Monday, April 28, 2014

Voyant Tools

Voyeur tools is a program for analyzing text. I analyzed the story A Cask of Amontillado and focused on the frequently used words in the corpus. My first step after running the text was to edit the stop words. Stop words are words such as 'the, and, of,' essentially modifiers that are used frequently that do not change the meaning of the text. After editing the stop words I analyzed the frequently used words in the corpus.One word that stuck out to me was the word "friend." That word stuck out for me because Montresors did not like Fortunato  but used the word friend to lure him into the cask. 

On Voyeur, you can look at the word cloud to have a visual of the most frequently used words. You can also access a list of those popular words and by clicking on them individually you can see words in their direct context.
Voyeur tools is a useful tool to use when analyzing text. You can use it to strengthen your thesis because you are analyzing words used in the text and how they are important. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wizarding Wars

The wizarding war of Harry Potter goes beyond the battle between Harry and Voldemort. Some people believe that engaging in anything Harry Potter related is a sin because of the witchcraft element of the novels. What people fail to realize is that if they read the books, they would draw the conclusion that, yes magic is a big part of the novel but there are more adversary themes that one can depict from reading the stories. For example, overcoming adversity, standing up for what is right regardless of fear, and friendship are all themes that derive from the series.
If people celebrated the good that derives from the books instead of focusing on what they fear, they would realize that Harry Potter is more that just an adventure story about a child that can wield magic. Harry Potter is one of the first book series that has gotten so many children to celebrate reading. Children were genuinely excited for the release of the books to come out and would go out of their way to wait in line to get their hands on a copy.
No matter what, people will always find offense in literature. It is sad that people overlook good books such as the Harry Potter series, but I do relish in the idea that people should celebrate children reading and encourage it through good literature.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars?

George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, never intended for Star Wars to become a source of creation for many people. He kept a tight leash on the rights for the films so that people could not recreate their own stories. Once he agreed to allow people to publish their creative work, Star Wars fan fiction, videos, and songs became popular. 
Television shows such as Robot Chicken and Family Guy have made parodies of the films as well as Youbuters. 
Lucas fought for the rights of his show to remain untouched but once he gave up his rights, Star Wars fans became active with the story. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Convergence of Tehnology

Convergence of technology is using different mediums of technology for the same purpose. For example the cell phone is not only just a way of communicating with people by talking or texting but is now a device that you can play games on, check the weather, or utilize for social media. The cell phone then works almost like a computer.
                Other forms of technology work in similar ways. No longer do people need a computer when they can use a tablet or a cellphone for almost the exact same functions. Apps are now available on multiple devices which gives anyone the opportunity to participate with any device. Viewer participation has become a social norm in our media. For example, years ago when people watched a show they would participate with one another by having a conversation about it and presently when audiences view shows, they are able to communicate about the shows through social media.
                Bert is evil is an idea that was formulated by teenager, Dino Ignacio. Dino took a photo of Bert from the show Sesame Street and cropped his photo with Osama Bin Laden using Photoshop. There was a website dedicated to pictures of Bert with other historically powerful people like Adolf Hitler and had Bert placed with historically horrific groups such as the KKK. Once you enter the website there is a page dedicated to Bert’s mug shot and links to click on that will prove why Bert is evil. There is a gallery of photos of Bert in historically negative situations. The most popular image is the image of Bert and Osama Bin Ladin.
                The picture of Bert and Osama Bin Laden was printed on signs, posters, and even on t-shirts. In a news covering by CNN reporters, the signs with Bert and Osama Bin Laden on them were exposed to the entire world. That exposure then led to popularity for the Bert is evil website.
                The website, Bert is Evil was created by a teenager for fun. He used Photoshop to create seemingly innocent images for his own personal joke. Those photos were leaked and used during a protest. Dino’s website then became popular because of the news coverage. People participate by adding pictures to the website and can share those photos on different Medias such as Facbook or Pinterest.
                The Television show, American Idol, is a perfect example of technological participation. If you go to the American Idol Website you can follow them on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and Pinterest. The website even has an option that allows them to remind you to watch the show if you sign up with them.
                The show allows the audience to participate by providing them with multiple mediums. Years back, if viewers wanted to participate with the show they had to call in and vote and that was the extent of their participation. Now they can tweet about the show, follow the contestants on their Instagram accounts, text in votes, or pin pictures of the show on Pinterest. This means that no matter where viewers are they can use their cellphone, tablet, or computer to participate with the show. With this audience participation, the viewer’s feel like they contribute to the show and have say in what happens. This leads to both positive and negative feedback based off the contestants position in the show. But no matter if the publicity is good or bad it is still there which promotes the show further.
                Audience participation for reality shows has become popular but now is becoming a norm for sitcoms. Sitcoms use to be viewed for pleasure but now viewers are given the opportunity to participate during the show. For example, the show Modern Family that is aired on the television network USA, poses questions at the bottom of the screen that viewers can answer by tweeting the show. Then the answers are posted at the bottom of the screen for viewers to see.
                Similarly, the television network TLC often has special episodes of shows that allows for viewers to Tweet to the show. Viewers feel like they get a chance to participate then with the show and maybe get to see their tweet’s on the television. This can be a bad thing if Tweets do not have a gatekeeper, or someone who mages the tweets and only displays the appropriate tweets. If tweets are not gatekept the inappropriate ones could get leaked and then displayed on the show.

