Category Archives: Analysis

Analysing website communications and other essays.

Are the Inbetweeners ready for Malia? Or is Malia ready for them?

Our four favourite luckless teens took to the big screen, risking the sitcom to movie transition that many shows hold an infamous reputation of failing miserably. So, joining the herds of Inbetweener fans (most young I have to say) I got in line to witness the much anticipated adventures of the unlikely friends. Predicting easy laughs from humiliating antics the boys would no doubt get up to. And I did not leave the cinema disappointed.

Leaving torturous school life behind and hoping to seek out some ‘action’; Will, Simon, Jay and Neil set off to Malia where their holiday doesn’t exactly start with a bang (no pun intended). Everything a budget holiday entails; delayed flights, grimy accommodation and annoying holiday-makers capture the realities of holidays we all probably could do with forgetting. A group of four girls in an empty nightclub screams hope for the lads, until they put their amusing socially awkward ways into practise. Depicting the original character traits we loved about the boys in the series, except embarrassing themselves abroad and managing to repel girls with their classic slip-ups. Well, except for Neil who gets lucky with a grandma or three. As if things couldn’t get any worse, a cat-fight breaks out between Jay and Simon causing the group to split and find their own fun, only to be let down once again.

Enjoying a fishbowl

A heart-warming reunion brings them back together and in my opinion the best part of the film follows when the foursome enjoy a proper lads night out featuring some hilarious dancing – Neil’s moves are one to watch out for! The film comes to a close with a glamorous boat party, where it seems they all realise their fates with the each of the four girls and all ends well – as well as it gets for the boys anyway.

I’m not sure the tagline ‘boys will become men’ is strictly true, but I would very much enjoy finding out in their return. Although, it is unlikely we will see the Inbetweeners back on our screens again, if so, then what a celebratory way to say goodbye! The coming of age film follows the Hollywood successions of Superbad and American Pie and in my opinion the UK is representing. With impressive £13.8 million earnings at the box office on its opening weekend makes it the most successful British comedy opening ever. Providing watchers with everything from gross humour to the familiarity we love about these guys giving something we can all relate to. Admittedly, my view can be deemed as somewhat biased, as I have been a loyal supporter of the programme since its release, so for me the film was an extended version of the show. I do recommend joining the guys for a bumpy ride though, if you already enjoy the type of humour the characters bring to the screen, my verdict: 7/10.

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Skylar Gray who?

Recently, a reappearing name has had me intrigued. Skylar Gray has featured in Diddy Dirty Money’s ‘I’m Coming Home’, but her vocals at the beggining aren’t enough to do her justice. The chorus is carried on by the ‘Dirty Money’ duo and do not compare, in my opinion.

Little-known fact, Skylar actually wrote one of the biggest songs of 2010 ‘Love The Way You Lie’ represented amazingly by Eminem and Rhianna that became one of the years most overplayed songs on the basis of collaborative talent. Although, Rhianna is a globally recognised talent and a hard-working one at that, Skylar’s original demo is out of this world. I discovered that an old favourite ‘Where’d you go’ by Fort Minor is complimented by her voice.

Introducing...

Since then, she released an album Like Blood Like Honey in 2006, which could be guilty of poor managment or bad promotion. Skylar has impressive vocal talent and deserves more than her 15 minutes.

A brief appearance was made by the songstress in her performance with hip-hop legend Dre’s comeback, with a modestly-lit stage something tells me Skylar may not be one for the limelight. In a brief interview she mentions that she was born to perform and not a very good talker. I think her voice makes up for this, so we can forgive Skylar for her socially awkward conversation and allow her to communicate with us through her music:

Also check out her track on Lupe Fiasco’s new album, ‘Words I Never Said’.

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Formulate a feature and engross your reader

Feature journalism can be treated like a genre of journalism. Although, there are types within this term such as those conducted in an interview style, profile, lifestyle, opinion columns and news features. It is defined by dictionary.com as “a newspaper or magazine article or report of a person,event, an aspect of a major event, or the like, often having a personal slant and written in an individual style”. It is also considered as the most prominent story in say, a magazine.

Upon first glance many writing enthusiasts would sigh and think of more rules, more guidelines and more boundaries to be drawn from their writing expectation. Except this is a mistaken view. There seems to be a craze forming and becoming a feature journalist is seemingly more desirable (Steenson, 2009). Truth is, feature writing does not have one clear-cut rule. Although, there are some generalities journalists prefer to use such as, the inverted pyramid which is closely followed for news stories. However, it is important to remember that feature articles differ from typical news stories. A feature attempts to add depth and colour to a subject, whereas news stories should be objective and informative. This does not mean that the writer hasn’t done as much homework as your average reporter. In fact, probably more, because a feature intends to grab the readers attention through using anecdotes and quotes.

What are you waiting for?

