Missing Comments

First of all, I would like to apologize for not having this up on Friday.  I had a group project that resulted in me working myself to exhaustion over the weekend and I didn’t have a chance to post this before now.

 

Here are the “missing” comments – since I made posts on my blog because I misunderstood.

November 7 – https://thegreatkazby.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/response-post/)

October 3 – https://thegreatkazby.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/response-omnia-vanitas-mythinformation-or-is-it-siren-shapes/

October 24 – https://thegreatkazby.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/343/

August 29 – https://thegreatkazby.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/peer-response-the-iphone-and-its-pressure-is-there-an-app-for-that/

 

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Beyond the Book – Concept in 60

Metanarrative

The idea behind my Concept in 60 has always been what happens when a book becomes more than a book.  I was inspired by Robert Coover’ s article, “The End of Books,” to address how the way we define literature is changing.  In his article, written in 1992, Coover states that “with hypertext we focus, both as writers and as readers, on structure as much as on prose, for we are made aware suddenly of the shapes of narratives that are often hidden in print stories. The most radical new element that comes to the fore in hypertext is the system of multidirectional and often labyrinthine linkages we are invited or obliged to create.”

Coover talks about how the original text is being pushed aside to make way for literature to take new forms – hypertext.  The hypertext allows authors new possibilities, but they have to put aside their old, conventional way of writing and reading because a hypertext turns it on its head.  My project, however, addressed literature that uses transmedia to tell a story.

Transmedia, like new media, does not really have a certain “correct” definition; it has a wide variety of forms and is itself a form of new media.  Jim Stewartson says that we should define transmedia first and foremost as storytelling.  He also says that transmedia is not marketing and merchandising; while marketing can use transmedia to help get the product sold, transmedia is primarily a tool to help authors tell their story.  He also says that  transmedia should be mobile; people should be able to access it on any device anywhere.

For my project, I initially did not start out with using the idea of transmedia.  I wanted to talk about the evolution of a book from just a text, and fan-generated content as well as author-generated content through the use of new media.  I started out using J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, as it is very easily identified and well-known.  The series has a website called Pottermore that was created by Rowling.  I had hoped to show the progression from physical book to e-book to Pottermore to fan content, but I did not like how the video turned out after I got about halfway through it.  I had the idea of talking about young adult literature (like Harry Potter) that uses websites and mobile devices to help tell the story or give the audience more information.  This is where transmedia came in.

While I was in Dr. Prickett’s ENGE 519 class, we talked about this sort of young adult literature.  When I was searching for information, though, I found that other literature also used transmedia to help tell the story.  Alice in Wonderland and many other books, including Shakespeare’s plays and Poe’s poetry and short stories, are available as apps in the iTunes store and they include more information as well as original music and a new level of interactivity that is not available in the book alone.

So, I changed my topic.  I included the literature like Cathy’s Book, Harry Potter, Survivors, Alice in Wonderland and Skeleton Creek.  All of these stories incorporate transmedia, whether it’s to give the reader more information (such as in Pottermore) or the new media is required to have the complete story.  Skeleton Creek, for example, requires the reader to watch videos from one of the characters to understand the entirety of the story.

I began the process of making the video by starting with what I already had from my original presentation.  I cut out all of the video except the content that I recorded of me using Pottermore and began searching for other content to include.  I already knew about Skeleton Creek from Dr. Prickett’s class, as I had to read it myself, and so that was a book that I was definitely going to include.  I wanted to also include app books to show my audience that transmedia encompasses both websites and apps.  I found a page on the ALA.org website that talked about transmedia and included a few examples.  I visited the websites and played around with some of the content (I want to purchase Cathy’s Book eventually because it’s really enticing).

I also wanted to include the book Thirteen Reasons Why, but I could not find a way to incorporate it into the video.  The book makes use of YouTube so that the reader can hear the tapes that this girl, who killed herself, sends to the thirteen people who drove her to suicide.  I also was afraid that if I included it as my audio, someone who viewed it could be triggered because they either suffered from depression themselves or knew someone who committed suicide.

For the audio, I had found a website that had royalty-free music and I used it for my audio to avoid copyright infringement.

The biggest problems that I had while working on this project were figuring out what to define what I was trying to convey.  I wasn’t even aware of what transmedia was before I did this project and so finding the books that I was looking for was extremely difficult for me because I wasn’t sure what to search.  My roommate suggested that I try searching transmedia (she’s a fan of things like “The Lizzy Bennett Diaries,” a web series that uses transmedia to retell Pride and Prejudice).  I found an article on the YALSA (yalsa.ala.org) that talked about different young adult literature that incorporated transmedia and included links to the websites or to where readers could purchase the apps.  The article also talked about how classic novels are beginning to incorporate transmedia (why I included Alice in Wonderland) in the video, even if it was just a short clip of the page where you can purchase the app.

I also had complications with getting YouTube to not add a second on or to not cut a second off.  My video displays as exactly one minute on my blog (which is what it is in Windows Movie Maker) but on YouTube itself, it says it’s only 59 seconds.  I’m not entirely sure what the issue is, but I’ve redone it and changed it so many times that I just think YouTube is just difficult and not very user-friendly.  Another big problem that I had was that the chunk of time that I was going to use to work on the project was limited by my parents not having internet at their home so I could do very little work over break.  When I came back, the internet on campus was also acting up.  My complications were less content-driven but related to the technology I tried to use to create it.

