Picture and Digital Sharing

Have you ever shared your pictures with your family or friends? People would like send their photos by means of email.People would like send their photos by means of email (Natasha). When I visit any other provinces in China, I took many pictures with the background of landscape or native people. And share it with the others through emails. However, sometimes the picture is very big. You cannot upload certain number of them in one email.

Recently, it is very convenient for us to use some photo-sharing web sites to share our digital pictures. These photo-sharing web sites include Flicker, ICloud and Adobe Revel. It solves the problems of share a great number of photos with different people. In the meantime, people can also find other billions of beautiful pictures from these web sites. Take Flicker for example, I had taken several pictures regarding the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Museum of Contemporary Art.

untitled  Image Source

Posting the digital pictures is very time-consuming. I still remember that when I am in the primary school, our relatives from Canada always send printed pictures by post for us. It may spend more than one month from the post her pictures to these pictures arrived at China. When studying at abroad, I prefer edit my photos using Photoshop and directly send it on Flicker to share with my family.

The following video shows that why you should use Flicker and how to use it.

In addition, my classmates always use Cloud Storage to keep their digital photos. They believes that it also help them fast reach the best value of photos, music, videos and documents. So far, I have posted three thousand travel photos in my Cloud Storage account.According to Strickland, Cloud Storage has two benefits takes over the traditional data storage. Firstly, it breaks the limitation of the locations; people could view their photos or videos at anywhere. The users do not need an extra mobile device or a computer to store the documents. Secondly, for the small business, the Cloud Storage serves as a hard drive and could backup the sources for disaster recovery.

Furthermore, back to my own experience of sharing digital pictures, I want to mention the mobile phone play a vital role to share and edit pictures. In the past, people use a heavy camera to take a picture. However, a smart phone would combine the shoot and share the pictures online together. As mentioned before, I have upload three thousand travel photos in my own Cloud Storage account; all these are completed through my Iphone. To my surprise, my older sister has downloaded more than a hundred of the exquisite pictures. She printed it and made an album for me as a gift. Meanwhile, she has edited some of my pictures to cut off some unwanted objects.

In this semester, I have one very interesting class—advertising and creativity. Our group has downloaded some related pictures for different advertisement topics. Instagram, Imgur and Flicker have become our main sources to find intriguing pictures. I still remember that when we want to make an advertisement regarding promote the Samsung mobile usage.

In order to allow consumers well inform that this new type of mobile phone waterproof and dustproof, we have found two pictures with the background of Bondi beach. Then we inserted the sample of this mobile phone into the beach to indicate that people could take it everywhere. They do not need to worry about the extra environment whether may have negative influence for their mobile phone.

From the above example, it obviously can be seen that the whole process is very rewarding. Additionally, in this winter holiday, I have post a great number of photos to RenRen. After edit them into the form of slide and set them to music. It is one of the greatest treasures for me.

In conclusion, sharing photos, videos or other documents are very convenient and at relative lower price. Through share and edit those, we could not only effective exchange the emotional feeling with our family and friends, but also enhance the aesthetic appeal.



Sina Weibo—Chinese microblogging site

In this week’s tutorial, our group has discussed some microbloggings in China like Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and Sohu Weibo.  Today, I would like to talk about one of the most popular microblogging websites in China—Sina Weibo.

 Sina-Weibo-300x91  Image Source

(The logo of Sina Weibo)

Micro-blogging makes it possible for online users to post brief messages, so as to share personal thoughts to anyone or some restricted groups. It is usually less than 200 characters. Users can frequently update their post through a smart phone or other mobile devices (Anamika). 

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(the image depicts the number of users on Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo)

Cao maintains that 76 percent of Chinese online users have a Sina Weibo account. Active users log on to Sina Weibo at least two times per day. Over 130,000 companies have a Sina Weibo account, which includes the top 500 enterprises in the world. Without a doubt, Sina Weibo is very popular in China.

Similar to Twitter, Sina Weibo limits users to upload a maximum of 140 characters in each post. If the bloggers want the others to read their posts, they can use the format ‘@username’. Hashtags are also used to link together similar posts. Unlike Twitter,Sina Weibo uses double hash tags placed at the start and end of the relevant keywords or phrases(Custer). We are able to categorize post content and track the trending topics by means of these searchable keywords.

