Final Reflection

It is hard to believe another semester has come and gone. In this time, I have learned a lot about the online world. (I hope by reading this, you all have too.)

While there are many different definitions and examples of digital literacy, everyone has there own take on what it really means, and what is most important about it. To me, digital literacy embracing and building upon various technologies and platforms for communicating. This includes, and is not limited to: blogs, podcasts, videos, slideshows and social media. With these different platforms, it is important to know how to effectively use them.

Important Tools

One important digital literacy is ‘SEO’. SEO stands for search engine optimization. This means tagging your work, whatever it may be, so that when people search for that subject, the content you have produced will show up. As an avid Google user, this is extremely important. When someone Goggles subject material related to what you have produced, one would want their work to be near the top of the results. SEO allows this to happen.

Video editing is another important digital literacy. I think our generation is creative and more interested in visual learning. Therefore, the ability to produce and edit videos is something that can be beneficial. Videos can be used for marketing, educating, for fun and so on.. with all the interesting ways videos can be created, at least a basic knowledge of video editing is essential.

My third important digital literacy is “voice.” Everything we read online has a voice. These voices can be academic, witty, funny, creative and even boring. The voice that comes through on a blog or article is a determining factor in deciding if someone is going to read all of your blog or not. At first, finding your voice may be difficult. But like everything, practice makes perfect.

My Multimedia

Multimedia projects this semester have been both fun and stressful. A lot more work goes into these kinds of projects than I thought. When first setting up my blog, I was a little overwhelmed. It takes a while to get used to all the different ways to navigate around the site. Once I got used to it, blogging became fun. It is pretty cool to be able to find your “online voice.” Its like discovering a part of yourself you never knew existed. I know my blog is not perfect, but I am proud of it.

Videos were probably the biggest challenge in this class. Honestly, it is a lot harder than it looks. You can work for hours and hours on editing, only to have finished about 30 seconds to a minute of work. However, once you’re finished, it is a really great rewarding feeling. My favorite multimedia project was the group video I created with two other classmates, Laura and Hope. We discussed International Students at Furman, and I’m really happy with the results.

As far as improvements, I think there are fine details in all aspects of my multimedia that could be improved. Little details like making sure there are smooth transitions, having the highest quality photos, using the correct font etc. are all small things that improve the over all quality of the final products. This is definitely something I will pay extra attention to in the future.

Moving Forward

I am really excited to put to use all the tools I have learned in the “real world.” Before this class, I knew it was important to be able to navigate myself through different online technologies, but I never knew how important. These tools can be the deciding factor if someone gets a job or not.

I think I will successfully be able to use these tools in terms of advertising, marketing and branding myself at whatever company I may be apart of in the future. I can confidently say I now know how to post, edit, blog, and create much better than I thought I would have at the begging of this class. I encourage you all to try to do the same!

Until next time,

Kayla

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Jobs Of The Future

The overall point of this article was to show the booming industry of the online world. Specifically, the ideas of games generating billions of dollars. Specifically, in China. Games such as World of Warcraft is a virtual game that people emirs themselves in. They can create and essentially become these characters. These characters, just like people need “stuff.” In this car, the stuff is magic potions and weapons. However, real money is often paid for them, thus creating a huge business.

I thought this was an interesting read because it relates closely to topics of my blog. As you may or may not know, Kim Kardashian has an app available that allows her fans to virtually become part of her life. You can dress her up, take her out and about on the town and interact with virtual friends and family member of Kim. Like WoW, Kim has made millions of dollars off of this game.

This is just one example of how this industry has sky rocketed. There are plenty of other games that are following the path of WoW. This industry has created jobs, discovered new technologies and gave people of distraction from life, a way of having fun.

These days, online gaming isn’t limited to the computer or a consul. With smart phones always at an arms length distance, the online gaming business has allowed new innovating ideas and a fun way to waste some time. In addition, the market is spreading to other places than America, such as India and Africa. With this industry at its peak, it will be interesting where the gaming world can go from here.

Bivins- “Ethics”

Bivins “Ethics – Moral Claimants” is strongly centered around moral decisions that people have to make. In life, every decision we make can effect other people either in a negative or positive way. These people are called stakeholders. This can include family, our superiors, professors, virtually anyone can be stakeholders in our life. However, we weigh our decisions differently based on the consequences we may face if we make a certain decision.

Because the media is basically in our face every day, it is a strong stakeholder in moral decisions. Media has four different groups it affects, and these groups come with restraints. Therefore, we are more likely to view our choices as a skewed perspective, resulting in us favoring one group over another based on how it will effect us.

