Stuff that Tweets

Twitter is the perfect marketing platform, and successful companies use online personas to reflect and promote their brand image. Marketing coordinators look at the demographics and purchasing habits of the people interacting with these personas.

Dugan 2014 cites “Marketing personas were created to understand the different types of consumers who purchase a specific product. They are built from research and data, and they act as a fictional character to represent your ideal customer.”

In a way, these personas are used to take advantage of consumers and exploit their inner desires. However, they play an important role in promoting brand awareness and maintaining a strong relationship with consumers.

Dugan 2014 also mentions “The idea behind creating marketing personas is to pinpoint the exact person you want to tweet to, in order to give them the maximum amount of value. When you’re able to identify your audience down to how they spend their free time and their core values, you will be much more likely to create messages that resonate with them.”

The concept of creating personas on social media is not only relevant to marketing people, but also the public. Your personal profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. reflect who you are as a person and when using these platforms, you are essentially marketing yourself as a brand. Some employers will even look at applicants online profiles before offering them an interview to see whether they are a right match for the company.

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Dugan, L. 2014. Use Marketing Personas to Supercharge Your Twitter Content. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 9 May 2016].


Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism has played an important role in documenting history and offering alternate viewpoints.

Something that I think needs to be questioned with citizen journalism is intent. Sometimes people capture things on film accidently and as a result become citizen journalists. Does unintentionally capturing moments on video make you a journalist? And does it have journalistic value?

One of the earliest and most famous examples of citizen journalism comes from the Zapruder film, which captured the assassination of JFK back in 1963. When Zapruder set out to film JFK drive by, he would have no idea that his film would become the most famous (or infamous) home movie of all time. I guess in a way, citizen journalism could be referred to as accidental journalism.

With so-called “real journalism”, they set out to film things as a reaction. When tragedy strikes, a news camera crew is quickly assembled and set out to document something that is either happening or has happened, and document its effect. It is rare that the legacy media is filming a news-worthy story before it actually happens.

So to reiterate, does the intent to capture things on video/photo affect the way we perceive media?

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Remix Literature


The famous quote “good artists copy; great artists steal” by Pablo Picasso seems to drive the modern creative industry. With the readily availability of technology, remix culture knows no boundaries. Anybody can create memes, Photoshop celebrities and add a few baselines to an old classic to make a new top 40 hit. I’ve recently discovered that remix literature is a thing and am fascinated by the drive some people have to create.

Classic literature is an interesting field to look at when exploring remix culture. There is a plethora of great works that are sitting in the public domain, waiting for creatives to do their thing. Classic books in the public domain include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Ulysses by James Joyce, Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, recently remixed as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame Smith.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has become known as the first mainstream remix novel and has produced two follow-ups, effectively turning the classic Austin novel into a commercially profitable franchise.

There’s also another Jane Austin remix novel called ‘Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters’, with talk of a film version in the works…


Further Reading:

Annotated Bibliography

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QR Code Generator

This is the primary source I will be using for my artefact. There are many QR Generators online and they all do a similar job. However, this one’s really simple and lets you choose from a variety of functions, including URLS, Facebook, SMS, pdf, mp3, images, and plain text. It also allows you to customise QR Codes by selecting colours, shapes, and inserting your own images. Like most things on the internet, this service is free, however if you wish to incorporate more elaborate design options, you will need to open up a paid membership. But for the purpose of my artefact, this will be sufficient enough.


Source 2

Are QR Codes Dead?

This blog post on Hubspot talks about how QR Codes were really popular when they first started appearing around the world in advertising and marketing materials. But after a while, they lost our attention and no one really cares about QR Codes anymore. The blog mentions, “research found that 97% of consumers don’t even know what a QR code is…” and only “6.2% of the total U.S. mobile audience scanned a QR code on their mobile device in 2011”. This kind of stuff will be helpful when I explore the marketing side of QR Codes, and how audiences are reacting, or in some cases not reacting.


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How to Use QR Codes – YouTube Video

This guy Kevin McKillop made a YouTube video talking about the very basics of QR Codes; mainly what they are and how they are used. He also talks about QR Codes from an end user perspective and how they work differently from regular barcodes. This was one of the first videos I watched when I initially set out to research QR Codes. Looking back at it now, it’s very basic and doesn’t have as much to offer me because I have gone on to do further, more in depth research on the topic. Still an interesting watch and definitely recommended for someone who doesn’t know too much about QR Codes and wants to get a good grasp on the basics.


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Great examples of QR Codes in Marketing

This blog on Kissmetrics shows some really cool, innovative ways marketers use QR Codes to interact with their audience. I’m studying the Marketing major in this course, and I’m really fascinated about the way people communicate messages in creative ways. A really fascinating example I found on this blog was how some people are using QR Codes at funerals to tell the life story of a person who has passed away.  There’s also cool stuff about how people use QR codes on wrapping paper and mixtapes. It’s fun to see how QR Codes have spread across almost every medium.


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Exploring QR Codes in the Classroom

This article talks about how QR Codes are being use for educational purposes. It talks about “QR Codes on paper worksheets which link to video or audio content with accompanying questions to create an alternative type of comprehension exercise compared to a traditional reading text”. It also mentions how QR Codes save time and resources when sharing learning content, such as not needing to waste paper on handouts used during reading exercises. This source will help me understand the educational side of using QR Codes, which will be one of my research topics when writing my artefact.


