All posts by alicegell15

Smart and Lazy?

New technology has exploded onto the market and consumers are loving every inch of it. As a tech savvy society we follow the new and upcoming trends an example of this is the constant following of the new Apple iPhone. A following that dominates the smart phone market. We are constantly looking for new technology that can make our lives easier while encapsulating our need for something new and exciting.

Screen shot from http://www.digitaltrends.com/wearables/best-smart-rings/
Screen shot from http://www.digitaltrends.com/wearables/best-smart-rings/

But i question how useful this new technology is, are we just replacing our bodily actions such as dealing a number or pressing a button with a machine to do it for us? Is there a point where technology will replace human action? A example of how we a leaning to this direction is the introduction of the Smart Ring. A ring that you wear on your finger that controls your phone, the smart ring empowers wearers to control the technology that surrounds them such as their smart phones and home appliances. The ring allows you to gesture your finger in the air and do things such as take photos and change your music, the smart ring connects through bluetooth. I question if we really need this technology, a ring to control our smart phone device which we could control with our finger already. I see the value of the technology but I wonder about the level we are willing to go to, to replace human action with technology.

*warning bad langauge

Is replacing human action such as touching a screen with a form of technology the way of the future? Although I can appreciate the technology I don’t see the need for it, why create a technology to do something for you that would be just as easy for you to do it yourself. Are we really making our lives ‘easier’ with new technology or are we replacing normal actions by getting a device to do it for us?

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Data Visualisation VS. Infographics

Data visualisation has the ability to summarise important facts and statistics while presenting them in a creative and unique way, although there are some faults with the use of data visualisation and Infographics. Both mediums have there pro’s and con’s.

1. Is there such as a thing as too many facts, well yes there is! Some data visualisation have way too much going on which makes it hard to swallow and disgust the information. To create a successful data visualisation the key is to make it legible, easy to understand and presented in a logical way.

Meme taken fromhttp://www.focusst.org/forum/attachments/focus-st-discussions/57414d1405306494-so-wife-just-asked-me-something-crazy-what_meme.jpg
Meme taken fromhttp://www.focusst.org/forum/attachments/focus-st-discussions/57414d1405306494-so-wife-just-asked-me-something-crazy-what_meme.jpg

2. Infographics have the ability to present information quickly, clearly and in a manageable format. Although this could be seen as a pro and as a con. An infographic could potentially be seen as a fact sheet with pictures? Here’s an example of an infographic that is doing just this.

Infographic taken from http://www.aolcdn.com/ch_tv/kim-kardashian-wedding-info
Infographic taken from http://www.aolcdn.com/ch_tv/kim-kardashian-wedding-info

* This is an example of an infographic that in simply displaying the facts, and not following the guidelines of how to create a successful infographic. Although it displays the facts clearly, it does not capture ones eye because its simplicity and lack of creative design.

3. Data Visualisations oozes sophistication through detail and design when done right. Through succeeding the 4 characteristics of a great infographics; Data, Design, Story and Share-ability it has the power to project the facts and statistics in a interesting and detailed way. Design is highly important when discussing the success of infographics due to there complicated nature.

Taken from https://podio.com/site/creative-routines
Taken from https://podio.com/site/creative-routines
Image taken from https://podio.com/site/creative-routines
Image taken from https://podio.com/site/creative-routines

4. Infographics are straight to the point, heres the facts and statistics without the complication of deciphering the key or the statistics. Infographics although simple have the potential to provide a overview of a data visualisation while being attractive to the eye.

Image taken from http://www.bowdoindailysun.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Shoplifters512.jpg
Image taken from http://www.bowdoindailysun.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Shoplifters512.jpg

Both data visualisation and Infographics have the ability to appeal to the viewer but for different reasons and their pro’s and con’s. Complication Vs. Details, Design Vs. Readability are just some of the characteristics that are involved in deciphering the success of data visualisation and infographics.

