Steel City No More

Tweet What happens when a city defines itself by one industry, and that industry closes shop? The Port Kembla steel works, south of Wollongong, in 1965. Via Flickr/lindsaybridge Like Newcastle, Pittsburgh and Sheffield before it, Wollongong may be about to lose the steel industry to which its identity has long been tied. Unlike Newcastle, at least, ...

Performing #Bowral on Instagram

Performing #Bowral on Instagram
Tweet One of the methods pursued in my PhD research is an analysis of how the case studies are performed or constructed by users on Instagram. To do this, I sampled the hashtags #Wollongong, #Wollondilly and #Bowral from Instagram on selected days. Some quick stats: #Wollondilly #Wollongong #Bowral No. Posts 100 176 118 Total Tags 1385 ...

Meme Streets: Overcoming the Virus

Tweet Why rethinking memes might help inoculate against the viral marketing disease. A meme is rather like pornography — you don’t necessarily know what it is but you know it when you see it. And yet, it is possible to set out some general descriptions of the kinds of meme that circulate online and upon which business ...

A PhD Post to Keep Me on Track

A PhD Post to Keep Me on Track
Tweet It’s been some time since I’ve written about my PhD – I’ve been far to busy actually writing it instead (and teaching). In that time, the whole concept has shifted quite a bit – somewhat under its own weight and somewhat due to my own interests. This is a ‘catch-up’ post, partly to keep ...

What Matters? For the Love of Humanity (and Game of Thrones)

Tweet An essay formerly known as ‘How to say “sophomoric wankery” in High Valyrian.’ I once wrote a thinkpiece that clumsily linked an obscure theory of philosophy with the fantasy worlds created by George RR Martin and his contemporaries. Old Valyria (source) I was pleasantly surprised by the relatively high readership of that piece, due in ...

Why Undergraduate Degrees are More Like Buying a Car than a House

Tweet There is a clear pattern of thinking about the value of higher education in purely economic terms. Questions about how much graduates earn dominate mass media discussion of the industry (1, 2, 3) while university marketers talk almost endlessly about employability (4, 5, 6). Meanwhile, academics themselves squabble about higher purposes. The mismatch in ...

It’s Not You, It’s Me(dium)

Tweet What happened, Medium? You changed. I don’t think we can go on like this. Medium, Your home stream is full of urgent whispers let out into a world that doesn’t want to hear them. A million voices crying out at once. Asking, wondering, ‘what happened?’. Experimenting with it and playing around, filling the stream with ...

If words are written on a page and no one reads them, do they really matter?

Tweet We tend to put a lot of stock into numbers, even those of us who don’t like them very much. Numbers make life seem graspable, comparable, measurable and observable. Trees in the forest (‘The complexity of life’ by Flickr/tomsaint) Amongst the numbers that matter most are those preceded by currency signs, especially in this ...

Favourite Places

Tweet There is a hospital in Sydney that ranks amongst my most checked-in places on Facebook. But what makes this place so special? It’s on the other side of the city from where I live, closer in distance but further in travelling time than Australia’s capital city, Canberra. It is most definitely not my closest ...

Sporadic Publics, Sporadic Places

Tweet Light on the Louvre, by Flickr user Photophilde, is just one fragmentary and incomplete image of the place that is Paris. Every tweet, newspaper article, television program, speech, presentation, app and street sign has some sort of assumed audience. In political discourse, “The Public” reigns supreme as the target of all of these media ...