Week Ten Blog Activity – Practical: Review my blog

All

10 weeks, 30 blog entries and far too many words to count has led to this – the end of my blog. I enjoyed writing each blog entry throughout the term and have gained a considerable amount of knowledge from this media writing course. However, as the term comes to a close, the end of one assessment allows me to redirect my time to another.

So without further ado, here is my review:

The layout of my blog is clean, easy to read and navigate. I kept the layout of my blog minimalistic and easy to digest. I used the same font, colour and size for each blog post.

I have completed a total of 30 blog entries which is the required amount for assessment two. I have referred to the blog task requirements sheet to ensure that I have covered each week’s blog activities.

The major challenges I faced throughout this assessment were keeping up to date with each blog activity and peer-reviewing. Although keeping up to date with the weekly tasks proved to be difficult, I honestly believe that all of my blog tasks have been quite thorough and go beyond a “brief reflection”.

Keeping up with the peer-review each week was quite difficult for me. The bulk of my peer reviews started in week 8 because I didn’t devote enough time to the task throughout the term.

I’m really glad that I worked on the assessment throughout the term and didn’t leave it to the last minute. The review of peers on my blog also helped me to a great deal. Having other students review my blog helped me to correct the punctuation and grammar mistakes that I would’ve lost marks on.

I think the assessment task is appropriately set up and encourages students to keep up to date throughout the term. I didn’t find the weekly activities too involved or too difficult and I think that the weekly content is set out really well and is easy to work through.

My writing skills have improved greatly thanks to the blog activities. I’ve learnt to write shorter sentences, space out my paragraphs more and to read my work out loud to pick up mistakes. I’ve become aware of my grammar and punctuation, the use of ‘it’s/its’ and redundant words.

I’m very happy with my attempt and hope that my efforts are reflected in my grade.

That’s all folks!


Reference:

That’s all Folks! 2015, digital image, Looney Tunes Wiki, viewed on 17 September 2015, <http://looneytunes.wikia.com/wiki/That’s_All_Folks>.


Week Ten Blog Activity – Practical: Review my blog

Week Ten Blog Activity – Technical: Blog review for technical errors

CheckList

Figure 1.1 – Blog Submission Checklist
Source: DCS online (2015)

This blog entry marks my second last entry for this term. As I’m writing this entry, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the term winds down.  After reviewing the blog submission checklist provided by Kate Ames, I’m quite confident that I have addressed all aspects listed.

All of my weekly activities have been clearly marked and I have adhered to the same structure for all 30 entries. These entries have also been categorised and tagged to allow for an easy search throughout the blog. The blog has a uniform and professional setup, all entries are easily accessible through the search bar and side menu.

During the mid-semester blog reviews by the the lecturers, my attention was drawn to how frequently I use ‘it’s’ in sentences that do not contain possession and where an apostrophe is redundant.

I’ve tried to be aware of this issue when writing and hope to nip it in the bud. I have followed frequently referred to the Harvard Referencing guide provided on the CQU website when quoting and referencing. I’ve ensured that all my referencing is uniform throughout however, I have some doubts as to whether I’m referencing correctly.

I’ve made sure to spell out numbers under 10, capitalise all proper nouns and have scrutinised my grammar, punctuation and spelling. The addition of peer review has helped me tremendously as fellow students pick up on the mistakes that I have missed.

An area of importance has been the length of my sentences and paragraphs. I was alerted to this in the review week by Kate. Kate’s review has been extremely valuable as it has highlighted areas that I need to focus on.

Upon receipt of my assessment one piece, I was made aware of certain areas of punctuation and sentence structure that I was able to cross-reference with assessment two. I hope that I have cleared up all issues with grammar, punctuation and spelling in my posts and do not loose marks in this area.

In conclusion, I’m very satisfied with my blog and believe I have adhered to the blog submission checklist quite well.



Reference:

Academic Learning Centre ALSU, 2015, Edition T1 An Abridged Guide to the Harvard Referencing Style, viewed 17 September 2015, https://www.cqu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/14032/2015_Harvard_Guide_11_Feb_with_colour_Ing.pdf

Ames, K 2015, COMM11007 Week 10 – Blog Submission Checklist, Central Queensland University, Mackay. 

Clipboard checklist 2015, digital image, DCS Series,  viewed on 17 September 2015 http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/files/1459501/


Week Ten Blog Activity – Technical: Blog review for technical errors

Week Ten Blog Activity – Inquiry: Visual Consumer review

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Figure 1.1 – Bunnings Warehouse
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

For this week’s blog activity, I’ve chose Bunnings Warehouse as the website to review. I’ll admit, I’m a nerd when it comes to all things gardening. Bunnings is my ultimate shop – an odd thing to come from a 21 year-old female. I could spend hours wandering the aisles, spending a lot of money and making my gardens and home look fantastic –  if I do say so myself.

As I was reading through this week’s study guide, it occurred to me that Bunnings Warehouse would be an ideal website to cover. The website addresses all the elements mentioned in the study guide and made it quite easy to relay the week’s learnings to real life.