Linkages ar also a central part of this chapter. These are people who provide input and output to an organization. Input is raw materials such as labor unions, employees or anyone who provides services. Output is the actual products, services and public information.

4 common linkages in organizations are:

  • suppliers- furnish raw materials
  • associates-orginazations with similar interests or face similar problems
  • receivers- people who use organizations output
  • issue define- arise an issue

These terms above are extremely important because often time one person represented an entire organizations. For example, if a news anchor says something offensive, her or she is repressing the entire organization. One individuals mistake can have detrimental consequences. There are plenty of real life examples to of this. .

Organizations thrive and prosper by dealing successfully with their environment. They have to read the market to predict how to conduct business. This chapter reflects this importance, and the consequences there can be if you mistreat your stakeholders.

All of this information is important to remember as we interact online. Anything we post, be it  a blog or any type of social media. Our words have consequences and it is important to remember that often times, we represent more than just ourselves.

Sociology of Reality TV

When discussing the Sociology of almost anything, there are 3 categories which one must examine: race, class and gender. These three components are important to analyzes if you want to find answers to why people act they way they do and how these people are represented.

Like most shows on television, reality TV is  “white washed.” Just thinking about the shows I have been discussing, the main characters are almost always white. (With the exception of The Real Housewives: Atlanta) Reality TV is supposed to be real. (Yes, I know its not actually real, but thats besides the point.) So why are races other than white rarely represented? Honestly, thats hard to answer. Check out this opinion piece  on white washing to get a better understanding.

From just an ordinary persons perspective, I would really like to see more diversity. It helps to better understand different cultures and feel like I’m interacting with people I normally don’t encounter.

Side note, check out this really funny video of Blake Shelton on SNL doing a spoof of  the most recent The Bachelor. (He makes fun of how there are rarely black contestants on the show about 20 seconds in.)

As far as class goes, thats is often a spectacle on reality TV. The best example of this is The Real Housewives. Most of these women are extremely wealthy, even before they were cast on the show. A lot of the show centers around lavish vacations these women take and them showing off all that they have. The houses some of these women have are absolutely unbelievable. (Especially my girl Lisa Vanderpump) It is almost like you are partaking in the lives of the elite. Middle class is seldom represented, and if it is, money struggles aren’t really mentioned on the show. (Ironic because thats one of the biggest struggles in “reality”, isn’t it?)

Lower class is often a spectacle as well. These people may actually be middle class, but are portrayed as “less classy.” i.e. Jersey Shore, The Real World etc.

Lastly we have gender. I would say there is equal representations for both genders. However, I would like to see a reality show about transgender people. Most people don’t understand the concept of transgender people and are confused about what it even means. I think this would be a good opportunity to represent and educate about transgender people.

So, why does all of this matter and why am I talking about it? Television can be seen as a reflection of our society, our thoughts, our fads and trends, our ideas etc. However, it is an unfair and a poor represntation of what society actually looks like. Instead, most of what we see is white, straight, middle class people. (Mostly male.)

How do we fix this? Well, its hard for me to answer that. But what I do know, talk about it. When there is an issue in socitey, people talk about it. We talk about why something is unfair and how it should be fixed. The more we talk about the issue of white washing and poor representaion, the more attention it gets. Thus, people who create, direct and cast people in these shows will be forced to do something about it. It is just like politics.

So I will leave you all with this.. if something in life ever bothers you, don’t just sit back and watch it happen. Be proactive. Do something about it. The same can be said about our entertainment. Start a discussion about this issue. We all have the voices to make a change and bring more diversity into this industry.

Keeping Up With Kayla from Kayla Pike on Vimeo.

Success After 15 minutes of Fame

What tempts people so much that they are willing to expose every secretive, embarrassing and personal aspect of their lives to millions of people? Most of the time, people watch reality TV because it is so ridiculous and people like to get a good laugh from it. So why put yourself through that? Well, my guess is simple. Fame and fortune can drive people to do just about anything.

 

I was surprised to find out that most reality TV starts don’t actually make as much money as I thought. Typically, it’s just an average salary. (Unless, of course you’re a Kardashian or a popular “housewife”)

When I stumbled upon these salaries it made me really wonder if it was actually worth it. For a Kardashian or Housewife salary sure I would make a fool of myself on TV, but for $30,000 a season before taxes? I don’t know if that’s for me.

But then I started to really think about it. That’s not really all they are getting. They are getting opportunities. After a successful season, theses “stars” get upwards of $20,000 just to make an appearance somewhere or even to tweet about a product. In addition to this, these people now have connections to establish themselves in a lot of different ways. In other words, you can take something you’re actually passionate about, and turn it into something successful that has longevity.

