Thursday, March 23, 2017

Week 2 blog post: Transmedia Storytelling

In this post, I will discuss how digital storytelling is created for distribution over any digital device such as the internet and how the fandoms and fan fiction have played a big role in transmedia storytelling. I will argue how fans participate in the expansion of storytelling by applying their own situations and characters in an already made universe and how the original narrative embraces the cultural shift of the digital age.

Since the arrival of the internet, new forms of digital communication over the digital age such as social media, games, chat sites and blog sites have led to the further age of communication in the 21st Century.  According to Carlos A. Scolari, he discusses that transmedia storytelling is “spreading from one end of the media ecosystem to the other, taking old and new media in its stride (Scolari, 2).” This means that active user participation is vital as they expand from one medium to another. User participation in this case are fandoms who are a group of fans of any type of film, show or book. 

Fandoms play a big part in transmedia storytelling through their creation of fan fiction, in which they expand the universe of a canon story that can include either the same characters in new situations or new characters in different situations set in the same original universe.

An example of this is the Doctor Who fandom. It is one of the most successful attempts at evolving transmedia into reality. For example, after the original airing of the show in 1964, Doctor Who has been turned into various forms of storytelling in different platforms such as comic strips, spin-offs and novelisations.  All of these provide fans with the ability to imagine and expand the universe of the Doctor Who world by fleshing out their stories.

Neil Perryman discusses that “BBC Online spent considerable amounts of money on developing its brand-specific products during the first years of the 21st century and this included a second devoted to its “cult” television output (Perryman, 6).”
The fandom is so big for Doctor Who that even the show itself incorporates fan service to appease the fans. BBC themselves accepted the massive fandom and created various interactive narrative just for fans.

Overall, overall while the world of films, shows, games and books have a large following, the use of transmedia storytelling will always be in the digital world where user participation by the fans or creators themselves can expand the worlds over a series of platforms.

List of References:
Scolari, C. A, 2014. Transmedia Storytelling: New Ways of Communicating in the Digital Age. AC/E Digital Culture Annual Report. Focus 2014: Use of Technologies in the Performing Arts, [Online]. 1, 2. Available at: [Accessed 22 March 2017].

Perryman, N, 2008. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. Doctor Who and the Convergence of Media: A case study in "Transmedia Storytelling", [Online]. 14, 6. Available at: [Accessed 22 March 2017].

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A story of love, of negligence and bravery.

This is a long post and one that will hopefully deter anyone from ever taking their pets over to a specific Vet clinic. I won't be naming names. It's a local Vet and it's been absolutely gut-wrenching and upsetting because of what they did and didn't do. I guess this is kind of a lessen learnt sort of story, but it's also a story of how brave our wonderful family cat is, who has had to suffer over a period of nearly three months because of their negligence.

My family and I haven't stopped crying and are heartbroken over what's been happening. It's been extremely stressful for all of us. Anyone who says anything less is completely selfish and ignorant.

Our cat Shiva is 15 years old. We've had him since he was a small kitten. He was healthy, albeit a couple of tumours on his ears and nose, so we took him to the animal hospital (since 2010) on the 27th of January, 2017 to finally have the tumours removed (tips of his ears chopped off). The tumours only started showing up a couple of years ago at least, so luckily it's only the beginnings of it. It's very normal for white cats to get them.

On the day of his surgery (27th of Jan, 2017), we took him to the hospital and we encountered a woman nurse (let's call her Jane for anonymity) who came to do the pre-medical check up on our cat. She was absolutely rude when he wouldn't stay still for the rectal thermometer. *Jane* said rather rudely, "If he doesn't stay still, he'll die during the surgery. You don't want that do you?" I was shocked. I had to hold my tongue as she was treating him. My sister had encountered the same woman beforehand and made a complaint against her to the Vet who took care of him and he said it wasn't the first complaint about her. She was going to be spoken to about ber behaviour.
Speaking to so many people now since all this has happened, they've encountered the same woman before, made complaints and nothing has been done. Why is someone like her even working at there?

