Archive for May, 2010

hAPPily Ever After?

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

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One click. One date. One night. With a complete stranger. Welcome to the world of online dating.

In the past ten years the idea of online dating has gone from a pastime to a cultural norm, with one in four adults trying out sites and their extension into phone application form.

Online dating is now commonly seen as a part of social interaction due to its renewal in application form.

Only dating sites are used by more than 20 million people, but the both physical and psychological danger are left to users to understand and protect themselves against.

Twenty-seven year old Primary school teacher and online dater Nicole Williams felt the responsibility of safety was her own shoulders.

“The idea of safety was definitely up to me,” She said.

“There have been times when I have had to say no lifts home and even sharing taxis”.

Fellow online dater Bella Heatley imitated these remarks.

“I’ll go overseas and couch surf (but) I wouldn’t meet an online date at my home or theirs, definitely in a public place,” She said.

While this phenomenon is dominating the online world there has been very little research into the reality of its effects.

When Appsolute approached psychologist Dr. Mark Symmons about the effects of virtual dating the response was in the negative.

“My research isn’t specifically in that area” Dr. Symmons said

His sentiments ringing true when researching implications of this online phenomenon resources are scarce.

RSVP is the number one dating site online host to more than 1.6 million users in Australia alone. Financially online dating services have seen a growth of $642 million in the past 2 years.

To online daters the answer for its rise in popularity is clear.

“I had returned from living overseas where the dating scene was a completely different world,” Heatley said.

With education and work now taking precedent people are getting involved in relationships later in life, which would explain the switch to looking for love online.

“I’d just moved inter-state and didn’t know anyone, hadn’t been to any restaurants. I thought this would be a good opportunity to meet new people” Williams said.

Due to its user friendly nature online dating is now on peoples mobile phones, easily accessible huge in range.

With the new iphone App ‘mobimeet’ online users will be able to create profiles that include a GPS tracker to show

While there have been no research done on its dangers, the implications to online App daters of such information is obvious.

“I have done it before but that is insane. At least if it’s simply on my phone I can check it, close it and put it away. I’m in control,” Said Williams

“I know how easy it is for people to infiltrate your life without knowing exactly where you are.”

After having an online date stalk her for weeks, Williams’ knowledge of the darker side of online and App dating can be like.  (Click to enlarge)

*Name has been changed for privacy purposes

This begs the question of internet safety and what is being done to prevent these applications entering the market.

While the government offers a broad range of cyber safety for primary school and teenaged students the only form of protection offered to adults is that against fraud and identity theft.

Even with these threats users looking for love see it as a small price to pay.

“The only chance they have is at work or friends of friends at parties.  If you are not into going out and getting hammered, then there are limited options,” Said Heatley.

“If some people want to go out of their way to put their location onto the web and admit to staying in alone, then they need to take responsibility for whatever happens” Said Williams.

Online Dating Statistics

Words by Emily D’Alterio

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Can the iPad launch journalism back into profits?

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Just as the printing press established modern journalism for centuries, the iPad could provide a similar spark to help reinvent the production of news.

The journalism industry is coming to a crossroads.  Newspapers are quickly on the way out and producers of news are trying to find the next best medium to present their content whilst making a profit.

No news outlets have had success with subscription based access to their online newspapers, which has led to media CEOs looking elsewhere for a more lucrative way of selling their content.

Apple’s new gadget, the iPad, has the potential to be the saviour for the news providers by offering a simple way to get consumers to pay for news delivered in the most sophisticated way.

The iPad can be considered as a desktop that can download programs (apps) to their home screen that can be opened by a simple touch of the icon.  Consumers make a one-off payment to buy the app from Apple’s app store which gives them complete access to the app’s content.

Newspaper readership is falling fast and the journalism industry needs a medium that can stem the flow of plummeting profits.  With the exception of the ABC there are no other news providers that have designed an app for any mobile or tablet device in Australia.

“Absolutely yes, as less people are buying newspapers”, technology editor for Channel Nine’s Today Show Charlie Brown said when asked if the journalism industry should be further exploring the use of apps to produce their news.

At the moment he does not see apps as a profitable medium for news, but this could change as the technology develops.

Apple had sold one million of their high tech tablets within one month of its release proving the iPad an overnight success.  More than this, the general applications (apps) needed to wok the iPad have made in excess of $3 mill already which is a clear indication that the public is prepared to pay for apps should they prove their worth.

“The iPad is like a big RSS reader with extra stuff, I can’t wait to get one”, said Peter, 28, who was placing an order for a unit at the Apple Store in Doncaster Shopping Centre.

The transition of hard copy journalism to the multimedia era will have some initial problems and will most likely change the way it is done altogether.

“What will be hard to sustain is the top end of journalism, the high cost investigative journalism that people will be unlikely to pay for to cover its cost”, says the new professor of Journalism at UTS, Dr. Alan Knight.

However, Dr. Knight does the iPad can bring some new and exciting elements to journalism.

“The niche type markets that can be created on the internet will be good for journalism.

You get newspaper layout, looking at the front page of paper with audio and video – this should be good for news.  Readership patterns are changing rapidly … newspapers are already gone to people under the age of thirty so they are the audience to target”, he says.

The biggest problem with charging users for news online (app) is that many people are prepared to use sites such as Google News to get content for free.

“It’s only going to work for quality publications such as the Wall Street Journal, BBC and The Times etc as they’re a global brand, delivering global news to a global market”, says Charlie Brown.

The iPad and its apps are a sample of how news will be presented in the near future.  They will not save journalism but provide a sketching pad for news producers who wish to make substantial profits from online and mobile news when the public is ready to consume it.

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  • Joshua Papanikolaou


    Josh, a second year journalism student at Monash University will report on app piracy and the issue of 'jailbreaking'. He will also give some insight into the impact of apps within politics.

  • Emily D’Alterio


    Emily D'Alterio is also a second year Journalism student at Monash University.
    She will investigate the essence of an APP, what goes into them, what makes them so unique and quirky, and where this global phenomenon is headed in the future.
    She will also take a look into the world of Dating applications, using a real life case study to discover if its hAPPily ever after, or simply a giant scam.

  • Jayne Duff


    Jayne Duff joins Joshua and Emily as a second year Journalism student at Monash University.
    Through her articles you will discover growing necessity for iphone Apps as she takes us through "Killer Apps that Save Lives".
    She'll also focus on the controversial side of apps, exposing the more outrageous and often offensive applications in an unprecedented environment.

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