For example, I was watching one of my favorite shows, Vanderpump rules, and I noticed Stassi (one of the main “characters”) always has on really cool necklaces that made her outfits so elegant and fun. I started googling “Stassi from vanderpump rules necklaces” and found out that she has her own fashion blog and collaboration on a jewelry line. I immediately filled up a cart with cool jewelry and now check her blog regularly. If I had to bet, she wouldn’t of had these opportunities if it hadn’t of been for her show.

Reality TV typically only gives you the 15 minutes of fame. However, if you play your cards right, you could end up making a successful business for yourself just like these people did:

  • Lauren Conrad- Show: MTVs Laguna Beach and The Hills Business-Author, designer, spokeswoman
  • Jillian Micheals- Show: The Biggest Loser Business- DVD workouts, diet pills, author established the company Empowered Media
  • Bethany Frankel-Show- The Real Housewives: New York Business- Skinny Girl Drink products and author
  • Kat Von D- Show- Miami Ink Business- Make-up line at Sephora
  • Snooki- Show- The Jersey Shore Business- Soda product and beauty products
  • Do I even have to mention what the Kardashians have??

These are just a handful of reality starts turned entrepreneurs, there are plenty more stars to learn about that are just a click away!

Adding Motion

This chapter is all about the importance of moving images. Moving images can be categorized as video, animation, motion graphics, software simulation, games, photo slide shows and digital story telling.Videos is all about capturing an idea and turning it into something useful. This can happen in long periods of time (tv shows, movies etc) or only a few moments (vines, youtube, animation.) Video can capture and translate any idea in many different ways. A very important part of this chapter is the process of a story board. Much like outlining an essay, storyboards are essential. They help you get all your ideas down in a fluid manner. This way, you can visually see what you need to do so you don’t get lost in your thoughts. Story boards help with not only visually what you need to see, but they are helpful for auditory and written cues.

There were guidelines outlined in this chapter for tips about making videos. The ones i found more interesting and helpful were : timing and impersonal instructions. Both are essential for the fluidity of the video and to help portray accurate and real life simulation. This creates a believability aspect of the video.

Videos dominate a large part of our online society. With the polarity of youtube, vine, instagram videos and music videos, it is very important that we know how to properly convey a message through a video.

Queens of Reality TV

Kardashians enjoying The Hamptons sunshine

Kardashians enjoying The Hamptons sunshine

The Kardashians are undoubtedly the queens of reality TV. Not just right now, but ever. These people have  changed aspects of reality TV, social media and self endorsement. So what are they even famous for? Most people have no idea. Do they really do anything? Some may say its for Kim’s infamous “home video”…maybe its for Paris Hilton parading Kim around in her shadow for years. Who knows. What I do know is that these girls are smart. Yes I just said the Kardashian’s/ Jenner’s are smart. We don’t even know what these girls do for a living or how they got famous and they’re still making millions and millions of dollars! Their fame and fortune started with just their lives being filmed and hanging out with their family, to turing their last name into an empire. Makeup, haircare, clothes, nail polish- you name it they’ve done it. So I’ll ask again, what do they do? I think they’re brilliant business women… even though they don’t come off as such.

Kardashians Take the Hamptons

Last spring E! news announced where the next destination that the Kardashian’s would be “taking over.” The location was Southampton, New York… Wait a minute….I live there. The Kardashian’s are living in Southampton this summer? This should be interesting. Immediately after the announcement, I checked twitter to see what my friends from home thought of it. It was mixed reviews, but mostly people were not happy about it. Over the next few weeks, more and more uproar came up about trying to prevent them from filming in the upcoming summer. The main issue  people had with them coming is that residents were afraid of the crowd that the Kardashians would attract. If you know anything about “The Hamptons” (No one who lives there actually calls it the Hamptons, by the way) it is a very prestigious, quant, classy and very beautiful.

People were afraid that our quite little town would attract Jersey Shore-like people. Personally, I was pretty excited and thought if anything, it would bring more business to our local stores.  Despite all the debate, they still “took over.”

Fast forward to the beginning of Summer, I’m at work. Its an average day. Town is busy but we are not yet into the hectic weeks of summer. All of a sudden, I hear screams. Loud, terrifying spine tingling screams. You’d think that aliens had just landed and are ready to take over the town. I step outside the store to see what all the chaos is about. I learned there were no aliens. Just the Kardashians coming out of Intermix across the street. We have our first sighting.

 

Living where I do, I have had my fair share of celebrity sightings. But I have never seen anything like this. Swarms of people surrounded them. Every time they went in a store they had to close it to prevent other people from coming in and attacking them. These sightings happened every once in a while and it was interesting to say the least.

How did they act?

