Week Nine – Practical Activity: Peer Storify Review

As part of the Week 9 requirements for our blog posts, we were to review a peer’s Storify submission. While I had already reviewed Stephanie’s Storify, I saw that Heidi was also looking for feedback on her submission.

I have been following Heidi’s blog all through-out the semester and really admire the style of her writing and the high standard of blog posts she puts out each week. It was my great privilege to review her Storify – below are the comments and feedback I gave on her submission so far.

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Hey Heidi,

Thanks so much for your review. It always helps to get a fresh perspective on your work. I really appreciate you taking the time – you have given me some great points to take away and think about! Now, for your Storify!

Week 9 Activity Questions

Who do you think the audience is?

Mackay residents and locals, interested in supporting the revitalisation of the city’s CBD.

What did you learn about the event?

I learned that the Twilight City – Beyond Your Imagination Street Party is an annual event in its second year. The city is aiming to raise money to support the development of the CBD. The street party is about bringing locals together, to support the town and the wider region.

What else (if anything) could be included that would make the story more interesting or have more impact?

I think you that have done a great job at implementing not only your own, first hand, personal account of the event, but also incorporating addition sources and references to support your points. The tweets/photos/video are all great in reinforcing your ‘newsworthy’ points of interest, while giving great illustration to your Storify.

If the structure is confusing, how could it be improved?

While I really loved your story and the atmosphere you were able to bring through your personal writing, your Storify almost seems like two different stories right now – on the one hand you have this great family event that talks about the revitalisation of the CBD; then at the end you have this ‘reality-check’ quote from business owners saying how the construction is hurting their business.

I am not sure. At the moment the two stories aren’t merging for me and there is a perceivable disconnect there. Have you thought about losing the quote about the businesses at the end? That way your story a consistent tone that is focused on the lightness and family atmosphere of the twilight street party; which I think really comes together with your tweets and your personal tone.

I really couldn’t pick up on any finer technical discrepancies. I think that you’ve done a spot on job in that regard.

What do you like about the story?

I love the tone and the personal scope to the story. While reading it I had a great sense of immersion in your story, which was really brought together with the use of tweets/images/videos.

Now to address those additional questions on your blog:

I’ve probably published it a little early, but like many others I want to finish assessment early and this way I can improve it based on your feedback (please give feedback).

Nothing wrong with publishing it early! Overall, I think your Storify is a great example of ‘personal writing’ meeting ‘social media/news writing’. I thoroughly enjoyed your story.

I might be thinking of swapping the end around with the beginning so that the story of the businesses’ suffering will be before the general festivities of the event.

I think this could be a great move for you. While your story is great, I think the key points and ‘newsworthiness’ of the suffering business is too good to leave to the end. Starting off with those really reality-driven quotes, I think would give your story a lot of emotive power. But I still wonder about the structure and if your story wouldn’t be better off taking a more light tone all round.

I may have too many tweets, pictures etc. embedded – is it overload?

I don’t think that you have too many tweets at all. I think that because you are taking on such a personal approach to the way you are telling your story, the tweets are essential. It demonstrates your interaction with the setting around you, and gives you credibility as a central ‘character’ in your story. I think this would be a big point of discussion for you within your written justification (what you have to submit in the final assessment with your Storify link).

Am I too personal with my delivery? Maybe you can tell from my blogging style that this is a natural style of writing for me.

Our stories are obviously polar-opposites in composition – I have taken a more objective and traditional news take on my event, whilst yours is very personal, descriptive, etc. I don’t think that you are too personal within your delivery. I think you do a great job of ensuring consistency of this style across the story’s elements.

I have used three other sources to find out data used in the story such as how much the project costs. How do I reference this without having to write ‘Mackay Regional Council has said the project costs $18.6 million) and so on. I don’t want to do that. It’s all on public websites, and anyone can access that information. It wasn’t told to me directly. I found it out via research. Any suggestions?

“Reports by the Mackay Regional Council estimate..” – does that help? I think because it is research, and not a quote from a person, you may have more flexibility in the way you present that information. But that is something that you should check over with Kate.

I hope my responses were helpful! You’ve done really great work!

