Overall I think the idea has a whole has a lot of scope. The blurring of online and offline worlds is something that can be visualised and interpreted in many different ways, and although I feel as if I did not necessarily do the best job if displaying it, I feel that had I been given the opportunity to take on this idea and develop another project, I have the research, the technical knowledge and the experience to do it much better. Instead of getting too hung up on making a “product” I needed to relax more and let the product grow organically because this piece is a one time watch entertainment piece that aims to just leave a lasting impression on the subject in hand as opposed to a game you continue to play. For future projects I would have more video, more imagery, more sounds and more interactivity. I would have them all overlapping each other and still use the idea of 3D click through as opposed to linear structure, just because I feel that conceptually this has such strong representation values. I would involve more interactivity by making it more live. For example I would have loved to have a live google map, where you could click anywhere on the map and all the Instagram images with the hash tag of that place would pop up, or all the youtube video that have been filmed in that location would or all the tweets that had been geotagged would pop up….. This is all down to my lack of coding knowledge and I now wish I had found a collaborator sooner to help me out with it sooner because it is definitely possible had we had more time and had other people not been too overwhelmed with their own work load. Although I have said throughout that there needed to be a control element that would almost spell out the point to users, if I did this again I feel that more content and more craziness and more confusion would mean it would not require explanation and the creative brilliance would evolve into something great all by itself – because lets be honest sometimes things just don’t have to make sense, especially in an abstract creative perspective.
This project has been a definitely been on quite a journey. From the initial idea of the transmedia narrative carried out across different forms of social media to now being more of an abstraction/visualisation type piece. From my fine art background, I have always felt most comfortable with working with creative art, however I find it a massive struggle to overlap fine art and digital art due to my lack of confidence with the technical side of things. I feel that my technical skill never quite does my creativity justice. I am aware that this is why we have the option to collaborate, so they we can utilise other peoples skill sets, however I feel that from my own personal perspective I wanted to challenge myself and force myself to improve in terms of my coding and technical ability which this project has allowed me to do. Additionally I feel that I put too much emphasis on this graduate project being a “thing”, a “product” that had to have a point to it, i.e. something that had a start and an end or was more of a sellable package like a game for example. From the very beginning I wanted to create something people would interact with and appreciate without it being just “another app” or “another website” . I have always had an interest in media audiences and the sociology/psychology surrounding why people engage with it, and this was extended further with my dissertation research which was about audience who watch TV and use Twitter simultaneously. Instead of using what I knew about social network to create one, I wanted to make something that looked at it from another angle and since social media has been such a phenomenon in the last 10 or so years so I felt this would have plenty of scope. This idea had come from ongoing observation of people. From being in uni and using social media to communicate with course colleagues and sports teams, to working in a busy restaurant and over hearing people discussing what they had seen on social media over dinner. It fascinated me how much it came up in conversation. This is where I decided to put my observation to good use. Until now the observations I had been making were relatively “indirect” (Wilson 2002). I think this fascination came from my own personal usage of social media. Yes it is something I have and use, but I regularly question my own usage and test my own dependance on it. I enjoy going on holiday and not taking a phone, and I sort of judge myself for using it if I am say, away on holiday. Social media used to be about sharing things, but the accessibility of the internet and the popularity of internet devices has meant that we can share as and when we like, absolutely anywhere with signal, which lets be honest is everywhere. The question I always ask is that if people are having a good time and what not, then surely they can’t be having that good of a time if they willing to stop to post something online? Its not like before where you would come home and take time and effort to sit at a proper computer attached to the online world with an ethernet cable.
What was interesting is that once you start taking notice of something, how much you see it, but then when I questioned people, most commonly, they were always quite quick to deny how much they actually engage in social media. This made me question how any research that I carried out might be difficult because people wouldn’t be truthful. If I was to question people directly “this would assume that they have an ability to recall earlier behaviour accurately- which may not always be true” (Wilson 2002). This is why the research process needed to be thorough however, it needed a different structure to normal because by asking to them to “make self observation” (Wilson 2002), their answers would be likely to change. Having made this observation, I feel the application of Wilson’s (2002) social research methods was the best suited.
When studying something so large scale and broad as social media I feel this was a good decision, especially when wanting to create something artistic which isn’t really that artistic – it needed to be broad. By using focus groups, interviews, questionnaires and general indirect/direct observations in a less formal environment I feel that this gave me a solid overview of the subject without overkilling it and still allowing for creative flair.
Project Draft Title – Interactive Video/Online Experience
My research and inspiration was drawn from…
- The Wilderness Downtown – An interactive music video for Arcade Fire’s – “We used to wait”, which engages the viewer with their inner child and uses the words in the song to get an emotive response from thinking back to past memories of home and childhood
- Take This Lollipop – a real representation of the online “Facebook stalker”. Uses the viewers personal information incorporated into a well filmed video whereby the viewer is led to believe that this crazy person is stalking them. This Artificial Reality Game online is particularly clever in how it is coded to give the viewer a unique and individual experience.
Has led to my idea which is…
- To create an interactive video, engaging with the viewer through incorporating their personal information to make every viewers experience unique
- To demonstrate something to gain an emotional response – perhaps to:
- emphasise our increasing dependence on social media
- Show our “online identity” as if it were an alter ego coming to life and talking back to them
- To engage with Social media users and bring their fears to life – what happened if they were hacked? Or got caught ‘stalking’ some one inappropriate?
- Some how demonstrate how protective we are of the online persona we create
My target user group would be…
- Students ages 16-24
- Students will watch anything to waste time and not do any work
- Most active user group
- Spend a lot of time on social media
- This age category has grown up with social media – they have the strongest dependence on it
The way I am going to engage my user group during development is…
- Discussion groups about why they engage with social media
- Reading articles and blog posts about the power of social media
Sound is important in my project because…
- Music used in the video will be important to gain the correct emotional response, to create the mise-en-scene and to connect with the viewer. If there are lyrics in a song used, what are they saying and how is it relevant?
The main risks I see are…
- Purpose. Apart from being a short interactive video there is no real content? (Connected to a website?)
- Would people “get it”
- Platform – would it run from a mobile or only be available from a computer
- Could it be spread using Twitter/YouTube/Vimeo, or just Facebook because it needs the personal details?
The skills I have are…
- Creating/launching a campaign – generating a buzz
- Media Theory – interested in the sociological and psychological issue regarding the growing dependence on social media
The skills I will have to develop further during the project are…
- HTML and CSS to create a website to full fill the needs
- Facebook App – intergrating the viewers personal information to give a more responsive experience?
- Intergration of Google Maps, Street View – allowing the user to have a personalised experience (putting in their home address or place of interest)
The skills/jobs I will need to bring in are…
- Coding help to get everything to run together
- Script Writer?
My target for next week is…
- Constructing Narratives (multiple endings to a fixed narrative, single fixed narrative)
- Why will people engage?
- How to take the viewer on a journey