Thursday, June 10, 2010


Creating this weblog was a new experience to me, as I have never considered starting a blog before and have had no prior experience to blogging. In the beginning it was hard, but as I used the blog more the process became easier. Due to my lack of experience in blogging, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to have a complicated design so I decided to make my intended audience an older age group. This explains the plain layout and the more formal conversational tone of the blog entries. The standpoint that I adopted as a blogger is a neutral tone, not creating too much biased or putting my own view forward, only in the short paragraphs at the end of each post. My aim was to be informative to the reader, not overcrowd them with just my point of view. I chose bold colours on a white space background, which I think coincide nicely with the chosen image.

I thought overall that making a weblog is seemingly easy once you get the hang of it. There is obviously a lot more that I can learn about blogging. Honestly, it doesn’t really appeal to me as a writer, I would rather see my work published in print, or at least on a professional news website. I don’t think that there’s much respect for the average blogger on in reference to hard news stories, however I do think that it is a good medium where people can express their thoughts and opinions to the wider public. I think it acts more as a public web journal more than anything, and that’s fine if that’s what somebody is looking for.

Woman hit by car is suing Google maps

image: google maps was being accessed on a blackberry

We’ve all heard of the stories where the small man sues a big company for millions, but did we ever think a woman would sue internet mogul Google? It’s possible, but we would have never fathomed these circumstances. Californian woman Lauren Rosenburg is suing Google after claiming their online map service caused her to be run down by a car, not because she was concentrating more on her blackberry than where she was walking.

In an article on, it states that the woman claims the phone advised her to walk along Deer Valley Drive, where she was struck by a car. Was Google providing unsafe directions, or was she just an idiot to not look where she was heading? She blames Google Maps for not warning her about the dangerous highway where she got hit, resulting in severe permanent physical, emotional and mental injuries. However, the plot thickens as a Google Maps warning has been issued on personal computers, and does not appear on mobile handsets. In a wiser move she is planning legal action against the driver of the vehicle.

Personally I think that the woman was in the wrong. Yes today’s society has grown more and more reliant on technology, but use some common sense! Nevertheless, following this unfortunate incident Google Maps should in fact work on presenting the same information on mobile handsets that is available on personal computers, as this information could determine whether somebody gets hit with a car or not.

Unknown, 2010, ‘Woman hit by car blames Google Maps’,, 1 June, viewed 1 June, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mobile phones offer faster check-ins

image: new mobile check-in technology will be trailed in HOLIDAY INN hotels

Are you a devoted traveller, checking in and out of hotels on the run? If you are you would hate the long and detailed process of checking in and out of hotels, especially if you arrive after a 20 hour flight. An article found on by Kate Schneider details the groundbreaking new technology, allowing you to unlock your hotel room with your mobile phone.

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) are beginning testing on the new technology at two US Holiday Inns in June. This mobile check-in service is already being used by Australian airlines Virgin Blue, Jetstar and Quantas, will allow guests to skip the long haul through counter lines and open the hotel doors with a click of a button on their personal mobile phones. An encrypted and unique audio code is sent to the guest’s phone, where they then hold the speaker up to the door to unlock it.

Personally I believe that this is a great idea, especially for people like avid travellers or businessmen who travel quite frequently. This makes the check in process of hotels and airlines a lot smoother. Because of the fast pace that technology has created for us, we have become accustomed to quick and easy ways of completing everyday tasks, and this is a prime example of how technology is making our everyday lives easier.

Schneider, Kate 2010, ‘Unlock your hotel room with your mobile phone’,, 25 May, viewed 25 May, 2010

Blogs: They cater to absolutely everybody

According to blogs ‘are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.’ They can cover a range of subjects about anything from fashion and entertainment to politics and business, giving people small updates about the particular topics they are interested in.

So whether you’re a successful businessman or a stay at home mum, everyone can benefit from blogs, whether it is business orientated or personal. Have you got your own compelling thoughts about today’s society and want to share them with the world? Are you an avid sports fan and want to converse with others about your favourite game? Are you an aspiring fashionista who wants to keep up to date with this seasons fashions? Well blogging may have found the cure for your creativity bug. No need for a journalism degree here, you can let the world know what you’re thinking by the click of a button.

As previously mentioned, blogs can come in all shapes and sizes, relating to an array of different topics. The Caucus is a popular political blog commissioned by the New York Times, which contains content such as video footage and images to correspond with their articles about elections and government. Another popular blog is The Sartorialist, a blog dedicated to the world of fashion. This blog, The Sartorialist, is one of the world’s leading fashion blogs, documenting the world of fashion for the average individual woman or man.

I personally believe that blogging is a great way to reach out to different communities and to different people that are particularly interested in the same things that you are. It is a way that the average person can publish their thoughts for the world to see, creating possibilities that may not be available to them. However, I believe that there is a very distinct line between the average blogger and a real journalist. People have proposed that blogging is the journalism of the future, which I cannot disagree with more. Journalists have university degrees and are trained in the area of media, whereas anyone anywhere could become a published blogger. This is definitely something that needs to be addressed, as the internet is growing more and more popular everyday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Google stops censorship in China

In an article from The Australia Online, published on 23 Mar 2010, Jessica Vascellaro and Loretta Chao reports how infamous search engine Google has ceased internet censorship in China. This issue created much controversy when on January 12 the company said it would stop censoring its search results after it was hit by cyber attack traced to China. Troubled by China’s attempts to limit free speech, Google decided to stop internet censorship.

The company’s official legal officer David Drummond believes that this pursuit is a “sensible decision”, as they want as many people in the world as possible to have access to the services that the Google Company have to offer. With this latest controversy, it has been speculated that an increasing number of countries will venture down the same path, creating censorship in order to do what is best for its people.