On the same day after the surgery, we went to pick him up. When they brought him out there was blood everywhere on his ears and fur. The nurse gave us a bloodied Elizabethan collar (cleaned it roughly, blood smeared on the inside). She told us he was very aggressive and caused so much trouble for them when they tried to put the collar on him. What did they honestly expect?! My poor baby had the tip of his ears chopped off! The area was still very fresh from the surgery, still extremely painful and even more he was in even more blinding pain when they tried to put the collar on him with his ears pressed against the collar. He was screeching in pain. I've never heard him in such pain in my life and it made me cry. I couldn't believe they'd actually do that and then ask us to try it when we got home. I ended up paying for a little sedative to give him because he kept scratching at his ears and blood was dripping everywhere in the house (I won't forget him jumping on me to lie down, he shook his head and blood went everywhere). He slept for the whole night.

On the 30th of January, 2017, blood test results indicated that his kidneys and other organs were perfectly fine. A few days later he stopped eating and drinking water and we had to forcibly give him water via a syringe to keep him hydrated. When we took him to the vets, they suggested to continue using the syringe and wet foods. He started drinking from the syringe and we ended up hand feeding him to get him to eat.

The next couple of days he was walking very unbalanced and kept falling over. We took him back to the vets again and they said he had an inner ear infection and gave him a course of slow-releasing antibiotics for about two weeks. It was so bad he was barely eating and drinking water. He was given appetite stimulants to get him eating again.

We started getting extremely concerned when his unbalanced gait was worse and then he started drooling. Phlegm-like mucous would drip and sway from his mouth. We took him to the vets and they said it was his ear infection causing it. Then every time he ate or drank water he was throwing it back up. Extremely concerned, we sent him back again to the vets and they told us to wait until the antibiotics were up and that the ear infection would subside after 4 more weeks.
We couldn't stand our cat suffering the way he was and he was getting more lethargic, had an uneven gait, sleeping a lot and throwing up.

On the 28th of Feb, I made a post on Facebook regarding his situation for a second opinion. Many people before this recommended Lort Smith and I have never heard anything bad about them for quite a while now.

Then suddenly a couple of days later he started drinking heaps of water. You'd think that's good right? No. He'd drink so much while drooling out the phlegm (this was constant and we would wipe his mouth and clean out his water bowl every few minutes because it was so bad) and he'd throw up phlegm. He'd eat his food, he'd throw up. He'd keep drinking his water for 5 minutes at a time and throw up. We knew for sure this wasn't the ear infection, so we sorted a second opinion at another animal hospital. Lort Smith Animal Hospital.

We took him in on the 10th of March and on the 11th, they called to tell us our cat's kidneys were failing and he was diagnosed with Feline AIDS, bronchitis, severe gingivitis and end stage kidney failure. Outside cats are more susceptible to Feline AIDS and he hadn't been an outside cat for more than a few years. He was vaccinated against FIV many years ago and blood tests never showed he had the virus. Unfortunately we never realised, the local Vets never picked it up and we weren't told by the Vets that the FIV vaccine was a yearly vaccination. THIS SHOULD BE COMPULSORY.

We went to the hospital on the 12th of March and they told us his condition was very serious, a "grave prognosis". He wasn't eating or drinking, he was very dehydrated and they hooked him up to get fluids to rehydrate him again. They told us it was the late stages of kidney failure. Absolutely heartbroken, and seeing our poor baby so frightened and skinny, we told them to keep giving him fluids. The day before they suggested to put him down and we said no.
They gave him an appetite stimulant and he was finally eating a bit and gained a little bit of weight. They said the fluids are working and he has severe gingivitis. They said his kidneys are slowly getting better because of the fluids and they need to make sure his kidneys are strong enough to survive the dental operation. He was also diagnosed with bronchitis, something the previous vet never picked up on when they heard his laboured breathing.

After that, we were told that that his gingivitis wasn't that bad, his heart and lungs were clear (she had suspected that he didn't have bronchitis) and that during the ultrasound of his kidneys, it came out white. When it came out white, they told us it was a "white solid thick mass" covering both his kidneys. They did a biopsy the very same day and told us it could possibly be lymphoma.

