Making up a game

The game involves using QR codes to claim prizes won from different cafes around the CBD. The QR codes, when scanned, function the same way a stamp does on a loyalty card (when you put in your password on the website). So one ‘stamp’ is one scan of a QR code on a coffee cup. When you have collected enough ‘stamps’, you win a $10 voucher from one of the stores on your virtual card. The game only runs over a couple of weeks though, so you have to visit the stores enough times while its running to be eligible, hence the cafes motivation for participating. Further motivation for each cafe to participate is the use of Twitter in this game. Each time one of your followers starts playing the game and claims that you told them about it, you get a stamp. For every 3 tweets to the hashtag or to the page of the game you get a stamp. If you visit a combination of these cafes and are one of the first to scan from each of them, you  win the main prize, which is a months worth of free coffee from a chosen participating cafe. Some codes take you to a page where you can also claim instant wins such as a free muffin with your next drink.

The motivation for players of this game is to get the free drinks. The participating businesses are motivated because the game is promoted over twitter, which will raise consumer awareness and bring in new business.

The use of Twitter to market the game will provide potential players with instant, to the point information about what the game involves. Links that provide further detail can be attached to tweets for those who want to know more. Twit pics will be used as evidence (i.e. posting official posters, photos of people with their free drinks). This will aid the projected image as it makes the game appear more trustworthy.

url

Celestial City 1: produce a digital story

The final assignment for Networked Media in 2013 was to create a digital story and market it to an audience. Here is how we did it.

– Laura Salamit0 & Alex Northcott

Present work to your tutor and go through with this work.

We presented our work to our tutor both via email and in person. We stuck to the theme of humiliating moments and the use of one character for a story that would feature in a video, marketed through twitter hash tags, mentions and blog posts.

Our story.

Our story is about a guy called Frank, and the most embarrassing day of his life. The video combines music, narration and sound effects to make a soundscape that fits our still images. These images are made from royalty free photos and cartoon drawings of main characters.  The still images each go for six seconds, as does each section of the soundscape. The story was quirky, simple and easy to work with and to create a background for.

Marketing.

We had a look on ning.com for social networking options and explored the possible packages you can purchase. We decided, however, that in our circumstances it would be more economic to use a site that we can afford and are already confident with.

We used WordPress and Twitter to market our story to an audience, (young adults). This is effective because they both enable hashtags, both can be followed and interacted with. The WordPress blog is where it all happens. We created a home page with the video, a page for users to post their stories and a page for users to view their stories. There is already a post from an audience member who was interested in the story. Twitter -a more widely and trivially used social networking platform- is of the most use in terms of awareness and promotion. In 140 characters or less, it is easy to convey the crux of our story and inform potential audience members of the blog.

Design principles.

We followed the lecture advice and did more than just video for level 3. We used video in combination with text and still images, all embedded into a blog for audiences to explore, interact with and contribute to. In taking the given advice and accepting that we weren’t going to use actors was a good decision of ours, as the way we worked in terms of timing was completely up to us and we didn’t have to depend on the abilities or commitment of others.  We relied on production skills we already had- Alex’s awesome drawing, my ability to source and mix sounds and our critical thinking in terms of marketing.

Groupwork.

Alex and I worked well in a group together. We both used our individual strengths to our advantage. For example, when making the video, she drew and photoshopped the cartoons and I put together the soundscape. This was something we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own.

 

evidence/links.

blog: http://flusteredfrank.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/flusteredfrank

hashtag: #flusteredfrank

Sources.

All images were sourced from wiki commons and archive.org

All sound effects were sourced from Freesfx 

The music was by Kevin Macleod 

All content was royalty free.

Digital storytelling review

Here is a review of three different digital stories.

  1. Sound of my Voice trailer 
  2. Take this Lollipop 
  3. Sins of the Fathers 

Sound of My Voice

This digital story was really captivating. While I only saw the trailer, I felt anxious, confused and frustrated on behalf of the characters. It functioned well as an online movie. At the end of the trailer there was a link to watch the first 12 minutes of the full movie. Clever. A strength of an entire movie functioning as a digital story is that the audience can watch it at their own leisure. They can pause, skip forward, back and watch it on the go. This does double as a weakness though. Many people would still be more receptive to seeing a movie in its entirety at the cinema, where there is no disturbance, surround sound and minimal lighting. Therefore, they are less likely to get bored and are more likely to engage closely with the story. While I think its a great story, I don’t think its a significant development in terms of storytelling, as all that has changed about this movie is the platform.

Take this Lollipop

This is a brilliant form of online storytelling. In personally engaging the audience (by making them the main character of the story), it has a lasting effect on their mental state. It is therefore more likely to be remembered than any other story about stranger danger. In this story- you’re the one in danger. A strength of this story was the use of current Facebook data as narrative content. The one big weakness was having to put your Facebook password in. Even though it says on the home page that the creators don’t like hackers, its hard to trust any site that asks for such information. I think its great, a really significant development for storytelling. It reminded me of those personalized books you could order as a kid. But this time it actually had a meaning. While it was all fiction, it dealt with real life issues and implications through its association with social media and your own personal internet use.

