Linking out to gain a profile

I have learned a lot in Networked Media, but probably the one thing that stands out is the hyperlink. I would see these used all the time on websites and blogs, yet I never looked into how to actually create them! I know, I should’ve just googled it. But in this course I have not only learned about hyperlinks, but I’ve also learned more about hypertext and how to best use it, how to link one site to a another site in order to increase you visibility on the net.


In the future I would like to work in the TV or radio scene, and I can see how these principles could be utilised in order to gain valuable results. For example, if I was in charge of promotions at a local radio station, understanding how to make our video page optimised for search engines, how to use hyperlinks to link to not only another page but also to many of our pages, or even just knowing how networks operate and grow would all be vital information and help me do my job to the best of my ability.


Obviously I’ve got a lot more to learn in that area, but I really feel that Networked Media has given me a good platform to move forward from. A bit of a launching pad I guess you could call it…


Also, check out another reflection on the Networked Media course by Jake Farfoud.

Time and Passion

I wish media projects wouldn’t take so much time to complete! I am keen to make more short clips and interesting content in the future for my Church and other places, but the obstacle I always come up against is time! It’s like, ‘Oh I’ve got a great idea for my next project!’ And then as the excitement resides a little it’s then that I remember… ‘Dang, that’s gonna take ages to make.’


But, I think I’m finding that the more I do it, the better I become, and also the quicker that I get at producing, editing, and completing. I guess it’s similar to so much in life, practice makes you better. The more familiar you come to your equipment and editing techniques, the easier each project will become.


I reckon it all comes down to passion. Passion is where your project begins and ends. If you don’t have passion for what you are doing, it’s gonna be a chore. But if you do have passion, you will put in the work to get the result you are after. We need passion to persevere! Steve Jobs talks about passion in the realm of internet companies, and I think it relates to media production too:


It’s hard to tell with these Internet startups if they’re really interested in building companies or if they’re just interested in the money. I can tell you, though: If they don’t really want to build a company, they won’t luck into it. That’s because it’s so hard that if you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up.


Very true.

Summer Food Truck Stop

Well the end of semester is nigh, which means that projects and assignments are getting finished up! Thankfully our TV group in Broadcast Media have just finished our TV project, which is a nice feeling! So I thought I’d post it up on my blog.


Our show is based on the format of Coxy’s Big Break, and we focused on the food truck scene around Melbourne that is steadily rising in popularity. We had a great time filming down in Yarraville, and it was great to meet some of the owners of the food trucks. They are fantastic people who really just wanna make good food, meet people, and create a good vibe around the place. And I reckon they’re doing a pretty good job of it!


So here’s out clip:

ps. the food was pretty good too!


Check out Venessa’s post on Facebook’s Look Back film function, an enjoyable read!



Housemate Heaven

I am about to embark on my first experience of living with people other than family. My siblings have moved out, and in comes one of my old mates from school. Now I’m looking forward to the opportunity, but also kinda wary that not all house sharing experiences turn out happy and healthy. But what if suddenly you did find the perfect housemate, what would it look like? I’d call it Housemate Heaven, and if it ever existed, I think it would look a bit like this…


1. Housemate does the dishes without me saying a word about them.



2. Housemate always puts the seat down after toileting.


3. Housemate never eats my food, or uses up my last bit of milk in the fridge!

Milk and Cereal


4. Housemate shares the vacuuming and household cleaning so it doesn’t look like a pig sty.


5. Housemate always pays their share of the bills on time.



6. Housemate picks up after themselves, rather than leaving stuff lying right throughout the house.

Canon 7D Noise and Banding Example


7. Housemate offers to put out the bins, and he actually does it before the truck comes.

British rubbish truck doing the rounds of Melbourne's suburbs


8. Housemate keeps quiet after 10pm every weeknight.



9. Housemate only watches what I watch on TV.


10. Housemate can cook, and makes my lunch for me each day.

204/365: *Wink*  [Blue]


Okay, so not all these ideas are realistic! But some of them are reasonable, and it does beg the question, if they are things I would like in a housemate, well I better start doing them myself! I guess it’s not fair to expect them of others if I don’t put in a good effort and start the ball rolling.

There’s a challenge…


Oh and check out Mishell’s blog on her apirations in life!


