Saturday, October 15, 2016

Assessment 4 - Reflective Blog Post Week 13

This course has been very engaging and interesting, especially in terms of doing this social media project.

In relation to expanding on my first reflective blog. My first critical incident was engaging with the public via blog posts. I'd like to expand this using the social media project as well. In my first blog, I spoke about, "Using it in a professional way that allowed me to see the way other people perceive the person as well as get a sense of the psyche." In relation to my social media project, I tried to speak to people via community groups on Facebook, but the lack of responses leads me to believe that I'm a stranger that perhaps answering such information about the way they tax would be person. 

The second critical incident was using Twitter as a professional platform. In relation to my social media project, it was a major fail. The ATO use it as one-way communication, therefore trying to utilise it towards my campaign didn't work so well. It was disheartening that I was down another social media platform (which includes LinkdIn and Facebook) and emails wasn't very effective either. Perhaps I had caught them during a very busy period which was why there was a lack of responses towards my project.

I might not have reached my social media goals, but using it to different professional services takes time. You need time to build trust, to build relationships and a good reputation (much a like a company when they sell their products to clients), but I could have progressed had I used traditional methods at the same time. This comes under Week 2's lecture for 'social networks'. "We can lump remaining forms of social relations into a broad category of ‘community orientated‘ or ‘trust based’. These can range from the intimate communal sharing practices of families and close friends to the more distant reciprocal exchanges of acquaintances (Week 2 lecture)."

I can learn a lot from this though. At the moment as a filmmaker, I'm still advancing my social media status in the digital sphere. By learning from my project, and throughout the entire course, it is to be very adaptive when it comes to communicating with different stakeholders. Nothing should ever be the same and it should always be different. 

With participatory media in relation to enhancing relationships, I've learned that there should be a moderation of both traditional and new media platforms for communicating. Perhaps there will one day be a social media for the elderly demographic where they are able to connect with the global community and start using web-based platforms to communication with other people.

Assessment Mark - 6/10.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Assessment 4 Reflection - Stakeholder Engagement

This course has been amazing so far. The fact that it's online gives me time to manage other classes, as well as spend more time on social media via professional practices is a very interesting and new way of collaboration.
The first critical incident during the course that gave me new insights into social media as part of a professional practice, was the use of weekly tasks in blogs. I've had this blog since 2009, and during certain clusters of my life, have updated it a lot and sometimes not so much. Using it in a professional way allowed me to see the way other people perceive the person via the blog, as well as get a sense of the psyche. While I haven't updated my weekly tasks during the weeks themselves, my lack of time management has been slowed because of other classes. This made me learn about managing time more properly, as well as juggling everything together with a very busy job which I've only started this week. Being so tired had hampered my ability to be more productive, something which I will not let happen again.
The second critical incident would have to be using Twitter as a tutorial. It was a first for me, and while I usually use Twitter as a professional practice anyway, it was the first time I used it to collaborate with people all at the same time, for the same topic using hashtags. It's allowed me to see that while there's sometimes a delay in which tweets occur, as well as lessening down my words in order to fit the 140 characters, it's an interesting way of using it professionally. Twitter is going to be something I use a lot for my final assignment as well as continuing this throughout the future. It allows me for self-promotion and expressing things in my field (film).
I'm actually a mild user of social media, or am I heavy? I'm quite unsure. It really depends on the platform that's being used. For example, I'm always on Facebook talking with friends and family, but I rarely post much stuff as I used to on my timeline. I usually leave for a week or two until I post something different. In terms of professionalism, I haven't done that much lately. In terms of Twitter, I use it mildly. I haven't really tweeted much on Twitter, but I do find it to be a very effective use in terms of communicating with the community, especially with hashtags.
In developing my professional networks and presence through social media, I will be utilising the platforms of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I will be keeping an eye on how my organisation use their platforms as well as get a sense of how to make them more engaging and fulfilling to their clients.
In terms of engagement, I will take into account my blog posts and attendance for the tutorials (some of which I've been busy at work to attend, or transport trouble since there's rail works).

Week 6 - Collaboration - Stakeholder Emergent and Engagement Media

Week 6 Task - Collaboration:

I really enjoyed listening to the lecture and Hailey's views on collaboration and enabling technology. One thing that did interest me is her talk on Wikipedia as an open source. I remember doing this for one of my units last semester, for Global Communications in a Digital Age. I thought it was very interesting and completely agree about its use for collaboration. Especially when doing group assignments where users can edit and change the source.

I remember having problems using Wiki last semester. Especially when we're unable to see history edits whenever a team member changes something. So we helped change it to putting dates at the top of the document with our name and what we edited exactly. Unlike Google Docs (which show you who edited what in different colours), we've had to do it manually for Wiki.

