Monday, April 29, 2013

Final New Media Thoughts

This blog has been a great tool for me in learning how to write and consume new media, though it is only one of several different mediums I experimented with throughout the course of this semester. Particularly durring the first section of this class, this blog was a point to come back to as we moved through different new media platforms. I had or created accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace and worked with them for this class, but Blogger was something that I used consistently and frequently throughout this class. It was great to be able to link to and from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube with the blog as I wrote about the ways they shape new media.

By using both this blog and the class wiki to record thoughts and information related to class, I'm able to compare the advantages of both in a classroom format like this one. I preferred the blog durring the first half of the class while we discussed Levinson's book, and I preferred the wiki while we discussed Jenkins' book. Each medium had advantages for the type of writing I was doing. Levinson's book discussed areas of new "new" media that I was already familiar with, and most of my writing detailed my own experiences with things like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, ect. The blog format allowed me to structure my reflections  based on what those experiences were and seemed more appropriate for writing largely about myself and my thoughts. I still referenced Levinson frequently, but I had more personal input to add. For Jenkins' book, I had less experience with the topics he explores. While he uses some examples I am familiar with, like Harry Potter, Convergence Point focuses much more on critical analysis about how new media functions in society. When I wrote about his book, I focused on the points he brings up in the text to support his conclusions. The class wiki was a very good illustration of collective intelligence, a concept he discusses in depth. Having different students do closer readings of the text and write about them gave the entire class more insight into the chapter. Writing about American Idol on the wiki was different than what I would have written in a blog post about American Idol. With the wiki, I wrote in a way that presented Jenkins' concepts as clearly and accurately as I could, so my classmates could have a better understanding. The tone was more formal  for an academic audience. On the blog, I focused more on creativity, personality, and reader interest. For me, the blog was a better way to explore my own ideas, and the wiki was a better way to dig deeper on the authors' ideas.

I enjoyed and preferred writing for the blog, and I thought I made good use of it throughout the course of the semester. I published posts for all of the assigned prompts, and I wrote a couple additional posts related to new media and class discussion. I also experimented with personal blogging when we were away for Spring Break. I'd never considered doing a personal blog, but I found that when I have ideas to write about, whether class prompts or travel experiences, it is actually very easy to do.

Overall, I really enjoyed this blog and this class.
Peace out, girl scouts!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The World of Harry Potter

We didn't get to the chapter about Harry Potter in our English for New Media class discussions, but the Harry Potter universe is the fictional world that I am most familiar with. In class, we looked at the ways stories like Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Matrix expanded beyond their original medium into huge trans-media stories built by fans or the stories' producers. Since we didn't get a change to look at the Harry Potter word, I want to examine some of the different stories and mediums I know of as a fan of the book series.

  • The Harry Potter world starts with J.K. Rowling, and everyone is aware of the overwhelmingly popular seven-novel series. In addition, Rowling has written three short companion books and one short story prequel, all for charity.
  • Based on the seven books, Warner Brothers created an eight film adaption of the series, with significant input from Rowling.
  • At Universal Studio's Island of Adventure, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter recreates settings based on the novels and films. Both the film producers and Rowling were involved in creating a world that was consistant with the books and movies.
  • Fans have created a music genre called Wizard Rock where artists preform only songs based on the Harry Potter universe. At one point, I owned CDs by the bands "Harry and the Potters" and "Draco and the Malfoys."

I realize this list only skims the surface of what is available to Harry Potter fans and what has been created by them. I only included things that I had personal experience with as a Harry Potter fan. I know there are countless websites devoted to Harry Potter fandom and fanfiction. When I was growing up, I wasn't very aware or interested in any of that, but I did love dressing up for the book and movie premiers, and I was able to go to Harry Potter world durring my senior spring break.