Wednesday, April 25, 2018

#10: Wildcard

Google Play is dead! Or at least it will be...

According to, "our tipster said that Google was planning to 'move the entire service over to YouTube Music ["Remix"].' They said that Google is 'working on YouTube Music features to bring it more in line with what Play Music offers.' While our tipster didn’t provide a timeline, Kellen’s 'reliable source' says 'users will be forced off of Play Music by the end of 2018 and onto Remix.'"

I, for one, am personally excited for a YouTube hosted rival to Spotify and Apple Music. Around 2009, a younger version of myself would find myself deep in the content of YouTube whether is was random videos or music. Streaming was the only way I could listen to music on my devices other than using the voice recorder app while playing a song out loud. The main struggle with music and YouTube is the lack of multitasking. As soon as you close out of the application, everything shuts off until you reopen it. People have been complaining about this for years, and in order for them to keep up demand, YouTube Remix will most definitely have to be able to play in the background. Remix is apparently YouTube’s attempt to please music publishers with more revenue from music placed on its service. With YouTube continually pulling in major online traffic, a lot of which is dedicated to music streaming, music executives want in on the action. But what about YouTube Red, isn’t that good enough? Well, apparently not, and Remix will be more focused solely on music, not just removing ads from videos the user wants to watch.

Another benefit to YouTube Remix is the universal aspect it brings for android and iPhone users. Although Apple Music will probably never give up, the division that Android and iPhone has with it's products makes it hard to have unity in within their audiences. On the other hand, the deep apartheid may have been the key to keep their brads alive.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

#9: Classmate Blog Critique

I want to start off by saying that I am extremely impressed with the blog turn out. A lot of people may take the words "LOOK AT WHAT YOUR PEERS DID" for granted, but you guys have no idea how much you inspire my creativity. I have a system of evaluation that not only helped me conduct this critique , but it also allows me to browse through your work when I am stuck on my own. So let's get to it! 

FIRST, I would like to point out the ones who obviously know how valuable research is. Kobe, Cole, Lauren, Forest Pierce, Shariya
Houston, Joshua Turner, and Suzanne all post with exceptional detail. If I need the expertise on something they most definitely know what they are talking about. As for writing style, I find Lauren, Anna, Desmion, Dasha, Justice and Suzanne to dazzle the crowd. When it comes to length, Anna, Justice, Houston, Joshua Turner, and Suzanne always meet the requirements. And last but not least, Kobe, Justice, Forest Pierce, Lauren, and Houston own the blogs that are most visually pleasant.

I personally loved the layout of Kobe's blog the most:

It is easy to navigate, and I don't have to exhaust myself with a lot of scrolling. However he has this huge amount of space to the right of his text that is not used. His graphics and word choices are consistent, but his font style and sizes are very inconsistent. I would also like to see his post for "Predictions" connect more to what could be artificial intelligence rather than just technology in general. He could also distinguish his post titles more from his body text with a different font. Other than this, I feel that his blog has a very serious vibe to it, and his posts are all well written.

Lauren's blog definitely reflects a powerhouse of analyzation:

Her combination of aesthetics and writing style show promise, and her blog feels the most natural to me. I like the nostalgic feel of the graphics, but I am missing a splash of color from something other than the pictures. I would suggest making the links a slightly brighter color or changing the color of your post titles/blog title. Otherwise, I shall let you be great! [insert clapping emoji here].

Suzanne's blog stands among the ones that I explicitly admire:

Besides her great work ethic, Suzanne exemplifies a writing style that is personal, informative, and continuous. She is very articulate with work, and she does not hold back her opinion. The only complaints that I would have would be the color choice along with the length of her writing. Although her writing is far from boring, the color brown could be misleading and somewhat unattractive. I feel like using lighter nude colors will complement appeal. I noticed the map at the top sort of gets drowned out by how dark the brown is. If the background color is a must then I suggest changing the font of your blog titles to something a little more playful. Try a font that resembles that of a map of a vintage globe.

Both Justice and Houston never fail to leave me envious with their aesthetic appeal and writing abilities: 
Justice is very entertaining, and his blog is beautifully contrasted. I actually sort of feel like I am reading a magazine. I like the touch of sectioning with underlined titles within your "Predictions" post. Perhaps you can go back and separate your ideas the same way in your other posts. Houston, on the other hand, comes off extremely intellectual without being too serious with his themes. I would like to see more consistency with his fonts and text orientation. Also, as beautiful as the background is, I'm not sure if I like how it's tiled in the background instead of just one continuous picture. 

As for others: TURNER has great information, but I feel like he could use a different font or background or develop a theme for his blog. SHARIYA's done great with her color choices, but I think the back ground picture is low resolution and needs to be continuous instead of tiled as well. PIERCE has an inconsistent picture to text ratio to me. The pictures space out the words too much almost like it's a slideshow, but his blog still looks awesome! DASHA's blog is very consistent, but her "Advertising" post needs at least one graphic. I really want DESMION to change the font of his blog title and probably the posts too. It's blocky, and, for me, takes the personality out of the rest of the blog. There are only a few punctuation problems that can be easily looked over on ANNA's blog, unlike her nice eye-grabbing vintage flare. And finally COLE, I like the red, but you have too much. I can't help but stare at the background even though it is simple.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

#8: Predictions

Between being flashed by social media and practically suffocated by advertisements, there is absolutely no room for pre-web patience. The most obvious path of television's downfall will start with the infamous practice of "cutting the cord". Now obviously you are not physically clipping any wires or permanently destroying ties with cable/satellite companies. The term "cutting the cord" is specifically described as the process of "cutting expensive cable connections in order to change to a low-cost TV channel subscription through over-the-air (OT) free broadcasts, through antenna, or over-the-top (OTT) broadcast over the Internet" by Techopedia. This act began around 2010, and is now an ongoing trend more encouraged today by popular video streaming hosts like Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV.

There are major advantages to ditching your satellite dish. The most noticeable would be the fixed, low prices that are available; depending on the price of your cable bill, you can purchase more than one streaming service subscription and still save money in comparison. But, is this enough to completely eradicate regularly scheduled programming?

Honestly, we don't give network innovators enough credit for their adaptation concepts. I don't think television will completely die. I think that it will simply merge into a more relevant format that tailors itself to the internet audiences. I can imagine cable television going completely digital. The context would bare resemblance to Hulu or Netflix, but each network will start off independent, and they will eventually merge and one will buy them all out. There will be more commercials unless given the option to pay and remove/lessen them which is a huge commission in itself. Also the extended options will be a plus considering that a common complaint (especially for Netflix) is that there is nothing good to watch or choose from.

Another question could be: "How will the cable providers integrate the convenience of live on-going television with the liberties of streaming video?" Well if you think about it, the format has already been created. Products like Tivo and dish add-ins allow you to pause, rewind, fast-forward, etc. on live television, but for a fee of course. Either way the fear of several contracts and upgrades could still easily send anyone straight to Internet services. If cable/satellite television wants to keep up with the Jones', they are going to have to make some huge financial compromises with costs and commercials. Either that or throw in some very flattering deals to widen their market.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

#7: Binge Watching

Think of me as an explorer of a different spectrum when it comes to subscribing or streaming movies and video series. Most of the time I stretch out in my bed, turn on a random television series, and probably pass out from exhaustion or general disinterest. I guess you can say I binge subconsciously for the background noise. If I actually feel like seriously watching something, my innate instinct is to check the "Comedy" category of Netflix for something good. My next option would be "Drama" simply because of the context that comes with the word. When I think of dramas I think of nail biting, breath holding, mind numbing stories with several probably predictable themes; I mean, let's be honest, if there is no tension or cliff hanger then the plot just sort of melts away. Then there's "Horror", but after that I just search the home screen option for what they think is best.

Even though I am a part of the Netflix and Chill demographic, I mostly keep it PG-13, and I'm not talking about the ratings [insert unsettling laugh here]. But outside of my love life, I recently found myself scheduling binges with my friends. Since they all have different personalities and interests, my friends often introduce me to some awesome productions that I would have normally just looked over. Even though I do enjoy my alone time, binge watching becomes 10 times better when you have a friend to make side comments with. Sometimes, when my friends and I binge a TV series, we like to predict the next episodes while we analyze the connections between what we just saw. A couple of sodas, some Ramen noodles, and maybe even a bag or two of popcorn later, and we realized we just had some of the best moments of our lives bonding through hours of lost time.