When we went to visit him (Dad, brother and I), they took us into the kitty ward as he was still groggy from the sedation and still hooked up to the IV fluids. The nurse opened the door of his cage and his eyes opened. Suddenly he heard our voices and his head lifted up, saw us and sat up meowing. He tried to walk out of his cage, but being hooked up with the IV made it difficult, and the sedation was still making him woozy. My Dad lifted him out of the cage and held him. Such a beautiful sight. Then I sat him in my laps and he turned into a position he was comfortable in and slept in my laps. He was so happy to see us. Our thinking is...if we see him everyday while he's there, he wouldn't get lonely, and the healing process would happen faster knowing that he wasn't neglected or alone.
After that, the biopsy came back clean. No lymphoma. Yay! It was such a relief. They eventually sent him back home telling us that he actually has early stages of kidney disease (not end stage as we were previously told) and the IV helped a lot. They wanted to discharge him. So I went to go pick him up from Lort Smith, waited for nearly two hours (because my train got delayed and I missed the appointment) and the nurse came to speak to me about discharging him. When she brought the cat carrier out, I could hear him meowing (it was a cardboard box carrier from Lort Smith because we didn't know he was coming home until later that morning and we didn't have his cage). She opened the box and his little head popped out, still meowing he saw my face and his eyes changed. He let out a little meow and I was caressing his cheeks (he leaned into my hands really hard) while he was purring loudly. The nurse was so happy at his reaction.

When we brought him home (he lives in two houses. My sister's and ours with only two minutes apart), he wasn't eating properly. His tongue was still sticking out, he was very skinny (actually anorexic), and his balance was as worse as ever. The next night, I spoon-fed him some homemade chicken soup I made for him (putting some on a spoon and he'd slurp it in because he couldn't open his jaw properly). He ate a little bit, not enough, but it was something. When I filled up his water, I filled it only halfway (a full bowl is too much water and because of his uneven gait and uncoordinated senses, I didn't want him to end up drowning) and sure enough later that night, HALF his face was inside the water as he drank water. I knew it. NEVER put a full bowl of water. If you know your cat has issues with his/her balance, and they're obviously not blind, don't put a full bowl of water. Especially if you aren't observing your cat 24/7, at least you'll know they won't drown because someone filled it up to the top when they didn't listen or see the signs of his/her appearance.

The next day, Dad and I took him back to Lort Smith. The family had suggested that we put in a feeding tube because he wasn't eating properly (and obviously hungry the poor bub) to help him gain weight again, which would help bring back his energy and strength. As soon I was waiting for the nurse (my Dad had left for his appointment next door), a nurse came out and she talked to me about why we were classing our cat's case as an emergency. I told her he hadn't eaten since he was discharged two days prior and that we required a feeding tube to get food in him pronto. She told me that they had a lot of other patients who would be high priority and that the wait time would be over an hour. Since I didn't want him stuck inside the cage that long, I asked her if we could use a room so he can use the little box (as he had drank a lot of water before coming) and drink some water as he would be thirsty. Unfortunately no room was available, but she took him for a while to give him water and make sure he was comfortable. Not even 5 minutes later, she comes back out again and tells me a Vet is currently looking at him and he'll call me in within the next few minutes.

Within the next few minutes, the nurse comes back out and calls me into Room 1. Our cat was all alone in the room, on the floor and sniffing the door in front of me. A bowl of water was on the ground and a little box was beside his cage unsoiled. As soon as I closed the door and he saw me, he automatically came to me meowing. I put him on the table as soon as the Vet in and he introduced himself. He told me that our cat was bitten by a snake. I was flabbergasted. What? "That's impossible," I told him. "He's an indoor cat. I'd know if there was snake in the house." He seemed confused. "Oh. You see here?" He showed me our cat's face. "I feel he has partial facial paralysis. That's most commonly consistent with a snake bite." I told him he was an indoor cat and then he went on to say that brain tumours could also be one too and that quality of life would be horrible for him (especially since he's a senior cat) and that an option would be to put him down. I automatically said no. "We don't know for sure whether or not it's a brain tumour. We're going to do whatever we can to confirm this tumour first." He told me that our cat didn't have a gag reflex which is why he wasn't eating (he put his finger down his throat and he didn't flinch or gag once). He told me that his tongue was sticking out and he wasn't blinking either (he pressed a reflex area near his eyes and he wasn't blinking. I told him that he was sleeping just before he came here and his eyes were closed. Unfortunately Shiva wasn't blinking in front of him and my guess is because he's in a new area and he was very alert with this stranger in front of him. I had my arm around Shiva and for the first time he was actually very calm and purring on the table. I held him with one arm under his head and the other patting his head. I couldn't believe how calm he was. Such a good boy.

