Globalization

Globalization is a phenomenon that will continue to happen as the world expands and the lines between cultures and ideals are broken or assimilated. I see globalization occurring more with food than anything else. I am always hearing about how ‘Americanized’ a country has become or what fast food and other manipulations have occurred. At the same time, globalization seems to take on some localized efforts. These same ‘Americanized’ restaurants are then creating specialized menus related to the local area they are developed in. For example, in the middle east, McDonalds has many vegetarian options to suit the culture of the people living in the area. And countries like Japan and China have more rice, soy sauce, raw fish, etc.. related items to cater to their own cultures.

Living in America, I can also see globalization occurring. My favorite foods happen to be Chinese and Mexican. Although America has localized cuisine within these cultural styles of cooking, I still find that more and more non traditional american restaurants are popping up. It is exciting and fun, cultural cuisines and dishes I have never heard of are now right there for me to try.

On the other hand, some would say that globalization is harming cultures and ideals. This can be the case, when the original culture and ideals are forgotten. However, a majority of the time, these evaluations are just on the surface and related to the localization efforts. Just because a Chinese restaurant down the street serves non traditional Chinese food does not mean that the Chinese culture is lost and will never be known again. It is important to remember your past but moving forward is about assimilation, not forgetfulness.

Andrew Sherman, IMS 416

Weibo social media platform

I am well versed in social media and have accounts on several platforms. I am on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and WordPress. Out of all these social media platforms, I am only active on Facebook, though I do not post any status updates and rarely interact publicly. I use my social media to catch up with friends and to see what others are up to. It is kind of one sided, but my personality doesn’t really fit with constant status updates or uploading hundreds of pictures from trips or experiences.

Because of my familiarity with blogging apps, I decided to look at Weibo; a microblogging app. This is similar to my experiences with Tumblr and WordPress. I have worked with making themes and plugins for WordPress and am familiar with its purposes. WordPress allows a user to host a blog on a free or payed domain. It is a complex PHP platform that stores content for use on a website. The main feature of WordPress is to create a blog, but anyone can use it as a basic content management system (CMS) for a multipage website.

On first impression of Weibo, it doesn’t look like a blogging app at all. Being a microblog platform, it looks as thought people are posting blogs similar to lengths of Facebook status updates but maybe a little larger. In terms of presentation and format, the layout and user pages look a lot like Twitter. It is also more than just looks, Weibo is a Twitter equivalent with blogging attributes.

In a typical blogging application, users tend to post long and dense content with a lot of background and knowledge. On Weibo, it seems that users take the longer character count opportunity to make more meaningful updates. This is very different from Twitter which limits users to surface interaction and updates (short content). Weibo looks to be extending the ideas of Twitter but limiting the density of content to create the “microblogging” atmosphere.

Andrew Sherman, IMS 416

Cultural differences and writing/communicating

Cultural differences influence writing in more ways than one. Hofstede’s model describes several cultural experiences that create a perspective for an author. These perspectives are country specific and correlate with values and country goals. For example, a country like the United States scores low on the Power Distance scale because American culture is democratic. We do not misappropriate power because we chose to have equal opportunity. Individualism, masculinity vs femininity, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation, and even indulgence all effect the perspective of an author and in turn influence literature and communication.

I work for a non profit who’s mission is free knowledge and culture for the world. The company is global and I interact with people from all around the world. During my first few days on the job, I learned a lot about how to speak and write globally. For example, Americans have been overly masculine and while growing up I was taught the culture of “Mailman” or “Manpower”. After a few conversations with people in the office, I realized that I needed to change my perspective or I would end up turning people off.

At the same time, the structure of the organization and how it is run was also effected by culture. Everyone along the chain of command was from a different country and some where still living in their homeland working remotely. This caused a lot of issues when discussing best practices and or leadership issues/solutions.

A lot of countries have a different view of individualism and uncertainty avoidance. I noticed that there where only a handful of people that where able to look past their own cultural differences and still do the right thing. These people where able to notice their own faults and allow for others advice and help/consideration. At the same time I saw people remain the same and suffer because of it. These people usually remained quite and apathetic allowing the situation to play out or dismiss itself.

I have respect for everyone at my job and believe that they each act the best they can given their cultural differences. No one is perfect and it takes experience to learn from mistakes. We all do the best we can.

Andrew Sherman

Film reflective commentary

The idea for my video project was not an easy thought. It took some carful consideration and research before I even started creating a script. I spent time on each step of the project evaluating my decisions and making sure my choices were inline with my goal for the video. I am proud of what I created and happy that others thought it worked well too.

SCRIPT

Before I started my script I spent a couple days researching topics and ideas. I knew I wanted to do a food topic because the action of cooking would produce great content. My original idea for cupcakes didn’t have much reasoning, but just a little research revealed how great the idea was. I didn’t want to make a whole batch of cupcakes and quickly found a fun recipe for one cake in a coffee mug; a “Cake in a cup”. This recipe happens to be very similar to the first recipe for a cupcake released in an American cookbook. With this history, and a fun spin on a popular treat, I was ready to write my script.

I decided to make a simple script focused around teaching someone to bake the “Cake in a cup”. I made my script minimal to allow for improvisation and addition during the actual filming. I sectioned my process into three steps; Introduction and History, Cooking, History and Tasting. I made sure to include some specific lines that I wanted to say, but later realized that my script was helping me improv the entire video. I didn’t end up using much of the words I wrote, but the ideas and pacing were still useful and guided my video.

