Author Archive

Week 12 identity

June 9, 2010

Who we are?

In digital media, we can be the other person. We are represent by an IP address on internet. We can be considered as an email address to log in Facebook, twitter. On FaceBook, Twitter, the profile photo makes a little more ‘human’. Compare 5 years ago, when icq is the main stream of instant text messenger, the interface was only a text box. Now the latest icq 7, release in March 2010, had a similar appearance of MSN Messenger.

On Ebay, we are  ‘self brand’ and ‘brand’ by the public. The feedback from other sellers and buyers give the feedback rate to determine you can be trust or not. We can be a trust person by selling items as listed.

On Twitter, we can brand ourselves and see how many people follow our ‘twitt’.  Interesting, in China, many interest users break the state-censor programme to follow a ‘twitt’ from a Japanese porn star, Sora Aoi.

No matter who we are, we need to be repect. Both on real world or digital world.


Week 11: Qualitative Research

June 4, 2010

The approach to conduct a qualitative research is different from a quantitative research.

As a former science student, I familiar with writing  quantitative research report.

In a quantitative research, first a hypothesis is generated. Then procedure is made to find out the hypothesis is true or not.

However, in qualitative research, strong and persuasive argument must be given, with supported by concepts, to draw the conclusion.

Recording the diary as well as carrying an interview, are the key to understand  the findings.

Open structure questions are preferred to let the interviewee express as much as possible.

Besides interviewing my participant, I observed her media usage. So I can clarify why she did such action.

Carrying this research not only improve my English skill, but also make me feel I am really an Uni student, which I did something to reflect and perfection, not simply for examinations.

Week 10 – Semiotics and Meaning

May 30, 2010




Above three words are the basic to understand semiotics.

I found an example to make it easy to understand the terms above.

Short text Message Service (SMS) are widely use in mobile phone for communication. Especially popular among Asian young girl, who prefer to communicate via SMS. Each message is limited to 160 character in each message. In order to maximize the content in each message, different abbreviation are produced, as if a new language: SMS language.

Take ASAP for example.

ASAP is a ‘Signifer’, which is the physical form of sign.

ASAP, from the initials of As Soon As Possible’ , is ‘Signified’ to be ‘as soon as possible’.

The ‘Sign’, ‘ASAP’ is formed. From being meaningless, to can be interpreted as  ‘as soon as possible’.

Some ‘signs’ are more creative.

like ‘^_^’ is a happy face. or ‘:)’ is also a smiling face. This codes condense the meaning into picture. Vibrant the text message.

SMS usage also appear in Movie. Example can be found  in ‘The Departed’ (2006). In one scene, Leonardo DiCaprio sent a SMS with a symbol ‘$’, to alert his boss Queenan, acted byMartin Sheen, the drug dealer is doing transaction.


Srivastava, L. (2005) ‘ Mobile phones and the evolution of social behaviour’  Behaviour & Information Technology, Vol. 24, No. 2, March – April 2005, 111 – 129

Week 9 – Media Audiences

May 30, 2010

Reading: Couldry, Nick ‘The extended audience’.

According to Couldry, there are three types of audience.

Simple audience, refer to book readers and drama viewers.

Mass audience, refer to readers to mass media, like newspaper, radio, and television.

Diffused audience, refers to audience connect to more then one media form.

At the time of simple audience, say the beginning of 20 centry to 1950, cross platform media is not usual.  At that time, magazine is the popular media. At the Second World War, LIFE magazine act as the ‘messager’ to bring readers to the war zone via the photos. Although readers read the photos days or weeks after the event had took place, most of them still enjoy. Because magazine is the only reliable source of information.

At the era of simple audience, there are a clear boundary between producer and consumer. Due to the fact that the majority could not afford photographic equipment.  Germany made Leica or Zeiss are very popular that at time, and it cost more then a month salary of a worker. More over, the film process required trained technique.   These hinder the participation of amateurs.

As time pass to 70’s, the LIFE magazine closed. No one would like latest news weeks ago. TV and radio broadcast replace magazine to show the audience first hand news. Life video broadcast available as the digital recorder was made, which was use at the Apollo Luna Mission. After that, video no longer required the chemical develop process  and can transmit directly for edit or broadcast.