Web 2.0 services such as blogs, social networking sites and wikis are social and personal due to the digital content that individuals produce. “An affordance is an action that an individual can potentially perform in their environment by using a particular tool” (McLoughlin & Lee 2007). When it comes to learning management systems, such as Blackboard’s wiki, typing content and editing posts are not affordances, but they encourage the affordances of participation, collaboration and learning experiences (McLoughlin & Lee 2007). It supported the function of collaborative working practices amongst groups, despite its limitation of reviewing content.
An example of Blackboard’s wiki is the ability to create and change content with other users, yet a limitation with changing content is the inability to view edit history so users are unable to see what was changed. In an Assessment task while using Blackboard’s wiki, the group collaborated and decided to date, name and write what they changed at the top of the page instead. This affordance of content creation shaped the relationship between the participants and communication technology (McLoughlin & Lee 2007).
“Learning is situated in relations and networks of distributed individuals engaging in activities” (McLoughlin & Lee 2007). This allowed users to overcome the limitations of the existing model, and encouraged them to exploit their knowledge for potential connectivity enabled by Blackboard. This also facilitated them to add value for those who participate on
the platform, therefore allowing users to mix and exchange content, while generating revision and editing configurations at the same time.
Technological Determinism
“Technological Determinism states that media technology shapes how we as individuals in a society think, feel, act, and how societies operate as we move from one technological age to another” (McLuhan 1962).
While technology has had a considerable impact on the growth of society throughout the ages, with the rise of social media platforms and the adaptation from Web 1.0 to 2.0, society ended up influencing how users communicate with each other and how technology grows and develops.
“Web 2.0 innovations like blogs, podcasts, and wikis can have an important role in the composition instruction in the next decade and may resonate with many of the digital natives in our charge, but the motivation behind the desire to include them in a curriculum must be in the right place” (Morain 2008).
An example of this via Blackboard’s wiki are lecturers integrating new technologies that encourages students’ learnings over time, yet the social aspect of the wikis aren’t defined by the wiki itself, but of each participant in collaboration of group tasks. This is why in relation to Blackboard, the social aspect, instead of the technological aspect, are greatly influenced when it comes to the wiki functionality of working practices.
“Many of the definitions of multiliteracies outside of rhetoric and composition studies describe literacy at the functional level” (Morain 2008). This refers to the functional level of individuals with the basic skills and knowledge needed to operate a tool or system for it to be at a functional capacity.
For example on Blackboard’s wiki, the tools are simplified to use, but they would still need to know how to navigate through the wiki. Since most University students interact online with computers, it would be safe to conclude that there will not be too much of a hindrance when it comes to collaborating on wiki.

Reference List:

McLoughlin, C, Lee, Mark J, W 2007, “Social software and participatory learning: Pedagogical choices with technology affordances in the Web 2.0 era,” ACT, pp 1.

McLuhan, M 1962, “The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of the Typographic Man”, University of Toronto Press, pp 25.

Morain, M. E 2008, “Composition 2.0: Rethinking Web Literacy for the Twenty-First Century Classroom”, Iowa, pp 102.

Insta-what? Week 3 (Stakeholder Relations and Emergent Media)

I've heard of Instagram before, but it's not something I'd use in relation to social media. When I think of Instagram, I think of people just posting pictures and video snippets of their lives.
Instagram's name derives from the word 'instant', as in how old cameras were marketed as 'instant', which is something the creators felt taken for granted. They also used the word 'gram' in relation to 'telegram' as they felt the snapshots individuals took of their lives were some kind of telegram. When joined, they created 'Instagram'. Got to admit, that's a pretty interesting fact!

Affordances and Limitations
The 'selfie' as a function, can be viewed as a means of self-expression, a construction of a positive image or self-promotion. It can also be used as a cry for attention or love, or a way of belonging to the community. The 'selfie' make up most of the images that are put in Instagram. By expressing themselves through a selfie, an individual, Instagram users, construct their identities and express their belonging in the community.

Revenue Model:

There are various tools used in Instagram that are used a revenue model. For example:
Explore Tab: Which creates an opportunity for brands to use the promoted feature, an it's an explore tab in which featured photos (paid) are shown.
Filters: Instagram as photo filters that users can apply to their image, and companies that which to promote their brand usually pay a free in order to advertise their image.
Video: Instagram used to be a photo-sharing app, until they allowed the users to add in videos up to 1 minute. Like images, companies use videos to promote their services and products.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Australian Public Sector - Stakeholder Relations and Emergent Media

Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Australian Public Sector

As the use and reach of social media continues to grow further and adapt, organisations from both the public and private sector are required to use these channels to not only deliver information to stakeholders and citizens, but to engage with them and respond accordingly to any negative or positive feedback. Bingham, Nabatchi and O’Leary (2005) suggest that this is in relation to the Australian public sector, especially when organized by the movement as part of policy development.

The Australian public sector is moving towards a more citizen-centric organization, where both stakeholders and citizens are allowed to make a collective decision so that the government is able to develop policies and design services that respond to individuals’ needs according to their circumstances.
Involving stakeholders and citizens to support the public sector in decision-making and delivering of services have to take into account the emergence of new technologies, mainly through the web and social media. 

In this essay, I will talk about an example of a limitation by using new technology, and discuss how the Australian Taxation Office make use of Web 2.0 to engage and interact with their stakeholders and citizens.

Is embracing new technologies not without its limits?

It is argued that government departments are starting to embrace new technologies to make public policy more open and inclusive, with caution (Suggett 2012). In regards to Suggett’s argument, an example of government departments embracing new technologies would be the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and their #CensusFail on the 9th of August 2016. In a bid to move into the online-verse of technology to be more inclusive, while keeping the paper form available, an overload of traffic crashed the Census website, which was blamed onto hackers with no ounce of proof from the government. According to, Troy Hunt, one of the world’s experts on data breaches, said, “the most likely explanation is that the ABS was just not prepared properly (Chester 2016).” A challenge for this case in relation to Suggett’s argument, is how the government operates and engages with channels? What governance arrangements need to accompany such engagement (Suggett 2012)?

Engaging Stakeholders with Web 2.0 tools.

There are many ways in which stakeholders and citizens can be engaged; some of these examples range from information collaboration and sharing responsibility in decision-making. According to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2011), the government is using Web 2.0 tools increasingly with “a modern interface of engagement and as a means of engaging with citizens. According to a study done in Romania, the researcher concluded, “public organisations have gradually become aware of the benefits that social media tools may have on their communication with their stakeholders (Cmeciu 2004).” This means that public organisations that use Web 2.0 tools shape the new public space by providing another forum for deliberated enhancing discussion, and “promoting a democratic exchange of ideas and opinions (Kahane et al. 2013).”
Web 2.0 tools are encouraging forms of engagement, including technologies such as social media, wikis and blogs. They enable stakeholders and citizens with information sharing, collaboration and capacity building. These new approaches in technology can place stakeholders and citizens at the centre of a relationship with the government and the policies.

The Australian Taxation Office and use of Web 2.0 tools to engage citizens and stakeholders.

