Flipped Lecture Two: Where Good Ideas Come From

15 Oct

‘What are the spaces that have historically lead to unusual rates of

creativity and innovation?’


In this flipped lecture, Steven Johnson provides his audience with the compelling and intriguing story of how people are able to generate the ideas that can push our careers, our lives, our society, and our culture forward.

I found this lecture to be extremely interesting, especially when he uses ‘real life’ examples to further support his contention, such as

I also very much enjoyed the overall stylistic presentation of the lecture and found that the use of imagery assist me in understanding the information and also kept me interested. Through this, I decided to watch a TED lecture of Steve Johnson, where he further explains his ‘Where Good Ideas Come From’ approach. This video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0af00UcTO-c 

Key insights gained from watching Johnson’s presentation:

  • Looks at this problem from an environmental perspective: what are the spaces that have historically lead to unusual rates of creativity and innovation?
  • People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments.
  • Flash, Stroke, Epiphany, Eureka, Lightbulb: All moments of inspiration which share a basic assumption that an idea is a single thing
  • Ideas need time to incubate: The ‘slow hunch’
  • With today’s tools and environment, radical innovation is extraordinarily accessible to those who know how to cultivate it.
  • An idea is a network: Ideas are part of larger networks of connections, not the singular trajectory of epiphany.  Though it may seem like we’re struck with that lightning bolt of inspiration—that storm had been brewing the whole time.
  • The Liquid Network: where you have lots of ideas, lots of eyes, different backgrounds, different interests jostling with each other bouncing off each other – that environment is in fact the environment that leads to innovation.

Who is Steve Johnson?

Steven Berlin Johnson  is an American popular science author and media theorist. Johnson is the author of eight books on the intersection of science, technology and personal experience. He has also co-created three influential web sites: the pioneering online magazine FEED, the Webby-Award-winning community site,Plastic.com,  and most recently outside.in. Johnson is also a contributing editor to Wired and writes regularly for The New york Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

His recent book, Where Good Ideas Come From, puts forth the notion that innovative thinking is a slow and gradual process based on the concept of the “slow hunch” rather than an instant moment of inspiration, or a ‘eureka’ moment. This book adduces seven conditions that enable discoveries and inventions, which include:

1) The adjacent possible: The inventor must use the components that exist in his environment. 

2) Liquid networks: Large cities, and now the Internet, make it possible for loose, informal networks to form, and these enable discoveries.

3) The slow hunch: It can take years for a hunch to blossom into a full-blown invention.

4) Serendipity: The occurrence and development of events by chance.

5) Error: This can also be a creative force. 

6) Exaptation: An example can include: ‘Birds developed feathers to keep warm and regulate their body temperature and later used them for flight.’ 

7) Platforms: He gives the example of the development of  a precursor of GPS, by the Applied Physics Lab in his lecture. 


Flipped Lecture One: How Social Media can Change the World

15 Oct

“Media is Global, Social, Ubiquitous and Cheap”– Clay Shirky



“While news from Iran streams to the world, Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.” – http://ed.ted.com/lessons/clay-shirky-how-social-media-can-make-history

From the minute Shirky began speaking, to his audience, I was immediately glued to my computer scree. I found his lecture to be  absolutely riveting and compelling. I was so absorbed by what he was saying I had to watch it a second time to begin taking down notes!

“This generation… is the largest increase in expressive capability in human history…”

Shirky begins his presentation by explaining the evolution of media over past 500 years and why social media has great potential to create a history. He describes social evolution as having 4 instanced in the past 500 years where media has changed enough to qualify as a ‘revolution’. These include:

  1. The Printing Press
  2. The Telegraph, then the Telephone (conversational media)
  3. Recorded Media (other than print); photos, recorded sound & movies
  4. Radio and Television

Then came the Internet. The Internet, Shirky explains, is the first medium in history that has native support for groups and conversation at the same time.Through this, Shirky explains that Social Media has the ability to empower people – from consuming information, to participation, producing content, to enabling new kind of co-operative structures (which aid people to create organized groups or networks), to helping to collaborate against repressive regimes (like China) – to report on real news through bypassing censorships.

