web207 media diary

December 8, 2011 2 comments


  • Wake up and check time on phone – slept through 7.30am alarm set on iPhone!
  • Race for the shower


  • Quick check on Facebook and email on laptop before heading for bus


  • Turned TV off in lounge (kids left it on all night)
  • Collected junk mail from letterbox and threw it out
  • Walked to bus stop – advertising and billboards at local shop and garage

8.40 – 8.55am

  • Missed the bus so checked local weather, Fb and deleted email on phone
  • Set alarm to remember an errand for later in the day


  • On bus, noticed none of the usual advertising posters on outside or inside of bus (brand new bus)

9.00 – 9.30am

  • Staff room
  • Used no media


  • In classroom, helping students with basic computing using textbooks, including
  • Word processing and formatting and designing in PowerPoint,
  • Logged into Facebook but had no chance to look between students


  • IPhone reminder for errand
  • Stayed back after class
  • Used Google to help a student research an activity
  • Showed another student how to transfer images from digital camera to external hard drive
  • Tried to access Facebook events on iPhone and got frustrated because it took too long and gave up


  • Local mall –no piped music playing Christmas songs which I think was odd and very un Christmassy
  • Used iPhone at layby to access a layby account number messaged to me by a friend the night before so that I could make a payment for her
  • Taxi home – radio


  • Checked Facebook while eating lunch (home now)


  • Checked email
  • Opened Office word started typing up media diary,
  • Open Firefox and checked BB message boards (Curtin and Macquarie)


  • Macquarie BB + reading assignment


  • Can’t concentrate (probably because I’ve only had 3 hours sleep),
  • Flip back through Facebook,
  • Browse Xmas hampers online
  • Read news and fill in a survey
  • Get frustrated at news sites not loading
  • Play Facebook games
  • Check twitter
  • Various other methods of procrastination


  • Turn up the TV and listen to it while browsing
  • Check and write emails
  • I think I dozed off at this point


  • Chat on Facebook chat with b/f in the U.S


  • Finish chatting
  • Teen son shows me Facebook conversation with older brother on his psp, he’s upset so try and explain text chat can be misinterpreted


  • Decide to give up and catch some sleep
  • Set phone alarm to 7pm


  • Woke up to the phone ringing – answered it and no one spoke, that’s the third time this week.
  • Wondered why my iPhone alarm didn’t wake me AGAIN

7.30 – 8.00pm

  • Checked Facebook, caught up on games, mostly uni related study groups


  • Kids are playing some music in the other room, sound track to Breaking Dawn
  • On BB reading posts and posting my weekly exercise – spent too long trying to get the formatting so it was readable – (realised that it got dark and I hadn’t hung the washing out, damn@*!)


  • Update media diary and wander off to do some housework
  • Watch YouTube video with teen son of a local high school remediation

9.30 – 10 30pm

  • Watched Offspring on TV

10 30pm

  • Required reading for Clt120 week 1 lecture 2 – hard copy text book


  • Logged in to Second Life and checked messages, parked avatar and turned on streaming radio
  • Finish CLT120 chapter


  • Nipped out cross the road to buy smokes – piped music at service station (sounded very loud this late at night, wondered how the people living even closer coped)


  • Check and write an email
  • Check Facebook and respond to some posts in FB group
  • Turn TV down


  • Join friends in sl to play a board game ( yes .. one is a chicken .. and no I didn’t ask why..)
  • Make occasional post in FB group


  • Return “home” in SL
  • Check FB properly Check email
  • Catch up on FB games
  •  Check BB


  • Answer Skype messages from b/f in the U.S
  • Switch to Skype voice
  • Search eReserve for reading


  • Found reading and saved the pdf  file
  • Started reading


  • Checked BB
  • Got distracted talking


  • Checked Facebook
  • Catch up with game requests
  • Try to load news sites
  • Check news finally
  • discuss news,
  • Play Facebook games
  • General browsing
  • Editing word docs
  • Googling/reading/watching tutorials for blender
  • Struggling with drop outs and a bad connection

2.55 am

  • FB games while listening to Rich describe step by step what he’s doing in Blender ( 3D graphics making program- user generated content )
  • Look for images for CLT120
  • Check whirlpool forum
  • Open up Blender to  try and reproduce/follow what Rich is doing

