Digital Artefact & Contextual Essay: AUD’$

My digital artefact includes the work I produce for AUD’$, including article writing, content curating and social media managing. I developed this project because I wanted to continue my work from previous semesters and build a strong journalism portfolio.

I use Instagram and Twitter to engage with my audience and promote my articles that are uploaded on the AUD’$ website and included in a linktree link in my bio. I’m also active on the AUD’$ YouTube account where I curate music videos for their playlist. My project holds social utility for the growing community of Hip-hop in Australia who are interested in exclusive interviews, reviews and general discussion. Additionally, the project holds social utility to myself as this aligns with my future career and has been successful in helping me achieve my goals.

These were the goals I set myself from my beta. I now have:

  • 103 Twitter followers
  • 827 AUD’$ YouTube subscribers
  • 8,168 AUD’$ Instagram followers
  • 436 Instagram followers
  • 27 Average Instagram likes

The most obvious feedback loop is the likes that indicate the positive engagement I receive. Initially, I would just repost whenever AUD’$ would post my articles but the Instagram analytics described that the engagement was not as effective, so I decided to change my posting schedule to increase my engagement.

The motto of my project came from the Simplicity Cycle stating, “complexity reduces systems to irrelevancy” (Ward, 2006). After completing my beta, I felt my project was too simple so I decided to lean more into this and increase the casual interactions that I had with my audience by liking, commenting and reposting artists’ work. This adhered to the FIST principles more than what the article writing did as that would usually take me a few hours with interviewing, writing and research time.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about the formatting on the website or posts so that saved time and effort on my part but did make the aesthetics out of my control. Although I perceived myself as an extension of AUD’$, I should aim to create a more unique and distinct aesthetic to increase my social utility and set it apart from the website itself.

A lot of the successes in my project happens behind the scenes, with building my network and organising interviews and exclusive listens through Instagram DM’s and email. Another thing mentioned in my beta is that my work was going to potentially be monetised. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, this hasn’t happened yet as I decided to focus on my articles that gave me the opportunity to form useful relationships with industry people. I think my DA has a strong social utility, but I also feel as though it is too rigid. By having these casual interactions with my audience, I feel as though a new social utility arose as a valuable member to the community who can also offer exclusive content.

In the future, I’d like to diversify my Instagram feed, post more random tweets and prototype the Reels feature for short form visual content that I believe will be more eye-catching and better suited to the Attention economy (Kane, 2019).

Frank Tremain.


Rapping Up Our History: Briggs, Nooky & Kobie Dee

This week’s episode of Rapping Up Our History is a bit different to our previous ones. For the last episode, I wanted to give flowers to as many artists’ as possible, including Briggs, Nooky and Kobie Dee. These artists have been very vocal this year so we take a look at two of Nooky and Kobie Dee’s latest drops, as well an older cut from Briggs as A.B. Original.

Unlike episodes one and two, we’re able to look at three different approaches to providing social commentary through Hip-hop. Briggs directly tackles the issue of Australia Day on January 26 as part of the the A.B. Original duo with Trials. On 432-0, Nooky demands change in Australia and the injustice that occurs for Indigenous Australians while in police custody. Lastly, Kobie Dee delivers an uplifting anthem in his song Still Standing featuring Liyah Knight.

For me, I’m more likely to listen to Kobie Dee than any of the other artists as I think he’s one of the more unique artists right now. His storytelling and delivery is on another level and his social commentary extends further than Indigenous issues. Young adulthood, dealing with issues of masculinity and drugs – these are topics that I can resonate with and form a first hand connection. That does not retract from his other work or Nooky or Briggs’ work, however, it helps to build that initial relatability to which I can then be bridged into more specific issues of racism and injustice.

All three artists’ killed their respective tracks and are powerful commentators in today’s scene. Briggs has set the stage for a lot of artists and is still making impactful statements while Nooky is definitely your favourite rappers’ favourite rapper.

I’d love to hear what you thought of the each track and how you connected with it. This has been the last episode of Rapping Up Our History and I hope you’ve learnt something or at least left with a couple of new tracks for your playlists.

Frank Tremain.

Rapping Up Our History: Ziggy Ramo

This week’s episode of Rapping Up Our History is focused on Ziggy Ramo and his debut album, Black Thoughts. Though he released an EP under the same name in 2016, the Sydney-via-Arnhem Land rapper returns with a full-length project that challenges White Australia through passionate storytelling and confronting themes.

In Hip-hop as Social Commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam, Clark investigates the the genre as a tool for social commentary in Africa. He states, “In Ghana, many of the lyrics are reflections on society and the behavior of Ghanaians themselves. They are more social commentary than direct attacks on the political or economic system.”