A prime example of a government department engaging with stakeholders and citizens successfully using social media is the Australian Taxation Office. From my own personal experience, I work in the Learning and Development part of the Taxation Office in Melbourne. MacNamara, Sakinofsky and Beattie (2012) state that the ATO’s overall objective is to increase the usage of e-tax, which is an online tool created to appeal competent internet users. Most of these users would use social media as well.
Other objectives for using social media provides citizens with the additional means to access information and be educated, increase the ATO’s online presence, promote the ATO Web Site as the single source of authority as well as increasing engagement to create dialogue and share views.

The ATO’s online engagement started in 2008 with a Facebook page promoting e-tax, which has since been promoted to an official page with currently 109,399 likes, a Twitter account set up in 2010 with currently 45,719 followers and a YouTube page created in 2011 with now 7,235 subscribers.
Each of these social media platforms is used for different objectives. For example, the ATO’s YouTube channel is used to deliver educational messages and information. Twitter is used for short, direct messages where citizens can ask customer enquiries, whereas Facebook is the most official platform, which is best for sharing and commenting.

While the main challenges are managing privacy and confidentiality, the ATO have implemented high-level security settings, bank details and tax file numbers are not to be revealed under any circumstances and key-word tracking that is used to eliminate profanity.

 Reference List:

Bingham, LB, Nabatchi, T & O’Leary, R 2005, ‘The New Governance: Practices and Processes for Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Work of Government’, Public Administration Review, vol, 65, no 5, pp. 547-558.

MacNamara, J, Sakinofsky, P & Beattie, J 2012, ‘Other Government Departments and Agencies’ e-democracy initiatives and learnings’, E-Lectoral Engagement: Maintaining and Enhancing Democratic Participation through Social Media, pp. 1-94.

Cmeciu, C 2014, ‘Web 2.0 Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategies: How Romanian Public Organisations use Facebook,’ Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol 143, pp. 879-883.

Kahane, D et al. 2013, ‘Stakeholder and Citizen Roles in Public Deliberation,’ Journal of Public Deliberation, vol 9, no 2, pp. 1-37.

Chester, R 2016, ‘Census fail: ABS says hackers attacked website despite denials, after nearly $500,000 was spent on load testing servers’, News Corp Australia Network 10 August, viewed 11 August 2016,

Dahle Suggett 2012, Strategies and Challenges for the Australian Public Sector, viewed 11 August 2016,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Stakeholder Relations and Emergent Media – Week 2

Online Communities

I didn’t start using the recent social networking sites like Facebook until a year after I finished high school, which was 2009. Up until 2013, I used the networking site as a personal medium, only adding on family and friends (which I still do now).

Since I started my Undergraduate degree in 2013 at Australian Catholic University, I started expanding my usage and started networking through the more ‘professional participatory’ means. Entering this global connected community is extremely beneficial to me, and as a filmmaker, it’s imperative that I’m constantly using social media sites as a way of self-promoting and networking through these platforms to meet people in my field. I don’t use Instagram, but I also use LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter on a professional level as well (though sometimes I use Twitter personally).

My professional media practices differ from my social media practices in a very big way. My professionalism is rarely hampered by my personal life; I’m very particular on what I post in any social media site. Over the years I’ve grown to separate them, but it’s very hard sometimes whenever the personal life (like Trolls as they call it nowadays) come into conflict with my professional life. Being able to try and distinguish them has taken time and practice. Twitter is mostly always public (though you can make it private if you wish), and that’s probably the only media site I use when both my personal and professional life are at odds.

I will talk about both Facebook and YouTube, and how I use one as a personal participatory function and the other as a more professional platform. Both are engaging forms of platforms which allow me to expand my creativity and be myself. YouTube allows me to find professionals in the same field as I to network with and input my creativity, whereas Facebook, while using it professionally, is also used more personally and with caution because of the security that’s on the site.


Facebook is a wonderful social media site that allows a global community to come together and communicate. I like to participate in discussions through the News Facebook pages whenever I feel like something needs to be said, but at the same time, I tend not to use the site as much because of their security features. People use Facebook as to hide their true selves, and while I’ve seen that in action with people I know personally, I never do and I’m always true to myself. To be someone different gives other people, and myself, a false aspect of my personality. As I’m a filmmaker, I need people to see the real me, not the fake me.

As a user of the site, I never add anybody from work, or write down personal things about my life or myself. I use Facebook both personally and professionally, though lately it’s been veering more towards the professional side of things, especially since I’m in the process of putting together my Film Production Company.


YouTube is another wonderful social media tool, especially in the professional capacity. I’ve been using YouTube since 2009, where I edit random videos of films. Editing is a skill of mine, so it was just practice for me at first. It wasn’t until I started my Undergraduate degree that I started uploading what I did for assignments (short films, commercials, documentaries…etc).

It’s a lot different from Facebook, because while Facebook is a lot more closed (and can be used in conjunction with spreading YouTube videos globally), I upload everything on YouTube because it acts as my resume.

I got my current job at the ATO (video editing, animation and filming) because my bosses saw my YouTube channel and saw the kinds of videos I made and programs I used. My chosen field, which is Media, allows me to be creative and network with various people in the same field. People communicate via private messaging, comments in the videos (or like comments in public threads on Facebook) and allows me to build more of a network with other professionals in my field. As my current job is proof, this is a wonderful tool for job opportunities. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

'Lost' and 'Once Upon a Time's' Intertextual Analysis.

"Intertextuality is the interrelationship between texts. Using this theory, choose two TV Shows that feature a significant portrayal of intertextuality. Draw a parallel between the Shows and give an intertexual analysis linking them together. If you can, apply other theories too.”

According to Fiske (1987, p. 4), the theory of intertextuality means that “any one text is necessarily read in relationship to others and that a range of textual knowledge’s is brought to bear upon it.” In this essay, I will be analysing and discussing the parallels portrayed between Lost and Once Upon a Time, as both of them are written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Both shows have a similar narrative in which there are multiple storytelling streams. By taking this similarity, I will outline the character references in both Shows. I will discuss about the resemblance of the mise-en-scene and I will apply the theory of intertextuality through episode tie-ins and fan fiction interpretation featured in both Lost and Once Upon a Time.

