Me sans Camel

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Welcome to my littler corner of the internet!

You’ve clicked on the About so that means you want to know more about the writer and the editor and I’m already blushing.

Plain and simple I am a Uni student studying Communications and Media, majoring in Marketing and Advertising and minoring in PR (you can now take a breath!) I will be graduating Spring 2018 and I dream of being in a job that oozes purpose and creativity. What the title will be, only time will tell!

Although I don’t come with the Camel (he spits, had to leave him in the Tzar Desert!) I do hope you enjoy scanning my blog, especially my videos and draw even a slice of joy or inspiration from them!

I’m a country girl, test driving the city. In my spare time I’m a avid Swans supporter, amateur video editor, #1 super fan of both The Bachelor and The Block, backpacker-when-i-have-money (I have a list down to my ankles) and begrudgingly a NRL spectator because relationships are a two way street.

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around Europe, India, Sri Lanka and one of those cruises with my family that EVERYONE on the South Coast goes on – myself and three siblings bunkered down in a small room, no windows – where we stop in at a country for a day and flood their beaches with leathered 60 year olds. My heart aches to see more, do more and more frequently!

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Candid me @ Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi, India 2017

 

That’s all folks! T.

Uni E: tgl097@uowmail.edu.au // Personal E: taylor.lynch95@yahoo.com.au

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My writing in a public space: Research Communication

When I first started up my WordPress blog, it was the for University and I was in my first year of Communications and Media. I had read blogs but knew little about how to write one of my own. In this reflection I’ll look to cover several facets of my writing in a public space, this will include:

  • My first blog vs. now
  • Strategies I use to curate engaging blog posts
  • How I use my blog to record my research
  • My strengths and weakness as a writer in a public space
  • How I made my blog my own space

My first blog vs. now

My first ever blog was called Incoming Rookie it was an introductory piece that was littered with bad Top Gun references – bad because you’d only understand them if you’d watched it five times – and rambled a lot but overall it did not lack enthusiasm! I only did the bare minimum, how ever many blogs I was required to do but now in my latest blog, you can see how I’ve used it to record small observations and to keep not only my readers but myself updated on the progress of projects.

Strategies I use to curate engaging blog posts

I use three main strategies to engage readers in my blog posts.

  1. Sharing Content: Twitter and Tagging – I link the majority of my posts to Twitter where I have a bigger following and use the #BCM241 hashtag to engage with my peers. I also tag all of my blog posts with relevant key words to make it easy for readers to find me.
  2. Memes, Gifs, Photos – I’m a very visual person myself, so including relevant humorous photos, memes or gifs (or creating your own) not only makes the experience more engaging for myself but also my readers. Photos or screenshots (like the twitter posts above) of relevant information can also bring immediate understanding to what you’re explaining. The photos, memes or gifs can also encourage people to read the whole article! As we know with the work we did on attention spans in Week 8 it’s very important to create interesting content. In an study done by the Nielsen Norman Group it showed that eye tracking visualisations show that users often read Web Pages in an F shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe. By structuring my blogs around this theory, I’ve made sure to put the most important information in the first two paragraphs.  3. Academic Resources/ Relevant links – By providing references and including hyperlinks, the reader can dig further and go on their own rabbit hole search. I write most of my blogs to be a starting point for discussion or to record/update on my current research project. By using academic sources to structure my writing I can see a clear point to my blog and turn it from a casual blog to an academic story.

How I use my Blog to Record my Research

Blogging to record observations, no matter how small has become an important way I use my blog. Recently I wrote a blog detailing my observations about a Tina Arena concert I went to. This is in line with my current research project on personal device use at festivals. Updating my readers with how my research is going is more engaging and allows for on-the-go feedback that only improves my end product. I’ve used this strategy not only in BCM241 but BCM212 for my Gap Year Research Project however I have been utilising it more this time around.

My strengths and weakness as a writer in a public space

In order to reflect on my blog writing it’s important to highlight both my strengths and weaknesses as a public writer.

Strengths Need to improve
o   Being able to create relatable and relevant content

o   Using academic sources to structure my blogs

o   Using personal stories to make the content easy to understand

o   Tagging/Tweeting out my blogs more often

o   Blogging more regularly

o   Blogging not just about University work and continue to make my blog an online portfolio

How I made my blog my own space

Often I’ve struggled to create a space that I myself have enjoyed coming to. Blogging defiantly wasn’t my strong suit but now by taking charge of my blog and making it my own space – and portfolio, I’ve enjoyed writing and sharing with my readers more and more. By adding the Footage tab to my menu, I’ve been able to collect the videos I’ve created into one space and put them on display. I also deleted some blogs that no longer reflected who I am or what I’m doing in my academic career. By changing my blog’s theme to ‘Twenty Eleven’ I’ve been able to customise my menu to reflect what is most important to me and to make it easier to navigate.

Overall, my writing as a researcher has improved dramatically over the past couple of years. Learning to use it as tool to record my research and observations, to showcase my short films and previous experience have been the best outcomes.

Digital Project Untitled – The day before the experiment

29th of September, 2017 / Home

Tomorrow will be the beginning of the Yours and Owls festival where I’ll be doing my self experiment on personal devices and festivals whilst observing the crowd’s behaviour with personal devices as well.

The idea is that because it’s a two day festival, I’m taking my phone one day and leaving it at home the next. Because I live in Wollongong and will be with friends I’m not worried about my safety or getting lost so it’s the perfect opportunity to experiment!

Here are some things I’m going to be looking out for over the next two days:

SATURDAY DAY ONE: Taking my phone with me.

  • Taking note of how many times I film a set/snapchat on my phone
  • Taking not of how many times I take a photo of/for or film a friend (if they’ve asked me or not)
  • Observing how many people are filming during sets on wither personal devices or cameras (is anyone bringing an actual camera?)
  • If the quality of my experience has been impacted in any way by a personal device
  • What my interactions with my friends are like
  • How does this differ from the Tina Arena concert?

SUNDAY DAY TWO: Leaving my phone at home.

  • Taking note of how many times I wish I could film/snapchat on my phone
  • Taking not of how I feel sans phone: disconnected or free?
  • Observing how many people around me are filming during sets (same as yesterday) do I feel the same way about it?
  • If the quality of my experience has been impacted in any way by a personal device
  • What my interactions with my friends are like

Overall I want to remain ethical in my experiment so I will not be interviewing any one as the majority of people will be under the influence and unable to give permission.

I’ll look to do video diaries the morning after both and use the reflections/observations to cultivate survey and interview questions.

 

 

Digital Project Untitled – Tina Arena Observation

Friday 22nd September, 2017 / Win Entertainment Centre  / Company: Mum

Whilst attending the Tina Arena concert with my mum on the weekend, I noticed something very interesting. Firstly there were signs everywhere saying “No filming with camera phones or devices” and secondly that the majority of people were adhering to it!! It was crazy to see that there was a couple thousand people in attendance and barely anybody had there phones out. I counted 10 screens at one point.

Granted this was an older crowd, I was the youngest person I saw but in a spontaneous pre test to my experiment a week from now, I refrained from taking photos and when I did take photos I felt naughty and that someone behind me would disapprove (but that is just a wild guess).

The comparison between Your’s and Owls Festival and Tina Arena will defiantly be reflected on when creating my digital story telling project.

 

 

Quiet Carriages and Flip Phones: Media Regulation

Samsung-clamshell

This is a photo of my first phone. This Samsung flip phone was a big deal for 13 year old me, I could have one song on it and it was ‘Listen to your Heart’ but not the actual song – just a bunch of beeps that sounded like it.

Every night I had to give my phone to my mum and dad until the next morning – at the time it didn’t matter much because all I could do was play snake or text my friends who also had similar rules in their households. Now my youngest brother who is 13 years old has an iPhone 7. This phone is way more tech advanced than mine ever was so to get him to follow the same regulations at home that I did is much harder.

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We also used to have a computer in my room growing up that we all took turns using – now it sits in the living room where our parents can see it at all times. As technology as advanced – how we regulate our own media, how parents regulate their children’s media and how the government regulates media has been playing catch up ever since.

The way media is regulated depends on what space you’re in. In private, your household, friendship group or relationship may regulate the way in which media is used yourselves. For instance, when my friends and I go out for dinner we place all our phones in the middle of the table and if anyone touches their phone they pay the bill.

Media regulations in public spaces are sometimes unspoken but good manners or enforced. In retail or hospitality it’s common courtesy to put down your phone when paying for a bill or ordering whereas when on the train there are designated quiet carriages where no loud media is to be played and headphones are to be used. These regulations impact our day-to-day.

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This regulatory effort is important to the space and place that it is enforced because lets be honest no one likes that guy who plays his (bad) music out loud on his phone for your two hour train ride to Sydney so if a media regulation can prevent that – I’m all ears.

90% of participants who responded to a Transport in NSW survey stated that (quiet carriages) had improved their overall experience (Lifehacker 2013) In response City Rail will double the amount of quiet carriages across the state. You can see this in practice today with 50% of most train carriages being designated for quiet travel.

I believe media regulation like this is important to increase the flow and harmony for people sharing public spaces, especially public transport.


References:

Lifehacker Australia. 2017. NSW Doubles Down On Quiet Carriages | Lifehacker Australia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/07/cityrail-doubles-quiet-train-carriages-in-nsw/. [Accessed 22 September 2017].