Mass audience adopt the use of mass media. But each media seems do not coordinate cross platform. More importantly, boundary between producer and consumer is still clear.

The most influence event in the past decade is the attack on World Trade Centre at New York, USA, on 11th September, 2001.

This can be regard as the last live broadcast via mass media, the CNN. Later on, the latest news of South Asia Tsunami and the Death of Michael Jackson are captured and post on web. From web and report by the mass media.

Diffused audience appear after year 2000. They can participate the news making. Boundary between producer and consumer  become vague. Due to the affordable camrecorder and the spread of internet.

Internet provide the platform which can access anywhere (a good network). Like the Queen has her only channel on YouTube.

The traditional print media, like Wall Street Journal, has the online version, provide free access.

LIFE magazine, which fade away, alive on Google Book.

Tut Post 8 Network

May 4, 2010

Network is use to connect individuals.

Now, we can connect to other person via phone, internet or mail. These are decentralize medium, which means the message is not dispatch from a single source, but generate and transmit freely through different individuals, call ‘node’ in a network.

Internet and mobile technology raised from the past 20 years. Before that, message are dispatch centralize. Like the pager. You need to call the panel and say the message and the panel will transfer it to the person. Message must work through the third party, and that process limited the content of message (From verbal to text). Although voice transmits through phone also process by third party, there is a reproduction of the medium (from sound, to electronic signal, and then sound). The recipient receive the message as it dispatch.

Another centralize example is World Expo. The first World Expo is held in UK in 1851, at the peak if industrial revolution. The reason to organize this expo is to let all factory owner, or machine maker, have a glance and choose the new invention and affordable products, in order to mass production in the minimum cost. At that year, lack of interpersonal communication network, the only way to gather buyers is by such expo. But now, every company can advertise on internet, by google adword, and attrack buyers online, all over the world, without the physical appear in the shop.

Some word for the lecture: Although the train network is not covering to UNSW, the bus network is. We move from one network to another in order to go to out place.

Tut 7 posting Convergence

April 24, 2010

Before go into this weeks’ topic: Convengence, I would like to share a video about how media can be use to put private opinion into public:

There is English Subtitle and English is avaliable at time 1:30.

Convergence appear when we move from analog to digital, mechanic to electronic.

For example, we can view photos, edit or even send to internet on a digital camera. A decade ago, ‘film’ was still the main photographic  medium.

Camera was from the word ‘camera obscura’, means ‘black box’.

In the 60s, exposure meter, which determine the correct amount of light, is build in cameras.

In 70s, auto exposure is widely seen in camera, which the camera make the decision for the shutter and aperture for a suitable exposure .

In the late 80s, auto focus because possible.

In the 90s, the combination of all technology above merge into one body.

Year 2000 onwards, the photographic medium shift from analog to digital.

All the retouching  process now is replace by computer software, like ‘Photoshop’.

Apple Inc’s main concept may conside to be ‘convergence’.

The famous ‘iMac’, merge the screen, CD-driver and hardware together.

The iPod wheel controller, fuse all control on one wheel and the central button.

iPod Touch and iPad, use touch screen to nevigate.iPod Touch is portable music player, as well as pocket computer. This terminates Sony WalkMan to popular in  portable music player,

Convergence  makes media cross platform, like Apple Inc. introduce iTune to sell music.

In publish industry, print media, like Monocle, launch online audio and video service in order to attract more readers.

Week 6 Posting

April 21, 2010

Here is Ito’s core arguments:

This chapter argues that the mobile phone can indeed enable communication that crosses prior social boundaries, but this does not necessarily mean that the devices erode the integrity of existing places or social identities,

This charter argues that characteristics of mobile phones and mobile communication are not inherent in the device, but are determined by social and cultural context and power relations.

Mobile phone can be used as a creative tool.

First is ‘mobile novel’, which origin from Japan. The majority of users are train passengers who spend an hour two to travel to work. Commuters type the novel using mobile and send their work via text message to particular site to publish their work. Subscriber can read the novel through mobile. Novels were considered as hard to write but this proved that everyone can, unless you don’t open your creativity. However, in Australia, while many still drive to work, they no long have the commute time to write.