Abrams (2011, p. 5) states that narratives are action and events which are links together and revolving around the characters within the story.
Lost (2004-2010) was a television series that followed the lives of the survivors whose plane, Oceanic flight 815, crash- landed on a mysterious island. Here we see the survivors battle the previous occupants of the island, an unknown monster and hallucinations. The plotline was different from other shows as it took us through a few timelines, such as flashbacks, flash-forwards, flash-sideways and time travel. Abrams (2001, p. 7) mentions that the “interruptions of narratives, such as those caused by flashbacks are usually explained and justified so that they do not necessarily disrupt the narrative; indeed they can clarify it.” Each flashback in Lost told the audience how each character came to be who they are on The Island and the lessons they needed to be taught to move on or move past in the episode story.
Once Upon a Time (2011-present) is a fairy-tale/drama television series, where a woman becomes a saviour to break the curse inflicted on a small town called Storybrooke. The curse was perpetrated by The Evil Queen who sent all the fairy-tale and story book characters alike, from the Enchanted Forest and to the real world, where time is endless and they have forgotten their true identities. In relation to the plotline, it is very similar to Lost, as the audience are told different stories from many flashbacks and parallel timelines. The flashbacks are different from Lost, because unlike the Lost characters who could remember their flashbacks, the Once Upon a Time characters didn’t; hence giving the audience an insight into the different parts of their lives, which like Lost, complements the central story occurring in the episode.

According to the research by Thwaites (2002, p. 17), “a genre may also change by interacting with other media genres." The different kinds of texts interact with each other they recycle signs, codes and social values of different genres. These get transposed to different settings, and assume new references.”
Once Upon a Time uses Thwaites’s theory in its Show by recycling references from Lost into its storyline. While it may just be a tribute to Lost, I feel Once Upon a Time is incorporating the allusions to its own settings, thereby creating new references in the show.
Lost was very well known for the use of its famous numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. The use of these numbers were incorporated into everything, whether it be birthdays, ages, seat numbers, lottery winning numbers, flight numbers, road signs, names, clock signs…etc. It also used variations of the numbers together, even 108, which is the added total of the numbers combined.
There many allusions to the Lost numbers portrayed in Once Upon a Time in nearly every single episode. One would need a sharp eye to catch the numbers as they come in different forms.

For example, in the Pilot of Once Upon a Time, Regina’s (The Evil Queen) house number is 108; the clock tower in Storybrooke is frozen at 8:15, which is a reference to Oceanic Flight 815. When the clock unfreezes, it chimes at 8:16. The next morning, Regina looks at the clock and it clearly reads 8:23. In Season 1’s episode ‘Dreamy’, we find out that Storybrooke’s postcode is 04815. A more noticeable reference was in Season 3, ‘The Heart of the Truest Believer’, when Henry Mills is born at 8:15.
August W. Booth is a character from Once Upon a Time, whose true identity is Pinocchio. A sneaky Lost reference is attributed to his name and character. August is the 8th month of the year, W is the 23rd letter of the alphabet and in an outside reference, Booth killed President Lincoln, who was the 16th President of the United States. In the episode, ‘The Stranger’, a brief Lost reference can be seen when young Pinocchio looks up at the sky and sees a plane overhead with a clear Oceanic Airlines logo on its tail; a direct reference to Flight 815.  
Thwaites (2002, p. 18) mentions that even though a text may borrow something of familiarity, they make the advantages of these seem familiar and obvious. In many of these references, there are obvious close up shots in the scenes which show the numbers and objects of reference. The camera shots create the meaning of significance and tells the viewer that it’s important.

Numbers aren’t the only references to Lost in Once Upon a Time. There are quotations and scenes in the show that are exact or variations of the ones in Lost. For example, in the episode ‘The Cricket Game’, Regina is told that she cannot defeat Snow White’s army and in anger she replies, “Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do.” This is an obvious tribute to Lost character John Locke, who repeats the line, ‘Don’t tell me what I can’t do,’ throughout the series run.

In another example to Lost, the Once Upon a Time episode ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’, is a tribute to Lost character, Desmond Hume. The episode deals with Sheriff Graham, who starts to remember bits and pieces of his other life through uncontrollable flashbacks. In one specific scene, he wakes up in the middle of the night because of a dream, but he says to Regina, “It didn’t feel like a dream. It felt like a memory.” This is a direct reference to Desmond, who says to his girlfriend Penny, “It wasn’t a dream, Pen. It was a memory.” I noticed that the Once Upon a Time episode was similar to Lost’s episode ‘The Constant’, in which Desmond uncontrollably time travelled through his past consciousness. Though the time travelling aspect is not featured in Once Upon a Time, the sudden and uncontrollable flashbacks were similar in both episodes and in my opinion, another tribute to Desmond Hume.

Bordwell (2013, p. 7) states that mise-en-scene offers control of setting, costumes, lighting, acting and movement in the shots. In a few examples, I will use pictures to illustrate and back up my statements. Once Upon a Time uses many of the same camera angles and settings in the same way Lost does too.

Lost's 'Pilot'

Once Upon a Time's 'Pilot'

There is one episode in Once Upon a Time which there’s a clear nod to Lost. In the episode ‘The Hat Trick’, Jefferson, who is in fact The Mad Hatter, resides in house number 316. In this episode, Jefferson remembers his true identity and he desperately tries to find ways to get back to Wonderland. He kidnaps Emma and forces her to recreate his Mad Hatter hat, which he can use it to transport through different worlds. This whole episode is in reference to Lost’s episode ‘316’, where some of the characters find a way to go back to the Island. They take fictional airline, Ajira Airways Flight 316 to go back to the Island. Ajira Airways is also mentioned in Once Upon a Time’s episode ‘Tiny’, where Henry, Emma and Mr. Gold take an Ajira Airlines flight.