The Vet mentioned about CT scans to confirm if there was a tumour and I called my sister so she could speak to the Vet too. After he hung up, I told him that since he felt it was a brain issue, maybe an infection could cause it too. He agreed with me. Then I told him about the bad ear infection he got after his ear surgery. I told him he started developing the balance issues when the ear infection happened and that maybe his ears are the ones causing this whole trouble. Then asked me whether or not he's had fluid in there before and I mentioned that a couple of weeks back, my sister took him to get all this fluid out of his ear. He agreed with me that it could be the ears, but he was also quite adamant that it might be a brain tumour as well. He left for a while to get the paperwork sorted and I put Shiva on the ground. He walked around for a bit and I sat on the chair and he came to me. He put a paw on my leg signalling he wanted to sit on me, so I carried him and laid him on my laps. Feeling secure and safe, he started purring and fell asleep. His eyes were closed (this signified for me that it wasn't a brain tumour for that reason).

The Vet came back with the paperwork and checked his ears and eyes. He wasn't going blind luckily, and he told me after what I said, they'll thoroughly check his ears while doing the CT scan. They were going to put the feeding tube in that day. He told me that Shiva was otherwise healthy and stable (his kidneys are stable) and that it was just this small issue that needed to be fixed. I signed the paperwork and gave him Shiva. He looked so comfortable in his arms. "He'll be getting lots of cuddles and pets, don't you worry about that." Such a cutie.

The next day, the CT scan came back normal. No tumours! We knew it. But they did check his ears and found there was a LOT of fluid build up and they drained it out. Then they found abnormalities in the fluid and sent it off to pathology. At the moment, we don't have the results yet. I'll update it when we do though.

Now after many tests, which included a biopsy on his kidneys (as they showed white in the ultrasound) he's been okay. Everything they said he had, he didn't have. This was such a relief. With the support of family and the local Community group on Facebook (despite a couple of people who wanted attention for their own selfish reasons about this), this whole situation has been incredibly stressful for my family and I, especially Shiva. He has a feeding tube in now and hopefully this will enable him to finally get the nutrients he needs.

The tests that got it right however, are the beginning stages of kidney disease, Feline AIDS (which was never picked up by the local Vets), some dehydration, no lymphoma, no brain tumour and no Bronchitis.

He has been through so much and he is on the road to recovery with the most loving family ever. We have all banded together to do everything and anything for him. He has us all wrapped around his little tail (well...long tail).

Lort Smith is helping out our cat so much. They found more wrong with his condition than the previous place. The other Vets never listened to our concerns and they didn't dig deeper when he was getting worse. They never told us that he had Feline AIDS and it was apparently so bad that it's weakened his kidneys and caused him gingivitis (but his gingivitis isn't as bad as they said it was luckily).
The fact they never picked this up and helped him makes me so mad. My poor baby is suffering because of the way they dealt with everything! They put him into this situation, into this suffering.

I am so thankful for Lort Smith, but extremely angry at the previous place. Our family cat is suffering because of them and I don't want anyone else's loved ones to end up the same.
The staff at the Lort Smith have been so amazing. They're informative, they have a staff member who is learning human nursing sit with him all the time (only on the one day as she was there), and she even cooked him up some chicken and bought him tuna to try and eat. That is love and care! Not putting an Elizabethan Collar on him while his ears are still bleeding. They would never do that.

Shiva is a fighter, he is still well on the road to recovery at the moment and the amount of stress and tears we're all going through, what HE'S going through is nothing short of him being the bravest boy I know. 💗

I hope this post makes people question their Vets and asks them questions. DON'T believe everything they say! If your gut instinct tells you to get a second opinion, GO FOR IT. If people don't listen to you to get a second opinion, force it on them! Don't wait until the last minute when something even worse happens and it's too late. Don't let one place treat your furry loved ones.

Lort Smith have given him a second chance at life. If it were up to the previous Vets, he'd unfortunately be dead by now. Thankfully Lort Smith came to the rescue. We will be thanking them for a long, long time. Xxx
That last photo was taken on the 18th of March, 2017. Looking so much better!
Always question your vets, never take their word as gospel truth. Unfortunately our local vets never said cats needed an annual FIV vaccine. They do! Don't forget that. While cats can live happy lives with the AIDS (but still need careful observation as their immune system will be degraded), make sure you follow your instincts when you know something is wrong. Make sure you question them and make sure you don't let selfish individuals make you feel wrong.