Any time I would see them,they looked very serious and not in the mood to take millions of selfless with strangers.One one hand, I understood why. Imagine people following you everywhere you go, taking pictures of you constantly. On the other hand, I thought they could be a bit more friendly and appreciate the fact that they have fans. It also bothered me that they didn’t pay for much. They didn’t pay for the house they rented. They didn’t pay for a majority of the meals. They didn’t pay rent for their pop-up store. As if they didn’t have the money, right?!

Viewing Time

Now its fall. Im back at school and the summer came and went with a few Kardashian spottings and multiple drive bys to check out their house. The season premier is almost here and I’m very excited to see how this plays out. Usually when the Kardashians take over somewhere, its a city. Southampton is a very small town, so I think it would be different than me getting excited about them coming if I had lived in say, Miami. It was really fun to watch the season with my friends here at school. It was a way for me to show them all the places I grew up going to. It was also really weird to see my hometown all over TV. Anyway, thats my two cents on the Kardashians. Love them or hate them, we all Keep Up With Them.

‘Practices of Looking’

The reading titled ‘Practices of Looking’ by Lisa Cartwright is all about images and how the audience views them. Within the first paragraph, the reading made some interesting points. She says, an image has two elements, the contextual information and how the audience sees it. She goes on to say that when a piece of art or photograph “speaks to them” it is often because they can relate to it or find meaning from it, drawing from their own life experiences. This is an interesting part of “art” to me because there is more than just being “good” or “bad” at drawing, photography, painting etc., it is about evoking emotion and creating a connection between the audience and your imagine.

She continues on to discuss this same idea but with the idea of advertising. I thought this was particularly relevant given last Sunday was the Super Bowl, arguably our countries biggest night for advertising. So much research and thought goes into a simple commercial just to make sure that the audience will interpret the ad the way they had envisioned. Advertisements are something I find really interesting. For the perfect ad you have to master both psychological and business approaches.

The next part of the reading discussed the difference between taste and aesthetics, both of which are extremely important in the world of online blogging. However, I never really knew the exact distinction between them. She says “Today the idea of aesthetics has moved from the belief that beauty resides within a particular object or image. We no longer think of beauty as a universally accepted set of qualities…the criteria for what is beautiful and what is of are based on taste, which is not innate but rather culturally specific.” I had never thought of it in this way before and I really like how she phrased her definition.

All of the concepts discussed in this reading seem to be bit larger than the importance of blogging. Ideas such as beauty, racism, Marxism, aesthetics, culture etc. were all discussed in relation to time, history and how our mind interprets these idea. However, they are all still extremely valuable ideas in the realm of digital media. I say this because our lives are immersed with digital media. It is almost impossible to avoid advertisements and blogs because they are an extension of culture, aesthetics and beauty.

About

Hey! My name is Kayla Pike and I’m a Junior communication studies major at Furman University. I’m from Southampton, a town all the way at the end of Long Island, New York. I’ve been working at a store called, Flying Point Surf Shop since I was 13 years old. I will probably mention the store a lot in my writings because it has been fundamental in making me the person I am today and I can apply so much of what I’ve learned from work into my life and these posts.

While I do watch a lot of reality TV, I’m not completely  obsessed. I just find it very interesting. So just to get everyone caught up, here are some of my favorite shows and their respective channels:

  • Any and all of ‘The Real Housewives’ (My favorite is Beverly Hills, least favorite is New Jersey)(Bravo)
  • Vanderpump Rules (Bravo)
  • Keeping Up With The Kardashians (Love them but I hate them) (E!)
  • Million Dollar Listings (Bravo)
  • Millionaire Matchmaker(Bravo)
  • The Bachelor (ABC)
  • Chrisley Knows Best (USA/ E!)
  • Top Chef.. or any cooking competition(Bravo)

Maybe its time for a new hobby…

 

Home

I’ve created this blog primarily for the use of my Digital Communications class. I’ll be giving feedback for various readings throughout the semester and will display multimedia projects; it is my hope that this blog will help not only me, but anyone reading this to better understand the importance of digital communications.

In addition to feedback regarding  different in class elements, I will be writing about something that I like to do in my free time -watch horrible reality TV. Love it, hate it, or love to hate it- we’ve all been exposed to these mindless TV concepts. As I grow a “connection” with these characters on TV, I notice more and more about them- specifically their fashion choices and the overall wardrobe of the show.There is a great deal that goes into the production of reality TV- Individual motives, exposure, location, “plot” etc. Each aspect is fundamental to a successful TV show.Although reality TV may be painful for some to watch, I hope I can allow readers to look at what they see on TV a little differently after reading some of my posts. I hope you all have fun thinking a little deeper into these simple concepts!

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