Effective or Insensitive Data Journalism

Data journalism is a form of journalism that is created from forms of data to form the story of the article. Data journalism has numerous possibilities through its ability to combine the traditional need for news while having the ability to tell a compelling story through the use of sheer range and scale of digital information. Although data journalism is not a new practice but through the new found access we have through the power of the internet data journalism has transformed into a information pool of secrets. A topic that has caused controversy within the data journalism realm due to its sensitive nature.

1. Newtown Connecticut shooting, 2012

The data journalism reports that followed the shooting started an urgency of discussion about the multi facets of gun laws and violence in the U.S. The data journalism that followed this event through the use of infographics, charts and tables as well as historical timelines and status of gun control policy. Although the reports helped outline the severe problems the U.S has with gun laws. The reports came into cross-fire due to their circulation on social media and the reporting style was found offensive by some and become desensitised when addressing such a controversial topic.

Screenshot from Washingtonpost.com of data journalism article on school shootings in the US
Screenshot from Washingtonpost.com of data journalism article on school shootings in the US

2. Data Journalism has been used to track the amount of deaths that have occured in Chicago from 2007 to the present. When in engaging in data journalism that involve the use of figures we can sometimes forget that these statistics are formed by the lose of lives. Although they can be effective they also have the potential to offend those that find the statistics impersonal due to its sensitive nature.

Screenshot from http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118003/maps-crime-chicago-crime-different-neighborhoods
Screenshot from http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118003/maps-crime-chicago-crime-different-neighborhoods

Gain friends through FarmVille

The game FarmVille is a simulation social network game developed by the company Zynga in 2009. The game involves various aspects of fame management such planting crops, growing and harvesting. The game can be played on social networking sites such as Facebook as well as its ability to be played on smartphones. So how does Farmville encapsulate the idea of networking?

Farmville has the ability to be played on Facebook which allows others to engage with your farm and help each other with provide tools and services for ones farm. The game is free to play but also encourages people to spend money on the game called ‘Farm Cash’. Although Farmville has lost its popularity since its gradual decline 2012 the game has fallen from seventh most popular game to now being seventy-third most popular Facebook game.

Screenshot image taken from www.blog.games.com
Screenshot image taken from http://www.blog.games.com

The ability to play FarmVille on Facebook incorporates the social networking aspect from Facebook into the areas of gameplay. So how do you network and stay connected playing a farm simulated game? You can contact your Facebook friends to improve your farm more quickly by gaining the use of their farmhands or by gaining rewards by helping them. They have also allowed non-Facebook users to interact with other FarmVille users on Facebook to network and interact on each others farms.

Image taken from www.blog.games.com
Image taken from http://www.blog.games.com

Facebook has opened up Farmville’s ability to connect people who are also playing, while having the ability to help other players out in the hopes that other players will also help you. You can invite your friends on Facebook to play the game, although there has been heavy backlash of the constant Farmville invites that people were receiving. Farmville is an example of the power of social networking through gaming with the use of a social media platform.

The power of the Vlog

With 4 billions video views per day on the immensely popular website YouTube, why not try your luck in becoming a YouTube sensation by starting your own vlog, ranging from instruction videos and strumming some notes on the guitar in the hope to get noticed by Usher and become the next Justin Bieber. Although there is a catch YouTube has 1  billion users. So you’ll have to stand out from the rest.

Vlogging on YouTube has skyrocketed into popularity especially within the instruction video sector. Anything from cooking tutorials, to online gaming tips and makeup tutorials are available at your fingertips. You just have to find a vlog that ticks all the boxes for you. YouTube videos allow viewers to comment on the video and ask questions and  to make comments about how to improve video and request topics that they want to be covered. This provides the creator of the videos an insight into the activity, wants and needs of the videos.