4.20 am

  • Watched a you tube video my teen son sent me via FB messages
  • Logged out of SL, Skype and FB and went to sleep

(All times below are approximate and estimated)

2 and ½ hours at “work” using a computer and media producing programs – (This is a Monday morning activity only, and this time would normally be spent studying)

2 hours on Facebook and checking news etc. I actually thought it would be more than this, and it probably is as I have it open in the background and switch back and forth

3 hours doing study related activities

45 mins on You Tube

1 hours watching TV (although it’s on in the background usually with sound muted -and I would normally watch the news instead of having such a long nana nap)

1 ½ hours producing or learning how to produce user-generated game content / manipulating digital media

3 hours listening to streaming music from SL in the background (cease to hear it after a while)

30 mins outside media i.e. piped music/other people’s radios /advertising via billboards and posters etc.

3- 4 hours talking on Skype

2 hours in a virtual world using user-generated game content /playing/chatting/listening to music etc.

30 mins on the iPhone

1hr of hardcopy text (Textbooks at home and Tafe)

I would estimate about 14- 16 hours a day of deliberately consuming media.

  • A lot of these activities happen concurrently i.e. talking on Skype and listening to radio, using Rockmelt so feeds like Twitter and Facebook update in the bottom of my screen and I can stay updated without going to the page
  • There is always background media – kids using TV or games/playing music in the other room
  • Strangely, I get very distracted by the radio but can ‘switch off ‘ to the TV,  so I tend to use the TV the way other people use a radio.
  • One of the things that struck me when conducting the diary was that media was conspicuous by its absence. ie:  the lack of ads on the bus and piped music in the mall
  • The other thing that struck me after reading a number of diaries is how much we all use media to keep in touch , whether it’s with other people or events/news.
Categories: web207

med104 week ten

November 10, 2011 2 comments

How do you think Wiki-leaks could be understood in terms of the ideas of Modules 3.1 & 3.2?

Stefan Baack describes Wiki-leaks as a good example of “Data- driven journalism” and explains the process as a remediation of extensive sets of data into ‘stories’ or ‘visual representations’ that are more easily ingested by readers. (Black, 2011). Teams work collaboratively on large databases of information to extract and condense the main aspects and highlights of the content, to make it accessible to the public.

Wiki-leaks highlights the collaborative and participatory nature of new media in journalism, by the use of the public and social media to spread and discuss the news. For example, the collaboration of news media in different countries to gather the data and make it available: -“intellectually working towards a truly participatory, democratic, commons-based and public media system within a just society” (Fruch, 2011), – and the gatekeeper aspects of government censorship, which kept the data secret and then undertook measures to control or curb its release.

With regards to news media, what is gatekeeping? Who does it? What function does it serve – why is it important?

 What effects do newer media such as blogs and online social networks have on the identity and function of gatekeepers?

Gatekeeping is censorship by governments (like China), the traditional media via editorial practices (Gordon, 2007) and implemented by the public in some measure, by ensuring that the news media and journalists maintain credibility (Leaver, 2010).

Gatekeeping by governments can be either detrimental, as a form of control and oppression, or protective – i.e.: reducing widespread panic as in Gordon’s example of refuting rumours of widespread infection (2007). Gordon also explains that editorial practices of gatekeeping ensure that news content or images that are “distressful and disturbing” to the public are not published, implying a sort of duty of care responsibility by news organisations.

However, the collaborative and participatory nature of blogging and social media means that there are public conversations happening that can serve to let people know facts and points of view that may have been withheld from the public and so “citizen journalism” and public discourse serves to keep mainstream news media from becoming too biased and more transparent (Leaver 2010).

In this way, news is more like the precursor to print, where news was spread through communities, and stories passed from person to person, rather than commoditized by corporations.

How is Wikipedia an example of participatory culture and/or collective intelligence? How is material contributed to the site? Why is the idea of ‘neutrality’ important? Is Wikipedia a credible source of information, and why/why not?

