ALANA JC

Just figuring out my future...

Category: Networked Media (page 1 of 2)

Semester 1 2016 RMIT

‘Once Upon a Term Paper’- Assessment Task 3 Hypermedia Story

‘Once Upon a Term Paper’- by Amateurs Online 

Reflection

Throughout the duration of this course, the concept of an extension of hypertext has appeared often in relation to how users of digital platforms interact with a wide variety of media. ‘Hypermedia’, as the non-linear medium inclusive of video, images, audio, plain text, and hyperlinks, enhances the message being communicated to the view as a form of broad electronic literature. In Network Literacy: The New Path to Knowledge (Miles, 2007), it is contended that the ‘containers’ in which knowledge is conveyed in has changed in the movement into the 21st century, in that mediums such as blogs and visual interpretations of information has overtaken traditional mediums such as tactile books. The extension of this change can be seen in the use of hyperlinks, becoming a source of further learning and spread of information.

Douglass states that “it is hardly likely that digital media like hypertext are going to supersede books” (Douglass 1999). Even with the rise of new digital mediums such as more powerful video games and the internet expanding, the book continues to have its own place. He also states that the advancement of books help to continue their popularity. This continues to be evident as we now have the new ways of consuming books through ebooks and audio books with services such as Audible and the Kindle.

Hypertext reminds me a lot of modern video games. In the past, video games either had no narrative, their narratives were linear or they gave the illusion that they were non-linear. This is what inspired us with our interactive story. There are games, some examples include The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, and Stanley’s Parable’ that have multiple endings and each person’s gameplay can be different from another. Our story is created on flash. Visually it is not amazing which we understand will fail when trying to grab the attention of the audience. However the technical side works and allows flexibility. If given more time and resources, our story would have been much more fleshed out and allow the reader to completely dictate some areas of the story such as character names. Currently, our hypertext story contains different outcomes and each play through can be different depending on the number of times a reader has read the story. Currently there are only four outcomes. If we were able to add sections where the audience can completely change a part of the story, then each time a new entry is made, it is a whole new story even if it is a slight adjustment. Bernstein describes hypertexts as having “embedded and irregular links suggest the wildness of nature, where thumb tabs, lists, and menus all suggest systematic order.” (Herzogenrath 2012). Unfortunately our story does not contain as much interaction as this description of hypertext. Our goal was not to make it as sophisticated as the stories on The Walking Dead and Stanley’s parable. However we believe that with more technical knowledge, our hypertext can be further expanded on.

Douglass states that hypertext “is a primitive example of a highly refined technology” (Douglass 1999). With modern technology, this may change soon with more authors allowing the audience to add in their stories therefore expanding the narrative further than the original author can. This can be seen in sandbox games such as Fallout 4 and Minecraft where users often add in their own stories.

Assignment #2- Finding My Community

Facebook is many things to different people. Whether you use it to share information about your life on a daily basis, or simply sit back and scroll through everyone else’s problems. It can be used to follow interests such as AFL, a favourite author or even keep tabs on your favourite restaurants and cafes. You can check-in and review the places you go, because literally almost everyone and everything has a Facebook link to their name. However, I became involved in a particular community just a few months ago. Facebook groups were introduced in 2010 and revolve around communication, sharing and interaction with people you have commonalities with. The Dingley Village Community Noticeboard (DVCN), is a Facebook group designed for residents of Dingley Village. Some outsiders can be included if they have connection to the village i.e attend school, or own a local business.

Like most online communities, the DVNC have rules and regulations  and are run by a group of stay at home mothers, who are very involved within the community. The group is ‘closed,’ meaning others can see it but must request to join, it has nearly 4,000 members. Based on my experience to date within the community I’ve found it very difficult to contribute information without the risk of being criticised or humiliated. I personally haven’t experienced this, however I have seen it happen to many other people. Unfortunately I was unable to screenshot any examples of this behaviour for my blog as admins are quite quick to delete them. They also threaten to remove those involved from the group altogether.

I’ve learnt a lot about writing to an audience within my community. Oatway’s reading highlighted the important factors about reaching your audience. For example, when I first joined the group, I sat back and watched the page to see how others posted and responded to certain people. And when I finally made my first post I made sure it was relevant to those within the community and sure enough I sparked genuine responses from my neighbours. (Ignore the first sarcastic comment, that was my sister).

