COMM12016 Citizen Blog 4 – Mackay Big Boys Toys Expo

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Figure 1: The Facebook banner Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

On Saturday, 17th of September I visited the Big Boys Toys weekend event in Mackay, held in the local showgrounds. The event was dedicated to showing off many of the ‘toys’ that men generally like.

A large number of both old-fashioned cars and contemporary styled cars were on display, with visitors being allowed to touch and enter some to experience being inside of them.

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Figure 2: A lineup of older cars Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

There was a competition called the JCB Excavator Skills Challenge, where competitors dug into the ground with machinery to win beer.

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Figure 3: An excavating machine Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

Boast and fishing gear was also prevalent.

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Figure 4: A boat Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

Technical and artistic hobbies such as model helicopters and planes and art printing were also put on display by enthusiasts, along with other people showcasing desirable items like spas.

Some people cosplayed as iconic characters from media like Stormtroopers from Star Wars.

Inflatable rides were also present for the little kids to enjoy.

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Figure 5: An inflatable ride Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

At the back of the Showgrounds was an area dedicated to motorcyclists performing stunts for the crowd, which was held by the Make A Wish foundation.

The Big Boys Toys group also maintains a Facebook page where they advertise the event and share photos and videos of the event (Big Boys Toys 2016). Facebook is a social networking site that connects individuals and organisations together (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan 2015, p.75). Groups like the Big Boys Toys organisers use Facebook to both advertise their event and connect with their customers.

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Figure 6: A Facebook post discussing the events, reminding people about the tickets and prizes Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

Attendees are encouraged to visit the Facebook page and like the various posts and the page to go into the draw to win special prizes. Ticket holders who win are able to claim these prizes if they present their tickets.

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Figure 7: Tickets from the events Source: Big Boys Toys 2016

References

Bainbridge, J, Goc, N & Tynan, L 2015, Media and journalism New Approaches to theory and practice Third Edition, Oxford University Press, Melbourne

Big Boys Toys, Mackay Big Boys Toys Expo 2016, viewed 16th September 2016,  https://www.facebook.com/mackaybigboystoys/

COMM12016 Citizen Blog 3 – The Mackay Orchid Extravaganza

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Figure 1: A display of orchids. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

On Saturday, 17th of September I went to the Mackay Orchid Extravaganza, held at Queen’s Park and showcasing an incredibly wide variety of beautiful flowers. This year was the fourth time the event was held since it began in 2012 (Mackay Regional Council 2016). Hundreds of species of orchids were displayed at the event, both to admire and to purchase. The displays were created by council workers, local orchid societies and orchid enthusiasts.

Orchids, or Orchidaceae, are a large and varied family of colourful flowers that are widely grown. There are both natural and artificial hybrid types of orchids (Magrath 2015).

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Figure 2: An orchid. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

The Orchid House, a great hall filled with orchid flowers was one of the main attractions. A gold coin donation was required for entry.

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Figure 3: Inside the Orchid House. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

Inside the house was a number of beautiful displays and card sheets carrying information on the various types of orchids.

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Figure 4: An information card on orchids. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza

Outside of the Orchid House was numerous market stalls with many orchids for sale along with other flowers, produce and gardening- related items. Tables, chairs and drinks were also available for people to relax and admire the orchids.

There were a number of workshops, information sessions and live demonstrations for audiences to inform them on how to properly grow and maintain their own orchids in Queensland and in general conditions.

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Figure 5: The area where workshop demonstrations take place. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

Finally, there was also an auction held for a variety of orchids and other types of flowers, with the items contributed by the organisers and volunteers.

The event was also an opportunity for people interested in horticulture to mingle and share ideas, a gathering that was part of the broader Mackay’s publicsphere. Chatting casually and putting up physical displays and signs are methods of communication in the publicsphere, rather than the mediasphere of the internet, radio and so on (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan 2015, p. 13).

It was very enjoyable overall.

References

Bainbridge, J, Goc, N & Tynan, L 2015, Media and journalism New Approaches to theory and practice Third Edition, Oxford University Press, Melbourne

Mackay Regional Council 2016, Mackay’s Orchid Extravaganza, viewed 15 September 2016, http://www.mackay.qld.gov.au/community/events/mackays_orchid_extravaganza

Magrath, L, 2015, ‘Orchids‘, Salem Press Encyclopedia of Science

COMM12016 Citizen Blog 2 – The Sarina Coconut Festival

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Figure 1: A banner celebrating the event. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

On Saturday, 3rd of September I attended the inaugural Sarina Beach Coconut Festival, held at Sarina Beach, with a number of activities dedicated to coconuts and showing some of the talented people in the Sarina area. Coconuts aren’t really a staple of Australian diets unfortunately but the trees they grow on are appreciated for their aesthetic value (Foale 2011, p. 30).