Wikipedia is a collaborative database of information that anyone can edit and/or add to and therefore Wikipedia articles can be in a constant state of change. Users moderate entries, making sure that false or misleading input is soon rectified, and all input history is recorded. Users can dispute entries or deletions via discussions. This means that the users become consumers, contributors and gatekeepers. Neutrality is important to give unbiased and factual accounts, the citations and references go a long way to keeping this accountable.

Wikipedia should not be used as a credible source of information because it can be added to by anyone and so entries may not be technically or officially correct. However, it can be useful as a springboard to further research.


Baack, Stefan (2011) A new Style of News Reporting. Wikileaks and Data-driven Journalism. Cyborg Subjects. Retrieved from http://journal.cyborgsubjects.org/2011/07/style-news-reporting-wikileaks-data-driven-journalism/

Fuchs, Christian. (2011) WikiLeaks: power 2.0? Surveillance 2.0? Criticism 2.0? Alternative media 2.0? A political-economic analysis. Global Media Journal – Australian Edition – 5:1. Retrieved from http://fuchs.uti.at/wp-content/uploads/wikileaks.pdf

Gordon, J. (2007). The mobile phone and the public sphere: mobile phone usage in three critical situations. Convergence 13(3), 307-319. Retrieved from http://con.sagepub.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/cgi/reprint/13/3/30

Vos, Jakob  (2005) Measuring Wikipedia Humboldt-University of Berlin, Institute for library science Retrieved from  http://hapticity.net/pdf/nime2006_180-works_cited/MeasuringWikipedia2005.pdf

Categories: med104

med104 week 8

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment

The Harper reading (written in 2003) is a little bit out-dated, given the radical changes to the internet in the last 8 years.

What points could we update to take this changing environment into account?

Harper describes the editor of the publication as the “gatekeeper” but I think that these days the user has much more control over trending topics. I’ve noticed that the more traditional medium like TV will now follow stories that have trended on twitter or Facebook.

I think to draw readers and generate interest. it’s still true that the media trends towards stories that include

1. “Big” stories

2 Unexpected stories

3 Cultural value

4 Follow up stories

5 Local culture

Harper also predicts that production costs will go down and that there will be no need or place for advertisements, and I don’t think that is necessarily true, not about the advertisements anyway. Most news sites I visit had dozens of ads. The difference is that the ads are more specifically targeted to users.

The other thing that Harper mentions is that online news avails itself of a number of different methods of presentation and cites one resource as saying that the use of different media may possibly end up detrimental to the “quality” of the story – by making presentation and not content the focus. I think however using different medium like video or audio files enhances the news and makes it more accessible for a larger demographic of people – for instance the blind, or those with dyslexia

How do you get your news – what sources do you use? How do these differ to how your parents and grandparents got their news, or how your children might get their news now?

I get news update from the News.com page through my Facebook wall and as an RSS feed through my browser, and I visit the news sites once or twice a day. I try and catch the evening news on TV but it’s not always possible.

I’ve found that having the instant updates through online media has kept me more up to date and aware of what is happening in the world than I was in the past when I relied on papers or TV.

Do you think online news is more or less credible than traditional news? Why or why not

I think at first online news was discounted as less credible because the traditional media representations of news had a sort of authority; they chose what we read or saw on TV.

Now that users have become to a large extent publishers of news in their own right the news has become more democratic.

There have always been the biased and sensationalist newspapers, magazines and TV shows  that hinge on radicalism, and that hasn’t changed much.

There are a number of people on my friends list that buy into the propaganda that is published about whatever they’re passionate about. They are going to do that whether it’s online of offline though.

Having said that I think that user participation lends a certain element of credibility because of the opportunity to offer immediate feedback, and the news media has more opportunity to pursue avenues that connect with the general public.

  • Are traditional forms of informational media dying? What are their equivalents?
  • Are they in competition and if not why?

I think to some extent traditional forms of news media are being phased out, or having to adapting to complement online access. Traditional media has had to evolve and is in transition from becoming in competition to becoming complimentary. These days TV news programs often mention Facebook and /or twitter as news sources, and journalists appear to look to the public for news information, where before they were the ones that brought it to us. Most “offline” mews media have associated blogs and online components and viewers are asked to email, post comments or send pictures. Therefore, we have become both consumer and contributors.

