About samanthabeniacbrooks

My name is Samantha Beniac-Brooks but I prefer Sammy. I'm studying BComm Media and am interested in becoming in a Media Presenter. I love theatre, music, celebrities and anything to do with the media. This is my blog for RMIT Media 1.

Pros and Cons of being in a community that’s a TV Show…

OK so, as the final few days arise and the due date for this community assessment comes into sight, I wanted to address some of the pros and cons of using a TV show community as my assessment piece.

Before I begin, I must make it clear that Wentworth does not commence until May 10th, 1 day after the assessment is due.


  • Part of the cast last night joined various audience members for a special Q&A shown on SoHo AU at 8:30pm. Various questions were asked and answered to all members of the cast, giving the fans of this wonderful community even more to talk about!
  • https://www.facebook.com/BeaSmith/videos/1230778160280723/
  • Here I was thinking, the show won’t even start again until the assessment is over, why have I chosen to become more involved within this community. Little did I think about the fact that whilst the show isn’t on, there are always events on whether that be awards shows or Q&A sessions with the cast. The Logies are this Sunday the 8th of May (which is also Mother’s Day so get prepping kiddies), and Wentworth cast members, Celia Ireland and Pamela Rabe are both up for awards on the evening. There is quite a lot of hype around the fact that either of the actors could win an award, which would be incredibly exciting for the whole cast.
  • Logies Nominations

    Screenshot of SoHoTVAU Facebook Post regarding Logies Nominations for Wentworth cast and creatives.

  • And of course with the regular trailers being released, especially the more in depth trailer shown at the end of the Q&A show on Tuesday evening, there are always questions/comments being raised about what everyone wants/thinks will happen in the new season.

    Discussion with members of the Wentworth Community (including my comment below).

    Discussion with members of the Wentworth Community (including my comment below).


  • So as stated earlier, the show doesn’t commence until May 10th and so the whole community is only hyping around short 1 minute trailers released every couple of weeks. This means that if you aren’t the ‘first’ to see trailers/images etc., you most certainly will not be able to get much of a following around what you post. I have attempted to comment on various posts with no reply.
  • Because I have always followed the show from a different aspect to the way in which I am for this assessment, I am finding it very difficult to break into the community. I have always been fascinated by the actors and have always wanted to support all of their works, not just the work they do on Wentworth. This means that trying to spark conversation with new people so soon can be difficult as there is definitely a sense of hierarchy within the community. Both groups have around 10,000+ members, yet I would say about 1000 are probably active avid fans.
  • I have also joined groups that I probably wouldn’t have joined if it weren’t for this assessment. I tend to steer clear of large fanbases as from past experience, sometimes other people can get in the way from the enjoyment of the person/thing you are a fan of. For example, I have always really loved Jessie J and followed her very closely. However I find that often there are a lot of horrible comments/posts between fans about other fans or even Jessie and sometimes that can be hard to deal with. Twitter has always been my ‘go to’ as I enjoy being part of a community space where the talent is actually able to interact as well. With these Facebook groups, it is purely just the fans, so getting comments from the actors/writers etc. is not possible.

Moderation in moderation

In reference to my last post, I would like to raise the issue surrounding Online Privacy in regards to my community. As stated in my last post, I mentioned the fact that Facebook groups were the main space I used to interact with fellow Wentworth Fans.

The Facebook group has a few admins, meaning that a lot of what is posted is moderated. This also means that if you want to get into the group, you must be accepted by one of these further up the hierarchy people.  It’s interesting to think about the way in which communities are an attempt to create a space where everyone who has similar interests/likes the same things are welcome, yet there is a need for ‘acceptance’ into a group.

“I declare that I am an avid Wentworth fan”.

I think it’s important that there is an aspect of moderation as it can stop arguments/comments arising that may not be wanted. However I think it’s also important that we allow some sort of ‘freedom of speech’ within these groups. I know that there are characters in Wentworth that I don’t particularly agree with, but I feel that if I were to raise this, I would most likely cause some sort of prison-like riot, whether online or in real life.

In one of the groups that I am a part of for Wentworth, one moderator recently had a go at all the viewers from the United Kingdom, who seem to flood the group with queries regarding when Season 4 will be released over there. I can understand why the moderators would be angry as the group seems to be flooded with these queries, however I don’t like that there are people who think they can tell people what to do in such a large community, as it makes them seem as if they are better than everyone else… #justathought #newsflashtheyaren’t.