Technology has changed the way that we view shows. Participation has become a common asset to shows and how it becomes promoted. Viewers can interact with TV show characters by following their Facebook pages, Twitter pages, Instagram’s, and Pinterest boards. Multiple devices, such as the tablet or cellphone, can be used to participate with shows. Television has changed beyond addressing shows through personal conversation to utilizing social media to converse.This convergence of technology helps to promote viewer participation. 

Wachowski brothers versus Warner Brothers Studios

The Wachowski brothers created the movie, The Matrix. Before the movie was released the brothers created a world for the concept of the Matrix. They themselves created different forums for the movies as well as a video game based on the movie. The two brothers had the concept of the movie's story being told through different mediums.
Other stories have followed suit, such as the Harry Potter series, although, they are on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Wachowski brothers. Warner Brothers studios made the Harry Potter books into movies. Then when the movies became popular, they made forums, video games, and merchandise for fans. The book The Tales of Beadle the Bard was a story written by J.K Rowling and it was based off a book that was referred to in both the book and movie series but the book was not about the characters specifically. The book is considered a transmedia story because it is another medium of the same story.
The Wachowski brothers is a good example of their story being told through transmedia because they themselves came up with the concept of their story being written in many mediums. J.K Rowling wrote the Harry Potter stories but she did not create the other mediums that came about because of the popularity of the movies.
Both movies follow the idea of covering the stories in many mediums but only do the Wachowski brother's truly follow the idea of transmedia.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Transmedia is a telling the same story in different mediums. For example, the movie The Matrix is both a movie and a video game. Both mediums provide publicity for the movie.
Movies such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings have been adapted into video games but hardly ever is the reverse popular. For example, the movie Prince of Persia was inspired by a video game and made into a movie. People that played the video game before viewing the movie came to the conclusion that the video did not meet their expectation.
Generally people like when a movie is adapted into a video game because they get to experience the story as a game. But when games are made into movies, they lose out of interacting with the movie.
Transmedia allows for participation on multiple mediums and if done right can positively promote media.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Adam Hammer

Adam Hammer works for the St Cloud Times at Saint Cloud University as the director of media relations. He takes part in creating their literary magazine. During his presentation he addressed the process of writing articles. He talked about how he receives emails about certain stories and has an editorial process where he can decide what stories to take on. What I found interesting is that he receives a lot of story ideas but he can go out searching for stories opposite of how working for a newspaper worked. He went into detail about how he organizes the stories in an inverted pyramid so that the most interesting stories are at the top of the page. I loved that he went into detail about the writing process because it gave me an idea of how to structure a literary magazine.
I found his presentation very informative because his line of work as a media relations director is along the lines of what I could do with my New Media Major.

Adam Hammer

You can find out more about Adam on his website.