Monday, 16 April 2007

Sunday, 15 April 2007

[ 15. The HSBC Website | Marketing ]

[ The HSBC Website ]
Bluetooth is a wireless short range communications technology intended to replace the wires connecting portable and fixed devices, while still maintaining high levels of security. Because Bluetooth is a very widely accepted technology, almost every Bluetooth enabled device can instantly connect to another Bluetooth enabled device within range, anywhere in the world. These ad hoc networks can also be called piconets and use short range radio frequency signals to interact and communicate and Bluetooth communication has a very small power usage, around 2.5mW, and this allows even the smallest devices to be connected, although Bluetooth powers can vary, increasing and decreasing the range as well. Some industrial piconets can range to more than 300metres. One of the most common uses of Bluetooth technology is in mobile phones.

[ In Detail ]
HSBC has trialled a new form of marketing. The large branches at Canary Wharf and on Regent Street spam passers-by with Bluetooth adverts directly to their phones. The practice, often known as 'proximity marketing' [ proximity marketing ] uses a server to detect Bluetooth capable mobile phones in the area. HSBC uses the server to send phones with the facility activated a message asking users to accept a download. If the user accepts, a marketing message is displayed. The branch remembers the phone’s information in an effort not to target the same phone more than is necessary. This is a step forward in technology and a good example of putting the newest technology into a practical application, although if this technique of proximity advertising becomes too proliferant, then users could find themselves walking down any high street with dozens of messages literally spamming their phone with unwanted adverts. HSBC is also up against security concerns about the safety of Bluetooth, where “driveby hackers” can exploit flaws in the signal to steal personal information and make free calls. In addition, users could in the future also be hoarded by the branch and contacted even when not in range of the branch. There is, however a simple solution. Turn off the Bluetooth function on your phone. Another application of Bluetooth in advertising is the possibility of a Bluetooth Billboard, where anyone interested in the contents of the poster advert can hold their phones close to the billboard and choose to receive more information, rather than have it forced down their throats. Even the slight possibility of having competitions or newsletter sign-ups available by simply sending a message to a node in a shop or a billboard is possible for the future. Having the audience choose whether to initiate information would be better accepted than having them bombarded with unsolicited and the majority unwanted adverts.
This is a good example of a non-linear advertising opportunity, immediacy, portability, miniaturisation, proliferation, convenience, democratisation, vertical integration, reach, surveillance and convergence. It is true exploitation of new media technology.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

[ 14. The Blu-ray Disk Website | Format ]

[ The Blu-ray Disk Website ]

Blu-ray Disk is a next-gen optical disk format that allows for the storage of data, high-def and standard definition digital media and Playstation 3 games. The Blu-ray Disk and player exploits the shorter wavelength of the blue/violet reading laser used to read the “1’s and 0’s”, the grooves on the disk. The much shorter wavelength of Blu-ray reading lasers [ ~ 405nanometres ] allows the “bumps” to be packed more compactly and more densely on the disk itself and this enables a lot more information [ 25GB per layer ] to be stored, just over 5 times the amount stored per layer on a regular red-laser DVD. A 200GB Blu-ray Disk has been manufactured using six 33GB layers, although this disk would almost certainly not work on today’s regular BD Players, which incidentally are also backwards compatible to play DVDs too.

[ In Detail ]
Blu-ray Disk is not aimed at any particular demographic, although the older generation may not be so inclined to convert to the newer technology. To whoever does convert to Blu-ray technology, greater quality of video and audio are granted and much more data can be stored on BD, possibly where DVD had 2 or maybe 3 disk compilations or trilogies, now can all be stored on one disk, eg. the entire Matrix Trilogy could be stored on one disk with space to spare for extra features and other extras. This increases the quality of experience for the audience as it creates less hassle for them. Many institutions have shown their support for Blu-ray Disk, including big names such as Sony, Apple and Fox Entertainment, although the Blu-ray Disk Association including the 9 founders of Blu-ray technology has overall power over the development. BD is in a close format war with HD DVD [ HD DVD ], supported by Microsoft and Intel, as these two essentially identical technologies are mutually incompatible. There are currently over 250 member institutions supporting BD. This convergence of institutions is rather like the consortium including Nokia, Microsoft and Intel for Bluetooth technology begun in 1994.

