The Ever Changing World of the Television

By: Mike Schneid

word count:497

Television is one of the most life changing technologies that humans have ever made.  Television has affected the way people socialize, view politics, and learn to name a few.  In 1928 the first reliable television was made by Philo Farnsworth.  It took until the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City for television to actually start getting recognition (King 420). The average cost of the product was anywhere from $400-$500 dollars, which at the time was very expensive seeing the average American salary was $1300 per year.  There was digression in when the 1940’s came around due to World War 2, and most of the industrial power of the world being put into the war effort.  However in the later part of the decade color television was conceived.

The 1950’s saw the television go from a rare commodity to a household item.  In this decade there was also a large rise in television advertisements which changed the way television was to be seen.  Over the next 10 years there was an astronomical rise in television consumption and nearly every household in America had one (as seen in the graph below).  What television did, was give anyone a view into what was happening all over the world.  In 1969 an estimated 500 million people gathered around their televisions to watch Neil Armstrong land on the moon (King 420).  In the 1970s more shows became available and color television became a huge hit.  The 1980s saw a rise in cable enabling all people of all ages to watch programs.  The VCR was also a huge invention seen that it enabled people to record shows or watch a replaying of a show.  The 1990s saw another drastic change in television where both LCD and plasma displays came out.  There was also many new controls to the T.V. like a sleep timer and parental controls. 

Possibly the largest change to T.V. occurred in the 2000’s with the introduction of the internet.  Early on there were advances such as TiVo where one could record a show directly from the T.V. and a blue ray player that gave better quality to programs.  However today with web 2.0 T.V. has changed to becoming more internet based with many of the largest shows playing on Netflix and DISH TV (King 420).  However even with the internet based providers actually watching television is still very common.  People no longer have the time to sit down and watch a show and people would rather watch on their laptops while doing another task simultaneously.  In 20 years however this may be very different and I feel as if television will almost exclusively be watched online through some sort of provider.  This is because in modern society already it is easier to watch your favorite show when it is convenient for you instead of making your schedule around a show, and there are always more companies coming up with online services.

Works Cited

King, Elliot. “Currents in Communication: Textbook and Reader Book Supplement – December 1, 2014.” Currents in Communication: Textbook and Reader. Web. 1 May 2015.

“Crucial Conversations”

By: Mike Schneid

In the book Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, by  Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, there are many different ways to communicate that are explored.  The book is a New York Times bestseller and is often praised for what it teaches.  To begin my review of this book, there is more of a learning reason to read this book than for pure entertainment.  However the things that are taught in the book can really help one learn to feel more confident and comfortable with all sorts of different types of conversation.  It also helps one develop skills to have positive relationships with other people. 

This book is very well written by all of the authors and really gives a nice step by step guide on how to perform all types of communication in many different circumstances.  This book also teaches you how to perform tough tasks such as ending a relationship and also talking about something important with your boss.  Its lessons help everyone who reads become a better and more confident communicator and it improves a skill that everyone can get a little improvement on and can teach people from any age.    

After reading each section of the book it summarizes all the steps you have to take to perform a certain task such as in the book such as a good time to know when safety could be a risk, the authors summarize the whole section called “Learn to Look” where it lists all the necessary steps to evaluate safety (Patterson,Grenny, McMillan,and Switzler 63).This can be very useful because each one of the sections has very important facts that are necessary to be learned for the final product which is how to converse and do it properly.  Also if something in the section was confusing the summary can usually help you figure out what happened in that section.

While teaching the steps to become a better and more confident speaker is a large portion of    Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, there are also real life scenarios that are presented to help you better understand exactly what is happening.  An example of one of these conversations involves a wife and husband discussing a suspicious bill from a hotel that is just down the street from their house the ending goes as; “Carol ‘I know that you have given me no reason to question your fidelity.  I don’t really believe that you’re having an affair.[Contrasting] It’s just that it might help put my mind to rest if we were to check on this right now.  Would that bother you?[Encourages testing]’ Bob: ‘Not at all let’s give them a call and find out what is going on.’ (Patterson,Grenny, McMillan,and Switzler 137).  Through this example one is able to take away how to handle a tough conversation without accusing someone of a wrongdoing, and instead trying to understand and discover a solution to a problem.  Also it gives the techniques used in the conversation by using the brackets.

The book also uses various charts and diagrams to show the proper order to go about each of the tasks that are presented.  An example is when it takes you step by step in a chart of how proper dialogue should occur in a chart called the “dialogue model”.  These can be very useful in the understanding how each of the ways to communicate work and the order that you when having conversation.

Other people who have reviewed the book have also been blown away with the real world applications that it brings.  In one book review written by Scott C. Smith, a managing partner at Tower-Hunter Inc. he describes how useful this book can be in the business world.  He says, “I have read or perused almost all of them, but Crucial Conversations is the first business book I carry with me because of its applications to all aspects of my life. I reflected on my marriage, my kids, my community obligations and my consulting practice while I read it” (Smith).   This reflection shows that even someone who is well versed can improve their communication in different aspects of their lives.

