Media Technologies: Task One Critical Reflection

Developing the software was easier than expected. Use of a simple online development software website (Appypie, 2018) allowed me to navigate different features in a simple format, without using coding as a means of development. If time permitted, I may have taken extra time to learn coding to correctly to customise my platform, but this, unfortunately, was not applicable given the time available for the assignment – however, I hope to carry out further development into the application.

Sourcing an idea for an application was challenging – being an avid indoor gardener, introvert and generally scatter-brained individual I felt it indispensable to develop a means of free education for an extensive range of audiences while maintaining my own plant and wildlife care schedule. Being vegan and therefore environmentally aware – this influenced my choice to focus the brand values unto Biene, focussing directly on global conservation due to the recent concern surrounding Bees, who sustain our planets food sources through pollination yet face extinction through our own unethical and detrimental agriculture industry and indifferent attitudes towards green spaces.

I faced several difficulties while creating the application. For instance, funding – although still in the process of development, I find myself wondering the implications of asking outside sources for technological help from a business perspective yet feel an ethical desire to share and create an opportunity for ecology sustainability as quickly as possible. Perhaps a combination concerning crowdfunding, close colleagues, friends and praised university staff will allow Biene to be available to the public timely without technological setbacks, for instance, application bugs and crashes.

 

Difficulties included focussing on the task at hand, which was combatted by strict scheduling and division of attention while in employment part-time and completing other university module assignments. I also found concentrating on written work surrounding the development of the app inconclusive while using the development software – often flitting between the two tasks inefficiently and often de-prioritizing the written format of the assignment to instead explore the application software.

Another setback faced while designing Biene was the affiliated links associated with the name. For instance – when creating a Facebook page for the brand, search results for the intended name of the page – ‘Biene’ would lead to a separate company showcasing bathroom design, which was undesirable to associate with the company. However; pursuing with the original title; I decided to tolerate this and reflect positively about how it may bring a new audience and marketing however minimal – ultimately broadening brand reach to those searching for other Facebook pages and businesses.

As mentioned before, working alone has allowed me to make my own decisions regarding physical appearance, features and brand ethics. However – this leaves a lot of room to dwell over smaller perspectives of the application than one may need focus on without a clear schedule of when tasks need to be accomplished.

Overall, I am pleased with the current development of Biene and believe ethically that the merging of application and physical activity a step in the right direction in the use of technology in the future. Deciding on an idea to focus my development onto was challenging but the environmental and societal factors surrounding the Biene brand has wholeheartedly shown itself to be a strong attribute of many small but worthwhile leisure activities to help change and inform a wide audience on the importance of climate and environment control and nurturing.

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Media Technologies: Task One Features and Rubric

McLuhan’s Tetrad:

  • Enhance: Children’s and adults learning experience, awareness of the environment, social interaction for the elderly or those facing mobility issues, rural agriculture communities through affiliation from local businesses and information about food agriculture, as well as improving nourishment and accessibility to healthy food businesses for individuals with limited knowledge of local produce.

 

  • Obsolesce: Books – replaced with portable information in a smaller handheld format.

 

  • Retrieve: Information about gardening, development of a successful ecological system. Bridges the gap in education towards geography, biology, and ecology.

 

  • Reverse: Global Warming. Societal unawareness of the importance of sustaining the ecosystem. Development of Biene can help toward reversing the effects of isolation in a western culture by connecting small agricultural businesses and like-minded enthusiasts, increasing profit, and community spirit.

Affiliations:

The use of Affiliations to promote the application creates a solid consumer and creator bond, providing benefits for not only the user but the wholesale business (promoting a fair economy) and myself as an app developer to encourage an improved ecological environment.

Gardening Companies:

  • Organic/Ethically Sourced Seeds/Flowers.
  • Gardening Supplies, for instance, gardening tools.