Week 8 is here.

This week in class we discussed the ideas around Online Privacy. Now that we are all venturing into our own communities and exploring ways in which we can interact with people within them, it’s important to remember how our comments can come back to us.

In regards to my community, the main space I use is Facebook. Because I use a Facebook group to interact with fellow Wentworth fans, my name is over every action or word. I need to be careful about my actions as they could potentially come across incorrectly, causing detrimental effects to my current life and future aspirations.

Whilst some extreme cases of issues surrounding online privacy were mentioned in class, I think it’s important to consider them as they remind us as to what can really happen.

One girl mentioned the fact that a woman had tweeted a very racist comment before getting on a flight to Africa, and once she had landed, the tweet had gone viral and she was met with journalists and reporters at the airport.

I will ensure that whatever I do post is still in line with RMIT’s guidelines and it’s something that I would be happy for others to see if it were to be leaked.


Update on my little Wentworth community

SO to update you all on my Wentworth Community search, browsing through the ‘Wentworth’ Facebook group that I linked in my blog post earlier this week, a NEW TRAILER WAS POSTED LAST NIGHT ON TWITTER, and as you can probably tell, it’s sent me crazy!

A fellow Wentworth lover friend posted this trailer on Twitter and it made my heart sink. I’m SO NERVOUS about the return of the show on May 10.

So returning to the Facebook post that I first saw the trailer on, I decided to pose a question to those who are within the group, making reference to what my favourite character, Franky, says in the trailer. To give a little bit of context, Franky has recently been released on bail and is now living with the prison’s psychologist. But the trailer shows a side that I never thought I would see. It seems that Franky doesn’t like the outside as much as she liked being in prison.. and it would be interesting to see if she does land herself back into the prison. So I posed the question to see what others think and hopefully will get a reply/get a bit of conversation going.

Screenshot of my comment on the post about the new Wentworth trailer.

Screenshot of my comment on the post about the new Wentworth trailer.

Stay tuned! (Pardon the pun…)


Cowbird is a public library of human experience, offering a simple set of storytelling tools — for free, and without ads. 72,274 authors from 185 countries have told 89,402 stories on 28,228 topics. We invite you to join us and contribute your stories.” (Cowbird Website, About Cowbird, http://cowbird.com/about/)

If I’m correct, at first glance, the site acts as a wider community where anyone around the world can share their stories. By using the ‘search’ bar, you can type any key word that interests you and be taken to a story that is relevant. Cowbird houses stories that have been ‘tagged’ or ‘categorised’, allowing for people to connect with each other’s stories. This is very similar to the way in which I use tagging in my blog posts, in order to connect with both my own and other people’s blog posts.

Cowbird reminds me of the site FMyLife or in other words, FML, that I used to visit when I was a little younger. It’s a site where you can read daily ‘FML’ moments but also submit an FML moment; if you have one. The site creates a community of people who seem to have unfortunate things happen to them, leaving readers around the world with either a light of glimmer that their lives aren’t so bad or a “omg this happened to me once too”.

Screenshot taken on Tuesday April 19th 2016, Cowbird Homepage.

Screenshot taken on Tuesday April 19th 2016, Cowbird Homepage.

I am very interested in the way in which these sites create a sense of Community, despite the fact we all live in different places and will update you all if I find more sites just like Cowbird.

Community or not to community?

Assessment 2 is beaming like a bright light in the distance coming towards us Networked Media children. As it begins it’s decent onto planet “oh my god another assessment is due”, I must begin to investigate a community of my choosing and reflect on the interactions within it.

As a mad lover of the TV show Wentworth, I thought I might delve a little deeper into the community of Wentworth Fans that I am already somewhat involved in.

At the moment, I use Twitter to get involved in the conversations, especially as the Wentworth Twitter account follows me (and therefore I feel obliged to be up to date because I’m one of the lucky 67 accounts that they follow).

But I want to delve even deeper into the community and see more of the world that exists surrounding the show.

A few places that I think I will explore include:

The #Wentworth Tag on Twitter – Whilst I currently use this tag when commenting on the show, it will be interesting to properly read what is out there already/what will come/anticipation (as Season 4 commences May 10).