In conclusion I would not recommend this book for entertainment due to it having a feel of a textbook at some points.  However the lessons taught in it can be beneficial to any part of a person’s life and for that reason I recommend this book to anyone.  It is also relatively cheap and can be bought from Amazon from $0.18 used or $3.88 used.   Overall I would highly recommend this book as it is well worth the read for the cheap price.

Works Cited:

Scherffius Jakes, Susan. “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.”FFCI ::. 1 Oct. 2009. Web. 3 Apr. 2015.

Smith, Scott C. “Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking when the Stakes are High.” People & Strategy June 2010: 62+. Academic OneFile. Web. 3 Apr. 2015.

Thurson, Elizabeth. “Elizabeth Thorson’s Book Reviews – Crucial Conversations By: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Granny, Ron McMillan & Al Switzler.” Elizabeth Thorson’s Book Reviews – Crucial Conversations By: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Granny, Ron McMillan & Al Switzler. Web. 2 Apr. 2015

The Impact Spotify Has Had On Us

By: Mike Schneid and Patrick O’Shea

Spotify is one of the premier ways of listening to music in modern society. It has become an easy way for people to listen to their favorite songs for free, which can not be found from many other providers.  Spotify gives a unique approach to finding certain music that you want to listen to.  There is a browse tab which allows you to choose different genres and moods of music, and also provides the top songs in areas and types of music as well.  Through interviewing various students about how Spotify impacts their lives and how it has changed the way they listen to music we have found interesting results.

The first person who we interviewed was named Michael.  Michael said that Spotify was essential in his life.  He explained to us that he always plays his music from Spotify due to its efficiency and free cost.  He said the main times he uses Spotify is when he studies, goes to the gym, and also entertains friends.  He also informed us about how easy he feels it is for him to use the service, and how he can have all of his favorite songs on a single playlist for no cost.  When asked what this system replaced from 5-10 years ago Michael gave us a response that we were expecting to receive, when he told us it replaced his iPod as a means of music.

Next, our friend Zach, who uses Spotify occasionally, agreed to be interviewed. He says he uses Spotify mainly when doing his homework. Zach goes to the genre section of Spotify and chooses the intense studying playlist. This music consists of classical music such as Beethoven, Mozart and others. He says it really helps him focus on his studies because the music is relaxing. Also, the music doesn’t contain any lyrics which keeps him from singing along and getting distracted. Zach says that Spotify replaced iTunes, and looking up songs on Youtube. He doesn’t have to pay to listen to music anymore like he did on iTunes, and he also doesn’t have to go back to Youtube to search a song every 5 minutes.

Finally the last person who we interviewed was Sara.  She told us that she does use Spotify, but not too much.  The main time she said she uses Spotify is when she is driving in her car and want to listen to her favorite songs.  She says the ease of being able to directly hook up her favorite songs through the cars Bluetooth has been great for her.  She also went on to say how it is safer and cheaper than having to get an adapter for her phone to be able to play music from her phone. Also she said that she no longer has to look down at her phone when she wants to change the song and can instead change it directly through the car.  She previously used an adapter connected to her iPhone and iTunes to play music, and believes it is much better to be able to use Spotify and its Bluetooth  capabilities.

The development of Spotify can be credited to a group known as Spotify AB in 2006.  Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon co-founded the great idea.  Music listeners had been waiting for a new way to listen to music.  They no longer wanted to illegally download music, and also wanted a sustainable revenue model.  Ek was the savior to this issue. Ek was influenced during the 1990s by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker.  Both of them built a website known as Napster.  Although it didn’t last long, Napster introduced a new type of recording industry with its fast, free, and limitless downloading.  It changed Ek’s feelings on music and was very inspirational to him.  He discovered his favorite music: The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.  It made him realize that people shouldn’t have to pay to listen to the music they love.  Spotify is also constantly growing.  At 8000 new subscribers a day the are constantly getting new people to use the service.  Also Spotify has a want to get free subscribers converted to paying ones and 25% of users end up switching to Spotify premium.  There are some perceptions that Spotify is almost bad due to its exploiting of artists, however 70% of the income brought in by Spotify is paid back to artists in royalties.

As time progressed, Spotify revolutionized.  In 2009, premium codes were given out during the Christmas season that lasted for 1,3,6 or 12 months.  It gave people the opportunity to listen to Spotify for free.  A 6 month free trial was offered by Spotify with radio and visual advertising.  Following that trial period, listeners had a limit of listening to Spotify for 10 hours every month.  Since then they have moved forward in making an unlimited and premium subscription.

Works Cited:

Swanson, Kate. “A Case Study on Spotify: Exploring Perceptions of the Music Streaming Service.” MEIEA 13.1 (2013): 207. Print.