The event featured performances from musicians Will Anderson and Tia Gostelow. There was also live demonstrations of cooking, basket weaving, oyster shucking and other coconut-related activities.

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Figure 2: Signpost directing attendees to the various activities. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

Market and food stalls were set up along the beach front, along with some artistic displays, such as this sand sculpture of a dragon, which had its nostrils lit aflame by the creator.

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Figure 3: Sand sculpture of a dragon. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

There was also a small train carrying excited children and their parents along the beachfront so they could see the whole festival.

On the beach were a number of fun activities that attendees were able to enjoy.

Kite flying. The huge number of fishlike kites flying in the air was particularly impressive in person.

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Figure 4: Kites flying on the beach. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

Camel riding. Three camels were giving rides to a large number of people.

Blow-kart racing. There was a section of the beach dedicated to the karts where people could ride around freely.

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Figure 5: A blow-kart. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

The event was primarily advertised on the radio and its own official website, as well as the local council’s websites (Schofield 2016). The hashtag #MackayPride was also used to promote this event as well as a Facebook page. The increased used of advertising in the mediasphere to draw in attendees is a sign of how influential media advertising is now in growing communities (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan, p. 13). What would normally spread through word of mouth is now advertised on the internet.

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Figure 6: Pamphlet for the event. Note the hashtage #MackayPride. Source: Sarina Coco Fest 2016

Overall, it was a very enjoyable event.

References

Bainbridge, J, Goc, N & Tynan, L 2015, Media and journalism New Approaches to theory and practice Third Edition, Oxford University Press, Melbourne

Foale, M 2011, ‘The coconut palm – its place and potential in Australia’, Agriculture Science, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 29-34

Schofield, S 2016, Sarina Beach Coconut Festival, viewed 1st September 2016,
http://www.sarinabeachcocofest.com.au/

DGTL12002 Working with Social Media Week 6 – Social Graph

Social graphs are representations of the relationships between individuals online, who are represented by a collection of their personal information. Data like names, dates of birth, place of residence, phone numbers and other types of information are typically retained in these collections (Sporny 2012). Connections exist between all sorts of individuals, organisations and services. Facebook in particular uses social graphs to automatically share and use identifying information with other people in websites in order to make using the internet and establishing relationships easier. But private or sensitive information could be vulnerable due to the nature of the Social Graph system.There are both pros and cons to the use of social graphs.

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Figure 1: A representation of a social graph. Viewed on 3rd September 2016. Accessed at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/explainer-what-exactly-is-the-social-graph-2012-3?r=US&IR=T

Pros

  • It is far more convenient when creating a new account on an unfamiliar website to be able to share information from Facebook and skip the process.
  • It is easier to compare shared interests with people you know to strengthen your relationship, and you may even discover a shared interest with someone you don’t know well.

 

Cons

  • Sensitive information may be given to other websites or advertisers that you would usually be unwilling to part with, such as place of residence or phone numbers. With the Social Graph system, it is possible that this information would be shared without you being aware of it.
  • Because some information in Social Graphs automatically updates when using the internet, you may accidentally reveal to people you know something you are interested in but would rather keep private.
  • It may be easier for certain people to find personal information on you that you would rather keep to yourself and your personal relationships.

The Social Graph system is helpful in making the internet easier to use, but its effects on personal privacy can be very undesirable.

References

Dickinson, B 2012, ‘So what the heck is the ‘social graph’ Facebook keeps talking about?’, Business Insider Australia, 3 March, viewed 3rd September 2016, http://www.businessinsider.com.au/explainer-what-exactly-is-the-social-graph-2012-3?r=US&IR=T

Manu Sporny 2012, What is linked data?, video, 16 June, viewed 3rd September 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x_xzT5eF5Q&feature=youtu.be

DGTL12002 Working with Social Media Week 5 – Google Maps and APIs

A HTML embedded visual of the Google Maps view of Central Queensland University

APIs, short for application programming interface, are the protocols and requirements that determine how an application may interact with another application. The Google Map APIs are instructions for devices to display Google Maps and tools for users to alter and incorporate Google Maps into their applications or create their own Maps.

References

Google 2016, Google Maps for every platform, viewed 22 August 2016, https://developers.google.com/maps/

Proffitt, B 2013, What APIs are and why they are important, viewed 22 August 2016, http://readwrite.com/2013/09/19/api-defined/

DGTL12002 Working with Social Media Week 4 – The Sheep Market and Innovation

The Sheep Market was an experiment conducted by Aaron Koblin in 2006 where individuals were paid 2 cents to draw and submit a sheep for collection. 7599 unique IP addresses visited the site and submitted sheep and the experiment stopped at 10000 sheep (Koblin 2006).

