Taking Stock

It is 8 weeks since I started Bachelor of Communication (Digital Media) at Deakin University, Cloud Campus.

Before starting, I used Facebook as my main social media outlet. I did not have a Twitter account and thought very little of Twitter as an option.

Twitter stats 29 April 2018Now I use Twitter every day. I have moved from simply following as many fellow students as possible to get a feel for content, to where I am more selective in my choices. I am starting to follow people outside the student cohort such as IndigenousX – an aboriginal political platform – several politicians, environmental groups and online magazines such as National Geographic.

Richard Hosking ReplyMy Twitter activity in the early stages was liking other people’s posts and making small comments on their work. I am starting to recognise some names now from the Zoom sessions and from Twitter activity so engage in more depth discussions and comments with those people, even if my spelling isn’t always spot-on.

My early tendency to scroll endlessly through Tweets – often looking for where my own Tweet went! – has also developed. Now I am more interested in clicking into Tweet to read Blog posts and watch videos from others. I am enjoying the depth Twitter can offer.

National Geographic

Canva_Emerging Online IdenityI have experimented with visual and audio Tweets using my IPhone camera, Canva, VoiceByte and Voice Recorder to vary the content in my Tweets. I have also tried using “Polls” to generate discussion and to stimulate reactions from others. I have even made my own GIF which received not one response!

I am learning to navigate through Twitter but I still find it an alien landscape. There is too much content. I receive posts from many people I have never heard of or wish to hear of and struggle to find the voices of my own tribe. The rolling content helps me discover new connections but also overwhelms me.

Facebook allows me to pick and choose my friends more easily. I can hide and block content to keep my NewsFeed focussed on my interests and I feel connected to real people with whom I have an ongoing relationship whether it be online, in ‘real’ life or both.

Twitter, for me, is like standing in a crowded room, occasionally hearing the voices of my friends over the hubbub but having little idea where to find them. When I do stumble across a post from a friend I respond to it but soon lose the conversation in the background noise.

Adam Brown, Unit Chair Deakin Media Studies, offers some advice to students via Twitter

I think I would use Twitter in future for specific purposes. It is useful to keep in touch with classmates and to pick up advice and links for course content. I might also engage with Twitter during a major emergency and certainly use it at work to provide specific content for specific customers.

However, I don’t think Twitter will become my ‘go to’ for social media. Perhaps ‘WeChat’ with its greater functionality would serve my purposes better, allowing me to combine the ways I use digital media without forcing me to switch apps like train stations and lose my way.

Brown, Adam Twitter video 27 April 2018


Would the “real” Digital Me please stand up


Two of these photos are the “real” me? Can you guess which ones are most authentic?

How DO I want to portray myself to the world?


Making connections, creating communities

Have been reading Gauntlett (2011) and his precise of Lanier’s “You are not a Gadget: A manifesto” (2011)

Lanier argues that the World Wide Web is robbing us of our creativity and making us into robots who respond and interact in a way that is manipulated and limited by Web2.0 and its applications. He envisages a dystopian world of automatons who have lost human connection.

My view is opposite. The World Wide Web encourages human interaction and fosters creativity.

My computer is a tool that opens up the world for me.

  • It takes me beyond the boundaries of my own life and introduces me to people I might never have met
  • It provides a gold mine (or sometimes a toxic waste mine) of information to explore and use in my own way
  • It gives me tools to create and share writing, music, photos, video, artwork and the humble creations of my everyday life
  • It mimics my own brain in connecting thoughts, knowledge and emotions

Creativity is not just about knitting socks or painting canvas. Creativity is the way we live: an approach to life that is built on exploring, taking risks, building skills and thinking along new trajectories.

In the same way, human interaction is not just about coffee and cake or playing sport. Human interaction is about using every way possible to communicate. The World Wide Web increases the options for interaction and sharing of ideas and stories between people.

My computer is not my life and never should be. However, it is a rich extension of my life, a place where I can let my brain roam free and where I take the chance to talk to people I might ne topo shy to speak to on the street.


Gauntlett, D 2011, Making Is Connecting: The Social Meaning of Creativity from DIY and Knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0, Polity, Cambridge and MaldeMaking connections. creating communities

Lanier, J 2010, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, Allen Lane, Londo


Thoughts on Lifelong Learning                                      Monday 19 March 2018

I had a difficult childhood where I was not taught many of the basic skills I needed to be comfortable living in my skin. Much of what I learned about life came from watching other people and then having a go myself.

I love the term “having a go”. It doesn’t mean knowing what you’re doing or being perfect or getting it right. It simply means trying to do something you don’t know how to do and seeing what comes out of it. Successful tries are repeated or improved upon and less successful tries are used for learning and having a better go next time.

My habit of watching others and having a go bloomed into a passion for lifelong learning and for teaching as well as mentoring others who are “having a go” themselves.

I have friends who say they “can’t” do something, like building a cupboard or cooking a curry or playing the guitar. My first question is always “What happened when you tried?” Sadly, they often reply that they haven’t tried, they just know they would be no good at it. They are afraid of the potential humiliation of having a go and maybe getting it wrong.

Lifelong learning for me is about trying things I haven’t tried before. I  enjoy formal learning and, with every new job, sign up for training that might enhance my performance and interest in the job. But my main approach is to say “yes” to every request and then have a go at it. Sure, I get afraid I’ll fail, but having a go is also exhilarating.

Make a map, organise a conference, run a meeting, edit a video, plant a garden. All of these are skills that you can learn and develop. I figure if I learnt how to speak English and how to walk without falling down, I have probably mastered the hardest learning in my life. Everything after that should come easily as long as I focus my attention and have a go. If I stuff it up, I can always ask someone for help, can’t I? Or I can have a look at what I did and have another go!


Having Fun with WordPress                                            Sunday 18 March 2018

Having fun playing around with WordPress trying to get it to do what I want.

I’ve fixed the colour and the front page and now I’m attempting to find another page to put all of my blogs so they don’t ruin my front page. I hope this works.

Working with digital media is just playing and problem-solving, I’ve decided. I don’t really know how to do anything, but I get an idea and that motivates me to work out how to realise it.

A week ago I had never made a podcast or modified a photo with a draw tool or set up a website or posted a video on Twitter.

Obviously ignorance is no barrier to progress!