The end of IAB260 (Wrap up)

When I signed up for IAB260 I really had no idea what it would entail besides what I researched from the QUT overview. I hadn’t really planned on doing the subject but in the end, thought I could use the change for the business/tech oriented subjects I had been doing. I am definitely glad I had done!

From the moment we started we had been told we would no longer be using blackboard which honestly made me a little worried since I had not experienced this in any other subject but what a great idea it turned out to be. In turn we ended up using a custom site with assessment and weekly learning activities and google + community where we all connected and discussed weekly activities and what we had learnt in class. Although being a bit awry about the change it turned out to work and flow very well and I wish more classes had this particular set up. It gave me an opportunity to explore and learn something new especially with having to create my own blog for the weekly learning activities and blog submissions. I had never had a blog before and never really wanted to, however, after creating my own for the class I have been really enjoying it and will probably keep on posting about other classes in the future.

One of the hardest things I found during the course of IAB260 was having to do critical reflections for the weekly activities, I really struggle to write about myself and other topics if I don’t find them interesting and I found a couple of the weeks subjects were not all that exciting for me. I think if I had spent more time researching the subjects I could have got into it a bit more and enjoyed it but I found that I really lacked the motivation at times.

In week 2/3 we had to come up and brainstorm ideas of an Online Identity and post in the community what our identity or our ‘Type’ was and a ‘Quote’ to go with it. Although this was a relatively minor task I really struggled trying to come up with one for myself. In the end I decided this:
Type: Facebook during everything
Quote: S%#T! Im dead! Ill check fb for 4 seconds while i wait for respawn
It may seem a bit silly but that’s really what my Online Identity is, especially through social media. Before this class Facebook was my only social network and I generally checked it only after being killed in a game and alt tabbing for the few seconds the respawn takes.

For this subject we had 2 assignments. Assignment 1 was a Persona, Identity Map and a critical reflection of the task. Assignment 2 was the submission of 3 activity posts and the final wrap up post (which I am trying to finish now). Assignment 1, although proving quite difficult, was really interesting to me as I had never even heard of an Identity Map and hadn’t had anything to do with creating a Persona. With the Identity Map it really made me think about my online presence, what I actually use and how they come together. I did find out after creating the ID Map that if I didn’t have Facebook or play video games I would rarely be online at all…. weird.

My Identity Map for Assignment 1

My Identity Map for Assignment 1

The persona was a little less challenging in the information aspect of things, which really only took me a couple of days to add, but I really took my time when it came to the actual layout of the poster. I am in no means an ‘artistic’ person and had only used a Photoshop like program a couple of times in my life. After viewing all the other students posters in the cube building, I realised I probably should of spent a little more time and effort on it, but I am still happy with the way it turned out nonetheless.

My finished Persona Poster

My finished Persona Poster

One of the more interesting things I learnt about in this subject was how to properly attribute or reference an image. In the past I had always just saved and thrown an image into one of my documents without actually knowing that you had to attribute the image. This is up there with the most useful things I have learnt in this subject, which I started using starting from Week 6. You can see the way I have attributed images in my Week 6 blog here.

As I am coming to the end of this unit I can say that I have really enjoyed it and have taken a lot of new knowledge away from this while also having recommended it to a few fellow QUT students who were unsure of the subjects they had chosen for semester 2, 2015. The subject was really well structured and the content was not too much, not too little. At times it was a little bit stressful but Kate, who did a great job running the subject, was always there for help.

 

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How Artists’ have evolved using online communities in social media spaces

Social media is incredibly popular in this day and age, with roughly 29% of the worlds population having at least 1 active social media account according to an info graph on wearesocial.net. One of the main online media spaces are called ‘Online Communities’ which are spaces where people with similar interests can come together and actively participate in sharing, discussing and learning different topics; from artwork to DIY’s, photography to politics, if you can think of it chances are there is already one out there.

In my opinion one of the heaviest population of users are Artists’, with a huge number of spaces dedicated solely to artists’ and artwork with sites such as DeviantArt.com with ‘according to wikipedia’ over 25 million members as of 2013 and applications and platforms such as Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest.. Not to mention the huge amount of blog spots just for Artists’ and sharing artwork.