The progression towards BD allows for a better experience for the audience, they make it more interactive and non-linear, allows more proliferation, miniaturisation, a personalised experience, which is more flexible, better converged and presses for vertical integration with this otherwise incompatible technology.

Friday, 13 April 2007

[ 13. The LimeWire Website | Software ]

[ The LimeWire Website ]

LimeWire is a free Peer-to-Peer filesharing software for the Java Platform, which runs on the Gnutella Network, linking users and enables them to share files between one another. The software has a very wide reach, increasing the size of its already global network and thus, the more people who download it, the more files are available, which means that more people download it. The audience is not a specialised demographic, but LimeWire’s main audience is tended to the younger generation as these are both the audience who would like to use it most and actually know how to. LimeWire replaces mail and attatchments, and physical interactions between people, of USB-pens or CDs, etc.

[ In Detail ]
LimeWire fundamentally allows the consumers to share whatever file they like directly over the internet, the only catch is that they cannot specify who they send it to, thus if one person can see and download it, so can everyone on the network, which hosts hundreds of thousands of people at any one time. The proliferation of high-speed broadband has aided LimeWire, allowing faster downloads and the progression in programming techniques and programs allows for a better software package.
LimeWire has come under some criticism for its clear breaches of copyright, as it is primarily used by the great majority of users to exchange music for free. LimeWire has considered closing down the network and ceasing downloads of the software in light of the MGM [ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ] decision against Grokster in the US supreme court stating that P2P companies Grokster and Streamcast could be sued for inducing copyright infringement for acts taken in the course of marketing file sharing software. This has been called the most important intellectual property case in decades.
LimeWire is a very good example of reach, audience distribution and horizontal integration.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

[ 12. The iPod Website | Apple ]

[ The iPod Website ]

iPod is a brand of very popular portable media players launched by Apple in 2001. iPods are primarily digital audio players but have evolved to encompass many other different and useful everyday functions. iPods have essentially replaced Sony Walkmans and other portable CD/cassette players.

[ In Detail ]

The iPods are aimed at the younger generation since that demographic is more likely to have a large digital music collection and is more active and mobile. The introduction of the iPod in 2001 had paved the way for portable digital media players and by the 9th April 2007, Apple announced that 1 million units had been sold worldwide. Apple is utilising the ever decreasing size of motherboards, hard drives, LCD screens, batteries and associated wiring that make up the insides of an iPod, and this allows them to make increasingly smaller units, letting the audience pick the size that fits their lifestyle best and as we know, smaller is better. iPods allow consumers to listen to music via the MP3, WAV, AAC, Apple Lossless and Audible 2,3 and 4 formats. H.264, MPEG-4 and MOV files are also supported for video, to watch TV shows, DVDs and home videos encoded with Quicktime Pro [ Quicktime ]. One can view photos in the formats JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG and PSD. One can create calendar dates, contacts sync, carry any other type of file on their iPod like an external hard drive, play games and integrate their player to their car stereo. This massive miniaturisation and portability is a great example of convergence and vertical integration, with a huge reach, it is flexible and allows the consumer to personalise their unit.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

[ 11. The Scrubs Fansite| Homepage ]

[ The Scrubs Fansite ]

Scrubs is an American sitcom set in teaching hospital Sacred Heart Hospital, created by Bill Laurence and starring Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke and John McGinley. Each episode is around 23 minutes long, plus advert breaks making a half-hour show. Scrubs is shot with a single camera setup and is strange in terms of the fact that it doesn’t use a laughter track, although in a few episodes the directors have themed the premise of the episode, and sometimes changing the setup of the show, eg. one episode was featured in the style of a traditional sitcom in front of a live audience, and other few were in the style of musicals, featuring multiple camera setups.

[ In Detail ]
The fan website for Scrubs is narrowcasted to the fans of the show and is basically a huge database of the series’ large collection of both music tracks and scripts, of which there are over 130. There are other things on the website, like related links, news, FAQ’s [ FAQ ], trivia, merchandise, Scrubs character personality quizzes, hyperlinks to Scrubs in the media and Scrubs in general. The site is comprehensive with lots of facts, information and generally anything to do with the show itself. The audience is any fans of the show and essentially, anyone who wants to find something out about it. The website itself hosts a number of features, although off-site are many more features, including message boarding. These sites are only made available with the ever increasing internet speeds and home-editing software. This has allowed the fans to show their appreciation to the Scrubs crew and help keep the show running. The wide availability of this website and other alike is the quality of the experience that it brings to the series, as the audience feel that they can get closer and find out more about the series, which also increases their loyalty to the show, as well as knowing that there are other dedicated fans out there, increasing vertical integration.
The Scrubs fansite is a good demonstration of democratisation, reach and a non-linear consumption experience.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

[ 10. The Scrubs Podcast | iTunes ]

[ The Scrubs Podcast ]

Scrubs is an American sitcom set in teaching hospital Sacred Heart Hospital, created by Bill Laurence and starring Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke and John McGinley. Each episode is around 23 minutes long, plus advert breaks making a half-hour show. Scrubs is shot with a single camera setup and is strange in terms of the fact that it doesn’t use a laughter track, although in a few episodes the directors have themed the premise of the episode, and sometimes changing the setup of the show, eg. one episode was featured in the style of a traditional sitcom in front of a live audience, and other few were in the style of musicals, featuring multiple camera setups. The podcast is available on iTunes and directly from the NBC website with near instant distribution, enabling a wide reach from the internet, and globalised distribution and proliferation due to the global broadcasting of the Scrubs series.

[ In Detail ]
The podcast is narrowcasted at all Scrubs fans, and generally people who are interested in Scrubs and the production techniques involved behind the scenes. In essence it is replacing possibly an article, and possibly replaces, though does not derive from or outdate a special feature on a DVD. The podcast is set to run alongside the TV episodes, intended to be listened to in parallel, and the commentators, usually the directors and the actors, eg. Sarah Chalke [ Sarah Chalke ] or John McGinley [ John McGinley ] comment on the scenes and jokes as they progress on the episode and say how it was shot or what they thought, allowing a non-linear, interactive and personalised viewing experience. Most of the podcasts are of the main characters’ favourite episode, or just episodes that are out of the norm. The main reason why these podcasts are popular is because firstly that they are easy to use and obtain and can be used at the same time as the TV show, giving a well-illustrated set of accounts by the commentators as they can directly refer to the actions on the screen. It also allows the fans to get closer to the show and the production process, making them feel integrated. It is unstructured and completely improvised. These are possible because of good quality recording equipment and high-speed broadband. Due to the proliferation of TVs and internet enabled computers/portable media devices in the home, watching the episode and listening to the podcast at the same time is made easy and flexible.
The Scrubs podcast is a good example of nearly all of the key terms, from quality to reach to convenience and portability.
[ The Charlie Brown Christmas Special parodied by the Scrubs cast ]

Monday, 9 April 2007

[ 9. The lonelygirl15 Series | YouTube ]

[ The lonelygirl15 Series ]

Another internet phenomenon, lonelygirl15 (the preferred spelling is without any capital letters) is a relatively long-running and very popular Videoblog. The series began back in June 2006, where a 16 year old girl named Bree and her best friend, though not boyfriend Daniel under the anonym DanielBeast regularly posted Vblogs of their life onto YouTube.