Key insights gained from watching Shirky’s presentation:

  • Tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring.It isn’t when the shiny new tools show up that their new uses start permeating society, it’s when everybody is able to take them for granted.
  • In the case of social media, the tech transfer goes in the opposite direction that we think the tech transfer should go, from the developed world, to the developing world.
  • Because media is increasingly social, innovation can happen anywhere that people can take for granted the idea that we’re all in this together.
  • Media is less and less about crafting a single message to be consumed by individuals, and is more and more often a way of creating an envioronment for convening and supporting groups.
  • Media is increasingly a site of coordination, because groups that see or hear or watch or listen to something can now gather around and talk to each other as well.
  • Members of the former audience can also be producers and not consumers. Audiences’ are not longer disconnected from each other.
  • Media is more and more about crafting a single message to be consumed by individuals, and is more often a way in creating an environment for convening and supporting groups.

Clay Skirky

Who is Clay Shirky?

Clay Shirky is an American writer, consultant and teacher on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. Shirky is a distinguished writer at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, has a joint appointment at New York University and is an Assistant Arts Professor in the New Media focused graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program. Shirky is a profound expert in social media and the Internet and has written and been interviewed extensively about the these topics since 1996.


“How can we make best use of this medium, even though it means changing the way we’ve always done it”

How I believe Social Media is changing the world:

  •  Social media allows connection across billions of lives on a one-to-one basis in a way which is totally new.
  • The connections social media allows us to make do not just run from the inside out (i.e. from a communications challenged society to the ‘free world’ and back) but also spread within.
  • Social media has maintained the world’s attention and momentum in movements which might otherwise have fizzed or been squashed by their own governments.


Search Engine Comparison

29 Sep

Halloween: Search Engine Comparison


This task required us to make a comparison between three different search engines: Google, DuckDuckGo and Instagrok. For this specific task, I chose to research the topic of Halloween. Admittedly, I had not heard of the last two search engines until I read the assignment brief. However, I did found it to be an interesting experience using the three different search engines.



Google provided me with the most straight-foward and basic response to the topic. I believe that I found this to be the easiest search-engine to navigate because I was already so used to using it. The first result that popped up was Wikipedia, followed by any relevant news relating to the topic. The right-hand-side featured a definition for Halloween, followed by more search results about Halloween films.



Instagrok was probably the most interesting search engine I have used to date. I really liked the way in which it presented the information results. The results on Instagrok’s Search Engine were very well-organized. InstaGrok lets you share links to your favorite searches. Within the results, however, it is difficult for a person to find the exact result that they are searching for as simply as they could in Google. There are also no specific ranking in Instagrok, yet rather organized it search in key facts, mind graphs, mind maps and completely separate the search for website,pictures and videos. The right-hand-side of this search engine also features a key facts section, displaying useful information about the topic.



DuckDuckGo was very similar to that of Google, however it appeared to be more simplified. I found this search engine to be less informative than the previous two, and as such i would less likely use it. The first result that came up was the various ‘meanings of halloween’, followed by the Wikipedia page. Like the previous two search engines, the right-hand-side of this webpage also featured more search suggestions, however with less visible information.


Overall, I believe that Google still remains the best search engine. This is because Google has the ability to compress a lot of information into a limited amount of space. Also, the information given are also very up-to-date which is very important. Furthermore, the simplicity of Google is what makes it popular and while I am all for interactivity, I believe that the other two search engines have failed on all levels in comparison to Google.


How to change your default search engine in Safari: 

  1. Go to the search bar in the top-right corner of Safari.
  2. Click the tiny arrow next to the search engine icon (a magnifying glass), and a pull-down menu will appear.
  3. Change the search engine by clicking the one you want. The new search engine will automatically be added to the search bar.

Creative Commons 101 and Managing Spam

26 Sep

Creative Commons

I have decided to license my blog under Creative Commons. The Creative Commons licence benefits the whole public sphere by allowing sharing and usage of creative works.

By licensing my blog with Creative Commons, it will allow me to contribute to the new digital era of sharing online work with people from all over the world. I have decided to do this because it will allow anyone to re-use, distribute or modify/remix my work – on the condition that they acknowledge me as the original creator.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The icon of the Person: ‘Attribution’ — You must give the original author credit.

The icon of the equals sign: ‘No Derivative Works’ — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

Spam & Comments 

A spam comment is a comment which is posted automatically in blogs and websites by automated types of software – this type of spam is generally a comment, which has nothing directly related to the blog or article – but instead features irrelevant keywords or hyperlinks to other various pages.

WORDPRESS has an automatically built in system which allows users to filter comments, which include specific words – marking them for moderation or as spam itself.