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The Future of QR Codes

This is a blog post on LinkedIn talking about the future of QR Codes. Seeing how this post is on LinkedIn, it could be perceived from a business point of view. The author of this post is fascinated with the future potential of QR Codes and writes, “Apps that scan bar codes have become increasingly popular with shoppers that want to see if they’re getting the best price for an item. Imagine if you had a QR code with an exclusive coupon to show at check-out. With the right incentives, you can get someone to pull out their smartphone and scan something”. This blog will be helpful when exploring how QR Codes are used in business and how they aim to connect with consumers.


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The Problem with QR Codes

Scott Stratten’s UnMarketing Keynote at the NAMP conference discusses QR Codes and the problem with them. He discusses how advertisers have become lazy when using QR Codes, and argues that this decreases the consumer’s urge to interact with them. He gives a pretty funny speech and makes some decent arguments. This has helped me understand some of the failures that marketers experience with QR Codes. For example, he talks about people using QR Codes that link to a non-mobile optimised site. This might sound like a no brainer, but it helped me understand things a little better from the end user perspective.


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37 Examples of Using QR Codes

This is just a simple video that shows examples of QR Codes. Most of it’s from a marketing point of view, showing some cool ways to create promotional materials that feature QR Codes. This is helpful because it has given me ideas on how to create cool products that audiences engage with. But most of all, this is just a fun look at how QR Codes can be successfully implemented in the world of advertising and commercialism.


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QR Code License Plates

One of the key topics of my artefact I want to explore is the possibility of using QR Codes on cars, essentially acting to replace number plates. There is a lot of interesting subject matter in this field, for example how it might be easier for speed cameras to scan QR Codes as opposed to taking a picture of someone’s number plate, then having to be manually reviewed by a third party. QR Codes could be scanned and pick up the driver’s information directly. I would also like to research the negative effects QR Codes could have acting as number plates, such as people altering their code and being able to avoid cameras, without law enforcement knowing.


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Design Tips for QR Codes

This final piece is a blog on Mashable which will help me with designing QR Codes that have a nice aesthetic value. Graphic design is an important part of marketing and can be used to help attract potential customers. This site shows different creative options to express QR Codes. I also learned that QR Codes can be obstructed by design and still work. The blog quotes, “The key to creating these eye-popping designer codes is to take advantage of the fact that up to 30% of a QR code’s data can be missing or obstructed, and still be scanned. QR codes can be generated with 0%, 10%, 20% or 30% error correction rates built in”. This is really cool and will make fun for experimenting with how much I can get away with when designing custom QR Codes.

Discs vs. Digital

The idea of content as a physical form is changing quickly in this time of digital remediation. In the industrial world, production is determined by mass assembly lines, whereas in the post-industrial culture, digitalisation introduces new production aesthetics such as rapid prototyping and experimentation, resulting in unique and unexpected outcomes.

When it comes to physical vs. digital, there is debate as to which provides greatest value to the consumer. Lipshy 2015 cites, “The physical copy camp rightfully emphasizes how important it is to fully own your game. You get to see it sitting on your shelf. You could lend it to a friend. You could even resell it if you get tired of it. Digital copies, on the other hand, only exist as ones and zeros. You are generally required to log in to use them. “

Much like physical content, ownership of digital content usually lasts forever, however there is no such thing as a digital resale. If you physically buy a game from a store and eventually tire of it, you can sell it back to the retailer and get a little bit of cash back, but when buying a digital copy of a game you are essentially stuck with it.

There is however a regularity in digital content being cheaper than physical content. Usually music and video content is cheaper on iTunes, Google Play, etc. than physical copies sold in stores. This is the same for university textbooks, where digital copies can be over $100 cheaper than physical versions, which is ridiculous!

Lipshy 2015 also notes “With physical copies, you get to cruise around in a store and look at their selection. They could have a rare gem, or they could have something you haven’t played yet and want to try.” Online stores lack this experience, although you have access to charts and recommended items, the consumer experience is less interactive.



Lipshy, J., 2015. Weighing the Pros and Cons of Digital Downloads vs Physical Copies. Unrealitymag, Available at: [Accessed 6 April 2016].

Contemporary Media Audiences

In today’s media savvy world, everyone wants to be heard. The internet is essentially a form of dialogue and the content is accessible globally. Anyone with a blog, or a Facebook URL can broadcast any message, regardless of the content quality.

Audiences around the world, even in underdeveloped countries, have been turning more and more to the web for news, instead of the legacy media. The internet has also seen the rise of participatory culture, and everyone is now in theory a journalist. Filming, sharing content, and giving it a voice, can be done by everyone.

The role of social networks in news media has become vastly important. People are sharing photos and information so fast that whenever anything major in the western world happens, we are all made aware instantly. A recent example is the Brussels terror attacks. Immediately after that happened, there was an excess of video shot on mobile phones, images from the direct aftermath. Without social media this sort of stuff wouldn’t surface until days later. For instance when the September 11 Attacks happened, most the amateur footage shot on phones/video recorders didn’t surface for days, weeks, even years later. Every so often new footage still surfaces of the attacks from different perspectives, almost 15 years after.

New technologies such as the increase in popularity of drones has enabled greater expansion of citizen journalism. The collective intelligence and the enabling power of social media is making sure that literally any message can reach a global audience.

I’ve made a Prezi to help explain contemporary media audiences! Check it out below: