So You want to be a Writer Kid #1.01

So there are thousands out there wanting to be a writer, and the fact is very few can make something out of it. So why not you? If you want to make it, you have to practice at being different. When writing its easy to go to the stereotypes and the same old story, most of the time you don’t even realise that is what you have done. So what is the point of this blog series? I want to share everything I have learned from screenwriting and watching the greats strut their stuff. Surprisingly there is a lot to learn from watching other people, the trick is teaching yourself how to put it into practice, that’s where I come in.

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What is more powerful: Tumblr or the producers

With the rise of social media platforms like Tumblr, audiences aren’t satisfied by just reading the books or just watching an episode every week anymore. The audience is searching for deeper stories and the creators of this content need to be able to transform their work into media that can converge into multiple platforms. Social media platforms like Tumblr, have given fans authority over their shows like never before. They have the ability to build up or tear down the reputation of content with one simple post. The producers are more aware of the bloggers powers ever day, and are increasing beginning to accommodate for that. Social media platforms have transformed how the content media industry functions and how the audience participates with the content. Tumblr has been described by Mansfield (2012) as ‘part blogging platform part social networking community, and part social media dashboard’ Launched in 2007 it gained astronomical traction. A month on Tumblr sees 507 million visits with 13 billion page views. When compared with websites like wordpress.com, which experiences roughly ten million more users than Tumblr, Tumblr has 70 million more views than WordPress

Tumblr has become a platform for the fans, across multiple genres. What Tumblr offers its users is the ability to participate the creation of artifacts for the media content. The audience does not want to be restricted by when they can access their content for example only when a show airs every week.  As Jenkin (2006) describes “desires of consumers to have the media they want where they want it, when they want it, and in the format they wantAs a result it has created produsage users in which they have begun to create their own content and share it among other users, creating a online universe of their favourite content. Booth (2010) expresses ‘fan created fan fiction allows other fans to reread the show in a new way. Rereading is a critical aspect of the fan’s online interaction with a media object’ Tumblr has often been described as the ‘fangirl site’ in which fans of different content are very dedicated in making GIFS, fan fiction, editing photos of the content and discussing spoilers about new content. These fans create their own tumblr communities based on their content.

More and more fans have begun to use social media sites and blogging platform to take control of their favourite content, particularly among television fans. At the end of 2011, NBC cancelled the television show Community from returning in 2012. Through sites like Tumblr and twitter, the fans organised a protest outside NBC’S Rockafella Center, demanding that it be renewed for another season

Then, in arguably the most useful protest of the Occupy movement so far, a group of nefariously bearded Community fans from the dark timeline decided to flash mob NBC and express their disgruntlement – Trumbore (2011)

Eventually NBC responded to the protest and Community was at first renewed for just half a season. Fans have always had the power considering that they are the ratings, but know they have platforms in which they can be heard.  Firefly is well-known for having a very dedicated following, what could of have happened if Tumblr and even twitter was around when Firefly was cancelled. Perhaps a different outcome could have arose ten years ago, that instead of being cancelled the fans could have rallied for more seasons and they would have been heard. Platforms like Tumblr are reshaping the relationship between the consumer and the producer as it is giving the consumer a place to be heard.

Media corporations are starting to adapt to the changing relationship between the audience and the creators. Tumblr is being used frequently by the fans of the TV shows to critique of the most recent episodes and discuss up coming episodes. Media Corporations realise the power “loyal” fans have in the value of a show and are increasingly starting to target these fans.

Loyals are fans, and although they may be in the minority of viewers, “advertisers are increasingly realizing that they be better investing their dollars behind a show that have high favourability rather than shows that have high ratings” [24]. Indeed loyals tend to purchase more products, percentage wise, than do other types of media audience. When these producers court fans and fan communities, the resulting increase in critical praise and profits can also help the media company’ – Booth (2010)

Minutes after an episode has aired in the USA, the fans are already making GIFS from their favourite moments of that episode and sharing them on Tumblr. As a result fans in UK, Australia and all round the world are able to access the episodes by watching GIFS quicker than ever before; They are able to access new content, whenever they want and in new formats.  A new TV show Oxygen has teamed up with Tumblr to infuse their TV show with GIFS made by the fans. Traditionally, GIFS were made by the fans to recap and pray tribute to their favourite part of the episodes, but Oxygen has designed its programme so that each week the fans GIFS will be part of the episode. This interaction between the producers and the consumers has never been this direct in that the fans can have an active part in the creation of their shows content.

Recent research about the use of secondary screen use whilst watching television by Neuro insight, MCA Australia and the Seven Television Network has produced interesting results. Their results found that using social media at the same time as watching television programmes increased programme engagement with the audience by 9%. Four times during a programme, the average audience will interact with social media about the programme which has resulted in details being encoded into the audiences memory. This means that the audience are more likely to remember specific elements from the telelvision programmes. Fans then use the social media sites like Tumblr to discuss and reflect on these moments. This affects how producers take on their shows, recently television shows have started to provide their social media accounts information at the bottom of the screen. Producers are investing a lot more effort to encourage their audiences to participate on social media sites like Tumblr because they have discovered the benefits of using platforms like Tumblr and Twitter in conjunction with their content.

