Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Card by DesignerPhotoCards.com.au
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. I hope 2013 brings you everything you need and want, and those you care about stay safe and happy. :)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

'Something to declare' (via TheAge.com.au)

This is exactly how I felt in South America recently - "They have a habit of asking annoying questions such as "What's your second language?" Then you have to explain that, in Australia, we don't really do second languages."

"You can't just expect to get by with English and a little bit of Spanish in South America. You'll make it from one place to another, sure. You just won't be able to talk to anyone while you're doing it. You'll feel as though you're drifting across the top layer of a very deep society."

At the end of 3 weeks, I could pretty much count my "little bit of Spanish" on one hand. When I met the Peruvian guide who spoke 6 languages, I just felt... dumb :>


http://www.theage.com.au/travel/blogs/the-backpacker/something-to-declare-20121113-299au.html

Monday, 5 November 2012

My South America photos & video

Monday, 29 October 2012

Santiago, Chile

Lunchtime view from the W Hotel, Santiago.

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Buenos Aires, Argentina

I've had to post these after the fact because the free wi-fi wasn't so great in Buenos Aires... enjoy :)

This is Evita Peron's grave at La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. Amazing place.

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Iguazu Falls

View from my hotel Iguazu Falls
http://instagr.am/p/RF8ujDpoMl/

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

I've also uploaded several videos here on YouTube.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Havaianas

Another benefit of #rio - cheap #Havaianas for the kiddies!
http://instagr.am/p/RD3ddUJoIS/

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Ipanema Hippie Fair, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sunday morning at the Ipanema Hippie Fair
http://instagr.am/p/RD2hOKJoHM/

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro

Friday, 19 October 2012

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Friday afternoon, coffee & cake in a cafe at Ipanema Beach, watching the world go by ♥
http://instagr.am/p/Q-cMWipoMX/

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Inca Trail & Machu Picchu, Peru

Made it!!!! Hardest thing I've ever done in my life!
http://yfrog.com/h04mrcfj


If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Cusco - city & surrounds tour

Photo courtesy of
http://www.andeantravelweb.com
9pm Friday 12/10, Cusco, Peru.
Most amusing thing I saw today - in the Cusco Cathedral, a massive 17th century painting depicting the Last Supper, supper consisting of a roasted Guinea Pig (the size of a cat) lying on its back in the middle of the table. Unfortunately no cameras allowed but I found this link online! :-)

Also saw lots of cool Incan buildings & walls, from the 14th or 15th century. Very clever bunch of people. It's a shame what happened to them. Photos when I get home as I took them with a camera, not my phone.

Tomorrow I head off on day 1 of the Inca Trail trek. Excited and a bit nervous. I really hope I'm not the oldest, slowest, most-likely-to-have-a-heart-attack!

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Alpaca

Oh no! #alpaca #menu #Peru #Illhavethevegetarianpastathanks
http://instagr.am/p/Qqk_W1poCb/

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Cusco, Peru

5pm Thursday 11/10, Cusco, Peru. Arrived in Cusco about 4 hours ago and I'm now starting to understand what it feels like to be affected by altitude. According to my trusty Lonely Planet, I'm 3326m above sea level, and lack of oxygen generally affects people once you hit 2500m. Even when I came off the plane into the baggage area, my head felt a bit like you do on the first day of a head cold. Four hours later and it's more intense, and I'm feeling light-headed and headache-y and a bit short of breath, which is apparently all normal. I'm onto my 3rd mate de coca, or coca tea, which is made from coca leaves and smells somewhat like dirty socks (and doesn't taste too flash either). And I'm resting watching TV, the only English-speaking channel I can find - CNN Internacional - which is entirely people arguing over the US presidential election *yawn*  Hopefully this acclimatising thing happens quickly!

PS: this is funny - I got chatting to 2 guys while waiting in line to check in at Lima airport, who live in Melbourne, in the suburb next to mine. Small world :-)

PPS: The pics are the hotel I'm staying at - beautiful!

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

South America - Lima

8pm Wednesday 10/10, Lima, Peru.
Much as I want to love every part of South America, Lima presents a challenge. There are about 9 million people, so it's more than twice as big as Melbourne or Sydney. And it's located on a relatively narrow strip of land wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes, which somehow creates a state of perpetual fog, and no rain. It's just... bleak. Overcast, barely anything green, dirty and very, very crowded.
Having said that, the people are fantastic. Going through Customs was amazingly simple, and friendly (unlike some places I've been where they terrorise you purely for their own amusement - yes, I'm looking at you, LAX), and efficient (now I'm looking at you, Melbourne baggage handlers). The trip from the airport was eye-opening to say the least, but the hotel I stayed in was lovely and the food was great.
Some things I've learned so far:
- Airline boarding & flight times in South America appear to be more "suggested guideline" than "set in stone".
- Ditto for lanes & lines on the road.
- Do not attempt to drive a car in Lima unless you are prepared to blare the horn at least once every 5 minutes.
- It's almost entirely possible that I am currently the tallest woman on this entire continent.
:-)

If you're interested, you can view all of my travel pics here on Facebook.

Monday, 17 September 2012

How to be the best of unfriends

I've thought about this a fair bit in the last couple of years. Have we "sacrificed conversation for mere connection"? How many of your Facebook "Friends" have you actually even interacted with in the past 12 months? And I don't mean random "Likes" of each others photos - I mean real interaction, conversation. I bet if you take the time to look through your Friends list, you'll find names you've forgotten were even there, or people you don't really know at all. I like the idea of a "friend-decluttering exercise" like the author undertook... or perhaps I just like the idea of all that travel! :-)

My favourite line in this article is: "A terminated friendship, after all, needn't necessarily signal a horrifying defeat, to be expunged from memory. One might just as easily think of it as "completed". "

The other interesting line is this: "Facebook itself hates unfriending, for commercial reasons".

http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/how-to-be-the-best-of-unfriends-20120917-261gy.html

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Study perspective

Got my marks back for last study period - turns out the difference between almost killing myself with stress and over-the-top-perfectionism, a'la previous subjects, and just doing what needs to be done without obsessing over it (TOO much), a'la this one, is 5-10 points, which includes approximately 3-5 hours less obsessing... err I mean STUDYING, per week. Have decided I'll happily live with a Credit as a fair trade for sanity and a more acceptable work/study/life balance :-)

Tooth Fairy

6yo: "How does the tooth fairy know when someone loses a tooth?"
Me: "Well, it's like magic..."
6yo: "OR, the tooth fairy has a tiny computer and they keep track of everyone, and... "

My child :-)

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Free Range Kids

I've recommended this site before but it was a while ago. ♥ it! Today's article about letting 9 & 6yo kids ride their bikes alone is timely, as I've just recently started letting my 9 & 6yo walk home alone from school (together), and play in the park across the road without me sitting there freezing my butt off. Every time I have an attack of fear or guilt, I go and read something on this site and it makes me feel better, that I'm doing the right thing in giving them some freedom.

http://freerangekids.wordpress.com

Monday, 13 August 2012

Dog tales...

