Alyssa Crawley s3600752 Brief 1 Essay

My online media use involves many different activities and documenting every one of these became very difficult. Therefore throughout this essay I will be focusing solely on social media and the way I have used it in previous years to create my online brand. This brand was initially established through the creation of a fashion and lifestyle related Youtube channel but has since expanded to various other platforms. When I first created this channel I had very little experience in media and had to teach myself all the skills needed to run it. In this essay I will explore how I did this, as well as share the ways I use online media to create content and promote it to an audience.

Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) discuss Web 2.0 as being a participatory development in the nature of the Web whereby content is no longer “created and published by individuals” but is now being “continuously modified by all users.” This describes the way in which we use social media as a way to collaborate and interact with one another. An element of Web 2.0 is User Generated Content (UGC), which refers to the “various forms of media content that are publicly available and created by end-users” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). If this is published publicly, shows creative intent and isn’t produced for professional means then it is UGC. Social media allows for the creation and exchange of this content, allowing us to share our beliefs and establish ourselves online.

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Analysis Blog Post 3 – Reflecting on the Reflection

Throughout the week my online media usage began to get quite repetitive so to prevent this I ended up focusing on one or two particular things from each day. I therefore had to omit some of the activities that I undertook during the day that I deemed uninteresting. While this solved the issue, it has now put me in a situation where i have a less holistic documentation of what I did over the week because I decided not to include absolutely every activity in the posts.

I also failed to use definitive terms such as authoring, publishing and curating throughout the week. Although I did attempt to include these, I felt they made the posts quite stinted and disrupted their flow so I left them out. This means that I have been unable to fully explore the possibilities each activity can entail and has prevented me from expanding my definitions of each of these terms.

Through the evaluation I believe I could have further explored the ideas of how and why I use online media, particularly the way in which I use social media in the way that I do. While I feel I have touched on this briefly, I think there is far more that I can learn from looking deeper into the meaning behind my usage of my public social media platforms such as Instagram, Youtube and Twitter. My writing is not yet critical enough to have been able to tease out these ideas and this is something that I hope to do before writing the final essay. Through exploring this I think I’ll be able to evaluate more about why I use different personas on different platforms and also why I use social media in a different way when interacting with different people or groups.

I think these ideas are certainly something that I could focus on within the essay, determining the differences between how I act as these different personas online and why I do it. It could also look at my usage of social media as a means to pass the time. I discovered through this documentation that social media is generally a source of distraction or procrastination for me and I feel it could be interesting to explore why this is the case throughout the essay process.

Analysis Blog Entry 2 – Evaluation

If i had been asked to predict the results of my week of blogging I would have told you that I would use online media to create or author content more than I use it to observe it. However, looking at my posts from the week it is clear to see that this simply wasn’t the case. While I usually use online media to post a lot of content such as Instagram photos, tweets, public snapchat stories and youtube videos, I didn’t actually do a lot of this in the week I documented. I also discovered through this documentation process that I consume a lot more media than I would have previously thought. Social media in particular is something that I use multiple times throughout the day as a way to pass the time or procrastinate doing other important tasks such as uni work.

Throughout the week I also became aware of the different personas I take on when using my personal or private profiles versus those that I keep public. I have noticed that I am a lot more ‘myself’ and feel more open to talk about things I care about when I am on my public profiles. I would have considered this to be the opposite before this documentation process as I would have though that it would be best to keep my public profile very clean and professional. However I feel that because I don’t have family members and people I know personally following/liking these public profiles that I have the ability to express my feelings and interests more openly. They are also not associated with my full name and therefore feel more free about posting whatever I like on them, even though this is in reality likely not entirely the case.

I also expanded my definition of online media throughout this task. I was initially defining it as just being about social media, however through my daily brainstorms of my use I came to realise just how broad this term was. By the end of the week I came to realise that my usage entailed so much more than just social media as I was using Spotify and Google docs daily, I was also reading news articles and watching youtube videos and all of this too counted as online media usage.

As someone who admittedly uses online media for a majority of the day this documentation has been really interesting. While I always knew how much I used online media it has been eye opening to see the ways I use it and also be able to reflect on and tease out how and why I use it in the way that I do.

Analysis Blog Post 1 – Evidence

For the first few days of the week my online media use was highly repetitive, exposing the routines I have in relation to how I use it. I started out almost everyday with a scroll through each social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and sometimes Pinterest as well. This routine was generally repeated at night with me taking the time to again scroll through these social media sites and liking anything that I thought was funny or interesting before going to bed.

During the day a few trends began to develop, especially during the week as I would use Spotify each day to listen to music on the way to uni and would also monotonously scroll through my social media sites at multiple times throughout the day. The content I would look at tended to involve topics such as fashion, veganism, feminism or celebrity news as these are what I am interested in and therefore follow and interact with people who share these same interests.

