Online Personas – An online performance

I would like to think we have all been in that place of questioning, whether or not we should post that selfie or the candid picture of ourselves at the beach two days ago. Either the picture doesn’t go with our overall theme, or we aren’t sure whether or not it will get the same ‘likes’ as the other photos on our account. These questions are ones that would bombard an individual’s mind when they are posting picture to their Instagram, just for the overall aesthetic of the profile.

So the overall question is, are we creating a fake persona online in order to present ourselves and our lives in a different light? Individuals who present their lives online have the capability to exaggerate their personas because they have the time to carefully formulate the way that they present themselves, which is different to the spontaneous face to face interactions that can’t be scripted. Some psychologists and sociologists who have studied these usage habits, and have found that there is little correlation between how people act in real life compared to online.

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A great case that highlights this is one of an artist; Amalia Ulman, who created an online persona on Instagram (found here) in order to ask questions about the issues of gender online, and our own constructed media identities. Ulman created an Instagram account between April and September 2014, where she presented herself online as an ‘Instagram girl’, she used this as a project which she called ‘Excellence and Perfections’. She grew her account through the use of popular hashtags and created a three-part performance that explored the ways in which women presented themselves on the Instagram site.

Ulman made a performance out of her account; scripting her character to move out to the big city, break up with her long-term boyfriend, use drugs, self destruct and then to recover all over again. In doing this she had accumulated 88,906 followers by her final project post. Her Instagram project was later shown in two major London exhibits and received wide-spread attention for the manipulation of the platform as well as stereotypes

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that were encountered.

She used a whole lot of props, sets and locations to build her ‘authentic’ Instagram account and keep up with her aesthetic that she was building. Her pictures even went as far was pretending to get a breast augmentation, which she had to Photoshop in order to make it seem ‘real’.

This case really highlights the whole idea of building yourself online. Ulman had great success in her profile, which was overall scripted and made to seem real, However, this was not what her viewers were seeing who would had become invested in her profile.


A question to ask yourself: Are you really presenting yourself in the same way as you would in real life OR are you creating an online persona to attract others onto your page?


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Social Media = Citizen Journalist

For this post, I’m going to be talking about citizen journalism and how Snapchat is a great media platform for this. The video bellow


Watch this example of Casey Neistat’s snapchat story- Ferguson Protests


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Remixing is the act of rearranging, combining, editorializing and adding original content to create something new. It is said that we live in the age of remix, where world of art, invention and creation are informed and inspired by things that people have experienced. However, does this make the content which is being remixed original, and does it actually matter?


The laws of copyright almost inhibit individuals to manipulate content that has copyright infringements. Some could say that this inhibits an individual’s ability to creativity when this content is involved. A case of two Dj’s from Perth and San Francisco are great examples of this. They both used Green Days Album American Idiot and remixed it with a variety of other artists like Aerosmith and Eminem. These two DJ’s got into a load of trouble because of copyright, but the community came together and signed a petition against this album that they made getting out. I think the following quite sums it up pretty well:

“We now inhabit a ‘remix culture’, a culture which is dominated by amateur creators – creators who are no longer willing to be passive recipients of content,” – Australian lawyers from the Queensland University of Technology in the report Mashups, Remixes and Copyright Law

This example is great in showing how far behind our laws are when there are creators out there manipulating material in a remix form. The debate could be either that it’s not an original material that is being created, rather a hybrid form of the same material. Does this even matter though? Yes, this is an important role of the audience, they are supposed to be responding to the content through media since this is what the new age media is about. Audiences are able to ‘talk to or back’ to the content and critique it using their own knowledge and language. So taking an individuals right to respond back to this media is like making the roles of the new age media go backwards, where audiences have to be passive consumers and not active ones, which really defeats the purpose.

Take DJ Earworm for example, his job every year is to find the biggest 25 hits during the year and mash them up to create an exciting mashup. This is a great thing to do, as our memories can be tied to song, and in doing this it allows people who listen to it to go “Oh I remember listening to that song! I was doing this when it came out!”. Making something like this inspires people, which I think is amazing in itself. I think that doing things like this makes old material new and different content.

I have included a video of his work, you should definitely check it out!


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Digital Artefact – My Annotated Bibliography

For BCM112 we have to create a digital artefact, for this project I have  decided to continue on with my book review blog that I created last year. You can find my my blog HERE, please check it out!

