Multitasking Madness

It can't multitask

It can’t multitask

As there is increasingly more media technologies dominating our lives it’s not surprising the practice of using multiple technologies at once or multitasking is causing the debate whether this is a good or bad thing.

As I sit on my lounge watching television, snap chatting friends on my mobile whilst also trying to write this blog, it would be considered that I am media multitasking.

However, am I really doing all 3 things at once? According to Forbes (2013) there is great reason to believe that we are never doing multiple things at once but instead our brain is switching between tasks giving us the impression that it is happening all at once.

With this being the case, it can then be questioned whether a brain trying to process multiple fragmented bits of information at once is actually beneficial in any ay or whether the new era of digital multi tasking is interfering with productivity and learning.


Throughout a study looking at the affects of multitasking, it was noted that digital multitasking was linked to self-produced distractions such as off-track thoughts (Ralph et. al. 2014 p. 667), which ultimately would be detrimental to being productive at the task in hand.

These distractions are caused as we flick across multiple media devices because our brains are trying to process multiple fragments of information very quickly. And this is because our brains are not structured to process multiple streams of information that are intended for long term memory at once (Merrill 2012).

Not only does our brain then generate other of-track thoughts as it tries to work out how to store the overload of information, but it proves to be unproductive again as the brain then stores a majority of the fragmented information through multitasking into our short-term memory (Merrill 2012), because it is not structured to take it all in naturally.


So as I sit here doing this blog post whilst watching TV, it is clear that the process of multitasking or should I say rapidly switching from task to task is ultimately detrimental to myself, and probably this blog as the fragmented pieces of information I am taking in, and then putting into my blog, is clouded by the other information my brain is trying to process form the technology around me.



Kleiman, J 2013, How Multitasking Hurts Your Brain (and Your Effectiveness at Work), Foribes, viewed 14 September, 2014, <>.

Merrill, D 2012, Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work, Forbes, viewed 14 September 2014, <>.

Ralph, B, Thomson, D, Cheyne, J & Smilek, D 2014, ‚ÄėMedia multitasking and failures of attention in everyday life‚Äô, Psychological Research, vol. 78, no. 5, pp. 661 ‚Äď 669.


W10 ~ Misogyny Madness

We have come a long way in terms of equality among¬†the sexes,¬†but when it comes to women online it seems that inequality and¬†misogyny is still a huge issue with¬†high percentages of¬†women, in particular high profile women¬†particularly feminists,¬†receiving sexually explicit¬†misogynistic attacks and abuse by¬†internet “trolls”. The disparity between over represented men and underrepresented women may have a correlation in the high percentage of women receiving harassment online.

A great example of a high profile woman who was trolled relentlessly online was our ex-prime minister Julia Gillard.

Julia Gillard


During her term as Australia’s¬†first female prime minister she would daily receive derogatory¬†abuse online about her looks, her relationship, her lifestyle choices,¬†¬†the fact¬†she¬†was¬†female and¬†sexually explicit¬†comments with most having nothing to do with the way she was governing the country. These¬†attacks are just one example of one woman being targeted online but the sheer reality is that most¬†women are subject to online abuse¬†with¬†72.5%¬†of 3,787¬†people harassed online¬†being women¬†.¬†So what is being done?

Abuse on twitter



PM Scrutiny


Ms Gillard being the subject for abuse on and offline became a voice for all women as she attempted to set the anti-misogyny online movement into motion. Gillard not only began publicly putting pressure on internet giants to take part in the new Australian guidelines for appropriate social media behaviour but also made her historical Misogyny speech which brought gained the attention and applause from women in not only Australia but across the world.

Gillard is not the only¬†fighting this problem, groups such as¬†EndMisogyny.Org a female activist group fighting against online misogyny who¬†are¬†“women on a mission to raise awareness of the prevalence of online misogyny”. Women are here able to gain support, create awareness and report abuse they have faced.

