The process of blogging on topics relevant to media, audience and place has been an enlightening and rewarding process. It has allowed exploration and discussion of a diverse range of topics as well as the opportunity to publish my work in the public domain. By writing an online blog, your work is accessible to people from around the world and thus one must write with this potential global audience in mind. It is imperative to write in an engaging, accurate and concise manner as you’re competing with a myriad of other content on the internet.
In writing the blog, I attempted to maintain an academic style, while remaining accessible and appealing for a wide audience. This was assisted by the contemporary nature of the weekly blog topics and their relevance to a wide audience. Although I had a vast potential audience dispersed around the world, the conversion of potential readers into actual readers was negligible. This could have been improved by having an improved knowledge of the wordpress blogging platform, in particular learning to tag my posts with relevant of popular tags would assist in reaching a larger readership. A greater presence on social media, notably engaging with the BCM 240 hashtag may have also brought more visitors to my blog.
Maintaining a weekly presence online was made more difficult by falling ill for a couple of weeks at the start of the session. This ensured I had several weeks of content to catch up on as well as an array of weekly tasks to conduct for other subjects. This circumstance made posting regularly a challenge and resulted in a lack of engagement with other blogs. This was disappointing as the topic of media usage and its affects are of great interest to me, in particular how these have changed over time and continue to shape modern society. I plan on reading and hopefully replying to other bloggers during the upcoming week off to garner a diverse range of opinions and insights into the topic. Doing so at an earlier date would have likely increased traffic on my blog but I still wish to see the topics raised and manner of blogging taken by other members of the class.
One notable aspect of publishing the blog was working on stipulations for the use of audio visual content taken from public settings that featured members of the public. The task required us to publish photographs of individuals interacting with their mobile phones and screens in public. As these were to be published online, it was integral that we formed a personal code of conduct regarding the use of images that contained images of others. I decided that I would ask permission to use a photograph if it featured an easily identifiable person. Although the Arts Law Centre of Australia states that it is unnecessary to seek permission for this type of photo, I saw it as courteous to seek permission to publish to pictures. An optimal photo required the subject to be unaware I was actually taking the image. It was somewhat awkward asking the person for permission after taking the picture, as they were always completely oblivious to what I was doing and it come as a surprise that someone was watching through a lens. However, once people were shown the picture and explained the intended usage, they were generally supportive and had no issue with the use of their image in my blog.
While taking the photographs was potentially the most difficult aspect of the assignment, the most enjoyable was interviewing my mother on her early memories of television and visiting the movie theatre. This task exemplified the importance of media on people’s lives and furthermore the impact of location and setting on the media experience. Given the chance my mum would have talked for hours about her introduction to film at the Merlynston movie theatre. The vivid level of detail in her recollections, including the walk to the theatre, the state of the building and the rambunctious audience made up of local children was astounding.
The notion of the entire neighbourhood watching the same television seems absurd in the contemporary age of highly converged personal media devices. However, this was the norm growing up in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. For my mother the battles for the control of the television and being crammed around the one television set brought back stronger memories than the actual programmes watched. For older readers such tales may prompt feelings of nostalgia, while younger readers, used to highly personal media devices may find such stories assist an analysis of how the relationship between media audiences and place have altered over time.
This blog allows the reader to gain a deeper appreciation of the way audiences interact with media content. Furthermore, through my blogging I sought to demonstrate how location affects how we interact with media technologies and how the spaces in which we use these media devices have altered greatly over time. Ideally the blog would have been more widely read and there are definitive steps I could have taken to broaden my online profile and reach out to a larger audience.