Many of the themes and ideas discussed in BCM240 (media, audience, place) require further study and understanding than only that of the classes and the readings. In order to discover my own philosophies and opinion on each individual topic, I utilized further articles to expand my knowledge. Some interesting information that assisted me to grow as a blogger and researcher was the research method of ethnography. Toombs (2014) article specifically helped me to understand the concept of participation in research; and how ethnography can lead to more results than simply qualitative data. Couldry has also been a consistent reference for media research and blogging experience, as his common discussion includes the importance of media theory and practice. His discussions have played a role in assisting and further developing my blogging skills. Lastly, Napoli (an independent reference) has contributed consistently to my understanding of the audience in the media environment.
During the combined course, skills were learnt and developed throughout the topics; television and media spaces, media and ethnography, Internet and the family home, cinemas and changing experiences, personal devices and public spaces, the value of media attention, and regulating media for audiences. Combined with the assistance from readings and independent references, my knowledge and understanding of media, audience, and place has been enlightened and continued to flourish.
Multiple research methods such as interviewing, accompanied by ethnography also helped with understanding other perspectives, often identifying more relevant features than on our own. Looking at the introduction of the television and the Internet, my grandmother offered interesting insight to an experience that cannot have been something that I could have just Googled online.
The ethnographic process came into play in almost every blog; we would immerse ourselves in an experience and the results would be our personal outcomes. When assessing the cinema experience, Hagerstrand’s constraints came into action much more than I had anticipated. I had previously acknowledged that the cinema had limitations (that being my reason for not attending so often), but his specific constraints had not yet been identified to me. In this case, Hagerstrand’s constraints helped me to identify my reasons for changing my film experience from the cinema, to other platforms such at ‘Netflix’.
Conducting our own experiments was particularly interesting, quite often results were not what they were predicted to be. Looking back to the attention experiment; I thought that I would accurately predict my families behavior, but often things were discovered that would not have previously been recognized.
Many of the topics were intriguing and continued to bring further examples and information to light. But in order for my blog to reach its potential with audience reader engagement, certain methods took place. Relevant tags are implemented onto every blog post to ensure maximum coverage to those interested. I also incorporated the use of links to twitter to expand my audience reach to additional media platforms.
To engage with other bloggers, I understood it essential to communicate through comments and likes to offer further support and constructive criticism. If I have further relevant information to offer in support; then my engagement with another blogger can only be beneficial to both parties. I always appreciate when another blogger comments positive feedback on my work; it allows an interconnection between the subject, we can learn and grow together.
My main feedback from task 1 suggested that I look at the design and overall impression of my blog, I will admit that I had put much more effort into the blogs content than appearance. Specifically I was advised to engage more with the ‘About’ component of my blog. I had never been to tech savvy with WordPress and to be honest, I had never known that I had the ‘About’ section on my blog. I had seen it on other blogs but assumed it to be an optional extra. I attempted to personalize it and keep it interesting to my readers. I included my subject details, my University, and a fact that I had found to be interesting; “Bubble wrap was originally intended to be wallpaper”. I had understood this fact to be interesting, and hopefully engaging to my readers; irrelevant but intriguing. I also included a picture, of a cockatiel and a look alike banana; this photo was funny and hopefully offered humour to my audiences. Additionally feedback included a general personalization of my blog, so along with the picture of the cockatiel I included some information about some pet cockatiels that I used to have.
I enjoyed the blogging process, it allows freedom, time and space to answer and discuss questions. Almost as if we were just discussing in a tutorial; however I know that people do get anxious to offer differing opinions to a diverse class. The blogs allow us to take our own spin on a topic, ask our own questions, and make a discussion personal. I enjoyed taking my own spin on different ideas, the freedom to tackle themes in a personal manner was helpful and allows supportive constructive criticism between peers and different audiences. It was a graceful experience to be able to branch off on our own to discover our own independent sources. Use of independent sources allowed a broader scope with every class discussion to make it my own. Use of provided and independent sources combined, allowed for a more in depth and report and discussion.
Although, I will admit that I found some instruction to be complicated and a struggle to manage and follow. Additional specifics would have been useful to many bloggers I believe. But even with challenges, it has been helpful to engage with peers and fellow bloggers in reaching an understanding.
Couldry, N 2004, ‘Theorising Media as Practice’, Social Semiotics, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 115-132.
Ellegård, K, & Svedin, U 2012, ‘Torsten Hägerstrand’s time-geography as the cradle of the activity approach in transport geography’, Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 23, no. Special Issue on Time Geography, pp. 17-25.
Napoli, P 2009, ‘Revisiting “Mass Communication” and the “Work” of the Audience in the New Media Environment’,Conference Papers — International Communication Association, pp. 1-33.
Toombs, 2014, Falling in: how ethnography happened to me and what I’ve learned from it, Available From: < http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2014/03/17/falling-in/ >