Final Project Reflection

For my final project for 395, I decided to do a podcast series with one of my best friends named Anna Rinko. I have always been interested in starting a  podcast series, however I truly never had the time to actually record and find content to record about. I was very passionate about this final project because this is something, like I said, I have been really wanting to experiment with. I came up with Rinko Rants as the name for the podcast series because Anna loves to rant about real world/digital media issues regarding millennial. We chose to make 5 diverse podcasts which were about diverse topics. I chose to make a podcast playlist on my Soundcloud account. I chose to upload the rants on that platform because our rants were longer than 5 minutes (average about 10 minutes), and Soundcloud was the perfect platform  to upload a huge platform like so. Something I would change if I could go back in time would be to use a better and more professional mic. Sometimes it was hard to hear because Anna has a very soft voice. Also, I wish I edited on Logic Pro instead of Audacity because Logic is, at least for me, easier to use. Something I liked that I did was I took a really cool picture of Anna, and then edited “RINKO RANTS” using Canva. Just doing that made the process feel more professional. Basically what we would do was book out a room every Thursday for the past 5 weeks at the ITCC, check out a USB Mic, sit down and edit/record our weekly rant. After the recording was done, I create a page on my very own domain titled Rinko Rants, where I would link all the soundcloud files in an organized and authentic fashion. I think breaking it up weekly was a very smart idea because it made us feel less stressed. All in all, I am very very proud of this project, and I think Anna and I will continue to create more rants!

An idea I had to expand Rinko Rants (possibly for next year) would be to film us talking and discussing rants and not only upload the audio, but ALSO upload the video of us talking on YouTube! I feel like this project would be super successful if we made videos to correspond to our podcasts. Hopefully that is an idea for next year!

In addition to uploading Rinko Rants on Soundcloud, I also uploaded a rant we did (Episode 4) onto Tumblr. We decided to upload our rant to Tumblr because we wanted to reach a new audience and the community in which we were talking about could be interested to hear what we have been discussion regarding ships. Not only is this project a personal one, we wanted it to reach people all over the world which is why we uploaded it to many places. We hope people listen and want us to record more!

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My Final Project Proposal

My Final Project Proposal 

For my final project for DGST 395, I originally decided to create a Twitter bot to automatically tweet song lyrics or poetry onto Twitter. However, after actually spending a whole day creating the bot using Whalen’s google doc bot setup, I was able to create my bot in less than 3 hours. Creating a bot was something I have always wanted to do- but since it literally took me less than 3 hours, I decided to work on a harder project for my final. If you would like to check out the bot I created, the account is called @Xistentialthots

For my final project (2.0), I am planning on creating a podcast series with my co-worker named Anna Rinko. The podcast series will be called “Rinko Rants” (SO CUTE RIGHT). Basically Anna and I will be discussing many topics on our podcast series. Some examples are- How social media is changing the feminist movement, how to combat cyberbullying in the 21st century, and many many more! Our rants (topics) will be digital based. Besides recording these various podcasts, I would love to show the class how to use logic pro x and audacity to edit audio. For this project I plan on combining logic pro x and audacity when editing for the podcasts, therefore teaching these two different audio DAW will be very informative. This project will consist of 4 to 5 rants, which will be streamed on soundcloud. In addition to this project, I intend on taking photos of the setup and pictures of us recording for a blog post after the project is completed.

Learning to Code

I loved doing the learn to code assignment! This was super fun for me because not only did I get to use a learn to code activity that was a game, it also it Frozen themed! For this assignment I used Studio Code’s Frozen game. The link is: https://studio.code.org/s/frozen/stage/1/puzzle/1
So, my first reaction to this was super excited and eager to use this fun platform to learn how to code. However, as I kept going about it I realized that it was not truly teaching me that much. Let me explain that; I have used code academy which makes you literally write out the actual code. For this game it only made me drag it and after I was drag the right pieces of the code together then it would show me the actual code. I liked this at first because I thought it was easy and straightforward, but as I kept going up levels I started realizing that I lowkey was just dragging code blocks and not actually learning myself how to code. As much as I think code academy is boring, the website actually taught me more than this game. The thing I did like about this program was how much help they gave you while you entered each level. There were many help videos and ways that the website explained things in different ways in case each user learns a different way. I liked that a lot. Overall, I think this game would be better for more little kids like 7-10 than a college student. I think this is an important program for kids to begin to learn how to code- from our readings we’ve had explaining why starting kids younger in order to more easily grasp coding, this would be an amazing platform for beginners to get a more visual than type-y representation of coding. I know for me I am more of a visual learner which is why I initially picked this platform, and I think this would go over well with kids too.
In the larger scheme of things, the purpose of this game would go very well with kids who want to learn how to code in a fresh and appealing way. It was certainly fun, but overall I feel like I did not learn as much as I wanted to. Be that as it may, I had so much fun doing this assignment and I think this made me an overall better coder because I have been exposed to different types of learning tools.
Below are pictures from when I was doing the assignment. In the pictures I show how this game shows you the literal code, and then the game part of the platform as well!
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Revised blog: Why coding is important to me