Sins of the Fathers

This was a film made in an acmi workshop about digital storytelling. It had no significance in the way of storytelling development but it was still an engaging story. A strength was the use of calm, slow narration and soft background music in combination with abstract pictures as well as real photographs. A weakness of the video was that in the form I watched it (and I’m sure other audience members did was well), the edges of the screen were cut off. 

Overall I think these were all quite gripping, innovative stories that made effective use of delivering a story online. 

It happened to me at RMIT

I was down in the edit suites in building 9, editing my TV project for Broadcast Media. It was late at night. I was alone. Anxious.

Then it happened.

The circle of doom.

-You know the one. When you’re working on a mac and that rotating rainbow circle appears on screen. You just know you will loose all your work.-

Apple ‘S’, Apple ‘S’! … Nothing.

My TV project is gone. Final cut, you bastard.

ps… check our my qr code I put down in the tech services for other students who are editing!

0-1 0-2 0

 

 

And… It works!

0-3

Apps

Remember the days before smart phones? When the most exciting thing you could do with your phone was get sport updates texted to you or play snake? It was pretty limited before the smart phone app phenomenon.

But apps aren’t really new.

When thinking about the pros and cons of apps (see below for my list), I could come up with a lot more pros than cons. Therefore this phenomenon is fairly important in the contemporary mediascape in terms of business opportunities. I know from personal experience  if a company doesn’t have an app (or at the very least a mobile site) I will get frustrated and move on to its competitor. Not only does creating an app for your business or organisation increase consumer access, but smartphone apps function as another advertising medium.

Watching this video made me realise that apps have been around for a while, and it is the medium in which they are used that has changed. As stated in the video, apps used to be expensive, offline and sometimes time consuming.
The pros of apps:
  • they’re entertaining
  • they’re cheap and often free
  • they don’t take long to download
  • they don’t require you to open a web page
  • you can design them yourself
  • there are apps for everything from diets to social media to public transport help
  • yon can collect and categorise them

the cons of apps:

  • they eat up battery on your phone if you don’t close them properly or frequently enough
  • they can take up a large amount of storage space
  • they can have hidden add on prices or extras

 

Some apps I recommend:

  • One really popular app at the moment is ‘4 pics 1 word’.
  • Robot Unicorn Attack- as a game to kill time. It’s odd and you get to run through things and explode them
  • Face Switch: to merge your friends faces and see how hilariously ugly they are
  • The Silver-Top taxi app- every time I use it to book a cab (even a maxi on a busy night), it has arrived on time

 

My contribution to the student charter

Heres my take on sharing and contributing to the learning of your peers.

File sharing and collaborative editing

My experience of file sharing has been quite varied. I remember in high school when we would all use the one cheat sheet for an open book test, or girls would send each other whole assignments the night before they’re due. It’s so different at university. We find a resource, use it as a citation and to increase the credibility of our work. Rarely do we share these resources. And why would we when ‘highly individual’ work is held in such high esteem? Often we have to go out of our way to find a source in the first place, why should we just give that away?

On the other hand, on the occasion that someone has shared a file with me, I’m really grateful. As the saying goes ‘many hands make light work’, and I’m sure we could all come up with an individual perspective from the same journal article as other students. We do it all the time, and if you work hard enough to earn the good grades, you’ll still get them despite the fact that other students have seen your precious widely published new resource.

Collaborative editing can also go both ways. Similarly to file sharing, ‘many hands make light work’. In theory, its a great idea. We all contribute and we all get the same result with only a portion of the effort. However this is often not the case. You often find that some members of a group slack off, and it becomes a one person assignment with a few names on it. However, I think a variety of opinions (even those that clash) can only improve the work.

The student charter

(see below for a print screen)

1. My first contribution to the student charter is aimed at remind myself and other students not to take advantage of place at university. Yeah ‘Ps get degrees’, but you can’t approach your whole education with this mentality. There are always others who would kill for a place in your degree. It was important to addthis into the student charter because education is a privilege, not a right. 

2. My second contribution is important because dishonesty might get you by for one assignment, but when you need to remember what that assignment was on for next year or for real life, chances are you won’t be able to. I added it in because we only ever hear about the implications of cheating that are to do with getting caught or penalised. Honest work is better work and if your conscious isn’t enough to get you to work thatway, hopefully this will be.

6. My third contribution to the student charter add an alternative angle to the need to accept others and embrace the diverse environment at uni. As well as it being everyone right to be treated with respect and to be valued as an individual, we can always benefit from being open to fresh ideas and alternative ways of life. You know the saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.