The ‘eye-opener’ scenes are one of the main recurring themes shown on Lost. The first picture was first seen in the Pilot, as it opens with zoom in shot to a close-up shot of Jack Shephard’s eye as he lays in pain in the middle of the jungle, right after the crash of Flight 815. The second picture was first seen in the ‘Pilot’, as mid-way through the episode, it opens up with an extreme close-up of Emma Swan’s eye, right after a car crash. Once Upon a Time continuously makes allusions to Lost with many characters in various episodes having the close-up eye shot. Another similarity I notice between Jack and Emma, is that they are both close-minded when it comes to the mysteries and magic, when all they needed was faith to believe.

According to Booth (2010, p. 56), “fan fiction is, by definition, peripheral and ancillary to the primary current media object. It functions as a text outside and apart for the existing text.” Fan fiction within a fandom as its own set of texts which is derived from many borrowed works. Like all fiction, it’s connected to the rest of its literature through intertextual associations and references to other works. Fans are no different from any other reader, in which they bring to the existent media ideas, thoughts and experiences to shape their understand of the narrative. For example, when Once Upon a Time and Lost fans join both fandoms together and create their own universe with their fan fiction, it gives fans a way to participate in making new characteristics of the shows, it also helps fans interpret the shows themselves.  For example, a fellow fan of both shows created a fan fiction where it made Jack Shephard from Lost and August W. Booth from Once Upon a Time protagonists in a story-crossover. The summary of Tellshannon815’s (2013) story is linking both Jack and August to a point in time where they met in Phuket, Thailand and became friends. It’s an interesting interpretation because both characters are linked to each other in their respective shows. For example, in Lost’s season 3 episode ‘Stranger in a Strange Land,’ is a Jack-centric episode where in flashbacks we find out the origins to his tattoos when he goes to Phuket. Once Upon a Time makes references to this in the August-centric episode ‘Selfless, Brave and True’, where we find out how August lost himself in his travels to Phuket. The fans interpretation of both texts is quite similar to how the references are perceived and by joining both characters pasts and putting them into one universe, she’s creating an intertextual link between all texts and creating a new function from outside the texts itself.

In conclusion, both Lost and Once Upon a Time are quite similar in many ways and yet they stand so different from each other. Using only fragments of these references in relation to each other, one can conclude that Once Upon a Time is a show in its own right, creating its own unique universe, while at the same time serving as a tribute to millions of Lost fans around the world. The use of intertextuality in evident in Once Upon a Time from the narration, its characters, certain scenes, and hidden numbered clues to Lost. Especially in the scenes of the ‘eye opening’ shots, Once Upon a Time is in fact using many of Lost’s main themes as an acknowledgment in their own show. Analysing fans interpretations of both shows and using their fan fiction, gives us an insight into how they distinguish the clues in the shows. It also concludes that a story can be taken in any direction, this helps construct the author’s universe and by using the interpreted fiction from both shows and by using the references, one can create the intelligibility of a new universe away from the original text. Both Kitsis and Horowitz have created an amazing universe in both of their shows and it’s lucky for us Lost fans who sit down every week watching Once Upon a Time, while picking out all the references for fun and linking them together, therefore linking both shows in relation to one another.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger: My Experience in Seeing My Inspirational Hero and Favourite Actor.

There comes a moment in every person’s life, when they finally see that one thing which they've wanted to see their whole lives. I got to have such an experience on the 14th of June, 2013, when Arnold Schwarzenegger came down to Melbourne, Australia to give a speech on how he gains inspiration and motivation to complete his goals in life. 

I am a massive Arnold fan. I really mean it; I've literally been a fan of his for as long as I can remember. I can recall when I was very young, my parents watched Terminator 2: Judgement Day. I absolutely loved it! I've been a fan of his ever since and watched everything he has been in. As I grew up with his movies, I realised how he came to be in America from Austria. He completed all of his goals by working hard and this is one of the reasons why he’s a major influence and inspiration to me. I'm such a big fan that I own all of his movies, right down to owning a massive Terminator canvas in my room and his autobiographical book, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.

I bought the tickets for the Summit early, two-for-one general tickets for $121. I couldn't believe it; I couldn't believe that my inspirational and favourite hero was coming down to Australia. The best thing about purchasing these tickets was that they were worth about $700+ and I counted my lucky stars by getting it early. After a few weeks of waiting and waiting, the tickets finally arrived at my doorstep. Even when I held the tickets in my hands, I just wanted that day to come faster. Of course when you’re looking forward to something, the days purposely go slower as to antagonise you further and send you down into an impatient fit of emotions. Okay, I wasn't THAT bad, maybe just a little.

Later on in the weeks, I got two free VIP tickets from the Summit. I took it straight away and tried to sell the previous tickets which I bought. It was a massive fail. A few people opted to buy them, but they either backed out the last second or they never replied back. That was fine with me; I’ve now kept the tickets inside my memory box, which I will treasure forever.

The 14th of June finally came and I literally couldn't sleep the entire night because I was so excited. Woke up early to finally receive my Samsung Galaxy 4 and spent those hours figuring out the tricks and awesome applications that came with it. I got dressed, scratched myself by accident near my lip (worst look ever) and finally departed on the 5:37pm train with my Mum to Southern Cross Station. Round about 6:10pm, we reached Southern Cross and took Tram number 96 to Crown Casino which is literally next door to the Exhibition Centre. We had a yummy margarita, had dinner downstairs (chicken rice!) and at 8:00pm, we finally walked down to the Exhibition Centre where we got our wristbands to get inside.