However, I do think that traditional media like newspapers are in danger of becoming forced out of production because of sheer economics, with more people turning to the ease and convenience of online news, or news on portable devices like phones and not paying for printed material.


Christopher Harper (2003). Journalism in a digital age. In H. Jenkins  & D. Thorburn (Eds), Democracy and New Media (pp. 271-280). Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Categories: med104

med104 remediation

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Categories: med104

med104 week seven

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

What are some of the commercial or economic considerations of gaming? How can this be thought of as being different or similar to other forms of media consumption?

How is user production in games different from other forms of media consumption? Or isn’t it?

User-generated content – the ability to modify and adapt the text environment and profit by it means that economies are constructed within games. This is open to corruption and abuse, as evidenced by the “gold farms” described by David Savat in the lecture and in the Coleman reading.

Subscriptions – this generates major profit for gaming corporations – participation in games means that revenue is ongoing rather than a purchase and use once type of media.

Production – the production of games involves a large number of participants, like blockbuster movies.

Fandom – this is somewhat similar to other forms of media in the distribution of commodities like collectors’ items and paraphernalia,

How is user production in games different from other forms of media
consumption? Or isn’t it?

User-generated content differs from other forms of media in that a participant interacts with the media and can modify their consumption experience in ways not possible with media like film or print.

Although consumers can profit or distribute user-generated adaptations of other media – like fan vids and remediation, economies form within games and the line between real and virtual economic boundaries becomes blurred.

Coleman offers the argument that participants produce their own media within the game, this doing the work for the original game developer and that

 “[…] fans perform a kind of cultural labour, producing texts that develop elements
not covered by the original text that more often than not conform to
producers’ basic intentions” (2007,pg 451)


Game play is different to other forms of media because of its interactivity and propensity for consumer participation. Unlike movies or other forms of text, a consumer has to get involved at some level, instead of passively watching or reading the story, which is set in stone. You cannot change the outcome, a game requires you to actively engage with the process and the end outcome can change.

User generated content allows players to customise their experience and create a different form of media and a different experience to other players. This can be lucrative because players without the skills, knowledge or software to adapt or create content will purchase goods from other players, constructing an economic commodification of participation.

Another difference is the economies that are built around and into game play and the susceptibility for corruption and extortion as evidenced by the “gold farming” described by David Savat in the ilecture and the reading from Sarah Coleman and Nick Dyer-Witheford (2007).

Game production is similar to movies in regards to the graphical content and the marketing concepts. Just like the Blockbuster movies, games are built up and widely advertised before release using the must have/do/see characteristics of conspicuous consumption.

Also like other texts, games promote fan bases that generate participation in the way of blogs, forums, and communities – and commodities like t-shirts, figurines, collector’s items etc.

What forms of participatory culture available in games? 

  • Participation takes the form of gameplay, gaining points, completing missions etc.
  • Adaption and customisation, a player can change their appearance/ environment
  • User- generated content – economies are based on a supply and demand structure just like real life communities.
  • Fan bases and communities that foster social participation
  • Consumption of ‘by products’ like posters, coffee cups, t-shirts etc.

What constraints are there?

  • Copyright considerations, for example: who owns the intellectual rights to content produced by the consumer?
  • End User License Agreements that require a player to agree to terms and conditions set out by the producer, such agreements often mean that the consumer loses the right to own content generated in the game.


Coleman & Dyer-Witheford (2007)Playing on the digital commons: collectivities,capital and contestation in videogame culture.UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO, CANADA. Retrieved from http://mcs.sagepub.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/content/29/6/934.full.pdf+html

Categories: med104

med104 week six

October 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Think about how rise of games has impacted how we think about ‘media’ Recognise the economic, aesthetic and technological influence of games

Games have become something we think of as accessing and using on a media platform like the internet or the TV. These days they are highly graphical and have visual components similar to movies.

“Games, music and movies are starting to merge together, often under the umbrella of the big entertainment companies. For instance, the team that made the blockbuster Enter the Matrix game spent months on the set of The Matrix Reloaded film, taking in set details and shooting scenes that only appear in the game. On the other side of the fence, animated films are now beginning to be made entirely with the software engines that power games. Boundaries are blurring everywhere.”( Australian Government 2007)

In the past, board games took up physical space and needed a group of people to participate while now games take mulitple forms – contemporary games often follow stories and a time line- for example Halo, COD, Fable and most notably other games based on other forms of media like movies For instance,  Harry Potter, Transformers etc .