Almost a year ago, my best friend and I would rush back to our dorm room for an AHS session otherwise known as American Horror Story. At the time AHS was still fairly popular. On Netflix they only had seasons 1-5, and naturally we started at 4 because we were never the most traditional human beings. The real reason was because my best friend had heard about "Freak Show" before, and since each season is a completely different story, it really didn't matter which order they were watched. I feel like if we had watched them in the order they were made, I would have appreciated season 4 more than I did. Consequently, my favorite had to be season 3: "Coven". I often binge watch with my friend Britney. She likes to watch more lively and animated shows like anime, actions, and comedies unlike my best friend who would prefer something more serious feeling like dramas and Sci-Fi/fantasy. Not too long ago I began venturing back into anime, and I plan to watch Seven Deadly Sins with Britney because she surprisingly had never watched it before. We also started watching Atlanta from Hulu, we have binged several Poppy videos on YouTube, and we found her after binge watching a series of theoretical shorts called Don't Hug Me I'm Scared.

When I'm alone I like to re-watch classics which are sort of cultural staples that Netflix continues to host. I took it upon myself to binge watch Family Guy, American Dad, and Futurama because they are considered as vintage and commonly known. One of my favorite vintage television shows of all time would have to be A Different World! I was seriously devastated when I made it to the last episode because I didn't want it to end and I didn't know where to go next. It was just that good! Another understated and underappreciated, but popular, Netflix series that I loved was Dear White People. Every episode was formulated to keep you wanting more while delivering a strong and empowering message to society. A similar binge that everyone (especially in my dorm) was raving about in the beginning of this semester was She's Gotta Have It (2017). This is a TV series created by Spike Lee adapted from the movie She'sGotta Have it (1986) also written and directed by Spike Lee. All three of these shows have the common element of basing either college students or young adults that face the struggles of life and growing up. The stars are also black or African American, just like myself, and they are mostly intellectual in several aspect even though they are ultimately confused and learning new things.

Although I don't know anyone else's personal habits, I feel like the things we watch reflect something within ourselves. Maybe we subconsciously use it to play out situations that we could possibly go through or have already been. This could be why we binge watch and create bonds or connections with the characters. We could also be using the shows or videos to escape from reality and live through them. I know that when I watch my favorite shows, no matter how many times I watch it, I can still evoke the same narcissistic emotions as the first time compared to basically feeling nothing when I binge watching something that barely relates to me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

#6: Global Trends

Gamifying Behavior Change | Mariam Adil | TEDxYouth@ColumbiaHeights
West African Entrepreneur, Innovator, and Educational Specialist Mariam Adil has a dream of enlightening not only her country but the world to new challenges and ways of thinking. Alumna Mariam Adil is the founder of The Gaming Revolution of Inspiring (or International) Development otherwise known as GRID. This is a social venture that creates low-cost mobile games that are played by people around the world to change stereotypes and serve as educational resources according to GW Hatchet. Believe it or not this large inner-web of latter cognition began with just a day-dream in an economics class back in 2013. Today we see Adil in her prime as a game developer and team leader, nearing a total of 9 productions. However, this is a side job to her position as an operations analyst for the World Bank.

By setting a target towards maturation, she opens mental doors for people who have never had the chance to be reached. Adil worked with UNICEF Pakistan to spread the games through workshops with students where the group provides information on the topic and encourages attendees to download. GRID games are accessible as mobile applications which target a younger or more complicated demographic. Adil’s games are free on the App Store for both iPhone and Android users. This ongoing trend of "faster and cheaper" enhances the attraction of low-cost and free applications which increases the chances of downloads. In fact Adil brought up a shocking revelation that "we are looking at a world where people have mobile phones, even if they don’t have toilets," so the importance of entertainment and connections is definitely a high priority.

Mariam Adil is on a mission for the success of others. She told GW Hatchet "I want to have many, many games, solve several different problems and really become a pioneer in the use of games to inspire behavior change and to solve problems not only in the West but around the world." Adil is currently working with George Mason University on a new game that educates users on endometriosis, a painful disorder when the lining of the uterus grows on the outside, and their target audience is women in the United States. Adil said she is also working on games related to climate change, student loans, financial literacy and youth employment. Not only does she exemplify a super hero for unconsciousness, she is sort of the kind of kindred light that the world currently needs

Thursday, February 22, 2018

#5: Survelliance or Law Enforcement

A little dog's terrifying encounter with an angry moose was caught on camera. (Source: Kim Mahosky)
In the urban depths of Anchorage, Alaska, a dog cries moose to alert neighboring ears of danger. On Sunday February 18th, a surveillance video was released of a cocker spaniel named Daisy being chased and trampled several by a moose cow in the backyard of her owner, Kim Mahosky. This well-loved pup was let outside for some play time along with Mahosky's other dog, a pit bull, before the moose cow jumped the fence as seen in the video.

