UOWCreative Project Report – BCM325

 

This blog post was written as part of BCM 325 – Future Cultures, as studied as part of my Digital & Social Media major at the University of Wollongong.


Overview

Over the last several months I have been working with the University of Wollongong’s Law, Humanities and Arts (LHA) Faculty’s marketing team, alongside several other students, to run the official LHA Marketing owned UOWCreative TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram channels. Some more information on this project can be found in my earlier project pitch and project beta blog posts.Read More »

Providing Project Report Feedback & an Evaluation – BCM325

This blog post was written as part of BCM 325 – Future Cultures, as studied as part of my Digital & Social Media major at the University of Wollongong.


Context for those who might not be studying BCM325, we are each undertaking a project with a central focus on “the future”. We have now provided a progress report on these projects (here is mine), and are now providing feedback on three other student’s reports, and evaluating that feedback.


Project One: The Future of Care Work

Short Summary:

Alana is creating a short series of podcasts and a website to embed in the podcasts alongside their transcripts. Her project is focusing on how the care work industry may shift and change with developments in technology. You can find Alana’s progress report here.

My Feedback:

Hi Alana! Your DA sounds interesting and it’s a really important topic! It’s great to hear that you’ve got your website design together and based on your timeline you were planning on uploading your first podcast episode! I’d have loved if you’d shared a link to the website so I could check out what you’ve got so far so I could provide better feedback!

It’s a shame that you haven’t received much feedback on your project. I’m not sure how much you’re interested in exploring what opinions and predictions current aged care workers have for the future of the field, but maybe you’ll be able to get something if you reach out directly to someone in the field? I’m sure they could have some very valuable insights. Although considering the current health emergency they may not have the time to respond before the end of semester…

I’ve found two articles written by aged care workers which include some mentions of how technology might effect the industry, such as using VR technology to help delay the onset of dementia, or having administrative duties be completed more quickly and efficiently by AI so that there’s more time to help patients meet their social needs. I’ll link the articles below, and I hope you find something useful in them!

https://www.agedcareguide.com.au/talking-aged-care/innovative-technology-hits-aged-care-head-on
https://signpostlms.com.au/the-changing-face-of-australian-aged-care-in-2019-and-beyond/


Project Two: The Future of Surveillance

Short Summary:

Mikayla is developing a series of videos exploring the current state of surveillance, and what surveillance may be like in the future. You can find Mikayla’s progress report here.

My Feedback:

Hi Mikayla! I’m really liking what you’ve done with your project so far! Your videos are fantastic in terms of their information, and the production levels are pretty good! You’ve clearly put a lot of research and thought into your videos, both in terms of surveillance itself and in futurist thinking! One thing I think that could help improve your project even more, would be to include some of your sources in your videos (or at least in your video descriptions) to increase the credibility of your videos and so viewers can read more on the topic if they want to.

In terms of the impact the pandemic and the COVIDSafe app might have on surveillance in Australia, I’ve seen a LOT of skepticism and wariness around security and privacy concerns around the app, so increased surveillance does seem to be a concern for the population. Evidently, there a lot of cases where the app just doesn’t work as it’s supposed to, such as not working on older phone models, or not working correctly on iPhones (links below). Apple and Google have been working on their own contact-tracing technology, and have received inquiries from various countries’ authorities looking to use their tech. Make of that what you will, but to me this might be an indication of surveillance becoming less government run and more corporate run in the future, which I find quit unsettling. You might be able to make some commentary on this in your third video?
Hope you’ve found something useful in my feedback!

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/may/15/covid-safe-app-australia-how-download-does-it-work-australian-government-covidsafe-covid19-tracking-downloads
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-26/coronavirus-tracing-app-covidsafe-apple-iphone-covid-19/12187448
https://venturebeat.com/2020/05/21/23-countries-seek-access-to-apple-and-googles-contact-tracing-technology/


Project Three: A Cybernetic Church

Short Summary:

With the risks surrounding social gatherings in the time of COVID-19, Ethan is working with his church to digitize and livestream through the duration of the pandemic and beyond, in order to make its services more accessible and maintain its community when there are difficulties in physical attendance. You can find Ethan’s progress report here.

