Week Eight Blog Activity – Practical: Write Pinterest Review

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“The Visual Bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas” –
(Pinterest 2015)

Gifts, Animals & Pets, Architecture, Art, Cars & Motorcycles, Celebrations & Events, Celebrities, Design, Education, Film, Music & Books, Food & Drink, Gardening, Geek, Hair & Beauty, Heath & Fitness, History, Hobbies & Craft, Home Décor, Humour, Illustrations & Posters, Kids & Parenting, Men’s fashion, Outdoors, Photography, Products, Quotes, Science & Nature, Sports, Tattoos, Technology, Travel, Weddings, Women’s Fashion

If you’re looking for it, chances are Pinterest has it, or at least has something like it. Pinterest is a social network in which users can search and share items of interest from all over the internet.

The website allows users to “pin” (upload) any picture, article or link to a personalised board, which the user can choose to share or save for personal use. Think of it like so; you see something on the internet – a swish new way to transform those old crappy tights that don’t fit you into a new, sophisticated top. Pinterest allows you to take that link, post it to your virtual clipboard and save it for later or share it amongst friends.

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Figure 2.1 – Boards are customisable: users can choose who they share with, set up different boards to different categories and leave notes on Pins.
Source: Pinterest (2015)

Pinterest is famous and favoured for brides-to-be; featuring thousands of pages of wedding ideas, wedding dresses, reception locations and decorations, all shared by people from across the world in the same position.
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Figure 2.2 – Wedding: D.I.Y weddings, dress designs, floral arrangement and decorations are just a few pins that are featured under the wedding category.
Source: Pinterest (2015)

Gardeners, Arts and Crafters and the D.I.Y type now have a hub of inspiration and ideas, with Pinterest promoting sharing and networking between fellow users.

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Figure 2.3 – Gardening: User adds personalised comment as she shares and re-pins it to her own board.
Source: Pinterest (2015)

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 4.37.05 pmFigure 2.5 – Hobbies & Crafts: There is no limit on what you can expect to find searching through Pinterest.
Source: Pinterest (2015)

Pinterest is useful for condensing ideas from trillions of pages of internet into 35 easy to navigate categories. Whether you are a avid gardener looking for gardening tips, a bride-to-be needing inspiration, a keen art and crafter or a D.I.Y handyman or handywoman, all of your ideas, inspiration channels and people just like yourself are now at the drop of a pin.


Reference:

Pinterest 2015, online, viewed on 15 September 2015, https://www.pinterest.com/

Pinterest Logo 2015, digital image, Pinterest, viewed on 15 September 2015,   https://www.google.com.au/search?q=pinterest&espv=2&biw=1446&bih=737&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIl9Gx-Kr4xwIVgpGOCh1SMwkd&dpr=1.8#imgrc=OqPRMLCENB5uCM%3A


Week Eight Blog Activity – Practical: Write Pinterest Review

Week Eight Blog Activity – Technical: Complete Quiz 8

English for Journalists; Chapter 9 – Words

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Review:  As indicated by Hicks (2013 p.120) “often a writer … adds a redundant word or phrase because they do not know the meaning of a particular word.” This is obvious in my case, and was an interesting concept to learn. I have always said ‘comprised of’ as I wasn’t aware that ‘of’ is redundant.

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Review: The reason why I got this question wrong is obvious; I forgot to answer it! True was going to be my choice however.

Reflection: As much as I have enjoyed these quizzes, I’m relieved to have one less thing to worry about every week. These quizzes have been effective in reinforcing the learnings from the English for Journalists textbook. These quizzes have enabled me to pinpoint areas I need to focus on.


Reference:

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 –  Blog Activity Week 8 Quiz – Words, CQUniversity, Mackay

Hicks, J 2013, English for Journalists, 20th anniversary ed., Routledge, Oxon.


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Week Eight Blog Activity – Technical: Complete Quiz 8

Week Seven Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review a newsletter

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Firstly, let me start by saying that this website for the Crocodile Specialist Group means serious business. I found the website easy to navigate and finding the publication and newsletter section was very straight forward.

The newsletter begins with an editorial and which pays respect to two crocodile conservationists whom have recently passed. The newsletter then proceeds to introduce a book review, provides notes on recent committee meetings and then reports on crocodile conservation in certain regions of the world.