So for my annotated bibliography I have picked out 10 sources that I have found to encourage me to do and write more on my blog, as well as a number of other sources to help my writing style and help me engage my audience more.

Below are my sources for my annotated bibliography

1 ) Source One: Sasha Alsberg

Sasha Alsberg is a well known book blogger in the community, who created her blog in 2013. I stumbled across it a couple of years ago when I was just browsing. She inspired me to write and review my own books, as I did have some of the same views as her, but in making my own blog I could express my ideas and thoughts more effectively. She continually encourages and inspires me to run my blog, and also gives me ideas when it comes to my blog and what to review. I believe that her videos are effective as she talks about quite a few aspects of reading, what she does really well however, is that she engages with her audience which makes the content more interesting.

2 ) Source Two: Book Trust

The second source that I have picked is all about tips for starting a book blog. I think this web site is very helpful when it comes to tips, which I will definitely take on board during my Digital Artefact. I think the tip for joining with the memes is a helpful one as I think it would add more character to my blog and also help me to engage with the audience more. This source would be helpful for those who are just starting their blog and I think that even though I have established myself on my blog, it holds tips that I can still use now.


3 ) Source Three: Caffeinated Book Reviewer

My third source also gives some helpful tips and tricks for those running blogs on WordPress. I believe this website will be very helpful in giving me information on how to establish a more professional website that would become more appealing to an audience. Within this source, there are 24 hyperlinks which lead to another page with instructions. One hyperlink that I think would be quite effective for my Digital Artefact would be the ‘how to I grow my blog’ hyperlink. Within the instructions it talks about how to showcase your blog and gain a wider audience as well as running different types of social medias and how to link them.


4 ) Source Four: Goodreads

Goodreads is another source that I use pretty often which I find very effective. This sources allows for me to be open to new books and other people’s reviews. This sight allows for people to keep up to date with the books their readings, helps them find new books to read and also provides a platform for them to express their ideas and opinions on books. Goodreads is a great site as it allows me to look online and find a whole lot of books that I may be interested in. In doing this, it will allow me to find new content for my Digital Artefact.


5 ) Source Five: PaperFury

This website is a source that I looked at when starting my blog. It gave me a lot of design ideas that I could incorporate into my blog and make it look more professions. I found this source helpful, because it has quite good content that gives me some ideas and inspiration on what I could post next on my blog as well as layout options that would enhance my blog. I also believe this source is effective as it keeps me up to date with other events that are happening in the book world, like when books are coming out etc.


6 ) Source Six: For Dummies

This website is a great breakdown on how to effectively write a blog post. I believe this is an effective source because it gives you tips on how to develop an effective writing style and voice as well as how to attract readers. I believe these are great tips for me in relation to my Digital Artefact as I’m trying to find my voice when blogging and feel as if these suggestions are quite useful.


7 ) Source Seven: Book Depository

The book depository is a great site for buying books for a very reasonable prices. I will be using this site as I use my book blog, because I can get great deals on the books and not spend as much money as I would when going to an actual book shop. I have already used this site a number of times to order books from and it have had quite successful book hauls from it. Overall this site is an effective site to use as it will allow me to buy some more books that I can further use in the Digital artefact when it comes to reviews.


8 ) Source Eight: Amazon

Amazon can be used as both a platform in which I can buy books, as well as a platform where I can add my reviews. Amazon has a wide selection of books to look for, just like Goodreads, however, it’s a more used platform for all audiences interested in books. Because of this, I would like to start putting up my reviews to this site in order to gain a wider audiences interest. In doing this, this will allow me to create a wide community from different media points.  Overall I will be using this site to buy books from as well as post my reviews.


9 ) Source Nine: Peruse Project

This source is obviously a YouTube one that Regan Runs. She is another book blogger who gives me ideas and inspires me to do some of the posts that I do. I believe that she is an effective source to use as as reliable one as she effectively talks about the books that she reviews in a way that is very informative and yet entertaining, which is what I’m trying to do with my blog. Again, she was another book blogger that I stumbled upon when I was just starting out my blog and I think that she is a great example of what I want my blog to be like, quirky, entertaining and informative. I can effectively use her a source as I think that her videos will give me a range of other things that could be fun to post on my blog.


