3D-Printed Fashion?

Francis Bitonti Cloud Collection

(Hiscott, 2014)

By now, we’ve all heard of 3D printers. For instance, even Stephen Colbert had a guest make a 3D print of his face on The Colbert Report. No matter how you’ve heard of it I think we all can agree that the chance to use one would be great. But now, 3D printer users have found a new use: fashion. Fashion Designer Francis Bitonti has begun utilizing 3D printers, called MakerBots, to design and distribute intricate bowls, sculptures, and more. These are all a part of Bitonti’s Cloud Collection, which includes four housewares products: a plate, a vase, a bowl, and a serving bowl. Consumers can even customize the surface noise or relief of the product. While the line itself is interesting and innovative, its distribution is even more so. Instead of buying any of these products in a store or online, users who own MakerBots buy the code for $1 and print them at home. If a customer does not own a MakerBot, they can join a 3D Hub, and print it for more. Bitoni said: “We tried to make something where the consumer could engage in the narrative of the object and be part of the design, but not necessarily have to become the designer” (Hiscott, 2014). Using 3D printing allows the designer to customize a delicate structure that couldn’t be made by hand.

Francis Bitonti Couture

(Hiscott, 2014)

But this new, innovative mode of production doesn’t stop with housewares. Bitonti also designed a gorgeous 3D printed gown for Dita von Teese in 2013. He also designed the Bristle Dress and a belt called ‘Winter Froze You Away,’ both pictured above. (Hiscott, 2014) However, some argue that as cool as designs like these may be, they reduce the role of the designer far too much. Instead of giving the designer a chance to choose material and decide how it will be put together, they are reduced to being a simple ‘sketch artist.’ Personally, I love the idea of technology and fashion fusing, but I absolutely agree that it could have some seriously negative effects on the designer’s profession. What do you think? Will this innovation lead way to more creativity?  

Works Cited

Hiscott, R. (2014, April). The future of fashion is code, not couture, says designer. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2014/04/04/francis-bitonti-3d-printing/

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Social Media and the Bystander Effect

Imagine you’re witnessing something newsworthy like a fight or a burning building. What would be your first instinct? To help, to call the authorities, or to pull out your camera phone to record the event? For many, the answer is to record it on their phone, but why? According to some social psychologists this is a new incarnation of what psychologists call the bystander effect.

The phenomenon was originally studied after the murder of a New York City woman, Kitty Genovese. Thirty people witnessed the violent murder but no one reported it or attempted to help the woman. Psychologists attribute this to the idea that people will not help out if others are present, the bystander effect. In other words, everyone assumes that someone else will, or already has, helped out. In today’s culture, this effect has given rise to the behavior of filming or otherwise documenting an event instead of stepping in. This action is connected to the bystander effect, but on a different level: people believe that documenting an event, like the Stanley Cup riots, and sending it to the authorities is helping out. This may be a step toward being less passive, but still doesn’t prevent the event from happening.

Similarly, the bystander effect may be well at work on sites like Facebook. For example, I’ve seen many friends share their friends’ Kickstarters to urge people to donate money too their projects. However these people don’t usually donate, and instead, they simply share the Kickstarter. According to one article, this is because people believe strongly in their own social capital, that sharing a link is the equivalent of a monetary donation. The article uses the example of Veteran’s Day, and how people on Facebook were suggesting helping veterans. While most everyone would agree to help them, several factors contribute to the bystander effect and prevent anyone from doing so effectively. First, it’s often ambiguous how one can even help, like, people may simply not know how or where to help. Second, social media groups are not tight knit, so if an old acquaintance from high school asks their network to help out with something, people aren’t likely to help if they don’t feel a strong bond with the person. Third, the classic idea of diffused responsibility plays in. If an acquaintance walks up to someone and asks for money for an emergency, one would be likely to help, but online in a network of hundreds, everyone assumes someone else will.

Overall, I don’t believe that social media completely encourages the bystander effect. Take for example the Arab Spring, in which revolution (and action) was fueled and maintained by social media. However, I do agree that it’s dangerous to film a crime instead of helping or assuming that sharing a link is as valuable as donating or attending. 

References

Social media, mobile phones changing ‘bystander effect’. (2014, March 14). Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/social-media-mobile-phones-changing-bystander-effect-1.2572372

Social media and the bystander effect. (2013, September 16). Retrieved from http://www.briansolis.com/2013/11/social-media-and-the-bystander-effect/

Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy

(“Everything’s amazing nobod’ys happy,”)

 

The other day, a friend of mine shared an article from NPR on Facebook that really struck a chord with me. The article basically pointed out just how impressive all the technology around us is. And yet, we do not even notice. In fact the only time we seem to notice it is when something goes wrong, like if our phone takes more than a second to load. As the author (and Louis CK) say, it is literally being sent to space, and yet we complain. This article, and the video that accompanied it, was a real wakeup to me. I sit and type or browse the web or edit photos or whatever on my laptop but I never reflect on it. Seriously, here is a three pound piece of metal and glass that let’s me chat with someone across the country in the blink of an eye. That is absolutely amazing. If someone showed up with a MacBook Pro in the dark ages, they might have even labeled it witchcraft.

I definitely do not agree with Louis CK calling us the “crappiest generation” but he is absolutely right that we are spoiled. I certainly do not think of the decades of technological research and meteorology that went into allowing me to check the weather on my phone in seconds. In fact, I do not even think about the hours that are spend everyday to ensure that I can stay up to date with the weather, or whatever peaks my curiosity. It is quite upsetting to hear older generations gripe about how we are all spoiled narcissists. But, in my subjective opinion, the same thing could have happened to any generation. Technology’s great advances in the beginning of our lifetimes have programmed us, as Rushkoff might say, to act like we do. We do not just use technology; it uses us and it’s great convenience and speed has taught us to expect instant gratification. In my opinion, the effects of this have not just affected our generation. I see my father, who is in his fifties, get anxious if his email takes a moment too long to load. And I see my mother, for all of her patience, lose her head if she doesn’t have cell phone reception to make a call. Maybe it’s just human nature to get so accustomed to technology that we don’t notice it.

I suppose my point is that we need to appreciate technology more. Maybe if we do, we can avoid our generation’s theoretical fate of self-absorption and narcissism. 

They’re Back

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$25,000 sunglasses, money, fashion and couture; materialistic objects that define The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. In todays society, vanity is greater than virtue. People live by the motto “the more you have, the more you are worth”. Aired in October 14, 2010 with 2.8 million total viewers among females in the age of eighteen to 49 in prime time (Gorman). The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is a reality show that focuses on the lifestyle of five “wealthy” women and how they interact with each other and society. In this new season, Carlton Gebbia and Joyce Giraud became the replacement of Taylor Armstrong and Adrienne Maloof.

As I now began to see the new season, I did not even think about why they had replaced the old cast of the housewives. It was after the show was over that I realized, Glamour and fashion are priorities for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Bravo media,one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience, has dominated and taken over Monday night by having the highest records of people watching the show; drew a season-to-date high with 1.15 million adults from 18-49.

The drama that is created in this show has caused massive controversy between Twitter users and the cast. Viewers constantly tweet what they think about the drama and who they side with. The cast is bombarded with strong hard comments that criticize them. Instead of letting the tweets not get to them, the stars of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills tweet what they think and talk about each other outside of the show.

Demonstrating their gender roles as high end society forces them to live up to certain standards, which end up damaging not only themselves but others. Maintaining the lifestyle that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have can be comfortable and luxurious at times but, it can lead to overspending and in extreme cases death due to the pressures of keep up with the lifestyle in which they live. Rusell Armostrong, Taylor Armstrong’s husband, committed suicide at the end of the past season due to the pressure he was under of maintaining their lifestyle and showing off their luxuries. Russell Armstrong was more than $1.5 million in debt and spending wildly before his apparent suicide; he was living month to month to support Taylor’s expenses and for her to be able to stay on the show. Although Armstrong made enough money to support his family, he overspent and fell into debt by trying to keep up with the other housewives. The current obsession with money has a negative impact on society just how it had a detrimental impact on Rusell Armstrong and his family.

Realizing that one of the reasons that they took Taylor out of the show was because she could not keep up with the “lifestyle” Bravo expected, made me realize how people lack morality and the understanding of the actual value of money. If people from a different country watch this show, they could consider Americans to be shallow and selfish. People are straying away from the important things in life such as family and happiness and are replacing these values with greed. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is an example of what society has come to; a place where money is king and if one does not have it, one is worth less than those that do.

References 

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      –     I Watch Anything On TV. (n.d.). The real housewives of beverly  hills, season premiere at 9pm on    bravo. Retrieved from http://iwatchanythingontv.wordpress.com/

Digital Culture?

Is new media shaping our culture? What is fair game and what isn’t? Those are definitely questions we should all be asking ourselves in the digital age we are living in. This has been discussed in the media semi-recently when a comedian live tweeted a breakup of a couple from his apartment rooftop.

 

In an article, Tweeting Private Conversations #DirtyLaundry, by Paulina Haselhorst, she said, “But despite Ayer’s conviction that his tweets were innocent, there’s something that just doesn’t feel right about publishing personal conversations, especially ones that are not our own” (2014). Haselhorst has a nice moral opinion stated there, but honestly, can we really hold ourselves to this? Public is public. These people could have easily held this conversation in their apartment, but chose to go to the roof and then, upon getting up there, proceeded to carry on this conversation despite another person being up there.

 

Is it wrong to tweet this? The couple had every opportunity to not have this in public despite Haselhorst’s statement that “some compassion is in order…” (2014). I believe that when someone knowingly throws common sense and/or tact out the window then they are fair game for someone else who chooses not to show compassion. Is it really fair to tweet, blog, or YouTube someone who got pulled over because of a DUI? A case could be made that they, too, deserve compassion because it was a screw up and it’s not our drama, but it’s still getting reported through these mediums anyway. This is the culture we live in today and just going out your door every morning you see people constantly with ear buds in or reading their phones, tablets, laptops, etc. It’s to be expected that new media is everywhere!

 

Haselhorst also went on to say that users of Twitter can still have laughs, but should ultimately be choosy or selective about what they post to get the laughs. I don’t understand how this author can take this moral attitude without scolding all the comedians, journalists, script writers, song writers, or even everyday people who go about making a living by telling other people stories based off of something public that has happened or they experienced. Twitter isn’t the only place that this sort of exposure happens and something as little as this isn’t nearly as embarrassing as other stories that get told to thousands of people each day. All someone needs to do is to log onto YouTube and people are constantly posting videos of things people are doing. These videos can be moronic, dangerous, or heartwarming. The bottom line is that media is a major part of our culture and we are being shaped by it through its control over the population.

 

I don’t feel that we, as in the general public, should go about tweeting or sharing everything we see, but I also don’t believe we should censor everything either. While we might be disgusted at the sharing of public information, it also may serve as historical data for future generations as well. All of this is certainly up for ethical debate, but one thing remains constant and that is that new media is around us. We’re told all the time to be careful what we post, but we also know that people are watching us whether we want it or not. With access to all sorts of media at the click of a button, it’s only a matter of time before we begin to shape our culture as either socially awkward or everyone becoming “e-famous”.

Sources:

Haselhorst, P. (2014, January 08). Tweeting private conversations

Images courtesy of: 10 Of The Best Twitter Cartoons

Facebook is Trending

As Twitter continues to grow and gain new users, Facebook feels as if it is being left behind. In order for them to keep up with the competition, Facebook will launch “Trending” on their site. Facebook has recently decided to add a new feature to their site  called “Trending” which mostly aims at trying to get more users involved in real-time information and events that are trending on the web; just like Twitters trending topics. This new feature on Facebook main focus, is to allow public conversations to happen between many people on important or popular topics that may be surfacing the web. Facebook wants to expand the way users interact and allow them to have conversations with other people rather than just their friends. Facebook users will be able to see what other people think about a certain topic or their reaction to important events happening in the world.

This new feature of “Trending” will show Facebook users what the most important  and popular topics are on social networking sites as soon as they log into their profile. Users will also be given the opportunity to personalize the list of information they get based on their topics of interest. Users newsfeed will have the topics that the users carefully selected to be of their interest and will appear of the right of the users page. Also, some of the topics will be highlighted which means that they are the most popular topics on the site for that particularly day. During Facebook’s announcement of this new addition to their site, they carefully explained how “Trending” works; “a response to the volume of public conversations about real-time events on the social network.”

Facebook Side TrendingFacebook Trending

Recently, Facebook signed a partnership with NBC sports to cover the Olympics. NBC’s Olympics’ Facebook page will have content regarding the event. It will share the most important information, videos, photos, and polls. Also, Facebook users will be given the opportunity to their own questions to Sarah Hughes, an Olympic god medalist.  Although Facebook is creating this new “trend”to increase its new users and be more attracting for the younger audiences, current Facebook members are not using the site as much as they did before. With all the new apps created such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, users do not need to log into their Facebook pages to see what their friends are doing. This new idea hopefully revives Facebook and it will be interesting to see if Facebook users begin to use Facebook for “Trending” topics rather than Twitter.

Video Hyperlink: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000236502

References 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Posting #1

Twitter: The Outlet to Watch in 2014

Melissa Mandarino

January 22, 2013

 With the start of the new year, we should all be looking out for the next “big thing” in advertising technology. 2014 is predicted to be Twitter’s year, reaching consumers differently than any other social media outlet has been able to do; and now that Twitter is going public, it is ready to make some big changes and improvements. In Garett Sloane’s Advertising Week article, “Twitter’s Tailored Audiences Program Gets More Targeted”, he explains that marketers will be able to “retarget ads to website visitors who also use twitter.” This will give brands the ability to increase exposure of their product or service through a secondary outlet, reinforcing the message. Brands will also be able to communicate directly with their target with something called “Twitter ID”, which is when brands “compile lists of Twitter accounts – based on keywords in users’ bios and their past Tweets – to send Promoted Account messages.” Another strategy according to Sloane in a second Advertising Week article entitled, “Twitter’s 2014 Strategy: The Intersection of Video and Data”, will allow Twitter to become a second screen. Basically, Twitter would have the ability to “harness data and insights from conversations surrounding specific TV shows and then allow brands to reach those viewers.” (Sloane, 2014). This would allow people to interact with their shows as they are watching them. Advertising budgets will increase significantly in 2014 because of this new way of advertising and creating an experience for the consumer. This is an exciting step towards giving consumers what they are asking for. According to an article entitled, “2014: The Year Online Closes the Budget Gap (The Ad-budget Gap!), by Jon Steinberg, media is finally starting to expand their budgets to accommodate online vehicles such as Twitter or Facebook. In previous years, the amount of money spent on digital advertising was not proportional to how much time people were spending online. Steinberg states that, “In the US, people are now spending 5 hours and 16 minutes a day on the Internet…yet digital only gets 22 percent of ad dollars.” In the video discussing advertising with Steinberg, he answers several very good points about why current digital advertising is not successful and how brand sales can grow if we invest in new media. (Steinberg, 2014). 2014 will be an exciting year for Twitter, who will open up a new platform for bridging the gap between consumer and brand with it’s abilities to target consumers and allow them to interact with their favorite programs from traditional media.

 

Video link below! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwDwILxpjoo

 

 

Sloane, G. (2014, January 14). Twitter’s tailored audiences program get more targeted. Advertising Week, Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/twitters-tailored-audiences- program-gets-more-targeted-154977

`Sloane, G. (2014, January 20). Twitter’s 2014 strategy: The intersection of video and data. Advertising Week, Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/twitter-s-2014-strategy- intersection-video-and-data-155067

 Steinberg, J. (2014, January 2). 2014: The year online closes the budget gap (the ad-budget gap!). CNBC News, Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/id/101305512

 Steinberg, J. (Producer). (2014, January 2). Jon Steinberg on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street 1-2-14 [Web Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwDwILxpjoo