Fame Game.

Group Members:

Anithra Ratnayake
Alice Kurowski
Yasmin Allaf
Jackson Woolan

Celebrity is a concept that everyone of us is all too familiar with in the world that we live in today. It is a status that can be somewhat hard to achieve, as it is a business that is extremely hard to infiltrate and even harder to be successful in. Although it is a difficult industry to get into, it is still a profession that many people aspire to have. The argument can be made by some that the money and recognition that comes with fame, outweighs the negative aspects of it.

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Picture taken by Jackson Woolan (me)

For our video, we decided to portray an exaggerated version of the celebrity lifestyle. Due to their elevated status, people essentially act as though celebrities don’t deserve the same rights and that privacy is a privilege and ultimately the price they must pay for fame. This then forces them to live in a world of constant surveillance denying them of their basic rights to privacy.

Having an extensive lists of options let us select a topic and genre which everyone felt comfortable working with and also complimented the variety of talents within our group. It also encouraged us to think creatively and explore topics which interested and challenged us, therefore making us feel more connected and involved in the work we were creating.

The variety of skills and strengths we had allowed us to create a detailed concept for our video and execute it effectively. After deciding that our video would focus on celebrity surveillance, the next step was deciding on the style in which we wanted the story we were telling to be presented.

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Our Protagonist, Alice (No Last Name)

 

 

We considered a more serious news/documentary style film resembling the TV show E! True Hollywood Story and even considered going completely out of our comfort zones and attempting to portray our ideas in the form of a broadway musical. Ultimately however, our singing chops proved to be less than adequate which prompted us to rely on our sense of humour as opposed to our vocal cords. The variety of skills and strengths we had allowed us to create a detailed concept for our video and execute it effectively. After deciding that our video would focus on celebrity surveillance, the next step was deciding on the style in which we wanted the story we were telling to be presented.

As a group we decided to work in the mockumentary genre as we all agreed that humour was the best way to get our message across. Without dwelling too much on the dark side of celebrity privacy, we did elude to the fact that being a celebrity is not always as glamorous as made out to be.

This was portrayed through the journey of our protagonist, Alice. Her rise and fall of fame showed some of the hardships of being a celebrity such as constantly being surveilled by paparazzi and the public.

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Magazine Cover for our Protagonist Alice (No Last Name) created via canva

Alice’s ultimate downfall was a combination of inflated ego and frustration with the overwhelming obsession with her life, both private and public. Although he didn’t have the same outcome, we drew inspiration for our protagonist from world-famous celebrity Justin Bieber who has become infamous for his outbursts and wrongdoings. Claiming that he believes he is not recognised as a human, Bieber said he feels “like a zoo animal” incapable of keeping his sanity. The way Alice deals with and reacts to her fame represents the way in which celebrities are portrayed as these unattainable people that many of us aspire to be and how this treatment can make them believe they are above others, which is clearly demonstrated in the video during Alice’s interview with Yasmin.

We also argue towards the end, that even though Alice tries to ‘quit’ being a celebrity, the reality is that she will never really be able to do so. Once you have gained significant public interest, the chances of you ever becoming ‘normal’ again is slim to none. Celebrities like Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan are proof of this as although they are long past their days of living in the spotlight, they struggle to escape the fame and lack of privacy.

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Anitra Taking a selfie break while editing our video

To create our video, we engaged in many forms of media to complete a number of specific processes. This included, brainstorming, scripting, rehearsing, refining, producing and editing to make sure our end product was professional and entertaining but overall demonstrated the key surveillance message in relation to the topic we chose.

As with creating any form of media, a number of specific processes needed to be undertaken, this was no exception to our video presentation. Our group worked individually and together to progress through the many stages of media making. Going through these processes was critical as it allowed us to stay on track and collaborate effectively. It was crucial that we worked together as a team as the majority of the time we were working online and therefore had to ensure we all completed our work in a timely manner as constructive feedback was imperative to creating good content.

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Anitra and Yasmin preparing to film a scene.

Online collaboration was critical in allowing us to collaborate from a distance, helping us to give constructive feedback and also to have an input on how the video came together. Google Hangouts, Google Drive, Skype and Dropbox became our preferred modes of communication. Each of these apps proved to be extremely useful when it came to collaborating as it effectively allowed us to communicate and share files with each other while simultaneously working together on one document.

