Putting social, back into the social networking sites.

I started out on this unit with a couple of questions, Are gadgets eradicating the uncertainty in life and does happiness depend on taking chances? As I read previously a very interesting article in “New Scientist”

I wanted to do a research project that would inform not only my investigative study but also my extended major project, so I started by reading a lot of books a and articles on the post-digital age and our post-digital life styles, looking at psychology and philosophy of happiness and the post-digital age, I wanted to look into what effects it may have on our lives as individuals so that is what I set out doing. Really focusing on the content and thought about what context I wanted to but the research into, this slowly developed as my research went on i read more into more about decline in context and how we distracted by it to give me more of a narrowed subject to research.

I started by building a vending machine had it programmed using “Arduino”, The idea was to test people reaction when you take away there control as the vending machine dispensed sweets not at all or uncontrollably and see how people would react, I didn’t see how it would fit in with question, because I felt it needed to more interactive be more contextual.

I then came up with the idea the second was a simple push button that would open up two options, one a video response designed to scare the view and one dispense a prize it was a test if will react emotionally stronger when something bad happens or something good happens and to get people to take a chance and give up control that perhaps gadgets give us too much of, a good idea I thought but I wanted something simple, basic this is when the social media boards came out social media has become such a big thing in our daily lives and perhaps has for some become a addiction with 1 in 9 young people checking there “Facebook” 20x a day, this was something I wanted to make people aware of and getting them interacting as they would with many of the social media sites but rather than doing this online I wanted to get them have conversions and interacting around the board giving people more context around the conversions rather than just looking at and typing on a device. Which gladly people did some people even to photos of the board, which I thought, was quite interesting. I learnt a lot from this unit about research methods, also that content and the context in which be put them in is important and is perhaps being slightly lost or blurred because of the way we use devices, interacting in the physically world so something I was adamant in getting people to do. I also wanted to see what people would put by just being given one fact a bunch of logo’s painted and printed post-it notes and some pens

An people seemed to engage with it really well people engaged in the socially having physical conversations.

The piece is all about context, context helps give meaning sight, smells and touch these are contexts which we are perhaps losing in the post-digital age, take music for example you may own a 7-inch vinyl and it even may have it’s original cover, creased, faded and worn perhaps like one of mine it my have a slight coffee stain from when my brother knocked a cup over. They all carry reminders etched onto the music itself in the form scratches and groves unrecorded by the bands.

Now damaged vinyl is extremely annoying, and it’s tendency to scratch was a good reason to embrace CD’s and digital MP3 but when music goes digital we lose it’s context. For example 2004 when Apple iPods hit the mainstream apple advertisement showed blacked-out silhouette figures dancing to sounds from their iPod’s nothing else existed in the world of the iPod apart from music.

This is perhaps what is happening with social media it has never had the contextual benefits that a face-to-face conversation has such as body language, tone of voice ECT, an this was what I was aiming to show people by having people interact as they would on many of the sites but giving them the advantage of a very contextual environment. In which to share there views, images and thoughts.

Take this story for example –

I made a mixtape for my girlfriend, but music wasn’t a life-or-death issue for her. She would listen to it in the car, or with friends at parties. That didn’t bother me; our relationship was staked on more important things. Around this time, both of us had become fascinated by a book called Codex Seraphinianus. Explaining the book here would take too long, but suffice it to say that it was beautiful, mysterious, and at the time, completely-out-of-print and selling only in rare-book circles for thousands of dollars. Improbably, her college library had a copy. We took it out; pored over it; cherished it. Eventually, the book was recalled. Honeymoon over.
A few months later, she met someone at a party. They got to talking. “Have you ever heard of this book called Codex Seraphinianus?” he asked. The coincidence was uncovered: He was the recaller. “The weirdest thing,” he said, “was that when I took the book out of the library, I found this amazing Pavement mix stuck in the pages.” My mix: Pavement Ist Rad. “So that’s where it was!” she said. She was a space-case; I always liked that about her.
I imagined this guy finding Pavement Ist Rad like a hidden treasure. I imagined him confused, curious; I imagined him coming home and putting it on. I imagined how excited he was to feel like he was living in a world where you could still discover things so accidentally. In these daydreams, I almost never imagined the actual music, because it wasn’t the music that drew us together, it was the object: that blank CD with my handwriting on it.
We became friends, the three of us. Close friends. Does it seem too fitting that eventually the two of them started dating? Maybe. It happened though. At the time it was pretty painful, though it doesn’t seem so bad in retrospect. The relationship had run its course. Soon, CDs would be meaningless. For the moment, though, they still seemed capable of being as singular and precious as the tapes I’d made in high school. We didn’t know that then; we were transitioning too. — Mike Powell (http://pitchfork.com/features/articles/8989-medium-uncool-the-cd-turns-30/)

A nice story I thought involving just a simple CD and chance and this can’t happen with a MP3.

And this was the idea behind this piece to give social networks more context by placing them into the physical world.

“The new communications technology is extremely good at connecting together people – with each other, ideas places. So good that distraction, as we have seen, is a major social consequence. Nonetheless the ability to connect is also it’s principle benefit. It has long been an axiom of the media industry that “content is king”.”

(Distraction – Being human in the digital age by Mark Curtis, page 162)

“We are distracted by technology, and what it can do, as a subject all of it’s own. So much so that in the world of marketing,those people most likely to be distracted first have a collective name all of their own – “early adopters”. Many companies target them with innovation strategies. They are the people thought to be most likely to buy a new piece of kit when they see or hear about it. Such exposure to novelty is made more probable by the new device that appear in every newspaper and many magazines now, devoted to the exploration of distraction technologies. Technology is offering us ever more choices, especially in communication. We now have to learn how to make and manage those choices. That negotiation is with us already.”

(Distraction – Being human in the digital age by Mark Curtis, page 192)

This was also what I wanted to look at also in terms of the technology and the addiction we perhaps have to new pieces of kit, and if you look at Moore’s Law a computing term, which originated around 1970; the simplified version of this law states that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years, an these early adopters are first in line take for example Apple had more than 2m iPhone 5s ordered in the first 24 hours the handset was on sale although some customers would have to wait until October to get their hands on the phone.

Presentation Audio for Specialist Project

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About michaelmoore32

An aspiring director and designer of films and visual effects. I love creating various media products of all shapes and sizes. I have recently gone on to broadening my horizons looking towards interactive media which including video mapping as away to display work and also as an advertising platform for products. Check out some of my work on my Blog,YouTube and also follow me on Twitter where I will keep you up to date on work I am currently working on and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Posted on November 23, 2012, in Specialist Project, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hey my name is Rebecca and I’m a student and this article really aided me. I’m motivated! Thanks!

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