Hi Ethan! This seems like such a cool project and I’m glad it’s going well! With the way you’ve kept track of and analysed engagement from your viewers you seem to have a good idea of what you’re doing!

With the loosening of restrictions on social gatherings lately, it’s possible your church could decide to reopen in-person gatherings soon-ish. You seem to be intending to maintain the live sessions after the pandemic, so I’m wondering how the online gatherings might change when the in-person ones restart? It’s easy for an in-person community to feel connected and engaged with each other and reasonably easy for an online community to connect with each other, but it’s not always easy to have the separate groups connect with each other. I’ve found that digital live-viewers tend to be a bit neglected when they’re tuning into an otherwise mostly in-person gathering, so you might need to keep that in mind and figure out a way to keep everyone connected.

I’m not 100% sure how your church operates and how much will be relevant to you, but below I’m linking you to an article on some of the changes churches might see post-coronavirus such as smaller gatherings, and some potential changes to some traditions where one church goer might give a handshake or a hug. I don’t know how many of these changes will eventuate, but it might be a good idea to keep them in mind.

https://www.christianpost.com/voices/what-will-the-post-coronavirus-church-look-like.html


Feedback Evaluation and Reflection

As with the feedback I provided on several fellow students project pitches, I am once again realizing the importance of communicating the specifics of your work when looking to receive feedback, and I am left a bit nervous in the effectiveness and suitability of my feedback.

For example, I’m reasonably confident in the quality of feedback I was able to provide Mikayla for her surveillance focused project, as she was very clear in the communication of her project and was able to share the work she had completed thus far. In knowing the specific focus on surveillance in Australia and how the pandemic may influence surveillance, I was able to provide her with specific sources and examples regarding contact tracing apps, which is directly relevant to her project.

Conversely, I’m less confident in the relevance of my feedback to Alana’s care work project. I wasn’t able to access a prototype or access the work she had completed so far, which somewhat limits my understanding of her project. However, since she had communicated an issue with receiving feedback or having questions on the topic answered, I did offer some advice which I hope would help lessen her frustrations in this area. But in case my suggestion ultimately doesn’t increase the feedback she receives, I also provided two sources written by those in the care work field which she may find helpful.

Ethan’s project regarding moving church gathering online on the other hand, is one that I understand the specifics off it quite readily, but struggle to connect with due to unfamiliarity with organized religion. Of course, I did conduct some research to uncover some difficulties his church might face in the future due to this pandemic and was sure to share these with him. I, personally, am not able to provide feedback specifically suited for church gatherings, but I was able to provide some more generally applicable feedback regarding the challenges of maintaining a community split across digital and physical spaces, once in-person services resume.

Overall, I’m a bit happier with the quality of feedback I was able to provide for these progress reports than I was able to provide for project pitches earlier in the semester. Hopefully, my fellow students will have found something useful in my feedback which they can use to make their projects even better than they already are.


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Image proof of the feedback comments, just in the event that they are not accessible in the future for any reason.

Progress Report – Making a DnD Setting

Constructing an entire fictional world is difficult. Constructing an entire fictional world to fit a set of mechanics to allow it to be used in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, is doubly difficult.

As outlined in a previous blog post, I am creating a fictional world setting by combining elements of Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell’s fantasy series The Edge Chronicles with your typical fantasy setting, in which I will be DMing a DnD campaign for a group of friends. Over the last several weeks I have been looking in to the creatures, society, locations, and general world of The Edge, and have pulled out a number of loose threads of ideas, but it will be some time before I am able to weave these together into a functional tapestry of a world. Nonetheless, here is a progress report.Read More »

Conductor Chaos – contribution to making a card game

This blog post was written as part of BCM 300 – Game Experience Design, as studied as part of my Digital & Social Media major at the University of Wollongong.