Social media has really helped by giving artists’ a way to discuss, share and recreate artwork with other artists and even people who aren’t doing the artwork themselves but enjoy looking at other peoples work. The main advantage however, is the fact the artist now has a means of showing the world their artwork. In a not so long ago past, the only way you could get your artwork out to be viewed would be via museums and smaller art galleries and most up and coming artists would never have a chance. Julie King from todaymade.com quoted that ‘Images are King on social media’ which is a very true statement. If you look at the news feed on Facebook every 2nd post is a picture and you find yourself skipping the text and going from picture to picture, being that they stand out and are simple to decipher. In the same article here it shows just how powerful social media and communities can be for artists’ wanting to share their work with 4 basic steps;
1. Create a virtual gallery (This is to generate a fanbase over a period of time)
2. Spread the word online about your gallery and upcoming events (To keep people interested and up to date)
3. Teach others your methods (People often look at artwork and want to incorporate those styles for themselves)
4. Sell! (Put a price on some of your pieces of work)
Without online communities this would have been a much different story and chances are no one would ever see your work.

As incredible and rapidly evolving artwork has been created, shared and discussed over the last decade due to online communities, it is not without its downsides. According to this interesting article by Brian Sherwin some of the main cons to sharing art in an online community is
– unhelpful feedback from other members regardless of work quality
– cultivation of uninformed opinions such as copyright law being spread from one community to another

All in all online communities for artwork and the way artists’ use them have changed the way art will be viewed forever and is a great way for anyone who wants to get their work out into the world.

Julie Neidlinger (2013) How Visual Artists Can Use Social Media To Get Famous (Sorta), Available at: https://todaymade.com/blog/social-media-artists/ (Accessed: 11th May 2015).

Brian Sherwin (2011) Online Art Community: The pros and cons of online art groups,Available at: http://faso.com/fineartviews/35111/online-art-community-the-pros-and-cons-of-online-art-groups (Accessed: 11th May 2015).

A day in the life – My Online Record

What is lifelogging? Well Lifestream Blog puts it into perspective by saying “Lifelogging is the process of tracking personal data generated by our own behavioral activities.

As technology moves forward our obsession for it moves forward as well so it doesn’t surprise me how popular it is becoming. These tools or gadgets come in many different forms from web services such as Daytum, to gadgets and sensors such as google glasses and fitness tracking watches, to mobile apps that count steps or can track sleep patterns.

sony-life-logging-app-and-kit-gadget-trackers-life-news-handbagcom
Photo by Handbag.com (License CC 3.0)

Am I worried about life-logging? Leaving a trail of my life online?
I have never really thought about it. When I do think about it, nothing comes to mind because I don’t use any life-logging or quantified self tools, except for maybe Facebook if you can count that as one. It seems like it is the only ‘life-logging’ tool I use because of the way it saves your activity. I can go back and check posts I have made and commented on from when I first signed up in 2011 and it is very easy to see the difference.

I decided to track my life-logging for a day to see how much I really logged. Not that I was overly concerned just thought it would be an interesting idea, even though I can basically only track it with Facebook, which makes this similar to the logging I used for my Identity Map. Anyway here is a donut graph of my time spent logging for the day (which is really boring).

Untitled Infographic

See! Boring…. Because I don’t use any gadgets or have any apps on my phone that can be classified as a ‘life-logging’ tool I have had to base this off of social media, which, in a way is a form of life-logging and the only one that I use.

I guess in a way life-logging is like keeping an online journal of self data from your own behavioural activities, whether it is through commenting or posting on Facebook or using an app from the app store that will track how many steps you take a day and give you goals to break, or an app that tracks each night of your sleeping so you can track a sleeping pattern. Is this a good thing? I think yes, but in a way no. Yes because the forward motion of technology makes it easier and easier to live each day by basically giving us many of what used to be a challenge or a hassle on a plate. But no because I think there is a lot of privacy and ethical problems that people will find without giving it any second thought.

Anyway, if you have read this blog and you’re thinking you just jump right into some self quantified activities straight away, Daytum is a cool website you can look into to begin with where you can log data each day to keep a track of it and share with others.

Lifestream Blog (2015) Lifelogging/Quantified Self, Available at:http://lifestreamblog.com/lifelogging/ (Accessed: 23rd April 2015).

Social Media and Natural Disasters

So this week i’m blogging a about Social Media being used during Natural Disasters plus the impact that it has on the community and whether or not I would use Social Media if I was in a natural disaster.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/djackmanson/5358454125/
Sightseers on the Inner City Bypass inspecting the flooded Coronation Drive, Brisbane City/Milton – Flooding in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia January 11 2011 110112
PHOTO BY DAVID JACKMANSON
Taken on January 12, 2011
(License – CC Attribution 4.0 International – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)


I found a really cool article (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-11/how-twitter-covered-the-queensland-floods/3767166) on the abc website which shows a breakdown of a project of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation which involved the Queensland Police Service media account ‘@QPSMedia’ coverage on Twitter of the 2011 Queensland Floods and the impact it had for users all around queensland.