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Figure 1: The Sheep Market website and the picture. Viewed 20th August 2016. Accessed at http://www.thesheepmarket.com

 

http://www.thesheepmarket.com/

The site is an interesting study in its use of crowdsourcing to achieve its goals and can be considered innovative in some aspects.

To be innovative, a concept or project must be creative in its design, and be successfully created and implemented into reality (von Stamm 2008, pp. 1). In order to successfully implement a potentially innovative concept, the idea must be considered carefully if it is worth pursuing, it must be developed at a reasonable cost and the concept must be commercialised into the market (von Stamm 2008, pp. 1).

The Use of Social Media

Social media and networking sites have become extremely commonplace and are considered to be a normal forum for discussion and communicating with other people. The large number of connections and networks shared by millions of people makes spreading ideas and concepts much more easy (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 56). The Sheep Market is limited in its use of social media as a way of sharing its content. The only option is to email someone a picture of a sheep, which only reaches one person really. This is a fairly simple and common practice. The Sheep Market wouldn’t be considered innovative for its use of social media.

Produsage

‘Produser’ is a relatively new term that refers to users of content that also produce said content (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 57). The user becomes the source of original content, which is referred to as ‘user created content’ (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 55). The Sheep Market incentivised users with its payment of 2 cents and method of creating content, and is composed solely of that user created content. The unique online environment was able to draw in users and the low skill barrier and incentives turned them into ‘produsers’. The Sheep Market is innovative in creating and using produsage.

Crowdsourcing

The Sheep Market’s online environment and its collection and display of user created content created a unique participative medium. Because thousands of users were all contributing content to the website, they were participating in a sort of community, which strengthened the social connection and investment in the project as they all mattered to the overall result (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 59). Content was produced at a quick rate, which also makes it innovative. Using processes that allow for timely and effective execution of projects is important when working on innovative projects (von Stamm 2008, pp. 1). The Sheep Market is innovative in its use of crowdsourcing.

References

Hinton, S & Hjorth 2013, L 2013, Understanding social media, SAGE Publications, London

Kobli, A 2006, The sheep market, viewed 20 August 2016, http://www.thesheepmarket.com/

von Stamm, B 2008, Managing innovation, design and creativity second edition, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

DGTL12002 Working with Social Media Week 3 – Best Job in the World Review

The tourism campaign “Best Job in the World” was a massive success for CumminsNitro, an advertising company in Brisbane and the state of Queensland, Australia. The campaign created an international media stir and drew interest from hundreds of thousands of people (Tourism Australia 2016). The campaign is notable for its use of traditional and new media forms of advertising as well as the focus on interactivity with internet users. The campaign advertised a highly desirable job offer in Queensland and allowed anybody to apply. Applicants had to upload a video of them saying why they would be suitable for the job. The campaign’s unique use of user interactivity make it interesting to study the different types of interactivity involved and how they engaged the users. In The Information Society journal, communications researcher Jennifer Stromer-Galley (2004) proposed a model of 4 types of interactivity when it comes to human-computer interaction, which could be separated into two categories. The Best Job in the World campaign makes use of these 4 types of interactivity.

 

Interactivity-as-process

Between people: It was common for video applications to be created with people working together, as seen in Figure 1.

Between people through mediated channels: Video applications could be shared and commented on by other internet users. The winner of the Best Job had to create and maintain an online blog documenting their experiences as part of the job, in addition to their other duties.

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Figure 1: Mitchel from Canada’s video application. Viewed 22 August 2016, accessible at http://blog.queensland.com/2013/03/07/best-job-in-the-world-application-videos/

Interactivity-as-product

Between people and computers: People created their video applications then uploaded them to Youtube.com. The winner also had to write and post blog updates.

Between computers through software, hardware, and networks: Video editing and uploading plus sharing and being tracked by other computers and websites.

The Best Job in the World campaign is an excellent example of how to engage with internet users. Social media is a participative medium and users interact using user generated content and user created content (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 55). The campaign took advantage of these different ways of interacting and experienced incredible worldwide success.

 

References

Hinton, S & Hjorth, L 2013, Understanding social media, Sage Publications Ltd, London

Islandreefjob17 (poster) 2009, Mitchell, Canada (121976), video, Feb 19, viewed 22 August 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thxSlKVz3fo

Stromer-Galley, J 2004, ‘Interactivity-as-Product and Interactivity-as-Process’, The Information Society, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 391-394

Tourism Australia 2016, About the campaign – best jobs in the world, viewed 22 August 2016, http://www.tourism.australia.com/campaigns/Global-Youth-about-the-campaign.aspxHinton, S & Hjorth, L 2013, Understanding social media, Sage Publications Ltd, London