These days we expect to see a game released after a movie, or a movie based on a game and so media has “converged” to a great extent. Games have become major money making enterprises just as much as the blockbuster movie was in the recent past.

Consider gaming cultures and fandoms

Gaming was previously considered the pastime of ‘antisocial’ teenage boys and a solitary activity, however  with the advent of the internet , online games a MOORG’s has relieved the stigma somewhat in that it has allowed people to connect and participate rather than isolate.  With the rise in popularity of the social networking type of game found among comnuities like Facebook , games of any form have become more socially acceptable and part of daily lifestyles.

A Pew research report found that although game consoles remain more popular amongst the younger generatrion

“Game consoles are significantly more popular with adults ages 18-46, with 63% owning these devices.”( Pew 2011a)

More actual time was spent by the older generation playing games. Also the older survey participants prefered  computer games to console games. (Pew 2o11b).

Fan cultures are built around games much as they are around movies and other forms of culture, and often meetings are arragned where people gather to discuss anything related to game play, online communities form , and the act of gaming becomes a more social activity.


What are some of the criticisms that can be made about gaming? Do you agree with them?

Violence is the most obvious that comes to mind. Stephen Kline(n.d) argues that it is the interactivity that makes video games more dangerous than the passive participation of TV consumption. Both Kline and Jenkins look at the premise that because soldiers are trained to be killers using new media technology then, it follows that everyone using the same technology ends up a killer. I tend to think that there are very few soldiers indiscriminately going around killing anyone and everyone! – Which is what they say will happen/is happening if un-military users play.
From personal experience, it seemed to me when my son started playing COD he became withdrawn, dropped school attendance and his grades suffered. My first impulse was to blame the game.  However he hasn’t killed anyone (yet) , he doesn’t play much COD anymore ( he grew bored with it) and he’s still withdrawn and suffering school phobia. His older brother was the same and did not play any games.

Other critiscms are directed towards time “wasted” in playing games, and the fact that some people become addicted to games. Sometimes to the point of death, like the case of the Korean  couple that left their baby starve to death while playing a game.
I think that addiction depends on the individual, just like any other addiction. Not everyone that drinks is an alcoholic, not everyone that plays the pokies is addicted to gambling, not everyone that takes prescription meds is a junkie, and not everyone that plays games are addicted to them.

Something I found really interesting on the subject of “moral panic” was the interview with Marilyn Manson in Bowling for Columbine -it’s not about gaming but it made me think about how one form of media ( the press) points the finger at another form of media( music) in an attempt to control society and consumerism, and target blame.

Is gaming purely escapism, or is it something that can be taken seriously? Or both? Justify your answer.

I think that depends entirely on how you play the game.
Some people take their gaming very seriously and strive to become top of the leader board. Others become avid collectors of anything game related and attend conferences, meet-ups and tournaments etc (fandom)
The practice of user generated content can be lucrative and creators take their participation very seriously.
I taught a class in a “game”.  I held responsibility to others within that environment – to keep them “safe” to educate them on online, technical, ethical and game procedures, as well as to deliver the course content –  so to me that was serious.
However I also use games to escape and relax , I played patience with real cards to relax before I got a PC , and now I play mindless “click click” games.  I find it clears my mind if I take a point and click break every once in a while

What is your history of gaming? How has your experience changed due to technological convergence (or hasn’t it)? How do you rationalize your participation in games?

As a child I read books and played board games and patience because we didn’t have a TV (lived in the outback).
I remember babysitting a friend’s Vetrex machine in the early 80’s – it was a “portable” form of Space Invaders , maybe it was even the precursor to handheld games – ‘cept I had to turf my son out of his pram to get the thing home.
A friend had a Commodore Vic 20 back in the 80’s too and I really liked “Sword of Fargoal” so I bought a Commodore 64 ( $999!!!!) and was devastated to find I couldn’t get that game on it – I did spend a lot of hours playing on it though.

