my media usage (day 1!)

Day One! (Thursday March 21)

For the next week I’ll be posting daily, tracking what I do with online media. Each day I’ll be outlining my general activity (like below), or focusing on certain aspects about how I have specifically contributed or consumed online media.

In the past 24 hours or so, I’ve contributed to online media by uploading content including:

  • posted a Boomerang video to my Instagram story
  • 7 tweets (3 original, 4 replies to other people)
  • Comments on friends’ Facebook posts
  • Comments on Instagram posts

Online media that I have used/consumed in a less active role has been:

  • Youtube videos – watched mostly music videos, for less than an hour
  • Checked my Facebook feed
  • Checked my Instagram feed
  • Likes on Instagram posts
  • Likes on Facebook posts
  • Liked and retweeted other people’s Tweets
  • Facebook videos – generally cooking and dog videos – watched as well as saved, so I could look at them at a later time.
  • My Instagram feed, watched a bunch of Instagram stories for people
  • Netflix, watched 4 episodes
  • Facebook Messenger – to communicate with friends
  • Replied to Instagram stories – use of Instagram Direct Messaging
  • Use the PTV app to check my public transport to get home and to uni
  • Listened to music through Apple Music – on the train and bus, before bed, even at home.
  • Used the RMIT site, including Blackboard and the Media Factory blog to stay up to date with course readings and work
  • Went through Tumblr for some drawing inspiration
  • Checked online for store locations and trading hours
  • Checked my bank balance as well as transferring money on the Commbank app
  • Checking notifications across most apps I use
  • Check emails (and immediately delete most of them)
  • Online window shopping
  • Weather app to check the weather to decide what to wear

As you can see, for my first 24 hour period, I didn’t author or publish very much to online media, and most of my online interaction consisted of absent and passive checking of social media apps, as well as using them for specific purposes (for example weather app and public transport app), and private communication (Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messaging). All interactions were through the use of my iPhone or through my laptop, almost all through Apps (on my phone) and websites (on my laptop).

Why? Every time I’m not stimulated for a couple of minutes, I whip out my phone and refresh my Instagram feed, check my Twitter feed for anything new; desperate for anything to keep me entertained and up to date, ensuring I’m not miss a single thing. Even when I’m already watching a show on Netflix and I’m supposedly already stimulated, habit keeps me grabbing for my phone, wanting to avoid boredom at all costs, even if it costs me the ability to fully engage with a single platform. When I’m alone; between classes, travelling to and from uni, going to the shops – I’m always listening to music from my phone; as a distraction , but also as a sense of familiarity, comfort and enjoyment.

Even in the past twenty minutes since I’ve been writing this, I’ve checked Instagram 3 times, Twitter and Facebook 4 times, despite “actively” working and writing.

tagging 101 #

Tagging is another basic tool of blogging, on WordPress as well as on other blogging, microblogging and social media platforms.

On WordPress, tagging is used to collate, categorise and describe posts using hashtags on posts, that are placed at the end of a post as a link, which can be clicked on to see all posts with that same hashtag. Considering a lot of blogs have a lot of posts, often spanning years, this is an easy way to find all the posts relating to the topic you’re searching for or interested in viewing on that one blog. For example, for a cooking blog, a hashtag with #entree could be used to check all entree recipe posts. On this blog, a tag cloud is visible at the bottom of the homepage, where you can view all available tags that have ever been used and can be viewed.

As previously mentioned, tagging is also used in other platforms, like Twitter and Instagram. Similar to WordPress, on Instagram, you can also include hashtags in your post, simply by typing a word following the # symbol in the caption, which automatically creates a link that can be clicked on and searched for. Unlike WordPress, this tag links to all posts throughout Instagram that also have that tag, not just your blog/feed. You can also search for tags throughout all of Instagram and all those with that tag will come up, generally more recent first. This can allow more people to view your posts and give you more accessibility and visibility.