The newsletter addresses recent news regarding a crocodile attack in Indonesia, as well as recent crocodile captures and sightings (CSG 2015). The piece concludes with a science orientated section, and finishes up providing the details of the committee of the Crocodile Specialist Group.

The distribution of this newsletter is through the Crocodile Specialist Group website via a downloadable format or subscription (incurs a subscription fee). This distribution is effective as it would not be risking incorrect or overused distribution (Ames 2015).

It is quite obvious that this organisation’s newsletters are not intended for consumption by a general audience (Whitaker, Ramsay & Smith 2012). However, they are directed at a specific target public; conservationists, scientists, persons of interest, or people who are generally interested in the group’s newsletters. These newsletters successfully address the needs and interests of target public (Ames 2015).

All of the stories and sections of the newsletter involve timeliness and allow the reader to keep up-to-date on the group, as well as gaining insight into Crocodilian (CSG 2015) news happening all around the world in a time frame that’s relevant (Ames 2015).

Committee meetings regarding the conservation and relocation of crocodiles would appeal to conservationists, whereas areas such as the science orientated sections would appeal to science journalists for it provides information regarding the habitat, reproduction, relocation and cohabitant of crocodiles and humans.

If a science journalist was to browse this piece, I believe the sections regarding relocation, initiating a breeding program and the conservation of crocodiles in protected farm lands would be of particular interest.

This is an area that would provide a human interest and currency element to a news story (Whitaker, Ramsay & Smith 2012). Currency is relevant as it will be an on-going event and human interest because even though crocodiles are not the most favoured creatures, the conservation efforts will be of interest.

This newsletter is very effective in delivering a tremendous amount of information as succinct and informative as possible. There is a lot encompassed in this newsletter, from news regarding conservation efforts, to recent headlines and news being addressed regarding crocodile attacks and sightings.

Each individual section provides great depth regarding the topic of discussion and is easy to consume. The structure of the newsletter is quite condensed and can be a little difficult to read, however the illustrations and pictures attempt to break this bulk up.

Reflection: I found this blog activity quite enjoyable. I was quite surprised by this task, as I was completely unaware that people felt so strongly about the conservation and well-being of crocodiles. I found the website and newsletter quite interesting, and was pleasantly surprised by the actions and attempts by these conservationists with everything they’re achieving. I’m also enjoying being able to relate the readings to the blog posts and blog activities as it helps to cement the readings just that little bit more.


Reference:

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 – Week 7 – Newsletters and Brochures Study Guide, CQUniversity, Mackay.

Crocodile Specialist Group n.d, digital image, Crocodile Specialist Group, viewed on 15 September 2015, http://www.iucncsg.org/

Species Survival Commission 2015, ‘Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter’, Crocodile Specialist Group, vol. 34, no. 2, April – June, viewed 15 September 2015, http://www.iucncsg.org/365_docs/attachments/protarea/34(2-a5b9578f.pdf

Whitaker, WR, Ramsey, JE & Smith, RD 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast and Public Relations, 4th edition, Routledge, New York.


Week Seven Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review a newsletter

Week Seven Blog Activity – Technical: Complete Quiz 7A and 7B

English for Journalists; Chapter 5 – Spelling

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Review: This question is confusing. Funnily enough, it falls under the “confusions” category in the textbook. I obviously read the question wrong, as it claims that the question asked is true. The textbook claims words are misspelled because they’re confused with a shorter one that sounds the same.

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Review: This is where spelling aggravates me. I don’t understand how and why it was necessary when developing the english language, to change the same word when it is a plural. If lady changes to ladies, and penny to pennies, why doesn’t monkey become monkies. I know that this is english law, but I just don’t understand how it came about or why it was necessary.

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Review: I couldn’t see anything in the textbook regarding this, so I googled it. According to The Grammar Monster, ‘principal is an official, whereas principle is a rule or code of conduct’ (2015, p.1). Going off this example, I chose B as the correct answer. However, after examining the feedback for the question, I understand the slight difference in how the question was worded and where I went wrong.

Reflection: Spelling is an area I’m confident in, and I believe that I am a good at spelling. However this quiz didn’t really have much to do with testing spelling as it did practices from the textbook. For my first attempt, I scored 07/10. I was relieved when I saw that none of these incorrect answers were to do with spelling mistakes. I believe my biggest issue is not reading the question thoroughly and understanding what it asks for.