What makes Hip-hop so powerful in Australia is that we’re able to speak on any issues that we like. While I can’t directly speak on Africa, Clark hints that it is much more dangerous to provide social commentary against political or economic systems. Whereas in Australia, Ziggy Ramo was able to perform and spread his message on a national scale through the ABC. I still feel as though there is controversy around forcing him to change what song he performed, but I understand the ABC’s argument and decision. That being said, the freedom that Australians have allow Hip-hop as a social commentary to touch on any issues and challenge anyone that they see fit and it is this idea that initially drew me to Hip-hop.

I’d love to hear what you thought of the album and how you connected with it. The next episode of Rapping Up Our History is going to be slightly different and will take a look at tracks from Kobie Dee, Briggs and Nooky.

Frank Tremain.

The Internet of Things in Music

For the last week of BCM206, we looked at the Internet of Things, describing the network of physical objects that are embedded with software, sensors and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data.

I wanted to tie this week’s topic in with a passionate interest of mine – the music industry. I began to research how IoT are beginning to influence the music industry and came across this article from Allerin. They refer to three ways in which IoT are playing a role in the music industry through remote performances, rhythmic vibrations and auto-tuned instruments.

This inspired my remediation for this week, where I ask when will the mouse replace our fingers? I wonder if Artificial Intelligence and IoT will be able to advance to a point where they will be able to create beats for artists based on the data of popular music at the time and the type of music the artist wants to create.

This may already be a thing, so let me know if you find anything! But it’s interesting to think if IoT will be able to create its own art based on algorithms and the sensors we give off based on our reactions. Whether this happens or not, I don’t think IoT will ever be able to create the same level of ambitious and imaginative artistry that musicians offer.

Frank Tremain.

Cyberspace in the 2020s

In this week’s lecture, Ted presented an interesting quote from Kaspersky on the future of cyberspace.

The full quote from Kaspersky reads: “I am afraid this is the beginning of a new world, the 90s were a decade of cyber-vandals, the 2000s were a decade of cyber criminals, I am afraid now it is a new era of cyber-wars and cyber-terrorism.”

With cyber-space still in its infancy, it’s progressed far beyond what many thought and will continue to do so. As Kaspersky hints to in his quote, I’m curious to find out the next era of cyberspace. Will there be one considering the one we are in now is coined the era of cyber-wars and cyber-terrorism? How will cyber-terrorism evolve as more of our lives and identities are shifted online?

While I really don’t have any answers, all I can bring to the conversation is this piece titled The Future of Cyber Conflict. With references to science fiction, philosophical readings and the policies of big hitters like USA, Russia and China, this was a really interesting read and brought forward some answers to what the future of cyber space could look like through the lens of warfare and conflict.

Frank Tremain.

Rapping Up Our History: JK-47

This week’s episode of Rapping Up Our History is focused on JK-47. Earlier this year, the Tweed Heads artist released his debut album, Made For This, showcasing his skilled lyricism and strong social message.

In Perspectives on the Evolution of Hip-hop Music (2015), Basham concludes that Hip-hop has undergone a change in the genres short lifespan and produce promising evidence that it has positive impacts for social issues. While I agree with Basham, that this change hasn’t cancelled out the other themes of Hip-hop, I think the impact that the music has had on social issues has grown exponentially and spread internationally (Basham, 2015).

JK-47 is not the first artist to shine a touch on the racial injustice incurred from Indigenous Australians, but he delivers a strong voice to the conversation and is able to do so across rich lo-fi and boom-bap centric instrumentals. Hip-hop in Australia has an even shorter lifespan than its American counterpart, but we’re already mirroring the strides they’ve made.

The album has a mix of high energy braggadocios and solemn introspection that sees JK-47 at his best. One of the key themes in Made For This is his struggle for identity. In Andrew Green’s The Ethnography of Hip-hop Nostalgia, Hip-hop in Mexico is analysed and attributed for preserving the Mexican identity (Green, 2017). While the history of Indigenous Australians is vastly different, I feel as though Hip-hop in Australia is helping Indigenous artists like JK to regain and redefine their identity.

I’d love to hear what you thought of the album and how you connected with it. The next episode of Rapping Up Our History will take a deep dive into Ziggy Ramo’s Black Thoughts.

Frank Tremain.

Anonymous Resistance

This week’s lecture explored the global network of hackers, whistleblowers and social activists.

Anonymous is an international activist/hactivist collective that is known for their cyber attacks on large corporations and government institutions. I’ve always known about Anonymous and could name you a handful of their operations, but this lecture invited me to investigate the group deeper.