More than 35,000 tweets using the #qldfloods tag were used between January 10 and January 16 2011. The most influential of these were the Queensland Police Services “#QPSmedia” which was always one step ahead of other media outlets giving what was said as ‘timely and relevant information to the public’. There is a whole report done on just the relevance of QPSmedia on twitter during the 2011 Queensland Floods – http://mappingonlinepublics.net/2012/01/11/cci-report-on-qldfloods-and-qpsmedia-in-the-2011-floods/

qldfloods-dissemination-key-tweets-data
INFOGRAPHIC: Dissemination of tweets for leading #qldfloods accounts between January 10 and January 16, 2011.(By Axel Bruns, http://mappingonlinepublics.net/)

I thought this info graphic was awesome and shows just how many tweets/retweets/replies the #QPSMedia were getting, along with the other popular media twitter accounts like #abcnews, @612Brisbane, @Couriermail and @sunriseon7

This article has done a great job in breaking down the ‘not so easy’ to read project report itself and has given graphs and smaller snippets of the relevant information. It just goes to show the rising impact of social media in more serious areas like emergencies and natural disasters where you can receive important information and advice on the fly.. not having to be in front of the TV waiting for a journalist to feed you the repeated updates of the situation all day while they wait for some more information.

Would I be using social media if I were caught in a Natural Disaster? In this day and age it would be ridiculous not to. There are so many benefits compared to older methods of reading the newspaper and watching the news on TV such as having automatic updates wherever you are, keeping in touch with family and giving updates on your situation while phone lines are down and just generally having a more reliable way to find fast, informative news which could save a lot of stress and hassle.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/raeallen/5350802456
A bit surreal seeing the dinosaurs in the flood like this
PHOTO BY RAE ALLEN
Taken on January 13, 2011
(License – CC Attribution 2.0 Generic – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

 

Week 4: My understanding of an ‘online community’

My Understanding of an online community is a virtual place or page where people come to connect and share interests or work together in many different scenarios. These can go from an online community solely created for leisure and fun to a community built to gain a better understanding in a certain industry or for a certain product.

In my opinion the characteristics of an online community, or the characteristics an online community should have are as follows;

Engagement
The community should have engagement and interaction from or with everyone who is involved. If there was no engagement from members what would be the point of having the community in the first place?

Conversations
Of course the community should have conversations, not just formal or un-formal posts on the subject or subjects. Real engaging conversations, which, in my opinion makes people feel more at home and comfortable within the community.

Culture
A community should not be limited to a single narrow audience. It should share culture and expand its community by giving users a means to engage in a completely different culture and find out what others think about the same interests from all walks of life.

Relevant Content
This is fairly straight forward. There needs to be relevant content in the community to stay on track and keep the users from dispersing to a different community.

Member Rating
I believe having a member rating in an online community is a good way to encourage users to contribute good content, sort of like a reward system. Having a member rating also gives other users of the community a way to search the higher and more intelligent users for any more serious questions or feedback they have.

Administration
Administration is always needed in online communities to prevent the content from becoming toxic and keep members posting with relevant information. This is also used to ensure there are penalties on users who abuse the system or other members eg. trolling, posting ads on website, posting disallowed content.

The 6 characteristics listed above are some of the main characteristics of an online community. Without the following characteristics it would be difficult to keep a successful online community alive.

If you take a look at the following ‘successful’ online communities you will see some of the characteristics I have mentioned that are required.
These are 5 of some of the most popular ‘Online Communites’;

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/
(1.39 Billion Active Users – Most popular social networking site)
fb_icon_325x325

Google Plus Communities
https://plus.google.com/communities
(540 Million Active Users)
Google-Plus-Communities

WhatsApp
https://www.whatsapp.com/
(700 Million Active Users)
unnamed

Twitter
https://twitter.com/?lang=en
(284 Million Active Users)
twitterlogo

Skype
http://www.skype.com/en/
(300 Million Active Users)
skype-logo-open-graph
These are some of the most active Online Communities today all of which have hundreds of millions of users and upwards so you can see how rapidly growing Online Communities are growing.How many are you a part of?

Week 2 – How will I manage my online identity?

So how am I going to manage my online identity this semester?
I will probably try and connect with others from the unit through the google community and other platforms to gain as much feedback as I can, especially in the first few weeks when everything is new and I have no idea what the hell i’m doing.
The whole ‘no blackboard’ thing still scares me…

I wonder if anyone else is thinking the same thing….

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