Majority of my activity throughout the week was passive, with me simply scrolling through the sites and maybe liking or tagging my friends in a couple of posts here and there. I did not tend to create much content, particularly during the week as I was busy with uni work. I did however tweet quite a bit throughout the week as a means to share my excitement and thoughts, sending simple tweets that I didn’t put all that much thought into. On the weekend however I did more activities that allowed me to create or author content such as Instagram posts that I shared with my followers.

I also used a lot online media for university during the week, which opened my eyes as to just how important the online world has become for our studies. I used google docs to collaborate on assignments with other students and also used Facebook, an inherently social medium, to do this as well. The use of Blackboard is also important to note as this is something I used every single day and yet failed to document this because of my inability to realise that using this site was too a form of online media use.

Day 7: The Journey Ends

Today I had be up early and didn’t even having time for breakfast let alone time to spend online before leaving the house. However once arriving home I did my usual morning routine where i watch Youtube videos and scrolled through my social media simultaneously. The main videos I watched were focused around productivity, made by MuchelleB and Lavendaire.

As I’m not at university on Monday’s I like to try and make my day as productive as possible getting both uni work and other tasks done so that I can have a positive start to the week. This is why I chose to watch videos on this topic because I hoped to pick up some tips and be left feeling motivated to work. Whilst I don’t usually comment on videos, I did comment on MuchelleB’s video because I found it extremely helpful and wanted to share my appreciation for it.

I then started to do some of what I consider my ‘Youtube work’, which mainly consists of replying to comments, remaking thumbnails that I no longer like and just ticking things off my Youtube to do list. Today I replied to comments on this recent video as this is something I hadn’t gotten around to doing yet. I basically just answered any questions that people had about the video and thanked them for watching it. I like to do this for all of my videos as I feel it helps build a stronger connection between my audience and I and it also allows me to show that I appreciate them watching and commenting on the video. I also sent out a tweet apologising for not uploading a video this weekend (as Sunday is my usual uploading day) so that I can keep my subscribers in the loop and explain why I wasn’t able to get one up.

I then moved on to completing some uni work online, using Blackboard and a shared google doc to work on a group assignment. We also utilised a Facebook group at the same time to keep in constant communication about what direction we hoped to go in. Using both platforms was effective as it helped us to keep the doc focused on the final work whereas the Facebook group was used more for drafting and communicating.

Other than that I didn’t let myself use social media and online media all that much today as I was focused on being as productive as possible. However, I did partake in my usual nightly scroll through social media. I just checked up on some Tumblr blogs that I generally frequent, reblogging and liking a few posts about fashion and photography. I also tagged a few friends in a comedy video on Facebook about public transport as we often talk about how annoying it can be and I thought they would appreciate seeing it as well.

Day 6: Instagramming my Adventures

Today I had to leave the house quite early, leaving me no time to do my usual morning scroll through social media. However, while I was out I was in a situation where I was creating and uploading quite lot of content. We went down near the beach and visited a cute cafe and I utilised this location to take some photos for my Instagram page. As a typical millennial who cares too much about their Instagram, I took photos of the food I was eating, the cafe interior and just anything else I saw that looked nice while we walked down the main street. While I wasn’t posting the actual photos to Instagram as I went, I was using Snapchat and Instagram’s story feature to share pictures of what I was doing with all of my friends (on snapchat) and followers (on Instagram). Taking photos is something I really enjoy however I like to live in the moment as much as I can so being able to share these images so quickly through these methods is something I really appreciate.

When I got home I then sat down and edited all of the photos I’d taken throughout the day. To do this I used the editing app VSCOcam which allows me to edit the images so that they fit the theme or aesthetic of my Instagram. I then chose one image that I really liked and posted this to my Instagram. I added a caption and tagged the cafe that the image was taken in. I also utilised hashtags such as “#vegan”, “#cafe” and “#Melbourne” to help share my photos with a wider audience of people. This photo was also shared to my public twitter account so that my followers on there could see it as well.

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Once posting this image I then let myself relax and I usually do this by watching Youtube videos. Today I watched a few dance videos (1, 2) as I really appreciate the art of dancing and also just clicked on anything in my subscription box that looked interesting. Whilst watching these I also caught up on what was going on throughout my other social media, liking any posts that I thought were interesting or funny.

Day 5: A Thorough Scroll

Ahh the weekend, finally a day where I can sit in bed for an hour after waking up just casually checking through my social media. I scroll through everything I would usually look at (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Youtube) however since I have more time I look at them in more depth. Instead of simply checking my notifications, I am able to have a thorough look at what people have been posting overnight as well as in the past week or so. Today this involved looking through some of my favourite Tumblr blogs, (1, 2, 3) mainly just reading through questions they’ve answered and seeing what they’ve been posting. I like taking my time to read through these as they post very detailed and long answers and posts that I want to be able to dedicate more time to reading thoroughly. These blogs in particular are my favourites because they’re positive and arty/creative and they tend to leave me feeling very happy and inspired.