This can be done by:

  • Logging in to your personal blog’s administration area;
  • Go to the ‘Settings‘ Section;
  • Select ‘Discussion‘;
  • Next, select the checkbox ‘Automatically close comments on article older than’;
  • Enter the number of days in the text box (for example 30).

This ensures that the comments are closed on any article which is older than the number of days specified by you.


24 Sep



 “Colors in, and black out, on Milan runway”

My first Google Alert was based on Fashion Week.

I am an avid Vogue and Harpers Bazaar reader, and fashion is always something which has interested me. Fashion Week is an event, which lasts approximately one week and allows fashion designers, brands or “houses” to display their latest collections.

The first article which i received based on my ‘Google Alert’, was titled ‘Colours in, and black out, on Milan runway’. The article was based on how the ‘fashion world’ has adopted colours and patterns into their spring and summer 2013 womenswear collections as Milan Fashion Week – and avoided blacks, which is typically seen as a wardrobe staple.

“Designers also are using a lot of detailing on outfits, from sequins, beads, colored discs and tassels.”

Dolce & Gabbana

The new spring and summer 2013 womenswear collection instead features monochromatic looks or deployed in geometric and floral patterns and prints, summer whites and seasonal pastels round out the palette. Designers, such as Pucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Biagiotti, Ferragamo, Marni and Missoni are using ruffles, folds and peplums, sheer fabrics, flowing cuts and accents like pleats and plisses, which gives the new seasons look a quiet elegance, grace and femininity.

This article interested me because I have a tendency to stick to one-tonned colours – particularly blacks. This article gave me somewhat of an inspiration to play with and try to incorporate different tones, patterns and styles into my own wardrobe.


SBS Taste Le Tour Recipe: Macarons

24 Sep

“It’s the final day of the Tour de France 2010 and French chef, Gabriel Gaté, presents Taste le Tour from Paris and talks about the glorious food of the French capital. French pâtissier, Pierrick Boyer, shows us how to prepare Macarons, the small almond and meringue biscuits that have become very fashionable.”

Macaroons are without doubt my absolute favourite sweet. 

Incase you don’t know, a macaroon is a sweet meringue-based confectionary, which is typically made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder and food colouring. This delicious creation is made even more enticing with its ganache, buttercream or jam filling – which is sandwiched between two macaroon cookies. The smooth, domed top and flat base with its moist creamy filling, literally makes this dessert melt in your mouth.

Macaroon Tower

Macaroons, although delicious, are incredibly difficult to make. Because of this, French Patissier, Pierrick Boyer takes his audience through a step by step instructional process of how to make these exquisite delicacies.

“Macarons are fantastic, refined, elegant, creative freedom, almost an art; simple but technically difficult”. – Pierrick Boyer

For Pierrick, the key to the perfect macaron is the quality and freshness of ingredients, as well as achieving the right consistency to create the shine and smoothness of the shell.

I like this video because not only does Boyer tell his audience how to make the macaroons, he also shows us. The audience can easily view the texture and consistency required and the methods required in order to create the perfect little macaroon!

Macaroon Mania

24 Sep

Macaroons are without doubt my absolute favourite sweet. 

Incase you don’t know, a macaroon is a sweet meringue-based confectionary, which is typically made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder and food colouring. This delicious creation is made even more enticing with its ganache, buttercream or jam filling – which is sandwiched between two macaroon cookies. The smooth, domed top and flat base with its moist creamy filling, literally makes this dessert melt in your mouth.



A Passion for Pinning – Pinterest

24 Sep

Pinterest is a social bookmarking website, which allows users from all over the world to create, collect and share images based on various themes such as events, hobbies, food, fashion and other theme-based collections.

This new social networking site allows its millions of users to browse other pin-boards for inspiration and then ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections or ‘like’ photos, via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing.

Bohemian Style Interior Design

With their mission being to;

“connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting”

Pinterest is becoming one of the fastest growing social networks online and is now the third-lagest networking site (closely following Facebook & Twitter).

I myself have recently become addicted to pinning. I spend countless hours searching through various images, which are of interest to me. My favourite categories include;


Food & Drink

Home Decor




Women’s Fashion

I also have my own user account: http://pinterest.com/lolaalou/, which allows me to re-pin and like various images and share them with my friends.

Hello WordPress!

10 Sep

Hello WordPress.com!

I am a professional communications student at RMIT University, and as part of my Networked Media subject for Semester 2, I needed to start up a Blog using WordPress.

Hope you all enjoy my posts!



personal style, minimalism & the perfect wardrobe

Matt on Not-WordPress

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