Interactivity Code Elements

So my portfolio of artistically visual  engaging pieces is starting to take shape however I want to take it to the next step. I want to put the user in the piece and I have chosen to do this in 2 different ways.

  • Using the webcam

Analysing peoples pictures was hot topic of discussion throughout the research process with people being openly admitting to judging other peoples pictures and then having to almost remind themselves that other people would be doing the same about them. By using a webcam plugin I aim to pull the live image of whoever is engaging with the piece and making them believe that their face is in a live social media image environment. By mocking up a page whereby a live feed of comments of what people are actually usually thinking when they see their image upload online, this will demonstrate not only what people are really thinking when they see pictures or upload pictures themselves, but to make to the viewer feel uncomfortable and to poke fun at the fact that they would not truly enjoy a life online quite so much if they really did feel as exposed in real life and not just through images and status posts.

The design aspect of incorporating a live webcam image is relatively easy to mock up, with the webcam image box imbedded in a page and then the surrounding image can be designed as a Facebook photo page.

  • Using live Twitter stream

This project is all about the blurring lines between social media online and off… so since Twitter has often been criticised for people just “shouting” about stuff one really cares about, I want to turn this on its head. I want Tweets to be read aloud as if they were being spoken. This will be representative of how people wouldn’t really behave on Twitter how they would in real life and again poke fun at the fact that we engage with social media at all. Since research has suggested that “hashtagging” is the ‘done thing’ and that people do it either because other people do or to be funny, the functionality of this interactive section will occur from people searching a word and then a tweet with a hashtag of that word will be read aloud. The functionality of this will be quite complex, especially if I want it to be live. It will require registering as a Twitter app developer and getting an API key.

Having openly admitted that code is not my strong point I have located help from Dominic White, a Ba (Hons) Computing final year student at Bournemouth University. By working with somebody outside of the course and building cross course collaborations I feel I have improved my communication skills and furthered my computer knowledge more generally. Dom has acted similar to that of a tutor which I feel has benefited my personal development more so than  a straight swap collaboration would have done because I have seen the code parts grow and form from the very beginning. By working through the coding aspects of both these interactive elements, I now have better under Twitter API’s, Jquery, Javascript and  how plugins work.


Breaking News #ConversationCrisis

My main focus is to get whoever interacts with this project to reflect upon their own usage, their own dependance and there own behaviour online. This is the first video I have created for the project and it aims to win the audiences attention straight away, and be believable.  I feel this little video in itself done this because it shows how our smart phones are glued to our hands, even when they really shouldn’t be – for example in the middle of a sports game?! This video aims to poke fun at the fact that were all more engaged with what is going on online than we are with each other and the space around us.

The video itself gave me the perfect opportunity to develop my personal skills in scriptwriting, storyboarding, videoing and editing, something I was a little out of practice with.


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I recruited the help of BA Multimedia Journalism final year student and good friend of mine, Jessica Long, to help out with the news feature. Playing the role of stern and serious news reader, Jess did a great job and was a great help in terms of bringing her journalism experience to the table, which enabled us to strengthen the script and ensure the feature was edited appropriately to fit the new feature format. Alongside my collaboration with Dom White from Computing, Jess is my second cross course collaborative partner. Again I feel this has really helped my personal development and extended my skills because instead of getting somebody else to do the work for me, I am learning from them and working with them and broadening my own skills. This is so important for someone who lacks solid direction in terms of a career path so I feel this was a good decision.

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Overall, I am happy with the final product of this mini vid. However, the quality didn’t export quite as good as I expected which is something I need to look at for future video pieces. The sound as well wasn’t as clear as it could have been – ideally I would have redone this however time constraints just wouldn’t allow for it at this time. By doing this shorter video, I was able to overcome aspects of the problem I had faced with the previous idea which had been creating a narrative that was strong and engaging.

The editing software I used was After Effects and then Premiere Pro. Both programmes I have had totally minimal experience with however I feel I got the hang of them both quite quickly. The exporting process of videos however I need to look into, particular with regards to what channel I use to upload them to a web site portfolio page because an large embedded file will be difficult and slow to load and YouTube has its own readjusting thing it does to videos? ….