I have a lot to say on the topic of how VR/360 will affect the future of my career. As a matter of fact I was just on the phone with a professor of journalism/marketing from Northwestern yesterday talking about how there is no such thing as a traditional “journalist”. When I was first getting into journalism, you thought that’s what you were getting into…journalism. Journalism by it’s traditional nature is not what is used to be, and that’s not a bad thing.
Now whether you are an advertiser, a marketer, a journalist…you will all have your hands in the pot in terms of work. Sure, a journalist will probably create most of the content. But now they are also responsible for social media metrics, analytics, advertising online, click-bait…you name it.
My point is that 360 is no different. I personally think it is a really cool innovation. I was explaining the journalistic impact to my father who I don’t think could really wrap his head around it. The fact that you can basically live in a live setting of whatever is going on in the world. But this is where the future is going…and the future is inevitable. This will be one more medium which all stations are going to have to account for when going out on a shoot or story. Bring the 360 camera…that’s probably going to become a common phrase.
While it doesn’t necessarily help the plight of the dying art of journalism, it does give a certain level of rawness and realness to any given event; which I suppose is almost equally, or even more so, valuable in it’s own right.
So this week we completed our very first Unity basic scene. Boy, do I have a lot to say about this.
Disclaimer: Unity seems like a very cool program. I have to work with different editing software every day and (for the most part) this is a pretty user-friendly application. It reminds me of a mix of Illustrator and Ableton in its layout. I had a lot of fun toying around with it and even found myself adding random add-ons from the store to just see what was offered. Unfortunately, there weren’t many free items for what I was looking for.
Anyways, first off…Unity is clearly not for the average persons computer. I was able to edit my project and export it then all of a sudden Unity would crash and not recover. Not with a restart, not with anything. I then realized it was my project it would not open. I could start a new scene…but not open the one I just started. HOW FRUSTRATING. The last step was to do my Quicktime video and post to this very blog. However, Unity seems to have other plans.
Luckily I was able to export the project before this began happening, so I was able to show my professor that I did indeed successfully complete the project and was not just making excuses. Hopefully this will still suffice for a complete grade.
All in all I had a fun time building a scene. Assuming I can find a way to work around these major glitches I very much look forward to building more scenes, assuming that’s what we’ll do. I want to just play around on the program and see what I can do. If there is a way to build figures in it I would toy around and build my house or something.
If someone is avid enough at this program I can definitely see how this can be a useful tool in VR. I also really enjoyed the head-bobbing feature when exploring your scene. All in all, really enjoyed this.
So as I reflect on innovations in the media which disrupted the industry for better or worse, and made a lasting impression, I can’t help but think of a distinctly cliche answer. That answer being social media. Now I know what you’re thinking…social media, no crap he said social media. But here me out.
When referring to social media, social media was not always the “social media” we know today. Think about when you first made a Facebook page in 2007 or sometime around there. Your entire news feed was not populated with news sites, memes, auto-play videos, and everything else that it is today. I was simple. You had your friends, and that was about that.
It worked at the time. But media agencies and the social media sites themselves wised up to the potential. However, if you think about the Innovator’s Dilemma graph; social media was a bit of a flop at first. I was cool, but it wasn’t THAT cool. You had Friendster, Myspace, even AIM. These went almost as fast as they came. Once Myspace began to decline people didn’t see social media as an idea which had the utmost continuity.
Facebook’s ability to evolve changed that. Granted, Facebook started out as a crude personal rating system for Harvard students. But, that was disruptive enough. Enough for them to figure out how to work the system and become what they are today.
Now, social media is THE source for media. I would argue even more so than television. If it isn’t now, I certainly think it will be in the not so far away future.
In this weeks course, we learned about a slew of varying technologies which either have, almost did, or are currently changing the media landscape. These ranged from older mock-ups of the current internet by AT&T, to digitally mapping fingertips which were innovative in 2009.
Today, such landmarks in technology have really started to create their footprint in our media world. I could most likely log onto Facebook right now and in less than a minute find a 360 video, a Facebook live video, or some other newly emerging piece of programming which has created a newly immersive experience for social media users. Industries are finally starting to embrace these things and the technology has come far enough to where it may start to make a huge impact on how media companies go about telling stories.
I was told once not very long ago that if your degree says “journalist” these days, that really doesn’t have a definition anymore. As of now in 2016, if you are a “journalist” at an outlet which has a respectable social media presence then yes, you probably write stories. But you most likely are a social media manager, producer, writer, editor, publisher, and talent. You are required to think on the forefront of whatever is next. That means as I further my career in journalism, who know what is going to be expected of me. I remember when I was in my undergrad and I went into broadcasting I (naively) only ever say myself having to talk and report stories. Ha…ya right. There could be a new technology that hits the market tomorrow which audiences want to engage in that may constitute the whole of my journalistic existence at a company soon down the road.
I think what is most important is to stay flexible. Adapt to change, and be aggressive. It’s either you can embrace new technologies and make them work for you, or you will get left behind for lack of evolution. That’s how evolution works after all, survival of the fittest.