From first glance, it appears that the most common place for Wentworth lovers to talk about the show are these two Facebook groups:

‘Wentworth’ – https://www.facebook.com/groups/239278402866843/

‘Wentworth TV Series’ – https://www.facebook.com/groups/547193018653526/

With both groups attaining over 13,000 members each, it seems that there are new discussions going every day. I have since requested to join both groups and have been accepted into both.

Screenshot taken on 18th April 2016, Facebook - Accepted into Wentworth TV Series Group

Screenshot taken on 18th April 2016, Facebook – Accepted into Wentworth TV Series Group

Screenshot taken from Facebook on April 18 2016. Accepted into Wentworth Group on Facebook

Screenshot taken from Facebook on April 18 2016. Accepted into Wentworth Group on Facebook

Wentworth Cast Twitter Feed – I have since subscribed to this feed enabling me to keep up to date with what the cast are saying about the show.

#Wentworth on Tumblr – this hashtag allows me to access various different Tumblr accounts that house various different videos, gifs and even comments/fanfics about the show.

The Wentworth Website has a few trailers and links to the Wentworth Twitter account but may not be as useful in regards to finding the community that exists.

It must be noted that the above mediums (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr) are all used to interact and therefore allow for communities to be housed as there is a sense of the ability to comment/like/repost.

Sunday went OFF!

As you may not already know, I work at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre at South Wharf. I am a Customer Service Attendant so I basically help usher customers to various areas, show people to their seats, open and close doors, hand out flyers and get to watch various productions/concerts and speeches to name a few, live. I also get a radio so that makes me look pretty damn cool.

I absolutely love the job so far. Every day there is something different on and it makes it really exciting to come to work knowing that you’ll be doing or seeing different people from your last shift. I’m all about being kept on my toes and constant change!

This Sunday was one of those extra cool days where I got to work a concert. But this wasn’t just any concert… this was the A-mei, a mandarin popstar and so called ‘Pride of Taiwan’ who received a World Peace Music Award in 2004, and remains as the only Chinese performer to ever have won one.

Her stage presence was absolutely astonishing. She went from Heavy Metal, to Ballads to Dance Music all in the one night with hundreds of various dance moves, vocal tricks and more. Despite the fact I understood .1% of the concert (when she sung a few lines from Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars) (the whole show was in Mandarin), she was still able to give me those usual goosebumps and that feeling of wanting more from her.

Linked below are one of the songs that went off from the night. The song itself doesn’t even do justice for the live show but it’ll be interesting to see if she becomes a part of my Spotify playlist for 2016!


Where am I now?

This week in Networked Media I started here: www.facebook.com/

and, I ended up here: https://www.youtube.com/user/HubbleESA/featured?nohtml5=False

But why did I even bother to venture outside of the realm of Facebook?

Well, this week’s reading discusses the idea of Hypertext being an ‘open-bordered text… that cannot shut out other texts” (Landow, pg. 114) and the idea that the “supposed end and beginning of a work” does not exist, and that there are many beginnings and endings, if any.

We could say that the internet is almost a ‘choose your own adventure’ space where all you need is a brain and an internet browser.

As Hannah went around the class, many of my classmates mentioned the different places they found themselves in, I think reinforcing the idea that there is no set path on the internet. Even if we all start in the same place i.e. Facebook, we’re all bound to end up somewhere different.

But in regards to Facebook and even Twitter, I think we must also highlight the fact that they are very open in regards to their hypertext. You can really end up anywhere when using these sites, as these social mediums rely on outside ideas and spaces to run (so if we refer to my comment above about why I bothered to venture outside Facebook, this is due to the fact that I was prompted by a sponsored hyperlink on the site to take a look at Swiburne’s Astronomy Program (I was then interested in what they had to say and ended up at Hubble NASA/ESA)). A site like YouTube on the other hand has mainly videos, that link to other videos, to other videos and to other videos within the same website. Uploaders have the ability to link to external sites, but this isn’t always the case. However, often these links are hyperlinks to their own website where they sell merchandise, rather than an external article or anything alike.

We are becoming more and more connected with the world around us thanks to these hypertexts. I cannot wait to see what I will explore next!


Landow, G 2006, Hypertext 3.0, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 2006. Print. 107-124

Assignment 1 – Blogging IS important!

Due to the shift of the media platform to the internet, it is important that we understand ways in which we can express our ideas and thoughts freely to the universe, as you would with a magazine or newspaper.