In reference to shielding people from harmful or crude websites I believe that internet censorship would be a good decision, as this is helping our society to be a better place. Websites detailing bomb making skills, self harm or other actions that could inflict pain upon others I believe should be taken off of the internet, as you have no idea who will view them and what their intentions are. However, if the censorship would be solely to promote government’s views, thrusting them on the public without them having any say, I believe that in this instance censorship should not be granted.

Vascellaro, Jessica & Chao, Loretta 2010, ‘Google stops censoring in China’, The Australian Online, 23 Mar, viewed 25 May, 2010

Will the internet be responsible for the death of print media?

Along with the internet came the demise of the print news industry. With the internet’s ethos resulting in everything being faster and more efficient, their easy access systems make for a more satisfied clientele. But, is the print industry suffering only because of the annoying ink stains it leaves on our fingertips, or is the internet just the way to go for the latest technological phased generations?

Studies have shown in a March 13 2008 article by James Lewin on that the internet is increasingly popular among younger generations. The studies show that younger consumers are less likely to read print newspapers, with those aged 18-24 being 38 percent more likely than average not to read a newspaper at all throughout a typical week. This is a vast comparison from those aged 65 and older, who are nearly 3 times more likely than average to read the print edition of a newspaper at least 6 times per week. These staggering results surely brings fuel to the flame of the debate of are today’s more technological advanced generations killing the future of the print industry.

So when it comes down to it, would people prefer paying for a magazine or newspaper online rather than getting the hard copy? And will this result differ in reference to different generations also? I believe that if it comes down to simply a matter of opinion, newspapers and magazines are the way to go. Seemingly more practical, a newspaper or a magazine can be read with ease on the bus on the way to work, or lounging around at home. It is a fact that reading on a computer screen is harder than reading on paper (see blog ‘the battle of the print vs. online’). However, our society is forever changing the way that we percept things, and who knows what is yet to come in the media’s future.

Lewin, James 2008, ‘Latest Trends for News Resources’,, 13 Mar, viewed 25 May, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Facebook admits 'we make mistakes'

Image courtesy of

In an article found on The Australian website entitled ‘We made mistakes on privacy, says Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’ on the 24th of May 2010, it is discovered that Facebook may not be as private as we thought.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admits that the website has made mistakes due to privacy, after critics slamming the sites recent alliance with other social networking sites. Last month Facebook allowed the partner websites, such as Twitter, to access information, a move that would further expand the social network's existence on the internet. This leads to users wondering where the information they put on the internet site goes, and exactly who can access it.

The announcement comes just a month after the death of Nona Belomesoff, a Sydney teenager murdered by a man believed to be a Facebook friend. The death sparked concerns among the Facebook community, about how their information can be perceived on the internet. This sparked much controversy as the website is compromising the privacy of its 400 million members.

Personally, I believe that there should be more privacy on websites such as Facebook should be more private in reference to the site sharing information with other websites. However, I do also believe that the person is in complete control on what we put on the internet, such as our address, phone numbers, and other personal details that shouldn’t be broadcasted on the internet. This is the mistake that many people, such as Sydney teenager Nona, make. People need to remember that the internet is a public domain, and your private information should always be kept private.

Vasek, Lanai 2010, ‘We made mistakes on privacy, says Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’, The Australian, 24 May, viewed 24 May, 2010

Designing for print versus designing for online

There are various different things that you need to consider when designing for print and online documents. The importance of designing a document and making it appropriate for the selected medium is vital, as it can make or break the point that the designer is trying to articulate.

Imagine late at night when you’re surfing the internet clicking onto a website only to have it flashing bright colours into your face. An animated background pulsates in front of you, while an array of different colours and fonts hide the information that you are desperately looking for. This is the mistake that many people make when they design for an online document. Designing for the web is quite different from designing for print, as looking at a computer screen is different to looking at a piece of paper. When choosing colours and fonts it is important to determine whether the page is ‘printer friendly’, that is, will the page be easy to read if it were to be printed out.

Another thing to avoid when designing for the web is multi-column pages. Although this concept works in print, as the use of two or more columns makes good use of all of the available space, this does not mean it will be good for online documents. The typical computer monitor rarely shows the whole top and bottom of the page, therefore making the viewer have to scroll up and down multiple times if there is a multi-column layout.

Another vital thing to consider when designing a document is the intended audience. It is important to consider exactly who will be looking at the document, as different age, gender and preference groups will perceive different layouts differently. This could affect not only the way you present the information, but where you place things, colour schemes and font types.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blogs: How do they affect society?

In today’s day and age technology is rapidly changing and adapting to our every day needs more and more effectively. From the very beginning of time people have invented ways to speed up our everyday activities, making our lives much more easy and efficient. From the invention of the wheel ruling out the necessity of walking, to the invention of the telephone replacing writing hand written letters to communicate, society has adapted and changed into the fast paced world that we are accustomed to today. In turn, new occupations and interests have arisen, and with the invention of the internet came the introduction of blogs, a place where the average person can share their ideas and opinions with the world.

In this fast paced society that we have created over the years, people have turned to blogs as a resource for media related news whether it is politics, lifestyle or entertainment for information above other media sources such as television, radio or print. The blog phenomenon evolved from an online diary format, where people would recount simple events of their everyday lives. The blog grew rapidly in popularity in 1999 and the years proceeding, when the dawning of blog host sites were created.

Since blogs have become a vital part of the internet aesthetic, they have the power to persuade audiences and are a vital part in the viewer’s views and opinions on a specified topic. With this kind of power, a blogger has the opportunity to impact major aspects of our lives. This can be foremost topics such as politics, with the possibility of swaying voter’s opinions about particular parties. All in all, a blog can cater to a range of different genres, therefore offering to a variety of different audiences.