Image

Purple= my contributions

Ebooks? More like… eshmocks

The way I see it, you either love or hate the idea of ebooks.

I’m one of those people who love to buy books, read them, dog ear them, lend them, re-read them, order them, display them and most importantly: keep them on my bookshelf for ever.

So to me, when I see someone reading from a Kindle on the train, it seems like a waste. I choose to see the negative aspects of the ebook phenomenon. But the world must be onto something, not this many people can be totally wrong. There have to be some pros.

Image

I can come up with a whole lot of cons.

  • ebooks don’t have that fresh (or wonderfully old) paper smell
  • ebooks can’t sit on your shelf and decorate your empty wall space
  • If you loose the storage space for your ebooks, your whole library is gone
  • They rely on batteries, which die
  • They don’t have any character i.e. you can’t judge the book by its cover

I had to get online to assess the pros though. Begrudgingly, I had to admit there were some cons.

  • ebooks have audio options
  • They’re cheaper than real books
  • They don’t weigh as much either
  • You can do advanced searches on them
  • in terms of text books, they won’t weigh down your bag

Still not won over, I did some further research. I found out that the first ebook was made in 1971, before this whole internet/digital age began (the internet went live in ’74). I realised as I was reading that online communication gave readers the ability to be more precise about what they read, either for pleasure or for study. The popularity of ebooks grew, as did the concern for what would happen to print media forms.

The creation of amazon.com in 1995, however, put a new spin on this. While ebooks were being used as a marketing tool by publishers, Jeff Bezos, the creator of amazon, saw books as the most popular product to sell online. He reasoned that,

‘Books… were an $82 billion market worldwide. The price point was another major criterion: I wanted a low-priced product. I reasoned that since this was the first purchase many people would make online, it had to be non-threatening in size. A third criterion was the range of choice: there were 3 million items in the book category and only a tenth of that in CDs, for example.’

Barnes & Nobel were one of the cleaver businesses to recognise the huge potential in online book sales, competing with amazon online since /97. Not all book distributers, however, were this clever. A couple of years ago, Borders went out of business due to their inability to compete with online prices. This to me was terribly sad. Going into a book store and taking the time to browse, try and see if you want to buy.

I can see how useful ebooks are, and why so many people (my 81 year old Grandma included), are into them. They’re in sync with every other digitalised aspect of modern society. They’re light, easy and cheap. Aside from all the undeniable pros, they’ll still never replace the comfort, enjoyment and nostalgic value that is inspired by real books.

Source: http://www.lybrary.com/free_ebooks/pros_and_cons_of_ebooks.pdf

Source: http://www.etudes-francaises.net/dossiers/ebookEN.pdf

Image source: http://whilethekidsaresleeping.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/my-favourite-books.jpg

Flipped lecture: Search

Just google it…

Imagine someone offering to sell you a tattslotto ticket. You declined. Your arch enemy bought the ticket. They won first division.

That’s what it was like for many investors given the opportunity to invest in Google in its early years. It seems like a no brainer, but back in the 90s, it was the first of its kind to use links between web pages to assess the relevance of search results. And people were sceptical. A company called excite, a competing search engine had the first opportunity to buy Google for a mere million dollars. For a company thats worth nearly two hundred billion dollars, you’d be spewing.

Most people I know wouldn’t think twice about using a different search engine. When I accidentally end up on Yahoo it feels wrong, despite the fact that its been around longer.

Google has become more than the name of a search engine. I googled ‘how much is Google worth’ to write this post. I use gmail, not email. Nobody has ever asked me to yahoo something. We google it, we don’t browse the web for it. In all the chaos of the internet boom, I know I will find answers on google.

Watch the video here

Flipped lecture: browser wars

Lets start off with saying I had no idea what Netscape was before watching this. I had never heard of it.

The documentary begins by comparing the world wide web to other revolutionary inventions such as sliced bread, the electric lightbulb and the aeroplane.

As we would expect, the narrator informs us that the internet started with a group of imaginative computer nerds.

From what I gathered, the internet was around for a while but used specifically for research, and was just presented as text. The documentary conveys the change from this set up to the internet we know, with

‘images, pictures, audio and video capabilities’.

It astounded me that these guys knew what was up at such a young age, ‘junior year university’. Just when I thought that was impressive, the early success of Bill Gates was relayed.

‘I have as much power as the president’

he said. So microsoft ruled technology. I found it amusing the way the documentary used dark, intimidating shots to relay the goings on at their headquarters. It matched the ‘simple yet ambitious’ aim of Gates to have a PC in every house and office, all running Microsoft programs. This might have sounded ludicrous at the time, but hearing it today really brought home the fact that this stuff is changing the world, a revolution, as claimed at the beginning of the video.

And while I will forget the name of Netscape in a couple of hours, I will remember the fact that I watched this using google chrome, as explorer sucks.

Click here for the link to the documentary!