As we walked inside the room, I didn't realise how massive it was going to be. It was like I walked inside a massive theatre, filled with more than a few hundred chairs all seated in different rows. They all faced the stage which was huge (in my opinion, because I rarely go to these kinds of things), there was a thick dark blue curtain which draped the entire back stage and at the top held three wide screens; the largest in the middle with the two smaller ones at the sides so people who were unfortunate to be at the very front could view them just in case. 
To our disappointment, the seats at the front of the stage were already occupied; instead we took to the side of the room near the front, where we could still see the stage quite clearly in view. We finally sat down and made ourselves nice and comfortable. As we looked to the stage, Jamie McIntyre stood at one of the podiums looking out to the audience with a big grin on his face. I quickly rummaged through my bag as fast as I could and grabbed my brand new Samsung Galaxy 4, eager to try out its amazing 13mp camera. As I started filming, Jamie spoke about Arnold’s meeting with Julia Gillard.

“Arnie got to meet our beloved Prime Minister yesterday…” The audience laughed and a male’s voice yelled out, “Why?!” Jamie chuckled along with the spectators and continued his speech. “So I pulled Arnold aside and I said, ‘Arnie, I want you to meet the Prime Minister on one condition. That you TERMINATE her!’” The crowd erupted with laughter (me included) and a lot of the audience members whistled and cheered at Jamie. 

Afterwards, he spoke a bit more about Arnold’s body-building career and played an epic introduction video about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life. My stomach at this time felt so heavy, that the feeling of excitement was building up to the point that I would've cried with happiness, as I knew that Arnold would be coming. When the video ended, Jamie turned to the audience again and smiled. There was silence throughout the room and I could literally hear everybody stop breathing. Oh, that waiting! It was killing me inside.
“If you could all stand up…” I barely caught the rest of his speech as we all stood up from our chairs and started screaming and cheering our heads off. “….Arnold Schwarzenegger!” 

We, the audience, cheered and screamed even louder as we finally saw Arnold emerge like a ghost from behind the blue curtain at the side of the stage. He was wearing his formal grey suit and he smiled widely at the cheering audience while waving and nodding his head. Bonnie Tyler’s song, ‘I Need a Hero’ played in the background as his introduction music (though I would have much preferred Brad Fiedel’s The Terminator theme). I was still filming at the time and could literally feel tears stream down my face. It might sound like an over-exaggeration, but as I said before, it’s not every day that you finally get to see your most favourite actor and inspirational hero in person. As my hero finally reached the podium, the music died down but the audience continued to cheer. The air was full of energy and you could feel the positiveness sweeping through the air.

“You can sit down and relax…” said Arnold with his trademark Austrian accent into the microphone, with a grinning smile etched onto his face. We all chuckled and sat back onto our seats, still cheering and eagerly awaiting the words that would come out of his mouth. I couldn't stop the fan-giggling. I was in the moment and right then I remembered the fantasies of my reaction if I were to ever see Arnold in person. Let’s just say I wasn't calm and collected as I was in my head. 

The audience took their time to stop cheering and Arnold waited patiently as he peered at us all, obviously pleased with our reactions to his legendary presence. 

Arnold thanked the guys that made the introductory video and started off his speech about his happiness at being in Australia again. For those who don’t know, Arnold had come down to Australia before in 1980, where he won his 7th Mr Olympia contest at the Sydney Opera House. 

“I really love this country, the last time I was here I said, I’ll be back.” Saying his most famous line in movie history, sent the audience into another round of laughter and cheering. He spoke of his love about Australia and his fan-boy reminiscence in being at the Sydney Opera House.
He then went on to talk about his ‘5 Rules to Success’. Even though I filmed his speech, the last part got cut off by accident due to my butter-fingers in excitement. Before he mentioned his 5 rules, he quickly said:

“People always asked me, what is the secret to success? And I always tell them, is it the short version or the long version? The short version is very simple. You gotta have a 22 inch bicep.” The audience and I burst out laughing while Arnold smiled cheekily at the audience. He continued, “The second, you gotta be able to kill Predators with your bare hands. The third, you have to be able to travel back in time, travel back in time and save the human race and number four, you got to have this charming Austrian accent.” My cheek muscles were killing me from laughing so much. Oh, I love it whenever he references my favourite movies. After that, he went on to talk to us about the long version of his tips on success.

In a quick run-down, his 5 rules are:
1. Have a Vision – In order to succeed in life, you must set your goals and put forth that stepping stone, imagining where in the future you see yourself and how you want to get there. Unrelated to us Australians, but related to our daily lives, Arnold spoke about how 74% of Americans felt unfulfilled and lack of purpose in their lives which prompted them to constantly change jobs. He mentioned how his goals in his life set forth the journey of him leaving Austria and going to America to become one of the world’s most famous body-builder action star and politician. 

This made me think of myself. I want to be an author and popular writer one day. I've had this vision since I was a little girl and it has stuck with me ever since. After graduating high school in 2008, studying a variety of different courses, I finally ended up at University where I'm currently studying the Bachelor of Creative Arts. This is my major stepping stone in getting to where I want to be.

“To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.” Delivering his famous line like he did in Conan the Barbarian sent the crowd into cheers and applause. Arnold chuckled with the obvious delight showing on his face.

2. Never Think Small – Arnold started off, “if you’re going to accomplish anything, you have to think big. Shoot for the stars. The biggest problem that people have is because they think small. The reason why people shoot those small goals is because they feel like they feel like the possibility of failure is less and the higher you shoot, the bigger the goal is, the bigger the risk of failure.” 

I really loved this introduction. He spoke truth that only so many of us have felt in our lives. For example, it took me 5 years to get to my dream course at University because I was afraid of failing. But like Arnold said, “You can only fall to the ground and pick yourself up.” He also stated that you are not a failure if you pick yourself up, but you are when you stay on the ground. 
Arnold’s experience in his speech and public knowledge of his life, he dreamt big. He had an end goal, shot to the stars and became Governor of California.

