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The answer is: a mixture of circumstances. Some of them we can’t control, but in general what the leader of the project does or doesn’t, either helps or complicates the process of online collaboration. The key element? Planning.
During the past 3 weeks, I tried to get people to share pictures of interesting situations they encountered in the subway. I tried with a web page, a Facebook Fan page, and a Twitter account. What I got was collaboration from my own social network—friends, or friends of friends submitted some stuff, but always with a short-spanned interest. The next attempt was to tap directly on audiences already interested in the subject—Flickr groups that shared subway pictures. I also added the competition factor—first, the prize was only about prestige: getting voted as the best picture. Then, I finally got an online photography blog interested in publishing the winner picture on their site.
I hoped that would spark interest a bit more, but the fact is that the new collaborations continued to spring from my previous social network and its subsequent effects. That is, when I launched the contest, I got more response from my original Facebook group (which had grown from my own contacts and the “work” I’d previously done on that platform) than from my call for Flickr collaboration. Even though I tapped on the communities that were already interested in the topic (three groups focused on underground transportation photography) and got “professionals” involved by getting them to publish the winning picture on their sites, my guess is that the Flickr group didn’t find enough reasons to take me seriously: I’d never been an active participant in Flickr before, all of my photos are uploaded on Facebook, and I’ve previously “worked” that audience much more.
What did this experience bring? A lot of learning. Not just based on my own travelogue, but I tried to learn from Leslie’s excellent results what had worked in her case as well.
I’d like to share my findings in this video:
Even though the contest wasn’t successful, I did receive some great pictures, and I’d like to share with you the most popular:
Author: Davii Rangda. Caption: A night before the “Day of the Dead” in Mexico City.
I will submit the picture to http://lagiraffe.com/, the site that was most interested in publishing the contest pictures.
Special thanks to Leslie for her help and sharing.
Here’s my concluding post – and, it’s shorter this time!
The last podcast of my travelogue explores how social media influence the mourning process. Two psychologists, Jennifer Boni and Arturo Peon, give insights into the experience of grief. Is it better to maintain the profile of a deceased person, or should it be taken down? How does technology affect the construction of personal and collective memory?
Although Facebook’s memorial profiles can facilitate the mourning process, they can also be the source of profound dismay. Security loop holes make the system vulnerable to hoaxes, and add to the grief of the people left behind.
More on grief cycle and mourning stages.
Facebook blog: Memories of Friends Departed Endure on Facebook
Jose van Dijk, Mediated Memories in the Digital Age
Sorry about this temporary conclusion. In the end, the project finally started to give some results, but very slolwly. There’s a lot to learn from that, too (I know there was a reason). I will definitely post my conclusion, but I thought I needed to wait a bit more and see if I could reach the final stage or not. Thanks, guys.
This certainly isn’t the conclusion for the NYC Ice Cream Spy, but just of me formally keeping the class updated on its whereabouts. I definitely intend to keep carrying out this project and seeing how far I can take it throughout the Spring and into the Summer.
I’ve moved my “How-To” section on how I made the bot/website back to the WordPress blog, as to not clutter the Blogger site, containing the map that I am hoping NYCers will use. Sorry for all the changing up!
Here’s my post on how the promotion of Ice Cream Spy has been going over this past week: http://icecreamspy.wordpress.com/
A quick look at the stats:
Click to discover what it is to be a museum in 2010 and what are the new challenges museums have to face to survive!
Thanks Nadine for being the best Audicity Hotline
Music and video mashups continue to proliferate in this digital age. Proprietary laws which protect artists and their affiliated companies from having their material stolen or used without their permission will continue to be criticized and circumvented by other artists. With such acclaimed artists like DJ Danger Mouse and Girl Talk who have left their mark on mashup culture, I believe that we will continue see more and more artists like these in the future.
Hopefully, businesses will continue to adapt to these cultural changes and work towards a compromise or better solution instead of simply just continuing to tighten or extend the years of proprietary laws. The current model of copyright laws are based off of greed, control, and exclusion benefiting more of the companies than the individual artists. On one hand, artists should have rights to protect their works and the incentive of financial gain if anyone wishes to use it. However, the prices to which other artists or individuals must pay in order to sample or use one’s material is too high. As a result of these outrageous fees, individuals will continue to challenge and circumvent the systems in place with the risk of being sued. However, the question remains – are companies going to sue everyone or just those who they feel are extensively profiting off of their material? Is it just a matter of ethics or a matter of money?
“Everyone has access [to content]. Enforcement is a global problem. It is a practical problem, because of the reach of where the content might appear. Finding [infringed copyrighted content] is harder. One issue the law has to deal with is this new sense of a user ‘right’, referring to that of mashup creators. User-generated mashups are changing the face of copyright laws, which have to evolve to catch up with the Internet generation. Laws need a way to catch up with changing culture. This could be in a greater recognition by the courts of the social use of user expression, or legislative change. On the part of businesses, having a solid online business model will help prevent broadcasters from taking down every use of their content. Businesses should have a clear and robust revenue stream online. We’re not there yet.” - Mary Wong, an expert on intellectual property (IP).
Music and Videos are data that have a code. They can be sliced, spliced, edited, and mashed together to get an entirely different code. Remixing or mashing up the code in one’s own unique way allows a person to potentially enrich the value of the existing program. While artists can conjure up their rights to “Fair Use” = an exemption in U.S. copyright law that allows limited use of works under copyright without permission from the rights holders. Parody, teaching, news reporting and commentary are some of the uses allowed under fair use, the stipulations under which one can use copyright material without the owner’s permission seems limited and weakly defined. “Transformative works” need to be better defined.
Mashups will continue to challenge the system of copyright while copyleft and other alternatives challenge the traditional statues and ideologies. One of the biggest downsides to this debate is the incentive for artists to create an original work and have someone take it without permission, recognition, or even payment. Of course, this is extreme, however, defenders and advocates for mashup and remix culture will continue to push for a more open system. Lastly, people need to recognize the significance that whole new genres have been birthed due to sampling, remixing, and mashups. Consider this in a brief article by Grant Gross,
Artists shouldn’t face threats of huge fines and prison time for sampling from copyright works, said filmmaker Nina Paley, creator of the film “Sita Sings the Blues”, Paley, speaking at an event in Washington, D.C., called for a wholesale rewrite of copyright law to allow mashup artists to create new works without threat of lawsuits or prison time. Paley’s 2008 film uses several songs from 1920s jazz singer Annette Hanshaw, and copyright holders demanded she pay US$220,000 for use of the works. Paley eventually settled for $50,000.
$220, 000 US dollars? $50, 000 dollars? Honestly, who can afford to pay money like this to use other people’s work? I would argue that the average person cannot. No wonder people are so vexed at the current proprietary system. Peep the video. Thanks.
Bonus listening: If you want to you can also listen to this song that I made using parts of a sermon by a Christian apologetic Ravi Zacharias and Common’s instrumental to his song “Resurrection”. It took me a couple days to fit things together the way that I wanted to. I can only imagine trying to fit together an a cappella and an instrumental let alone put together a song using sampled-snippets of other songs. Like hip-hop producer 9th Wonder exclaimed, it’s not as easy as it looks/sounds. Enjoy.
Until next time, try not to get sued- Clear your samples and get permission if you can afford it.
Here’s my concluding podcast on E-Waste. Enjoy!