Although some controversy arose about the video's intent, Kim Mahosky had no knowledge of the moose before the abuse took place. She told KCCI that "the dogs were barking and [she] looked up." Mahosky had been acknowledged with criticism from misunderstanding that the video was simply proof that accompanied her warning of how dangerous moose can really be.  She concluded her address by saying "I didn't let my dogs out to go chase down a moose and torment it and you know people need to realize that I didn't stand out there and videotape this. It was my house surveillance camera that picked it all up. I had no idea."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

#4: Advertisement Analysis

People Of Color Discuss Black History Month
We are nearing the middle of February, a.k.a. Black History Month (BHM), where the push for low levels of hostility between black people and the rest of the world are at an all-time high. As we know, racial translation has always been, and will probably always be, an ongoing process in America. Most people often use it to create an example out of a person or situation while others choose to ignore our obvious differences and claim that they "don't see color". But, what is America really saying about African Americans during their most influential period of the year?

Major news outlets are glorifying Black History Month, as they should, for the support of the public, but rather than applying a small amount of pressure, some have gone as far as challenging the hate or even calling it out. Author Kerra L. Bolton wants to know "are you willing to challenge and change your beliefs…?" through CNN by revisiting the essence of BHM and why America provided this celebration in the first place. In this, they pose some rhetoric for reflection which sends a strong positive message of how CNN feels about black history. Washington Post went even deeper with their target: the parents. Author A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez explains that "BHM provides education to white Americans who are unaware of the social, systematic and personal grievances experienced by the descendants of African slaves." She strongly heeds not only the youth but their providers of the circumstances of this opportunity for unity.

Although there are several individuals and groups who can truly classify themselves as "woke", even the slightest bend to the Black History Month rules can lead a trail of fire behind it. WBUR News reported on February 12, 2018 that sometime this month, the Boston Police Department were set ablaze by social media standards. The department's decision to recognize a white male for his contributions to black history in the NBA was put to rest very swiftly due to responses calling them "tone-deaf" and "clueless". The tweet was later removed and paired with not only a statement from Boston's Mayor, Marty Walsh, saying it was "completely inappropriate", but with a new tweet where tribute was payed straight to the source. This is a great example of how strategic, planned, and careful an advertisement should before laying it out to our diverse audiences. The Boston Police Department claims to have had no intentions in offending anyone and apologized for the matter, but have possibly broken a bond with their public eye. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

#3: Product Review

Fall is usually a very active season for consumers. After school lets back in, we are trampled with fall fashion traffic, holiday traditions, and not to mention the "deals" that we just can't pass up. But, if you follow the Apple Inc. trends like a 16 year-old would keep up with the Kardashians, fall means that thousands of dollars will be burned on a brand new iPhone upon its release.

In 2017, Apple baffled the public by dropping not one but three iPhone additions; There is the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X (pronounced iPhone "ten"). The purpose of this triple threat was to maximize sales by providing a smartphone that attracts the entry-level users that usually stray because of the high prices while also catering to the veterans that are only really shook by the new advances.
Virtually, the iPhone 8 and 8+ are exactly the same as the iPhone 7 and 7+ give or take a design change or two. So let's focus on the iPhone X. As we all know, every change to the newest edition's design is tagged as revolutionary, but is it really? The features that seem to make this product desirable are the 5.8-inch Super Retina screen, facial recognition features, and portrait mode. Neither are brand new to the advocated smartphone scene. As a matter of fact they, Android has played around with each of the features for years, but Apple has a unique system of exposure that makes them feel like they are original ideas especially for their clientele. The new all-screen front is more of an aesthetic feature that does not really add anything to the ease of access. According to Techradar:

The disappearance of the home button is a very debatable topic especially if you are an Android user considering the conversion. Yes, the look is sleeker without it, but will consumers be up for learning a whole new set of controls? Touch ID is completely booted from the iPhone X; This means if face recognition ever decides to fail, you have the option to type in your personally generated pass code.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

#2: Programming Trends

Growing up practically an only child gave me loads of time to discover the many corners of the internet. Around the age of 13 I discovered YouTube videos which, at the time, sufficed as the prehistoric era of binge watching; and same as today, we called it getting lost. As time went on, I grew and developed and so did the value, production, and distribution of
YouTube was founded back in 2005 as a social platform for "users to upload, view, rate, share, add to favorites, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users."  The site went by the slogan: "Broadcast Yourself" from 2005 up until 2012, and that is just what people did. Today YouTube serves as an outlet for several artists, concepts, and personalities. In all actuality, the most prevalent distinction between the "old YouTube" (2005- 2009) and the "new YouTube" (2010-present) has major dealings with self-promotion and advertising. It has become a permanent staple for exposure in any field from amateur to professional.