Donations and Funding

For the establishment of Biene, use of a Kickstarter company and crowdfunding is essential to first develop the technology provided in the application. To reach potential clients, users and a workforce for Biene, launching a Kickstarter and sharing to a variety of social media is essential for the development of the application, for instance – environment-based, engineering, and computer science-based higher education courses. Biene is set to donate a small percentage of profits from sales of resources creates brand trust, brand loyalty, and appeals ethically to both ethical businesses and the public. Sourcing materials and goods (such as gardening materials) from well-known, reputable suppliers allows for a fairer working environment for employees of companies as well as increasing the job market internationally and globally through gain of business through the promotion of product and brand ambassadors. Biene may provide potential to individuals interested in the environment such as Environmental Engineers to monitor and provide data concerning the successfulness of the use of Biene in their surrounding region.

Features:

Social Media Feed –

A social media feed incorporated into the users’ home page to allow others to meet with similar gardening interests promotes a strong community bond through shared activities. This is particularly beneficial for the elderly generation who often struggle with isolation and physical activities in social housing or while alone, for risk of physical health, such as decreased mobility. Increasing social time has been proven to slow the development of brain disorders such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Scrapbook –

To show and document progress with friends and family allows for a sense of pride in the users and share experience and knowledge with others. To be used in a similar format to Facebook’s Photo Albums Feature.

Plant and Wildlife Handbook –

Location settings show which plants and are common around users allows for a younger audience to engage with their surroundings, the importance of respecting nature and improving their knowledge.

Watering Tracker –

When and how to water your plants through a push-notification system, appearing on your devices home screen – useful for those with memory impairment or on a busy schedule.

Weather Warnings Tracker –

Push notification system surrounding when to water or protect your plants, such as ‘bedding’ plants and providing upkeep to the environment, as well as how to prepare for unexpected weather such as flooding, heavy rainfall or draughts.

Guest Login –

Going away on holiday? Share your Login details with housekeepers to provide upkeep on your garden without the worry of housekeepers missing out tasks.

Media Log: Entry Three.

Do my findings link to any theories I have studied?

  • Hypodermic needle theory

This is a 1930’s theory which depicts how an audience is subconsciously injected by messages, morals and values by the media. A prime example of this that I have found within my Media Log was by a Bus advertisement – depicting a ‘weekly pass’, which lead me to wonder if I should invest in a weekly travel ticket on the bus, although I didn’t need one. This theory also creates ‘false needs’ as discussed by Theodore Adorno.

  • Uses and gratifications theory

The ‘Uses and Gratifications’ theory by Bulmer and Katz depicts that an audience will actively seek out media for specific purposes such as entertainment or to be informed. This was shown in my Log by most of my interactions with Media – such as my usage of Facebook or games such as ‘Sonic Dash’ on my mobile – while waiting for the bus, a usually boring task. This was also shown while I was working during the first day of my Media Log – seeking viewing the television while working to combat my boredom.

What has this assignment taught me about the Media’s role in my life?

 This assignment has really opened up my eyes to the sheer amount of media that I use on a day-to-day basis, both consciously and subconsciously. I have also discovered my heavy reliance on my mobile phone as the main source of entertainment, using gaming and messaging apps to seek entertainment and communication with others around me. It has also taught me specific routines I adhere to with my consumption of media, such as messaging friends during the evening and playing music and games at certain locations, for instance the ‘Bus Stop’.

What could I learn about others media consumption from this?

 If I were to analyze another’s’ media consumption, I believe I may have discovered patterns and trends with their media consumption. While discussing the Log with fellow course mates, we discovered each individual had a varying amount of ‘Pages’ within their electronic log, depicting different amounts of media they had consumed per day – showing variations of every individuals reliance on the Media.

 How successful was this Log?

The log was quite successful yet would have been better if I were to have started it on a day that I was not working. It took up surprisingly a lot more time than I had expected it to – honestly, I knew about my reliance on Media (especially Social Media) yet never fully came to terms with the sheer amount of this I consumed.

What would I change if I were to complete this Log again?

To create a more structured work routine, I would pace my typing up of the log better. For instance, I would take time out of my day to begin to submit my findings from my notebook onto the electronic table so I was not left with as much typing to do at a later date. To create a Media Log more tailored to my media consumption, I would also choose a day I was not working to get more specific and accurate data for my Media Log – for example, during the first day I would have used Media a lot more if I were to have not had work arrangements.