3. Ignore the Naysayers – “It is natural that when you have a big vision, with big dreams, with big goals that people will say to you all the time this can’t be done. It’s impossible. No.” This is something to learn from everyone. Don’t let people be your obstacle from being successful in life. It’s not their life, it’s yours. Arnold said that he ‘didn't like negativity’ and in personal experiences, he spoke about the many times he was dissuaded when speaking of his visions. In short, it was related to his visions in body-building becoming a Hollywood action star and becoming Governor of California. He said that if he listened to these people from the start at 15 years old, he wouldn't be where he is now and probably be yodelling in the hills of Austria with a career as a ski-champion. 

A lot of people tried to discourage Arnold from being Governor because of his background as a famous leading action man, two months later he became Governor of California. Arnold ended the line with, “they’re not laughing anymore now!” 
A hilarious response to Arnold’s vision of wanting to be a leading man in Hollywood made me laugh. “You wanna be a leading man Hollywood? Arnold look at your body, you’re over-developed!” 

All his best quotes are in this step. For this, you have to watch the footage I took of Arnold so you can hear them for yourself.

4. Work Your Ass Off – “Nobody ever stumbled upon success by accident, except maybe that guy who found gold in California, but don’t ever think you can be that guy. I mean you never want to fail, because you didn't work hard enough.” 

This was very well said. Success isn't going to fall from the Heavens, you need to work yourself and work yourself hard in order to complete your vision or be successful in life. Failure happens every time in our lives, but with hard work and determination, you can go further than you ever thought you could. An annoyance that inflicted Arnold was people’s excuses for ‘not having enough time to do things’. “There are 24 hours in a day! You sleep for 6 hours and you still have 18 hours left! Now some of you may say that you need 8 hours of sleep, in that case just sleep faster!” 

I admit that a trip of guilt was suddenly upon me. I can’t live on 6 hours of sleep; I normally get at least 10-12 hours, which is basically half a day in a way. Wow, that’s a lot of time wastage. 

5. Give back to the Community – (Unfortunately and quite sadly, my fingers pressed a button and stopped recording. So I was like a fool, holding my camera up and it wasn't functioning the way that it was meant to). In the short version however, Arnie gave back by stepping away from movies (where he made millions of dollars for each movie) and became a public servant (Governor) with a low fixed income. Giving back to the community made him feel good, with this involvement, he considered that giving back to the country that helped him make money and become famous was the greatest job. 

I quickly pressed the record button again where some members of the audience got to ask questions to Arnold. Both sides of the room (a bundle of about 20 or so people from each side) rushed down near the stage, but only 4-5 people were the lucky ones chosen to ask their question to their hero. I didn't go down because all my questions that I had in my head had been answered; there was no point in going down there and making a fool of myself (especially since only a few were chosen). 

One of the questions asked what his favourite film quotes were. In a quick response and delivering his line like he did as Dutch in Predator, he yelled, “GET TO DA CHOPPA!” He chuckled along with the audience. “I mean where do you start with that? ‘You shouldn't drink or bake’? Or when I went to stab the guy in the chest and say ‘stick around’? Or, ‘I’ll be back!’, ‘Hasta la vista, baby!’ If it bleeds, we can kill it!” All of us, including Arnie had such a good laugh, the look on his face and how proud he was made me even happier. 

He spoke of his astonishment that so many of his films had globally famous lines. He felt that fans who watched his films would walk out of the cinemas with two of the best lines of the movie and make it famous. In a piece of trivia which I already knew from previous interviews, Arnold spoke about The Terminator and how he wanted to change the most famous line from ‘I’ll be back’ to ‘I will be back’. Due to James Cameron putting his foot down (luckily he’s a perfectionist) and the banter of arguments that ensued, Arnold went ahead and delivered one of the most famous lines in movie history. 

He also spoke about how he gets distracted too easily and mentioned how women (particularly in reference to his wife Maria) were better at multi-tasking than men. He also mentioned that he owns a M47 Patton Tank (I already knew this, but it was awesome to hear his enjoyment in speaking about it). I mean who else would own a tank? Arnold Schwarzenegger of course! In a bit of background history, Arnold has loved this tank since he was 18 years old and in the Austrian Army. He bought the tank in 1992 in Austria and shipped it over to America (with the Government’s permission, because let’s face it, he’s Arnold) where he rides it nearly every weekend and takes children who are in the after-school program for a ride. Can you seriously imagine Arnold just casually driving his tank around California? Oh, what an epic image and typical Arnie. I want to ride in your tank, Arnie! Jealous. 

Last but not least, he mentioned his future movies, lots more Terminator movies, Triplets (which is the sequel to Twins) and Conan.

Overall, I had such an amazing time listening to his inspirations and even though I would have loved to have a conversation with him, it was still a dream come true to see my legendary actor and hero in person. This Summit proved that my dedication to my dreams is all due to Arnold. His whole life in wanting to be the biggest and the greatest where he has achieved everything he can possibly do. When I finally publish my book, it’ll be dedicated to him as well as many others who have never stopped supporting me.

For the complete footage I took of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I've put it on YouTube and linked it to my blog here. It's better if you watch it in HD and fullscreen. Do watch the footage; I've left out so many of the best parts that can only be known by watching the video. Enjoy and I hope that you’re inspired! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Liebster Blog Awards - 2013


So I wake up, check my Hotmail and realise I've gotten an email from a girl named A and Kaykay who has nominated my blog for The Liebster Blog Awards.
So what this means, is that someone who has less than 200 followers, an upcoming blogger and is nominated by someone who feels that persons blog deserves the recognition from all the hard work that's been put into writing and maintaining it. I thank you for that, A and Kaykay! This gives us all a chance to see new blogs which you love as well as getting to know each other to the blogging community.

The word Liebster means 'favourite' in German. Meaning The Favourite Blog Awards.

In order to accept and participate for the awards, there are certain steps you have to undertake in order to be officially nominated.
  1. Tell 11 things about yourself.
  2. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Post 11 questions for those who will be nominated by you.
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
  5. Get in contact with those 11 bloggers in order to inform them that you nominated them.
I'll start off with 11 things about myself:
1. I've been writing for a long time, creating stories and poems and showing them to as many people as I could find.
2. I'm very interested in the paranormal and I love writing stories having to do with the supernatural and thriller genre.
3. I am currently writing a novel called Murder Case: The Secret. It's a supernatural/thriller/crime story. You can find 5 chapters for a sneak preview by clicking on the name of my novel, or by going to the tab at the top and clicking on its name. I've also published poems in school newsletters.
4. I've won two writing competitions in my lifetime so far. One led me to do a photoshoot and the other led me to be promoted with a professional review about my writing skills. You can see the link here.
5. I love reading books. I still haven't got a bookshelf as of yet, but I've collected at least 4 large boxes full of my favourite books. They are mostly in the sci-fi, thriller, supernatural and crime genre.
6. I'm a Harry Potter nut. I've read each book more than 30 times. Yes, you heard right. I love the series so much that I know everything about it! Ask me any question about it.
7. I love reading other people's blogs that have to do with writing and reviewing books they've read.
8. I created my blog to write about my writing, put my novel chapters up, write about my life experiences (like kissing and flirting with Jeremy Renner) as well as writing about haunted places around Australia.
9. My most favourite actor and movie is Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terminator 2.
10. One day my books will be available in the bookstores and I hope to be a bestseller one of these days. I really want people to love reading my books and I want them to be immersed into the world I created.
11. My most favourite food is Chicken Rice. It's an Asian dish which I can eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack. Yeah, I love it THAT much. Try it out. It's amazing. :)

The second are the 11 questions from A and Kaykay who nominated me. I'll be answering the questions.

1. Why do you blog?
I blog because I love to write. I have all of these ideas that need to get out of my head. I blog because I want people to see the side that I'm so passionate about and to know that I'm serious about my writing.
2. Do you read other blogs and why?
Yes, I do read other blogs; other writing blogs actually. I like to see how others use their imagination, because we all use our imaginations differently and it's interesting to see how others work. Plus, it's extremely fascinating to read their work.
3. Which is your favorite book and why?
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It's my favourite because firstly, I love Harry Potter and I really love time travel stories. Plus, Sirius Black!!! I've read so many times, it's just so fascinating and I love it so much.
4. What writing means for you?
Writing means letting a part of your imagination and soul onto a piece of paper (or on the computer). It means expanding your mind to many different things.
5. How do you spend your free time?
I love to read my favourite books, watch my favourite movies, listen to my favourite movie soundtracks and work on my blog and novel. All of these go hand in hand in helping me expand my mind. I also love cooking and experimenting with food.
6. What was your greatest moment for the year that passed?
This answer is very simple. It happened on the 8th of August, 2012. The day I kissed and flirted with Jeremy Renner. Jeremy is a great man, so to read about my experience with pictures, check it out! =)
7. Which five words describe you best?
Shy, imaginative, romantic, commitment and persistence.
8. What would you encourage other people to do?
Follow your hearts, really. If you're really passionate about something, go for it. Take steps to get to your goal, whether it be writing for freelance to get your work out or taking courses to up your skills. Go for it.
9. What would you change in your life if you could?
Become more confident about my body and up my self-esteem. I'm working on it at the moment so I can make myself stronger.
10. What advice you would give to a new writer?
Check out my article for inspirational tips:
Like I said before, go for it. Write everything down, expand it. Research and do what you need to do in order to make yourself better. Get people to review your work.
11. If there’s a word that would describe how you want this year to turn out, what is that word?
These questions are from KayKay which will be answered by me.
12. How would you describe your blog?
I would say it's full of a variety of the paranormal and my life experience.
13. Has blogging made you a better writer?
I would say that it has. I've really gotten loads of feedback and advice for my writing and always try to make myself a better writer.
14. What inspired you to start writing?
When I was younger, my parents gave me loads of books to read (not for my age group), and with my ghostly experiences, I loved to write down little stories I made on the computer. I thank my parents for my ability to write.
15. Have you published any book, if not, do you plan to publish soon?
I haven't published a book yet, but I am writing my paranormal novel which I hope to publish in the future. It's called Murder Case: The Secret which  you can read 5 sneak peak chapters on the top of the tab.
16. Define what success means to you as a writer?
It means having been reviewed by critics in a positive light. It means people love what you have to read and look forward to future projects. That's happening to me at the moment. It's getting exciting!
17. Favourite author?
My favourite author is definitely J.K.Rowling. I love the universe she's created, she's inspired me so much to finish my dream as a writer.
18. What are your hopes for this year?
I hope to finally get into my Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing at University, so I can up my skills as a writer and become a published author and editor. I hope to finally get more recognition for my blog, my novel and my writing skills.

To the people that I nominate, these are 11 questions for you to answer in order to participate. The same questions as above.
  1. Why do you blog?
  2. Do you read other blogs and why?
  3. Which is your favorite book and why?
  4. What writing means for you?
  5. How do you spend you free time?
  6. What was your greatest moment for the year that passed?
  7. Which five words describe you best?
  8. What would you encourage other people to do?
  9. What would you change in your life if you could?
  10. What advice you would give to a new writer?
  11. If there’s a word that would describe how you want this year to turn out, what is that word?
These are my nominees. I have picked you guys because I feel you guys have worked so hard to get where you are now and that you deserve the recognition.

1. Esabella S.
2. JoAnn. L Hill.
3. Edward Gardner.
4. Dogwalk Musings.
5. Rhyme Me A Smile.
6. Musings of an Unapologetic Dreamer.
7. On the Edge of Life.
8. Always a Mom.
9. Little Things in Life.
10. Talia's Creative Printing.
11. Alone in Holy Land.

This message is for my nominees, when you complete all the steps, you'll be officially entered!!! Good luck to all and make sure you leave the link of your blog post down in the comments below with all the steps done like mine. Have fun! This gives us all a chance to get to know each other as well as promoting our favourite blogs to the world. :)