In my last blog post I talked about why coding is important in general, however, I want to touch on why it is important to me. Besides my previous story about how I taught myself to code at a young age thanks to Neopets, another important reason that coding is important to me is because I have always wanted to learn how to use programs to create my very own game. My friends that are computer science majors got the opportunity in their classes to create their very own game- that is my goal. I’ve always wanted to be more fluent in code and to learn how to code more quickly and efficiently. To me it feels like a language that you need to keep practicing until you get more fluent in it.

I think that as we begin to code I might come to some issues. For one, I am dyslexic, so sometimes when I deal with numbers and letter they get jumbled up in my head and I get super frustrated and confused. When I first learned coding in Whalen’s class I had issues getting up to speed with everyone else- because I deal with learning disabilities it takes me ten times longer to finish a project, especially since coding is difficult for me because of dyslexia. I have a feeling that I will have some troubles, but I am determined not to let a disability get in my way of being able to code effectively. I think that if I take my time, go about it slow and get tons of extra help I will be okay and I will be just fine. I am certainly worried and nervous because what we did in my last DGST class kicked my butt, but that just means I will work super hard to do just as well as everyone else.

I am super excited to spend the next four weeks coding. It has always been something I love to do, no matter how frustrated I get.

Make America Code Again (lmao)

When I was about 10 years old, I taught myself how to code. Well, sorta. (As much as a 10 year old attempted). My best friend and I used to play this online game that allowed you to make your own CSS and HTML webpage for pets (shoutout Neopets. You showed me how fun coding could be). My friend and I used to spend hours coding mini webpages for our pets. We found it so cool that we could use HTML and CSS to create something for ourselves. I didn’t fully understand how important coding was back then, but I do remember that after we would get home from middle school, we went straight to our computers and started memorizing color codes and HTML basic structure (ex. spacing and font coding). We thought we were just learning how to play the online game, however it was so much more than that.

Flash forward a couple years- I realized in digital studies with Whalen that what I was doing when I was younger was so much more than making a cute website for an online pet. My knowledge of coding could help me find my true passion in life: digital media creation and marketing.

Now that you have a short background on my history of learning how to code, I wanted to explain why I think it is SO important to learn how to code. First of all, coding is the language of the computer. Steve Jobs once said, “I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” I completely agree with that. Instead of spending afternoons coloring or watching Spongebob, I was learning how to program, which is basically like learning how to speak a different language. There are so many options now that make it so easy to code ( cough cough code academy) Anyone can learn to code. In a few hours you can pick up the basic skills and in a few weeks you will be able to build useful applications and websites- and that’s the coolest part about coding.

We are  living in a world dominated by software. Our IPhones, televisions, our radios are delivered over the internet. We use the web for so much of our daily lives. Our shopping, information, maps and directions, daily news, social media, ordering food, and so much more. We are living in a never ending technologically advancing world- next generation’s world will be even more online and digital. This is why learning how to code is so important. Software is the language of our web driven world, and we need to teach our kids how to speak and create among it. Coding culture is a real thing, and although not all of us will become programmers- coding is just as important as a history class or an english class. I believe we should all teach our future generations the language our beloved appliances think so we can move forward in the world.

I learned how to code because it made me feel closer and more connected with the internet. I think it is so important not only to know how to use our macs and iPhones and other software, but its just as vital to understand HOW they work. The internet is such a huge part of my life and I love to constantly strive to learn how the things I love are created and programed.