 

 

 

Media Log: Entry Two.

How did I conduct the Log?

To conduct the Media Log, I kept a notebook with me throughout the three days to have easy access to noting down Media I had come across. This was set out within a table format for each detail of the log which was beneficial to understand my daily usage of media. To study and properly display the findings, an online table was created via Microsoft Word.

Did I have any problems conducting the Log?

I had several problems while conducting the log, the first being remembering to write down the data, due to the subconscious nature of the Media I was consuming – for instance noting down car advertisements while walking down the street. This may have impacted the research and give less accurate findings than I expected. Also I found problems with technology while inputting my data from the notebook to Microsoft Word – although this was shortly resolved.

What were my primary findings throughout the Media Log?

A primary outcome I discovered during the process of the media log was the sheer amount of media I consume on a day to day basis – even when I do not consciously realise this. For instance – during my first day of the media log, I was at work for a large period of time, yet still consuming media via the radio station within the workplace – and glancing at the television frequently. I have also discovered the sheer reliance of the internet I have, for my entertainment. This has been shown to be developed in many forms, particularly Social Media and online television show streaming outlet Netflix.

Were the Media Log findings surprising, or expected?

Personally, I was surprised by my findings of the log. This was not due to the amount of media I consumed for my own entertainment, yet the amount that I consumed subconsciously, particularly through advertising. Even while taking a walk, I found many advertisements for new cars, homes, businesses and stores which I would have usually not even realised I was paying attention to. I have also discovered that I tend to use some phone applications more than others – for instance, the clock, and Facebook Messenger which I am almost constantly using throughout the day. However, I have also observed that I am not as reliant on text messaging as I previously thought, only texting friends when internet access is unavailable.

Was this a typical three-days usage of media for me?

To answer this truthfully– no. I found that throughout the first day in particular, there was large periods where I would not consume media in a great amount, because I was working. However, throughout the second and third day – I discovered my media consumption greatly increased, due to boredom. In particular, my usage of Social Media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram increased due to not having any plans during my day, therefore leading me to rely on these sources as a means of entertainment.

Media Log: Entry One.

 

How will I define what classes as Media?

Personally, I may define media as a form of mass communication and delivery of information and data between members of society via platforms such as print base, art, or the internet – such as magazines or online advertisements. It is difficult to distinguish ‘What is Media?’ because it is such umbrella term, meaning a lot of different things for different audiences. For the purpose of this log, I will categorize media into three main aspects;

  • Visual – such as Television.
  • Audio – such as Radio or CD’s.
  • Electronic  – such as Social Media, or the Internet.

By doing this, I hope to create a log which is accurate to my own consumption of media and give a detailed analysis of three days worth of consumption.

How will I deal with things like advertising, et cetera?

As a teen, in general I find that I am constantly bombarded with advertising and new forms of media that I consume almost by instinct – such as billboards, radio and pop-up advertisements on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which I use regularly. To combat this, I may have to note down specific advertisements I come across and use an approximation of the time I consumed this media at, and for how long – however I hope this will not have to be done often throughout my log.

How will I record my data for the Media Log?

To conduct the recordings of my media log, I have taken it upon myself to create a notebook specifically to record data of what media I have come into contact with over the three days. The notebook has been set into a table format including columns such as ‘Title of Media’, ‘Duration’ and ‘Time’ in order to give a detailed analysis of the media I have consumed. To create accurate data and note down everything media related I consume, for the days, I will this around and write down data whenever possible. This data from the notebook will be later logged into a table created on Microsoft Word to streamline the data I have found.

Will I face any challenges with conducting the assignment?