Patterson (1986, cited by, Garrison 2009) outlines three basic rules for feature writing; firstly have a character, secondly develop a narrative within the piece and allow the reader to visualise it for themselves. He claims that most features have these elements in common and emphasises the importance of the engagement factor- using an active voice. Bleyer (1913) agrees that feature writing should be like a miniature story and also believes there is no definitive guidelines for its treatment. I agree with this statement and feel that everybody has an individualistic writing style, if this is incorporated in the feature there is a more personal touch that readers can identify and relate to.

Of course, nowadays there are many more opportunities for feature writing in the online world. From the Guardian website to personal web blogs like this we are surrounded by such opportunities. So my take on all this feature business: get writing!! About anything and everything that you are passionate about, put it into words and captivate your readers.

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WHY Journalism? Some might ask…

Journalism. Defined as; the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business (Dictionary.com, 2011). The aspect I am most interested in is writing, which is why I have opted for the News and Journalism unit in the final year of my studies at Bournemouth University. Journalism is a career path that I would like to explore once I have graduated, therefore I will find this unit extremely valuable to me in the future.

Reviewer

In this unit I will gain adequate knowledge of the industry. For example; objectivity is an extremely important factor in the world of journalism and could be the difference of the company and yourself bein sued. Gaining insight into working in the newsroom environment will be beneficial.

I have a passion for writing, which I have developed from a young age and have decided to continue into not just my degree but my career. Ideally, I would like to enter the music or film journalism, but I would also like to keep my options open to explore other avenues as well.

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Guess who’s back..

Today is the day.. 

Aftermath Records presents..

The release date of Hip-Hops most anticipated album, controversial, 37 year-old rapper Eminem is back and better than ever! The appropriately titled ‘Recovery’ hits stores today and my verdict is to get it now. 

Okay, so I’ve grown up following his career and knowing almost every lyric to every song- this might mean I’m that little bit bias. But even I can admit that Relapse didn’t quite hit the spot like his other albums, it was clear that the record label and management had more involvement than he did. Which he truthfully admits on the track ‘Talkin’ to Myself’ rapping: “Encore I was on drugs, Relapse I was flushing ’em out/I’ve come to make it up to you, now no more fucking around/I got something to prove to fans cause I feel like I let ’em down”. Now we are assured by the man himself, the real Eminem is back, doing what he does best: telling it like it is.  

Much excitement has followed the release of ‘Recovery’; this time it hasn’t got the touch of producer Dr Dre, instead a range of producers from DJ Kahlil to Just Blaze. With collaborations on the album including: Rhianna, Pink, Lil’ Wayne and Drake which are tracks that speak for themselves. In fact, Canadian-born artist Drake released ‘Thank Me Later’ a week ago and is predicted to give Em some tough competition. These two albums are ones that are very much-needed to revive Hip-Hop, following the industries 11% decline in album sales. Another decline that can be put down to economic downfall, but also companies arguing that illegal file sharing plays its part. 

Always looking the part

Lyrically, Em is on top of his game. Personally I’m a fan of ‘So Bad’, the only song on the album produced by Dre, although it is less serious than the others. ‘Your Never Over’ is a classic flow, which displays Eminem’s attempt at singing and is dedicated to his best friend Proof, who died in 2006. Female vocals have always complimented an Eminem track well proved by ‘Superman’ on ‘The Eminem Show’ album, this album makes no exceptions to that. ‘Love The Way You Lie’ with Rhianna will no doubt top the charts and the song ‘Almost Famous’ is outstanding. 

Eminem is in a league of his own. Recovery. Get it now. 

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Timeline: social networking sites

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Social barrier or freedom?

 Social Networking sites are websites which allow people to build social networks with others who share the same interests/activities or even to maintain relationships with existing friends.

Although social networking sites are ever changing the concept stays the same; interactivity is what all of the web-based sites provide, making contact easier through e-mail and instant messenger.

Well-known sites such as; Facebook and Myspace are more general based , however there are countless variations which sometimes seek to target niche audiences, focusing on interests such as dating, music, film etc.

1997: Launch of the first social networking site SixDegrees.com, it allows users to connect and send messages to each other. However, its success was somewhat short lived as 2000 saw the website close. 

1999: Social networking became popular and then used as a way to target niche groups and subcultures; AsianAvenue, BlackPlanet and LiveJournal to name a few.

 2000: LunarStorm is relaunched and MiGente introduced bringing an online community of Hispanics together. In 2008 the founder of AsianAvenue and BlackPlanet bought MiGente and claims over 23 million users.

2001: South Korea was the next to jump on the bandwagon with Cyworld, which followed the general guidelines of a social networking site, however it was the first to introduce the idea that profit came from the sale of virtual goods. Recently, the US version of the site has been closed down until furthur notice. Ryze.com another site lauched in this period targeted at business professionals and new entrepreneurs.

 2002: Friendster was founded by a Ryze member, with a popular Asian uptake it receives 19 billion page views per month. Fotolog is self-explanatory being an online photo blog and receiving 750 million page views a month.

 2003: Several websites were launched; Hi 5 and MySpace being the most well-known. Hi 5 claims to have over 60 million active users and in 2008 was voted the third most popular social networking site. MySpace on the other hand had its popularity streak in 2006, until overtaken by Facebook in 2008. It had 1000 employees and asserts over 200 million users.

A typical Facebook profile

2004: OrKut, Dogster, Multiply, aSmallWorld, Catster, Hyves are a few that were lauched in 2004 that were less mainstream. However, 2004 saw the introduction of Facebook but it was only available to Harvard students then it began to develop so it became accessible to other students, until it became worldwide to anyone over the age of 13.

 2005: Re-launches of sites that introduced new networking features came about, for example; Yahoo! 360 (which also closed recently), YouTube and Bebo existed before but with limited interactive content, so they were re-launched and then added to the growing list of social networking sites. Facebook developed to become available to high school networks.

 2006: Facebook gradually becomes available to corporate networks and then becomes completely universal. CyWorld expanded to China and the USA, while the world saw the introduction of Twitter. With a revenue of $400, 000 and employment figures around 150, Twitter has become incredibly popular and sometimes referred to as the ‘SMS of the internet’.

Concerns over privacy of new site

2010: Google have recently lauched their own social networking site called Google Buzz, it includes most of the interaction components of social networking sites- sharing links, photos, videos, status messages and comments. Although, Google executive Sergey Brin, announced the service as ‘bridging the gap between work and leisure’, there have been many concerns over privacy and criticisms of the conformity of the site competing with other major sites such as Facebook.

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Now magazine website

  Analysing the effectiveness of the website version of celebrity gossip, Now magazine.

Searchability:

Now magazine is easily found when googled, being the third most searched for, however there are other Now magazines, for example Now Toronto appears as the first result. When searched in the popular search engine ‘Ask’, it is the first unsponsored site that appears. The URL is http://www.nowmagazine.co.uk which is pretty straight forward if not using a search engine, making it easily accessible to existing and new users.

Usability:

The multimedia items, mainly videos, on the homepage and the designated video page, take a little while to upload, which could be frustrating to users. There are links on the homepage that allows the user to browse what they want to look at, for example, the arrows and the interchanging images.

Navigation:

The site is catagorised into some general concepts; news, photo galleries/video, style, celebrity files, horoscopes, shop, win and blogs. Within these there are many hyperlinks to navigate you to other pages, this is a possible critique, but also quite useful. The logo at the top takes you back to the home page.

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The magazine-style

Design:

The design fulfils the actual magazine theme, it follows the recognisability of the cover of Now this makes the site easier to find and assert that it is the one they are looking for. It seems to be very symmetrical, in the way there are many interchanging boxes/links, it is quite a neat layout. However, it can also be seen as too cluttered, with the features and the adverts. Another criticism of the design is that there are a lot of links that are interchanging which looks slightly messy and too much, e.g the No.7 advertisements.

Content:

Fulfilling it’s market of delivering celebrity gossip, pictures and fashion. The website compromises with the hard copy itself and rewrites some articles that will be found through both mediums. It also has interchanging photographs in the top box, which gives you more choice or something that suits different audiences. Staying loyal to the ‘fashion’ theme, there are links of dresses halfway down the website. There are links showing the websites association with Facebook and Twitter. The advertisements are ones aimed at the female audience, for skincare, make-up and shopping. Everytime you navigate back to the home page the stories are refreshed and have updated.

Audio:

Audio content is not made clear at all, there is none evident on the home page. This is a major criticism, as it doesn’t cater to all audiences with reading or seeing difficulties. When the term ‘audio’ is typed into the search bar, there are two pages of results, so there are audio related features on the site, just not clearly shown.

Video:

In comparison to the minimal audio content, there is emphasis on the videos, as well as pictures. On the right hand panel there are two interchanging boxes that feature the ‘top videos’ and the other has catagories of videos, the arrow allows user to see more videos they may want to watch. These panels remain there when browsing the rest of the site, however they sometimes take a while to upload. The videos that are shown bigger in the designated section are poor quality and quite pixelated compared to watching the videos on the side panels.

Interactivity:

Should Amy Winehouse remove her implants?

 
Poll

  • Yes, they look like they might blow up!
  • No, they look good on her
  • Interactivity has become a key component of websites, as it is a way for users to have more involvement on the site. On the homepage, there is a ‘latest poll’ section- which is updated and allows users to have their say. Users can comment on news stories, pictures, videos and blogs. However, it doesn’t look as though the users are taking advantage of this, as there are no comments on any of these. The user can be directed straight to sites where they can browse the websites latest recommended fashion and shop online. Various competitions can be entered by most users, those over 18.

    User-generated content:

    There does not seem to be any content created by the users. The stories have been written by editors of the magazine and there are bloggers that create their content.

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