WEEK 10 – Blog Review and Technical errors

PRACTICAL A

Since week one of this course, I had decided on a theme for my blog because I found it to be visually appealing, however, this week, after reviewing this assessment, I have decided to change my theme.

The theme I have selected is much simpler, cleaner and aesthetically pleasing. I had to consider the reader’s perspective and whether the information contained in my blog layout was easy to read and understand, making it more user-friendly.

It was evident, that a white background with dark font colour and san serif typeface helped to format my information in a clear and concise manner.

The white space gives my blog a cleaner look which is important when trying convey information. I also wanted to utilise the layout design to give the reader the ability to focus on the information and be less distracted by graphical content, therefore, I avoided using header images and bright colours.

PRACTICAL B

The blog task requirement list provided was a great way to review my assessment and make adjustments where necessary. The list helped to identify many errors which I believe I have corrected and I have also made corrections using the feedback from fellow students which helped as well.

I am fairly confident that my assessment meets all blog requirements.

PRACTICAL C

As a first year Digital Media student, this course structure is much different to the other three courses I am enrolled in, which focus more on video, design and animation.

I would have to say that media writing is certainly not one of my strongest skills and how any prior knowledge I had (since school) did not really help me in this assessment. I felt I needed to ‘start all over’ and this made me feel anxious at times.

This assessment has been very time consuming. The amount of tasks required each week, plus the study guide readings and extra resources, definitely put pressure on the other three courses I am enrolled in.

As I full time on-campus student and mother of two, this was a really difficult assessment. The only way I could overcome the amount of work required for this assessment were many late-nights/early mornings and an assessment extension (3 days only), so this was a great challenge.

The positive side is how the structure of this assessment is divided into weekly tasks, making it a little easier to complete.

Overall, I am pleased with the skills I have learnt and I hope to continue improving these skills in the future.

TECHNICAL ERRORS

My main concern in this assessment was to correctly use apostrophes as plural or possessive. I had a little trouble answering a question about this in the punctuation quiz, therefore, I paid close attention to detail and corrected a few sentences where necessary.

After careful review of my blog posts on many occasions, I came across some ‘silly’ mistakes that I had inadvertently overlooked. This is due to skim-reading rather that proof-reading my work, as a result I noticed many errors which mainly consisted of lengthy sentences and punctuation errors.

The checklist, feedback from other students and my own efforts to recognise these mistakes, I was able to correct them accordingly.

WEEK 10 – Website Review

This week’s inquiry is to review a website, brochure or magazine. I have chosen to review the Bunnings Warehouse website, a leading retailer of home improvement products in Australia and New Zealand. I chose this site because I have made regular visits to this online store and to the actual store over the past few months, since the recent purchase of our first home.

According to Preece, Rogers and Sharp (2015), a top priority to website design is the graphical content, it’s what makes the website striking, usable, pleasing and distinctive on first recognition by the user.

The graphics used in the Bunnings website is visually appealing and immediately draws attention to the important aspects of the site’s context and imagery.

The website layout is aesthetically pleasing, allowing the user to easily navigate the site’s content making it user-friendly and enjoyable.

The logo is very effective by using custom font, which upon first glance depicts a ‘construction’ style typeface for obvious representation of the organisation and its products.

This website uses four main colours which include white, red, green and black. In Western cultures, green is considered as an environmental colour, red encourages impulsiveness and white is cleanliness (CQUniversity 2015). These colours are a good representation of the organisation’s status and indicative of what the organisation is trying to represent.

The body of the website uses san serif font, which has been applied to ensure the target audience finds the site’s text legible and clear. The use of white space around the graphics and text allows for easy navigation and accessibility of the site’s content,  it also makes for a more visually interesting read.

The site also shows good use of balance by distributing text information and graphics equally and evenly on the webpages. This makes it easier to read and again visually appealing.

Overall, this website’s design layout and visual content makes it very functional, effective and visually interesting which enhance’s the user’s overall experience. Such concepts are extremely important in any web design when using this type of medium to communicate to the target audience.