Welcome to the cutthroat world of orchestra conducting! The conductor for an upcoming performance at a prestigious theatre has fallen sick and they need a replacement to lead the orchestra! You’re an upcoming conductor and you really need to land this gig, but to get it you’ll need to convince seven of the orchestra members to vouch for you. Unfortunately, there’s competition…

Read More »

UOW Creative Internship – Project Beta

This blog post was written as part of BCM 325 – Future Cultures, as studied as part of my Digital & Social Media major at the University of Wollongong.


As mentioned in my Project Pitch I have been working with the Laws, Humanities and Arts faculty’s marketing team for the University of Wollongong as a sort of intern and helping to manage and run UOW Creative’s social media channels. This is an update on that project. A transcript for the video is available at the end of this post.


As mentioned, I have moved between working as a moderator, content creator, and analyst for UOW Creative’s TikTok channel. Since TikTok is a relatively new digital platform that has risen to immense success outside of China in only the last year or so, there is currently no marketing industry standard accepted analytics tool to help content creators determine how to maximize audience engagement and reach. Instead, we are left to look what limited data is easily available through the app and try to work from there. If I am to (potentially) work in the field, making these connections myself will be invaluable as there are sure to be more new platforms in the future.

Social media platforms have been known to change their algorithms frequently, sometimes without informing users and sometimes causing drastic changes to the reach and engagement of content creators’ posts. Therefore, being able to see changes in patterns of behaviours and adapting one’s approach to better suit the altered algorithm. Therefore, the ability to make connections while analysing engagement with content on social media is both useful for working with new platforms, and useful for working with current and updating platforms.

Of course, seeing patterns and making connections while making analyses is a valuable skill in any field and this project has helped me develop this skill, allowing it to help me prepare myself for potential future careers.

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Video Transcript

For my BCM325 DA I’ve been working with LHA Marketing and some other students to manage UOWCreative’s official Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok accounts to help promote the university and faculty. I’ve been assigned to the TikTok team and have moved between the roles of moderator, content creator, and analyst.

When we took over the UOWCreative TikTok account in mid-March it was still super new and only had 2 posts, with 22 followers, and a total of 17 likes. Now less than two months later it’s sitting at 81 followers, 47 posts, and 1501 likes. So we’ve seen an increase of 59 followers, 45 posts, and 1484 likes.

We’ve been making content by observing trending tags and trending music on TikTok and using them in our own posts, creating content that is relevant or relatable to university students, and then looking at what did and didn’t work with those posts to help guide how we went about future posts.

One of the pieces of feedback I got on the pitch for this DA was to look into reposting the TikToks of other students. This is something that we’ve definitely been doing, but there’s definitely been problems. We can’t always tell who on TikTok is from UOW and who is not, and we want to keep our reposts focusing on people actually from the uni. Not every student post is relevant or appropriate for our uses so our pool to draw from is even smaller. So far we’ve mostly been reposting things from students that we’re able to recognise through BCM Twitter.

UOWCreative is still super new on TikTok but we’ve been trying to foster a UOW community on there with the help of the Twitter team who’ve been promoting us on their channel. We’ve been seeing some small results on this but there’s a lot of room for growth, and most reposts are coming from the same few students’ accounts. We’ve also found that the algorithm on TikTok doesn’t seem to favor reposts very highly and they tend to have very low reach, but we’re determined to keep sharing student work between our other posts.

This student led social media program that LHA Marketing is running is incredibly new, and there was a lot of staff in the university who were extremely hesitant about handing the reigns to students. But, we’ve been very successful and the powers-that-be are very happy with our results, so the program has been green-lit to continue through the break and into next semester for any students interested in signing up for it. So we’ve helped initiate a program that future BCM students will hopefully find super helpful in the years to come.

On a personal level I was interested in the program to gain experience for potential employment in the field, and I definitely think this DA has been good for that. We’ve been making weekly reports and discussing with LHA Marketing and the other teams to try to figure out how to maximize engagement and trying to work out and take advantage of the still newish TikTok algorithm. This would be a super useful skill when working with emerging platforms and changing algorithms while working in the industry.

The team rosters will be shuffled around soonish, and I believe I will be moving on to a new channel, so we’ll find out how much of what I’ve learnt so far will be applicable across platforms.