Ethics

Always trying to be as honest and open is important when blogging, because it is something that still separates it from mainstream media, at least for now. With the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram, where paid posts are getting more and more common from bloggers and personalities because of just how wide and accessible it is becoming, it’s good to have a background of ethics to keep you grounded and secure. Lawrie Zion wrote a great piece on the ethics of blogging.

  1.  Be honest about what is opinion
  2. Don’t plagiarise/use others’ work without permission or correct licensing
  3. Always give credit where you can!
  4. Correct any mistakes as soon as you can
  5. Encourage a conversation/discourse
  6. Transparency is key
  7. Remember: once it’s on the internet in the public domain, it’s there forever
  8. Take responsibility
  9. Consider what you post and all possible consequences
  10. Create an online community

Copyright

As a blogger, copyright is an important aspect of online media. We must be aware of not being able to use other people’s work without written permission, unless it comes under Creative Commons licences (and then we must follow these licences, which may include not being able to change the work, not being able to profit from it, and many more), which also includes embedding material.

RMIT has a resource for copyright on blogging which shows these regulations in a quick easy to follow guide.

Below is an easy guide for how to use Creative Commons

Blog Case Study – Minimalist Baker

I’ve been following Minimalist Baker  (@minimalistbaker on Instagram) for about two years. I used to date a guy that was vegetarian (and eventually vegan) which led me to search for some new cooking and food ideas to try out that weren’t the meat based diet I was used to at the time, and that’s when I discovered it.

I’ve recently become vegan myself and have only just started to get into cooking regularly, and while it’s not technically a vegan blog, all of the posts are plant based, simple recipes that require 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl or 1 pot or 30 minutes or less to prepare. So I really love that most of the recipes are super easy to replicate, adapt or learn from, especially when experimenting with a different or new diet. The blog itself is also aesthetically pleasing, including great food photography, laid out well, with different categories for recipes including hashtags, through a WordPress blog.

It works well because Dana uses friendly, casual language that is not only easy to follow but also enjoyable to read – she’s established her voice well and consistently over the years she has run it. As the food photographer she also creates engaging and even beautiful images that highlight each recipe, while John handles the technical side of blogging including design, branding and product development (all this info can be found here!).

Dana and John use a range of social media, including personal twitter, Instagram, the blog Instagram (as mentioned previously) to reach a wide audience from these areas. In the past they worked with brands they liked which could also have reached a wider audience, however, they have since stopped that.

What is a blog?

Hey there!

For my first blog post I’ll be looking into what is a blog and how they developed, by looking at readings: Jill Walker Rettberg’s Blogging and Adrian Miles’s “Blogs in Media Education: A Beginning.”

As mentioned by Rettberg, the term “blog” originated from the phrase web log, with log coming from traditional nautical navigation, in the way that the chronological entries were written in a logbook, similarly, a blog is generally defined as a web site that has dated entries appearing in reverse chronological order – with the most recent appearing first. It’s also important to note that blogs can be very broad in subject matter – you can find one on almost any topic you can think of. Rettberg also notes that the blog itself can be seen as a medium, containing more specific genres, such as diary style blogging or political blogs. However, it’s also clear that the specific definition of blogs, and even the idea of whether it is a medium or a genre itself, can be somewhat contentious. The term “blog” itself was first used in 1997, and initial blogs from the 90’s were quite different to those of today. Initially, they contained a lot of links in a list format, users had to manually code their blogs through HTML from scratch, before templates and blogging websites began and became popular, like blogger, for example.

From Miles’s article, he draws a similar definition regarding blogs – a web based publication consisting of entries (posts) published in reverse chronological order. Miles writes about the use of blogging in teaching and learning, emphasising the importance of teaching the use of blogs, as something to learn as a post-print medium, as a contribution to contemporary media. Strategies such as ‘seeding’; instructing tasks for students to blog about to get used to the medium, before it’s used actively and for extracurricular means and developing an online identity.

From articles/excerpts:

Rettberg, Jill Walker. Blogging. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2008. Print. (p. 4, 17-30)

Miles, Adrian. “Blogs in Media Education: A Beginning.” Screen Education 41 66–69. Print.