I want to write this down
That above is literally a quote from myself. The point of writing “this” down is so that I’m actually writing. It’s not for anything or anyone, it’s for myself.
What a chapter to finish. Moving away from home at 18 never did I think I’d be sitting in a free roadside (brand new leather might I add) couch in a house decorated by me (including StarWars every second wall hanging). When you’re accepted into university you kinda assume you do it so that you can get yourself together, I’m here to say it’s not together at the end, but that’s half the adventure. Think of it as a duck swimming in water, everything looks smooth sailing. Your marks flow, your network grows, but for this to happen your feet need to work the whole time paddling really fast under the water.
I build drones in my bedroom, I fly them and I want to change the world using them. I’m a design thinker and believe you can only really know your practise by doing it literally right in front of you. This all sounds fantastic and you’re probably thinking, that is all well and good now that I’ve taken the risk and it paid off, but I want to advocate its possible.
I’m a small country town kid. I had no idea what it was I was going to do after school, but knew two things. Firstly, that I wanted to help people. I didn’t think doctor, because I wasn’t good at biology, chemistry, advanced maths in the HSC. However, helping people whether it made life easier, safer and generally happier. Secondly, that a fortune teller once told my mother that I would help people, take that as you will (believer or not). That was my only criteria to move to university. So I sat the HSC with no real nerves because I had so many people say it’s not the be all end all, and I believed it. Strangely enough, as my peers freaked out and told me completely different answers to my own in most of the exams I sat, I was okay throughout. I didn’t assume anything, I didn’t expect anything.
To keep context, I passed my HSC at around a credit equivalent average but thought I wanted to be involved in filmmaking, the arts, theatre, photography…storytelling. I wanted to tell my story. What a blessed period of time we live in that we can access devices that capture moments that tell our story. I was accepted into university off an audition process for a performance degree. This was wonderful. I was physically and emotionally pushed in classes and unlocked a confidence I wouldn’t have known without it. When asked why I left, I simply detail that what I tried, and am doing now, I love more. I still go and watch my close friends shows in Sydney and have a close connection to theatre.
What a change. I want to blog about the specifics of what it is I’ve done with drones, but this is sparked by a major decision I’ve made. Throughout my 3 years in Communications and Media Studies at UOW, I’ve finished. Done. Now on the hunt for what it is I get to give back to the world. It comes back to the point about helping people. I want to help people with technology and honour a value of hard work. I am hands on and I want to build things over and over until it’s right. Anyone can do this. Look up what it is that grabs the attention, and understand it. Watch hours of tutorials on YouTube, again and again. Even if you don’t have the financial means to purchase the product, watch unboxings, read reviews, look up the instruction manuals online and read it. This is exactly what I did before I built my drone. I knew the thing inside and out before I even thought about purchasing the parts to build it. When I finally got in touch with the people that I needed to about funding, I was ready for any of their questions. Done to the last colour combination of propellor. My “thing” just happened to be drones. But it could be anything.
I haven’t covered a lot of what I was going to reading back over this, but perhaps it’ll give me something to do while I’ve managed to gain crutches. I want to open up a space for those to gain an insight into a university life, opportunity, hardship and triumph. To take a look into my mind while also getting it in writing. It is therapeutic for such an over-active mind like mine.
A blog can be aligned to a digital portfolio, or that’s how I’ve addressed it for the duration of my University career. It’s an unparalleled platform to collect all types of media and showcase what kind of work and skills the individual has to offer. A blog site like WordPress, that is a free to join service, means that if someone wants to observe an array of works and projects you’ve been involved with, users can simply link them a URL.
Another great feature of blogging is the networking that I’ve been able to establish with both university personnel and even those internationally, that show up on the analytics of the site. Commenting on users posts and sharing content that appeals to an area of study is a fast knowledge transfer and something I’ve tried to showcase when making my own blog engage with others.
Commenting on others blog offers the chance to showcase some of your own research onto the next person by linking perhaps opinions of your own or a different insight into a similar topic or theme. I really took advantage of this with in particular the Devices in Public Space blog, where Sonny offered me the chance to head to his blog and check out what street photography and drone ethics in privacy perhaps co-existed and had mutual grey areas of. This was an interesting resource, that sparked me to leave comments on other users blogs where I believed I could offer further readings.
