BCM240 introduced me to ways in which media audiences have been constructed and analysed since the early twentieth century. Throughout this semester, we’ve examined the history of industry and theoretical assumptions about audience motivation, behaviour and experience. We’ve looked at alternatives to theories of reception and consumption, including the concept of the media user as media producer, and perhaps most importantly, used a range of different creative tools to explore and represent the importance of space, place and locality to our understanding of media practice.
Week one of blogging to me, was very important because it allowed me to gain a sense of space inside the media world, I began to understand what it all meant to be part of something never ending. Looking back at my first post Loading… readers can see how overwhelmed I was by so much information and technology that become available to me. Even more important was what I came across on my week one reading topics where Doreen Massey talks about the process through which one learns interview. Of never disposing of an idea, but rather reformulate them. I began to write down everything, the necessary and unnecessary to recycle later. What stood out to me the most and I feel is evident in all my blog posts was Doreen Massey questioning/reforming our belonging to a landscape to that of whether a landscape belong to us. Not only in BCM240 but throughout my entire blog, this is an ongoing question of belonging that I ask myself all the time.
A guide to collaborative ethnography was probably the most influential reading for me. It allowed me to fully understand the concept of studying people and really understanding what it was like to be someone other than me. It put space and media a little bit more in perspective for me because I began to take into consideration all aspects of individuals in order to further my knowledge about them. This also outlined the importance of collaborative work and how both the author and the audience benefit from collaborating, perhaps in ways that we didn’t even know we would. I feel that out of all my blog posts, All the different channels of life and Ethnology, it matters! Where my two favourites and most meaningful.
Sherry Tuckle’s connected, but alone? TED talk was incredible and on our week’s topic of domestic broadband changing the way we understand the experience and meaning of home, or (reforming the question here) is this a continuation of earlier technological impacts on place? I was once again shocked to find just how much was going on in the space and media around me that I had been clearly missing all this time. All these discoveries were recorded on my Weaving the Web post where I explored my mother’s way of life with a Sherry Tuckle’s perspective. Although I did not blog about measuring the audience in week three, ‘Media consumption or ‘audiencing’ can only be understood as part of a practice that is not itself about the media … ‘, Nick Couldry, ‘Theorising Media as Practice’, Social Semiotics, 14:2, pp.115-132 now made perfect sense to me as I had to step out of the media scope in order to understand what it meant to m famil and I. I then began to apply this theory to my everyday studies of media, audience and place.
For week five Once upon a movie… I decided to blog about an even that happened in my life where both Michel Foucault’s heterotopia and Hägerstrand’s time geography theory took place, by taking my Aunt to the movies. I feel that in this blog piece I was more specific to details about my aunt to show the various categories of group she fell into, as well as a lot of detail of our geographical journey to our final destination which at the end, didn’t end up mattering.
As the next weeks approached, I felt that regardless of the topic being discussed, I was starting to apply all the concepts of media and space that I had previously learned with this subject to my everyday activities, I began to stop and observe people and how they were interacting with technology and with each other. I began to take notice what it meant by being in the public eye, question things like privacy and consent and freedom.
Looking back through my blog posts now, I feel that by learning how to use collaborative ethnography, it gave me the key I needed to be able to better communicate with my family, allowing me to travel back in time and re-live those days, gaining information to what media and space was like back then. Not only was this very influential to me as a person, learning about my history, I also saw the importance that we as writers, communicators, ethnographers have in our audience. I hope that this was evident throughout my blog, how much I enjoyed writing it and connecting it to what was my own understanding of all the lectures and theories I have uncovered this semester.
Although I did not blog about all the things I learnt and ideas I developed (I could write a book…volumes) BCM240 helped me to grasp media audience theory with an understanding of its current issues, their contexts and developments over time. I am now able to engage media with new ideas and ways of thinking. I can better critically analyse issues being exposed, better acknowledge the work and ideas of others and convey them effectively using a variety of modes. Writing my blog in particular helped me to recognize how cultures can shape communication. I am now more aware of how different decisions affect different people, thus learning to make ethically informed choices. Appreciating and respecting diversity even more and acting as part of local, national and global professional blogs.
By completing this subject, I hope that my blog was able to demonstrate my understanding of key theories of media user experience as they change over time. I hope they will show that I can apply ideas about space and place to the experiences of the media audience and my own. I am now capable of extending my capacity for writing for online readership, and will be able to demonstrate my ability by creating my digital storytelling portfolio (coming soon…) to examine the ways in which space and place shape the practices of media users like me.