Another apparent difference between Sina Weibo and Twitter is that Sina Weibo provides more than 400 free emoticons for users to use. Yue notes that emoticons refer to the inclusion of cartoon facial expressions. It is used to express senders’ emotions vividly and directly.

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(some emoticons from Sina Weibo)

In addition, Sina Weibo Event enables people to participate in a wide range of events, parties and movies. The event planner can post the event information on the event page and then forward it to their followers. Sina Weibo also has a ‘medal reward system’, which gives users a variety of medals when they ‘retweet’ a certain number of others’ posts (Koetse).

Micro-topic is one of Sina Weibo’s innovative features. Users are able to view the hot topics and commentary for a topic. All comments are presented at the bottom of each post, making it very easy to follow the whole chat. Trending topics are classified into several categories like culture, technology and public posts. 

Soulati suggests that Sina Weibo offers the account verification system for its users. An orange ‘V’ badge is for a verified personal account and a blue ‘V’ badge is for a verified company.

Furthermore, Sina Weibo is the ideal way for brands or companies to promote their products in China. Some companies have invited a great number of celebrities for online marketing and promotion. By 2013, there were nearly 130,000 official accounts concerning businessmen, athletes, politicians and musicians (Koetse).

Take Na Li’ s Weibo for example, she is a professional tennis player who gained world No.2 on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour. So far, she has 23,370,693 followers.

The following image shows the top ten celebrity endorsers on Sina Weibo. She ranked at sixth place.

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(the top ten celebrity endorsers on Sina Weibo. Na Li ranked at sixth place.)

According to Salibacelebrity endorsement means that brands whose campaigns feature famous people can increase sales through their reputation. Sina Weibo is a platform that has supported this, with 61 percent of celebrities mentioning the product that they endorse in their profile description, and 27 percent of them make posts about their endorsed products twice a day. Therefore, I believe that Sina Weibo is a great channel to reach the wide range of potential consumers in China.

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Back to the example of Na Li’s Sina Weibo, she has endorsed seven brands on Sina Weibo including Nike, Rolex, Benz and Samsung. From August to September, the automotive industry always encounters cold season in China. Over the duration of 14 days of promoting the automotive industry on Na Li’ s Sina Weibo, more than 60,000 cars were ordered with sales totalling US$1.5 billion. Among these 60,000 cars were more than 30 brands, such as Benz and Chery. (Xiang)


The video below shows how to use Sina Weibo to get started on your business marketing. 









Privacy and Credibility Issues on Social Media

In the digital age, we get the latest news and communicate with each other easily through social networking sites. However, there are some privacy and credibility issues. I want to briefly share some tips regarding the protection of privacy when using social media networking sites. And then use the fake news of ‘White House Explosions, Barack Obama Injured’ on Twitter to analyse the credibility of social media source.

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For privacy protection, every online user should make sure the computer has security measures before logging into the social media sites (Chiron). I believe it is better not to post too much personal information such as the date of birth, financial information, street address and mobile number. Furthermore, Jayson also notes that no matter for business or personal use, confidential and sensitive pictures must not be posted. When adding friends or approving followers’ requests, we should try to be selective. It is advisable to restrict the right of strangers to post information on our profile and limit them to view the entire profile.

Protect-Your-Privacy-on-Social-Media Image Source

(the image shows protect your privacy)

The following video explains the Dos and Don`ts when using social network to protect your privacy online.

In regards to the credibility issue on social media, a survey conducted by the Reynolds Journalism Institutes found that only 42 percent of online users think that information from social media is credible (Taylor &Francis). On the contrary, 65 percent of people believe that the content from the traditional media have a high level of credibility. In my opinion, information from social media is not always trustworthy. The false news exerts a profound negative influence on other industries, such as retail industry and financial industry.

Take the rumor of ‘Explosions at White House’ on Twitter for example, the AP (Associated Press) Twitter account sent a fake tweet on 23 April 2013 (Blake). This false tweet was about the two explosions in the White House and President Barack Obama being injured. The AP Twitter account later confirmed that their account had been stolen by hackers. Subsequently, it caused widespread panic in the US financial market (Domm).

