The Day the Music Died

May, 2015

Throughout history, as ‘new’ media emerge there is an exciting, yet complicated period of transition. Some people fear ‘old’ media will be replaced, but old and new media typically learn to coexist and a richer experience emerges. This paper looks at media through the ages and how new technologies impact society, while society influences technology. First, a review of the literature looks at social media and traditional media with a focus on convergence, participation, and spreading information. Second, a history of ‘new’ media, and media influences on popular culture is offered, revealing that social media is not a new phenomenon. Next, this paper attempts to understand the effects of new media by looking into some theoretical and philosophical perspectives. These perspectives provide incite into how old media and new media have historically influenced one another while the public learns to adapt. Ultimately the media coexist, creating a convergence culture based on participation and collective intelligence. Finally, this paper looks at today’s media landscape, to help understand modern modes of communication. Today’s media is about community, participation, and sharing stories. It can be difficult to weed through all of the information available today. This creates new challenges for media professionals. Entertainment and advertising industries have had to rethink their processes. The threats of privacy and ethics of piracy have become important concerns. Modern social media has changed our world and we are just beginning to understand the effects. A look back through history can be helpful, as you can’t tell where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.

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Pun Control: I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)

Whole Oats Enterprises v. Early Bird Foods & Co., LLC.

April, 2015

On March 4, 2015, Whole Oats Enterprises filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York against Early Bird Foods & Co., LLC (defendants). The plaintiffs (Daryl Hall & John Oates) allege the defendants used their name as a ‘play on words’ (Haulin’ Oats) for the advertising, manufacture, and sale of their granola product (, 2015). Due to the subcultures that exist regarding the lives of celebrities in modern society, they have a significant influence on consumers and their purchases. The plaintiffs claim the defendants are capitalizing off their success, trading the plaintiffs’ right of publicity in order to promote the defendants’ granola product through trademark infringement. Trademarks are ubiquitous in today’s society. Consumers and companies rely on them to distinguish one brand from another. Trademark infringement causes confusion among consumers, while restrictions can lead to censorship and a chilling effect in the media. This paper discusses some inconsistencies in current trademark law, calling for reform and clear guidelines that bring us into the 21st century. The paper will argue that Whole Oats Enterprises v. Early Bird Foods & Co., LLC is significant for protecting commercialization and right of publicity, as well as establishing a precedent for businesses and media practitioners using brand names and phrases that attempt to capitalize on another brand’s notoriety. The significance of the court’s decision could have major effects on the public discourse.

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Semiotics and Communicating with Color

April, 2014

The purpose of this paper is to examine how using semiotics and color theory can be utilized to facilitate or enhance communication. A definition and history of semiotics is offered along with some key aspects of color theory. Examples and studies of color used in marketing, branding and business communications show color from a semiotic perspective with an emphasis on their psychological effects. Some limitations will be described as well as thoughts on future studies. Color can be effectively used in communication. Applying the research and studies of semiotics along with the principles of color theory may help to understand how color is used to elicit reactions and influence ideas.

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