Besides, mobile phone can be transform to a photography tool. The book, the best camera is the one you have is photo by an IPhone. Althought digital camera can be fit into your pocket, it is not as handy as the phone. Because mobile phone almost become a part of our body. Besides of convenience, mobile phone camera has another advantage: it is not as aggrieve than any camera. Usually, mobile phone cameras do not have the lens zoom out, and no annoying shutter noise. Distraction can be lowered. More, mobile phone cameras do not contain any complex control, same as Kodak’s slogan, ‘you push the button and we do the rest’. This helps photographers to concentrate on composition.

Week 5: Media research, ‘Media & Everyday Life’

April 12, 2010

Week 5 ‘s readings are Qualitative Communication Research, by Lindlof and Taylor; and Using Diary in Social Research, by Corti. (available @

First, I would take about the Qualitative Communication Research. It mentions qualitative research is inductive. This means planning to discover the issue. Moreover, Lindlof and Taylor explain qualitative researchers need to be discipline and inquisitive. Being discipline means the researcher know ‘do the right things at the right time’. Being inquisitive refers to the ability to explore the relevant and unique data to interpret

Finally, the reading stresses the importance of the research proposal. The proposal acts as a guideline which can be following and serves as a platform to review.

The second reading is about using diary to record data. The author argues that the advantage of using diary to collect data, instead of interview, is that diary can be write down anywhere, anytime, to prevent ‘events that are easily forgotten’.

I have been writing diary for eight years. And I notice that free format diary is really hard to follow. But a too formatted diary will leading data lost since not all criteria cannot be predicted. Therefore, put the main research criteria in the diary and let the research participant to record. Although the participant may be reluctant to write the truth, after conquer the ‘first day effect’, and the detail explanation by the researcher, the diary can be fill in and collect data to be interpret.

Tut Posting 4: Space

March 29, 2010

I agree what Moore quoted Meyrowitz:’ Place is being plutalized by electronic media use’.

Firstly I would like to talk about video game.

The online game ‘second life’ which the setting is based on ‘real life’, players seems ‘live’ in the parallel of the real world. However, video games, like Nintendo’s Mario, a Role-play game (RPG), let the player control the avatar to have an adventures in an imaginary place. Besides, the Wii Sport promoting doing sport at home. Which make the mundane exercise interesting. The combination of real exercise and virtual in the screen give players huge satisfaction.

Secondly, I would like to talk about ‘doubling of place’.

‘Doubling of place’ can often found on public transport. On Sydney trains, buses, passengers usually reading books, magazines, play games on mobile. Every passenger has his only place in the train. Each on is not overlapping the other one. Unless, say, someone speak loudly on phone, which is a ‘ritual’ when people traveling in  my homeland, Hong Kong. Especially you are taking train towards mainland China. Their conversation is being heard, my tranquilness is being interrupted.  This is a lose-lose situation. Solutions? In Japan, Tokyo, talking mobile phone is prohibited, in order to lower the disturbance of privacy.

Technology make the building of place easily. Like wearing a headphone can enjoy a piece of music on your own everywhere. We should treasure the power to build our own place.

Tut posting 3 Mediation: Time

March 23, 2010

What I have to say about the readings this week is interesting.

We are now living in a world that time can be notice by  media: like TV, radio programme.

But the rise of internet may even make that not true, because we can download and watch the programme anytime. With portable devices, we can enjoy movie, podcast anywhere, anytime.

Time, the 24 hours, is related to sun location.

People get up and work when dawn, sleep at sun set, such as farmers.

As instantaneous telecommunication take place in almost everyone media ritual, we live in a world may base on other time zone. Like investment banker in Australia need to pay attention to UK stock market, which have a 12 hours delay. Or for leisure, watch football match in UK.

Time is first measure by the attitude of sun, now is measured by ‘the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom’.

The most popular way to measure time is by a watch.

All in all, the environment, like the falling of leaves showing seasonal changes, as a natural time indicator.