From the two images below, it can be seen that a sudden decrease in the stock market occurred shortly after Twitter released this fake news. The stock market fell over 150 points within one minute. It might become the fastest drop point in the stock market history.

AP-Twitter-White-House-explosions   Image Source

DJ30-Industrials-White-House-Explosion  Image Source

The following video demonstrates how fast the ‘White House Explosions, Barack Obama Injured’ false tweet led to the US financial community’ s panic.


From the video, we can see that 1,903,328 followers have followed this tweet and the stock market has lost more than $136 million in value on that day.

Jewell claims that Twitter has over 140 million active users and approximately 340 million tweets per day. However, it is significant to keep in mind that fast does not mean credible and accurate.

twitter-marketing-campaign     twitter-free-hq-buttons-icons-psd-photoshop-vector-illustrator-bird-003  Image Source 

As social media has become an important tool for journalists to find and share information with large audience, journalists are encouraged to have a social media account. How to identify credible sources in social media networking sites is challenging us. One method is to ask questions, which would help people to determine whether the information is credible. For instance–“does this news seem unbelievable? Does it make sense to me or other readers? Does it contradict with what I have known to be true before?” (Westerman et al.)

In addition, I believe that for some business-oriented social networks like LinkedIn, the entrepreneurs have to think about how to make their brand more credible. If they can deal with some potential problems of their customers, they could establish a long term trust between their brand and their customers (Patterson). The Internet Advertising Bureau  also indicates that 79 percent of customers would buy more products if the brand is credible on social media.

The social networking sites have become powerful communication tools. Nevertheless, it also associates with the privacy and credibility issues. To deal with these problems, both large audiences and journalists should get a sound understanding of privacy and credibility problems and take advantage of some effective strategies. The strategies include ensuring security software before signing into the social media sites and being selective when adding friends.






Mobile Devices and Journalism

In this week’s tutorial, four members in our group talked about how journalists use mobile devices to enhance their reporting. I am very interested in this topic. Our tutor required us to take notes. Meanwhile,  I read some related texts after class.

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Advantages of Mobile Devices for Journalists

A survey conducted by the Carter Journalism Institute in 2013 reveals that 84 percent of journalists have a smart phone (Esther&Glenn). The majority of them reach social media networking sites by means of mobile devices. This survey also indicates an interesting fact that if journalists left their mobile phones at home, more than 65 percent of them would go home to get it.

untitled   Image source

(the image shows journalists using their smart phone to photograph the cast members of a film)

Mobile devices like iPhones have incorporated many functions that make them appealing to journalists. Mobile devices are portable and compact, making it possible for journalists to take them everywhere. A smart phone or a tablet weighs less than two pounds and is much smaller than a desktop computer (Pinola). When breaking news occurs, journalists could use devices to effectively report news or conduct phone interviews in remote areas.

The following video shows how to use an iPhone to record phone interviews.

In my opinion, it is very convenient for journalists to shoot a short video or take pictures with their mobile phone. Citizen journalists can post first hand reports and then connect to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Youtube. Mwamba notes that it is difficult for investigative journalists to use professional cameras to get a close look at some unpleasant situations, such as serious crimes and political corruption. Using a smart phone equipped with a hidden camera, investigative journalists are able to capture photos or videos discreetly.

Furthermore, I think that journalists should have Twitter, Google, Qik, Instapaper and Dropbox on their mobile phone. Having Dropbox on mobile phone, the journalists do not need to take a pen and a paper for interviews. They could just save the files or photo videos to the computer and access them from their iPhone (Marshall).

Screen shot 2011-04-14 at 12_11_09 PM  Image Source 

Disadvantages of Mobile Devices for Journalists

As for the disadvantages of mobile devices, Jenkins claims that as mobile phones continue getting smaller, they are easier to lose. Therefore, it is essential for journalists to consider a series of questions when they lost their smart phone. For instance, “is there sensitive information or protected sources in the phone? Are there unpublished multimedia images in the phone?” As mobile devices are an attractive target for criminals and hackers for finding sources, journalists should keep in mind that there are some security risks when using mobiles.