Works Cited

Braun, Linda.  “A Getting Started Transmedia List.” Young Adult Library Services.  American Library Association.  Web.  3 Dec. 2013.

Coover, Robert.  “The End of Books.”  The New York Times on the Web.  The New York Times.  Web.  3 Dec. 2013.

Stewartson, Jim.  “Yes, Transmedia is an Empty Buzzword…Until it Isn’t.”  Transmedia Coalition.  Transmedia Coalition.  Web.  29 Nov. 2013.

Update!

I’ve decided to include books that I learned about in Dr. Prickett’s YAL class.  I want to include The Graveyard Book, Thirteen Reasons Why, Harry Potter, and some other books that include components on the internet.  I’m trying to get a book about vampires that Dr. Prickett told us about that came to him via smartphone.  I”ll be looking into apps and stuff that give you more YAL options.

 

I’m sorry that I don’t have more to update you on, but I’m working on an outline and what I want to use for audio.  

Update post

I’m currently working on figuring out which YAL books I want to use in addition to Harry Potter. I’m acquiring the footage and screenshots I need but I haven’t had time I really edit my current pied to fit my new topic. I’m  hoping to come down tomorrow to post the updated video but if weather gets bad, I won’t be able to access the internet and a new draft will be posted Friday. 

 

 

Concept in 60 Rough Draft

 

For my project, I’m not exactly trying to say “How many ways can we tell this story?”  My concept is about how a text can come to life off of the printed page and become much more than just the physical book through different types of media.  I’m wanting to include clips from the video games, as those are also interactive, as well as a short clip of the book itself.

 

I was thinking of using a song from a “wrock” group called Ministry of Magic, since almost all of their music is electronic and generated on the computer, except the vocals.  It’s a really neat juxtaposition that would work, I think, with the video.  I do like the idea of narrating it though; I’d have to work on my narrator voice!

 

For the video itself, I’m hoping to start with the printed book, then progress to the e-book, then Pottermore, then onto the fan-generated content, to hopefully show the evolution of the story through new media and the different ways that it can come to life outside of the book.

Experiment in Non-Print: The New Revolution?

 

Overview

For my experiment in non-print presentation, I originally made a video.  I was inspired by the discussion that we had in class about all of the ways that the internet and new media are allowing people to protest, petition, et cetera, to advocate for change and whether or not it’s a real “revolution.”  YouTube, however, had other plans for me, and, since I could not find an audio file that fit my video as well as the original song, I decided to make a podcast instead.  I simply took what I had written for the video and translated it into a print script for me to read for a podcast.

 

The podcast does not include background music because I had some trouble getting a clear recording of my voice because I do not have a high quality microphone, and I had to cut and edit the original audio to get it to where it’s currently at, and I did not want to mess up what I had already done.  I used Audacity, a program that I’ve never used before, and I kind of had to learn as I went, which was a bit difficult.

 

For this project, because I ended up with two different products, I got to work with two different types of programs that allow you to create new media – Windows Movie Maker and Audacity.  This project, despite the hurdles, made me feel more comfortable with using those programs so that I can construct my Concept in 60 project.

 

Process

I first laid out my plan for the video as a rough outline on some scrap paper, then set about taking screenshots and screen capture videos for my video.  I then edited everything together and added the audio, set about uploading it, and had to remove it because the audio was copyrighted.

 

After I did all that, I set down with my video and worked on creating a written transcript for all of the things that I was trying to show without saying in order to create a podcast.  You can download the podcast transcript <- there.  The script helped me to maintain a clear idea and kept me from messing up a lot when I was speaking.  I deviated a bit from the exact script that I had, but the changes that I made sounded better with the finished product.

 

I then recorded all of the audio, edited it (took out long, unnecessary pauses, “uhms”, and places where I stumbled over my words) and made it more coherent.

 

I think that the video captured the message I was trying to convey much more clearly than the podcast, but I did not want to violate any sort of copyright.

Response Post

Response to Jess’s post here because WordPress decided a comment simply wouldn’t do.

 

While I can see where you and the article are coming from (my aunt likes to post happy happenings every five minutes), most of my newsfeed doesn’t exactly qualify as the feel-good family feed of the year.  Many of the people I am friends with usually post the negative current events that are going on.

 

One incident that stands out in my mind between two social media platforms was the birth of Prince George a while back.  On Facebook, a lot of people were celebrating his birth and posting pictures of Kate and Wills holding their new bundle of joy when they finally released images to the press.

 

On Tumblr, however, a lot of people who posted about the birth of the prince were berated by various users who believed that the birth wasn’t newsworthy and that the people who weren’t blogging about the radiation leaking into the ocean in Japan were vapid and wasting their time on unworthy news.  The people talking about the prince, however, were trying to not think about the way that the world is falling apart around us and just being happy that something good had happened.

 

So I’m still unsure as to whether or not social media news is less harsh than regular news, but I’ll try and check out the link you shared whenever I get sick of seeing my newsfeed filled with pessimism.