The kids had the Atari consoles and then later PlayStation, I played Alex the kid and Tomb-raider obsessively at times.
When I got a pc in the 90’s  I played a lot of patience . it’s very strange that I never had to justify playing patience with real cards, but I was criticized for “wasting” the same amount of time playing it on the computer.
I got The Sims and found online communities to download new content from .. the interesting thing here is that I ended up spending much more time in the online communities and message boards revolving around the game than I ever did playing it.
I joined Second Life in 2008 and a year later was asked to act as consultant for a pilot project trialling a TafeStart course, which I went on to teach for another year and a half. –
I’m not sure you can actually class Second Life as a game .. it’s more a 3D social network environment , I do however play board games in Second Life – how’s that for convergence !
I play Facebook games for mindless relaxation.
Because I was stuck at home with young children, I couldn’t get out and about so much, and so I’ve found that having the internet has made my game play much more social. There is always a game going on somewhere.


Australian Government (2007) Digital games industry in Australia, Digital games: a rapidly developing industry. Retrieved from http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/digital-games-industry

Kline, Stephen (n.d) Moral Panics and Video Games. Simon Fraser University. Vancouver, BC. Retrieved from http://www.sfu.ca/media-lab/research/mediaed/Moral%20Panics%20Video%20Games.pdf

Pew Institute (2011a). 71% of Online Adults Now Use Video-Sharing Sites. Retrieved from http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2070/online-video-sharing-sites-you-tube-vimeo

 Pew Institute (2011b) Generations and Gadgets. . Retrieved from http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1879/gadgets-generations-cell-phones-laptops-desktop-comupter

Categories: med104

med104 week five

October 7, 2011 1 comment
How does participatory culture allow for alternative paradigms of these institutionalised and naturalised power relations to be examined?

Srinivasan suggests that instead of documenting the culture of ethnic groups from the ‘outside’ , that the group itself should document their traditions and culture from the context of ‘inside’ that culture.

‘Creating spaces that are based around the community’s own representations and discourse may enable media to truly serve the community’s specific priorities, rather than presenting a space that is incommensurable with a culture’s traditions and own categorizations of knowledge.”(Srinivasan, 2006)

Societal groups understand things according to the context of the way in which they live and according to their cultural history and their everyday activities. (Garfinkel, 1973) so it make sense that to retain a cultural identity , then it should be those people belonging to and living the culture that record the events.

Providing these groups are allowed to speak with their own voice, then I think globalization can be a good thing , we have learnt a lot more about human rights issues because of the internet that we were previously unaware of. However to have a voice the groups in question need internet access , and this can be problematic, not only in terms of financial considerations but because of governmental censureship and oppression

Are marginalized and Indigenous cultures at risk of being further marginalized within the global village of the internet?

Packer, Rankin and Hansteen-Izora state that minority communites are in danger of losing their culture and becoming even more marginalised if it is digitalized in the wrong context.

Just giving the poor and marginalized access to computers and new media technologies wont work because most of the time these people are illiterate anyway, their culture is handed down by  community knowledge and storytelling.  They go on to explain that some one sitting in a computer room somewhere wont record the nuances and everyday experiences that go into making a culture.

Therefore they recommend that using new media to recreate the stories and traditional means of passing down knowledge is preferable to more orthodox means of recording, this will carry more meaning in context with a tribe or communities history than catalogues that future generations wouldn’t be able to read or access given isolation caused through a lack of modern literacy.

Digital Divide

During discussion this week it was determined that the digital divide didn’t just refer to those people that were disadvantaged due to povery but also those in remote regional areas with no coverage ( like outback Australia ) – older people that hadn’t grown up with new media technologies and didnt understand it / were fearful of it , and those people with physical ability restrictions.


Garfinkel, H. (1973) “Background expectancies” in Rules and Meaning: The Anthropology of Everyday Knowledge: Selected Readings , Douglas, Mary, 21-23 Retrieved from https://www.library.mq.edu.au/e-access/document.php?eid=29426

Laura Packer, Paul Rankin and Robin Hansteen-Izora. (2007 ) Living Cultural Storybases: Self-empowering narratives for minority cultures  AEN Journal Vol.2, Iss.1 Retrieved from http://www.aen.org.nz/journal/2/1/packer.html

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