In terms of NOT reaching your audience, i’ve also witnessed other uses post ridiculous questions, often seeking attention or trying to be funny. Unsuccessful in their attempt, the post is removed by admin. I haven’t made a large amount of posts to the page, however I still involve myself in other people’s feeds. For example, a lady once posted a very negative comment regarding my place of work. I stood up for myself and my colleges and thus a spark of replies were created, once again, the post was unfortunately removed. Most of those involved within my community use it correctly, with the exception to those few who abuse the page. So far I have found the page very rewarding when it comes to passing on messages that will affect parts or all of the village. On the other hand, I had to turn off notifications for the group, as there are way too many posts that clog my newsfeed. Although, the DVCN allows me to share messages with my neighbours, I still question myself with every post I make in fear it will be ridiculed and abused.

Bibliography:

  • Oatway, Jay, Apr 26, 2012, Mastering Story, Community and Influence : How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader Wiley, Hoboken. 97-109. ISBN: 9781119943457.

The pro’s and con’s..

Unfortunately not everyone within your community will cooperate. It can be seriously hard to post anything online without being criticised or someone commenting something sarcastic. My post was genuine and sparked real responses. Whereas, poor John asked a question regarding if Playhouse was kid friendly, and for those who don’t know, Playhouse is a very ratty nightclub.  Hence the sarcastic and rude comments some people gave him.

 

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Dingley Village Community Facebook Page

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My Community

Interestingly enough my online community ‘network’ is my real life living community as well. I live in a very proud village in the south eastern suburbs. Dingley Village with the postcode 3172, have some extremely patriotic residents. Not only does a person’s address declare them a part of this community, but their involvement in the closed Facebook group  does more so. With nearly 4,000 members, the noticeboard was designed “to be safe and helpful, a place where you can advertise Business & Service Directories (recommendations/referrals), list Events (such as local fundraisers), make specific requests (such as seeking donations etc.) This was what I was expecting when I joined the group just a few months ago, however I was genuinely mislead….

 

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Dingley Village Community Noticeboard Rules

General Rules :-
1) Bullying, harrassment, slander, threats and general abuse to any member or admin will not be tolerated

2) Racist, bigoted, inflammatory, pornographic, discriminatory, or any other offensive content/posts/comments will not be tolerated

3) There is to be NO public naming or shaming of any community members or any businesses. All issues are to be handled in private.

4) Any concerns members may have are to be directed to admin only, not other members to then relay back to the admin team.

5) Members will not denegrate other members or admin.
Our main concern is to keep it a positive and safe environment for all members and therefore we have zero tolerance for anyone that decides to engage in the above behaviour. If a member chooses to do so it may result in an immediate ban from the page.

We ask all members to be mindful of other’s feelings. You may post something in jest but since it’s so hard to portray emotion in social media, it may well upset or offend someone. In this instance, if such a member asks you to delete the offending post/comment/picture, instead of taking offence, getting nasty or sarcastic, or going on the attack in any way, please consider removing it or bringing any issue up with admin.

Finding my community

I found the week 8 reading one of the most useful in terms of ‘finding my community’. Becoming a part of something online sounds super easy, however until you actually attempt it you realise how difficult it can be. Oatway highlights the best road to take when it comes to trying to engage in an online community, he refers to it as The Big Five. In brief, he discusses bloggers which is an identity we are all building on within this course. He also mentions the use of professional social media groups, and what makes them gain maximum followers. You’ll notice online groups that are open to the public receive the most attention, for obvious reasons. Of course the more keen bloggers will find interest in private communities, which Oatway encourages readers to try and join.

Oatway believes the best way to interact with a community is to of course, follow them first, but also keep track of what is posted. When comfortable begin commenting and replying to others with the community and hopefully you’ll soon “begin to find your place”.

 

Oatway, Jay, Apr 26, 2012, Mastering Story, Community and Influence : How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader Wiley, Hoboken. 97-109. ISBN: 9781119943457.

 

Cowbird

If I had to define an online community Cowbird would have to be my first example. With over 87,000 stories and 73,000 authors, anyone can read and contribute to all the online content. Of course you’re encouraged to create an account or ‘become a citizen’, however visitors are more than welcome.

What I like the most about this rather large online community is the ability to search a keyword and 9 times out of 10 get results . The layout of their website is also very easy to navigate and explore which makes it far more appealing.

My Book

I feel as though Facebook works as my own personal community, where I can choose whom I wish to share my stories with. Not only can I write freely to my ‘friends’ but the addition of Facebook Groups allows you to get closer to a certain collection of people. For example, I am involved in multiple ‘groups’ including, RMIT Media, Dingley Dingoes Netball etc. Within these groups I have the ability to share specific information with the people who have the same interests as me.

Comments can be made and before you know it interaction occurs and a community is created.

Picture Perfect

A loved hobby of mine is photography, something I considered as a career path however decided I’d just keep it as a side passion. I get asked occasionally to photograph people, and last weekend I was happy to work for one of my favourite little families. Chris and Rick required family photos of their nearly one year girl Eliza. Pretty perfect looking family right there 😉
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