Maybe it’s just the fact that the internet¬†creates anonymityor maybe we haven’t really progressed as a society at all, either way,¬†it is evident that misogyny and sexism is still a major issue online today but withawareness and women like Gillard pushing for¬†steps in the right direction we may one day in the near future see a change in the treatment of women online.

W9 ~ The Blackfish Movement




More than ever before, audiences online a voice. Where once audiences were expected to simply accept what was said, through the use of social media and expanding points of internet access, audiences across the world now hold the ability to respond, fight back and become activists as they come together creating movements and demand change.

These online movements, created by audiences supporting a similar cause is a new type of digital activism which¬†uses¬†social media and the internet to aid and promote a¬†social cause,¬†also known as Clicktivism. It is argued that Clicktivism¬†isn’t a helpful¬†form of activism as sitting behind a screen and liking, writing or uploading about a cause isn’t actually physically helping the cause. However,¬†the sequence of events that followed the release of Gabriela Cowperwaite’s¬†documentary Blackfish could argue otherwise.


Blackfish¬†is a documentary¬†that¬†factually reports the deaths and attacks of SeaWorld trainers and the treatment of Killer Whales in captivity, with particular focus on¬†the largest captive¬†killer whale¬†Tillikum. But soon after it’s release¬†social media was a buzz¬†and Clicktivism was taking form with audiences¬†demanding change¬†as¬†people across the world watched and were touched by the film. Posting videos (as seen below), online articles written by children and adults, Social Meida posts including the hashtag #FreeTilly and #Blackfish , Blogs, Facecbook Pages and much, much more. It’s been¬†called the Blackfish Effect.



Blackfish Effect

Even celebrities jumped on board

Blackfish Effect

From here on, online petitions through many organisations like, PETA circulated the internet asking for signatures demanding the whales be released, SeaWorld change its act and performance acts at SeaWorld to stop. And eventually, online audiences organised physical protests that have taken place at SeaWorld since the movement.

Protesters along Sea World Drive (images by Lindsay Bullis)

SeaWorld Protest


So the important question, has the Clicktivism over Blackfish made any kind of difference?

Although the whales (sadly) are still performing the Clicktivits have¬†seen a number of results firstly with the success of the online¬†petitions asking major¬†musical¬†acts to cancel their¬†shows at SeaWorld seeing a number of acts withdraw . Secondly,¬†since the release of the film and¬†the¬†online movement that is the¬†Blackfish Effect still in motion¬†sea world has been on a downhill slope with theme park attendance¬†and stock at it’ slowest and¬†continuing to¬†decline¬†and criticism at its highest.

SEAS Chart

SeaWorld Attendance

 All in all, Clickivism and audience voice has gone a step in the right direction for all of the Blackfish activists proving just how powerful, online activism can be.

W8 ~ Everything’s a Remix


Remix Culture

We are in an age where creation is key. Nearly everything that can be done has been done, so it comes as no surprise that with the  advancements in technologies current day audiences are going back and building on, extending and changing  existing materials and turning it into something new through remixing and mashing (Burns 2010). Remixing has becoming a cultural art form and adds demonstrates the change in the role audiences now play in progusague as the viewer becomes and active collaborator of content online.

While laws against using original content are getting stricter, the rate of recreation is going up, every day on YouTube alone; 1000’s of videos of remade content¬†are being posted online. People are participating in this cultural phenomenon in a number of ways:

1 By creating covers of original content it a new sounds and new beat..



2 By remixing music by changing an original piece of content so that it becomes a completely new work.



3 By mashing, where an artist will chop and combine a number of original works to create one new work.

And this¬†isn’t just seen within music, but almost any form of creative content especially online¬†from¬†movies to simple¬†video recordings.

So is it wrong that we use already existent content?