Everyday Tumblr is setting more and more trends on the internet ‘What takes off on Tumblr these days often breaks through as viral phenomena on the internet at large…Tumblr is unstoppable’ – Dumenco (2013). Look at what happened with youtube user Mcharris222, he created his own video ‘A Disney sing-along sequel’ and put it onto Youtube in March 2012. The video went viral when the video was shared on Tumblr. So much so that mcharris222 created another video, ‘Thank you Tumblr ;)’ in April 2012 thanking the users on Tumblr for creating so many views. This is not surprising when you look at the amount of traffic Tumblr has been getting daily resulting in ‘Tumblr’ being a bigger Google search than ‘Blog’ In November 2012, as Tumblr is one of the ten most visited sites in the world, the online presence

Tumblr has reshaped the way in which content flows between the producer and the consumer. It has given its users a platform to become Produsers, sharing their content with other users, creating their own universe of Transmedia storytelling.

References

  1. Mansfield, H. 2012, Social media for social good: a how-to guide for nonprofits, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  2. Booth, P (2013). Digital Fandom; New media studies. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc. 10-20.
  3. Trumbore, D. 2011, Community Flash Mob Occupies NBC Rockefella Centre, collider.com, accessed 23/4/2013, http://collider.com/community-flash-mob
  4. Hernandez, B A. (2013). Oxygen teams up with Tumblr to infuse TV Shows With GIFS, mashble.com, accessed 2/6/2013, http://mashable.com/2013/04/23/oxygen-tumblr-gifs-best-ink-2/.
  5. Miller, S. (2013). Social Media drives increase in TV programme engagement say studies, Research-live.com, Accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.research-live.com/news/news-headlines/social-media-drives-increase-in-tv-programme-engagement-says-study/4009516.article
  6. Dumenco, S. 2013, ‘It’s a Crying Shame Tumblr Hasn’t Quite Figured Out Its Revenue Problem Yet’, Ad age, accessed 26/4/2013, http://adage.com/article/the-media-guy/tumblr-s-revenue-problem-a-crying-shame/240806/
  7. Alfonso III, F. (2013). ‘Tumblr’ Now More Popular Google Search than ‘Blog’, Daily Dot, Accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.dailydot.com/news/tumblr-blog-google-search-rankings/
  8. Mcharris222 (2012) ‘A Disney sing-along sequel’, Accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0v-V2_g4rI
  9. Mcharris222 (2012)‘Thank you Tumblr ;)’, accessed 2/6/2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I-z1ccHns8

Annon.

More and more blogs and professional journalists are being targeted by misogyny and anonymous hate messages, which has resulted in a lot of these blogs turning off their comment sections or even shutting down their blogs all together.  Even on this blog (which has only been functioning for 3-4 months) i have already received over 200 messages, most were random spam messages.

Anonymous hate on Tumblr has become a real issue for the millions of users. I have been using tumblr for the last three years and luckily have never had to deal with misogyny or any annonmous hate but I have witnessed a lot of anon hate experienced by some of my followers.
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The Tumblr community has started mobialising to combat anon hate using similar methods used in the  #mencallmethings campaign. One tumblr blogger even created a Blog called Men Call Me Things which was dedicated to explaining what was happening with the twitter hashtag as well as creating their own videos about the issues surrounding Misoygny and anonymous hate messages. Blogs like the ‘Combatting Anon Hate’ for example, are also being created every day which are dedicated to fighting the anonymity war online. Bloggers have even started creating video’s on YouTube about the anon hate.

At the moment there is no easy answer to stopping anonymous hate on the internet. Bloggers can not allow comments on their blogs, even start new ones, but is that really a solution?

I was NOT expecting that!

How many times have we been shown a video on YouTube or even a link on Facebook and been thoroughly surprised. This is the remix culture just one of the many ways the audience is transforming into participatory culture. We hear or see something we are familiar with (a song, part of a movie or even just a famous person) but the meaning is changed as someone in the world adds it to another piece of content. These videos are being made in the multitudes every single day, and thanks to social media sites like Tumblr and twitter, more and more of these creations are going viral.

(In the spirit of Mother’s Day next week I choose this example) This group of women created a parody of ‘bohemian rhapsody‘ by the band Queen,  in which they changed the meaning of the song and performed their parody in a church in America. How has this content changed? Well for one thing I was on the floor laughing at this video; which means now that this iconic song has a humorous Mother’s Day side to it. Why? Because someone changed the meaning of the content.

But how was I able to see it? I wasn’t at the church when they recorded it, I don’t even know what church it is. Somebody in the audience recorded the content and used platforms like YouTube and Facebook to share the video. The concept of a remix culture has meant that ordinary people like the women on the video can become overnight internet celebrities

But its not just internet success for these creators. Remember that guy Weird Al Yankovic. His skill of remixing songs into amazing parodies led to him becoming so international known. Other rising stars The Key of Awesome, teddiefilms, Degabros and collegehumor have all been able to create their own fame by creating similar parodies.