Words
The use of words correctly is paramount for the Bunnings Warehouse website. Visitors of the website need to be able to understand precisely what an object is, how it looks and what it is used for. Each item’s description needs to incorporate concrete words accompanied by qualifier words (Ames 2015) to help the consumer understand what they’re reading.

This example uses concrete words and qualifier words to enable the visitor to understand the product. “Lattice” is the concrete word, without anything else the consumer wouldn’t know too much detail about the product. “Brown, Hardwood” are the qualifier words; these are descriptive and enable the consumer to envision the product and interpret as intended.
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Figure 1.2 – Excerpt Lattice Fencing
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

Logos

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Figure 1.3 Bunnings Warehouse logo – Figure 1.4 Bunnings Warehouse motto
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

The Bunnings Warehouse logos follow the KISS principle – an easy to read, simple design that is eye-catching. These logos both provides a very effective example brand recognition.

According to Gillikin (2015, p.1) a logo is a ‘graphical display of a company’s unique identity’. The logos are recognisable and identifiable to consumers throughout Australia. Figure 1.4 is an example of relaying a message through a logo (Ames 2015). Bunnings have incorporated a hammer as part of their logo – this conveys information about the company and allows readers to gain and understanding that Bunnings Warehouse is a hardware store.


Trademarks
I was unable to find any registered or pending trademarks of Bunnings/Bunnings Warehouse/ Lowest prices are just the beginning. I searched the web address provided and it showed no results. Even though Bunnings does not have a registered trade mark, the phrase “lowest prices are just the beginning” and the image of a hammer in a circle are widely consumer-known trademarks of Bunnings.

Colour
Bunnings Warehouse’s signature colour is dark green, which according to Ames (2015 2015) is reflective of nature and safety. The signature green is a secondary hue made of blue and yellow which has a low colour value with a lower saturation.

The background colours of the website are primarily neutral and natural colours. The colours featured are grey, black, the signature green and red highlights. The website addresses the rule indicated by Ames (2015, p.3) of ‘light coloured fonts on dark coloured backgrounds’.

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Figure 1.5 – Bunnings Warehouse Menu
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)


Font
The font throughout the Bunnings website is simple and easy to read. I suspect they use a sans serif font as the this style would be most effective for the website. This selection of font is easier to understand and interpret (Ames 2015).


Graphics
The graphics used on the website are pictures of the products that the company sells. According to Ames (2015, p.4) ‘graphics assist understanding and complement the message’. The website uses photos and illustrations to provide extra information about a product. The photos used are high resolution, clear and compliment the message of the product.

Where not an image is unavailable, the website features an illustration that is a representation of the product.

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Figure 1.6 – Fencing Accessory
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

Balance
The Bunnings Warehouse website has a range of styles depending on what page you click on. The products page features an asymmetrical balance – the left hand side of the page contains a navigation bar, the centre of the page contains the product listing and the right hand side is blank. The welcome page of the website is symmetrical; there is a even amount of information down the centre of the web page and no where else on the page.

Sound
The website doesn’t contain sound unless the viewer opts to watch a D.I.Y video. However, Bunnings Warehouse have a signature jingle that accompanies advertisements and the companies slogan (Ames 2015).

Reflection: I enjoyed completing this task for week ten. Partially because it is one of the final blog activities and partially because I enjoy applying the learnings to aspects of life.

Whilst reading through the study guide and referring it to something familiar, it was interesting to see the strategies and tactics companies use in order to create brand recognition.


Reference:

Ames, K 2015, COMM11007 Week 10 – Impact of design, Central Queensland University, Mackay.

Bunnings Warehouse 2015, viewed on 17 September 2015, available from http://www.bunnings.com.au/?gclid=CLmcys7C_8cCFcUrvQodwqQMuQ

Gillikin, J n.d, ‘Importance of Logos in Business‘, viewed 17 September 2015, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-logos-business-577.html

Week Ten Blog Activity – Inquiry: Visual Consumer review

Week Nine Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review two examples of curation

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Trip Advisor’s compilation of the best 25 hotels in the world is a example of effective, succinct curation. According to Bhargava (2011, cited in Michiel Gaasterland), effective content curation involves ‘sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue’.

Trip advisor has achieved this by using reviews from its customers that accompany illustrations to add value to the piece (Bradshaw 2013). This is an effective strategy as readers can relate to these reviews; they are real reviews from people who have experienced the hotels.

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CNT’s collection of gold standard hotels is very informative. Gaasterland (2011) acknowledges that good curation involves using only the most specific and best information.

CNT has provided a walk-through description of each hotel; they provide information on aspects of the hotel that the reader would be interested in knowing – the food, the grounds, what activities are available etc.

The website accompanies limited visual aid to the hotel information. This results in the reader having to be directed elsewhere from the site to view the hotel in more depth.

Both of these websites are targeted at an audience for an intended purpose – to provide them with information on the best hotels for 2015 (Ames 2015). Although very similar in target audience and intended purpose, both are very different in design.