About 2 years later in 2014, the cyber entertainment subculture was already more than booming. Everyone became obsessed with skits, parodies, and other forms of comedic release. While indulging in this society, through one of my religiously watched channels (qbanguy)  I stumbled across a YouTuber with the username LaToya Forever. In the beginning of her YouTube career, she projected herself as some crazy, Trinidadian girl from Canada who loved to make people laugh with her friends and family. Throughout the years she brought her "Crazies" through her life tribulations and has yet to fail  in utilizing YouTube as a host for her many niches across the web. Today she is a wife, mother of 2, fitness enthusiast, and entrepreneur all while maintaining her two successful YouTube channels full time.

LaToya Ali began her first channel, LaToya Forever, in 2009 where she created progression content through her YouTube personality "LaToya Forever™". She began her second channel, LaToya's Life, to separate her scripted comedy from the reality of her everyday life through a reality vlog-series. The first channel excels in the idea of collaboration while the seconds channel gives her viewers a more personal relationship with her. Latoya is what I like to call an imperial vlogger. An imperial vlogger is someone who uses their credibility to build those around them creating a sort of empire that strengthens relevance of their social presence. Since her start 2009, LaToya has exposed her followers to over 50 other YouTube personalities from the 5+ countries including DianĂ¡ aka Tootsie Time from the UK and Jamie and Nikki from Australia. She also frequently features her many connections with family and friends like Auntie Jillian, her real life aunt, whom is one of several that she inspired/helped to create a YouTube channel, and established model and friend Winnie Harlow. Latoya skillfully navigates her content around her personal strengths and turning points. Her strongest attribute overall is her appeal to emotion. LaToya Forever is an inspiring character that dared  the average female to take risks and make changes. LaToya's Life incorporates the LaToya Forever everyone knew and loved but appeals to growth which triggers the viewers sense of apathy by basically living through her and comparing their own lives as inferior to hers. LaToya's social strategy made a drastic change from keeping up with the latest trend to focusing more on family life. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#1 : Personal Video Habits

Many times I have prided myself over the restraint that I can put against my media browsing rituals, and how I can hop in and out of a cyber rut at any time. But let's face it; I'm a social junkie and I am willing to blame it on my peers for the constant temptation. Well, maybe it's not entirely their fault, but they definitely do help me stay posted on the latest season of American Horror Story. They also seem to never skip a Queen Bee or Kardashian ultra sound, but who does?
As a college student, and a Mass Communications major if I may add, the most used video source I have would be Facebook. I spend countless hours scrolling through videos that have been shared all over the world. It usually starts with a couple of flicks on my screen to find posts of interest to view, but once you click a video, there are several featured or similar videos under it that will automatically play if the screen is left idle in order to make your lazy day even less occupational. I constantly switch between Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter videos while almost never missing a conversation or group chat message. For my generation, binge watching is not just a pass time. It is a tradition! And my friends and I enjoy the strong connection we can build between the emotions of a Netflix series; we even like how lost we feel once the series is played out and our lives no longer have meaning. YouTube, however, is more of a tool rather than an entertainment experience. I usually use it to conduct product research and to find tutorials while providing the occasional awe to the many commentators and entertainers that utilize YouTube as an outlet for their art.
My personal video habits are not only secondary. On pretty much any social media platform, any one person has the ability to create video content and to upload it publicly. If you were to add me on Snapchat (@itxxmimi), you would see that I post to my Snapchat story several times a week. Usually it will be an instance from my everyday life, but sometimes I will even promote myself and my own content with commentary, support tactics, entertainment, comedy, and recently a fad or two just to get people thinking in the direction of my future. I aspire to be a YouTuber one day, and I usually observe current artists mostly through video to create my own name.

#10: Wildcard

Google Play is dead! Or at least it will be... According to , "our tipster said that Google was planning to 'mo...