At the end of the day, the topic we chose and the methods through which we chose to collaborate aided us in not only completing a project that we are proud of, but also one that we had a lot of fun doing. No two people are alike, and that was no exception for our group. Working with different skill sets and personalities enabled us not only to produce an accurate representation of our ideas, but also taught us a couple of skills that we will take away with us long after graduation.

Below is the final result of our collaborative video, we hope you enjoy watching it just as much as we enjoyed making it!

Images Used:
Hollywood by Eva Luedin CC BY 2.0

Red Carpet by Allan Light CC BY 2.0

Somewhere Inside the machine by Robert Couse-Baker CC BY 2.0

Reese Witherspoon at 83rd Academy Awards Red Carpet IMG_1306 by Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV CC BY-SA 2.0

Kim Kardashian-West, Parramatta Westfield Sydney by Eva Rinaldi CC BY-SA 2.0

Magazine and Tabloid covers created by Anithra Ratnayake Via Canva

Music Used:

SimplySound- Genefikk (Happy Silly Classic Rap Beat Hip Hop Instrumental 2014) by YourRapBeatsTV CC BY 3.0

Element Beatz- Sky (Epic Sad Thoughtful Rap Beat Hip Hop Instrumental) by YourRapBeatsTV CC BY 3.0

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The Surveillance Of Celebrity Culture.

Online Surveillance is very present in the 21st century. It seems like everyone watches everyone else, nothing we do is a private affair anymore, this being the age of Facebook, twitter, Instagram etc. Or at least that’s how it feels sometimes.

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The average Joe like you or me, may very well feel like our every move online is one that thousands and thousands of people will view and are interested in,  however, this is most likely not the case…It is the case for a particular kind of people… “celebrities” or those who fit into the “Celebrity Culture”. “Celebrity culture is a culture based on the popularization or idealization of people on whom celebrity status has been awarded. The media are a primary source of promoting these famed people.”(Jacob, 2016)

Odds are if you don’t fit into the “celebrity category” of society, you don’t have random people tweeting you, telling you how good they thought the movie you were in was….Ricky Gervais however, does…

He even liked the tweet above…

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I was gratified by this experience, why? you ask, because Ricky Gervais’s online presence is one I’m interested in and one which I follow. The interaction (him liking my tweet) added a level of connectivity, between me and Ricky Gervais, this celebrity I’ve never met and most likely never will. The relationship Ricky Gervais and I (along with approximately 11.4 million other fans/twitter followers of his) have, could potentially be referred to as generally being a relationship of surveillance. Gervais is watched online by his fan base, he is a source of entertainment for them(his fans), the majority of the time and he chooses how he is seen, via his posts.

Ricky Gervais isn’t the only celebrity whose online presence I follow/pay attention to, I (like most other people who are interested in celebrity culture) follow a wide variety of celebrities. One celebrity who I follow online who I am particularly interested in is James Franco. I even got to meet him! this was ultimately due to me surveying his online presence…

 

and here as well…

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Although there are many benefits of the surveillance on the celebrity culture, (such as; connectivity, gratification, and entertainment etc.), there are still some negative issues regarding it. One issue in regard to celebrity online surveillance is the potential risk of ‘Trolls’.  “Online behaviour is not necessarily always fannish or pathological, but instead ‘active’ in the sense that critics of celebrity culture and individual celebrities can utilise the likes of Facebook and Twitter to vent their ire.” (Barron, 2015, p. 95). Another issue could be stalkers, individuals who overly survey a particular celebrity’s online presence and could potentially cause harm to that celebrity, by using online surveillance as a tool to gain information, such as where the celebrity is going to be at a certain time.

Overall, for the most part, individuals enjoy watching celebrities online and in the media. Surveillance on celebrity culture is a good thing, and if a particular celebrity wanted a sense of online privacy they could just not post that often on social media sites.

Always remember celebrities are people too, so give them respect whilst surveying them online, and they might just connect with you. 🙂

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By Jerek Woodlander aka. Jackson Woolan.