Cheers,

Heather

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Reference

Petith, H 2015, Twilight City Street Party – A bittersweet celebration, on Storify, viewed 17 September 2015, https://storify.com/Heidi_Petith/twilight-street-party-a-bittersweet-celebration

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Week Nine – Practical Activity: Peer Storify Review

Week 10: Practical Activity – Reviewing My Blog

Blog Review Questions

Is the layout clean and easy to read?

Yes. I deliberately chose a minimalist format for my blog, so that attention is drawn directly to blog posts without distraction. A minimalist approach to presentation ensures that the focus remains on the messages of writing; in this case my posts and their content (Gerd 2015).

Have you used headings in a way that attracts attention to key points?

Yes. Campbell (2006) suggests that as today’s world is becoming more and more visual, students must learn to adequately integrate a visual aspects in their writing. With this in mind, I have used headings thoughtfully throughout my blog to highlight key discussion areas; a fundamental feature of effective writing presentation (McCarter & Whitby 2007). Whether it is in bold, italics or a separate section, I believed I have used headings purposefully to facilitate the reading of my blog posts.

Is white space used appropriately?

Yes, I believe I have used white space appropriately. Where the study materials for this week on Moodle suggest that white space is important in drawing the reader’s attention, I have made sure that in each blog post that I have paid attention to my use of space, and the overall visual impact of writing sections and images (Ames 2015).

Have you completed all the tasks?

Yes, I have completed all the weekly tasks for the blog.

Have completed all blog requirements?

Yes. All of my posts are tagged and categorised based on their content.

Have you responded to all weekly requirements?

Yes I have.

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Blog Assignment Reflection

What were your major challenges and how did you overcome these?

The major challenge I had with assignment is that it is very time intensive. While initially I thought that it would be fairly straight-forward, each week’s series of topics took a considerable amount of time to get right.

In order to overcome this, I took a proactive approach to my blog. I did not want to get close to the due date and freak out because I was behind. So consistently worked a week ahead (sometimes even two weeks ahead) to ensure that I was constantly up to date.

Was it too hard/too easy/about right?

I don’t think that there was anything too hard or too easy about the blog assignment task. I think your approach to the blog may have dictated whether or not this piece of assessment was difficult. I think that because I was so proactive in staying ahead with the weekly tasks, the blog was a fairly straight forward assessment for me.

Has it helped improve your writing?

I think this subject and the blog have improved my writing. I have come to appreciate the value of having shorter sentences and more concise writing style. Technically, I think I have become a sounder writer which will benefit me beyond just my university studies.

References

Ames, K 2015, Week 10 – Impact of Design and Structure, COMM11007: Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au

Campbell, N 2006, ‘Communicating visually: Incorporating document design in writing tasks’, Business Communication Quarterly, vol. 69, no. 4, pp. 399-403.

Gerd, B 2015, ‘Improve Your Writing Skills With Practice’, Public Relations Tactics, vol. 22, no. 2, p. 18.

McCarter, S & Whitby, N 2007, Writing skills, Macmillan, London, England.

Week 10: Practical Activity – Reviewing My Blog

Week Nine – Practical Activity: Peer Storify Review

So I just spent time reviewing Steph’s Storify submission (Click here to view her Storify!). She covered the “Livin Hot on the Hill Challenge” in Townsville. I emailed her my thoughts on her submission and I hope that they were to helpful to her as she works through Assessment Three. This is a copy of the email I sent.

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Hey Stephanie,

Thanks so much for your reply on the forums. I am just emailing you to hopefully give you some solid feedback on your Storify. I couldn’t find your blog to comment on – so I hope its okay that I’ve emailed you.

It’s great to see that you have been so organised and gotten your event covered early. I’ve got a bunch of notes – and really they are just food for thought, before you officially submit it!

The first thing that I noticed is that your first two sentences have a lot of really great information, but perhaps could be integrated better. Where it is recommended that sentences are short and simple, you could break down this information more to give your story more “flow”. For example, your lead sentence might read something like: “On Saturday August 8, HotFM Townsville teamed up with ‘Livin’, the suicide prevention charity, to launch Livin’ Hot on the Hill.”

