Sunday, December 10, 2006

What type of media consumer am I now....

Over the course of the semester I found myself losing a lot of interest in television. I watch my favorite shows like Grey's Anatomy and TLC, but other than that my television is off.

For some reason after taking this class I've been overly critical about the things that I watch. I'm always looking for what all the shows lack, content. This class has made me see the tricks of the media and how they try to brainwash you. Money, sex and gossip is what a lot of media has to offer and I'm tired of being a victim.

It wasn't till this class that it became blatantly clear, that most shows on television are a waste of my time. They serve no purpose in bettering my life, only to fill it with nonsense and jealousy. I've strayed far away from reality television for the pure fact that it isn't reality.

When Lilly describe how it was filming the reality show in Detroit for the Superbowl challenge, it became more apparent why I shouldn't waste my time watching shows on MTV, in particular. A lot of it is staged drama, not worth wasting your time or energy getting into.

I've pretty muched ditched as well. Every story in a magazine you can get online, so why waste $4, to look at advertisements and be brainwashed that you need this or that product? All the magazines are focused on the same concept of money, sex and gossip. It's a popular theme in America's culture and it's made me want to move to Canada. Lilly talk's about it and it seems great.

Where I find myself spending most of my time is online. I'm not saying that the internet isn't filled with money, sex and gossip because it's probably the number one place to find it, but I feel I have more control over it. I go directly to either Yahoo's home page and read the news or go to Google and read the news and that's pretty much it.

I don't listen to the radio at all because the songs being played are horrible and I'm tired of listening to commercials in between songs. Also the DJ's are starting to advertise and it's really becoming a pain in the ass.

I am still an huge fan of my Ipod and I have it going 24-7. I feel that music is the one thing that is actually soothing in this world. You don't need words for it to carry you away, all you need is the sound. You don't need words convincing you of how to feel, all you need is the rhythm. Like Gloria Estephan once said, "The rhythm is gonna get you."

After taking this class I've become a huge critic of what media I use. I never realized how much junk is thrown at us through the media until now. This class has really been an eye-opener and has allowed me to use my time more wisely. I know Lilly's goal as an instructor was to make us better critics, and she has done just that. I feel that I have a lot more time now that I don't waste it on certain types of media that I did in the past.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sometimes the picture makes all the difference

I was looking through this hip hop magazine this past weekend, (I can't remember the name) and it was different from any magazine I've ever picked up. I really wish I remembered the name but the title for some reason didn't stick.

The pages were like newspaper and it was square shaped and it had about 80 pages. It had an enormous amount of pictures and all of them had short articles to go with them. It had feature stories as well, but the majority were short articles. The stories and the people in the magazine strictly regarded the hip hop community.

What struck me the most is that I couldn't put the magazine down. The short bits of information that followed the photographs drew me in really close. Each information bit gave you just enough to be satisfied and they didn' t bore you with useless information. I immediately fell in love with the magazine and I couldn't put it down until I finished it.

The one thing I noticed though when I was reading it is that I became selective about what I read. When you have the magazine open there would be about 10 photos, 5 on each page and I chose the order in which I read them according to which picture I like the most. I'd see a picture of Akon and then there would be a picture of Nas and I'd go straight to Nas.

I was reading the articles in order of the pictures that I like the most. I discounted a lot of the stories because their pictures weren't that appealing to me and didn't make me want to read them. I did however read them, but I saved them for last and when I did read them I read them fast.

I never really realized how much pictures can make a difference in the things you read or in the way I read them. Like I said before I've never read a magazine that was structured in this way, so it was great to have come across it because I learned something about myself.

Friday, December 01, 2006

It'll be the coldest night of the year!!!!

It will be the coldest night of the year with temperatures in the 20's!!!! This is all I have been hearing this week but I haven't felt that great of change in the temperature.

Every day I watch the news at 5 and then at 10 just to see what's going on locally and to catch the weather report. I just like knowing what to expect when I walk outside, I don't like surprises. But this past week, I've got nothing but that.

Every weather report has been wrong this past week. I listen to find out that the temperatures are dropping and so I take precautionary measures to make sure I won't be cold that night. But instead of being cold I was sweating. I turned my portable heater as well as the centralized heater in my house just so that I wouldn't be cold when the temperature dropped to 30 degrees, but it didn't even break 40 degrees.

All week long it's been "tonight is going to be the coldest night of the year!" How many times can you make a statement on television before people stop believing you? I stopped believing the weather girl on the second day she made the statement and she still continues to say the same thing. Make sure you bring out your jackets and blankets, it's going to be a cold one.

Yes, the weather has been cold, but don't scare us that it's going to be even colder. I really freaked out when they said how much temperatures were going to drop. I can't handle cold weather so you can only imagine what was going through my head. I literally thought I was going to lose my toes those two nights I believed the weather girl.

News is always changing that's for sure but you don't realize how much. You subconsciously think that things remain the same until the next news report, but they don't. One thing I know for sure it is cold and I want to move to the Bahamas for the winter.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How much is too much?

I was watching 20/20 on ABC and the show was basically about donating and who in America gives the most money. The rich, one might think, but after watching the show you'd realize it was those who had less money that donated more.

They took a town in middle America and asked for donations at Walmart and did the same outside of Macy's in San Francisco. Considering the size of San Francisco and the wealth that inhibits it you'd assume the most donated would come from this city, but at the end of the two days it was small town America that did. When they interviewed people they said that they might have not much money, but it's important to give and that they always do. "What's $10 out of your pocket at week?"

Then the show spun onto the billionaires of America and how much they give. One billion is already a lot of money, but realize that these people have more than just a billion dollars. Yet they are only giving away a small percentage. Take the Waltons, yes the "Walmart" Family they gave 2 billion dollars in donation, sounds like a lot of money right? But they are worth 82 billion dollars. That's two percent of what they are worth. What do they need with the other 80 billion dollars they are sitting on? There are so many people with nothing in America, yet you have these people that have atleast 10 billion dollars to their name and are spending it on lavish parties that are suppose to be for charity. Isn't just signing your name on a check enough? Why throw huge parties with all the glitz and glamour. You do things for charity out of the goodness of your heart, not to show the people you invite to your "parties" what you are worth. It shouldn't matter that you can throw an amazing party, it's for charity not for popularity.

On the show they gave the top 4 reasons why billionaires don't donate a lot, and they are:
1. I can't get at the money--meaning it's not easily available. Please if you needed YOUR money you'd be able to get it, horrible excuse
2. I can't find enough good charities--charity is charity so why is it a matter of finding a good one? Your money can make a difference at any charity, not just the "GOOD" ones.
3. I'd like to give away more, but I'm too poor--I have no comment
4. I need to make more--need money to make money is understandable, but how much do you really need?

I just get frustrated because the richest people in our country are the cheapest. It seems like it's never enough for them, as if 1 billion dollars couldn't last them. But lavish lifestyles call for, you guessed it a billion dollar salary.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

You Tube on your cell phone

YouTube signed a deal with Verizon Wireless today which means, you guessed it YouTube on your cell phones. People are already addicted to this popular website and now they are given the option to watch videos whenever and wherever they want. But the only problem is you have to be a Verizon customer.

Don't you hate that when the new "cool" thing comes out and you can't be a part of it? I was reading the article YouTube's web videos go to mobile and the first thing I thought was I wonder if SprintNextel has it? And of course they signed a deal with Verizon which means I can't watch videos on my phone. But for those who do have Verizon you can watch these videos by signing up for V-Cast which is $15/month or $3/day, your choice.

It's crazy how things become more and more available. I discovered YouTube this past summer and there have been so many instances where I wish I had the video that I was referring to on hand. Little did I know, I'd have the option 4 months later.

People are going to be in class, at work, in the car watching these videos. I find myself glued to my computer at home digging deep in the website for funny videos so I can only imagine how glued I'd be if I had the option on my phone. Let me tell you it was a smart decision on both companies parts and for those who don't have Verizon, our time will come soon.

In the article it mentioned YouTube eventually teaming up with the other wireless carriers like Cingular, Sprint, etc., but didn't want to comment too much on it. So keep you eyes and ears open because YouTube could be coming to a phone near you.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Credit card designs: More important than the credit card

Many credit-card companies are trying to redesign the look of their credit cards. According the Yahoo article Credit-Card Appeal: A New Look, Smell companies are doing so much as making credit cards that fold in half and are storable in key chains. I never thought that a good looking credit card would make you use it more often. I thought America was more concerned with rates than the design on the card. Credit-card companies are experimenting with different textures, lights and sounds. I'm just imagining what my next VISA might feel like, alligator skin maybe?

Just like in advertising people try to break the mold. They want to go beyond what's expected, especially if it means increasing their popularity. Will credit-cards go as far as putting advertisements on credit-cards? I mean can't you see ads on credit cards? Companies buying advertisments to put on credit cards, doesn't that sound interesting? A lot of people have connections to certain products, so I think to have that certain product on a credit card, would attract people. If you had to choose between a plain white card or one with your favorite beer on it, which would you choose?

It really does matter to people what things look, smell or feel like. You make decisions based on what is appealing to you. Just like in the ads you see, you're more opt to buy a product who's ad really caught your eye, than one that was just blah. So I guess it's the same with credit cards, they want to make their cards appealing as possible so people pull it out first.

People subconsciously pick out favorites. They might have 200 pairs of jeans in their closet, but they always seem to pick out one pair that they love wearing over and over again. It's just a part of being human, you grow attached to certain things because of your attraction to them. Credit-card companies and advertisements want you to do the same. They want you to see it, love it and use it. It's all about choosing favorites.

It will come down to a credit-card company creating the most appealing card ever and making every want to get one. People will subconsciously become attached to this card and always use it. Then that's where the credit-card companies come in and raise the interest rates because people already have an attachment to their cards and will use them regardless. More spending for the consumer equals more money for the credit-card companies.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Companies use talk shows for free advertisement and a tax write off

I was watching the Tyra Banks show last night (don't ask me why) and the president of a company that helps lower your debts was on it. The show was dedicated to people that are homeless, and the president of the company came on and gave the guests $12,500 dollars cash.

Sounds cool right? What a good deed towards society, but I'm not an idiot. This class has helped me see that there is a reason behind everything on television, especially with company advertisements. Before this show aired I'm sure there was only a hand full of people that knew of this company. But after watching this show, thousands of more people are now aware of it.

There are plenty of people in debt in America, so seeing this man probably gave many of them hope. On the show the president came on and started talking about why he created the company, what they do, made sure to mention the name of the company 4 or 5 times and then told the guests the good news.

This 30 second slot on the show gave this company some good credibility not to mention good advertisment. The fans see this man as a genuine and kind and really wants to help people out and they transfer this onto the entire image of the company. I mean he's giving out over $30,000 dollars on the show, so he really does care. But reality check, this is helping him more than it's helping the people he's giving the money to.

This was free advertising for him. Yes, he gave out a substantial amount of money out on the show, but it's a tax write off. It's a donation so he can use it to his advantage at the end of the year. Giving out this money is cheaper than having a commercial, plus you get the benefit of seeing the "kindness" of the president. Him being on the show makes his company look like they really care and want to help people. The audience of the show see this company giving out their hard earned money to people in need, when really it's a smart business move.

Without this class I wouldn't have been able to pick this out, I find myself catching more and more things when I watch television.