This was blog was created as part of an assessment piece for a subject that I completed in Semester 1 of 2010. I have since completed the unit and received a 6 for the subject overall. I quite enjoyed writing these blog entries, and might in the future continue to muse about New Media and the Creative Industries, however for now I am focusing on my Pop Culture blog over at AMPED+DANGEROUS

I am still available over email, and continue to check the comments of this blog. So please feel free to comment and connect.


Blogging, a sure fire way to gratify yourself.

“User-generated content on the internet, civic engagement and
psychological empowerment have received significant interest in recent years due to the Web 2.0 phenomenon” (Leung, 2009, p. 1329). This is probably due to the burst in social and new media platforms that users of the internet are inundated with day in and day out. These include Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Youtube and a variety of other resources that allow for users to produce and view content (Leung, 2009, p. 1329).
However, Leung does argue that amongst the variety of reasons that users indulge and continue in producing content for the web, two separate reasons have been founded during his research as being significant (Leung, 2009). I concur with Leung with these reasons, when reflecting on why I produce content via my personal blog.
The first being, the psychological empowerment users experience when engaging in producing content for the net (Leung, 2009). For example, the more content a user generates regarding a topic they are either interested in or have high knowledge about, the more they feel empowered, psychologically, when producing content on the web. The second is that in order for a user to be motivated to continue producing content, the user must feel recognised for their work whilst their social needs met (Leung, 2009).
I feel that these two theories may actually go hand in hand, in my case. I started writing a blog, only late last year as a creative outlet. I don’t always feel motivated to produce this content through recognition but more so to feel psychologically empowered. However when I do receive comments, “likes” and “retweets” of my blog, I feel both gratified and recognised as being someone worth listening to, and this definitely motivates me to produce more content.

Leung, L. (2009). User-generated content on the internet: an examination of gratifications, civic engagement and psychological empowerment. New Media Society 11(8), 1327-1347. Retrieved May 27, 2010, from


Currently writing an essay.

(Image retrieved May23, 2010, from
This week was solely dedicated to the students in KCB201 to formulate and work on our final essays for this subject. We have been provided with a plethora of resources that might aid us in writing our ideas regarding our chosen topics.
One resource that has caught my eye is a visual guide to essay writing by authors Rao, Krishnan and Chanock (2007). I am a very visual person when it comes to academic essays and university assignments in general (this is largely thanks to being born in a family of musicians, artists and dancers who are ­all academics). So this resource was very appealing and informational.
It is quite sensible to me to think of my essay as an “anthropological skeleton” (Rao, Chanock & Krishnan, 2007) where it has a skull (an introduction), a body and a conclusion. I take this idea further in my essays and conclude that within each paragraph and idea is to include a skull, body and conclusion to it.  I have also noted from my past experience that when I write essay that have graded quite highly, they all required three elements.
  1. The topic of choice needs to be of a high interest for me. If it is a generic topic that seems to have no relevance to my interest, I strive to choose examples and case studies that both appeal to me and can be applied effectively to the essay. This ensures that I am able to both enjoy the writing process but also may show a deeper understanding to the topic.
  2. A well written hypothesis that has been formulated at the beginning of my essay writing. Without a well constructed hypothesis I am unable to begin my essay as a hypothesis is the core ideas of an essay condensed into a couple of sentences.    
    And lastly…
  3. A lot of coffee and good music. :)
Rao, V., Chanock,  K., & Krishnan, L. (2007). A visual guide to essay writing: how to communicate and develop academic argument. Canberra: Association for Academic, Language and Learning. Retrieved May 23, 2010, from


Blogs: Why one writes it, and how its slowly taking over the fashion industry.

The concept of blogging is not a new one. Once could compare blogging to keeping of a journal or a diary for example. It is simply the publication of thoughts and or opinion a user wishes to convey on a public sphere; the internet (Pick, n.d.). Blogs have definitely been around on the internet for some time, however it is only recent that I have noticed that blogs, and bloggers alike are being taken more seriously on a professional and credible level – especially in the fashion industry (Gault, 2010).

