It’s all a lie!

Courtesy of Twitter we have an all new type of ‘Mini celebrity’, and they’re not even human! These popular Twitter personas often look like and act like the real deal, updating their feed multiple times a day with random facts, quotes, or humorous anecdotes. They are known as Twitterbots, created by programmers, scientists and many companies. Some created to ‘gauage how easily services that measure influence on Twitter could be manipulated’ (B Bosker 2013) others are created in order to spruik various services to Twitter users 24/7, some are sold to genuine users in order to boost their follower count bumping them up the twitter feed a little and giving the appearance that they are more popular than they really are. Some have become so popular that they have out followed Opra!. But while many of these account don’t do all that much, some of these accounts are truly amazing and can be rather entertaining to follow. So next time you are using your Twitter account and chose to follow someone’s account, might be worth doing a quick Google search on them, might turn out that they are really some Scientists in Ouro Preto and not really the sexy blond journalist in Rio de Janeiro you’ve been drooling over.

Animation and craft

In Esther Leslie’s ‘Traces of Craft’ Walter Benjamin is quoted to say that “the hand is made redundant by technological advance”(1998). He believed that due to the mechanical age real craftsmanship was being lost in the mass production of products. Cel animation ‘a transparent sheet on which objects are drawn or painted for traditional, hand-drawn animation” (Wikipedia) is a technique that has all but been fazed out of the animation process with the popularity of 3D animation, vector based programs like flash, and even the introduction of 3D printing into stop motion. In my example I interviewed Thomas Urquhart on the reasons for why he chose this particular animation technique, how he created it, how long it took and where he was at the time of its creation. The creation process of this animation was long and laborious and yet the length is only 13 seconds. The animation itself could likely be replicated in less than half that time, taking far less effort with the use of new animation technologies but the outcome would be very different, or at least that is what I believe. The character that comes with the hand drawn images would be lost with the use of computer generated vector imagery for it is the minute flaws in the animation that gives it, its character and that is what Benjamin was afraid of, the loss of the “story” within the end product when it is mass produced by a machine and not by hand.

Just ask my 4 year old

I have chosen to interview my 4 year old son on what he thinks a journalist is and who he thinks reads the news. Not because it is particularly “news worthy” but because it illustrates how in this age of new emerging social media platforms I am able to upload anything I want up onto YouTube and it can reach a global audience. It might even start to trend enough that it suddenly become news “Mum interviews her son” why not? If Twitter, Reddit and even many legacy media platforms (newspapers, magazines, TV and radio) can become transfixed by a black and blue/gold and white dress, why can’t the interview with my child be worthy of the news one day too?

Like with my little interview, citizens have become the journalists. News channels ask for people to send in their own photos or footage of natural and man made disasters as it has a more personal angle since the person often filming the content is actually directly affected by what is happening,this is known as participatory culture where people are active participants in the news (citizen journalism). This content can be considered more tangible since it comes right from the source as it is happening rather than after it has occurred and is a personalized experience for consumers. Also, with the creation of websites such as Storify anyone and everyone is able to upload their images, videos and text to the page so that they can collaborate with other user on any given topic, collective intelligence instead of one person doing all the research and writing the story, everyone comes together to build on what is already there. “Together, we are building a new information network that will give you the social perspective on any event.” (about us page,

(edited according to suggestions made in comments)