No, it isn’t. According to Kirby Ferguson in¬†Embracing the Remix¬†(See Below) remixing is a better form of¬†creativity, he¬†states that from the beginning of time people have been taking the ideas and content of¬†someone else and used them as a guide¬†and turned them¬†into new content. All of the things we have today¬†are products of ideas that were¬†taken from¬†someone else, our creativity comes from without, we are not self-made we are dependent on one and other.

W7~ Transmedia Narratives

Produsage and audience participation, as seen with Spotify, is a massive movement online. So it’s not surprising that audiences are getting involved individually and collaboratively, creating extensions, collaborating ideas and forming fan based communities to turn popular linear¬† stories¬† into complex ‘worlds’ by delivering fragments of stories over multiple media channels. This is known as Transmedia storytelling.

Transmedia Storytelling

Transmedia storytelling gives a story more multiple levels of depth in order to enhance the entertainment experience across multiple delivery channels, with most channels ideally making their own unique contribution to an unfolding story (Jenkins 2007). Some popular transmedia stories include, Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, Doctor Who and Star Wars. These are all transmedic because their stories are told over multiple platforms as seen below, like books, movies/ TV shows, comics, fan art, video games, music,  fan based videos, blogs and websites  and can be aided by popular sites like YouTube, Wikipedia and even my focus platform Spotify.

Sw dvd's

Star Wars on DvD


Star Wars Lego Game on Xbox


Star Wars Comics

Star Wars Fan Art

Star Wars Fan Art



Spotify as a music streaming platform, contributes a small part to Transmedia storytelling compared to other platforms like YouTube. However there are still audiences using it to actively participate in creating a transmedia experience by creating fan playlists that reflect on popular stories, in effect, adding another layer to their entertainment experience of that story.


Star Wars Playlists on Spotify

Star Wars Playlists on Spotify


Fan  created Star Wars playlist

Fan created Star Wars playlist


The above screenshots of the numerous Star Wars playlist have been created by users on Spotify. These playlists include not only movie sounds tracks but also playlists composed collaboratively by users including songs not from the movies but that reflect the fans idea of the Star Wars narrative, adding a new layer of dimension and enhancing the Star Wars experience (as seen in the following image).

Spotify then goes on to aid transmedia narrative creation, especially when creating story extensions on fan based blogs and webpages with the Spotify Play feature. This feature allows users to embed music into their blogs and internet pages, instantly giving the story an additional entertainment layer of which they may not have gained otherwise.



Although only adding a small fraction of entertainment into transmedia narratives, Spotify understands that current day audiences expect access to multiple mediums for a complete transmedic experience. They are addressing this with a proposed plan to also become an on demand video streaming service much like Netflix, giving Spotify users broader access to a transmedia story experience.

W6 ~ An Age of Produsage

Convergence of media has entered is into an age where audience participation has changed and we no longer just have content given to us. We search, create, add and collaborate content with other internet users. This is the age of produasge.

Produsage is simultaneous content production and usage by online users (Bruns 2007). Producage consists of four elements, Organisational Shift, Fluid Movement, Unfinished and Permissive (Bruns 2007). When looking at these elements in contrast to technology, you are able to grasp an idea in the way users are participating in its development, using it and responding to it.
The platform spotify is a great example.

Spotify gives audience the ability to create their own content in the forms of playlists. Originally, this was only for individual users but due to audience demand, the collaboration feature was introduced enabling users to interact,  merge and create playlists with other Spotify users. This feature touches on the Organisational element within produsage.

Collaborative Playlist Option

Collaborative Playlist Option

The line between a user and producer on Spotify is nearly blurred with users producing personalised playlists to listen to. This touches on the next point, Fluid Movement.  Fluid movement is also seen between a more advanced group of users who develop programs to assist with their interaction with Spotify through the use of the Open Source 3rd party programs.

SMPapps 520x288 Life after playlists: ShareMyPlaylists launches a bespoke Spotify app development studio

An app developer for Spotify

Spotify has come a long way and this brings us to the third element of prod usage, Unfinished. The open source technology associated with Spotify sees audiences participate in creating new apps, features, widgets and more for their own personal use. These developments are advantageous for Spotify because as audiences create new and better programs and features, Spotify remains unfinished  adapting and improving remins itself from these advancements.

