Crowdfunding to Alleviate Poverty: Kiva – Podcast


The above podcast talks to the subject of democratising crowdfunding and in particular I talk about microfinancing and an organisation called I describe the background of microfinancing and then how Kiva fits into this field. I discuss the Kiva process and how it works for me. I describe how Kiva has been criticised for its practices, but that ultimately, they exist for good and how it fits in with the alleviation of poverty.

I have personal experience of using Kiva, over a number of years so am able to talk about my own practice, however I did not know they background to Microfinancing, so used the Deakin Library to access firstly a journal article on Kiva and their story, which led me to the book by the inventor of microfinancing, I paraphrased a short section from the journal on history of microfinancing. I have also used information gathered from the website on how the process works.

My own information within the podcast is from my reflections from many uses of the Kiva service to provide loans and how it makes me feel to do so. I have used a small music file at the start and end of the podcast behind my voice to lead in gently and fade. This was downloaded and licensed from a royalty free website. I am hoping that this content is acceptable, I did briefly read the terms of the license and as far as I could see as long as I credited the website I could use the file. The website did allude to the files being creative commons, but I can’t be sure of this. I think the style of music is appropriate for the podcast content and does not detract or interfere with the voice.

There are several challenges in this exercise. Firstly, narrowing down the subject matter to a single example and one I have knowledge of so can speak to it truthfully and with authority. Secondly, obtaining appropriate reference material from the Deakin Library which backs up my thesis. Thirdly, and the hardest one for me was working out how to use Audacity, which was a new program for me. I made several mistakes and had to start again, but my trial and error process got me there in the end. I used my phone to record my voice and found it quite easy using the inbuilt voice memo app, the file transferred to Audacity easily. The next step was to upload this content to SoundCloud, another first for me. The embed within my blog worked well from the instructions provided by the unit chair. The process of creation to edit to publish is not a short one but provides a good insight into how it is done. I know this podcast is not as polished as I have heard others, but for my first try I am happy.


 Asgary,N & McNulty, R 2017, ‘Contributions and challenges on the struggle to end poverty: the case of kiva, Information Technology for Development, Vol 23, Issue 2017-2, pp. 367-387, <;

Yunus, M 2007, Banker to the poor: micro-lending and the battle against poverty, PublicAffairs, New York

Kiva, 2018, About us, Kiva, retrieved 25 May 2018, <;

Music Licensed from:

Image: belongs to me.

Crowdfunding to Alleviate Poverty: Kiva – Podcast

Low Heart Rate Training: Update

Back at the end of February I decided to give Low Heart Rate training a go, as the basis of my run training. So I thought I might give a small update on how it is going…in one word…Good.

I have consistently stuck to the regime using 129bpm as my target maximum heart rate and chose five different routes on a rotation, and a training time of 12 minutes warm up, 30 minutes run, 12 minute cool down. Below is an example of one of these and you can see the positive progression in both in distance achieved and average pace.

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 7.09.34 pm

The tiny increase in average heart rate I put down to getting used to the measuring system and alarms on my watch, but all are very much below the maximum chosen.

So how is this impacting my normal running and where to from here. Every week I attend parkrun, a 5k timed event. I don’t consistently attend the same parkrun event but I think we can see a consistent improvement in times here also. During these fast runs I try to keep my heart rate as close as possible to 166bpm which is the bottom of my ‘Red Zone’, for the last 500metres or so of each run I do not monitor the heart rate and just go for it, so the final heart rate is higher. What I can say though is that I am able to extend my pace during this last stretch, instead of dying like I used to. Here are the stats.

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 7.27.22 pm

Having just completed my first 10k race at the weekend at a pace I am happy with, I can  now feel a lot more confident that I will be able to complete my first half marathon later in the year, especially while keeping to my training regime. But more importantly I am running happy.


Low Heart Rate Training: Update

Online Identity : Selective Image Authenticity

I use five different profiles on Instagram, they are all a part of me or representative of me, as I alone have creative control over the content. Each profile fulfils a different need for me and attracts a different audience, with some crossover. Each profile also displays a different part of my offline persona. What am I attempting to do with these profiles and what does it say about my online persona?

First I will outline the different profiles:

Photo 23-4-18, 4 10 34 pm
Screenshot from Instagram taken 23 April 2018.

@light_gary is what I call my personal account. It is the one where I post my everyday pictures. The target audience is my friends and colleagues.

@lightaustralis is used to display my landscape and travel photography. The target audience is other photographers and those who may enjoy well taken photographs or indeed those with an interest in travel.

@city_code contains photographs relating to street and more fine art subjects or abstract photography. As with all my profiles, I identify the target audience with the use of appropriate hashtags.

@stations_on_sunday is a further photography account with a very niche audience of train and transport lovers.

The last account @straightup341 is being used to accumulate images for a future art project, but in the meantime I thought I would publish the images to see what audience it would attract; it is drawing those dreaded “get more followers” accounts out of the woodwork.

Each one of these gives away a small part of my actual persona, through the choice of images, the descriptions I use for them and the hashtags I select to attract the audience. Collectively though these accounts can be described as autobiographical and a narrative from parts of my offline life. Each can be seen as a constructed and curated part of me. The audience, including most of those acquainted with me personally, may be part of an elaborate fictional construction of my life through these images or they may be witness to real events as represented. They will never know, but continue to follow, like and comment on images. Most I suspect with an understanding that I am being truthful and honest in my representation of my offline self through my online profiles.

As this is a curated set of images across my profiles, the whole can be seen or presented as a performance, a play for the audience to enjoy, critique and choose to interact.

Sunrise and we are alone!