A screenshot from Loz Curtis's beauty blogging site. This is a viewer commenting on the video and asking her to do a video on another topic.
A screenshot from Loz Curtis’s beauty blogging site. This is a viewer commenting on the video and asking her to do a video on another topic.

YouTube vlogging allows a niche market of people to express their interests and discussing ideas with like minded people, producing a video that appeals to the niche market allows one to be successful in that certain sector. It is surprising how many people follow certain blogs that one would find a very rare interest.

Vlogging allows individuals to express their own interest within modern society, YouTube has dramatically enhanced the power of self-expression and a way to connect a individuals with shared interests from all over the globe. The power of 21st century technology has allowed people to connect and share and vlogging is a further extension of this, It connects individuals with a shared interest together. Another example of the variety of vlogs available to viewers is seen within YouTubes structure, YouTube selects the most popular videos and categories it which allows you to view popular videos on your chosen interest. An example of this is the gaming sector of the Youtube, which is being constantly being updated by people all over the world. Vlogging allows individuals to connect across the globe in shared niche interests, it creates a connection.

Screenshot from YouTube Gaming Section
Screenshot from YouTube Gaming Section

We Demand News 24/7

With the introduction on various media platforms its allows one to gain access to breaking news in various. Long gone are the days of Brian Henderson‘s face on our TV’s on National Nine News at 6pm. As as 90’s child I remember gathering around the TV, just excited to be in front of the glorious box of flashing images with the sound of my father commenting on John Howard’s latest political move. How the times have changed, it is now once in a blue moon for more than one family member in my household would be in front of the TV at 6pm watching the nightly news. The demand is no longer there, why crowd around the TV to listen to news you’ve already been updated on all day when you can look on Facebook and browse various articles, scroll through on Twitter and Instagram or go browse news sites through out the day.

Image taken from 2GB.com.au
Brian Henderson – National Nine News. Image taken from 2GB.com.au

Digital media has opened up the flood gate to the 24 hour news cycle, it allows one to be updated constantly on the #411. James Webster and Thomas Ksiazek’s reading ‘The Dynamics of Audience Fragmentation’ introduces the idea of “on-demand” patterns of consumption through the overlapping of media consumption. I understand this article to touch on how we gain our news from various different platforms now compared to 10 years ago when the nightly news and print media was king.

We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to being updated on the news from around the world, from updates on the Nepal Earthquake to the nervous wait of Princess Kate’s over due royal baby. Social media platforms allow us to engage in various sites to gain access to trending stories. Facebook, Twitter, News Websites and Apps and even Instagram are the new gate way to keeping updated on whats going on in the world.

Screenshot of Breaking News site on Twitter
Screenshot of Breaking News site on Twitter
Screenshot from Seven News Facebook
Screenshot from Seven News Facebook
Screenshot from Kyle and Jackie O's Instagram
Screenshot from Kyle and Jackie O’s Instagram

The Idea that changed it all

We can frankly say that the introduction of the internet into our lives has completely change how we interact, communicate, learn, shop and research amongst many other things. The idea of the internet was seen as early as the 1950’s and began to gain traction in the 1960’s through the United States government. The 1980’s is where the internet really started take off with the introduction of the World Wide Web.

This invention has completely change how we as humans run our lives. We rely on a system of internet servers to satisfy our thirst and addiction to social media, online gaming, online gambling and even simple daily tasks such as grocery shopping and paying bills.

Upon researching for this weeks topic I stumbled across an article in The New York Times called ‘Embracing the Power of the Internet’ The poses the question of how we use the internet, the example of the traditional news platform of the newspaper is used. Cowell points out the flaws that follow the internet and its ability of ‘free expression’ it opens one self up to abuse due to its eligibility. The internet allows everyone to have an opinion, some of which do more harm than good. From this article I  gained the perspective that the internet should be used more than just a space to put your opinion but rather to create communication and free flow of ideas. I pose the question, are we really ’embracing the power of the internet now’?

Image taken from facoo,com
Image taken from facoo.com