Monthly Archives: August 2010

Dissertation: the process of not knowing enough yet…

Settling back into the adult world from academia is a process.

Keeping a foothold in both the professional and the academic is a privilege, a pleasure (and an all consuming pain) I would recommend.
Now that new specs enable faster, more fluid consumption of texts, the momentum of my research and processing of inter-related concepts, examples and ideas are starting to form again.

But what do you do when you are writing, knowing there are gaps that need plugging with theory beyond your current readings and no doubt gleaned from extracts, books and journals that are not yet in your reading tray?

Not knowing the detail is one of the most confronting aspects for professionals use to being the source of expert knowledge in their chosen field, on returning to tertiary studies mid-career. Everyday, I am astounded by how much I don’t know and conversely, how much I am learning.Now if I can just master being comfortable with my diminishing ignorance…

Writing The Screenplay

Although I don’t necessarily agree with Tudor Gates’ ‘this is my screenplay and I’ll write as much direction as I want to’ approach, in his book Scenario, he poses six kinds of questions that a screenwriter should ask themselves during the writing process. I have found these monumentally helpful in maintaining a concentrated focus on the key construction drivers during the extended writing process. Gates’ questions (verbatim) from his book Scenario (2002: p102) are:

1. Do you have a clear, well thought-out premise? Are you pre-plotting it?

2. Are there a protagonist and an antagonist who, in the course of their mutual conflict, will prove the premise? Are all your characters orchestrated to contribute to that same end?

3. What is the turning point in someone’s life that will precipitate the conflict?

4. Do your principal characters change? Is there pole-to-pole movement? Does the situation change? Are the transitions effected smoothly, and not jerkily?

5. Does your screenplay have a logical, dialectic basis? Does the story, through its characters. move from crisis to climax to resolution in a pattern of rising conflict?

6. Does your dialogue reveal the characters and, in so doing, progress the story? Does it sound natural? Is the sub-text sufficiently clear for there to be no confusion – except of course when confusion is required?

What other questions are helpful for a writer to ask themselves during the screenwriting process?

1995 – The dawning of a new corporate media/organised sports relationship in Australia

In 1995 two things happened: the amateur sport of rugby union officially turned professional and the world wide web was born for broader public consumption. In the southern hemisphere, the rugby union governing bodies of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, formed  the business collective,  SANZAR self-appointed administers of a new international provincial competition known as the Super 12,

This was a turning point in the world of rugby and was only made possible by an unprecedented corporate media deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited Foxtel and it’s affiliates and Channel 7 in Australia.

Prior to this deal, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation were the dedicated rugby union broadcast channel in Australia. Relationships between broadcaster, journalist, union and players were mutually exclusive and predominately managed by ‘the voice of rugby’ Mr Gordon Bray.

Corporate media and organised sports have enjoyed a unique and co-dependent social, cultural and economically beneficial relationship in Australia ever since, Kerry Packer revolutionised sports broadcasting in the 1970’s with his takeover of the World Series Cricket on his beloved Nine Network.

What is Media?

Twenty-first century media is global, social, ubiquitous and cheap and has transferred to an amateur media environment where the ‘audience’ are now full participants (Clay Shirky, 2010). What Shirky is describing is a move away from traditional media and communications practice, that was structured around the principle of control.

Traditionally, key corporate messages were distributed from business via accepted channels (ie: fax, telephone, Beta tapes and more recently email) staffed by professional communicators and media production specialists towards a new media reality where the focus is on convening groups of supporters, not controlling them with a single crafted corporate message ‘pushed’ through the mainstream corporate media entities of print, broadcast and online.

While these professional journalism, media structures and corporate hierarchies still exist and prosper, thanks to technological advances in computers, mobile telephony and new media, they also exist alongside not only each other but new social media platforms which enable an entirely new style of conversation, consumption and participation.

According to Outlook, Australian’s were the highest consumers of social media globally in 2009.
Neilsen‘s global media report released in July 2010, also reported Australian’s had the highest global average of social media engagement at seven (7) hours per month, visiting communities of interest ie:sport and parenting sites.

So how do Australian’s engage with social media in these communities?

I am currently researching both corporate, player and fan engagement in the online rugby community.

What I have discovered so far:

  • ARU uses Facebook and Twitter as a sales and PR space. Fan engagement is juvenille although it incorporates into the design other platforms such as Youtube and yfrog.
  • Of the state unions, the ACT Brumbies seem to be the only ones to understand the two-way (dialogic) and interactive nature of social media.
  • Only a handful of high profile athletes Tweet (although every now and then a new one sneaks tentatively online and calls out for help – which is GREAT to see – because that’s exactly what the social media platform is about: engagement. Although they tend to talk to each other or other high profile sporting professionals across the sports (league and swimming), rather than directly with fans.
  • Hardly any players utilise facebook for individual ‘brand me’ or ‘me inc’ development
  • Current management are not engaged, although past Australian coaches and management have / are developing strong online expert profiles and embracing the new and social media technologies.



Supervisor says blog, so blog I will

I met with my supervisor last Friday (yes, I am writing my dissertation / thesis) and she recommended that I blog about my on-going research.

I suspect there are a plethora of reasons for this, one of which is to develop my critical reading and writing skills (which is a lot harder than it sounds when you return to tertiary studies mid-career).

Anyway, given that my dissertation topic is social media usage in rugby, I guess it’s appropriate that I start sharing the key insights from my daily readings with those of you who will invariably stumble here into This Business Called Sport.

So please forgive my indulgence in advance, but I do hope you may find a grain or two of insight from my soon to be wall of words.

Yours in the blogosphere,

Tiff Junee

White Space is Key Online

I have been spending A LOT of time in cyberspace of late – moreso than usual.

Not surprisingly, I’ve noticed new trends re: how individuals (both trained and citizen journalists) are actually developing their ‘online voice’ – the charming and evolving skill – we all continue to refine.

However,  they are doing so at the expense of readability with layouts mirroring the traditional designs of the printed page.

IMHO paragraphs are both the blogger and readers best friend.

Lots of white space is the key to keeping online readers engaged.

So in the interests of practising what I preach… Enjoy the white space and remember interesting topics and brevity of prose will be greatly appreciated by most. Don’t you think? 🙂

>ABC Twitterer Gets Tweeted

>Take one little piece of social media, an ABC journalist (with an opinion), a national, government news corporation (and no it’s not North Korea), 24 hours out from an election, what do you get? News.
Where are the clearly delineated lines of independent, unbiased reporting and professional opinion? Is there room for diversity of opinion in news reporting at the ABC?

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