FILMING

With or without a complete script, acting/filming a video is not easy work. Scenes do not always go well the first time and new ideas for visuals come up after scenes have already been shot. The improvisation and minimal structure to my script really helped me work fluidly with the filming process. However, I still made mistakes and had to reshoot or change some scenes.

I was able to film 80% of the content in one afternoon; only having 2-3 takes per scene. After showing my video to my peers I had some additional filming to do, but was fortunate with the scenes I had already shot. I was given ideas such as showing my face more, and explaining information earlier in the video for reference in later scenes. I did not have to re-film any of the scenes and I was able to input different audio and visuals to solve most of these suggestions.

After filming I decided to add some image from Flickr for more visual effect. I put these images in the third scene of the video while I was busy string the cake mixture and added audio to describe the images I had chosen. For example, I needed to show an image of a cupcake tin and frosting. My Cake in a cup recipe is more inline with the original 1700’s recipe and I needed to show the current culture and different cupcakes people can make. This worked out well and added a fun dynamic of images and me continuing to cook the “Cake in a cup”.

I am happy with the video I created. The process was not easy but the steps along the way helped me finish the project. Without the script I would have had no direction and I was lucky that the fluid aspect of it made it easier for me to film. The peer review was important because it allowed me to reevaluate myself. I learned a lot about creating media with the audience in mind. It is important to remember how different groups will perceive what is created or the message being given.

Usability test on video project

Last class we had classmates review our multimedia projects and provide feedback. I made a video of me making a “Cake in a cup”. The video was 5 min long and the setting was my kitchen. I came up with some questions and got great initial results with my classmates. I have room for improvement and will be updating my original video.

Before watching the video I prompted just a few questions to get my audience thinking. I didn’t want to be influential, but context seemed helpful. I told my group that I was making a baking video and my goals was for people to learn or do what I do in the video (bake a “Cake in a cup”). I also mentioned just a little background on cupcakes for context into my videos history, but that was the extent of my pre screening questions and context.

During the video, I was looking at my audience faces to gauge reaction. I was also watching and listening to my video myself and even noticed some areas of improvement. Showing my film to others made me more aware of each detail and aspect of my video. I quickly noticed some audio issues and even missing content/information about my topic. I took note myself and then moved on to the post video questions.

My post video questions where simple, did you learn anything, could you reproduce the “Cake in a cup”, and what was unclear or can be improved. Luckily I am not far from a finished copy. My group members suggested I use my face and give a brief intro to my video before filming me baking (all shots of my hands and ingredients). They also liked my audio solution to dub over with my own separate audio recording. Otherwise they enjoyed the video and learned exactly what I wanted.

In the end I learned a lot and am ready to move on to the next draft of my video. I will be adding the intro, fixing the audio, adding images and other visuals, and inputing more content and history about cupcakes.

This should not be too hard too do, it wont take long at all either. It might take a couple hours but the tasks are not that hard. If I can get good takes on the first try with the video and audio then it will only take me about 30 min to film and then hopefully 30-40 min to edit it together. I am very excited about getting this video done; videography has always been a hobby.

 

Week 3 post

Over the course of five days I experienced another cultures news source by reading the Vanguard; Nigerian press and news. Bellow are the stories I read and my thoughts after reading them.

Day 1

TechCoscharis, Huawei bring online UPS to Nigerian market

I think it is very cool that they are discussing global topics in a local setting. The global south is continuing to grow and these advancements, although something not new to the developed world, is still a massive improvement and important information. I enjoy reading about innovation in developing countries. Continue reading Week 3 post

Week two Scollon post

Creating intercultural documentation requires attention to differences and variations in cultures. Specific, adjectives, verbs and phrases can be misunderstood resulting in failure to understand content and or context. There are many tools to help strip text of culturally specific content and even graders to determine if phrases are easily translatable. However, there are also simple solutions such as additional descriptions and even visual elements that can help an audience understand a message.

Visual Elements

If we are trying to teach a random group of people how to bake a cake, there are several elements and steps that could be miss understood. The steps and science of baking also requires careful attention to process and measurements. Multicultural groups can mean a variety of education and literacy proficiency; some people might not know what a table spoon is or the importance of step by step directions.

Introducing images to documentation can provide the right representation to allow a person to understand the directions they are reading. For example, the recipe could start with a list of ingredients with a picture of each one in order. There can also be size representations of how much of each ingredient to add at each step. Many cultures have very different diets and a person may have never eaten a certain food or used a certain utensil.

Context

Sometimes cultures are very straight forward or too the point, and tend to use situational jargon that can be misunderstood. In the same baking example, the action of mixing two ingredients is very different than folding them.

A more in-depth explanation of certain steps of a process or specific actions can bride the gap for understanding a concept. Imagery might be necessary as well, but instead of just saying “fold the ingredients”, this can be further described as a “scooping motion where the spoon gathers contents from around the bowl to be folded or scooped on top of the other contents still in the bowl; this is supposed to be done gently, etc”.

Creating better context or in-depth description of actions can seem overwhelming or unnecessary, but not everyone has had the same experiences. It is important to be aware of general experience and to consider limitations of others around you.

Andrew Sherman, week2, IMS 416