WEEK 7: BREATHE OUT, BREATHE IN. NOW REPEAT.

It really is that simple.. breathe out, breathe in.. breathe out, breathe in.. now repeat.
So along with me, you have just experienced distribution and aggregation.

Strange way to put it, I know.. but really this is what stuck as I went through this week’s content.

So what is distribution? dividing up, sharing, dispersing, arranging, spreading, scattering.. Yes in the world of publishing, these are the terms used to deliver content from the publisher to the reader. But with the basic example I came across it is evident that everything can be distributed, so the air that we breathe out is being distributed as carbon dioxide.
Of course the means of distribution are endless!
– Books, letters, newspapers, DVDs, CDs, computers, eReaders, alphabets, languages, apps, everything Apple and the list goes on…

And aggregation? Defined as gathering, combining or bringing anything that can be distributed into a whole or into a new relationship. So in the world of publishing, this is collating sounds, codes and platforms and using this, forming a new relationship. Explained with my easy to understand example, when we breathe in, we aggregate oxygen within our lungs as naturally as the next living species.

What I have learnt over this week is that the methods of distribution and aggregation have changed over time. The platforms used to distribute and aggregate are rapidly advancing and the content being distributed and aggregated is ever changing, constantly being tailored to the requirements of current day publishers and audiences. However, with this ever-changing context, there has been a rise in interconnected network for information publication and as Greg Bateson puts it, this allows us to “see the world not as a collection of things or persons, but as a network of relationships bound together by communication.”

Social media platforms are a huge avenue for the distribution and aggregation and personally the one I use the absolute most (other than breathing in and out of course).
Facebook – Oh gosh lets not get started on all the aggregation (stalking?) I do on this social networking website. I mean good on Zuckerberg for giving me multiple opportunities in a day to collect and gather all the information I need to know where peopleare, and what they get up to week in week out. In all honesty, I think I am a bit excessive but it doesn’t stop at Facebook, most of us will also have an account for Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, etc and what these social media platforms are really offering us is an opportunity to belong.

Our distribution and aggregation activities creative mediums of publishing that are fostering engaged citizenry and participatory cultures and this is a concept well explained by David Gauntlett. He explains that creativity is the fuel for growth. Essentially, when you have enough individuals deciding to create rather than just consume things, it amplifies activity. So the more we all use new-media and distribution platforms, the better we tend to get at it. Trust me, I’m sure several generations of people can call themselves Facebook experts. This of course enhances our engagement and connectivity within the world of publishing and we continue to distribute and aggregate on a daily basis.. every hour, every minute, every second of the day.

So what are you doing right now? Distributing or aggregating?

Reference List:
UNSW ARTS2090 Lecture Material

Gauntlett, David (2010) Making is Connecting <http://www.makingisconnecting.org/>

Bateson, Gregory (1979) Mind & Nature

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WEEK 1: PRINTED PUBLICATIONS; A THING OF THE PAST?

Last month I attended a Sunday family lunch for my niece, Anika’s, seventh birthday. After we had all been fed and were ready for a good cup of coffee and a possibly a nap in the warm afternoon sun, Anika was ready to tear open all her gifts.

Clearly things had changed from the time I turned seven years old. To my surprise (or shock might be more appropriate), her parents were presenting her with a brand new Apple iPad. Her face lit up.

On my seventh birthday I distinctly remember experiencing a very similar reaction to my first Harry Potter book and here I was witnessing a whole new concept, questioning what went wrong along the way?

A fortnight ago I visited my niece again. The entire afternoon was spent around her iPad. She was either using this device to assist her with the minimal homework a Grade 2 child receives, to reading an e-book her mother had bought her from the iBooks app. I sat taking in the tremendous change which has come across in the platforms of print and publication. Evidently, writing in and reading from a paper-back book has clearly diminished! The thought, that as a twenty-one year old, I continue to hand write my study notes and use textbooks to learn was a just a little intimidating.

BUT when it came to looking into this a little further, I think I may have been swayed! To anyone that does their research (that being a simple Google search) it is quite indisputable that e-readers, kindles, iPads, iPhones, tablets, e-books and the various other platforms of the like are here to stay. Not only are they a prominent facet of our future but they help Anika and the children of today with learning and education.

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Now, I know a lot of us feel that there is nothing which compares to a paper-back book; the smell of that old library book, turning through the crisp pages, seeing the marks of old donkey ears and replacing them with a new set. However, with an ever-changing global context, we have to be open to change and seeing the way our children replace old media with the new is truly inspiring (definitely still shocking but inspiring nonetheless). These children have been moulded for the ways of the future, being provided with the skill set to rise to occasion.

I do feel printed publications are slowly and steadily on the way out. Yes, I will still be hand writing my notes and using textbooks (the way I know I learn best) but at the same time I know I wont be attending a class under prepared, with the help of my trusty Apple iPad I have all my lectures and readings accessible anywhere and anytime!