A post shared by Gary Light (@lightaustralis) on

Let’s use this image as an example. Used on my landscape and photography profile, I have presented an image of Chichén-Itzá in Mexico and stated that it was taken on 14 January at sunrise and that ‘we’ are alone. It was liked by eighty-two people, some of these are personal friends, some are colleagues, some I follow on Instagram and others are strangers. But all, apart from one person, who did not like the post, do not know for sure if we actually visited this site, or if I am making up the story, stolen the image from elsewhere or if it was taken by me. However, most if not all, I suspect take if as gospel that this is a true representation of an actual event. It would be interesting to find out why the ‘likers’ of the image did so, was it for the quality of the image, the subject matter or that it is a part of my story and so an acknowledgment of such. This post is backed up liked many of my Instagram posts by a link within Twitter, but this in itself does not make it any more real an event.

Another part of this particular example is my decision to post the image on my photography profile rather than my personal profile. Both profiles represent a part of me, but in this instance I had decided that the quality of the image and the site was the important factor and not its importance as a part of my personal story. Friends however, would not make this distinction and treat the image as just another part of my story as a whole.

Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson in Virtually Me: A toolbox about online presentation have a very good commentary on the subject of authenticity:

‘If authenticity can be ‘manufactured’, if it is an effect of features of self performance, then credibility, veracity and sincerity acquire a slipperiness that can prompt suspicious readings. And indeed users themselves often read sites with a skeptical eye, assessing the presenters’ degree of sincerity or speculating about whether he or she is posing as a false identity.’ Smith, Watson (2013, P. 75)

Without subsequent and preceding Instagram posts and other social media platforms backing up this story it could very easily be falsified. I would suspect this happens a lot in this age of saturated social media, where many want their fifteen minutes of fame and are often afforded them.


Poletti, A, Rak, J (eds) 2013, Identity technologies: constructing the self online, University of Winsconsin Press, retrieved 23 April 2018, Ebook Library database.





Online Identity : Selective Image Authenticity

28 Weeks Later

28 weeks later…I hope to have completed my first half marathon. Not to mention my first 10K, my first 15km and all kms in between.

28 weeks later will see this current plan completed and probably a new open in place for the next challenge.

So tomorrow is day one of the 28 week plan. The planned 11km Low Heart Rate ‘long’ run is slightly daunting as I sit here now, having just completed a fast parkrun in Bright (in fact my second fastest 5km ever), followed by a dash back to Melbourne for a 6.5km trail run at Westerfolds Park that afternoon, and this morning a parkrun trial at Ocean Grove. The legs are feeling it for sure. This is not normal and will settle down again.

If you are interested, this is the plan.

Screen Shot 2018-04-15 at 3.52.31 pm

Download: barossa-half-marathon-2018_runplan

Bright parkrun, so beautiful in Autumn

Happy running.


28 Weeks Later

Back to Study

The final year of my degree has begun and I  find myself doing three very different units. As part of my degree there is the opportunity to take units outside of my major, so this trimester I have chose, a visual arts unit called Materialising The Image: Visual Art and Photography since 1989 (#ACV207). A mostly theory based unit showing how art represents recent political and world events. The second unit is Making Social Media (#ALM101), a Communications unit that is pretty self explanatory: talking about social media while using social media. Then the third unit is a bit left field, People & Place: An Introduction to Human Geography (#AIG103).

I will be using this blog to write about some or all of these subjects in the coming weeks. I will use the hashtags that relate to the units so you can either read with interest or avoid like the plague.

I am continuing to share images from our recent trip to the US, on my Instagram page.


Have a good day.

Back to Study

My Beating Heart

This week I started Low Heart Rate training. A number of running companions are doing this and I wanted to find out more about it and if it would be good for me. I am a beginner runner, having only taken it up just over a year ago. I have gone through the stage of beginner improvements in times and pace and feel I have now hit the limit of my current natural ability without targeted training. After doing much reading, it all comes down to my aerobic ability, or lack thereof. It all makes sense.

The purchase of a watch capable of monitoring my heart rate was also a change in my running this week, finding the best apps for this (more later) and also my love of statistics will help me to closely monitor my progress.

Two runs completed so far, and like others have said, the slow down in the pace is dramatic, with many walk breaks to keep as much as possible below my calculated Maximum Heart Rate of 129bpm. The idea for me is to train for a fixed time period and monitor the pace and distance improvements. My training time now is 12 minutes warmup, 30 minutes LHR run, 12 minutes cool down. The time might change later down the track when I reach a distance plateau.

I know I have to be patient with this training method and it may seem as if I am going back to the start or feeling like I am not training at all, but I am told the benefits will soon become clear even after a few weeks. Already after two runs I have noticed there is almost no recovery time, I feel ready to run the next day, but am being strong willed and will keep my every other day training going. So running on Monday, Wednesday & Friday (and then parkrun on Saturday).

I plan to have a number of specific running routes to follow so they can be repeated and compared in my stats. Maybe 5 or 6 will make sure I am not bored with the same old running route. Ok enough for now, I will come back with more next week.


A shot from my favourite place to run, the You Yangs with an overlay from my new running app (more later).

Have a good day.


My Beating Heart

Project Lego: Update 1

The Lego kits from my wife’s school arrived home today and it quickly became apparent that this will be no small task.

These are the kits I need to assess, deconstruct, inventory & rebuild (or sort & store ready for rebuild by the students)

Lego Robotics Education Mindstorms EV3

Lego Robotics Education Mindstorms EV3 Expansion Set

First Lego League Hydro Dynamics Field sets

First Lego League Animal Allies Field sets

There are many thousands of individual pieces and tomorrow I will start. While it is daunting I will enjoy doing this.


Good night


Project Lego: Update 1