Lort Smith has saved his life. Always go to this amazing place to bring your furry loved ones. You won't regret it. Trust me. They saved his life and the family and I couldn't be more happier! He is the most well-loved in our household and having him in our lives still for longer wouldn't be possible without them. 😍

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Assignment 1: Melbourne Noir Project

Filming a Melbourne Noir project video was a very interesting experience. While the subject seems amazing, an issue with getting the lighting correct and achieving the correct theme was a problem. It was difficult for me because firstly as a filmmaker, I am not used to filming something like this on my Sony phone, whereas I have my own professional camera that I usually use. The other issue was not being able to use lighting kits or reflectors to use while filming this Melbourne Noir project since it said I only had to use my phone. I tried with this assignment and filmed it in black and white. Unfortunately, I could not get night shots, so you can tell the sky is day and not night, in which night is more consistent with the Noir theme. The Melbourne Noir theme was difficult to achieve because of this purpose.

J. A. Place & L. S Peterson discuss that the characteristics of the film noir moods “of claustrophobia, paranoia, despair, and nihilism constitute a world view…” According to my own videos I filmed and posted, I used the moods of paranoia and despair. In one of my videos the protagonist is rubbing her head in front of the mirror and you get the sense of a dark and ominous feel when you watch it. While I didn’t get the lightning tone of the Noir theme in the video, I feel I’ve achieved the sense of paranoia as characterised by one of the moods of the film noir theme. In another video that I filmed, my protagonist is lying down in the grass with blood on her face. The viewer doesn’t know what happened, but only gets a sense of despair as evident on her expression. Once again, the lighting of the video doesn’t show that it is a noir theme, only a black and white film. The Melbourne Noir theme that was put together (and shown below in the Vimeo and YouTube links I have posted), I have created a sense of mystery and foreboding about a male protagonist contemplating suicide which is the theme of despair and nihilism of the noir theme.

J. A. Place & L. S Peterson state that noir is “low-key” and that the “ratio of the key to fill light is great, creating areas of high contrast and rick, black shadows.” An example of this lightning theme will the film Sin City. The entire tone and lighting of the film is high in contrast with rick, black shadows to create the film noir theme. It was hard to achieve a similar look of the noir theme in my video, but the next time I can improve by doing darker night shots and using streetlights around me to my advantage when it comes to lighting.

List of references:

Place, J. A & Peterson, L. S. (1974). Some Visual Motifs of Film Noir. New York: Film Comment, pp. 30-35.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Week 1 Blog Post - Digital Dualism

Digital Dualism

Digital Dualism is the belief that the physical world is ‘real’ and the digital world is ‘virtual’ (Jurgenson 2011). These two worlds are viewed as separate and diverse realities in the physical space. Nathan Jurgenson, who coined the term in 2011, argues that “the digital and physical are increasingly meshed” and that digital dualism is “a fallacy” (Jurgenson, 2011).
For example, the offline space is face-to-face communication is when customers are able to visit a bank in person to do their banking, whereas the online space would be internet or mobile banking. It is also meshed together when looking up accounts on the phone when you are visiting a bank teller in person.

Nicholas Carr is blogger who disputes Jurgenson’s idea of Digital Dualism, in which he calls it “Digital Dualism Denialism” (Carr 2013).
“The reason people struggle with the tension between online and offline experience is because there is a tension between both experiences, and people are smart enough to understand, to feel, that the tension does not evaporate as the online intrudes ever further into the offline” (Carr 2013). Carr’s idea that people feel tension between both the online and offline worlds because they are different is interesting, yet it can be pointed in the opposite direction by saying that the internet is just an extension of our reality, which shows Jurgenson’s ‘augmented reality’ theory in which both online and offline worlds are meshed.

When dealing with Jurgenson’s idea of ‘digital dualism’ and ‘augmented reality’, the value of the terms are meaningful in being able to distinguish between online experiences and offline experiences, yet also retaining the fact that both experiences clashes as technology advances.  In terms of delivering better communication projects, I feel these terms are important to note that projects shouldn’t be focused on either online or offline worlds separately, but should meshed together due to our technological advancements where communication is more global and widespread when dealing with demographics and spreading the message. Many different platforms such as smart phones, social media, television, print, radio and internet are viewed as the ‘augmented reality’, and communication projects will benefit well in both worlds and not separately.

Reference List

Jurgenson, N. (2011). Cyborgology. Digital Dualism and the Fallacy of Web Objectivity. Available at:

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.