The SMS (short message service) is used frequently by mobile journalists to communicate with editors (Ulbricht). However, text messaging from mobile devices also has dangerous factors. If the mobile phone is lost or even stolen, the sent and received messages which stored in the phone are vulnerable (Quinn). Thus, I maintain that journalists should use an encrypted messaging app, which could better protect the SMS communication.

There are two suggestions for journalists to take precaution when using their mobile devices (Nathan). Firstly, set a personal identification pattern or number for starting the phone. Secondly, investigative journalists sometimes go to regions which have military, criminal or insurgent groups. They had better prepare two mobile devices. One is for the personal life and the other is for the professional use.

Nathan also notes that in case their phone is stolen or lost, 41 percent of mobile journalists would back up the photos, contacts and other materials on their phone. 32 percent of them wipe out their searching history or browsing history. In order to not allow other individuals or companies to access the information on their phone, 14 percent of them turned off location-tracking on the mobile phone.

To sum up, mobile devices are changing the way journalists report and share news. As analysed above, they are very handy and multi-functional. Nevertheless, they still have some risk factors, like information leaking. Journalists should have the awareness of how to protect the information in their smart phone, such as setting up a personal identification pattern and backing up some crucial contact methods.


An Analysis of the Comments on Blogs

Blogs include personal experiences, reflections and observations. It is a great way to share individuals’ thoughts to other online users (Saddington). When the reader is interested in the content or topics, they might leave a comment on the blog. The blog comments are an essential part of a blog, which could make a blog more social and interactive. Today, I want to talk about the values of blog comments and how to gain more comments.

Word "Blog"  Image Source

Wilner  notes an interesting fact that when readers leave a comment on a blog, they also tend to leave links to their own blog or other related websites to further conversation. These links provide a useful source for the bloggers to find new post ideas. In addition, more than seventy percent of bloggers would like to use blog commenting to evaluate whether their blogs are successful.

A high quality blog may receive an excess of 500 blog comments per day (Gunelius). However, only a few of them are valuable comments by real people. Some of them are spam created by automated software. A valuable comment usually consists of approximately 100 words. It either adds more information or raises a thoughtful question regarding the content of the blog (Whittaker). In order to establish a good relationship between the blogger and the commenter, I think it is advisable for the bloggers to respond to these comments within one week.

blog-comment-spam-150x150[1]  Image Source

(the image shows that blog comment spam should be blocked)

In terms of useless comments, Makki proposes the concept of ‘generic comments’, such as comments like ‘Interesting post! Great post!’ He also believes that this type of reader visits thousands of blog per day and posts the same comments on different blogs. Many bloggers prefer to delete generic comments. However, I think the best way to respond to a generic comment is to write something like ’Thanks for reading’ instead of simply deleting it.

As blog commenting is very important, the bloggers could get into further discussion with other readers and receive more additional information.

How to get more blog comments?

The following video shows 20 tactics to increase comments on a blog.

From the video, it can be seen that the tactics include rewarding people who comment, asking some questions and running a comment contest. Among these methods, I believe that asking questions at the end of each post is one of the most effective ways to get more comments. The bloggers could leave an easy- to-answer question at the end of their post, which encourages the readers to start a discussion.

Meanwhile, the design of a blog is also a factor which influences the readers whether to leave a comment (Lim). From my point of view, if people dislike your blog design, they are less likely to comment on your blog. The image below depicts 100 beautiful blog designs. This image may not be clear, but you could click the image source hyperlink to see these great blog interfaces, including cartoons, flowers and candles. Hope you enjoy it!

blogdesign   Image Source


Furthermore, a blog that speaks out on issues which the mainstream media cannot report is helpful to gain attention from your readers (Rani). Take the Chinese Han Han`s blog, for example. In January 2014, he posted a blog titled—‘The Truth, or a Truth that Meets Your Needs’. It mainly concerns the mysterious death of Qian Yu, who protested against illegal land requisitioning. Han Han uses this incident to speak about the injustice of land requisitioning in rural China. This post soon gained over 2 million comments. Among these comments, people engaged with land requisitioning issues and expressed their dissatisfaction with distorted land requisitioning reports in some official media outlets.