References

Bunnings Warehouse 2015, viewed 25 September 2015,  https://www.bunnings.com.au

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 Media Writing: Week 10 Impact of design, viewed 25 September 2015,
https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/149427/mod_resource/content/4/2.%20COMM11007%20Week%209%20Lesson.pdf

Hicks, W 2013, English for Journalists, Routledge New York, NY.

Preece, J, Rogers, Y, Sharp, H 2015, Interaction Design: beyond human-computer interaction, Wiley Publication, 4th Edn., West Sussex: England John Wiley & Sons

WEEK 8 – Words Quiz

I enjoyed reading chapter 9 of the textbook by Hicks, English for Journalists. This chapter explains why many errors can occur when using language that does not convey the exact meaning or when words are exaggerated in context.

My first attempt was poor, scoring only 70%. Having answer a question about exaggeration incorrectly, I had assumed that the number of positions also referred to the number of people in those positions. This of course is technically inaccurate, according to the explanation provided, therefore I am still struggling to identify the difference in this question.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 12.37.52 pm

I received 100% on my second attempt which only came down to revising the previous attempt.

WEEK 9 – Active and Passive Writing Test

Well I found this technical task a bit challenging. I thought I had sound knowledge of the differences between active and passive voice, therefore felt fairly confident before beginning the test.

Naturally we use active voice and as Whitaker (et al 2012) suggests the active voice is the ‘subject doing the action’ and the passive voice is the ‘action being done to the subject’. However, much to my dismay, my answers did not correctly match the answers given word for word but they were very close and to me they still had the same meaning.

I am still not sure whether all my answers are actually incorrect because after reading chapter five – basics of writing and editing in the textbook and the examples given on the Business Writing website, I thought I had applied the suggested guidelines.

Well, it seems this test has made me aware of my weaknesses, therefore, it seems I need to practice in this area to fully understand these differences.

References

Business Writing Center, 1997, ‘Passive and Active Voice’, viewed 21 September 2015 http://www.businesswriting.com/tests/activepassive.htm

Whitaker, R, Ramsey, J & Smith, R 2012, Media writing: print, broadcast, and public relations, 4th edn., Routlage, New York.

WEEK 9 – Storify Review

This week’s practical task is to review a peer’s storify article. I have decided to review the following student’s storify submission:

Student Name              –          Tarah Rhodda

Storify Story Title        –          #BlackLivesMatter Activist Found Dead in Jail Cell

Click here to view Tarah’s Storify article: https://storify.com/Tarah_JR/sandra-bland

This article is an interesting read, particularly as if follows many stories that have put the United States (US) police and the US justice legal system under scrutiny in relation to similar incidents against African-Americans.

Tarah has obviously applied good media writing techniques to this article. The heading is fairly clear and draws impact to the article prompting the viewer to continue reading.

The first paragraph is a straightforward lead into the article, whereby Tarah has included the 5 W’s, this of course follows the journalistic style of writing of the inverted pyramid by placing the most important and significant information first (Whitaker et al. 2012).

Tarah has included a number of tweets to support her article. These tweets come from witnesses, media sources and organisation representatives, a credible curation for her article.

This article is consistent with news values such as consequence, conflict, human interest and timeliness which make it newsworthy. Whitaker (2012, p.19) suggests that information that can be judged newsworthy is that which meets these news values.

There are a few suggestions I would make regarding Tarah’s article. For example, the use of adding a hashtag to the beginning of the heading, whether or not the same meaning could have been achieved without the hashtag.

Possible alternative “African-American Activist Found Dead in Jail Cell”. There are some punctuation and grammar errors, these include no spacing between words (could be a program or website format issue or unintentional) and the lead paragraph has the word ‘failure’ that should be replaced with ‘failing’.

I would also liked to have seen evidence of a quote from the authorities to add more impact to this story.

Overall, this article demonstrates a sound level of media writing technique and I will be interested in reading more of Tarah’s stories.

References

Rhodda, T 2015, Black lives matter activist found dead in jail cell, viewed 4 August 2015, https://storify.com/Tarah_JR/sandra-bland

Whitaker, R, Ramsey, J & Smith, R 2012, Media writing: print, broadcast, and public relations, 4th edn., Routlage, New York.

WEEK 9 – Curation Reviews

This week’s inquiry is to review two different examples of curation and consider the differences. The first curation is data-driven and editors have written the second curation.

According to Bradshaw (2013), although curation is fairly a new concept in journalism, the “practice of curation is as old as journalism itself.” Bradshaw (2013) also describes curation as a combination of elements that stem from a range of sources to help create content and that “journalism is also an act of curation.”

The first example is the Top 25 Hotels – World

Hosted by TripAdvisor Australia

This curation is visually pleasing, the simplistic style and chronological layout draws the eye to the images and context. The destination photographs are the site’s main feature and these are complimented with a quote from a recent happy traveller.

There are links to access additional information that provides travel details, booking enquiries, hotel websites, virtual tours and more reviews.

The reviews give good credibility to the site and more so because they are personalised quotes from identifiable travellers. Although the information on this site is clear and concise, there is minimal descriptive information in the main section of the webpage on the actual hotel itself.

Unless the user clicks the hotel website link to access more information. This site would be better suited to travellers who are simply looking for less information and more about location and cost.

The second example is the Gold Standard Hotels 2015

Hosted by Conde Nast Traveller

This example of curation immediately draws your attention to the title and web design.

The title “Gold Standard Hotel” seems to imply that the site is credible and prevalent to other sites.

The elegant layout design simulates that to an article in their magazine, it looks visually appealing and the photograph will prompt viewers to read the entire article.

The information is very descriptive and uses hospitality-industry jargon to entice travellers to stay at their recommended hotels at the pictured destination.

Within the descriptive paragraphs are links to further information about the destination and other sub-categories, giving travellers more travel and accommodation options.

There are also direct links to the hotels at the end of each paragraph, which opens a new page. Displayed below are positive quotes from reputable and credible media sources.

This curation example would certainly suit the ‘luxurious’ traveller/s who wish to experience the best of the best in hotel accommodation and exclusive destinations regardless of cost.

References

Best Hotels of 2015 2015, TripAdvisor Australia, viewed 20 September 2015, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Hotels-g1

Bradshaw, P 2013,’ Journalism *is* curation: tips on curation tools and techniques’ September 30 2013, viewed 20 September 2015, http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2013/09/30/curation-tools-tips-advice-journalism/

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 Media Writing: Week 9 Content Generation vs Content Curation, viewed 20 September 2015, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/149427/mod_resource/content/4/2.%20COMM11007%20Week%209%20Lesson.pdf

Gold Stanard Hotels 2015, CNTraveller, viewed 20 September 2015, http://www.cntraveller.com/awards/the-gold-list/gold-standard-hotels-2015/viewall

WEEK 8 – Instagram Review

Instagram is a photo and video-sharing application that has become a globalised user-generated phenomenon. Instagram is a great way to turn photos and video into creative design projects that can be shared with friends and family or other Instagram followers.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 12.45.59 pm

Image source: www.instagram.com

Now it is possible for users to configure other social media accounts with Instagram to post those photographic and videography moments via autopost. Such social media platforms include Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumbler, Foursquare and Posterous.

A recent update to the app now gives the options of three new filters and effects that come in several custom-designed elements that can be applied to an image and a privacy option to send a video or photo to one or more users without sharing it publicly through the Instagram feed.

A new ‘Post Notification’ feature enable users to keep up with what their friends and family are posting and much like Facebook, a user can ‘like’ a post and it will be intergrated to Facebook through Instagram.

In addition there are emojis and hashtages making it easier and more enjoyable to share to the wider community.

The Instagram design is sleek, contemporary and user-friendly. Its new design features have helped it to stay above its competitors such as Vine and Flickr.

Despite its excellent sharing and feature capabilities, it’s important to note that not all these features and file types are supported with any device.

Overall, Instagram is a popular app to share photos and videos to almost anyone at anytime, its easy and enjoyable to use.

References

Instagram 2015, viewed 14 September, https://instagram.com/

Parker, J & Cabebe, J 2014, Instagram Review: videos features keep Instagram on top, viewed 17 September 2015, http://www.cnet.com/au/products/instagram-ios/2/