Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Creating new Blogs

You will need a gmail account to complete this.
Your task is simple: carefully following the instructions below, set up a new blog and start adding to it with the tasks at the bottom of this post!


Read the following carefully; take the time to think of a brief and memorable URL:


    1: Sign in to

    2: Click on Create New Blog

    3: For name, think of yourselves as a film company and come up with a SHORT, catchy company name.
    The URL is the website address (top); you don't add spaces, but do keep it short - you could abbreviate your blog name to get a shorter address, eg prods instead of productions. The Blog name is the blog title, seen at the top of each blog page; you can add a gadget which carries an explanation/description of the blog once you've set it up.

    4: For address, type in a brief but relevant URL (remember, this will appear on promotional materials; it must also be appropriate for a student). You might have noticed I try to make my blog addresses easy to remember: 'musividz' instead of, say, 'musicvideoa2mediastudiesatschoolname'!
    You should end up with a URL like this: Don't use spaces in the URL, but do for the blog name.
    See point 5 below. You can view egs of why split-columns cause issues, and further design pointers, at

    5: TEMPLATE/LAYOUT: Start with one of the 'Picture Window' templates - but not the black colour background, which always causes problems (see here). Add a background image if you wish (you can change this at any time). You can experiment with other options, but must check with me if you do. Click on the column layout shown in the screenshot above.
    Once your blog is set up and you're on your 'dashboard' you'll see your blog name and can directly create a new post (pencil), access the full left menu you can see below (arrow) or just open the blog.

    Once your blog is set up you can make changes at any time through your dashboard. Click on the blog name (or select one of the options you can see on the left by clicking the arrow and choosing from the dropdown menu) to see the options on the left. If I want to adjust widths, fonts, the background image (etc), I'll click on Template, then Customise.

    Settings for point 5. Makes your blog neat + easy to navigate.
    The options you get through Template-Customise

    6: ADJUST WIDTHS You need to ensure you make your blog wide enough to avoid problems with embedded video clips and Scribd docs (but not so wide readers on small screens have to keep scrolling left-right). In DESIGN-LAYOUT-TEMPLATE DESIGNER you can 'ADJUST WIDTHS' to 1110 and 370px - see the screenshots above [ask if unsure!]
    This is the minimum you should have have; you could go up to  1110/370 - any wider and it means users on smaller screens will have to scroll continuously. You'll share (copy/paste) posts from group members; if you haven't got exactly the same widths this will cause formatting problems and make neat posts messy...

    7: Change links appearance to the traditional dark blue - the blogger templates annoyingly set this to dull colours. See screenshot below.
    Go through Template-Customise-Advanced-Links to change to these defaults

    8: Once its set up, please email me straight away with the URL of your blog - take this from the browser, NOT your blogger homepage (I will be your first follower!); I'll put up a links list for all here when everyone has done this so you can look at, and comment on, each others' work, throwing your own ideas and reference points into the mix etc
    The URL is the webpage address. Remember: the shorter the better!
    9: Once you've done this you can create a new post and blog on the A2 brief (you can find it every time you look at this blog... look at the top links list or blog description); copy/paste the precise wording I've used. Post title: The A2 brief!

    10: If you haven't already, add yourself as a follower of the 'MusiVidz' blog and other blogs relevant to your AS study (use the links here). Later on you will follow your coursework partner/s blogs too.
    You can add multiple blogs to follow. When you have you can quickly browse through the posts on these blogs by clicking the blog name on your reading list (the blogs on the left in the shot below; this is what you will see in the bottom half of your screen each time you log in to blogger). You will also see the most recent posts, a useful way of keeping up with what I'm blogging on, as well as your coursework partner/s too.

    I've started adding the 2016 blogs so I can quickly see what is being blogged on.

      You can start blogging any thoughts/research/useful examples as of now!!! Remember, you're trying to evidence the process that underpinned your eventual productions.
      Your comment settings should look something like this

      If you get spam comments just click 'mark as spam'; if its from me, note what I've written and publish once you've acted on this. You can check on comments at any time in your dashboard.

      (B) TIME TO GMT (select YOUR timezone) (and, yes, i do know I've repeated this!)

      1st POSTS TO CREATE:
      Once your blog is set up, changes made, and you've emailed me, create these initial posts (post title):

      1: Welcome to my blog! OR And so it begins again!
      [whatever you want to call it] Introduce yourself. Address the following:
      • say a little about yourself and your media profile: experience, skillsets, strengths, interests, ambitions.
      • your hopes for the A2
      • 5 key lessons/things you'll approach differently from the AS
      • embed your AS opening + link your blog

      2: The Brief 
      music promotion packageA promotion package for the release of an album, to include a music video (major task), together with a website for the band and a digipak for the album’s release (minor tasks).
      3: Thoughts on some past A2 Media Coursework
      [homework for tomorrow: we'll watch chapters from my film on 2014 IGS A2 work (blogs; YouTube) - OCR, not CIE, but they're VERY similar] 

      • embed each video being discussed, and provide student blog links
      • did they make any mistakes you can learn from?
      • are there any clear differences from AS film brief to A2 music promo package brief?
      • were you impressed/inspired by any feature of each vid?
      • does your developing editor's eye see anything you could improve?
      • any other thoughts/points?

      Blog on minimum 5 videos from multiple genres + create a summative General Codes and Conventions of Music Video Format vodcast
      Use this post to see guidance and examples of how to blog on videos, what to look out for and analyse (not forgetting the all-important denotation, and screenshots).
      You must do at least one highly detailed analysis (test and show your continued semiotic skills), but could pick out points from a much wider variety than just 5 rather than doing multiple detailed analyses.

      The vodcast must cover a minimum 10 key conventions, with at least 2 examples for each convention evidenced, feature your own opening title (which you can then re-edit for future vodcasts), and provide clear titling to state which artist/track video is being referred to, with audio quality/volume tested.

      You will be screening these in our final lesson, Tuesday 21st period 2, through your blog. You will find that you can recycle and re-edit this for your Evaluation next year!

      For AO4 you are marked on research and applying knowledge from this in the areas of:
      • conventions
      • audience
      • institutional factors

      Thoughts on some past A2 Media Coursework
      Your summer task is to thoroughly research 'institutional factors', evidenced through multiple blog posts, and to have gathered all you need to edit a vodcast on this in the first week back, during which I will discuss with each of you your ideas for a pitch. You can of course work further ahead and take pressure off yourself by viewing the coursework guide for ideas on what else to work on - not least your own idea to pitch, but also band website and digipak conventions.

      Use these posts to identify some initial reading, but if you read sites like Music Guardian you will come across newer examples I haven't blogged on.

      Everything we do in June/July forms part of the process of your A2 Coursework unit. Therefore its vital we reflect this work straight away in our A2 blog! Remember, the key principle behind a blog is that it logs the work done throughout the long process up to the final hand-in date.

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