Here the image is the original post from Han Han`s blog of  ‘The Truth, or a Truth that Meets your Needs’. (Sorry, there is only a Chinese version. I cannot find the English version for this blog.)

QC)ZT(T`I32A[LB[J4MLR)N  Image Source

The blog comments create an interaction between the writer and readers and contribute to a positive conversation. From the blog comments, the bloggers could receive a new insight or perspective related their posing topics. It is necessary for the bloggers have a good command of some tips to increase their blog comments.



The History of Social Network Sites

It is a widely accepted fact that the history of social network sites are a worthy research topic. Recently, we’ve become more attentive to social network sites, such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. Boyd and Ellison claim that SixDegree.com is the first identifiable social network site, which allows users to make friends using a profile they’ve created. Boyd and Ellison consequently believe that social network sites experienced a great wave of popularity from 1997 to 2003 onward, and to September 2005. There are various functions and categories of social network sites. Users can make business transactions, online dating, connect with Christian churches, compare their movie favorites and much more. From my perspective, social network sites provide an avenue which surpasses the barrier of different geographic or national background. Individuals can be informed of the latest news, share their traveling pictures and play online connected games.


In my own experience, I used ‘QQ’ as my preferred social network as I was commencing Uni four years ago. I can vaguely remember that every night before I went to sleep, I would usually sign in ‘QQ’ to see the news. When there was interesting, sad or even heart-touching stories, I would share it in my chat group. During the spring festival, my roommate, living in a different province, would send New Year messages to me. Sometimes I’d find an animated lantern, couplet, or even fireworks in the message. It is really appealing to receive such interactive messages. At that time, you could categorize all my different contacts into six group—friends, relatives, teachers, strangers, part-time job colleagues and my roommates. I remember one time I used ‘QQ’ chat and directed an email inviting one of my foreign teachers to the Summer Palace for the weekend. We had a fabulous day in the Summer Palace. A few weeks ago, we messaged one another, even though she had gone back to Canada. She said that she was considering moving from Montreal to Vancouver and recently learnt to speak in Chinese ‘I want to buy a cool beer’.


With the fast development of the social network sites, nowadays, I use other sites—RenRen (having a similar interface to Facebook). Having read the below non academic text website link, it can be seen that apart from RenRen and QQ, there are still a variety of popular social networks in China. For instance, Diandian, Douban, Wechat and Jiepang are all popular social networks. However, RenRen has an estimated 150 million members and is one of the most significant social networking sites for Chinese college students.  

images[7] image source)


 From my own experience, I think that social networks, such as RenRen, have greater popularity and more interactive interface compared to QQ. I still recall the last year, on my birthday, I received many virtual gifts from online friends. For example, a fluffy bear, candles, happy birthday cakes, a star in a jar and glimmering bracelet. Although all these gifts were not real, I still felt comforted and delighted for the day.

In the meantime, we share pictures in this program and write comments at the bottom of them. One of my previous high school teachers, Betty, now studies in France. She put some pictures which to show the results of her first time to make onion soup. After that, I commented on her picture “It looks really tasty, good chef!” Betty replied “When you come to France, I will make it for you”.


More importantly, through RenRen, you can find your primary school or secondary school classmates. Xi Wang is my deskmate in secondary school, however, we have not contacted each other for a long time. Thanks for RenRen, we found each other and I know that she is currently working for a medicine company. She posts a series of fantastic pictures from her and her boyfriend’s travels in Hong Kong. When I see it, I commented at the bottom of her picture “Don`t shop too much in Hong Kong ^_^.” And then she added a smiling face for me.


Beginning from the first social networking site, launched in 1997, up until now, people can communicate with each other easily, which lessens the distance between us. As for the increasing popularity of various social networking sites, we can pick our favorite and most useful networking sites from a wider selection. Using these up-to-date programs we can broaden our horizons and make more friends.

~CBLNV`_7_7[82IBK1ODU4C  (image source)

The above picture is my RenRen social website interface, when you access the site you can see how to post pictures, share your thoughts, write a diary entry or comment on a film at the top of the website. At the right hand corner, you could select a friend’s name to find them RenRen related information.