The Trip of a Lifetime: Kenya

By: Mike Schneid

For the My Story project I decided to do my project on my trip to Kenya.  The reason I did this was because going to Kenya was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  From The great views that I saw to the amazing people that I met, I thought my trip to Kenya would be a good personal story to tell.  Also the vast amount of pictures I took gave me a lot of material to be able to work with.  My video is done as a personal narrative of me telling of the experiences that occurred to me when I visited Kenya.  Throughout this project I faced a few problems with the video software that I used.  When I started the project I initially began by using Adobe Premiere software until it became clear to me that after going through many tutorial videos and spending a few hours on just importing and organizing pictures that Adobe’s product was not the right option for me.  Because of this I switched to windows movie maker which made the process a little easier for me.  When all was said and done the best part of my project was the pictures do to the quality that they have as well as the quantity of pictures.

The Controversy of Video Game Ratings

By: Patrick O’Shea and Mike Schneid

There has been a lot of controversy regarding video games ever since their arrival in 1958.  The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) was established in 1994 in to combat the problems of the content shown in games such as Doom and Mortal Combat.  To evaluate the appropriateness of a game the ESRB uses a rating system which gives parents and vendors a scale on what is okay for their kids to play.  The rating system ranges from early childhood to adults only based on the content that is involved in the game.  It can sometimes become an issue when publishers make too many mature video games.

   The problem is there is a misunderstanding of parents of the rating system.  There is a large percentage, which is around 60 percent, of children who list their favorite video game as an M rated game.  In 2005 there was only 52 percent of vendors educating their workers on the ESRB rating system.  The parties which are the main fighters in the debate in video games are the ESRB, parents, and vendors. This is due to the fact that  the ESRB wants the rating to be reinforced, while parents and vendors are more lenient when it comes to underage children being able to purchase and play video games that are inappropriate.  The issue affects the average American due to the impact the unawareness of video games has on children.  This is bad for Americans because the next generation is being exposed to a large amount of violence and profanity by playing games that are above their age level.  The future of this problem will only change if there is a raised awareness in parents on the impact of the games their children are playing, and there is a need for better enforcement of the ESRB rating system by vendors.

Ad Analysis: Coke Super Bowl 2015 Commercial

By:Mike Schneid

For my ad analysis assignment I chose the Coca-Cola Super Bowl 2015 ad.  I chose this because while watching the ad  was the one that impacted me the most out of all the Super Bowl ads.   Coca– Cola is one of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world and they gross about forty two and a half billion dollars annually.  Because of this financial power they have the ability to market at large levels.  In this years Super Bowl they came out with a new ad campaign which is #MakeitHappy.  This is their newest of a long range of ad campaigns.  With the ad they do not go right out and tell a consumer to buy a coke, but instead they are getting the consumer to become aware of the harm of modern cyber bullying and also try to limit it.  The price of the ad would cost at least 9 million dollars due to that being the price of a minute long ad for the Super Bowl plus it would have cost more to actually make the ad.

Throughout the ad Coke uses semiotics to help portray the cyber bullying that is occurring in the world.  Examples of this range from politicians fighting on a video website, a visibly depressed crying girl at a bus stop, and a young boy who received a nasty text from a peer. This part portrays some of the various ways in which cyber bullying occurs in modern society.  However with this problem so prevalent Coke makes some type of technical computer worker spill a Coke onto a server room where the coke then spreads all around to all media.  In turn the spill on the server causes the people who are witnessing the bad in the world go on to receive encouraging messages along with cheerful images to help them and make them happy.  The main message behind this is that bullying needs to be stopped because it is a widespread modern issue.  Along with the bullying Coke is also trying to show the viewer that Coke can make you happier, which has been a technique used before, and when you are feeling down Coke can make you feel better about yourself or a problem you are facing.  Another symbol is the music that is being played from the beginning to the end.  In the beginning the music and sound being played is very erratic and depressing.  However after the Coke spill there is a drastic switch in the music and it gets more cheerful and upbeat.

Part of the appeal in the commercial is the emotion that is shown. Psychoanalytically there is a very large part of the commercial that shows the horrific and mean things that occur in this world.  When a viewer watches these parts of the commercial they become to feel bad for the people and angry about the bullying that is occurring.  However once the change in the messages happens the viewer goes on to feel good for the people who received very kind messages because of the Coke.  The combination of the both of these vastly different emotions gets a viewer to develop strong feelings about the impact of technology.  The commercial is easily remembered which helps for Coke’s ad.

The targeted crowd of coke is relatively easy to identify.  They targeted the generation of the millennium.  This is because this generation has the most use of all the modern technologies that are around today. The reason that Coke chose this demographic was due to the fact that 81 million of the Coke consumers annually range from the age eighteen to thirty seven.   Many people of this generation have probably gone through some sort of cyber bullying which is why the ad impacts so many people.  This ad shows the benefits of Coke and also spreads awareness of cyber bullying.