10 ) Source Ten: The Writing Center

This source is from a college of arts and science blog, where they specifically have a section for how to do a book review. I believe this source is very reliable and has some great information that I can take on for my digital artefact. It has some great information and tips on how to summaries the content from the book into an effective review. Out of all the sources I believe this one is the best that I have picked and I think I will be using this to help me with writing effective book reviews for my blog.


Transmedia narratives and Sherlock Holmes

Transmedia narratives or storytelling is a process where elements of a fiction are dispersed across a variety of multiple channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience for the audience. Each medium that the narrative is on takes on its own unique contribution to the story and how the audience interacts with the narrative. This kind of narrative storytelling is effectively used in relation to Sherlock Holmes, through both old legacy and newer medias.


Click this and I’ll unpack this for you in the Prezi!

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A new type of media has been introduced to me this week – Glitch art. I had absolutely no clue what it was until I was shown a picture of it in action so I’m going to add some bellow for you.

These glitch art photos were done by an artist called Sabato Visconti. His photography messes with the digital properties of a photograph in order to create a glitched piece of art. These photographs that Visconti creates are surreal and atmospheric, and are appeared to be the work of an abstract painter. He first came across glitch art through accident, when a friend was having problems with a card reader, which was making a distorted image. The artist then took this further, figuring out how to produce that kind of effect without the broken card reader, and adding and taking away from the code of a picture to create a new interesting glitch in a photograph.  This is a great new source of expression which allows individuals to manipulate a photograph in a very unique and crazy way, creating a very unexpected result.

“If a glitch is a visual manifestation of an unexpected malfunction in source code or other technology, then glitch art is an exploitation of that in the name of expression.”

There are also a load of very different way that you can create glitch art that doesn’t just include a compute based program. These can include: Circuit-bending where you rewrite or alter the circuit within the device, Data bending which allows you to manipulate data files by opening a file in a program designed to open another and lastly datamoshing where individuals intentionally distort media through a loss of data during a file compression process.

(Left – Circuit Bending , Middle – Data Bending , Right – Datamoshing)

The essence of glitch art is a that humans subject themselves to technology and exert control over it to a greater of lesser extent in order to produce an artwork. This whole idea of glitch art relies heavily on the individual taking the medium into their own hands in order to create something creative and different – which is in this day and age easier because of the changing nature of media.

Without the ability for individuals to create and respond to the media this kind of art form would never have been dreamed of. So a new piece of glitch at with a unique and developed narrative beyond the default concepts that drive the medium become very valuable because it helps push the boundaries of what we expect to come out of this movement.

How to do glitch Art: YouTube Tutorial

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Audiences in the Media

Media convergence is basically the merging of mass media like television, radio, the internet along with portable and interactive technologies through various digital media platforms. Today I will be talking about the effects that media convergence has on an audience and the power that the audience can hold in the media because of it, Enjoy!


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Technology Addiction

I thought I would take a different stance in this week’s blog post, while a lot of people were looking at the debate of which phone is better, this sparked some interest for me. Why do we feel the need to have these kind of debates about phones, is it really necessary?

We are in a day and age where we are constantly attached to our phones. They become the medium to the message, the extra arm we thought we needed. We get into arguments over the type of phone we have, and what it can and can’t do. Everything we do has to involve technology.

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You could say this is a good thing, technology gives us access to information that we could only dream about, right? We don’t have to look through libraries for hours on end to find a simple answer to our questions, because everything is in the internet. Which is great, who wants to spend that much time finding an answer to a question? But, the thing is, there is so much information out there that we don’t exactly know what to do with it. Have you ever had to write an essay and found so many sources for it that you just become so overwhelmed with all the information? I know I sure have.

However, there is a down side to our addiction to technology. As we become more ‘connected’ to the world and the people around us we slowly stop actually communicating to other in the real world. And not only that, we also become so very depended on our phones, computers and even the internet. technology-and-enmeshment.jpeg

We stay up late in the dark scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr anything that hold our attention for long enough. We take on information about other people’s lives, what they are doing, what they are thinking or wearing. We even document our own lives, what we are eating, how we are feeling. We Constantly over stimulated and connected to the internet, to the point where we fall asleep and then wake up again we are straight on our phones. It’s interesting how much we rely on technology. They are like the portals to our life, the things that hold all our secrets, information and stats. Have you ever tried to type in a friend’s phone number of the top of your head, no, because we rely so heavily on the phone remembering it so we don’t have to. Hey even I’m guilty of it.