Trip Advisor’s website is very clean, well set out and easy to read. Each hotel is promoted succinctly; each section provides 4 images and a short quote taken from customer reviews from the original hotel page.

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Each section features a “more” option that will redirect the reader to the hotel’s Trip Advisor page that features all the excess information that the reader may require.

CNT’s website is condensed to the point of clutter; each section on the featured hotel is one large paragraph. Although this paragraph is very informative, it is difficult to read and could deter the reader due to overwhelming information.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 11.26.22 am

CNT provides direct links to the featured hotel’s website. The website provides an overview of the hotel and then redirects the reader elsewhere. This could disruption could be annoying to the consumer as they then have to navigate another website.

Reflection: Reviewing both of these websites was quite enjoyable and appealed to the wanderlust in me. It’s very interesting to see how two websites with the same intended audience and purpose can vary so greatly in design.

If I was to (and I’m sure I will) recommend, or choose a website for personal use, Trip Advisor would be my selection. This is mostly due to previous experience with the company and the easy to navigate website. Content curation was a foreign concept to me, but now I have a better understanding thanks to the internet and links provided in this week’s learning material.


Reference List:

Ames, K 2015, COMM11007 Week 9 – Content Generation vs Content Collaboration, Central Queensland University, Mackay.

Bradsaw, P 2013, ‘Journalism *is* curation: tips on curation tools and techniques‘, viewed on 17 September 2015, http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2013/09/30/curation-tools-tips-advice-journalism/

Condé Nast Traveller (CNT) 2015, Gold Standard Hotels 2015,  viewed on 17 September 2015, http://www.cntraveller.com/awards/the-gold-list/gold-standard-hotels-2015/viewall

Gaasterland, M 2011, ‘What is Content Curation? And how it’s useful to you and your network‘, viewed on 17 September 2015, http://www.michielgaasterland.com/content-marketing/what-is-content-curation-and-how-it%E2%80%99s-useful-to-you-and-your-network/

Percolate 2012, What is curation?, video, viewed on 17 September 2015, https://vimeo.com/38524181

Trip Advisor 2015, ‘Top 25 Hotels – World‘, viewed on 17 September 2015, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Hotels-g1

Week Nine Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review two examples of curation

Week Four Blog Activity – Practical: Plan your stories and prepare for ass#2

11960213_741176472674957_6069066798467296431_nThis week’s blog activity involved planning out what is required for assessment piece three. After researching and speaking to all parties concerned this week, I’ve compiled a short checklist for myself in order to be prepared for the day of the event I’ll be covering.

a. The event I will be covering is taking place at my work; Hawthorne Garage in Hawthorne, Brisbane. The event has been organised as a celebration of three years that the Hawthorne Garage has been operating.

b. The event will be held on Saturday 29 August. The event is a carpark party where a few celebrities have agreed to partake in a cook-off between each other. I will be Tweeting live from the event, covering the competition between the celebrity chef cook-off and updates of what is happening throughout the day.

c. As I will be including the names of many of the organisers and chefs of this event in my live Tweets I have sought accreditation for the event. I haven’t encountered any issues so far in gaining accreditation.

d. The main parts of the event are;

  • The cook-off between Hawthorne Garage’s own chef Nelly Lui, renowned Australian celebrity chef Matt Golinski and Brisbane Broncos player Corey Parker.
  • Live cooking demonstrations
  • A jumping castle and face painting for children
  • Beer and wine tent for the adults
  • Gourmet food tastings from the suppliers of the Hawthorne Garage.

e. I have spoken to the owner of the Hawthorne Garage, Dan Palmer, regarding accreditation and interviewing him after the event. Dan and Nelly have both agreed to let me interview them. Ames acknowledges (2015, pg. 3) “you are there to report”,  therefore I’ve selected Dan and Nelly to interview after the event as I know they’ll be too busy during the event.
(Addition 03/09 – I was not able to talk directly to Corey Parker at any stage of the event for an interview or accreditation. More justification will be in my assessment three piece). 

f. The following are the most important aspects I’ve taken from “Why you need to plan” video  provided by Kate Ames. Timing is a massive factor for this event. The event kicks off at 12 pm, and I need to be aware of time in order to capture the main parts such as the cook-offs and cooking demonstrations. I’m aware of the schedule of the day which works in with my timing of the event. I have received accreditation for the event, know the location of the event, and know many of the people attending the event.

I’m in a very fortunate position where I can cover an event that is close to me, and where I can move about the crowd, speak to attendees and event organisers whom I’ve become familiar with through my position of work at Hawthorne Garage. I look forward to live Tweeting from the event and getting to experience what it’s like to be a journalist.


Reference:

COMM11007 ASS 3 Social Media Overview 2015, video file, viewed on 13 August 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-bqmSm8r0Y#action=share

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 , Week Four Study Guide – Writing News , CQUniversity, Mackay.

Hawthorne Garage car-park party banner, digital image, Hawthorne Garage, viewed on 13 August 2015, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hawthorne-Garage/216291161830160?fref=ts


Week Four Blog Activity – Practical: Plan your stories and prepare for ass#2