 

 

 

 

Goldfish knocked out of top spot: Attention, Presence, Place

According to Time Health you now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. Contrary to popular belief that goldfish have an attention span of three seconds, it’s actually nine seconds – whereas the average person is eight…

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A new study by Microsoft Corp. showed that since the year 2000 when the mobile phone revolution began, attention spans have dropped from 12 to eight seconds (Time Health, 2015) The study also found that “Heavy multi-screen users find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli – they’re more easily distracted by multiple streams of media”.

Personally I know this to be true, whilst watching the Bachelor or Bachelorette. My friends and I have set up a bachelor Facebook chat where we mercilessly commentate the events unfolding on our TV screens. Most of the time I’m also texting or doing assignments.

The task this week was to set up an informal test to examine their attention span in relation to mine and in class we were asked to colour in for seven minutes. Now to me that is heaven, I love colouring in and had no trouble concentrating on finishing my master piece.

attention1However, when it came to concentrating on the other attention span tests I was more focused on colouring in.

Knowing that my boyfriend doesn’t share the same love for drawing I set up an informal test where he too had to colour in for seven minutes. I set up a timer and he had to ‘lap’ every time he wished he could stop or check his phone.

He accepted the challenge and gave permission for me to film the process.

Here is the link to the time lapse of the test!

Below is a photo of him completing the test and a screenshot of how many times he wished he could stop or look at his phone:

In the end he said “I wanted to stop more than four times but forgot to press lap”. Overall he was defiantly bored and it was a challenge for him to sit for seven minutes and colour in.

At the one minute mark he looked up and exclaimed that it had only been one minute. Microsoft Corp. also conducted a survey that found that 77% of people aged between 18 and 24 responded “yes” when asked “When nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone.” I do that myself and often find that I’m constantly reminding myself to put it down because I fall into this rhythm of mindless scrolling.

From this informal test and research I learnt a few things:

  1. My boyfriend does not enjoy colouring so those adult colouring books are off the Christmas list.
  2. This test was slightly biased because I love colouring whereas he hates it.
  3. Being removed from our phones – even for short amounts of time – makes us feel disconnected.
  4. Multi-screen/multitasking behaviour is very prevalent in my generation.

Also Time Health’s article sarcastically congratulated me for making it to the end of the article so I’m going to do the same, Congrats!


References:

Time. 2017. Science: You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish | Time.com. Available at: http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/. [Accessed 14 September 2017].

 

 

The more you know: Personal devices and public spaces

Interesting fact: Shopping malls are private property. This may be obvious to some but it wasn’t to me – that lightbulb moment didn’t happen to me until after the fact. This week we were asked to photograph somebody in a public space using their mobile phone. Straight away I thought – on my way to work I’ll stop at the food court and take a photo of someone on their phone.

Food courts are a hub of lone people grabbing lunch with only their handy phone to entertain them throughout their eating experience. I felt kind of creepy trying to take a photograph of a man eating his lunch whilst scrolling through his phone as he was oblivious to my photo-taking – turns out I was being creepy. I had skimmed the Arts Law Centre’s document on the rights of street photographers on my way into town but had failed to notice that a shopping mall is in fact a private space…

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So in attempt to be ethical I failed miserably and lost the chance to share my super arty food court/phone use photos with you all. Maurie Stack of Stacks law firm writes about how the laws of taking photos is confusing (agreed), Stack states that it is in fact legal to take photos in a public space BUT WHAT IS A PUBLIC SPACE? Because if I was a betting man, before this task I would’ve bet that shopping malls were.

So the law states that: There is no right to privacy that forbids you taking a person’s photo so long as you are standing on public property (Stack 2013) However, public spaces include shopping malls, industrial sites, farms and office blocks. Stack goes further to say that,

“Technically it’s illegal to use your camera phone to film a rock concert but they’ve given up policing it” – Maurice Stack

That interested me a lot because my upcoming digital storytelling project is on personal devices and festivals. Also because I’ve personally used my camera phone to film just about every festival and concert I’ve ever been to (Not sure if I should be admitting that!)

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This task has sent me on a steep learning curve and next time I’ll follow the advice of the Arts Law Centre.

  • Explain why you’re taking a photograph to the subject and what you’ll be doing with it.
  • Ask for permission
  • Have information on street photographers rights and have a conversation about why you have a right to engage in street photography.

I have since deleted the food court photographs.


References:

Arts Law. 2017. Arts Law : Information Sheet : Street photographer’s rights. Available at: https://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/info-sheet/street-photographers-rights/. [Accessed 9th September 2017].

When photos break the law: breach of privacy or breach of contract? – Privacy Protection – Australia. 2017. When photos break the law: breach of privacy or breach of contract? – Privacy Protection – Australia. Available at: http://www.mondaq.com/australia/x/262736/Data+Protection+Privacy/When+photos+break+the+law+breach+of+privacy+or+breach+of+contract. [Accessed 9th September 2017].