[ In Detail ]
Bree first hooked viewers with humorous and engaging videos featuring popular YouTube directors and videos. Under the suspicious alias lonelygirl15, she achieved massive success on YouTube, with 91321 subscribers to her channel, who arduously followed her everyday life through the eyes of a webcam in her room. The widespread availability of good quality digital cameras and webcams and good editing software would have made her series possible and the cheap cost of fast broadband made it possible to both upload and download her movies. Many fans commented on her videos, which she sometimes replied to in the next in her series of blogs, showing that her blogs were not prerecorded, but were genuinely filmed around that time. However, the videos seemed far too regular and well edit
ed to be real, many critics proclaimed, although many many of her closest fans believed that she was indeed a real person. She had her own pet likes and dislikes, and the story became too dramatic to be realistic, and was eventually found out to be an actress named Jessica Rose, with the suspicions about her username being simply a lure to pique the internet community’s interests… even a fan website and a whole section on wikipedia were created for her.
Many fans and viewers made the connection between this and the viral marketing campaign [ viral marketing ] launched by the Blair Witch Project [ Blair Witch Project ] to advertise their movie, and thought it could be a taster for a new television series or an alternative reality game [ ARG ] or possible for some covert online surveillance.
Still as of yet, the monetary purpose of the series is not yet known, as no profit is made from the series, directed by Glenn Rubenstein.

Her series is groundbreaking. It is also a good example of how the internet combined with the huge reach of YouTube can be manipulated to gain massive media interest.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

[ 8. The David Lehre Website | MySpace ]

[ The David Lehre MySpace ]

Dave Lehre has been a true internet phenomenon. A college dropout who still lives with his parents, he began his fledgling career with some highly entertaining and extremely popular videos, one of which is called “MySpace: The Movie” which parodied the social networking site, posted primarily onto his website and have made their way swiftly onto YouTube and various other similar sites. He and his self-founded production company Vendetta Studios now have a deal with Fox to produce his own untitled as of yet, late night half-hour show with a $300,000 budget for the pilot episode, self described as “an open-format sketch-variety show with music videos, short videos and comedy skits”. He has also made an appearance in recent parody “Epic Movie” as a look-alike for Ashton Kutcher. His main audience is anyone who is up for a good laugh and mostly, these tend to be the younger generation to late-20’s who are his main fans. He has built up quite a cult following, especially amongst the more technically minded audience, as his career was born from the internet.

[ In Detail ]
Straight from whence his career was born, he still utilises the internet to great extent, and especially both his own site and his MySpace page. They are used to raise awareness for his work and himself and also advertise subscriptions to his work, with plenty of direct hyperlinks [ hyperlink ] to iTunes, his Blog, his YouTube account and his own site. He embeds many of his videos and trailers on his page, and website, which makes it easier for new audience members to find his videos faster and more effortlessly.
Dave uses his blog to inform the fans of what he is doing and what he has scheduled in the coming weeks. He also posts up videos and pictures of things that may be interesting about him, such as his front-page appearance on MySpace or his TV appearances, or even his budding Vendetta Branded Clothing. Unfortunately, he isn’t able to post up the footage he has been filming, as the studio owns the rights, not himself, though he does try to post up as much as he can. This allows his fans to feel integrated and informed in what he is doing, increasing their loyalty and ‘fanship’. The fans can post their comments underneath the main post for him to read and he does read these and replies often. His blog contains an RSS feed to automatically inform his fans when he updates his blog.
His website and blog are good examples of a wide reach, good quality movies, democratisation and vertical integration.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

[ 7. The NME Website | Homepage ]

[ The NME Website ]
The NME homepage invites the readers of its magazine, which has tended towards the indie demographic and has swayed away from the wider genre appeal that the magazine first started with, as it has been criticised by the press recently, an example of narrowcasting in progress. It has always been a huge support for upcoming British bands such as Kaiser Chiefs, The Libertines and Franz Ferdinand. The website provides music news, reviews, downloads, merchandise and message boards. The website also features Gig ticket searches, competitions and various feeds from eBay and other mainstream online auctions and shops, to compare prices on certain merchandise without having to leave the site. The large amount of content on the site to do with all aspects of indie music culture has supported NME and made it one of, if not the largest British music magazine. The sorts of Flash animated adverts that are littered around the site are aimed at NME’s target audience and advertise such things as internet and soft and alcoholic drinks.