Day 4 of the 12yo dog wearing the Elizabethan collar, post-surgery. It's absolutely true what they say - you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Current stats:
  • Total # of times she's gotten it off so far - 2.
  • Total # of times we've tried to get her to sleep in the laundry - 2.
  • Total # of times she's actually agreed to sleep in the laundry - 0.
  • Total # of nights we've been woken in the middle of the night by her going in/coming out/going in/coming out of her kennel, (getting stuck & thumping around each time) - 4.
  • Total # of times she's stood whining over her 3/4 full water bowl because the collar apparently prevents her drinking any more from it and she's thirsty, despite the COMPLETELY FULL 9L BUCKET OF WATER sitting next to it which she refuses to look at - 7.
  • Total # of times she's been unable to completely clean out her entire food bowl (the EXACT same size/shape as the water bowl) - 0 (think about this for a moment - yes, THIS bowl, this identical bowl, can be accessed).
  • Total # of times I've lost the plot and thought really horrible things about her - 3 (but this could just be a normal week).
  • Total # of times she's headbutted the exact same doorframes/walls - lost count, but it'd have to be at least 50.
This is not a smart dog. Determined, stubborn, yes, smart, no. Which I've known for 12 years now, but the whole old-age thing isn't helping. For those that have known me a long time, this is the same dog that ate huge chunks off my weatherboard house, ate through a lattice-enclosed carport and THEN ate through the chicken-wire I'd put up in her determination to escape as a puppy, and ended up with the dog-catcher twice, but was too scared to go past the end of our house on a lead for a walk. The same dog that has systematically dug up every single garden & vegie patch we've ever had in her sheer determination to shit all over it, all the while looking furtively over her shoulder, knowing she's going to get shouted at but doing it anyway. The same dog that shivers in fear when it's time for a warm bath, but happily stands out in the rain and will bolt into any dirty creek within 50 metres given half the chance. The same dog that has repeatedly escaped over the years for fun, even making her way to the local bank last year and walking in behind a group of people when they went in, resulting in so many phone calls from so many places all over Melbourne over the years that I've lost count.

For now I've resigned myself to "at least she's so busy with the collar, she's not picking at her stitches" (for now) and "at least she can't dig or chew the house/garden/vegie patch" (for now). Only 11 more days till the stitches come out. One of us may not make it. :>

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Training

One of my weekly training activities, in preparation for the Inca Trail. But really, this post is more about trying out the new blog. :-)


Monday, 30 July 2012

Your privacy at risk (via getup.org.au)

Would you copy ASIO in on every personal email you send? Watch the video and sign on to stop #ozlog http://bit.ly/OBlTjV via @GetUp

New blog! (Well, new home anyway)

I first set up a blog on Blogger in 2009 but as a Joomla! developer, I felt I really should run my own blog in Joomla!. So in 2010 I moved the whole site to a self-hosted J!1.5x site. Problem was, J!1.5x didn't really work nicely as a blog, so after a while I installed K2 to handle the blog side of things, and it ticked along for the next year or so.

What I started to find a problem was, Joomla!/K2 didn't really let me post quickly and easily from my Android smartphone. And I had to maintain the site myself, which got a bit tedious. So I set about researching options. Looked at Wordpress but by then I was pretty much over hosting my own blog, and I didn't like the free ones they manage for you. And to be honest, I've never really taken to Wordpress as a platform anyway. I know there are millions of people who disagree but... not what I wanted. Then I did a subject at OUA on blogging and we had to set up our own blog (which I set up for my business) so I went back to my trusty Google account and created it in Blogger because I was already familiar with the platform. And actually I thought it was pretty good, as well as being really easy to post to from my phone.

Just to make sure, I had a look at Tumblr and Posterous as part of my research. Both good but not really what I was after either. Fussy fussy :-)

So Blogger it was. I found a site with some nice free templates and set it up. THEN the headaches began. HOW to export all my existing posts from not just Joomla!, but K2, to Blogger? You'd think it would be easy but it's not. In fact, it's practically impossible. There are literally NO apps anywhere that I could find that would do this effectively. So after hours of research and testing and nothing working, I ended up with a 90% solution and then manually did the rest. Here's how:
  1. Abandoned the concept of exporting anything from K2 entirely. I did find a K2 exporter on the Joomla! Extensions Directory but the file it produced wouldn't import anywhere else. Luckily I'd done all but 20 posts as normal Joomla Articles prior to the conversion to K2, and I hadn't deleted them, so I could use those instead.
  2. Installed Export To WordPress: Joomla Plugin on my Joomla! site, and ran it to produce an XML dump of my posts in Wordpress format.
  3. Luckily I still had a test Wordpress.com site set up that was empty, so I logged into that and imported the XML file in.
  4. THEN I used the instructions on this site to do a Wordpress to Blogger conversion. By this stage I wasn't holding out any great hopes but amazingly, it worked.
  5. Went back and manually copy/pasted the remaining 20 posts from K2 directly into Blogger.
Then I did the domain name redirection and some further tweaking to get it to where it is today.

What I've learnt. Joomla! is fantastic for many things - I've developed over 40 Joomla! websites in the last 6 years and I love using it. But if it's a simple blog you're after, there's really no need to self-host it. And stay away from K2*. :-P

* Yes, I know that millions of people love it. I'm just not one of them. :-)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Queen's 16 Most Excited Faces Of The Opening Ceremony

Apologies in advance to all my Brit friends, no offence intended :>


http://www.buzzfeed.com/jpmoore/the-queens-16-most-excited-faces-of-the-openi

Another Gotye parody

I don't know why I'm so amused by all these Gotye parodies - but I am :>

The Gotye Parody to End All Gotye Parodies

Friday, 27 July 2012

NET205 - Internet Commerce and Consumers

There haven't been any formal requirements for weekly write-ups for this unit but for my own future reference here are links to the coursework and Group assignment:

Coursework
NET205 Wikidot
Assignment 2 - Outline
Assignment 2 - Final Team Report

I'm currently halfway through this unit and I'll be honest, I'm a bit disappointed. It's a fascinating topic and I think I really would have loved the unit if it had been run in a "normal" way. However, it's somewhat spoiled for me by a seemingly obscure idea to put a large bunch of mature-age individuals, many of whom who work full-time and/or have families and/or other commitments, and therefore choose to study online in their own time, into way-too-large groups of 9-10 people and basically telling them "you work it out".