It’s so easy to connect with people through this new technology that it has become a part of our lives, and in turn out daily routine. Checking in on our phones and the internet has become a ritual when we are ‘bored’, whether it’s of we are waiting for class to start or even talking to people at lunch.

I found an interesting article which highlights our Technology addiction very effectively, and I highly suggest that you read it. It’s uncanny how similar I feel like I relate to the article, and I wonder of you feel the same way?


So, this weeks topic is copyright. So what exactly is copyright?

“It is the exclusive assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical materials”

57059146.jpgCopyright laws are contained in the Australian Commonwealth Copyright act of 1968, which gives exclusive rights to the owner of materials to reproduce materials and even the right to show their work in a public domain without the fear of their materials being used without their consent. Any material in Australia that is made becomes protected as soon as it is put into material form, like being written or even recorded.

There have been many instances where copyright has been claimed on specific materials, like Disney and their Mickey mouse rights, or even in YouTube videos.

Mickey-Mouse-Curve-1-e1451928012325.pngIn the United States, the copyright duration has changed quite a few times, especially
when it involves the famous cartoon character Mickey Mouse. Disney owns the loveable character Mickey mouse till the year 2023, which is crazy, because it seems like ages away. Now, Disney hasn’t always had this expiry date, over the year they have been furiously lobbying and pushing for changes to the Copyright Act in order to keep their beloved Mickey mouse firmly in their control, and not in the control of the public domain. They only have a couple of more years till their control over the character will drop and it will become available to the public, which is something they are working on franticly.

Copyright can be a good way to protect the creator of materials original work, however it can become quite excessive, which is shown in the Disney and Mickey Mouse case. And in doing this, the downside would be that people wouldn’t be able to improve Mickey with new creative ideas because of the whole copy right act. Who knows, maybe the beloved character could be improved on, or even freshened up, but without the rights to do this we can’t exactly do much.



The Medium is the message?

So what does it mean when Marshall McLuhan say’s the medium is in the message?  It is mentioned in the reading ‘what is the meaning of the medium is the message‘ as the personal and social consequences of any medium – of any extension of ourselves –  results from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.

In simpler terms it really just means that the medium which is seen as the extension of ourselves is the message – the change of scale, pace or pattern. Sound good so far?

This is an interesting theory, once you get your head around it (trust me I’m still trying). A couple of good examples were brought up in the BCM112 lecture, where Ted (the lecturer) was talking about the lecture hall being a medium (Yes, bear with me!). So he was saying that the message to the medium is our topic for that weeks lecture. If the set up of the medium were different – for example the lecture hall was fully lit, there wasn’t a screen behind the lecturer and everybody was on equal ground – the message would be absorbed and interpreted  differently due to power being removed from the lecturer. I guess out of all the examples that was given during this week this is the one that stuck with me more and made it easier to understand.

So overall the whole ‘the medium is the message’ is a paradoxical statement, which focuses on the form of the media and the medium rather than the content/message itself.

A paradoxical statement is one that seems absurd or is contradictory, which is very much present in the statement ‘the medium is the message’ as a medium can perform on its own without a message effectively, however without a message having a medium, the message will no longer exist.


Again, in the lecture it was said that the change in our societal or cultural ground conditions indicates the presence of a new message, that is, the effects of a new medium. So the medium platforms constantly change over time: from linear or sequential mediums such as papyrus scrolls to books, where there is access to random texts which don’t necessarily need to be read in order, to internet pages, where the information is all no-linear and most of our information can be accessed through the use of hyper texts. As the medium platform becomes more advanced, many of the old mediums are disregarded as they become upgraded and the messages change.

This is an interesting point to consider as our mediums are upgrading with the messages, however, what does this mean for older medium platforms? Well, in reality, in a way they become extinct. For example, we talked about a papyrus scroll and how it was a linear medium. If there were papyrus scrolls used in todays day in age, I can bet there would be many people complaining about how annoying it would be, which is why they were updated into a more non-linear function. And the old media becomes extinct within society.