English for Journalists; Chapter 8 – Style

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Review: In hindsight ‘the needs of the reader’ does make sense as the correct answer. All of the elements listed are critical for writing a well-written piece, however the readers needs may emphasise a focus point for the story.

Reflection: I am very happy with the score of this quiz. It makes me happy when I only get a few questions wrong because it makes me believe that what I’m reading is sinking in.


Reference:

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 –  Blog Activity Week 7 – Spelling, CQUniversity, Mackay.

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 –  Blog Activity Week 7 – Style, CQUniversity, Mackay.

Grammar Monster n.d, ‘Principal and principle – the difference’, viewed on 13 September 2015, http://www.grammar-monster.com/easily_confused/principal_principle.htm

Hicks, J 2013, English for Journalists, 20th anniversary ed., Routledge, Oxon.


Week Seven Blog Activity – Technical: Complete Quiz 7A and 7B

Week Seven Blog Activity – Practical: Reflect on Assessment 1

After reviewing my assessment one piece numerous times, I fine-tuned and corrected my punctuation and grammar as much as possible. After reading the piece so many times, I feel like I would be able to quote word-for-word most of the assessment.

I had my sister and mother read over the news piece and media release to pick up on any grammatical and punctuation errors. My sister and mother both picked up on the amount of times I used “he said” / “she said” and I had to explain to them that I couldn’t use “stated” or “claimed”. Both thought this was odd as they had both been taught to not repeat words as much as possible.

When comparing my assessment against the checklist, I was able to pick up on a few mistakes with quotes and removed one semi-colon. I’ve been told that my sentences are too long winded and I need to revise them and shorten them. However, when I shorten my sentences I’m told that each sentence is too abrupt and needs to be smoothed out or lengthened.

I’ve  corrected the problems that I saw reading over the assessment, however after going over my readings this week, I’ve found areas that I’ll be marked down and that discourages me a little.

My biggest issue was using closing quotation marks where the quote continues over a few paragraphs. It was very useful having a checklist, but after reading over the assessment so much all the words became a blur. I found that having other people read over it helped, however they aren’t learning the grammar and punctuation rules that are being taught in this course so they cannot pick up on the areas I’ll be scrutinised on.


Reference:

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 – Week 7 – Marking Key Checklist, CQUniversity, Mackay.


Week Seven Blog Activity – Practical: Reflect on Assessment 1

Week Six Blog Activity – Practical: Take a series of photos and caption them

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Caption: Dan and Andy’s Hawthorne Garage, located in Hawthorne, Brisbane. The Garage recently celebrated its third year operating in the area, offering locals all their fresh grocer, deli and produce needs. 

For this photo, I needed a caption that allowed the viewer to understand the location as well as the back story. I didn’t want the viewer to think this was just a picture of a sign for a shop. According to Murabayashi, (2008 p.1) “the first sentence describes the subject/action depicted in the image, while the subsequent sentences give context to the image”. Therefore, there is two parts to this quote; firstly describing the subject i.e the Hawthorne Garage and where it’s located, and secondly offering context to the image i.e has been running for three years, offering locals fresh produce, deli and grocer.

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Caption: Barista and coffee lover practices latte art at home to improve skills. 


I found this caption a little difficult, so I kept it short and sweet. I wanted to portray to the reader what was happening but mostly why it was happening. A well-writen caption answers the who, what, when, where and why  of the subject in the photograph (Murabayashi 2008). I believe I captured the 5 W’s that were relevant in this caption. Who: barista, what: practices latte art, where: at home, why: because she takes pride in her work. I figured the ‘when’ aspect wasn’t necessary.

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Caption: Full time student and barista says; “It isn’t so bad when you enjoy what you do.” Rachel Fettes, 21 spends her time working as a full time barista whilst also studying a Diploma of Business at Central Queensland University.

For this picture, I needed a caption that explained what was behind the image instead of what was in the imagine. As David Miller (2012 p.1) from Matador Network explains, a good caption can “give the viewer context, backstory, information that the viewer CAN’T see”. For this caption I was afraid that I was including too much information, however, without the background story this picture would simply just be a coffee – the reader might not understand the significance of the image.

