ALC201 Surveillance Video Post


Critical Reflection Exercise 2

The content of my video covers the surveillance systems that are employed with many Australian retailers; probably the most well-known are the Flybys card from Coles and the Every Day Rewards card from Woolworths. I wanted to explore how these cards operate and their effect on the public as I feel that most people are unaware or don’t care that the main reason loyalty programs exist is to track sales.

I wanted the video to look like it was filmed in secret and used the ‘Spy Cam’ filter in the android program, VideoFX (this cost a staggering $1.99), I tested about five programs before finding one that I liked. Although its editing capabilities are non-existent, and while other programs included an editor, these didn’t really allow for a great amount of individualistic control. It was for this reason I downloaded the trial version of Adobe Premiere. I have used Premiere before and I am reasonably familiar of the layout and how it operates. Although I still faced some challenges like getting the text overlays and discovering how to make the videos the same size. I also struggled with getting the unedited videos off the tablet. For some reason it wouldn’t transfer over the USB cable, so I had to upload segments to YouTube and then download them for editing.

I wrote a script and general plan for the shoot; however, in the editing phase some elements were moved in the timeline. I showed the video to my friends to get a bit of feedback, they all understood the content and were engaged enough to watch it in one sitting. After this the final cut was uploaded to YouTube, although I did miss one citation and had to add this after the video was published.

With the filming I had some problems with lighting, filming at night, when I usually have time to study, proved difficult as the halogen and LED lights were blinding the camera. Even filming during the day did not fix this it was either too light or too dark. I tried to get the best light possible but it is obvious in the final work that the lighting issue was not fully resolved. There were some concerns with sound as well, as certain parts are echoed and lower in volume and I was unable to figure out how to fix it.

I created my video using a Samsung Tablet. I hung it off the cupboards to get the ‘security camera’ feel, but ultimately I wasn’t entirely happy with the result as the angle was slightly off. The filming was completed in about eight short segments, and then reconstituted in Adobe Premier. The opening title sequence was created in Adobe Premier, as was the end sequence. I included a small blooper at the end of the reel, I feel that this is appropriate as I have tried to introduce humour throughout the piece and I hope that it all blends well.

cam1   cam2

I would have liked to include some music in the piece but the song I wanted (I want you love by Transvision Vamp) is not available under creative commons. I feel that the song reflected the piece well and would have suited. I investigated if I could use it, but I’m not sure if this video would pass as a news item, so I had to leave it out. I did use a screen shot of the Jeanswest website and while it may not have a creative commons license, it has been made for public use; as it forms a part of its rewards program policy.

For my research I used the Baruh & Soysal (2010), reading from week five, as I found some correlation between the marketing collection used in the online environment and that of those employed by retailers. I used Lyon (2005) to demonstrate how these cards work to create specified target marketing. I used Hoffmann (2013) for facts about loyalty schemes. I used Mihm (2013), from Choice magazine, to help substantiate my claims about the loyalty programs.


Baruh, L & Soysal L, 2010, ‘Public Intimacy and the New Face (Book) of Surveillance: The Role of Social Media in Shaping Contemporary Dataveillance’, in T. Dumova, & R. Fiordo (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends (pp. 392-403). Hershey, PA, retrieved 9 September 2014, <>.

Hoffmann, N 2013, Loyalty Schemes In Retailing : A Comparison Of Stand-Alone And Multi-Partner Programs, Frankfurt: Peter Lang GmbH, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost, retrieved 7 September 2014, <>.

Jeanswest n.d., Jeanswest Rewards Cards, Jeanswest Corporation, retrieved 10 September 2014, <>.

Lyon, D 2005, Surveillance as Social Sorting : Privacy, Risk and Automated Discrimination, Taylor and Francis, e-book, retrieved 7 September 2014, <>.

Mihn, U 2013, Shopping loyalty cards, Choice Magazine, retrieved 7 September 2014, <>.

ALC201 Identity Post

This post is intended to analyse and reflect on my own social identity, why I use it and then discuss what I would like it to become. It identifies some current thinking about those who use social media and offers a definition of its users.

I first logged on to Facebook in 2008, and at first I was very timid about the information that I uploaded and people that I friended. As I have been inadvertently taught, as Marshall describes, ‘The pedagogy of the celebrity in the twentieth century can be read as a very elaborate morality tale that mapped a private world into a public world.’, (Marshall 2010, p. 37) that is to say through our media pummeling of celebrity antics we understand what and what not to post, tweet, act and live, and while some seek to emulate most are paying attention and there has come a natural avoidance of unfiltered social content.