Perhaps the purpose behind this will become clear by the end of the unit but to date I haven't come up with one decent reason, from a student perspective, as to why this is the best way to run this unit. Large groups and wrestling with an unwieldy Wikidot site seem to have little to do with internet commerce OR consumers. I honestly don't think I've learnt anything productive about teamwork, except never to do this myself.  I've worked in the corporate world for many years, in large and small teams, and if I'd come in knowing absolutely nothing about teams or group work, then what I've experienced in this unit would add no value whatsoever. Having to conform to other people's time restrictions and schedules is stressful when you've gotten used to self-motivation and working in your own time and at your own pace. And no matter how well your group gets along, you end up submitting something against your own name that is not 100% the way you would have liked it to be done, and doesn't 100% reflect yourself.

Thankfully our team of 9 people were all professional people and got along well, but I heard that some other groups came to (virtual) blows during this process. And it's totally unnecessary. If there's a solid reason for group work, if it underpins or assists the subject matter in some way or it's part of our overall learning then that's fine, but when dealing with online-only students, make it groups of no more than 3-4 people, not 9-10. The amount of time and effort expended on team coordination is completely wasted time/effort that I personally would have preferred to spend on further reading and case studies around the actual topic we're here to study.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Cost of being Batman (infographic)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Forbes: You Will Never Kill Piracy, and Piracy Will Never Kill You

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Facebook reuses your 'likes' to promote new stuff

Just spent 20 mins going through my "Likes" and unliking a bunch of stuff. No offence intended to anybody whose business/interest I've just unliked, but if Facebook are going to start using my name and a "Like" I did months/years ago, to promote a story on a "Liked" Page that I haven't even read, without my knowledge, then I'm just not going to "Like" anything any more.

http://www.technolog.msnbc.msn.com/technology/technolog/facebook-reuses-your-likes-promote-new-stuff-880942

Friday, 13 July 2012

What Happens Every Time Gotye Starts Playing (via @mashable)

Hilarious! :-)


https://mashable.com/2012/07/12/gotye-song-in-the-ar/

Monday, 2 July 2012

Parent fail :p

Driving on Capt Cook Hwy, Dad asks: "Who knows who Capt Cook was?" 6yo: "I do!! ... wait... Hook or Cook??" :-)

#parentfail

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Inca Trail essentials

What great timing! 105 days to go! RT @lonelyplanet: Inca Trail essentials http://ow.ly/bQFf0 #lp #travel

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Punch: Assange is no hero, but he deserves better from our govt

Whether you like or dislike him as a person, whether you agree or disagree with what he says or does - Julian Assange is an Australian citizen. And as an Australian citizen, I'd like to sleep comfortably at night knowing that my government will be there to help me, should I end up in some type of shitshorm in a foreign country. The Gillard government's treatment of, and lack of support for, one of its own citizens is absolutely appalling.

http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/Assange-is-no-hero-but-he-deserves-better-from-our-govt/

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

OUA student - considering taking a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)?


Just wanted to document my experience with the CSP process, in case anybody is considering going that way. Not complaining, I just wish I'd known all this before I started!

Firstly, there is a bunch of paperwork, and waiting for things to be sent between OUA & Curtin. There was some good information provided in emails, but there was also a lot of waiting and emails and phone calls to both OUA and Curtin to find out exactly where things were at. All this happened very close to the close-of-enrolment date for SP2 so it was a bit stressful. It turned out that the OUA close of enrolment doesn't apply once you're a CSP, you have another week or 2 after that to enrol. At least, that's how it was for SP2, I'm still not sure if that applies all the time or not.

After I did all that, I found that the discount is only about 10-11% less than if I paid directly through OUA, which is $89 for most of the Curtin units I'm doing. I can still enrol in units via the OUA website like before, but I can't pay straight away - now I have to wait for OUA to tell Curtin, and for Curtin to send me an invoice, or for me to log in to Oasis and generate my own invoice. Not difficult, just takes time.

Yesterday I received an email saying that because I'm CSP, I now have to pay a Student Services and Amenities fee for the 1st half of the year, which is $33. If I WASN'T CSP and was just an OUA student, I wouldn't need to pay this. I've done 1 unit in each of SP1 and SP2 this year, but the calculator doesn't ask that, it's just for a half year. So I presume that if I only took 1 unit in half of a year, it would still be $33. I don't really care about the $33, it's just that it's another email, more logging into Oasis and generating an invoice and making another payment.

Additionally, because half my units were not done under CSP, and the latest one is, I now for some reason have 3 different Study Plans when I log into Oasis/eStudent/My Results. I used to log in here at the end of every SP, once the results were in, and print out an updated transcript just so I had a copy. Now I can't get a full transcript on 1 page. Not a deal-breaker either, just annoying!

Assuming I continue to do 1 unit per SP, I'm making a grand saving of about $72 per SP by having the CSP. However, when I factor in my hourly work charge-out rate, and the total inconvenience of not being able to enrol & pay in 5 minutes and then just forgetting about it all, and having to stuff around with invoices and paying by internet banking, compared to the ease of paying directly through the OUA interface like I used to, and not being able to get my transcript the way I used to... well, if I'm honest, I wish I'd kept things the way they were.

That's not to say it isn't worth doing if the $72 means a lot to you, or if you're doing more than 1 unit per SP, or whatever. I just know that if I'd known upfront that it meant $72 per SP and a lot more fiddling around, I probably wouldn't have done it.

**Update August 6, 2012**
I've now also found out that if I decide to take more than 2 SPs off, like I did last year while dealing with a whole bunch of personal stuff, that I have to APPLY to do that.  With OUA I could just not enrol and there wasn't any issue. That's pretty much the decider that's tipped me over the edge - I'm now enquiring as to how I can get out of this whole CSP business and simply go back to how I used to do it, purely via OUA.  Far less paperwork, less hassles and much greater flexibility.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

10 things I want my 10yo daughter to know

RT @Mamamia: 10 things I want my 10 year old daughter to know. If you're a parent, you'll want to retweet this one - http://bit.ly/L44xes #mmia

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Oatmeal: How a web design goes straight to hell

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Facebook for kids

Interesting.. Facebook Exploring Options for Users Under 13

http://mashable.com/2012/06/04/facebook-kids/

Saturday, 2 June 2012

OMG this is so me haha

On Facebook, ‘Likes’ Become Ads

RT @zephoria: "If you use [Facebook]... you should be prepared to be used. It’s the nature of the beast that is Facebook" - http://nyti.ms/N45Tr5

Monday, 21 May 2012

WEB206 - Week 12: The Future of Web Publishing

"DIY media are engendering a shift in popular taste. No longer is professionalism assumed to be the norm and standard of quality. The notion that do–it–yourself amateurism can stand on equal ground with media industry professionalism signals a democratic challenge to hierarchies of aesthetic value. And at the same time that amateur media are gaining ground, so is the communitarian alternative to traditional, top–down mass media distinctions between production and reception" (Newman, 2008).