Pick (n.d.) discusses that are many motivations that encourage users to blog their thoughts away, as a revenue scheme, a way for users to earn recognition and self validation as well as a way of gaining employment opportunities. Weller (2007) on the other hand suggests that not only does it save time and resources, but also exploits the platform as an easy form of information dissemination. However it is stressed that in order to have a successful and influential blog, its subject matter needs to be of a niche nature (Pick, n.d.; McIntosh, 2006). This allows for the blogger to differentiate themselves from thousands of other blogs in order to capture maximum interest.

McIntosh (2006) argues that blogs have the power to influence many individuals, without even realising the act. In my case, this definitely resonates profoundly. I wake up every morning to my Google Reader, for a variety of blog subscriptions to inspire and inform me of news regarding the fashion world. “Style blogs are turning the hierarchical institute of fashion on its head” (Gault, 2010) and forcing fashion lovers of the world to question, how long till Anna Wintour gives up her fashion dictator crown?

Fashion bloggers seated in the front row of a fashion with laptops in hand, side by side with Anna Wintour.
(Image retrieved April 30, 2010, from


Gault, C. (2010, April 22). Look out Anna Wintour, here come the fashion bloggers. National Post. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from

McIntosh, E. (2007). Just because you can blog in one click, doesn’t mean you should. Retreived April 30, 2010, from

Pick, M. (n.d.) How to blog: a beginner’s blog publishing guide. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from

Weller, M. (2007) Is blogging a good use of time? Retrieved April 30, 2010, from

DIY: Health & Wellbeing


Pronunciation: sibĕr-kondrē-ă 
1. The false belief that one is suffering from a disease that was learned about on the Internet or on a specific Website.
MediLexicon, 2006.
Nielsen & Barratt (2009) discussed in their research that teenagers and young adults are increasingly turning to the internet as a primary source of general information. They continue to argue that the information available on the internet is easier to source and understand as the resource can be easily disseminated (Nielsen & Barratt, 2009). Hence it isn’t a surprise to learn, that society is more willing to turn to their keyboards and monitors for a health query than travelling to their nearest general practitioner. A concern that does arrive from such a growing phenomenon is the vast amount of prescription drugs available from online pharmacies and its easy access (Nielsen & Barratt, 2009). Without proper medical consultation or misinformation from these websites, such medication could prove harmful.
Lewis (2006) expands on this shift, where health as an issue is moving from being the shared responsibility of society and government to a more individual level. Though most of us can agree the internet is a great source of information, and perhaps an easier first point of call, one could ask if we are using new media as constructively as we could (Lewis, 2009).
Take my family for example, ours is one that isn’t completely fond of the general practitioners. My cousins and I grew up on my grandmother’s secret blend of herbs and leaves as a cure for almost everything. As such, our family have grown accustomed to more holistic approaches to medicine. Though my mother has not officially been diagnosed with cyberchondria, she definitely sees the internet as a first point of reference for a more natural approach to an illness, rather than “running to the doctor and his pills every time you feel a cold coming on!”
Lewis, T. (2006). Seeking health information on the internet: lifestyle choice or bad attack of
cyberchondria? Media, Culture & Society 28 (4): 521-539. Retrieved April 20, 2010, from
MediLexicon. (2010). Medical Dictionary: Cyberchondria. Retrieved April 22, 2010, from
Nielsen, S. & Barratt, M.J. (2009). Prescription drug misuse: is technology friend or foe? Drug and Alcohol Review, 28 (1), 81-86. Retrieved April 20, 2010, from


Citizen Journalism vs R. Murdoch?

The Internet (and definitely the advent of new media) has in a way impacted on the profession of journalism and journalists alike (Deuze, 2009). This has occurred in two ways; the acceptance of citizen journalism as a legitimate phenomenon and the shift that has occurred where users are going from being a “media consumer to becoming a content (co)-producer” (Deuze, 2009).

New media application such as podcasting, blogging, ‘tweeting’ and vodcasting has allowed the average citizen to produce content worthy of publication, this mainly occurs on the Internet. The ‘people formerly knows as the audience” are now more interested in producing and co-producing content more than mindlessly consuming content (Deuze, 2009). So how does one become a citizen journalist?

These images or recordings are often posted on to Twitter accounts, Blogs, Flikr’s most of the time with the users commenting on the event and sharing the stories with friends. This average user of new media has turned themselves into citizen journalist. Ryan suggests that often, these raw pictures or recordings are treated as sources and are used with permission by journalists for their own stories (2010). Allowing for what Deuze calls a “democratization of media access”.