From there you could integrate the “descriptive” elements of the event into a few more sentences. As an example you could have something like, “It was the first time the event has been held in community, with over 600 people participating in the 24 hour hill challenge. The event aims to raise both money and awareness for youth suicide and mental issues.”

There is also two blank lines between the first and second sentence – a quick little formatting thing that you might want to fix!

In the third sentence, 60 should be spelt “Sixty” – a convention of the media/news writing genre, when a number is at the beginning of the sentence.

The fourth sentence has the words “each team” repeated – maybe you could re-work the sentence so this isn’t the case and it sounds less repetitive. Was there any other rules to the event?

Fifth sentence is written really well, with some great information.

I think your quote section by Fiona is really great – but I wonder if it might be improved by breaking this down a little more, so that there is one indirect quote and two direct quotes.

I really enjoyed your story – and I did check out your tweets from the event on your Twitter. Many of them were really great, and I think that if you wanted, they would make great additions to your story.

These are just some quick notes on your Storify – hopefully they were helpful. I think you picked a great event that is most definitely newsworthy! Great work Stephanie.

Cheers,

Heather.

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Task Reflection

I always find it difficult to review other peoples work. I know its essential part of writing and presenting work publicly, but I always feel like I am being controlling or maybe mean. I hope that Steph takes my criticism in a positive way, and I hope she achieves the result she wants from that Assessment.

Reference

Christensen, S 2015, 24 Hour Livin’ Hot on the Hill Challenge, on Storify, viewed 17 September 2015, https://storify.com/slc_90/24-hour-livin-hot-on-the-hill-challenge
Week Nine – Practical Activity: Peer Storify Review

Week Eight – Practical Activity: Playfire

For this week’s practical activity we were to identify a social media networking site that aligns with our personal interest. As time goes on and social media continues to dominate the internet, it seems that there are increasing developments which support the notion that there are “different networks for different types of people” (Biscke 2014). In my down-time I really enjoy playing video games, and as such, chose Playfire as my social media platform.

After researching Playfire a bit more I think it could be used for personal networking in some really great ways (Playfire 2015). For instance Playfire, through an integrative desktop client, allows gamers to automatically track in-game achievements and gameplay settings. Additionally Playfire facilitates the social aspect of gaming by connecting users with their friends. Playfire works across a range of gaming devices including PC, PlayStation and Xbox to offering a comprehensive platform for a diverse gaming experience.

I really struggled to think about how Playfire could be applied professionally. I could definitely see the benefit of Playfire if you were a part of the gaming industry. Playfire, in addition to acting as a social media website, offers extensive reviews of new products, including gaming, software and hardware. Playfire as a community hub advertises upcoming events and tournaments within the gaming world allowing users to say informed – which would be great from a professional perspective.

Reference

Biscke, J 2014, The rise of the “Social Professional” networks, Techcrunch, viewed 23 Septemeber 2015, http://techcrunch.com/2014/06/28/the-rise-of-the-social-professional-networks/

Playfire 2015, Playfire – About us, Playfire, viewed 31 August 2015, https://www.playfire.com/a/about

Week Eight – Practical Activity: Playfire

Week Seven – Practical Activity: Assignment Reflection

The practical activity for this week’s blog entry is reflect on our first assessment and make adjustments to it as required.

I have just spent some time going over my assessment in fine detail, paying special attention to spelling, style and punctuation. Having read on the forums, that there is a huge marking emphasis on technical detail, I wanted to ensure that I presented the most grammatically accurate news report and media release possible.

I also spent time going through the attached Marking Key Checklist (Ames 2015).

Marking Key Checklist

Quotations are correctly punctuated – Check. I know that this is where students in previous offerings fell down, so I tried to pay extra attention to this detail.

Use only says or said when attributing a source – Check. Similarly, I know this is where some students have gone wrong in the past, and I have made a really solid attempt to ensure I only use these terms.

A source is introduced using an indirect quote followed by a direct quote, and speech is not ‘mixed’ – Check. Avoided this completely within my news report/media report.

Numbers under 10 are spelled out, and numbers over 10 are figures – Check. Double and triple checked this.

Source attribution is consistent with news writing style – Check.

No semi-colons are used – Check.

Only proper nouns are capitalised – Check.

“I” is capitalised – Check.