As Internet connection speeds have increased and broadband has become commonplace (at least in most developed nations), the use of audio and video as publishing tools on the Web has increased in popularity. As the early Web shifted the balance of power away from print media conglomerates, so too are audio and video publishing beginning to have an impact on our perceptions of media as amateurs around the world now have the tools to not only create footage, but to see that footage distributed to a global audience.

This week's readings/viewing:
Podcasting in Plain English http://www.commoncraft.com/video/podcasting

An anthropological introduction to YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU
Berry, R. (2006). Will the iPod Kill the Radio Star? Profiling Podcasting as Radio. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 12(2), 143-162.
Available through the Library database.
Crofts, S., Dilley, J., Fox, M., Retsema, A., & Williams, B. (2005). Podcasting: A New Technology in Search of Viable Business Models. First Monday, 10(9). Available: http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1273/1193
Newman, M. (2008). Ze Frank and the Poetics of Web Video. First Monday, 13(5). Available: http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2102/1962
McMurria, J. (2006). The YouTube Community. FlowTV, 5(2). Available: http://flowtv.org/?p=48

Activity - Discussion Questions
Consider the podcast you listened to this week:

How did the content compare with traditional radio in terms of professionalism of presentation?
How did the level of professionalism affect your enjoyment of the content?
Is the content that was covered available through conventional radio?

I chose to listen to a blog presented by the Australian Businesswomen's Network entitled Social Media Policy for Small Business Explained.

I found it to be similar in style to talkback radio - which unfortunately I don't like that much! To me it was a bit too girly chatty and I kept zoning off and losing interest. But that's partly because I'm a visual learner and I prefer things I can see, with links, rather than an auditory experience.   Which probably explains why I've never really gotten into the whole podcast thing. :-)

Do you think that these digital models of production and distribution are a threat to, or a companion to, traditional media forms such as radio and television?
 
I would say it is more of a companion to traditional media forms. There is probably not a large enough audience to put this type of content onto a traditional radio network, but podcasting enables the content to still be accessible by those who are interested.

As is clear from Wesch's presentation, different people use YouTube in a myriad of ways and invest the site with a varying degree of importance in their lives. What does YouTube mean to you?
 
Not as much as some of those people!

Friday, 11 May 2012

WEB206 - Week 11: Flows

"Though the 140-character format is a constraint, it need not be seen as a limitation; while participants often shorten and otherwise modify tweets to fit into 140 characters, this characteristic of Twitter can also be seen as an advantage. The brevity of messages allows them to be produced, consumed, and shared without a significant amount of effort, allowing a fast-paced conversational environment to emerge" (boyd et. al., Forthcoming).

We are increasingly swimming in a river of information and nowhere is this more apparent than in current trends in social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The constant flow of information that is available to us and the ability to update others with information you think may be relevant to them is creating a media environment where the ability to communicate effectively in a concise way is of growing importance. This week we are going to be looking at techniques for publishing to the Internet that eschew the lengthy paradigms of traditional print media.

In a recent Pew Internet Survey, 11% of Americans indicated that they used some form of microblogging service. Microblogging refers to posting very short text or multimedia clips, often from a mobile device. By all indications it is likely that the use of microblogging will only increase. Although for many microblogging is merely a way of distributing stream-of-consciousness, "what are you doing right now?" style posts, the form can also be used to maintain conversations on specific subjects and to distribute information on a topic.

Given the nature of this course, one question that arises is that of whether we can really consider Twitter and similar services as a 'publishing' platform. Certainly there is an ephemeral feel to them that feels more akin to a personal conversation. However, microblogging is a clear indicator of the way we need to reconsider our ideas of what publishing entails in the context of new media. Notably the term 'publish' is derived from the Latin 'publicare' - "to make public", and this is what we do as we post into the twitterverse, whether this be a summary of what you had for breakfast, a pointer to an interesting link or a part of an ongoing distributed global conversation on a particular topic. The restriction of 140 words forces us to think about exactly what we want to say and how we can use such a small amount of text to grab the reader's attention.

This week's readings/viewing:
Nielsen, J. (2009). Twitter Postings: Iterative Design. Retrieved September 14th, 2009, from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/twitter-iterations.html.
Boyd, d., Golder, S., & Lotan, G. (Forthcoming, 2010). Tweet Tweet Retweet: Conversational Aspects of Retweeting on Twitter. Paper presented at the HICSS-42, Persistent Conversation Track.
Marwick, A.E., & boyd, d. (2011). I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience. New Media & Society, 13(1), 114-133.

Activity - Discussion Questions
 
Although termed 'micro-blogging', how do you think Twitter differs from blogs in terms of the practices, conversations and experiences it produces?
Twitter enables quick, real-time conversation and the distribution of up-to-date information. I've encountered several events in the past year where I've found out about it on Twitter first. A lot of news reporters and outlets are now monitoring Twitter as a basis for news. The 140 character limitation means that it is quicker and easier for a lot of people to tweet than is is for them to blog. And the fact that all Tweets go via twitter.com means it is easy to engage with a wide variety of people (via hashtags etc.), as opposed to blogs where people need to go to that particular place to participate.

Following Johnson's article, what do you think of the various claims he makes that contribute to his assertion that "Twitter will change the way we live"?
I'm not sure that Twitter specifically will change the way we live, but I think it's fair to say that social media and the Internet in general already has. Although perhaps if you were living somewhere like Egypt earlier this year, where social media is generally credited as being behind the political uprising, then perhaps you might agree with Johnson that Twitter has changed their world. :-)

What influences do you think have given rise to the enormous success of Twitter as a communication platform?
Twitter is very simple to use, and there are many different ways of accessing it because the Twitter API is openly available for developers to access. I also think that the openness of the system has helped its success - the ability to follow anybody that interests you, including "famous" celebrities, sporting personalities and politicians, means that individuals can feel more connected to these people. As well, I find that the immediacy of topics and information, via the use of hashtags, means that I can quickly engage with others who share the same interests.

Monday, 7 May 2012

WEB206 - Week 10: Links

Up until now we have largely focused on how you can use your own creative skills in order to build up an identity on the Web. This, however, is only half of the story in terms of building an audience for your work. As Web technologies have advanced, the act of creating an identity on the Web is increasingly tied to your use of social media as a platform for communication. As you will see in the readings this week, Web 2.0 has given rise to an environment wherein reciprocity and participation play a significant role.

Becoming a part of the Conversation
As you develop your online identity, you will need to engage with others who are also writing about your area of interest. There are a number of ways that you can foster this type of connection through the hub of your web presence.

Blogrolls
Blogrolls are the list of linked-to blogs and sites that appear on the sidebar of blogs. As you saw in Topic 1.1, the sites you select to link to in your blogroll form a part of your online presence inasmuch as they indicate to readers who you are reading and the types of discussion you are following. There is typically a degree of reciprocity in blogrolling (i.e. "you link to me, I link to you") but you need to be selective in the sites you link to. Once again, the question to ask yourself is "What does linking to this site say about me?".

Comments
As you will see in the readings over the next two weeks, as social media platforms have evolved, they have become increasingly 'conversational'. The main way that these conversations are manifest in blogs is through comments and trackbacks. Engaging with other writers through comments, you can not only expand your own understandings of your topic, but also become involved in a broader discussion that will enhance your web presence.

Trackbacks
Implemented in a variety of ways by different blogging softwares, trackbacks operate as a kind of automated comment service. If two blogs both have trackback active, when a post is made to one blog and that post is subsequently linked to by another, a notification appears in the comments of the originating article. Although trackbacks are being largely superseded by shifting conversations to other media platforms (E.g. Instant messaging, Twitter), a large number of blogs still use the feature.

This week's readings/viewing:
Hendriks, N. (2009). From Social Media To Human Media - critical reflection on social media & some design methods to design social environments. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/nielshendriks/from-social-media-to-human-media-critical-reflection-on-social-media-some-design-methods-to-design-social-environments
Ali-Hasan, N. F., & Adamic, L. A. (2007). Expressing Social Relationships on the Blog through Links and Comments. Paper presented at the AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, Boulder.
Available:http://www.icwsm.org/papers/2--Ali-Hasan--Adamic.pdf
Herring, S., Kouper, I., Paolillo, J., Scheidt, L., Tyworth, M., Welsch, P. et al. (2005). Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "From the Bottom Up". Paper presented at the 38th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
Available: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=1385453&;tag=1

Activity - Discussion Questions

Has your own Blog/Web presence hub attracted any comments beyond those of other students? How do you think you might encourage conversation through your writing?
So far my blog has only attracted a couple of comments from other students. However, I've put links to some of the posts onto my business Facebook page and Twitter accounts and there have been a couple of "Likes" and an email so I was a bit happy!

In your own tracking of Blogs on your chosen topic, how much of the conversational nature of the blogosphere have you directly observed?
To be honest, not a lot! Granted, a lot of posts have a lot of comments, but in general I don't see a lot of replies to THOSE comments by the original poster, which is what I would consider would make it a real "conversation".

Given the broadly social and participatory nature of Web 2.0 technologies, is the term media still appropriate to describe these emerging forms?

I realise that academia hates Wikipedia as a reference but I thought the Wikipedia article for "media" was quite informative!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

WEB206 - Week 9: A New Media Audience

The nature of media consumption has shifted dramatically in the era of personal computers and the Internet. No longer are audiences made up of passive consumers who select from a small range of media channels. Now, faced with a seemingly endless variety of sources, readers have become far more selective and discriminating in terms of the media they consume. Furthermore, as audiences have become familiar with the interactive nature of digital technologies and the publishing platforms available, there has been a significant shift towards organic, community-driven content. The nature of audience expectations and engagement with texts has moved towards a participatory model where readers are actively involved in creation and remediation.

One of the results of this has been the emergence of communities on the Web that attract readers and contributors who are interested in specific niche interests, or in a particular 'angle' or political approach to general news. The 'audience' is made up of individuals who have a strong interest in the topic and who communicate that interest through a variety of platforms. Becoming an active voice in this environment requires a good knowledge of the topic you are writing about along with a willingness to engage with others in thoughtful dialogue rather than emotional argument.

This week's readings:
Cover, R. (2006). Audience inter/active: Interactive Media, Narrative Control and Reconceiving Audience History. New Media & Society, (8)1. Available from the library database.
Shirky, C. (2003). Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality. Retrieved October 14th, 2009, from http://www.shirky.com/writings/powerlaw_weblog.html.

Are you actively involved in any online interest groups or communities? What elements do you think define engaging writing in this context?
I'm afraid I've been too busy the last few years to spend much time participating in online communities. I lurk around a few different Facebook groups, Whirlpool and a couple of other geeky places, and a couple of AFL forums (go Hawks!), and I have a couple of distinct circles of people that I interact with via Twitter, but that's about it. Back in the 90's I did the whole IRC and Usenet newsgroups thing, but that was Before Children. :>

Are there approaches to, or styles of writing that actively encourage conversation and dialogue from an audience?
I tend to respond better to people who are clear and articulate, and who can demonstrate a decent grasp of spelling and grammar. I also tend to respond well to people who can use humour effectively, and who discuss things in a way I can relate to. I agree too with Kym's point about conversational writing, as this encourages people to respond.

What sorts of impact can the audience have on online media texts such as blogs? What difference does this make to the media landscape in general?
I found Shirky's analysis of power law distributions quite interesting - that merely by one person choosing a blog, another person is more likely to also choose that blog. This also happens with things like Twitter - as soon as you read that Ashton Kutcher has a million followers, people will go and follow him purely based on that fact, even if most of what he says is complete tripe. Another side of that is that Ashton may then start tailoring his tripe to suit those million people, whereas perhaps before he didn't. So not only is the audience influencing who people should follow, but perhaps they are also influencing what is being said.

Writing Task - Entering the Conversation
As we have seen, the increasingly participatory nature of the Web calls upon publishers to become actively involved with their audiences. As both a publisher and a member of the audience, you will need to engage with others who are working in your particular area and become a part of a distributed conversation.
 
You should now have found a variety of sources that relate to your chosen topic. Select one of these sources that provide functionality for responding to an original piece of writing. (Eg. blog comments, discussion forums).
 
    Write a considered and informed response to a post of your choosing.
    This response should be no longer than 200 words.
 
As a part of this exercise, you will also need to consider how you are going to keep track of and monitor the impact of your commentary. The conversation that emerges from your commentary (or the lack thereof) will prove valuable in preparations for your final assignment.
 
Apologies for the delay (again). So far I've managed to run a week behind for approximately 7 weeks of this unit! Every time I think I'm getting back on top of things, something else pops up and bites me in the backside!

Anyway, I attended some seminars at the Melbourne Internet Show on Monday/Tuesday and heard a social media expert give a brief talk which I found quite interesting. I then tracked her down on Twitter and her blog. Much of what she talks about is relevant to my own blog so I thought it would be good both for this exercise, and also just for my networking in general, to comment on one of her posts.  Here 'tis:

http://thesocialskinny.com/11-simple-things-you-can-do-to-get-more-twitter-followers/

Cheers,
Nicky

ps: When I posted my comment I entered my email address, which is not published but is used to notify me of any replies.
pps: Her presentation from Monday's seminar is here if anybody is interested.

Friday, 27 April 2012

It's official...

Just formally accepted offer of admission into Bachelor of Arts (Internet Communications) degree #itsofficial #bigstep #netcomms

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

It's better to regret things you've done...

Source: flickr.com via Nicky on Pinterest

Monday, 23 April 2012

WEB206 - Week 8: The Attention Economy

The Web has brought with it a number of challenges for the professional writer. How do we present information in an age where there is an overabundance of it? How do we engage readers when another page is just a click away? And, of course, the big question of the moment - "What happens to news organisations and media institutions when everyone is potentially an author?".

As the media landscape has changed, so too have audience expectations and demands. Traditional media outlets can no longer rely on dedicated and restrictive channels that ensure a captive audience, but must instead contend with everybody else in what has been termed the 'attention economy'. Over the next two weeks we will be looking specifically at ways in which writers on the Web can tailor content and respond to changing audience expectations.

This week's readings:
Shirky, C. (2002). Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing. Retrieved October 13th, 2009, from http://shirky.com/writings/weblogs_publishing.html.
Anderson, C. (2004). The Long Tail. Retrieved September 9th, 2009, from http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html.
Kelly, K. (2008). Better Than Free. Retrieved October 24th, 2009, from http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/kelly08/kelly08_index.html.

What is your reaction to Shirky's claim that the Web and Weblogs have made publishing a "financially worthless activity"?
 
How might the ideas Kelly proposes be relevant to your chosen topic/field? Can you think of examples of people working in this field who have used some of these ideas?
 
In what other ways do you think it might be possible to add value to information for your readers?

This is quite funny on reflection, but reading Shirky's article actually set me off thinking again about an idea I'd had last year that I'd abandoned due to lack of time. After spending the best part of last week nosing around looking into a whole bunch of stuff that had very little to do with "Web Publishing" - I'm now back on Blackboard! Sorry about falling behind (again). They say that study opens the mind - right?! :>

Anyway - after thinking about it and reading the other posts here, I'm now not so sure about Shirky and his "financially worthless" suggestion. While it's probably true that not many people are making much money today based on current models, the models themselves are changing too. Tying that in with Kelly's ideas about immediacy, personalisation, etc. - you only have to come up with a new way of doing or presenting something and everyone else will be off and running trying to catch up. Look at smartphone apps, for instance - I'm a recent adoptee of "Draw Something". Nobody says anything, nobody does anything spectacular, one of the silliest games I've ever played - but the creators of that game recently sold it for $200 million, after almost going broke! http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/19/zynga-is-in-talks-to-buy-draw-something-maker-omgpop/. Imagine even five years ago, somebody suggesting that anybody could make $200 million out of a game on a phone. If you then add in Kelly's "1,000 true fans" ideas - well, I just think, never say never.

Writing Task. Available at: http://blog.websolutionz.com.au/2012/04/2012-american-media-mom-report-and-what.html

Friday, 20 April 2012

Mothers Day Classic

Pls sponsor my BFF in the Mother's Day Classic raising funds for breast cancer research https://register.eventarc.com/sponsor/view/132119/francine-dawson

Monday, 9 April 2012

WEB206 - Week 6: The Public Voice

If what we are seeking to do in online publishing is to establish a recognisable Web presence then two issues are of particular importance: Authority and Ethics. Authority is established in part by knowing your topic well, but you can also read over Topic 1.2: Sourcing Information on the Web to understand how authority is established by effective linking to other sites that cover the same ground. Ethics, on the other hand, is a matter of personal integrity - long-time blogger Rebecca Blood offers some advice in the readings about how you can maintain an ethical stance in your writing.

Over the last few years there has been a rise in what has been termed 'citizen journalism'; topics that in the past were written about by dedicated professionals have become the domain of amateur writers who establish their popularity through engagement with their audience and a sense that they know what they are writing about. This does not mean that 'anyone' can become a successful blogger (or online writer of any kind). The most successful of those amateurs, the bloggers who have managed to establish a reputation within their particular field of interest, are not in that position by chance. As much as the Web is a democratic medium, it rewards those who can utilise the platform effectively. Writing for a public audience is a skill that is learned through practice and observation. This week, we are looking at how you can develop your writing skills in the context of a blog post, but the advice offered here applies to most kinds of online writing.

This week's readings:
Lomborg, S. (2009). Navigating the Blogosphere: Towards a genre-based Typology of Weblogs. First Monday, 14(5).
Available: http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2329/2178
Blood, R. (2002). Weblog Ethics. In The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog. Perseus.
Available: http://www.rebeccablood.net/handbook/excerpts/weblog_ethics.html
Rowse, D. (2008). Nine Signs of an Effective Blog Post. Retrieved September 9th, 2009, from http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/07/10/nine-signs-of-an-effective-blog-post/.

Do you agree with the suggestion in Walker's article (last week's readings) that the blogosphere can be seen as a revitalising influence on the public sphere?
I found Walker's paper really interesting.  The idea that the cultural effects of print and the rise in literacy created a separation into private and public spheres in the last couple of hundred years, and that blogging is now collapsing that divide, is something I hadn't thought about before but it does make some sense.  So while I'm not convinced that "revitalising" is the right word, I can certainly agree with Walker that blogging is having a profound effect on the public sphere.

Setting aside the Internet, in what other areas of your life do you contribute to the public sphere?
Last year I became involved in a local community group that was created in response to the local council's draft redevelopment plan - although, my contribution to date has mostly been the Internet side of things - website, email lists, etc.!  I also get involved in my kid's school but again, I tend to get involved in ways that I can contribute via my computer.  What can I say, I'm a geek. :>

What blogs do you read for informational purposes? Why?
I've tried RSS feeds and never really got into it - my tool of choice is Twitter, which I use as a sort of pseudo-RSS feed to click off to a variety of different blog posts and articles from there.  I use a Twitter plugin for Firefox called Yoono which sits on the side of my browser, so I don't have to have any extra windows open.  I have a number of lists setup within Twitter and also have a few different Twitter accounts, which can be loosely broken down into work/web-related stuff, footy (go Hawks!), study-related, funny things and friends.

Writing Task:  Available at http://blog.websolutionz.com.au/2012/04/why-should-small-business-owners-read.html

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

WEB206 - Week 5: The Personal Voice

As we move through this course we need to consider how online writing is influenced by the platform on which it is to be published and by the narrative mode/genre of the piece. Over this week and the next we are going to consider how blogs (the platform) can be used to write personal narratives and/or informative pieces created for broader public consumption. Each of these modes produces different effects for readers and consequently attracts different audiences. Thus, we need to think about the context in which we use them and where one is more suitable than the other.

Problematically however, in the context of the Internet, it quickly becomes apparent that any clear distinctions between personal and public writing are blurred. As we have seen, anything we write on the Web is effectively public. Given this, we need to consider how personal narratives and disclosure affect readers and work towards the creation of an online identity.

This week's readings:
Luders, M. (2008). Conceptualizing Personal Media. New Media & Society, 10(5).
Available through the library database.
Walker, J. (2008). Blogs, Literacies and the Collapse of Private and Public. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 16(2-3). Available: http://jilltxt.net/txt/Blogs--Literacy%20-and-the-Collapse-of-Private-and-Public.pdf
McCullagh, K. (2008). Blogging: self presentation and privacy. Information & Communications Technology Law, 17(1), 3-23. Available through the library database.

In what way do you see the function of traditional mass-media and so-called personal media as being different?

Traditional mass-media is one-way, broadcast media, which is very passive for users - all they need to do is read. The media do the filtering and present what is newsworthy. In contrast, personal media is two-way and invites the user to participate.

Today's blogging and other participatory media requires readers to be writers and writers to be readers simultaneously. While there is still a large element of solitude in reading and writing online, we see the conversational and social aspects of this literacy increasing steadily (Walker, 2008, p8).

Walker, J. (2008). Blogs, Literacies and the Collapse of Private and Public. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 16(2-3). Available: http://jilltxt.net/txt/Blogs--Literacy%20-and-the-Collapse-of-Private-and-Public.pdf

In what way do you see the form of traditional mass-media and so-called personal media as being different?
In some ways the form is similar - for example, Walker compares pamphlets and periodicals from the 17th century with today's blogs and notes that neither are published in episodic format (Walker, 2008, p4). However, the digital aspect of the presentation, and the readership base are very different.

Walker, J. (2008). Blogs, Literacies and the Collapse of Private and Public. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 16(2-3). Available: http://jilltxt.net/txt/Blogs--Literacy%20-and-the-Collapse-of-Private-and-Public.pdf

In what way do you see the reliability of traditional mass-media and so-called personal media as being different?
Because traditional mass-media is professionally produced, there has always been a sense that the information provided is reliable, just "reporting the news", without opinion. However, in recent times there has been a shift to making items more newsworthy, which has resulted in more sensationalism, opinions being presented as fact, and politically-skewed information. As well, traditional mass-media is filtered by those organisations, and the most newsworthy events are broadcast. Personal media, while not "professional", could in some ways be viewed as more "honest", and is generally more unfiltered. For example, McCullagh says that in a survey, over 60% of people said that their reason for blogging was "to document your personal experiences and share them with others", and less than 2% said it was "to make money" (McCullagh, 2008).

McCullagh, K. (2008). Blogging: self presentation and privacy. Information & Communications Technology Law, 17(1), 3-23. Available through the library database.
Writing Task:  Available at http://blog.websolutionz.com.au/2012/04/narrating-personal-interest.html

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

RT @FreeRangeKids: Hey -- "Why I Let My 9-Yr-Old Ride the Subway." 4 years ago (yesterday)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

WEB206 - Week 4: Narrating the Self

Everything we publish on the Web says something about who we are. Whether it be the photograph we choose to represent us on a social networking site, the biography we include as a part of our blog, or the nature of our conversations with others through communities, message boards and comments, as we contribute to the Web we are establishing for ourselves an online identity.

The accumulated content of your contributions to the Web is known as your Internet footprint. As a publisher of Web content, this is something that you need to be in control of, so that when people search for your name, the results provided will give them an appropriate idea of who you are and what you do.

In this light it is worth considering whether you wish to have two established presences on the Internet, one that is public and another that is private. You need to consider whether you want your (professional) web publishing to be connected with your private social networks.

This week's readings:
Turkle, S. (1999). Looking Toward Cyberspace: Beyond Grounded Sociology. Contemporary Sociology, 28(6), 643-648.
Schau, H. J., & Gilly, M. (2003). We Are What We Post? Self-Presentation in Personal Web Space. The Journal of Consumer Research, 30(3), 385-404.
Walker, J. (2005). Mirrors and Shadows: The Digital Aestheticisation of Oneself. Paper presented at the Digital Arts and Culture Conference.

To what degree - if at all - do you see yourself playing different 'roles' on the Internet?
I've been using the Internet since 1993 and back then it was a lot more about being anonymous online. I had one of those scary personal homepages with flashing gifs and the entire thing referred only to "Nicky", with very few other identifying features.  I found the Schau & Gilly reading really interesting because it made me realise that although the links I put on that homepage were there because I liked them, they were also there because having them there portrayed the type of cool geekgirl online persona I was striving for at the time. :>

For that reason, I found MySpace and more particularly Facebook to be quite confronting, and I deliberately held off on participating for a long time.  I still struggle with the concept of privacy online and although I've opened up a lot more in recent times, I've still made a fairly conscious effort to draw a line between what can be public and what should stay private.  My Facebook is fairly locked down by some people's standards and is probably the most purely "me", bad jokes and all.  I also have a professional LinkedIn profile and a public Twitter account and anything that goes on those is usually with "big picture web presence" in mind, so while they do demonstrate my humour and interests, there's very little that would be offensive to anybody.  I've also set up a completely separate Facebook business page and Twitter business account so I can keep those things separated. Initially I did this so that I didn't bore my friends & family with professional stuff, but it's now worked well in the opposite way too, to keep my professional contacts separated without the family photos.  This is the area where I plan for my new blog to slot into.

How much do you find user avatars contribute to your perception of the people behind them?
How is your perception of people affected by avatars within different contexts (i.e. discussion forums, games, instant messaging, social networks etc.)?
I find avatars interesting from the perspective of how that person views themself.  But I tend to base my perceptions of people more on what they write, or how they play, or how they react to certain situations, because I think those observations give me a clearer view of the person.  I've always viewed avatars as more like a snapshot in time, of what a person WANTS to be, rather than what they really are.  It's possible that I think that way because when I first got online, almost nobody had a photo or an avatar and you had to learn to form views based on on other things.

How do you think the lack of recognisable avatars within the Blackboard environment affects your relationship with others in this course?
I personally don't have a need for avatars, as I tend to form my views based on what people say and how they go about things, rather than what they look like.  But for those who do like them, here's my current Facebook picture.  I only recently changed this, I'd had the previous photo for 2 years but after my husband took this a few weeks ago I changed it because I liked the idea of being public but hidden behind sunglasses!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

WEB206 - Week 3: Copy/Paste & Copyright

"The infinitely replicable nature of digital 'texts' has raised important questions about intellectual property, ownership and the nature of creativity within our culture. Where previously the technologies required to copy a text were relatively cumbersome, personal computers have made this task essentially trivial. Coupled with the enormous power of the Internet as a medium for distributing and sharing information, we have entered an era where established ideas of copyright increasingly need to be reconsidered and re-evaluated."


This week's readings:

Snapper, J. W. (1999). On the Web, plagiarism matters more than copyright piracy. Ethics and Information Technology, 1, 127-136.
Available: http://www.springerlink.com/index/L215064QJ8KK1331.pdf
Lessig, L. (2004). Creators. In Free Culture: How Big Media uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Strangle Creativity (pp. 21-30). New York: Penguin.
Berry, D., & Moss, G. (2005). On the “Creative Commons”: a critique of the commons without commonalty: Is the Creative Commons missing something? Retrieved September 4th, 2009, from http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/node/1155/pdf.

