Angelo Loukakis states in a recent article “There are certainly many benefits to them [e-books] in temrs of efficiency and cost, so they’re definately leading to the extinction of bricks-and-mortar stores”. (A. Loukakis, 11th March 2011)

I can’t help but question whether this recent innovation will eventually become powerful enough to actually mark the end of reading in the future? When it comes to the crazy world of publishing, I think its safe to say that our notions of all types of information exchange will definately continue to change in the years to come.

The future of publishing?

 

References:

Image taken from: http://www.kamikazemedia.no/assets/Uploads/_resampled/SetWidth590-onlinepublishing3.jpg

Article ‘E-Books set to change publishing , says Lower Templestowe author’ – http://manningham-leader.whereilive.com.au/lifestyle/story/e-books-set-to-change-publishing-lower-templestowe-author/ – Accessed Wednesday 8th March, 2011