 

 

 

 

References:

Barron, L 2015, Celebrity cultures : an introduction, Los Angeles SAGE, 2015.

Jacob, L 2016, ‘Celebrity Culture’, Salem Press Encyclopedia.

 

 

 

 

Teacher Watchers 👁👁

When we think of the surveillance in education, we often just think of the students as the ones who are being watched and surveyed, we often turn a blind eye to the fact that teachers are also being watched constantly. If we think about it in more depth, we quickly realise that teachers are in fact the main ones being watched in the education system. That’s apart of their job, to be the centre of the students attention, so the student understands the thing the teacher is teaching.

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Teacher by JD Lasica (CC BY-NC 2.0)

If you thought that teachers get into the classroom through magical teacher portals, you thought wrong, they get to the classroom the same way the students do, you guessed it, they pass all the same security cameras as us. With a growing rate of CCTV cameras installed in universities and schools across Australia, those sneaky teachers don’t stand a chance, they can’t go anywhere without being seen and surveyed.

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It’s not just CCTV cameras watching those mischievous teachers, there is another type of camera that is potentially watching them; smartphone cameras. With a large majority, if not all, students carrying their smartphones around everywhere they go (including the classroom), a teacher can quite easily be recorded by a student and that recording can just as easily be posted online for the world to see….

This may bother some teachers, however more and more classrooms are becoming technology friendly, and recording a video, posting a tweet or making some kind of media in the classroom may be a very good way to capture the  engagement of  students and ultimately help them learn. In the digital age we live in it seems obvious that teachers would integrate different forms of social media and technology (i.e. Twitter), to enable effective interaction and improve engagement in large classrooms, and they do. In countries such as Korea, twitter has been proven to improve exam results by increasing attention and involvement in the class room (2015).

Teachers are being watched more and more as technology gets progressively better, with schools and universities having role call systems that monitor students and teachers attendance. Teachers often keep in contact with parents to give feedback on students progression, this also allows parents to in a way survey teachers, so they can see the rate in which the teacher is teaching. Damien Page talks about the surveillance of teachers and how it is a more recent activity, he says “they (teachers) are surveilled from the moment they swipe their staff card to the moment they leave the premises,  multiple strategies of surveillance working together in assemblage.” (2016)

Furthermore, teachers online presence is surveyed too, to the extent that teachers have to be very cautious of their privacy settings and of the content they put online. Teachers need to be respected and if a student observes a teachers online profile and sees something that could be deemed “not respectable” then this could jeopardise the student/teacher relationship that ought to be had….

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Matt tries the Beer Blaster by ActiveSteve (CC BY-ND 2.0)

For example, if Matt (above) was a teacher, and he had the picture above as his profile picture, he would probably find it hard to find or keep a job. This is because the picture above isn’t respectable, but it is also because teachers are constantly being watched and surveyed.

 

 

 

References:
Kim, Y, Jeong, S, Ji, Y, Lee, S, Kwon, K, & Jeon, J 2015, ‘Smartphone Response System Using Twitter to Enable Effective Interaction and Improve Engagement in Large Classrooms’, IEEE Transactions On Education, 58, 2, pp. 98-103, Education Source, EBSCOhost, viewed 23 August 2016.

Page, D., 2016. The surveillance of teachers and the simulation of teaching. Journal of Education Policy, pp.1-13,Education Source, EBSCOhost, viewed 23 August 2016.

Weight Watchers💪🏼👁

The Gym, a place of exercise, a place to get fit, get motivated, make friends, take selfies and also a place to be watched. It’s not at all surprising that in 2016 most if not all gyms have numerous security cameras. The security cameras are obviously there as a safety measure, however when there are multiple cameras in every corner, does that really make us feel safe? I would say “No.” rather it would make the majority of us feel very self conscious. Now I’m assuming for a second, that you’re not Arnold Schwarzenegger, if you are, Great, but like you’re probably not, if you were you probably wouldn’t have any issues with being watched constantly in the gym, you’d probably be quite relaxed about the whole scenario…

 

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Arnold schwarzenegger smoking a joint by John Iving (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Now because you’re probably not Arnold, you might find all of the security cameras and mirrors intimidating, not to mention all of the eyes, the eyes that are potentially watching you and judging you.