In the light of the information here and the readings you have done, what license do you anticipate using in your non-academic work? Why?
If I license content that I put online then I generally license it as Attribution Non-Commercial so that others can remix my work non-commercially, as long as they attribute it to me. However, as this is a business blog then I intend to license it as Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works, which means that others can copy and distribute my work non-commercially but are not allowed to alter or transform it.  My blog is something I've been thinking about doing for a while, to supplement my website development business and help to build my brand. As many of my clients are older, small business owners who have never had a website before, I'm hoping that existing clients will not only benefit from the information I present, but also pass it on to their own networks, which will hopefully result in additional work for me.

Do you agree with the assertions made by advocates of Creative Commons that copyright is restricting culture?
I think that today's copyright laws are not entirely applicable to the digital world. I really liked Lessig's example of the Causbys and the aeroplane problem - I thought it demonstrated exactly how the law and new technology don't always meet. While it is important for creators to be able to financially support themselves if they choose to - perhaps important work would never be created if individuals did not choose to devote their life to it - and copyright goes some way in protecting those people, I think the current "lifetime plus 70 years" concept of copyright is ridiculous and has gone way too far in support of the producers, not the creators - it is not benefitting any individual in their quest to create, 70 years after they've died.
I just finished watching a Keynote address by Lessig that discussed copyright, spectrum and broadband which I found quite interesting: http://blip.tv/lessig/recognizing-the-fight-we-re-in-6047323

Lawrence, L. (2004). Creators. In Free culture: How big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity (pp. 21-30). New York: Penguin.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

There is a difference between giving up...

Carlton FC Auskick Clinic

Carlton Football Club Auskick Clinic


I may not be there yet...

Thursday, 15 March 2012

WEB206 - Week 2: Sourcing Information on the Web

"Before the rise of the Internet as a publishing medium, sourcing accurate and reliable information was a far simpler matter than it is today. Indeed, it was often the case that the fact that something had actually been published was enough to ensure a certain degree of reliability. However, with the sheer volume of information published on the Web and the variety of topics covered, locating and tracking reliable sources is an important skill in today's media environment.

As you establish your public web presence, you will become an informal "gatekeeper" of information on a particular topic. Individuals and the networks they (and you) are a part of will use your authority as a measure of the credibility of information. In order to perform this role effectively, you will need to know how to locate and critically evaluate your sources. Your ability to do this well will be reflected in the quality of your writing.

Over the next two weeks we are going to look at a variety of ways of finding and tracking sources, establish some methods for evaluating their credibility and consider what you can and can't do with that information once you have it."

This week's readings:
Van House, N. Weblogs: Credibility and collaboration in an online world.
Available:http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~vanhouse/Van%20House%20trust%20workshop.pdf
Warnick, B. (2004). Online ethos: Source credibility in an "authorless" environment. American Behavioral Scientist, 48(2), 256-265. Available through the Library Database

Discussion questions:
1. Warnick lays out six criteria cited by lay users as indexes of Web site credibility (Table One). Which of these criteria do you feel you have typically relied upon to determine the reliability of a site in the past? Why?
2. Do you agree with Warnick's suggestion that the emphasis on the author might be replaced by one based upon "skillful design, image quality, usability, information structure, comprehensiveness, absence of self-interest, [and] usefulness"?

TABLE 1: Criteria Cited by Lay Users as Indexes of Web Site Credibility
Criterion Percentage
1. Being able to trust the information on a site 80
2. Being able to easily navigate and find what you want 80
3. Being able to easily identify sources of information on the site 65
4. Knowing that the site is updated frequently with new information 65
5. Being able to find out important facts about the site 50
6. Knowing who owns the site 32
SOURCE: Princeton Survey Research Associates (2002).

I think the criteria for assessing a particular website is completely dependent on the topic of that site.  For instance, I sometimes read articles on the Mamamia blog, via links they post on Twitter. The blog is mostly opinion-based articles aimed at women, Mums, etc. and I personally find the navigation awful and many of the opinions very one-sided, but it has a large reader base who comment frequently, and the blog itself is updated frequently too. A lot of the time I'm more amused by the comments than the article, and I don't really care too much about the authors or who owns the site. But I also read several small-business based blogs, and with those I am more interested in the credibility of the authors and the information they are providing, and the sources of that information.

My blog is going to be primarily a small business blog, focussing on existing clients and also new clients that are in a similar situation. Often they are older, small business owners who are experts in their own field but have very little idea of where to start or what to do next when it comes to their web presence. One of the things that my existing clients like is that they find me approachable and I can explain things in a "non-geeky" way, which results in referrals, so my plan is to make my blog mostly about the first 3 criteria in the table, but customised to the environment I've already created for them and therefore with a bit of a personal touch.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

WEB206 - Web Publishing

Back to studying this week, after 3 study periods off due to various personal challenges last year.  All a bit daunting but it looks like a fun subject - web publishing, basically, blogging.  I spent this week getting approval for and creating a new blog - it's still very much a work-in-progress but check it out at http://blog.websolutionz.com.au.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Make Kony Famous

Incredibly powerful.  Make Kony famous. (Now one of the most viral videos of all time).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hawks Family Day, 4 March 2012

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Have finally accepted that it's completely impossible for me to order just 1 book from http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/ ...

Have finally accepted that it's completely impossible for me to order just 1 book from http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/ ...

How to Hide From Annoying Friends on Facebook Chat

How to hide from annoying friends on Facebook Chat (via @Mashable)

http://mashable.com/2012/02/24/hide-facebook-chat/

Friday, 17 February 2012

Dear friends...

Dear friends, family, etc. Footy is back tonight!! Apologies in advance to those who do not share my excitement. Regular programming should resume sometime in October! :-) #gohawks #AlwaysHawthorn

Monday, 13 February 2012

Draw a Stickman - very cool :>

Draw a stickman and watch him come to life!

http://www.drawastickman.com

Thursday, 9 February 2012

How To Instantly Get 5GB Of Free Space On Dropbox Using Its Latest Beta Release For Windows

How To Instantly Get 5GB Of Free Space On Dropbox Using Its Latest Beta Release For Windows

http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-instantly-get-5gb-of-free-space-on-dropbox-using-its-latest-beta-release-for-windows-tutorial

Friday, 3 February 2012

Reflections of Motherhood (video)

Thought this was really nice:

Friday, 13 January 2012

Hawks Open Training Session, 13 Jan 2012

Took the kids to the Hawks Open Training session this morning... pics:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2866019206311.144296.1134692298&type=1&l=b6922735f8

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Twitter love

Hard to believe, but there are actually now 150 people in the world who give a crap what I say on Twitter :>