The first thing I found was a documentary on their involvement in the Steubenville Rape Case. Anonymous rounded up information on the alleged gang rape and kidnapping of a 16-year-old female by two high-school football players. Being a big football focused town, there was a shady cover up of the situation and this attracted the eyes of Anonymous who hacked emails, recovered photos and videos, and essentially unravelled the entire attempted cover up.

This operation from Anonymous reminded me of their leaking of documents relating to Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump. While a person or group claimed to be part of Anonymous, nothing has officially happened as a result. I’m interested to see if they will play a part as the case continues to unfold with the flight logs demanding to be made available to the public. I think Anonymous are an interesting look at hacking and hacktivism and while they help a lot of social issues, I also understand, to some extent, that it could be perceived as cyber terrorism.

What do you think of Anonymous’ work? What do you think they will hack next?

Frank Tremain.

Digital Artefact Beta: AUD’$

My digital artefact consists of the journalism work I do for AUD’$, an Australian Hip-Hop website. This includes writing feature pieces, interviews with artists and reviews of newly released projects as well as the curating of music videos for their YouTube playlist.

Original Aim:

  • Build a strong journalism portfolio relating to the Australian Hip-hop scene.
  • Expand network with relevant artists, journalists, videographers, managers, publicists, etc.
  • Curate music videos every two-three days and produce an article every two weeks or so.

New Aim: Based on Feedback Loops

  • Continue consistently curating content and building a network and journalism portfolio.
  • Produce articles more frequently.
  • Make more casual use of Twitter and Instagram.
  • Begin to monetize digital artefact through new article offer.
  • Pay more attention to analytics to increase engagement.


Discussions in my tutorials have made me realise that some of my engagement with artists is ‘bot’ like, with generic emojis or comments on their posts. Moving forward, I want to start being more of a real voice within this network. I have already begun following a lot more relevant people to try and widen my reach and as you can see, I’ve set myself some analytic goals for the rest of the year.

A lot of the successes and progress that is made with my digital artefact often happens behind the scenes with emails, DM’s and early access to music and videos. While these interactions aren’t publicly accessible, they are building blocks to future articles and endeavours that will soon be shared. For October, I already have at least three articles prepared so I’m planning to finish my digital artefact with plenty of exclusive content and exciting news. This will also allow me to start implementing the information I’ve received from my feedback loops

Frank Tremain.

Walled Garden

This week in BCM206, we discussed the term ‘walled garden‘ and feudalism.

The walled garden is a concept I have been interested in since first learning about it in BCM112. The walled garden describes a closed ecosystem operated by a single party. A perfect example of this, is Apple and their iOS ecosystem.

In a cnet article, they detail how the walls of Apple’s walled garden is getting higher with iOS14. These walls are also beginning to impact reality, with virtual car keys being able to start your own car and you can share this with friends through iMessages. I wonder to what extent walled gardens will influence reality and how this will matter to the conversation of the internet being “free and open”.

Walled gardens serve companies and corporations while consumers are forced to adjust, or find cracks in the walls to slide through. A simpler version of a walled garden is how news outlets make their content subscriber based on a website. However, they will often upload the same article or news on a platform like Facebook where people can view it for free. Essentially, they’re competing against themselves and I think the walled garden in the news sense is how clickbait journalism really kicked off in a digital landscape.

Frank Tremain.

Ethnographic Digital Artefact Pitch

I will be researching Hip-Hop in Australia and its use of social commentary for Indigenous Australians. This is a subject I am extremely passionate about and will be beneficial to my portfolio as a music journalist.

In Winter and Lavis’ Looking, But Not Listening? Theorising the Practice and Ethics of Online Ethnography (2020), they believe listening allows researchers to account for how people are speaking online (Winter & Lavis, 2020). This is predominately how I will be carrying out my study, by observing the music on platforms like Spotify and YouTube, and the response to this music on social media such as FaceBook and Instagram.

As part of my auto-ethnographic study, I will be exploring how this particular type of music makes me feel and what I gain from it. My digital artefact will take place on my YouTube and on this blog where I will review albums from Indigenous artists that are tackling issues of social injustice. I think this research will help me and my audience better understand the experiences of Indigenous Australians and will measure how useful the medium of Hip-Hop is as a social commentary. Here are a few of the questions that I’m looking to discuss throughout my research:

  • How do people (fans or non-fans) react to this music?
  • What are the similarities or differences between each song/album and what impact does this have?
  • What do I learn from the music and how does it make me feel?
  • What is the future of this music in regards to social change and the genre of Hip-Hop in Australia?

I have researched this topic more broadly in other subjects and I am on track with my Gantt chart in identifying artists and albums. I have also already begun reading secondary research that has been insightful in how to ethically conduct my ethnographic research.

If you would like to keep up with my digital artefact, you can subscribe to my YouTube and my blog where I will be uploading a series of reviews.

Frank Tremain.