Read the Pitch and Beta first!

My digital artefact is a Surf Report Website called North Gong Daily, created as a partner for the Instagram and Facebook pages of the same name, originally created by Kel and Michelle Giddey, who I know through North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club. Theyโ€™ve been running NGD for 2 years now, and so, at the start of BCM112 I approached with my offer. Since its creation, I have continued to upload surf reports daily, which takes roughly 10 minutes to do, and have spoken to Kel and Michelle about potential upgrades and changes to the site recently.

These possibilities include:

  • Advertisements/Sponsors โ€“ Kel and Michelle have spoken with Quadrant Financial Solutions about potentially featuring ads on the site and have sampled it on Instagram
  • Dropshipping โ€“ Selling merchandise by taking orders and placing them with the manufacturer, who then ships directly to the customer. This can be achieved through plugins such as WooCommerce.
  • A SurfCam โ€“ a 24/7 video camera, like the one used on Coastal Watch placed at North Wollongong Surf Club, letting people view the conditions for themselves live. However, we would need permission from the Surf Club, and Wollongong City Council.
  • Updated Merchandise โ€“ NGD has sold Shirts since the before the website existed, and recently began selling Hoodies, so I have suggested that the next order of shirts and hoodies should have the website URL on them, to help advertise more.

What Iโ€™ve found whilst creating North Gong Daily is that since it doesnโ€™t require Users to be signed in to access any information and the topic is always the same, it doesnโ€™t generate much discussion, since it is just giving important information and only receives views rather than likes. This makes it hard to access feedback, unless I ask people for it. Iโ€™ve found that this isnโ€™t the most effective form of gaining feedback, as it requires people to access the site then search for something they can comment on, which usually results in a compliment or appraisal of the site, rather than encountering something naturally and providing constructive criticism.

Since NGD was made for two people, the most important feedback is from them, since it must cater to what they want it to do, as well as the users. As this is the case, I have iterated multiple times to suit what Kel, Michelle and the Users want.

As we are coming into Spring and Summer now, I believe North Gong Dailyโ€™s social utility will increase as more and more people begin going to the beach again due to the heat, and will need some way of accessing information whenever they want, with no cost of entry. North Wollongong is also one of the most popular Beaches in the Illawarra area, so having that coverage is helpful for a lot of people, both local or non-local, as seen in my starter pack

Through utilising three platforms โ€“ Instagram, Facebook and the Website, North Gong Daily indicates a fully connected Network Topology with each platform utilised acting as a node, connecting to the others in a distributed network, with no one controlling platform.

NGD does this by reaching out to a wider group of people, with each platform used as a tool to provide exposure and link to the next โ€“ which creates this connected network amongst the platforms.


Automattic 2019, โ€˜WooCommerceโ€™, accessed 30/10/19,

Chan, K n/a, โ€˜North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Clubโ€™, accessed 30/1/19,

COASTALWATCH n/a, โ€˜COASTALWATCHโ€™, accessed 30/10/19,, n/a, โ€˜Iterateโ€™, accessed 1/11/19,

Pekarek, L n/a, โ€˜The Truth About Dropshipping: The Good, The Bad, and the Uglyโ€™, accessed 30/10/19,, n/a, โ€˜Network Topologyโ€™, accessed 1/11/19,


A Bot is a software application with a number of different applications, including gathering and curating information, holding conversations with Users as ChatBots, etc.

However, Bots may also have malicious purposes, such as discovering passwords, obtaining financial information, sending spam and accessing information from infected computers.

ChatBots have existed for a while now, with some even able to write full length paragraphs. Often, these ChatBots have websites dedicated to them, make them easy to distinguish.

However, some ChatBots exist on Social Media Platforms, “A social bot is a computer algorithm that automatically produces content and interacts with humans on social media, trying to emulate and possibly alter their behaviour”.

A bot is essentially an algorithm pretending to be a User, used to continue or alter conversations online.

So if you think you’re interacting with people online, chances are they could be a BOT.

Hacker Culture

Since the creation of the Internet, there have been people who create and maintain information, those who browse it, and those who use it. Most people use the Internet for some reason, however, there has emerged a subculture of people with a focus or interest in the technical side of it all.

This subculture, with its focus on technology, has become known as “Hacker Culture”. Hacker culture began developing in the 50’s and 60’s and began gaining traction in the 80’s and 90’s when a “new generation of technologically literate hackers” appeared.

With the rise of the Hacker, came those people who seek to release information to the public. “Whistleblowers”, such as Edward Snowden, break into, steal or download this information from organisations or governments. These people are quickly labelled as terrorists or criminals, and often have restraints placed upon them for the rest of their lives.

Beta Time – BCM206+114

North Gong Daily is aimed at people who want some info about North Wollongong Beach without having to go to Ad-filled websites which provide too much information which is hard to understand. The site is easy to use for locals, newcomers and seasoned surfers, as the interface is simple and easy to access. The owners, Kel and Michelle, are heavily involved in North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club, as am I, so NGD has strong ties to the Club, with many members being strong supporters and users of NGD across all platforms. The simple user interface and beach aesthetic gives the impression that North Gong Daily knows what they’re doing.

Check out NGD’s audience below:

North Gong Daily is only focused on the one beach, as all people involved in it are locals and regulars at North Gong, therefore it’s easier to just maintain the one beach, though expanding the NGD team to more beaches could be a potential option.