Week 4 Workshop

With the Australia Day holiday on Monday, week 4.1 and 4.2 combined into the one workshop on Wednesday. We were lacking numbers in class so we all gathered around the one table to begin our symposium. The topic was Network Theory, and we discussed examples of networks around us in life and learned various characteristics held by them.


Two important rules that explain how networks operate are the fact that networks are always growing; and as they grow, nodes link to other nodes according to preferential attachment.


Bryan shared an interesting example of preferential attachment as found on the World Wide Web network. He mentioned how YouTube acts as a large hub, and many people link back to YouTube from other sites such as Facebook, private websites, and blogs. The people are working in the same way as nodes because they are linking back to a site with many links already. They are working by preferential attachment, allowing the richest hubs to continue to get richer.


And I’m going to do the same thing right now, as I link to a YouTube video representing how a network grows in this way.


(Warning: repetitive music ensues)



Also, to gain an insight into the challenging life of an international student, check out Bryan’s clever blog here.

Technology and Culture

In the introductory chapter of the Murphy and Potts reading, it was quite interesting to read about the relationship between culture and technology. Both these words are thrown around quite frequently, and as I was reading I realised that I would struggle to give a specific definition of each. Luckily, the reading covered these, even if the definitions themselves were quite general.


So what is technology? I like the definition by Lorenzo Simpson included in the reading:


That constellation of knowledge, processes, skills and products whose aim is to control and transform.


This definition is very broad in order to include the many aspects of political, economic, and cultural life that are a part of the contemporary world we live in. As the definition shows, technology is something that is used for a purpose.


It can refer to a large systems and processes, or it can also relate to the latest in electronics. However, in whatever context the term is used, technology is always used for a purpose. It is used to control objects, or to transform them.


How about culture? Culture is a harder one to pin down. Not only is it always changing over time, but it means different things to different people groups. The definition given by Brian Eno in the reading would have to be one of the clearest definitions I’ve heard:


He defines culture as ‘everything we do not have to do’


Think about that for a moment. There are certain things that we have to do to survive, and then culture comes into the equation when we take those things to town, so-to-speak.


Food is a necessity, yet eating at a fine restaurant is not a must. We need to keep warm or stay cool, but the brand name clothing we buy to do that is not as important. Everyone has to drink fluids, but if you choose to drink alcohol, juice, or coffee, you’ve acted out of your own free will.


There are some things in life that you just have to do, but everything over and above these could be classed in the culture category.



How Networks Operate

The week 4.2 readings by Albert-László Barabási focus on networks and how they operate. Not only are networks found on the Internet, they are also a part of nature and our everyday social lives.


When describing networks, we need to remember that all networks adhere to two laws as they evolve.


1. Networks are always growing, little by little, node by node. They don’t stay the same size.

2. Network nodes link with one another based upon  preferential attachment. Nodes usually link to hubs that are already linked to many other nodes rather than linking to a less connected node. In other words, nodes prefer to link to popular ones, rather than linking to any old node.


The reading shares how the network of Hollywood actors works according to the laws above. The producer chooses actors that have had many roles in the past, because he knows that popular actors will draw bigger crowds than lesser-known actors.


Actors with more links have a higher chance of getting new roles. Albert-László Barabási


Thus, the richer get richer idea is at work here. Popular actors get chosen, whilst making it harder and harder for new actors to enter the scene.


It also works in a similar way in the network of employers. When we go to an employer to find a job, we hand in our resume. Will he choose to hire us? It depends whether you have enough links on your resume and life experience to warrant a job. The employer is usually looking to hire the person who has the most links to the relevant skills, good character, or work ethic required in the vacant position.


In the same way as the Hollywood example, a well-rounded worker with impressive links to the right areas should never have trouble finding work. This is because of preferential attachment, the fact that employers are looking for the best option or choice available.

Networks are all around us

In lieu of the Australia Day Monday classes, we watched a video at home about the power of the Six Degrees of Separation. It was pretty amazing to see how the discovery of network science is opening the way for further understanding of so many different problems and areas of life.