If a journalist can source these materials and images all from a computer desk, through the act of citizen journalism, one could argue that a journalist doesn’t necessarily require the resources of a big media conglomerate to write a news piece. Allowing for journalists to toy with the idea of freelancing, as opposed to being constricted to a contract perhaps? 

Deuze, 2009. The people formerly known as the Employers. Journalism, Vol. 10, issue 3, pp. 315-318. Retrieved April 21, 2009, from

Ryan, R.  (2010). KCB201 New Media 1: Information and Knowledge [Lecture Notes]. Retrieved April 17, 2010,  from


I Google, Therefore I am.

In 1965, author Ted Nelson suggested that computers, in the future, will allow for users to write and publish information in a new non-linear format (Berner-Lee in Leong, 2010). Nelson referred to this as a “hypertext” (Berner-Lee in Leong, 2010). We can safely say that forty-five years later, that Nelson was onto something. Though it may seem almost invisible, hyper-texting has allowed for a seamless flow of information, where users are able to keep surfing the net to their heart’s content.

The way in which our minds operate has definitely contributed to the success of the hyperlink; by association. “With one item [or story] in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next [item] that is suggested by the association of thoughts” (Bush in Leong, 2010). This idea can work on two levels, firstly that the hypertext allows for an easier transition of thoughts, and suggests to the mind that it needs to continue to the next association of thoughts through a provided (or associated) link. Secondly, when the mind is suggested to follow the next association of thoughts, searches for those ideas are assisted through hyperlinks. 

Search engines and hyperlinks allow for users to gain information and knowledge virtually anywhere and anytime. The internet does not discriminate, anyone from anywhere in the world is able to search for information, allowing for a flow of power rather than a power flow (Castell, 1999). 

Just to re-iterate how powerful searching for information and search engines have become, one only needs to look to the Oxford English Dictionary, and look up the letter ‘G’. Google has now officially become a verb (Lombardi, 2006).

Castell, M. (1999). 'An Introduction to the Information Age' in The Media Reader: Continuity & Transformation. Hugh Mackay & Tim O'Sullivan (eds), London: Sage: 398-410. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from

Leong, S. (2010). KCB201 New Media 1: Information and Knowledge [Lecture Notes]. Retrieved April 17, 2010,  from

Lombardi, C. (2006). Google Joins Xerox as a verb. Retrived April 17, 2010, from


All the World Wide Web is a stage (Pearson, 2009), and all its users merely performers.

(Image retrieved March 26, 2010 from
“People are accustomed to thinking of the online world as a social space” (Donath and Boyd 2004) and as such look to social networking sites to continue their real-world social lives on a platform like Facebook or MySpace. Some critics argue that if a user’s social networking profile includes some of these real-life ties, “in theory, the public display of connections […] should ensure an honest self-presentation” (Donath and Boyd, 2004). However Pearson suspects that this isn’t always the reality (2009).

Pearson considers the idea that the constructions of one’s identity on a platform like Facebook or MySpace is very much a performance (2009). Users construct their online identity relative to their networks (Pearson, 2009). These self-descriptive profiles may include photos, group links, web links and much more all serving a specific purpose: to form the users identity online (Donath and Boyd, 2004 and Pearson, 2009). A current example that can be offered is the vast majority of my friends on my network aimlessly joining different groups or pages on Facebook, for no other reason than to take part in the trend. Whether or not my friends have an affinity to these groups or pages seems to be irrelevant.

Social networking sites allow its users to feature as much or as little information about themselves. The combination of these applications allow for a public display of connection by a user (Donath and Boyd, 2004). Depending on the management of these connections, social ties and networks can either be strengthened (Donath and Boyd, 2004) or hindered (KCB201 Tutorial Discussion, March 25, 2010).

Donath, J. and D. Boyd. (2004). Public displays of connection. BT Technology Journal 22 (4): 71–82. Retrieved March 24, 2010, from

Pearson, E. (2009). All the World Wide Web's a stage: the Performance of Identity in Online Social Networks. First Monday Journal 14 (3). Retrieved March 24, 2010, from