As mentioned in my first post, the purpose for the creation of this blog was for my Fundamentals of Digital & Online Media course this summer at Texas State University and then my recent interest in documentaries and documentary style films being the other reason. Throughout the summer we were to explore different methods of social media so that in the future we could promote ourselves, businesses, etc. appropriately and effectively both now and post graduation.
Some of the social media platforms that were used were Twitter, Periscope, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram & WordPress. I considered myself pretty tech and social media savvy at the beginning of the summer session but have been given a very eyeopening perspective of the business angle of it all. The picture above is how everyone’s avatar begins on Twitter and in this case can represent myself at the beginning of this semester: unhatched, and just beginning. Although most of the sites that we were to familiarize ourselves with I had already used, I did get the chance to try out all of their capabilities that I usually wouldn’t along with using them more for business and professional purposes rather than solely entertainment.
If I were to group the networks as to how I would use them in the future it would be as follows:
The reasoning? There is so much content to constantly be taking in. It’s an easy and simple way to get your thoughts or an image out but not ideal for complete thoughts or even sentences at times. There are points of crossover however like advertisement and breaking stories.
– Google Plus
Storify, WordPress, and Google Plus are all a lot less commonly used but because of that, they are relatively ad-free and are attracting more professional audiences with their purpose alone. Yes, all of these social media outlets used in FDOM can be used across the board for all purposes but some are more ideal than others.
In conclusion, this blog has made me a lot more conscious of the effort that is needed maintain a successful site for a specific purpose, and also how aware one needs to be when branding themselves or their products online.
Serial Podcast is legitimately one of the best programs I have ever listened to. Okay, you thought I was going to only be giving you documentary films… But I assure you this will not disappoint. See my Storify below to find out if it sounds up your alley. No spoilers, not a lot of pertinent information, just all of the reasons to listen to Serial (not that you need one!)
Serial podcast is an investigative podcast that follows the journey of Ira Glass and her crew through the complexities of a murder that occurred in 1995.
In November of 2013 Louis Theroux was made aware that he would not be able to make the Michael Jackson documentary he had planned on doing. Instead Martin Bashir from iTV (the direct competitor of the BBC, who employ Louis Theroux) got the interview and was able to explore the life of Michael Jackson alongside Michael. I would highly recommend watching this documentary called Living with Michael Jackson as well.
I really enjoyed the BBC version of this because you get a real insight to the people that surrounded Michael in his life (obviously since Michael is never featured in the documentary). The struggle to find and interview Michael is all that is portrayed in this doc. One of the most eye opening moments for me were the interviews with Michael’s dad who still after all the years that had passed was riding on his fame and coattails. There was a lot of disrespect thrown in the direction of Theroux which really made me realize how difficult Michael’s upbringing and adult life had been for him.
Watch the Louis Theroux documentary first (which can be found on Daily Motion) and then the Martin Bashir iTV interview. Suddenly Michael will become a lot more human than he appeared throughout the later years of his life
If you’re living in 2015, so if you don’t have a Facebook you’re probably not cool… Or maybe you are exceptionally cool; there’s a bit of wiggle room at this point. Either way I am taking Educational Viewing to Facebook.
There was a point in time when you maybe liked too many things and now your feed is filled up with memes or advertisements but I promise to only fill your newsfeed with what you want to see.
With the Facebook page I can provide you with links to new documentaries, series, etc. before they’re reviewed and up on the blog. Share your thoughts and comments with me and other viewers as well!
In the video below I talk about a few different mobile applications out there for viewing finding documentaries. I mention in the clip that I would attach pictures of the actual applications which you can find in the gallery below. If you are interested in downloading the World Documentary app or Smithsonian Channel app they are both available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
World Documentary App
World Documentary App Home Page
Featured feed of content on the World Documentary application
Search page within the featured genre on the World Documentary app
World Documentary App Link To Documentary
Smithsonian Channel App
Home Page/opening feed of the Smithsonian Channel app
The Real Story: James Bond Video on the Smithsonian Channel App.
Smithsonian App Features/Categories
Smithsonian App Features Continued
When it comes to documentary style programming, Louis Theroux is an absolute stand out for me. It will take everything in me just to prevent myself from reporting on his work alone on this blog. Theroux is a relatively new find for me however, even though he has been pushing out content for the BBC for almost 20 years.
The different series he has put out are the following:
- Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends (3 seasons with 5-6 episodes each)
- When Louis Met.. (2 seasons)
- BBC Two Specials
I can narrow down why Theroux is especially entertaining to watch to a few reasons. The content and subject matter covered is either incredibly intriguing or controversial. A few examples of those things would be him following/living with the Westboro Baptist Church or taking a look inside of an Ohio State psychiatric facility. Theroux’s reporting approach is very blunt, to the point, interrogative, and can appear naive to those being reported on.
This is really just a brief synopsis of my opinion of Louis Theroux; to get the full experience he is really someone you have to see for yourself. His documentaries can be found on Youtube and NetflixUK.
I Escaped A Cult is a special that was put out by National Geographic in April of 2012. The show follows 3 separate cases of individuals “escaping” or leaving a cult (religious or otherwise) that they were a part of.
I watched the show on Netflix on February 4, 2015.
I have a strange fascination with learning about cult; probably because they are so far from anything I have ever personally experienced. There are a string of documentary and books I have read about religious cults, and am always so astonished by the intelligence level of those who are involved. The Westboro Baptist Church for example, they are considered to be a cult by the outside world but obviously not by themselves (as the word cult carries a negative tone for an organized group of people). Most of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church are lawyers and/or have some sort of higher education under their belts. I always think… How could you study for years and have knowledge of the rest of the world and still fall victim (through choice) to this obscure groups of people? In “I Escaped A Cult” you get a really good insight of that.
The target audience for this is the “normal” viewing audience of Nat Geo documentaries; those who want to expand their knowledge and horizons by learning about other cultures & happenings all over the world. Although there is a lot of negativity associated with cults, I don’t see someone who is willing to sit down to watch this documentary having anything other than an open mind.
The documentary itself follows, as I said before, three different cases of people escaping a cult.
- Brent Jeffs: Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ
- Maura Schmierer & her daugher Rebekah: Aggressive Christianity Mission Training Corps
There is a lot of information out there about Warren Jeffs & the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ. Brent’s story is nothing far from other accounts I have heard. His family was excommunicated and he chose to stay with the church, to then be forced to leave by the members of the group. Brent speaks of being molested and raped by Warren Jeffs and how his brothers experienced the same things eventually leading to suicides and drug addiction.
Maura & Rebekah gave an interesting perspective because Rebekah was born into the Aggressive Christianity Mission Training Corps because her mother (Maura) and father had chosen to live that lifestyle. Ultimately Rebekah & Maura both left the church because they did not want to be forced to beat their children any longer.
I would give this program an 8 out of 10 due to it’s simplicity, personal accounts/interviews, and background information provided throughout. I am also a little bit biased due to my level of interest in those who chose to join a cult.
More information can be found about “I Escaped A Cult” here.