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Caption: Breakfast is served! A warm mocha muffin, the perfect compliment for a coffee to mark the beginning of Spring in Brisbane, QLD. 

For this caption, I wanted to avoid using “pictured” or “can be seen” as I find these terms obvious and unnecessary in this picture (Irby 2015). This photo and caption tell a backstory as there isn’t much happening in the photo itself for the reader to gain an understanding.

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Caption: Amateur pastry chef Luke  tries his hand at rolling fresh lasagne sheets on brand new pasta machine.

When writing this caption, I didn’t want it to be too short or involve unnecessary information. The background to this picture is a little long winded. A year ago from when this picture was taken, I was travelling around Italy. My partner, Luke, tried to cheer up my traveller blues by making me pasta. I couldn’t quite figure out how to incorporate that into this caption without it being too long or containing unnecessary information. I’ve tried to include the important facts in this caption; the who, what, how.

Reflection: Before this blog task, I thought caption writing was easy. After reading all the suggested websites on caption writing, this idea certainly changed. I had never considered the angles you could write the caption from, that some captions required backstories and some required multiple parts.

I’ve been instructed to reference and draw from the readings from the weekly activities in my blogs and this week I feel that I’ve taken on board this feedback and addressed the issue. Thinking back to my caption for assessment one, I feel confident that I had a well-written and informative caption and that I included all the elements necessary.


Reference:

Irby, K 2015, ‘Hot Tips for Writing Photo Captions‘, viewed on 11 September 2015, http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/visuals/1753/hot-tips-for-writing-photo-captions/

Miller, D 2012, ‘How to write compelling captions for your photos‘, viewed on 11 September 2015, http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/how-to-write-compelling-captions-for-your-photos/

Murabayashi, A 2008, ‘Writing Killer Captions for Travel Photography‘, viewed on 11 September 2015, http://blog.photoshelter.com/2008/04/travel-photography-captions/


Week Six Blog Activity – Practical: Take a series of photos and caption them

Week Six Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review a Cirque du Soleil Media Kit

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Figure 1.7 – Cirque du Soleil – ‘Totem’
Source: Cirque Du Soleil website (2015)

There are many elements that comprise this press kit. This press kit begins by introducing elements that explain the story behind ‘Totem’ such as the show overview, a few interesting facts, what the critics say about ‘Totem’ and about Robert Lepage – Writer and Director.

The press kit continues to list elements that go into detail about what is incorporated in the show such as the main characters, the scenes/acts, the creators and costumes. Finally, the press kit includes some information regarding behind the scenes such as set designs and projections, support to the performance, village on Wheels and Cirque Du Soleil at a glance.

Referring this inquiry question back to this week’s readings; biographies, photos and extra information for journalists are all elements included in a media kit (Ames 2015). These elements are also present in the press kit for ‘Totem’. The press kit incorporates plenty of photos and information for journalists as well as biographies of the creators.

According to Frangi and Fletcher (2002, pg. 85) “the purpose of a media kit is to give a complete picture”. This particular press kit was very thorough and in depth regarding information for the show. If I had any questions, this press kit would have addressed them.

The distribution of this press kit was through online media on the Cirque Du Soleil website. As mentioned in the study guide, this style is efficient and enables journalists to source any particular information they require in one place.

How one would go about incorporating these elements into a news story would be dependent on which angle you were writing the news story from.

If the news story was written as a review of the show, background information, biographies and information on the acts would be useful. If the news story was written about the shows premier, background information, information on the acts, production information and interesting facts would be useful.

Reflection: I chose to review ‘Totem’ as I had the pleasure of seeing this show live earlier this year with my partner. The performance was mind-blowing, spectacular and impressed me beyond words. I was really impressed with how well structured the press kit was and how much information was jammed into it. Before commencing this course, I would never have known what a press kit was.


Reference:

Cirque De Soleil 2015, ‘Totem’ press kit, Cirque Du Soleil, viewed on 03 September 2015, https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/press/kits/shows/totem/creators.aspx

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 – Week 4 – Writing News Study Guide, CQUniversity, Mackay.

Fletcher A, Frangi, M 2012, ‘So you want media coverage… a simple guide on how to get it and how to handle it’, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia.


Week Six Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review a Cirque du Soleil Media Kit