You might be thinking; there are security cameras, mirrors and gazing eyes everywhere you go, what makes the gym any different?

You’re right those things are almost everywhere, the gym is different however because, people go there to exercise and get sweaty, the idea of being watched while you are sweaty from exercise seems rather intrusive. Aside from mirror, security cameras and gazing eyes, many gyms have large windows. the large windows are probably there to either let the sun in or to give people passing a idea of whats in the gym without going in or both. people looking in and watching also seems intrusive…

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People in very public gym by Mike_fleming (CC BY 2.0)

Although it can be seen as a bad thing, constantly being watched in the gym ( Unless you’re Arnold, there is no downside of being watched in the gym if you’re Arnold), there are also some positive consequences of being watched in the gym, even if you aren’t Arnold. A growing number of gyms allow members to have 24 hour access, even  during unstaffed hours, this makes security cameras and alarms extremely necessary, incase equipment is stolen, non-members enter or any other inappropriate behaviour occurs, while the gym is unstaffed. Security cameras also make people feel safe, most people don’t mind there presence in the gym.

As for mirrors, gazing eyes from within the gym or people peering in from the window, these might be a little bit intrusive however to some people its motivating, the idea of being watched pushes us to work harder and seeing ourselves in the mirror helps us see our own progress.

Most people are aware that they are watched in the gym, it just doesn’t bother them, even if its intrusive and even if they aren’t Arnold…

Often we want to tell people we are at the gym or going to the gym, as this communicates a healthy lifestyle, we want people be aware of our gym presence, thats why so many people take selfies and post gym related content….

Creating “Keely and Jack”.

Keely and Jack” is a new YouTube channel I created, starring Kielan O’neill and myself. I didn’t want to just make a one off video for my second assignment for ALC203, I wanted to attempt to make something more, an on going YouTube channel with regular video uploads perhaps. So before I tackled the Assignment task, I decided I wanted to make a “pilot” episode, I consulted with Kielan, he was open to the idea, he was even more enthused when I introduced him to “The Rick Gervais Show” with Karl Pilkington and said “this could be us”.  We were both reasonably happy with our finished product for our first ammeter video. We both felt very gratified after the completion and upload of our joint project, as we did almost equal amounts of work and neither of us had made a real video before.

For our second video I informed Kielan that I would be taking the wheel, as I wanted it to fit my assessment criteria but also remain true to what we wanted our channels content to be, Kielan was fine with this as he is currently doing year 12 and from our first video making experience editing and planning a video is a very timely process.

I chose the topic of Crowdfunding with the question “Has the rise of crowdfunding exemplified the ‘democratising’ potential of the online world?” because I felt that its something that could be relevant to what we do in the future on the channel. The idea of Keely and Jack was to be a YouTube channel, where Kielan and I discuss matters of interest, review Movies, games or products and just have a laugh basically.

The use of Creative commons materiel is something that didn’t occur to me before I undertook ALC203, it was good to be able to learn how to legally obtain Music for our theme song, although it was pretty difficult finding a song we both liked that was covered by creative commons, so in the end we added our own vocals, which gave a unique result, which I’m very happy with. I have a basic level adobe flash animation knowledge from my year twelve media final, which I also used for our intro.

When drawing on my scholarly sources I wanted it to seem natural, I didn’t want to overly rely on quotes, I feel I achieved this in my video, I don’t think I overly relied on quotes, while they are still there. By having the links in the description anyone who wants more information can get it.

In the Video I wanted to use repetition and humour to get the points across. After the first video we knew that 7 minutes isn’t a very long time when you’re the creator, however can really drag when you’re the audience. For the video we filmed on two seperate days and I endured countless hours of editing. When I first put the video together it was very boring to watch, I showed Kielan and he said “You need to fix this”, So more humour was the answer.

Before I started to think about this assignment I had no idea how to use Adobe Premier or Adobe After effects. They weren’t installed on my computer, I had zero experience, this assignment changed that. This assignment made me do something I’ve always wanted to do, I’ve always wanted to start an actual YouTube channel, this assignment just pushed me over the line. I’m very grateful for this. If it hadn’t been for an assignment there’s no way I would’ve had the motivation to upload one, two or even more videos. It was a really rewarding experience making this video with Kielan, I hope to upload many more to the “Keely and Jack” channel in the near future. I Hope you like it…

 

Highlighting My Broader Online Engagement:

Over the second half of the semester I continued to stay fairly active online, with Facebook, instagram and snapchat, I was even active on twitter by posting various tweets regarding weekly topics.Ultimately the area in which I believe my online persona has grown the most over the second half of the semester is in my ability and willingness to film, create and upload videos. I posted at least three short videos on My Twitter account, some were for tiffit challenges others just for fun. Also creating the “Keely and Jack” channel was another way my online video skills have improved.

By Jackson Woolan aka Jerek Woolander.

References:

Assenova, V, Best, J, Cagney, M, Ellenoff, D, Karas, K, Moon, J, Neiss, S, Suber, R, & Sorenson, O 2016, ‘The Present and Future of Crowdfunding’, California Management Review, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 125-135. Available from: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy-b.deakin.edu.au/eds/detail/detail?vid=8&sid=f10a8c0d-d816-47ec-af9b-2c0a9842d134%40sessionmgr107&hid=119&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=113184776&db=bth

Crowfunding for Cobby: Social Media Makes It Pozible – Talking Digital Media, Episode 12, YouTube video, Adam Brown, 14 May 2016. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ser2lZYvMqE

English, R 2014, ‘Rent-a-crowd? Crowdfunding academic research’, First Monday: Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet, vol. 19, no. 1, Available from: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4818/3804

Galuszka, P and Bystrov, V 2014, ‘The rise of fanvestors: a study of a crowdfunding community’, First Monday: Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet, vol. 19, no. 5, Available from: http://firstmonday.org/article/view/4117/4072

Music:

S.Prodz-Hip hop Instrumental (requiem of a dream)  https://soundcloud.com/sp_prodz/hip-hop-instrumental-requiem

Useful links:

Dr. Donna McRae “COBBY: The dark side of cute” https://pozible.com/project/195120

Pulse Band A6 https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pulseband-a6-healthy-living-one-pulse-at-a-time–6#/

Zach Braff “Wish I was here” https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1869987317/wish-i-was-here-1

 

 

 

 

James and Me Online

ALC203 Portfolio part 1.

 

Meeting James Franco in real life impacted me in several ways, it changed the way I think about celebrities and how they portray themselves online, as I discussed in my previous blog post, however it also impacted my personal identity online and it to some degree changed how my friends and others saw/see me.

Now I spoke to James for about an hour, just me and him talking, to me the experience was amazing and I’ll remember it forever, however James Franco is just a regular dude, I kind of felt like through James’s online identity and film career I already knew him, how he represents himself online was actually very close to how he presented himself to me (his fan) in person.

Taking Photos/creating media with James Franco and posting them in various places online impacted my online persona in several ways.

So the first place I posted one of my pictures with James was Facebook, of course, this is because Facebook is the main way I stay in touch with my friends and family, it’s the place were I believe I am portrayed the best or at least it the most detail because its where I’m most active online, its also the place where the majority of the people I connect with already know me in some way.

When I post a picture on Facebook I would expect to usually get around 20-35 likes give or take, however my first picture with James that I posted with the caption “Hanging Out with my Buddy James Franco was pretty Rad.” accumulated more than 120 likes. Sometimes people post pictures of celebrities that they like, with captions like: “I LOVE KATY PERRY!!” above the picture of the celebrity, now posts like this that I have seen in the past (and not physically clicked the like button) usually don’t get that many likes, the picture of James and I got more likes not just because of James Franco, but also because of the fact that I was in the picture with him, most of my Facebook would know what I look like and seeing me with James Franco, would’ve shocked or even surprised a lot of them enough to like my post. So the Picture on Facebook got liked by a lot of my friends because its crazy to think that someone they knew has met this famous person. Before I posted this picture the majority of my Facebook friends had no idea I was going to be meeting James Franco so the picture was a shock and a surprise.