[ In Detail ]
The Homepage is made up a number of features. The basic layout of the website is a static navigation banner at the top, with links to each different area of the website, and down the right hand side, there is a list of the less frequently visited links and also the featured links. On the left hand side running down most of the centre too is the main content of the website, with hooks and links to various articles and features.
NME, like Xfm has its own radio station and this is available online from the website, on top of that, the listeners can also view immediate full music videos on the radio’s playlist if they register with the site, thus helping NME’s online surveillance and vertically integrating the audience to NME, these are convenient and small files to allow faster downloads, faster satisfaction but less quality. This, coupled with the email newsletter is able to raise awareness of the site, and keep its audience coming back. Also along these lines is the RSS feed that the site has, which feeds information to the audience automatically. NME puts new media technology to its full use, when it holds awards and at many gigs, it is able to transmit these live via webcam [ webcam ] to viewers and listeners on the website.
Adding to the message boards, there is also a section where people can place word adverts free to advertise, usually for band members. This is an added incentive for new bands to align themselves with NME, and through this, vertical integration and a loyalty can grow between NME and bands in question, thus possibly granting NME sneak previews and other things in future.
The NME website is very intent on gaining loyalty with its demographic, and providing a comprehensive one-stop-shop website to cater for all their needs from lifestyle tips to music downloads, showing good use of vertical integration and online surveillance, whilst still keeping the basic interactivity must-haves onsite too.

Friday, 6 April 2007

[ 6. The 300 Site | Homepage ]

[ The 300 Website ]

The website for the film 300 is a very entertaining, interactive site, which essentially markets the film entirely, and replaces such other media texts such as posters, whilst playing host to extra information leading on from other media texts such as the television trailers and trailers hosted at other websites, such as in promotional sites like and and the Warner Bro’s site, who also have distributed the film, so technology such as streamed video is utilised to its fullest. These sites allow awareness to be raised and interest to be gained surrounding the film, which attracts audiences to the website, and ultimately to watch the film. The film is narrowcasted predominantly to males with few, but feisty female characters, blood and gore, etc., and the website reflects this, using dark colour schemes and frequent blood splatters and the theme of war and violence.
The film itself was created using almost all bluescreen technology and this adds a video-game style to the film. This extensive use of new media technology has added greatly to the film, adding both realism and fantasy, and reducing the liability for continuity errors. Adding to this exploitation of new media technologies, most of the website’s features contain NMT’s and thus increase the reach and quality of the film and its marketing.

[ In Detail ]
The website is very interesting and has many aspects and features. It is created with Adobe Flash and has interactive buttons and rollover buttons and many other new and exciting aspects. Such features within the website are film production notes and other related documents, trailers, TV trailers, wallpapers, MySpace details, merchandise, digital audio clips, concept art, free downloads and more. There are free screensavers for download and these use new media technologies both to download them fast enough, broadband, and to create them, Adobe Photoshop, and other similar products.
300: March to Glory, the game is yet another feature that is set in the website, it is designed for the PSP [ PSP ], a very good example of convergence, and it utilises the newest data-storage technology, namely UMD disks [ UMD ] and Memory Stick Pro: Duo [ Memory Stick Pro: Duo ]. This increases the accessibility of 300, and widens the franchise further than simply the film and action figures, etc. Another technology surrounding 300 that does this is the mobile game, the abundance of ringtones and wallpapers for personalisation. The mobile game and the PSP game are linked, with unlockables only available from the mobile game. This urges vertical integration between them and the film itself, and helps to sell both games and film tickets. This not only creates a portable, miniaturised non-linear experience, it also increases the quality of experience.
There is also a video production diary which allows the audience to feel closer to the production process and again exploits the easy ability to use embedded video, and also the production blog, in the same manner.
The website is covered in new media technology, from Adobe Flash technology, to blogging, to digital audio, to blue-screen and 3D modelling technology. This adds emphasis onto the movie, increases hype and anticipation and shows that this movie has a large budget and is a very important movie of the year.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