Spotify as a free platform is available for anyone to use. Now, even though the music content within Spotify is heavily copyrighted, users are still able to use it to create their own content without breaking any copyright laws, bringing in the final element of produsage, Permissive. Through the Spotify platform and its agreement with music content owners, users are able to create their own content in the forms of playlists and even create content by sharing on sites such as Facebook or Twitter from Spotify all lawfully.

Spotify is a platform which implores the phenomena that is produsage.



Bruns, Axel 2007, Produsage: Towards a broader framework for user-led content creation. In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington, DC. p. 99 Р106.

W5 ~ The Audience has control

Spotify goes social, partners with Facebook

Spotify goes social, partners with Facebook

Media is no longer individual, it’s collaborative, and these days you will find the most of the most successful contenders within the media and technologies industries have found convergence is the key for expanding opportunity (Jenkins 2004)¬†in particular Spotify.

Convergence has seen all types of technologies ban together to create one giant network designed to pass on information from¬†one platform, and have it flow through to numerous others. Why?¬†Because¬†it’s as simple as¬†audiences wanted it to!¬†Audiences today¬†expect and demand the ability to participate, interact,¬†collaborate with content, information and other users across multiple platforms.

As some platforms may resist the change in demand (Jenkins 2014), we see Spotify  respond and embrace convergence now linking accounts with other popular media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and personal Blogs  allowing users to post and share what they re listening to instantly from Spotify. Spotify even has its own Youtube channel.

Spotify tracks can be embedded on Tumblr as well as shared via Twitter and Facebook

Which platform is most worthy of your monthly subscription?


Spotify also¬†makes its brand available¬†through numerous devices and technologies. ¬†Individual Apps have been created for all¬†laptops,¬†home computers, mobiles¬†and¬†Tablets catering to¬†all brands and operating systems.¬†¬†Spotify has roots into New Samsung Smart Televisions and ¬†even Virgin Music’s Tivo entertainment system all as a means of interacting with and for audiences.

For Spotify, the role of the audience is not just to listen to the content, it is to respond, give feed back and allow Spotify to see where it can grow and expand. ¬†One of Spotify’s key points has been looking at the way users of ¬†other¬†media, and have seen the need users have to be always¬†connect to other users. This lead to the ¬†introduction of the “sharing” button, posting to twitter or Facebook what users were listening to. Next came the “follow” app,¬†allowing users to follow their fiends, favorite artists and celebrities to see what they were listening to, and from there on came Spotify messaging system where users can actually send songs and messages to other Spotify users, much like that of Facebook.


Spotify ads ‘follow’ buttons



Audiences as seen with Spotify, play a major role in the development of a technology and have particularly assisted in convergence of media.  The way in which audiences media platforms can, in turn, allow a platform designed for a completely different purpose to expand and grow, it shows that audiences are now mediators, determining how companies will produce a product to then give back to that same audience.



Aguligar, M 2013, Spotify is mking sharing music more like Facebook messaging, viewed 1 April 2014, <>.

Buskirk, E 2013, Spotify usage explodes, the Social Media Effect, viewed 1 April 2014,

Buskirk, E 2013, Twitter release Spotify app, viewed 1 April 2014,

Colling, S 2013, Spotify: Merging music with social media, viewed 1 April 2014, <>.

Jenkins, H 2004, ‚ÄėThe cultural logic of media convergence‚Äô, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 7, no.¬†1, pp. 33‚Äď43.

Social Media for Audience Engagement n.d., viwed  April 2014, <>.

Spotify: Introducing the Spotify follow button n.d., viewed 1 April 2014,

Spotify: Using Spotify on your Samsung Smart TV n.d., viewed 1 April 2014, <!/article/Samsung>.