The Digital Divide- Making Room for the Women.

I’m back with my third vlog and this is my longest one yet! I’ve chosen to focus on the gender digital divide again as honestly, it is a subject close to my heart. So much of my life has been influenced by my time online. I have made some incredible life long friends. I met my husband. I started this blog and created an entire community. And now I am studying for my Bachelor of Journalism entirely online. I am a woman who lives a vast majority of my life through digital media, so I am privy to both the positive and negative perspectives of the gender divide. I feel my last vlog was a little too disjointed, a prime example of why not to leave things to the last minute, even when circumstances are testing.

This time I did some more thorough research and drew more tangible links between the points I was making.

We all know I can tell a good story though, the challenge for this video was the actual practical side of things. Bringing the ‘story’ to life. So let’s break this down.

Staging:

Finding a position for my speaking to camera footage has ben an ongoing problem. I don’t want to appear too stiff and formal, however I have felt quite uncomfortable in my previous floor positions. I need to do something with my hands and it has been gently pointed out to me that I can sometimes get far too expressive when the hands are free to flap around! I decided to try and film today in my office chair with my tripod and phone (camera) on my desk. That way I can rest my arms on the side and feel comfortable without waving my arms around.

I tried to replicate a similar background to my first vlog, with my bookshelf in the background although it was a wider angle with the tripod on my desk. Thankfully neither of my cats photo bombed the background, unlike this video I posted on twitter… (watch over my shoulder on the door side)

Lighting:

In my first vlog I relied purely on natural light through the window to my side, which worked well. My second vlog, the timing was all off and it was a constant struggle to get the right lighting. Due to street noise I had to move to a bedroom and rely solely on artificial lighting. This time I used a combination of both artificial and natural lighting.

I still had the natural light from the window at my side, but the angle I was on sitting at my desk meant part of my face was in shadow. I used the lounge room floor lamp and stole the reading lamp from my daughters room to play around with balancing out the lighting. Note to self – glasses are a pain in the posterior when it comes to reflecting light…

Scripting:

When I was in high school I played the lead in a school play two times. I did VCE drama, performing a solo performance in front of a panel of examiners. Why, WHY for the love of everything good can I not remember a single damn line as soon as I’m in front of the camera?? This is literally what I struggle with the most. Trying to be engaging and ‘natural’ whilst making the words form actual coherent sentences…

In the end I relied on overlays and a hacked up script with scribbled notes in the margins. Super high tech…

Editing:

I filmed the whole video in one go. Every time I made a mistake, I took a deliberate pause then started again. That way I was able to easily cut out the mistakes and fit it all together. I tried to hide my jump cuts with either overlays or transitions.

The Chair of my current unit at university gave an excellent tip early on, and that was to collect as much random footage as you can when out and about to keep ‘just in case’. When there were gaps in what I needed to use as overlays, I was able to scroll through my video files and find some footage I had taken in a library. Added a black and white filter, slowed it down and had myself a perfect overlay.

Final Words:

I think a major challenge I have had whilst producing these vlogs is trying to meet the criteria for assessment whilst still remaining relevant to my already established audience. It’s a very fine line, however I really hope I’ve managed to balance it. Because the thing is, I would have none of this without embracing digital media. And neither would you, out there in the interwebs, reading my words and watching my videos. We would not have this connection if we allowed the gender divide to affect how we access and interact with digital media. So we will continue to fight the stereotype that media and technology are a man’s domain. Together.

References:

All media is my own unless otherwise attributed. 

Music: Evan Schaeffer, https://soundcloud.com/evanschaeffer.

Image: Workshop in Project Viki Senior in Belgrade City Library Milica Buha [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Image: Students working at computers at Walden School in Louisville. Bartmoni [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Video- “Computer Magic- The End of Time” by Dino Rossi available at https://vimeo.com/16833119, CC by 3.0

Livingstone S and Helsper E 2007, Gradations in digital inclusion: Children, young people and the digital divide. New Media and Society, vol9(4), pp671–696, DOI: 10.1177/1461444807080335

Correa T, Covarrubias L, Dixon L, Graber D, Rojas V, Spence J, Straubhaar J 2014, Gendered Space: The Digital Divide between Male and Female Users in Internet Public Access Sites, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol 19, pp 911-1009, doi:10.1111/jcc4.12088 

OECD 2015, The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence, PISA, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264229945-en 

Terry A and Gomez R, 2010, Gender and Public Access Computing: An International Perspective. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 43: 1-17. doi: 10.1002