Evolving an Industry

The internet and the way it is used has changed so many things about this world. One major thing changed by the continuing evolution of the internet is journalism and how we consume news.

As the internet has evolved, so too has the entire field of journalism, just like it did with the invention of the radio and the television. The journalism industry’s evolving is dependant on the evolving and creation of the technology it uses.

Have you noticed that all of your favourite news sources now have a Twitter and a Facebook account? There are a number of reasons for this. One of these reasons is simply for advertising. Channel 9 News’ Twitter feed is almost purely for letting you know what they’ll be reporting on that night. And the Facebook page Channel 10’s The Project is for sharing stories about what’s on the show that night and links to their daily poll. While social media is great for the advertising of News shows, the thing that it is most useful for is breaking news.

Steve Buttry claims that “covering breaking news today without using Twitter is journalistic malpractice”. He continues to say that the challenge of reporters has always been finding credible sources to interview when some major event occurs. Traditionally, journalists wouldn’t be on the scene of a major event until a significant amount of time had passed, and most of the witnesses would have left the scene by that time. With Twitter, a first hand record can be posted online to millions of users in seconds. So now, instead of a reporter waiting to arrive at the scene before interviewing witnesses of an event, while they are on their way they can be searching on Twitter and already have a first hand account. It is also possible to tweet back and ask for more information. All of this before even arriving at the scene!

All of this goes to show how industries, like the news and journalism industries, have adopted a trans-media approach when it comes to sharing their content. With so many opportunities and different ways to share information, thanks to the evolution of the internet, a business or brand would be silly not to use them all – Facebook, Twitter, iPhone and iPad apps, etc.
Most people have the ability to now consume in a number of different ways, and the journalism and news industries are utilising this.

The question here now is though, did Twitter change journalism, or did journalism change Twitter? Twitter has long made changes based on innovations by it’s users. The hashtag, the adding of photos etc., but have users, this time, changed Twitter, or been changed by it?

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Best Phone, or Just the Cheapest?

Apple or Android? The big question! The starter of many arguments between friends, family and random people in forums online. Which is better? Which is more popular? Which is more successful? The fact is, it comes down to facts.

The big difference between Apple and Android smart phones is the open platform that Android phones are built on. This means that Android phones are easily customisable by users and provide a lot more opportunities to change and play around with the phone’s software. Apple, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. Being a closed platform, Apple software, iOS, cannot be edited by users and comes as whatever Apple chooses it to be, and only they can change it. Another difference is also the openness of the Google Play Store, which is the store used to download apps onto an Android phone. Anybody can upload any app to the Google Play Store without it being checked or censored by anybody. The App Store, Apple’s version, is completely closed and apps need to be officially approved before they can be uploaded, ready for download.

The closeness of Apple’s iOS makes for a very simple and smooth consumer experience, with every phone being exactly the same. Android being the complete opposite, with every phone having to ability to be different, depending on the users preference.

So which is more successful? Android phones, in 2013, hold almost 80% of the smartphone market. (Etherington, 2013). Does this mean it’s more successful? I mean, it’s obviously more popular!
However, Apple is winning when it comes to smartphone profit, raking in around 70% of the smartphone revenue, with Samsung (user of Android platform) claiming about 30% of the total smartphone revenue. All other companies either broke even or lost money. (McCracken, 2013).

So why does Android sell more phones, but make less money? This, in my opinion, would have to be placed in the fact that Android phones are cheaper. To buy the new iPhone 5S outright on the Apple website, prices start from $739. The price of the Samsung Galaxy S4 outright at JB HiFi is $599. And you can even buy Android phones outright for under $100!

Are people buying more Android phones because they’re better, or because they’re simply cheaper?

Etherington, D 2013, Android Nears 80% Market Share In Global Smartphone Shipments, As iOS And BlackBerry Share Slides, Per IDC, TechCrunch, viewed 20 October 2013, <http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/07/android-nears-80-market-share-in-global-smartphone-shipments-as-ios-and-blackberry-share-slides-per-idc/&gt;.

McCracken, H 2013, Who’s Winning, iOS or Android? All the Numbers, All in One Place, Technologizer, viewed 20 October 2013, <http://techland.time.com/2013/04/16/ios-vs-android/&gt;.

Split Personalities

Most people are online these days, most people have created an online profile, an online personality. This is what people see of us when they look at our Facebook, our Twitter, our Instagrams and blogs. They see our personalities, and who we are. But, is our online personality actually the same as our offline personality?

The great thing about creating our own profiles online is that we can share and present what ever information we like. We can choose to upload that party picture, we can choose to post that political tweet, we can choose everything that we share online.

While you can tell a lot about a person from their online profiles, I know first hand that there is some kind of filter that people have before posting something online. I am constantly thinking, in the back of my mind, of who is going to see something if I post it, what they will think and how they will react. While I only ever post things that I believe to be true, some of the things I post are watered down versions of my actual thoughts.

After conducting research, Marriot & Buchanan (2014, p. 177) conclude that “(people) present much the same version of themselves online as offline”. They go on to state that “social networking sites represent an extension of the offline social world rather than a fundamentally different environment”.

I agree with Marriot and Buchanan in their claim of a person’s online personality being an extension of their offline one. I believe that there’s a time and place for everything, which is why people act and say things differently in the presence of friends than they would their mother or grandmother. The thing about an online personality though, is that it has the potential to be shared with everyone publicly. That is why I think an online personality, while still being an accurate representation, is also a watered down version.

Marriot, TC & Buchanan, T 2014, ‘The true self online: Personality correlates of preference for self-expression online, and observer ratings of personality online and offline’, Computers in Human Behaviour, vo. 32, pp. 171-177.

Hell Yeah I’d Download A Car!

Where do you draw the line? Is is file sharing, or is it stealing?

I love the mini information film that used to play at the start of a movie or DVD, the ‘would you steal a car?’ ad.

If I could steal a car without it affecting that owner of that car or damaging or reducing the value of the original car, yell yeah I’d steal one!! If I could download a car, I would definitely download a car! But unfortunately, we haven’t come that far in technology (yet), except for with movies.

‘You wouldn’t steal a movie’. No, I don’t know (m)any people who would physically go into a shop and steal a DVD, but I’m sure I know a few people who would copy a movie off a friend or off the internet to watch it. After all, who is it harming? Nobody’s getting hurt or anything. It’s not even really stealing, just copying, right? WRONG!

If some guy in a shop is selling apples for $3/kg and some other guy down the road is giving apples out for free that he bought from the first guy earlier, who are you going to go to to get apples? Are you going to pay for them, or get the exact same ones for free? Of course you’re going to get the free ones! However, I don’t know of any sane person who would give away apples that they had spent money on earlier, they’re losing money and losing apples. But what if you could simply copy those apples, keep some for yourself and give other people some for free? Infinite apples!!! Would anyone ever buy apples again? Probably not.

This is how the information business works. Someone produces information, then wants to make money off it. So they make copies of the information, then sell those copies to the public. But, someone else who has bought a copy has a friend who wants to access that information as well, but doesn’t want to buy it, so they just copy it and give them a copy. But then the person who created the information doesn’t make any money off their product! This is why we have copyright.

Copyright protects the information created by a person so only they can make money off it, after all it is their information in the first place. So ‘stealing’ a movie is completely different to stealing a handbag or a car. If you steal a car, you are robbing the owner of the ability to drive their car around, a car they paid good money for. But what are you doing if you ‘steal’ a movie? You’re not robbing anybody of the ability to watch their copy of the movie, you’re simply spreading the information around!

I know a lot of people who enjoyed watching movie or TV shows, even listening to music, but wouldn’t even bother doing so if they had to pay for it. The fact of the matter is, that a large proportion of people wouldn’t even bother consuming some media if they had to pay for it. So is piracy somewhat good for the media industry in that way? One person downloads a movie and tells their friend how great it is. There is a chance that that person will decide to buy the movie instead of downloading it. So the industry does make some money in the end.

What do you think? Can piracy be good for the industry in any way whatsoever?