Tuesday, June 7, 2016


There has been a serious fluctuation in the music industry in the last couple of decades. One of the most prevalent reasons is because of the digital world. In my final research paper, "The Digital World's Effect on the Music Industry," I discuss various points that effect the music industry.

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest factors that influenced sales was with the increase of music piracy. Now that music is on the internet, it is way easier to upload and download pirated content. Musicians are losing a lot of their earnings because of this. Peer-to-peer websites are still used by consumers that want to "own" the music, even with the access to free music from the streaming services. Streaming services are slightly ebbing this extreme curvature, but the musicians still aren't earning the full value from their music because now they have to use music aggregators (the middleman). Some musicians are trying to get rid of this "middleman." This is called disintermediation, when the artist has a direct line to their consumers.

Another effect on the industry is that people can now unbundle their purchases. This means that they can purchase a single song from an album if they wanted to (e.g. iTunes). We now have the capability to purchase one episode from a TV series if we wanted to.

With the emergence of the the digital world, fans and musicians are closer than ever. There has always been a connection between people through music, but it's even closer now because sharing music and culture is easier than ever. Musicians can even connect through social media, as many fans have taken advantage of sites like Twitter and Facebook, and even Snapchat.

The music industry is on the verge of evolution. Music will never die, it will just keep changing with the times as it always has done.

Imgur or Bust

As I struggle to stay alive these last couple of finals, I use social media as part of my solace.

Yes, I have been trying to hang out with people before everyone has left forever (*cough* I mean, for the summer), but I'm also finding it incredibly hard to find the energy to get up and leave my room after all of the studying and paper writing.

That's where social media comes into play.

Imgur, my old friend, take me into your arms and hold me!

I find myself using sites like imgur more and more. They are just so darn entertaining while also being a means to communicate with real life people. I might know a single person on there (well, that's fairly unlikely as my weirdo friends are probably also users), but I still enjoy the wit and humor,  and even the compassion, that these people have.

Imgur has become my relief from all of the pressure of life (aka finals week). There are posts that make me laugh my butt off and then there are posts that make me cry so hard I don't know if I'll ever stop.

These are the types of websites that I love, and some times hate because some times they are just too real or the people are just too crude (there's always "that person" in every community).

 #ImgurianForLife #sweg #I'mSorryForTheseSadHashtags #NotReallySorry

I Don't Understand...

Liking your own post. Why?

People that like something that they themselves posted, just boggle my mind. Is there a reason? Did they look back on the post and go "wow, that was a good one" and click Like? What goes through their mind?

I have a couple friends on Facebook, who I shall not name as to not shame them publicly, that like their own statuses. I don't really know why, most of the posts are nothing special. They'll be like, "I just ate this amazing taco today" *insert picture of taco here* and thEN THEY'LL LIKE IT! WHAT?!

What has caused you to make this life choice? Who told you that this was okay to do?

I could forgive them if it was like a one time mistake, and they accidentally clicked on their own post. But not if they repeatedly commit this most severe of a crime!

While there is a theory about why people do this, I'm unconvinced.

#TidalForAll, or Not

Jay Z's streaming service, Tidal, was bought back in 2014 as a means for equity for musicians. Unfortunately, people didn't react to it quite like Tidal expected. People didn't like the way that Tidal seemed to be that the rich and famous were complaining about money issues.

An academic journal article entitled "Jay Z's Launch of Tidal is Far From Pitch Perfect," states that "promises to put money back in musicians' pockets might have piqued consumers' interest at another time and place. However, a stage full of superrich starts didn't exactly send the right message (Diaz)."

When Tidal came out with a video entitled "Tidal #TidalForAll, it didn't generate the expected reaction from fans. All you see is a bunch of well-off artists get together at someone's giant house, wearing their finest, and drinking champagne. Is this really the way to get people to help you? Probably not.

As well as giving off the wrong vibe, the service is more expensive than other services. Tidal comes in at a monthly fee of $9.99 for standard streaming and $19.99 for high fidelity. Having no ads is their big promotion. Other companies, such as Spotify and Pandora offer free listening capabilities, and you only have to listen to an ad every 30 minutes or so. "Most industry observers said the high cost and stiff competition will make it hard for Tidal to recruit streaming consumers, who prioritize price over quality (Diaz)." Diaz even says that millennials, the target audience of most streaming services, hardly ever listen to high fidelity music and therefore don't feel the need to pay more to gain access to it.

Diaz, Ann-Christine, and Mark Bergen. "Jay Z’S Launch Of Tidal Is Far From Pitch Perfect." Advertising Age 86.6 (2015): 0008. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web

Monday, June 6, 2016

Kids These Days

Ah, I remember when I was a child. Walking home from school, waving goodbye to all of my friends, telling them I would see if I could use the landline to call them or just saying that I'll see them tomorrow. These young whippersnappers these days just whip out their smart phones and text and Facebook and Tweet their friends. They don't appreciate what they have.

I remember the reason I even got a cell phone. In 6th grade, I was participating in a basketball summer camp over at the high school. My mom dropped me off in the morning, and I went into the school for practice. Little did I know that practice had been cancelled that day, and I was stuck waiting around for 2 hours before practice was supposed to end and my mother finally picked me up.

Needless to say, I got a cell phone fairly quickly after that. But you wanna know what kind of cell phone I got? A Tracfone. A pre-paid, cheap flip phone. And you wanna know what, I was so excited! I finally had a means to communicate with my friends more frequently!

Kids these days undervalue the gift that they have been given. They just assume they deserve the smart phones because everyone else has one.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


The gaming world has been dominated by the male population for a very long time. They have had control over the creation and editing of the games, as well as the production, the distribution, and the playing of the games. More and more women are entering this male-led industry. Women are becoming designers, are becoming producers, and are becoming avid players.

On May 19th, the Massachusetts Appeals Court could not decide whether or not an ex-boyfriend's heinous writings about his ex-girlfriend online were protected by the First Amendment. The couple had broken up in 2014, and shortly thereafter Eron Gjoni (the ex-boyfriend) wrote a very crude blog post about Zoe Tiberius Quinn (the ex-girlfriend, who is a game developer, programmer, writer, and artist). Quinn had requested a restraining order, which would prevent Gjoni from posting anything else about her because Quinn was receiving threats against her from some of Gjoni's readers.

The Gamergate controversy came about when Quinn wanted the restraining order destroyed because the amount of threats increased exponentially. Gjoni wanted to "appeal his claim that the no posting requirement infringed on his First Amendment right."

So, the question is, do the First Amendment rights of Gjoni outweigh the safety of Quinn?

While I do feel that Gjoni has the right to publish whatever he wants, within reason, to his blog, I feel that it should not come at the expense of Quinn's safety. Everyone has the right to say whatever they want, but there are always consequences. Even if Gjoni was upset at the time of the break up, he should realize that his actions could put Quinn in serious jeopardy.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Don't Be A Bystander

Online violence has become more and more prevalent in the social media universe. Abuse isn't only a physical element, people are being attacked and harassed online. Too many people are just standing by and doing nothing. If you see someone being harassed online, you should step in; don't be a bystander. Intervention can sometimes be the biggest show of support that anyone can do for a victim of online abuse.

Carrie Rentschler's article in the Guardian, Online abuse: we need Good Samaritans on the web, shows some vital facts of the abuse of people in the online environment. 18 - 29 year old's are among the highest percentage of online abuse witnesses, and most of these people are Hispanic and African-American, and women are the highest receivers of "sexual harassment and stalking online."

I agree with Rentschler, in that, people need to be educated about the online violence and ways to prevent it. Witnesses should not be afraid to speak up for the victims while also fearing repercussions from the attackers.