I’m Sorry…Were you still using that?

One of the major markers, I’d argue, is in the participatory capacity of digital media: the ways in which the distinction between producers of media and consumers of media begins to collapse…Once you start contributing and sharing and connecting with the work of those who connect with yours, you’re engaging in something called produsage. You’re in the network. – theory.cribchronicles.com

Welcome to the produsage age! Where every man and his dog have the ability to create and consume. Everyone has the power if they wish to use it. People now have the ability to create new images and ideas and share them over the internet, then have other users change them, re-develop them, make them something greater. Of course the downside to that is if they didn’t want it edited, that’s the cost of sharing intellectual property in the public sphere.

The one of the best examples I have seen for the new relationship caused by produsage is between John Green (author of the ‘The Fault in our stars’) and the Tumblr community. He created the novel, his artifact, which was then made into a painting, which in-turn was transformed into a poster they could sell and was all done by people from different parts of the world. This transaction wouldn’t have been possible with the previous relationship between producers and consumers in that so many people could connect and create. This gives the audience a new gateway to participate with their favourite content whether it is: books, movies, TV shows, comics, YouTube channels, bloggers. They are able to create their own content, whether its GIFs, Fan fictions, or fan art, the produsage age has created a new brand of audience.

Hold on to your mouses, icarly could really happen

I have always had a fondness for childrens television shows, but icarly always annoyed me. As if three teenagers could become celebraties from vlogging; but what does it all actually mean? More than likely you would have heard of Youtube channels like , the Janoskians, Jenna Marbles and Pez films. They all made videos and started posting on Yotube, getting views into the millions like these videos below.

As a result of their popularity the Janoskians have been picked up by Sony (who knows why) and Pez films has been hired to make stop motion ad’s for company’s. All this was achieved without publishers and agents.

This creates opportunities for people like me. I have created and written my own television show and I’m currently doing the circuit trying to get it signed. IF I CANT I can make webisodes post them on youtube and other social media platforms and try to build the popularity online and get it noticed that way. Even twitter is changing the relationship; now you can trend a topic and tag the actor, writer, producer, someone you have never met and there is a good chance they will see it. If you were to do that without twitter, you would have to go through agents, and second in commands etc. It is changing the creative industry as we know it; Artists, writers, film makers, comedians, poets, dancers. They have all been given a platform to express themselves and be heard in the world.

If a copyrighted tree were to fall in a crowded area, would we be allowed to hear it?

In todays modern society copyright is playing a bigger role every day. Consider tumblr, being a passionate Tumblr blogger myself I have witness countless arguments and posts complaining about certain people claiming photos, gifts, fan fictions etc. as their own, but even then are these works really the bloggers? They are using footage from TV shows and movies to created artistic collages and giffs, but this footage is copyrighted and not in the public domain.

Consider sites like fanfiction that host thousands of fan written stories inspired by the characters of their favourite book, television show and movies…But do they have the right to make them in the first place. According to copyright, No they don’t. What does that do to the consumers let alone the prosumers our society is turning into

How does copyright affect comedy shows like “the big bang theory” and “Community” where a large portion of their show is based on references and homage to different shows, brands, books, comics, etc. what counts as a breach of copyright and what is acceptable as fair use. Is referencing an idea, concept,or a book a breach of copyright?

The writers of Community have an incredible attitude towards  ownership and copyright rules. The first “fan video” made using footage from the show was done to the song “gravity”. Because of the copyright rules the writers and producers had the right to remove the footage INSTEAD they payed tribute to their fans by paying $50,000 dollars for the rights to play that song in an episode. That interaction changes the relationship between the producers and consumers.

On the flip side, consider Disneys attitude towards its content and audience. When disney’s movies reach a certain age they are put in the disney vault for a set time. For a limited time every ten years the  movie is released again as “platinum” or “silver” editions, increasing the price with every “upgrade”.

“Disney claims the Vault keeps its movies new for each generation, but the Vault is really all about market control. The company enjoyed getting a fresh infusion of money from each of its animated films for each re-release, so they found a way to recreate this cash flow for the modern home video market…By releasing a movie for a limited time, Disney takes advantage of being able to sell the film for the full price, then pulls the movie off the market” [1]

Disney attempts to restrict the access the consumer has to its content other than what it prescribes. Disney has gained greater control over more content. just last year they purchased the copyrights to “Marvel comics”.

“Under the deal Disney will now control and own 5,000 Marvel characters, including Iron Man and Spider-Man” [2]

Although Disney hasn’t enforced their copyright rights, the concept of the vault potentially being enforced across all their channels raises issues with controlling content from the public domaine.

Through my tumblr feed I came across this video in tribute to Disney classics.Would you consider this a breach of copyright regulations or is it within fair use.

[1] the disney vault: why does it exist

[2]Disney purchases Marvel