What’s Your Spirit Vegetable?

This week we explored copyrights and ‘copywrongs’

We discovered that even though parody comes under fair use, or fair dealings provisions, there are those with the power to strip the internet of comedic and often socially relevant genius with take-down notices. The internet share and share-alike utopia is far from reality. Mainly due to the commercialization of most, if not all content .

This got me thinking about remix culture, and the possibilities it could have for our online feature. I created the following video about remix culture, using the ‘Downfall’ example given in the lecture…

Jonathan highlighted the way  in which remixing Downfall brought far more attention to the original film than it would have received otherwise. Thus remixing can be used as a tool to draw contributors and content creators, diversifying the way we look at our original content.

This is demonstrated by the recent take down of Auckland University Law students feminist parody of Robin Thicke’s repulsive “Blurred Lines”.

Further to considering the elements of remixing as a tool to draw crowds, the benefits of remix culture, the copyleft movement and creative commons can all be utilised in the creation of our own content, and dramatically boost user interaction.

Group Progress Update Week 6:

The week after our presentation progress is plodding along nicely. A revamp of our timeline to more effectively stage the output of content, and fit with our own schedules was completed after the lecture.
After feedback from our presentation we have decided to cut Pinterest from our social media platforms. Sticking with twitter, instagram and facebook as ways to both create and draw user interaction and also as useful platforms for content creation that can be embedded in our blog.
We are also working on stressing the use of course related content in our online feature as an avenue for social change and an online hub for a community interested in the movement.
Still searching for the perfect template for the website – it’s proving difficult, but I feel like it will affect the entire accessibility of content if we don’t get it right!
But for now, the future holds some heavy content creation and interaction….

Here’s something I made for fun:

Adventures in coding a generator…
The Spirit Vegetable Generator: http://spiritvegetablegenerator.tumblr.com/


a remix inspired by
The Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator and a crash course in html coding in the tutorial.


Video Embedding

Just like Miley….

To Bean or Not to Bean?

I’d like to begin by saying that we did the following to all our ideas but one:

A blog about Veganism won the day, and today was the day to present on our idea! We asked the question, To Bean Or Not To Bean?

You can find the presentation in full here: http://prezi.com/0ffjcebwwvof/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Here’s a snazzy screenshot:

Screen shot 2013-09-05 at 8.57.03 PM

Break down of our website:

  • About:  a brief intro to the website, our mission to compile an investigative and worthy feature and to us, it’s tiny demi-gods.
  • Home page: engaging content such as videos, photos, my ‘spirit vegetable’ generator and links to our social media running down the side of the page. We want the home page to be inviting, and encourage people to keep reading. (still working on the layout of this, damn you wordpress themes!)
  • Investigation: or the inVEGstigation (claiming that one) which will address the rising trend in veganism, look at arguments for and against and conduct an investigation into the science of the worthiness of a vegan diet.
  • Vegi-fact: a fact checking exercise based on popular website Politi-Fact on the myths of veganism.
  • The Vegan Challenge: this involves our participants involving themselves in gonzo journalism by going vegan for a week.
    This is how I felt about giving up icecream for a week:
  • Cafe and restaurant reviews: complete with photos and links to relevant websites.
  • Groceries and shopping: use of google maps to locate good areas for vegan shopping.
  • Why Vegan?: looking at the environmental and ethical considerations of veganism.

Our Blog URL: http://tobeanornottobe.wordpress.com/

Feedback after the presentation:
Be sure to consider the activist element. How does your idea fit within the concept of social activism? How are you using the internet to achieve social change? This would be largely through the reflections on veganism as a social movement (Why Vegan? In-Veg-Stigation)

Just for fun….

Vegan Style:

Research/Further Reading:

Onwards and upwards into content creation and development we go!

Brand Who?

Who we are online is defined by where we go, what we consume, what we ‘like’/’retweet’/’share’. But who exactly is brand me, brand you, brand who?

As Clay Shirky argues, ‘the history of the modern world could be rendered as the history of ways of arguing, where changes in media change what sort of arguments are possible — with deep social and political implications.’

‘Brand Me’ (Hearn, 2008) is a big part of that media change, and we are witnessing now the implications of cooperative infrastructure in online communities, shaping the way problems are solved, how content is co-created and how power is spread among the actors of such communities.

This Jezebel article is a hilarious example of the intersection between online/offline lives and ‘Brand Me’

The exploration of “Brand Me” has inspired a new idea for our online feature. The comparison of digital and online lives. How much of our day can we live through the internet? What is the difference between online and offline lives?

This feature idea could incorporate one group member going ‘offline’ for a day, the other living as much as their life ‘online’ as possible.
Investigating how we interact and form our identities, the impact of online lives on our offline lives and vice versa.

Group Progress Update Week 4:
The group has come up with a few ideas for an online feature (and threw them enthusiastically at Miles for advice after the tutorial):

  • Online/Offline Lives
  • Transgender Community Information Hub
  • Women in Sport
  • Ayahuasca Drug
  • Living Sustainably in Sydney
  • Dumpster Diving
  • Veganism

A gif representing how we might end up choosing our topic:

I’m going to citizen all over your journalist!

Last week’s lecture explored the question that makes media students hide under their beds and shake in their boots – does the world still need professional journalists?

So what is it that goes bump in the night, Rosen sums it up – “When people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their profession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.” (Jay Rosen, 2008).

For citizen journalists, bloggers, casual tweeters, whatever you wish to call them “The measure of status and self worth is not what you gain, but how useful and influential your work is to others” (Simons, 2007:206) – basically revolving around the idea of reciprocity and attention – a ‘Gift Economy’.

This gift economy relies on three main aspects:

  • Material prosperity (e.g. high level literacy)
  • Tools for free information exchange
  • Culture of sharing and social networking.

But we still need professional journalists:  journalism interprets, investigates, and contextualizes. Basically, your humble journalist makes sense of the big issues, and churns them out in a digestible, contextualized way.

The main point I’d like to stress is context.  Defined as, “the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.” (Oxford Dictionary, 2013). Not something that all journalists manage all of the time. But something that sets the best out from the rest.

But considering our online feature works outside of the realms of mainstream, institutional, professional media – we walk the line between our desire to uphold contextually driven and grounded investigations, and the need to provide ‘click-worthy’ content for our niche market, whatever that may be…

Group Progress Update Week 2-3

Forming a group – Me, Fabian, Lane and Grace. Keen to work with this team of intelligent, talented and lovely people.

We’ve agreed to meet straight after lectures on Mondays to nut out some ideas for our online feature.

Hopefully the idea we run with can ride both horses named ‘context’ and ‘niche’ without looking like a circus act…

Tutorial Work:

Banner Competition


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The internet was created for one purpose, then we started sharing cat videos…

Online Media.

It all comes back to cats.

‘The heartwarming tale of a cat’s insatiable lust for provocative dancing…..’

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