Blogging this semester has allowed me to embed knowledge that is close to my skillset, interest level as well as where I would like to eventually end up career-wise, and within the subject of BCM240 I’ve been able to explore some interesting topics and then weave my expertise in Drone commercialistion, application and regulation into the weekly readings. This has been picked up by teachers across the subject, and encouraged to continue into my final project for the class that aims to create a digital storytelling project. Through the use of my blogs and my Proposal I’ve been able to sponge information people have offered to me.
I’ve created a new WordPress platform that I actively link onto my personal university blog with a feature called “Re-blogging”. If you’re familiar with Twitter than it’s essentially a re-tweet . This means, publishing content with the authors name with it to appear on your own blog. I do this so that the users following both accounts are exposed to the content and I can showcase for what I hope to be a business mock up, to my followers, again, for useful feedback and exposure. It allows me to then run a more in-depth site for my drone research, whilst trying to create content for my ideas to re-think the narratives drones create in public spaces.
The layout of this digital portfolio is critical in showcasing a easy to navigate and resourceful website where the audience can read easily yet become informed, and I’ve made this possible with the addition of categories and tags. I’ve separated the Home and About tabs from the research content for ease of use and clear showcasing of the trajectory of my blogging/ project development. I’ve also included a Video tab for those who don’t particularly want to spend time reading and would rather a visual video understanding of the projects I am apart of. This links into the ease of which Videos and YouTube in particular. It showcases my ability in video editing, interests in content creation as well as mentioned before a chance for the audience to click play and watch visual skills to be viewed. The easy embedding option on a new blog-post means that it can be shared quickly to a greater audience. Hyperlinking throughout a post is another great feature that I try to incorporate into my blogging throughout research so that audiences have the options of further reading on a particular idea or topic, but can also show my audience that I’m researching what I’m talking about and can have a post that is reliable.
Something that I’ve received feedback from peers and tutors alike, is the visual nature of my blog and how it’s very basic and needed to be reflective of the resources that I was showcasing (eg. drones, new technology, video, internet) so i decided to change the background to something more visually appealing and that resonated the direction and nature of the blog. I have linked my twitter stream onto the side of the site so that updates on what I’m following as well as reflections of current ways of thinking can be an addition to this. I’ve customized it so that it shows the most recent first and allows those that chose, to cross over to the twitter platform itself and further follow me on that social media site. Another point that was raised was the About tab not reflecting me as a researcher online. This was something I was unaware could be changed, so with simple investigation, i learnt how to update the about page to reflect what the blog and myself were about, and necessary information about these two.
I’ve found that my writing style has improved, however, upon reflection and investigation of feedback my editing is still something I’ll continue to work towards in terms of grammar and use of contractions that all make up 1%’s of a page that distinguish a professional blogging atmosphere.
To conclude my reflection on a semester of academic blogging involving media, audience and place, I believe regular blogging and continuous feedback from staff, peers or complete strangers all direct to an ever improving platform. The internet has evolved so the ‘prosumer’ become ‘prod-users’ and we’re able to gain our content the exposure it deserves. I’m able to take what knowledge I have accumulated, and pair that with a research trajectory and showcase this on an open source and free entry internet database that gives a potential long tail affect the longer it remains. My job as an online researcher is to continue to acknowledge the sources I use and keep the atmosphere welcoming and easy to navigate for a growing demographic of users.
Well hello there! I’m Sam I’m new to the WordPress world but I’m excited in what I’ve seen in the time it’s taken to set up my account! I’m a Communications and Media student looking to major in Digital Media. I feel like I’m an outgoing and social guy and now I’ve got a blog to keep everyone entertained and satisfied in my world, which leads me to the title, “The ultimate combination”, myself and the internet. I’m a music, gaming, sports, performing arts and TV/film enthusiast, and have recently transferred from a Bachelor of Performance. I’m looking to broaden my knowledge ultimately in all of these areas and become more confident and competent (which usually go hand in hand) as well. I am not entirely sure what kind of work this will lead me into, but I’m willing to give anything a chance and listen to others when giving advice. You can follow my Twitter which is @samnoakes95 Have a wonderful night x