I also spent some time on Facebook, where I liked a few posts that people had shared in a vegan group that I am a part of. One of these was linked to an article about a 90 year old dairy company who have now switched to only producing plant-based milks. I liked this post within the group because it made me happy to see the changes that are being made in regards to the reduction of the consumption of animal products within society.

Today was also one of my good friend’s birthday so I spent some time looking through photos that we’d taken and chose one to post on her Facebook wall. I added a little caption wishing her a happy birthday and letting her know that I was thinking about her. During her party I also posted many Snapchat videos of all of us dancing and singing happy birthday which I posted on my story for all my friends to see.

Day 4: The Obsession Continues

As usual, the first thing I did this morning was scroll through my social media. Ironically a tweet from one of my favourite dancers came up on my feed which read “I am not a morning person”. I retweeted this tweet because it was 6am and I felt that I could really strongly relate to it and also thought the timing was very funny. I then continued to look through my Instagram notifications, liking a few photos of friends and celebrities that I follow.

Other than listening to music on Spotify on the way to uni and completing work online on Blackboard and Google Docs whilst there, I didn’t really get the chance to use the online space again until I arrived home. Once home, I was extremely tired from my early start so I allowed myself to watch some Youtube videos. I watched about 10-15 videos from my subscription box with these mainly relating to fashion, lifestyle or vlogging.

I have also still been very much excited about the Beauty and the Beast movie, so I spent a lot of time watching interviews with the cast. When a movie comes out that I really love I always tend to indulge in watching interview after interview to get a sense of what it was like behind the scenes and to also just enjoy the funny stories the cast have to tell. My favourites were this interview where Emma Watson told the story of how they shot the snowball scene in the new movie and this one where Emma Watson and Dan Stevens answered frequently searched questions about themselves and the movie.

I went to bed quite early today however I still made time for my usual before-bed scroll through social media. I spent a particularly long time on Tumblr where I liked and reblogged a lot of posts from my favourite bloggers. These were generally photography and quote type pictures, many relating to ideas of feminism and positivity as well as just some fashion pictures that I thought looked nice.

Day 3: Connecting, Curating & Passing the Time

Today was another fairly typical media use day for me whereby I mainly just distributed or passively viewed online media. I didn’t get the chance to scroll through my social media in the morning as I usually would so I therefore had a much less structured scroll throughout each social media site throughout the day. I looked at my Facebook notifications, mainly posts that I was tagged in by friends such as this meme about pets. I also caught up on what was going on in a few groups I’m involved in such as a vegan group and a dance moms group as well.

During my four hour break at uni I was listening to music on Spotify for majority of the time because I find that this helps me to concentrate and also helps to pass the time. I was listening to the Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack as well as starting a March/April playlist. To do this I listened to a range of playlists created by artists I like, people I follow and radio stations that I listen to, such as Triple J. Through doing this I begun to curate a library of music that I like and want to listen to over the next couple of months.

As usual I also watched some videos on Youtube, mainly ones from my subscription box and recommended videos page to help pass the time. These were mainly on the topics of fashion, lifestyle and vegan related videos as these are what I enjoy watching.

Once arriving home after a long day of university, I treated myself to a night in front of the TV. You might be thinking “well thats not online media”, however while watching the shows, Survivor in particular, I was interacting with other viewers in the online space. I tweeted my reactions to the show using the hashtag #Survivoron9 and also read and replied to a few comments on Facebook about the show as well. I like to interact with people in this way as no one in my personal life watches the show. Therefore by going into the online space I am able to find people who are as involved in the show as I am and we can discuss our thoughts and opinions on what is happening.

Day 2: Tweeting my Emotions

Today’s online media usage tended to surround the excitement I had for seeing the new Beauty and the Beast movie. This movie is one that I have been looking forward to for years now and having always loved the original I was excited, to say the least, to see the new one. I therefore posted and interacted with a lot of content relating to the movie.

I posted multiple tweets (1, 2, 3, 4) to my public account expressing my excitement for the movie throughout the day. I then also posted mini review-like tweets after seeing the movie, sharing what I thought of it. These tweets were posted so I could share my opinion on the movie and also so that I could connect with other people who’d seen it and wanted to talk about it as well. I also posted an Instagram story of the event, taking a photo with my iPhone of the cinema and the screen that was shown before the movie played. I placed text over the image sharing what I was doing with my followers and again expressing how excited I felt in the moment.

During the day the rest of my online media use was mindless scrolling through my social media platforms. I checked notifications on my Facebook, mainly photos that friend’s had tagged me in or group work pages for university. I also scrolled through my Instagram feed liking posts from celebrities, fashion bloggers and more. Through liking their posts I was sharing my appreciation for their posts. Lastly, I also listened to Spotify whilst completing work for university, listening to playlists I’ve previously curated such as my ‘Throwback‘ and ‘January‘ Playlists. These things were not at all substantial and mainly occurred simply to fill time and occupy me between completing other important tasks for university/work.