Despite the fact blogging was a prerequisite for Media One in 2015, this semester in Networked Media, I have truly begun to properly understand both the theoretical and practical aspects of blogging and how they intertwine.

As mentioned in my Week 1 Reading Blog, I refer to the idea of blogging and the importance of having a place within the online community, stating that “I think that it is so important that I continue to use my media blog throughout my degree, as it is a public document that showcases my folio of work.” Blogging “also enables me to become a part of the “larger community” (Miles, pg. 67) whenever I contribute or others comment on my work”, which in turn, is also relevant to the ideas presented in Week 4 about Hypertexts and Hypermedia.

By acknowledging the works of others, we not only become network literate but we can make our writing intertextual; “we must write with an awareness that we are writing in the presence of other texts” (Landow, pg. 77). Whilst it could be said that it is very hard to be original, the opinions we offer on the various ideas within the docuverse are original. We each have our own set of thoughts and blogging allows us to express these opinions, whilst linking back to the work of others.

As seen in my ‘Am I Lazy?‘ post, I have also begun to develop an understanding of general licensing practice and more specifically, Creative Commons. Below each of the photos within this blog post, I have included a clear caption that cites where the screenshots have been taken from. Whilst it is important to show a clear link to the opinions of others, it is important to give credit to the original owner, especially in order to avoid plagiarism and the legal consequences of plagiarising. In my opinion, it is also important to cite others works, as you are clearly showing evidence surrounding your topic of choice. Furthermore, I like to relate my ideas to the ideas of others, as I can show that I am placing my work within the wider docuverse, and proving my online presence.

I have placed a Creative Commons license in my blog’s sidebar which allows anyone to read and distribute my work as they please, as long as I am credited. Without this license, it would be a lot harder for others to comment in their own spaces about my ideas, thus making my opinions more ‘closed’ to the wider network community. The use of Creative Commons “facilitates sharing, building and remixing on top of content, where the authors opt into this more balanced and rational copyright system and supports the idea of remix or participatory culture” (Lasica 2006).

Now that I have a deeper understanding to the real reasons we blog, and the best ways to do it, I feel that I am really beginning to enjoy it. I have never been much of a writer but because of the theory presented to me each week in regards to blogging, I am becoming more and more aware of the ways in which work can be presented online. It is clear to me that these theories are relevant even to professionals in the media industry (as seen in the blog posts of this blog linked in my blog roll: Refinery 29), so I feel that I am becoming more professional too!


Miles, Adrian 2006, Blogs in Media Education: A Beginning [online], Screen Education, No. 43, pg. 66-69.

Landow, G 2006, Hypertext 3.0, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pg. 69-85, 107-124.

Lasica, J 2006, Prof. Lawrence Lessig Explains Creative Commons Licensing, accessed April 6, 2016, from <https://youtu.be/AWxyx5iYdvI>.


To Voice Overs and beyond!

So as some of you may not know, I undertook this Bachelor of Media in an attempt to explore the world of media, before I attempted to become a media presenter. I’ve already learnt so much from the course and I know that there is still so much more to learn.

There are some things I’ve learnt that I didn’t think I would ever need to know about, but it’s an amazing feeling knowing that I now have skills that other media presenters may not necessarily have. I think as well, these skills open up so many other doors and career paths for me, so I will always feel I have a place in the industry.

Before Easter and my stomach full of Haigh’s Chocolate, I went into the studio with a guy named Peter. He heads up a company named Audio and Image Solutions PTY LTD, who in short, is an “Australian company that provides all forms of multimedia production and services” (Audio and Image Solutions website, ‘About Us’ page). We recorded a voice over demo that showcased some of my best and different style reads. I then went away over the Easter break and showed it to my friends and family, who gave me feedback on what they liked, didn’t like and what I should keep or change. I think being able to seek feedback from those close to you is really a hard thing, because sometimes they’ll be more honest, which can in turn be a little too harsh. But I loved every single piece of feedback I was given. The more constructive it is, the better it is.

I went into the studio yesterday (5th of April, 2016) and took all this constructive feedback into the studio. My demo went from a 5 to an 9. I got rid of a few reads that I didn’t feel showcased my work very well, and added in some new reads that I definitely think reflected particular styles that I have. I’m really happy with where it’s at, at the moment, and am really looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

So without further ado, attached below is the demo. Have a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below! Here’s to *hopefully* a future in Voice Over.