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Posts tagged ‘advertising’

Cats, the NBN, the Future and Regulation.

So the semester is nearly at an end and this is my last blog post.

The topic this week is the NBN, regulation, and the future of digital media. The reading for the week is ‘Regulation in the digital economy: Principles for the convergent environment’, and it was written by Tom Apperley who is my tutor for this class, you can access the reading here: http://broadband.unimelb.edu.au/engage/pubs/wp/regulation-digital-economy/Reg-dig-eco-principles-web.pdf

This week I think I will just take a few bits from the reading and talk about why I found them relevant based on what I’ve learnt in this unit. I might attempt to make some conclusions about the future and regulation of the online environment, but you know, I’ve only done one semesters study on this and I’d much rather be looking for some new memes or tweeting about dugongs. So I guess the theme for this week is something like ‘Now you know about what’s in this online space, it’s time to think about how it can be better!’

‘More memes’

‘More cats!’

‘More goat videos!’

Settle down, what I mean is not necessarily improving it from the inside but thinking about how it can work more effectively. This means how do we go about regulating and governing it?

I mentioned this briefly a few posts back and came to the conclusion that it’s difficult to regulate something when you don’t know what it will be just yet and it hasn’t reached its full potential. The online environment could go in so many different directions and it’s important to remember that. For example, this spoof video makes a great case for cats being the future of online:

That wasn’t the best example but come on; it’s the last week people! Anyway, my other conclusion was that many people with way more knowledge than I have, have made many suggestions and one of them is probably the way to go. I still agree with that statement, however, the reading for this week made a few points that made me think ‘hmm maybe I should try to develop some of my own ideas about how the internet should be governed.’ I think the main point that got me thinking along those lines was the idea of freedom of speech and how back in the day regulation of the press and so forth was created to protect this. I mean, I still don’t have any idea how to go about regulating it but I think any regulation should be made to protect freedom of speech and freedom of information.

Another thing I found interesting from the reading was the idea that the NBN will provide opportunities for a range of new business uses. Here’s a link to the NBN roll-out map which demonstrates that the plan is that all of Australia will have access to the NBN in the next 3 years: http://nbnco.com.au/when-do-i-get-it/rollout-map.html.

It makes you wonder what we currently have to go into a physical store to do that in a few years time we will be able to do online. We are already seeing a change in advertising to cater to the online market. Here’s a few of my favourite examples of advertising that has taken advantage of the opportunities that online and mobile media presents, it will very interesting to see how advertising evolves over the next few years, as I think we are already seeing a big movement towards online and mobile and the creative opportunities provided there:

Another point from the reading that I found thought-provoking is that the online environment makes it both easier and more difficult for creators. For example, in Australia if you want something to be seen, you no longer have to rely on whether or not a major network will give you air time. For example the Greenpeace ad below was refused air time on Australian TV but was shared and played so often online that the message was still able to be heard. However the other side of this is that there is a greater variety of things online which can make it difficult for your message to be heard.

I like to think that if your message is good enough and you know enough about the online environment, you should be able to cut through the noise out there. And if not, the internet provides you with a platform to create something that can remain there forever where anyone from anywhere can access it. Maybe in many, many years from now the future classes of school children will have to study your work and you’ll be regarded as one of the great thinkers of our time. Maybe that will happen with this blog, we just don’t know.

When is a Meme a Meme?

It’s meme week!

I think to begin this post, it is only fitting to share some of my thoughts in meme form:

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memes everywhere

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But what exactly makes a meme?

I guess a meme is typically funny, usually culturally relevant or speaks to a niche group, it’s shared, copied and altered online and it doesn’t hurt if it features either Sean Bean, an animal, or a child. They don’t have to be a picture either, it can be a video or even text, something like ‘first world problems’ could be considered a meme. But I will tell you this, the more I learn about them, the less I seem to understand.

The reading for this week was ‘The Language of Internet Memes’ by Patrick Davison. You can access it here:

http://archive.org/stream/TheSocialMediaReader/Mandiberg-theSocialMediaReader-cc-by-sa-nc_djvu.txt

The reading attempted to give a definition of them, it talked about playing soccer and zebras getting eaten by lions and I didn’t really get it, I think that was mainly because uni is nearly over for the semester and my brain power is fading, but I do plan on giving it a re-read when I have the time.

Memes are one of those things that exist, and are relevant and everyone shares, but I feel like no-ones quite sure about them just yet.

I think there are two ways that advertisers/marketers try to use memes.

1. They use a preexisting meme to advertise their product/service. Examples:

This one is really clever because the use of first world problems not only uses the meme but also makes fun of it, in the sense that they aren’t really problems are they? A meme within a meme if you will. By doing this, they really manage to get the message across in a way that puts it in perspective for people in the Western world.

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This is a simple example of using a meme in an ad, you get the idea.

2. They try to create a new meme that will be shared. Example:

This one is very popular. Therefore, it has been copied many times, they created something totally new and a character that people wanted to copy.

I’m not really sure what the difference is between a viral video and a meme, I suppose as long as it starts on the internet and is made fun of or copied it can be considered both a viral video and a meme. How many times does it need to be copied or shared to become a meme? I’m not sure, I suppose only once might make it a meme for a specific group such a friendship group, a class, an office, but it would have no relevance to a larger group who wouldn’t consider it a meme or even necessarily understand it.

It should be noted that perhaps the reason that memes aren’t seen a lot in advertising is the legal mess related to using them. Here’s some additional information about that:

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=879e138f-c98b-4eb2-a55f-0037cf2ed906

http://mumbrella.com.au/i-can-haz-memes-in-advertising-168326

So, are memes relevant to understanding online and mobile media? Yes and no, I think you could certainly understand online and mobile media without understanding what memes are, but eventually you will stumble across something that is a meme, and you wont understand it and understand its relevance and that will be a confusing day for you. There are many memes that I don’t get, but I come to the conclusion that I’m not supposed to get them. Knowing what memes are probably isn’t going to add any significant value to your life, it wont get you a university degree (although it is contributing to mine), it wont win you any Nobel prizes or help you discover the mysteries of the world, but it might make you laugh once in a while, and it might give you a new way to express your thoughts on things. There’s only so much you can say about memes, the best way to understand them is by looking at them, working out which memes relate to you, and then have a go at creating them. That makes it very convenient that the internet is full of them, go on, search away, I wont take up any more of your time with my ramblings.