Writing is active and succinct – Check.

There is no repetition in a story – Check. The only repetition in my assignment is in the talking points of the media release. Repetition is expected in this context.

Publication titles are in italics – Check.

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Assignment Reflection

I found this assignment both straight forward and really complex. Where there was a clear direction in what we were required to write about and include, the devil was all in the detail in regards to technical and grammatical application.

I did not catch all of my issues on my first proof read, instead I went sentence by sentence for about a week; constantly refining my work. I didn’t find that there were that many initial mistakes, but it was more that I wanted to check with the textbook that I was using appropriate media writing style.

It was definitely helpful having a check list, and I think it will definitely make a difference to my result. On top of that, I think the check list reminds you not to overlook the simple things which can happen when you stare at the same assignment for so long.

Reference

Ames, K 2015, Week 7 – Marking Key Checklist, COMM11007: Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Week Seven – Practical Activity: Assignment Reflection

Week Six – Practical Activity: Photo Series

For this week’s practical activity we were asked to develop a Photo-Caption story (Ames 2015). I focused on a day last week, where I was really busy traveling around town doing various odd jobs.

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1I began my morning at Woodgate Beach; a small quiet beach located approximately 30 minutes away from my home town of Bundaberg.

1558474_10152170643642713_2128689268996388754_nNext stop was a trip to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery to pick up a gift for my father, for Father’s Day. The Rum Distillery is one biggest tourist attractions in town.

20150830_100338I ventured into town to do some more shopping. Bundaberg’s CBD is host to a number of speciality stores, including florists, cafes, clothing stores and more.

20150830_100313My final outing for the day was my cousin’s soccer match, where his team won 2-1.

11269092_10153095507172713_6938683562801815801_n______________________________________________________________________

Reference

Ames, K 2015, Blog Activity – Week 6, COMM11007: Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/

Week Six – Practical Activity: Photo Series

Week Five – Practical Activity: Interview & News Report

Emma Rehbein and Shane Byatt reveal what they are most passionate about

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, my sister and her boyfriend were asked to reveal what they are most passionate about.

My sister Emma Rehbein, 29, said that spending time with friends and going out is what she looks forward to the most on busy working weeks.

“I just love spending time with my friends. When you work all week long you just want to relax on weekends. Letting my hair down with friends is definitely what I am most passionate about.”

Spending time with friends is important to Emma in helping her deal with the ups and downs of life.

“Everyone knows I am a social butterfly. I really need that support that friendship gives, and so it’s really important to me that I nurture those relationships.”

My sister’s boyfriend Shane Byatt, 30, said that he has always been passionate about football, even from a young age.

“I’ve always been passionate about football. I started playing junior league when I was 11 and have been playing it ever since.”

Shane found that football became more than just a sport, meeting many of his closest friends by playing in a team.

“Your team members become your brothers. So you end up playing a sport you love with people you consider family. It’s great.”

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Reflection on Task

Wow! This task was tougher than I originally thought it would be. I found the interview process really difficult. While I did plan out open ended questions, I found it hard to come back from closed answers. My interviewee’s were good sports though, and in the end we all had a bit of a laugh about the task. They were feeling camera shy on the day, so with their permission I was able to use personal photos of theirs to complete the task.

The whole experience got me thinking about Humans of New York. I know that it has been brought up on the Moodle site through out the semester, but it is something that I really love. Humans of New York is a photography/journalism project that was started by Brandon Stanton. Interviewing and taking street photos of subjects, HONY is all about connecting with people and sharing their stories. I have followed HONY for a long time now and really love reading the insight he is able to gain just by approaching people on the street.

As part of some preparation for the task I watched this video recorded by Stanton, in hopes of learning some tips that might help me through the interview process. This will definitely be a source that I return to before I begin my chosen event for Assessment 3.

I think I learned some really great lessons from the task, especially in preparation for the upcoming assessment!

References
Stanton, B 2015, Humans of New York, viewed 17 August 2015, http://www.humansofnewyork.com/about

University College Dublin, 2014, On how I approach strangers – Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton – UCD, Dublin, video, April 24, viewed 17 August 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPxzlGPrM3A

Week Five – Practical Activity: Interview & News Report