[ 5. The Xfm Site | Richard Bacon ]

[ The Xfm Richard Bacon Section ]

Richard Bacon’s own section of the Xfm website is devoted to him and his narrowcasted drive-time radio show from 4-7pm. It is humorous and often the jokes are at Richard Bacon’s expense. His website acts as a support for his show and has archives of features that were aired previously, prizes, plus reviews, YouTube pick-of-the-day, interviews with special guests and Bacon Offcuts:

This where all the scrappy, chewy bits of indigestible radio left over from
Richard's show live. All the salty, unpalatable, leftover bits that don’t really
fit anywhere else get out here so you can peruse them at your leisure like a
tramp outside Subway after closing time.

As this shows, Bacon has no hang-ups about being the subject of humour and puns with his name, and this makes his site more appealing to the target audience.

[ In Detail ]
The site has the same layout as the rest of the Xfm site, with the same banners and borders. There are also many different sections inside Bacon’s site. The section named “The Catchphrase Gallery” allows listeners to email in a pictorial representation of any one of Bacon’s catchphrases, such as “At Ease”, “Yes, yes” or “Breasts”. The comic nature of this lightens th
e tone, and gives the audience a chance to have their picture displayed to everyone via this page, effectively the new technologies are allowing Bacon to entertain his listeners more and make the relationship a little more interactive, instead of him talking and playing music on his radio station, the listeners can also get in touch with him. Most of the features on his site allow the audience to get in touch with him via email, such as sending in their favourite YouTube video clip for the web page [ video clip ] for them to embed into the website or the 5 o’clock shuffle where listeners can request their 3 favourite songs to be played on air, or indeed the Feedback Track where listeners feed back on a newly released song played first on Xfm.
Bacon’s site does not use new media technology to its full potential, but it serves a great purpose, uses it for good benefit. However, it is a very good example of democratisation and interactivity.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

[ 4. The Xfm Site | Homepage ]

[ The Xfm Website ]

The Xfm site offers many different indulgences to their narrowcasted radio station’s listeners. Their main listeners are fans of alternative music, both signed and unsigned, and thus the majority of the website content is based on this. The content comes under four headings: On Air, News, Watch and Listen and Extras. Under the On Air heading, there are such things as DJ homepages, digital radio information, scheduling, playlists with streamed 30 second taster clips available online and other things to do with the radio station itself. The News section contains music news for the kinds of bands that they feature on the radio station itself, Watch and Listen contains videos and audio including podcasts available online, plus Mi-Xfm, a new feature released in February 2007 and Extras contains additional information, a section on film, forums and reviews. The website essentially replaces an Xfm magazine, which would compete against the likes of NME and Kerrang!. This, of course would not be nearly as detailed as a website is, and also not as sustainable because websites cost next to nothing to maintain, whereas magazines cost money to make. The website allows fans to keep up to date with the music world and follow up from the radio show with more information and features on their favourite bands and gig information.

[ In Detail ]
The homepage features one large navigator panel along the top and rollover buttons, which reveal more links to areas of the site. This makes it easier to find where you want to go in the site much easier than having to rummage around, especially for people new to the site. At the top, next to the Xfm logo there is a link to online digital radio, straight from the radio show itself. This allows convergence within the computer itself, as there is no longer any need for a radio and a computer, as now they can be both in one. The homepage has four columns under the four above headings, each displaying various different new features within those sections. Above, there are, again four adverts, one is usually from Xfm itself, but they are usually pertaining to the new music scene or targeting Xfm’s specific audience with such products as new mobile phones or computers, e.g. the live radio streaming is sponsored by the Sony Ericsson Walkman range, there are Samsung T9 adverts, etc. There is a feature called “Watch Live”, which allows audiences to watch gigs on webcam live streamed through to their home. A large area of the website is devoted to the Music Video Jukebox, where audiences can view the latest promo videos, and their favourite music videos streamed [ streaming ] online, on demand. This attracts listeners, as often they have the latest and exclusive videos from artists.
Mi-Xfm, a new feature introduced early 2007 is a browser-based music player. It combines Xfm’s wide library of music with the individual tastes of the audience to create the most personalised radio station, in a truly personalised, proliferative, non-linear, diverse and flexible experience with an enormous reach, larger than the radio station ever could achieve, since it has only specific distribution areas. The release of this feature has been well accepted amongst the Xfm community.
The whole site is a good example of immediacy, proliferation and diversification, as there is clearly something for everyone who has any slight interest in new alternative music.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

[ 3. The Channel 4 Site | Skins ]

[ The Channel 4 Skins Section ]

The Skins section of Channel 4’s website is very different to the rest of the website. As it is supposed to be specifically directed at the target audience, the content is very colloquial and often personally addresses the audience, especially in the character profile pages. This makes the audience feel more friendly towards the characters as it seems as though the characters can open up to them.
Although some of the layout is different, the page still retains the menu at the top containing the different section of the website mentioned earlier. Some of the available features within the Skins section include synopses of past episodes, forums, unseen Skins episodes free to download, episodes available on 4oD [ 4 on Demand ] and most strikingly, a competition page to design Skins logos, films, character costumes and music.

[ In Detail ]
As you arrive at the site, you are immediately greeted by a splash page which specifically lists the content of the site and the certain age restrictions [ 18…oops ] and shows any one of about 8 promotional images and still looks stylised to the Skins website content. The age restriction seems innocent enough, although it could be argued that it also acts as a lure inside, as the perverse nature of the target audience, i.e. teenagers, draws them to look around. Inside, there are 9 links to various sections inside the mini-site. In a cunning pun, the skin [
] is always a modified version of a Logo Entry winning design. The competition was held a few weeks before the show went on air. The competition was open to everyone and served to get the audience interested in the show and participating before it went on air, to build up hype and give the audience a sense that they played a small part in the creation of the show. The standard of entry, however, may have put some people off entering as only the few with an esoteric knowledge of image, video and music editing software such as Abobe Photoshop or Adobe (Formerly Macromedia) Flash really stood a good chance of winning, thus cutting out a large proportion, though not all of the target audience. That said, it in turn raises awareness and interest in these sorts of technologies and new technology as a whole, aiding Channel 4 in other senses as those young filmmakers, for example may want to try their hand in another aspect of filmmaking and participate in FourDocs, etc. This is a good example of democratisation, interactivity, vertical integration and personalisation to a small extent. This also serves as online surveillance as Channel 4 can track the habits, taste and likes of their target audience and target them more accurately and with more precision. This incredible display of democratisation explains why Channel 4’s fans are becoming so loyal – they feel included. On top of this, there are forums which allow for fragmentation and online surveillance, links to MySpace which has become largely integral to targeting the younger generation, sign-ups for free stuff such as free new music downloads and unseen skins episodes, which add to the already existing TV-aired storyline.
The Skins site shows that Channel 4 is dedicated to keeping in touch with its loyal fanbase and likes to hear their ideas and take them on board. This lets the fans know that they are valued by Channel 4 and keeps them interested and devoted to Skins, if not the rest of Channel 4.

Monday, 2 April 2007

[ 2. The Channel 4 Site | Entertainment ]

[ The Channel 4 Entertainment Section ]

The entertainment section of the Channel 4 website is visited by thousands of users every day, each whom use it for their own needs and experience their own take on the wide range of services available in this subsection of
The homepage for Entertainment is in many ways very similar to that of the main site for Channel 4. The bar at the top is the same, it retains the same layout although the bar at the side is to navigate further into Entertainment and also the links dotted around are also more specialised to deal with pages inside of the Entertainment sector.