Lots of my Facebook friends like and know who James Franco is which is another reason the picture got liked. The book ‘Fame games’ explicitly talks about the accidental celebrity, it focuses on the instant when an average individual is thrown into the spotlight and the implications it can have (Turner et al. 2000, pp. 110-114), this can to some degree be compared to my experience on Facebook and the implications it had for my online persona and even self esteem, I had all this attention that I wasn’t used to and I enjoyed it.13063892_1315128291847270_1658580605_o

The next place I posted a picture of Me with James Franco was Instagram. I have less Instagram followers then Facebook friends; this is just because most of the people I know are on Facebook and not Instagram. When I posted on Instagram almost half of the people who liked my picture were people I didn’t know. Instagram let’s you add hashtags and tag anyone else who may use it(Instagram), including celebrities or companies in a similar way that twitter does, which is great, and is also the reason that all these strangers liked my picture, they must have searched “#jamesfranco” or “pictures of @jamesfrancotv” and my picture came up. “Tagging of images and other artefacts has been… somewhat controversial…given that it allows a user to link the name of another user to a photograph of which the tagged person may not have seen, been aware of, or authorised.” (Cover, R 2012, p. 189), that’s what I did to James Franco, he had not seen the picture that was taken, and he didn’t really authorize the publishing of it (he probably guessed I was going to post it online) however celebrities are already fairly public figures, so it doesn’t affect their online persona as much. Because I tagged James Franco in my picture and people I hadn’t met found my profile and liked the picture, in my mind I had become this (on a very small scale) consequential celebrity for a day.

The company Omaze who are responsible for me meeting James Franco then asked if they could share my post on their Instagram account, I said “yes” and their post got over 200 likes all from people who didn’t know me, but who probably knew James Franco. I then searched “#jamesfranco” and “pictures of @jamesfrancotv” on Instagram to find that my photo had been reposted at least 3 more times without my permission or James Franco’s on various Instagram accounts, I didn’t see this happening as a negative thing, it made me excited that a picture of me and James Franco was being shared and seen by all sorts of people, for me it was fun to observe. After reading what P. David Marshall had to say about Vin Diesel’s Facebook site acting as a sort of “publicly accessible diary” (Marshall, PD, 2013, p 40), I thought about how me posting and tagging James Franco in a picture on Instagram helped construct a part of James’s “publicly accessible diary” and that’s one of the reasons the people I didn’t know liked the post or even shared it.13072137_1315565015136931_1655255406_o13064053_1315128411847258_1391742364_o13054860_1315128405180592_815160429_o

 

Another place I put my picture with James was twitter with the unit hashtag, the caption wasn’t as relevant to the unit as it could’ve been, however I still got more likes than my usual tweets with the hashtag, because people probably thought it was cool.

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The last notable place apart from wordpress, where my picture can be found is Tinder, now I didn’t have Tinder for longer than a year before I met James Franco, I got it again because someone said to me “you’d be getting heaps of tinder matches with that picture of you with James Franco.” And I wanted to see if he was right. From my experience on Tinder with the James Franco picture, I have noticed a difference compared to last time I had Tinder, now almost all of my matches want to discuss meeting James Franco or just James Franco in general, so I would say the picture has impacted my tinder identity also.
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Here is My Prezi.

(word count 1100)

My broader Online activity and engagement:

In relation to my broader online activity, I feel this unit has really made me step outside my comfort zone. I wouldn’t say I’ve been the most active twitter user, however my thought has definitely been provoked to think about twitter more regularly, usually right after watching Adam’s YouTube videos. Also because of the unit I have signed up to some potentially beneficial self-promotional sites such as About meLinkedIn and even WordPress. Before the unit I hadn’t heard of them and had no desire to sign up to them, so that’s been beneficial for me for sure.

by Jackson Woolan (Jerek Woolander)

 

References:

 Cover, R 2012, ‘Performing and undoing identity online: Social networking, identity theories and the incompatibility of online profiles and friendship regimes’, Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 177-193. Available from: 10.1177/1354856511433684. [20 April 2016].

Marshall, PD 2013, The promotion and presentation of the self: celebrity as marker of presentational media, Routledge.

Turner, G., Bonner, F., and Marshall, PD 2000, Fame games: the media production of the Australian celebrity. Melbourne, Cambridge University Press.