Everything appears to be connected in ways that were absolutely unpredictable just ten years ago, or even five years ago. Professor Marc Vidal


It’s going to completely change the way we think about the world. Duncan Watts


The World Wide Web would be an obvious way that we are connected these days, yet the Six Degrees networking idea is relevant to many examples in life. The video shares how a network is often made up of hubs and nodes of various types and sizes. When I think of hubs around the world, this could be cities, schools, the local supermarket, or even a waterhole that people flock to on a hot day. These are examples of places that are a hub for people, and therefore an area where networking is at play.


Last night I was at the Melbourne Airport, and I feel a place like that gives great insight into the world as a small network. As I wandered through the International  Terminal, I saw many flights on the departure board heading out to all areas of the globe. So many people were all gathered together at the airport from different countries, cultures, and social networks.


And it makes me wonder, if we gathered everyone inside the airport at one time and represented the portion of the world population that they are each connected to, imagine the number of people right across the world that would have connections with the small collection of travellers gathered here in Melbourne!


It is for this reason that the video mentions the danger of viruses breaking out in airports. If a virus is spreading at an airport, then travellers will be taking that virus over to their destinations, allowing the virus to spread across the world much quicker than if it was contained in one particular area.


Networking is an intriguing subject, and one that I’m sure will continue developing over the coming years. I will be more aware of networks around me from now on, and I’m sure I’ll be surprised at the amount of times that I notice networking at work.


For a in-depth look into the Six Degrees idea, read Esther’s post.

Week 3.2 Symposium on Hypertext Narrative

The Wednesday workshop of week 3.2 felt a little bit of a hump day of sorts for me. After this class, we would have a full week off due to the Australia Day holiday on the Monday, and we would also be exactly half-way through the Summer Semester!

WooHoo (printable)


But let’s not get too carried away.


In this symposium we were tackling the topic of hypertext narratives. It was mentioned that hypertext is quite a unique technology, and therefore cannot be compared to print media. The hypertext narrative must be treated as its own entity.


A question was then raised about why we need or would want a text with no clear meaning? And I must say that I struggle with this notion as well. If we direct the meaning of a text, then what’s the point of us reading it? If I’m the one designing or determining the storyline, then it kinda loses the significance in my eyes. I may as well be the author of the book, writing it for another’s enjoyment. When I’m reading a book, I’d probably rather that someone else has placed the contents together in a way that they feel would be best for me.


I dunno, maybe we’re just so used to books, magazines, newspapers and print media in general. Or is it just human nature to want something definite, rather than having a choice of how a narrative might end? Maybe we’ve been trained to just be passive readers, and therefore we have trouble adapting into the active reader mindset?


I guess it comes back to viewing print media and hypertext in a different light to each other. Hypertext is fluid, whilst print text is stationary. They do differ, so there must be a place for both these days. We just need to learn to enjoy and value the unique qualities of both.


You should also read Jake’s enlightening post, Reconfiguring Narrative.

The Long Tail of Online Sales

What if the top hits of the entertainment scene were not the biggest revenue raisers? In the Long Tail reading for this week, Chris Anderson suggests that this may well be the case for many online sellers.


Websites such as Amazon, eBay, and iTunes have discovered that there is strong demand for not only the hits, but also for the many lesser-known items, alternative music, and second-hand products. The hits might only make up a small portion of total choices out there, but the rest of the market goes on for a long, long way – thus Anderson speaks of it as ‘The Long Tail’.


A great example of the Long Tail sales making up a large portion of online purchases is on the huge online site, As Anderson points out:


More than half of Amazon’s book sales come from outside its top 130,000 titles.


Anderson shares a 3 point guide to how online entities are seeking to gain the most out of the Long Tail:

1. Make Everything Available

2. Cut the price in half. Now lower it.

3. Help me find it


A music streaming site that has really put these three rules into action very well would be Spotify.


To begin with, Spotify has made many tracks available to the music fan. In fact, there are countless artists and genres to choose from! And best of all, it’s free! They have followed the rule of keeping the Long Tail as cheap as possible, gaining their revenue from the advertising that airs between songs. And lastly, they do their best to ensure that listeners can find the lesser-known music by suggesting various artists that they may also enjoy.


Spotify boasts a Discover page which shows various artists that you have listened to lately, and for each artist it suggests lesser-known artists that you might like based on their similar sound or genre. This is a great way of plugging the Long Tail, and giving some of the not-so-famous music some airtime and followers.