During the process of uploading, I used to have a list of 71 tags, all related to the beach and North Wollongong, that I would implement into each post, to gain viewers. However, this was time consuming and wasn’t bringing in many views, so I have since stopped using them in each post.

Users have been referred to NGD by a number of different places, with the biggest one being Instagram, of 74, closely followed by Twitter, with 70. The WordPress reader, which is where Tags become relevant, has only referred 13 people, which is why I am no longer using Tags.

Another issue that arises with monetising the site is that if profits are split, then we have to negotiate how the payments would be made, as I’m not sure whether the profits could be split and sent to two different accounts.

Until next time, stay fresh Surfers.

The Changing Media Landscape

Prior to the invention of Social Media, Legacy Media such as the Newspaper was the primary source of information.

Legacy Media uses DISSEMINATION to get its message across to the audience, which is a very low level of participation with only one-way communication, and is incapable of gaining feedback, as it requires the audience to consume passively.

Whereas, Social Media provides constant two-way communication where Users are able to converse with producers and other users about topics and interests. On Social Media, Dissemination is still present, but it is overshadowed by DIALOGUE which is “a discussion of positions or beliefs, especially between groups to resolve a disagreement.”

“Because of the internet, everyone has an opinion now, and they can express it”

Joe Rogan – Strange Times (2018)

There is almost nothing that can stop you from creating and expressing yourself on the internet, there is no entry-fee or gatekeeper there to stop you.

Prosumers and Content Aggregation

Originally, when Legacy Media reigned supreme, producing content was extremely costly, therefore, only a handful of major companies could afford to constantly produce content.

However, the original relationship of Business to Consumer, where the Consumer must absorb information passively, has now become almost obsolete, as the invention of Web 2.0 has brought about the rise of Prosumers.

A Prosumer, as originally theorised by Alvin Toffler in his book ‘The Third Wave’, is “a consumer who is also a producer”. However, with the development of Web 2.0, the term Prosumer has expanded to mean “a consumer of internetโ€™s contents, but also a producer of them”.

Since the Internet is now saturated with these Prosumers, content production has lost almost all value, as there is an abundance of content to choose from, value instead lies with the aggregation and curation of content. Platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, where videos and pictures are suggested to Users,

The Walled Garden

A walled garden typically refers to a controlled environment where the company imposes the rules of the content engagement.

A Walled Garden is a closed ecosystem in which all the operations are controlled by the ecosystem operator.

The interconnectedness of the Internet has created many technological breakthroughs, such as instantaneous sharing and linked accounts.

However, large businesses such as Google, Apple and Facebook are now able to offer the same products as usual, but with the catch of having to buy their other products and sign up, giving away personal information, to gain full access to the features offered.

Because of this, many users become trapped in “The Walled Garden”, a metaphorical place where all content flow is controlled by the ecosystem operator, and undesirable information may be censored freely by those in control.

Here, Users are “free” to do what they want, so long as they do what the operator wants them to, and all aspects of information use are monitored and controlled.

Pay Attention Please

In the World of Information, there is an abundance of material which can be viewed. This abundance of material has created an “Attention Economy”, where the viewers attention is the product.

As information is now abundant, and attention is scarce, this information now has no value as the internet has been over-saturated with it, meaning people can not focus on every piece of text that they see and therefore, will happily leave sites, knowing there are a ton of alternatives out there. Therefore, the users attention has now become valuable due to how little of it there is compared to how much there is to focus on.

As “economies are governed by what is scarce, and information, especially on the Net, is not only abundant, but overflowing”, something needs to be made which cannot be copied and is entirely unique, which becomes difficult when everyone is producing something.

This is reflected in my remediation, as attention must be captured by something unique, “since it is hard to get new attention by repeating exactly what you or someone else has done before, this new economy is based on endless originality”. Therefore, to be successful on the internet, you need to be new and exciting, or else the user while ignore your content and look for something better or more familiar.

Liquidated Communication

Since its inception by Charles Babbage (during 1820 and 1871) the Computer has evolved from taking up a whole room of hardware just to run the simplest of programs, to being pocket-sized and capable of doing a limitless amount of things. This has allowed users to be involved in events across the world, from the security of their living room.

Now that everyone has their own personal computer, communication is instantaneous and everything can be accessed and shared immediately, there is a constant demand for updates, maintenance and improvements to what we have. Therefore, a new element has been added to the workforce which takes place in “Cyberspace”.

Cyberspace and the Internet create a change in the communication aspect of organisations, changing it from a hierarchical establishment, where people must report to and communicate through their superiors, to a distributed network, where people may communicate with whoever they need to, freely.

North Gong Daily

The main source of my feedback loops for North Gong Daily are Instagram stories and replies, Twitter posts, word of mouth and comments on Facebook and Instagram. These are posted every few weeks, and ask viewers if they’ve seen the site, and if so, whether they liked it or not and what could be done to improve the site. Feedback from the Owners of North Gong Daily is extremely important too, as the site was built for them, and should meet their wants and needs.

Monetisation was suggested last time, through ads on the site and selling more merchandise, and I’ll need to talk to NGD about where the profits would go, as it is their site, but I did produce it and am still curating and aggregating everything on it. The money earned wouldn’t be a lot, so discussing it may be time-consuming and not be worth a lot, but is still something that I want to look in to.