The Erasure, Abuse, and Sexism in the Music Industry

The music industry has never had a clean slate. From Motown strikes in the 50’s and the struggle to hear colored people on the radio, to now the abuse of women that is silently coming back to haunt producers. Lord knows how the struggle for equality in the music business is very much still a battle faced today. However, my main curiosity lies within the abuse of women in the industry. After hearing about how Lady Gaga and Ke$ha (two of my most favorite and respected artists) were abused and sexuality assaulted by their producers, I took online to seek out the erasure and to understand why abuse is so silent in the industry. It’s not surprising that Ke$ha and Gaga have a HUGE effect in the pop music genre- they are practically always played on the radio and teenagers around the world know their lyrics. What is interesting is what really happened behind the hits. When Ke$ha finally came forth and admitted that Dr. Luke had been abusing her for years, it really struck home to me. As an inspiring music producer and music major currently, the lack of female respect in the industry is something that I am going to have to combat for the rest of my life.

The main question is how has the advancement of technology made this erasure better or worse? To answer this, I believe that technology has made the erasure in the music industry (when referring to women’s equality) has made a positive and negative effect. For instance, I feel like Ke$ha couldn’t voice what was truly going on and all the abuse she went through because she was under SO many contracts that probably had people run her social media accounts and her online identity. I am sure there is a contract between Luke and Ke$ha that made him control her so she truly could not have a voice. Now that the contract is broken, Ke$ha has her online voice back and she is firing back at him and her social media presence was something that turned heads and truly made an impact on spreading the awareness of her abuse. The way her and Gaga teamed together online and stuck together was incredible. Technology helped Ke$ha made her voice be heard. Along with Gaga, many other high end celebrities with a huge following also commented on the abuse in the industry with Ke$ha having her back. A hashtag was used by many celebrities and basically her case blew up. So many high profile people (not to mention with millions of followers) used their social media weather it was their instagram of twitter to make her case be heard. Many producers also backed up and touched on this case that seemed to be in favor of Ke$ha. With all this social media buzz, her case was well followed and Ke$ha got her respect back.

You asked us in class “Who gets the blame?” and I believe that the women who aren’t treated fairly in these situations get the blame. It is rare that the producer gets the blame. Usually people blame the artist, which is why Ke$ha’s case is so interesting because many people automatically took her side.

Jessica Hopper, a women in the industry, explained, “Most every woman working in music can match each other’s stories pound for pound, the ways our work and opinions don’t belong, don’t matter…To be working 60 or 70-hour weeks and still be the butt of your male peer’s blowjob joke—you think you’ve proven yourself, so you can just be…Imagine what music would be like if we didn’t make young women jump through such demeaning hoops to show they belong here.”

There are so many other physical and emotional abusive stories that have gone on behind the scenes, however it is almost always pushed aside due to how there is a lack of equality in the music scene. Not to mention women make less than men, usually women have to work their way up in the industry by first be receptionists, and if lucky and given the chance, maybe they can work their way up and get ideas on the table.

This is all good information, however I want to go further and deeper into understanding why these things happen and why there is a lack of equally in this field. Since being a producer has always been my dream, I have been told by many professors that it is hard in the first place, but also because i am a female it could be very likely impossible. I am trying to understand why the music industry is such a male heavy field to begin with. With so many fantastic women artists and performers, how is it that men STILL dominate the field? I dug deeper and found out that so many record labels are owned to males and basically male dominated because it has been passed down that way since the beginning of it all I suppose. Sort of like how all presidents of the USA have been male (shoutout Hill for trying) I think that is sort of how the music industry is. There are so many female lyric artists and singers, however there are hardly any mangers and women truly in charge of the full operation. The question is- how do we switch these rolls? How do we let women get in charge?

Gender inequality in the music industry is certainly a big issue (hint hint erasure), therefore I decided to find some stats to prove this is a huge problem. Creative & Cultural Skills report that the gender divide across all music industry related jobs is 67.8% male to 32.2% female. AIM’s 2012 membership survey revealed that only 15% of label members are majority-owned by women. Statistics consistently show that women in music earn less than their male counterparts. Although things are slowly improving, many male’s who entered the industry around the same time as women have moved into managerial and senior level roles while women have stayed in the same job or have quit. The gender gap and the sexism, abuse, and inequality is certainly visible in the music industry. The question is: how do we fix this?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/26/women-s-music-industry-horror-stories-abuse-sexism-and-erasure.html