With time it was easier, this I can tribute to what de Backer states about two forms of gossip, reputation gossip and strategy learning gossip (cited in Marshall 2010, p. 37).  Through reading and learning what others are posting, therefore utilising the strategy gossip, you come to an understanding of how to conduct yourself online. Now, certainly, I am much more comfortable sharing information and digitally exposing my own character. The majority of my comments and posts are things that make me laugh. As Young describes though, ‘Presenting oneself online using a personal webpage, blog or social networking site requires purposeful selection of text, pictures, graphics and audio to create an impression.’ (Young 2013, p. 3). Does this mean that I am leaving out all the characteristics of my personality that I don’t want people to see? I think that you can look through someone profile and get a general image of what hat person is, but you can never truly know them until you meet them. I mean we have all thought grandly of some celebrity and them met in real life and suddenly have a completely different opinion afterwards (for me it was ‘meeting’ David Boon). Mehdizadeh (cited in Young 2013, p. 12) states, ‘…Facebook presents a unique opportunity for a greater, or a different form, of self expression than is possible in face-to-face context.’, so I suppose if met David on a ‘cranky day’, and that image stayed with me the use of social media could be used to show the true self. This is how I think of my social identity, I am quite stand-offish in real life, but Facebook and other sites allow me to be myself.

When discussing users of Facebook, Toma and Hancock (cited in Greenwood 2013, p. 233) state that:

The extraordinary amount of time people spend on FB [Facebook] may be a reflection of its ability to satisfy ego needs that are fundamental to the human condition … [that] pertain to how people wish to see themselves-socially attractive and embedded in a network of meaningful relationships.

Greenwood continues saying that, ‘Online profiles may function as a reassuring social mirror that confirms existential presence and value.’ (Greenwood 2013, p. 223). This is all good, but there are studies that have shown that Facebook use decreases emotional well being (Kross et al cited in Greenwood 2013, p. 223). Certainly looking at someone else’s photos of their amazing Thai holiday makes me feel a bit depressed but then I remind myself that everyone is putting on their best and leaving all the mundane things out, and honestly should I care? I prefer what McKenna (cited in Sparks 2013, pp. 266-267) suggests in that the effects of social media is positive:

For people who are impoverished socially and have few people in their social networks, use of the Internet may expand social horizons and lead to a greater sense of connection – thus increasing a person’s emotional and psychological well-being.

At the moment I use Facebook, and other sites, for about 75% of my social output, and it predominantly exists to keep in touch with my family and friends, whom I don’t have a lot of face-to-face contact. This slide show is a brief representation of photos that I share:

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They are mostly my kids, DIY projects, and an occasional selfie. This is how my current social identity exists.

When it comes to defining aspects of social media participation, Bernoff and Anderson (cited in Croteau and Hoynes 2014, p. 307) suggested these titles:

At the moment I would describe myself as a conversationalist-joiner-spectator. In the coming months and certainly as I hope to move into my study field orientated workplace, I hope to move more toward the creator spectrum. The question remains though what do I do with my existing profile? Personally I don’t think I have anything untoward on my Facebook page but then I control what is displayed as Young (2013) states:

…the ways in which we perceive, present and represent ourselves has evolved over time; from pre-modern period where identity was based on social status at birth, toward an identity formed today where the individual more readily controls how he/she is perceived by others.

I decide what I say about me and it is all dependent on what is happening right now and it can change and evolve to form a different collage as to who I am. There are some aspects of my current social identity that I would like to improve on. The first is that I am starting to feel disillusioned with Facebook, this is most likely due to the abundance of advertising and being bombarded with information that sometimes leaves me thinking, why? I have been leaning toward Twitter as my main social media outlet, but even that has its problems. I would like to continue the evolution of my website, which I have owned for about three years – mainly for a clean email, and until recently have done very little with it. The initial idea behind the website was to be a showcase area for my writing. However utilising what I have learnt recently I feel it can be turned into a mecca, of sorts, of all my online identities.

There is also the thought that should I have to change my online identity when looking for work? As I previously stated most of my posts, tweets and comments are thing that I find funny, and some get likes and some get none, the enjoyment is really for my own amusement. A prospective employer may see thing differently. For an example I offer a scene from Gattaca (1997), Vincent Freeman is in an interview and they take a DNA test to determine if he is suitable for a job. That isn’t too far away from a prospective employer trolling over your online identity to decide if you fit into the company.

While we are all genuinely free to compile any form of identity we wish, most of us are aware that is not just our friends that are looking. Certainly this is something I keep in mind.


(word count, not including citations ~ 942)


Croteau, D & Hoynes, W 2014, Media/Society: Industry, Images, and Audiences, 5th edn, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Gattaca 1997, film, Jersey Films, Los Angeles.

Greenwood, D N 2013, ‘Fame, Facebook, and Twitter: How attitudes about fame predict frequency and nature of social media use’, Psychology Of Popular Media Culture, 2, 4, pp. 222-236.

Marshall, D 2010, The promotion and presentation of the self: celebrity as a marker of presentational media, Celebrity Studies, 1, 1, pp. 35-48.

Sparks, G 2013, Media Effects Research: A Basic Overview, 4th edn, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Boston, MA.

Young, K 2013, ‘Managing online identity and diverse social networks on Facebook’, Webology, 10, 2, Article 109, <>, retrieved 04/08/2014.