[ In Detail ]
Under this division, there lie many subdivisions under the umbrella of Entertainment. Most of these are not strictly to do with Channel 4 matters, but are often about what is happening in entertainment generally at the time. Such subdivisions include FilmFour, Music, Games, 4Laughs, and many more.
Each of these include their respective content, although each is very interactive with the audience and maintain the democratic approach that I mentioned in my previous post. Features like uploading an unsigned band profile, in the chance that your band might raise awareness for itself or even get signed, or seeing the sneak-peeks of the latest films out in the cinema or DVD or taking part in a worldwide quiz for a pair of hair straighteners or a Nintendo Wii, there is something for everyone.
Most of these subdivisions contain RSS feeds, interactive forums which allow for audience diversification and also free podcast downloads, where the audience can keep up with their favourite subject in small audible chunks like a non-linear radio station [ podcast ]. A podcast sets itself apart from other digital audio formats on the web because of its ability to respond to RSS Feeds and download automatically with near-immediacy. However, the audience need not subscribe to a feed in order to listen to Podcasts, as they are often available for streaming and straight downloads, which can later be uploaded to regular MP3 players or indeed an iPod for portable consumption.
All of these cutting-edge and fast-developing NMT’s all contained within the Entertainment section of Channel 4’s website give the audience a sense that Channel 4 cares about the quality of consumer experience, getting to become closer to the audience and keeping up with the industry to present an up-to-date and modern front.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

[ 1. The Channel 4 Site | Homepage ]

[ The Channel 4 Website ]

The Channel 4 site offers thorough programme information, information on an eclectic range of interests within Channel 4 and beyond, TV listings and scheduling information, news, a large entertainment section and various other audience related and interactive activities for a global audience which grants a massive reach for potential consumers of Channel 4’s products and services.
The website offers the massive audience of Channel 4 and all of its spin-off channels a chance to immerse themselves further into the channel as a whole, one specific program or their interests, guided by the extremely talented editors and according to the demographic group.

[ In Detail ]
The homepage has static panels along 3 sides of the page, with links ranging from the site content, to site maps and contact information. The panel on the left is the largest and the main navigator panel. This panel contains the main links: Watch Online, TV, Entertainment, Lifestyle, News, Documentaries and Interact. Under these, there are smaller categories within the links themselves, for quick navigation. This makes it more enticing for the audience and looking through the website doesn’t feel like such a chore.
The dominance of the homepage is entitled “Today on” and features a slideshow of the main feature of the day such as FourDocs, Channel 4’s “broadband documentary service” which allows anyone to record and upload their own documentary on an open range of topics to be viewed and rated by other viewers from around the world which is a good example of democratisation. It is one part of the 4Talent initiative to get more young and prospective hopefuls into the extremely competitive industry. This feature, which is clearly highlighted from the homepage shows off to the audience about how innovative Channel 4 is and how highly it respects the views and products of the audience who show the same in return. The technologies involved in this and other areas of the website are very wide-ranging. Apart from the internet, being the overriding new technology in this instance, there are various peripheral technologies which combine to make the Channel 4 website as impressive as it is. One of these new technologies is RSS [ Really Simple Syndication RSS ]. RSS is a web feed format which publishes frequently updated websites and online content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts, such as the FourDocs blog or the Games page, which features a frequently updated page of console and free online games as voted for by both the public and nominated by the employees at the 4Games department within Channel 4. The rest of the homepage consists of various different tasters of the other categories of the site: News, Entertainment, etc. and also the main television feature of the night on any one of the numerous channels owned by Channel 4. Clicking on one of these links may bring you to a page report on the item, some background reading, games, quizzes and links spanning the website on issues related to the link followed.
Outside adverts from paying companies are also placed on the homepage, on the right. These are often internet or technology-related and are specifically targeted at the early-mid 20’s demographic.

The Channel 4 website is a good example of both democratisation and true connectivity and interdependency with the audience and shows a great deal of interactivity both on, and off-site.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

[ First Post! ]

Hi dudes,

First post, just thought I'd see if this embed thing works and stuff...

And yes, the theme for today is red, so here are some songs that have something to do with red! Yays!

Cool stuff.


Tuesday, 13 March 2007

[ Welcome To Your New Tech Blog! ]

Hi [ henry ] happy blogging! Ms B