While conducting this assignment, I may encounter problems. Firstly, one may be that because of work commitments, it may be difficult to note down into my notebook the specific times and durations of the media I consume, because of other activities I will be doing at work. However, to combat this I presume I will ‘mentally log’ this for a later date to write in my Media Log book. Another challenge I may face is the sheer quantity of media I have consume – if only accidentally! This will be a great challenge, because as a teen, I heavily consume Social Media therefore making this a very large task to undertake. Lastly, I’ll also find it difficult to log data that I have consumed subconsciously, as a teen there is a sheer amount of advertising that a member of the public is bombarded with unintentionally. Although this is difficult to log, I will attempt create a log of the highest standard detail possible – by noting down platforms such as music, advertising and internet usage.

What do I expect to find through doing this?

I expect to find patterns and trends towards my media consumption – such as specific times and platforms of media I consume throughout the day. I also expect to find the sheer quantity of media that the average teen would run into on a day to day basis, if only subconsciously.

An Adventure to Media City.

Hi! Just thought I’d introduce myself before I make a start about my trip to Media City. I’m Rachel, 19, and currently studying my first year of Media at Sheffield Hallam University. I love cats and psychological thriller films. In the future, I’d love to work within advertising – particularly mise en scene, I love seeing different costumes and makeup used within major Hollywood blockbusters and how this may convey a character’s status, emotions or the entire tone of the film.

Last Tuesday, a group of course-mates and I ventured to Media City (Salford). After walking to the meeting point a zombie-like fashion to hop on the coach for 8 in the morning, the 2-hour coach journey consisted of lethargic laughter and excitement. After getting stuck in traffic on rural country roads for what seemed like hours, we finally arrived. Travelling by coach was not seen to be the easiest form of transportation to and from Media City – although we made it back to the coach after the tour on time there was no sign of designated coach park, which was unusual for a large public attraction. Personally, I presume that the local (and often) tram and bus services are regular visitors most popular choices for commuting to and from Salford Quays.

Upon arrival, it was amazing to see the outside of the set for one of my favourite television shows. As a huge fan of Corrie – this was like a dream! If only we were allowed to wander down the streets and have a pint in The Rovers Return. To start off – the day consisted of pancakes (to celebrate Shrove Tuesday in a true fashion) via a swift trip to Harvester, in the small shopping center located on site. This could be classed as beneficial for Salford Quays – it suits a wide range of audiences with different interests such as shopping, film and art. However, finding a place to eat was not easy. Being poor university students, my group of friends and I found that many of the local cafés were quite a way out of our price range – leading my thrifty Yorkshire mindset to internally question “How much?!” while looking at the price of a simple, plain cheese sandwich. After we were well and truly full of pancakes – we joined our uni group for the BBC Studios tour.

The tour was comprised of different studios and sets – including the Blue Peter set and the studio and the ‘Green Room’ of The Voice! Although the tour lasted over an hour and a half, the tour guides kept us interested by telling us facts and anecdotes about the studios – did you know Chris Moyles once stood up while presenting BBC radio 1 for 54 HOURS STRAIGHT in aid of charity?!  However, the best part of the day was to see contestants of the Jeremy Kyle show – having their bags checked by security in an airport like fashion! But in all seriousness, seeing the sheer size and hard work that goes into the set up of the various different television studios and radio shows is phenomenal.

Although Media City is not actually exclusively owned by the BBC, they get priority over the studios within the buildings. This allows for the company to hire to other brands – for instance, during the tour we saw outside of a studio filming for a Porsche car advertisement! This may be useful for the BBC, to allow for a bigger profit for themselves. As the Media City is open to the public, I was surprised to find that the City did not have a car park, meaning that this may impact on the amount of people who choose to come to Media City for the BBC tours or to wander round their small shopping center.

During the trip, my friends and I also visited ‘The Lowry’ Museum, and discovered his amazing paintings, drawings, sculptures and sketches. However, as a total newbie to minimalist art, personally his work was unappreciated. Although – it was highly interesting to see the difference between his earlier work such as his ‘Self Portrait’ (1925) to his later paintings such as ‘Going to Work’ (1943) and how his various styles developed.

In conclusion, I would love to visit Media City again in the future, if only to go round the BBC tour again! It was an interesting day out and gave both my friends and I a thorough insight into the BBC and the enormous effort they put in to produce the television and radio shows we love today.

 

To find out about Media City for yourself, visit here.