Review of Media, Audience and Place

Tutors comments on my first blog:

“Take care with in text referencing… great use of memes/GIFs to break up the text and maintain the readers interest…. I like how you have approached this discussion, by introducing the theory, and then breaking it down into easy to understand concepts – this is really effective for readers outside of the university… excellent research and utilization of relevant academic research… Just a couple of small critiques: the post ends a little abruptly; one or two more sentences to conclude would be perfect; try to avoid contractions in academic writing (should not, not shouldn’t). Overall this is a great post that combines critical thinking on the key course concerns, with relevant research and is presented in an accessible way.

Your blog looks wonderful and immediately conveys a sense of you as a developing media professional. Clean and easy to navigate, well tagged for easy access to posts. I look forward to reading more!”

How I responded to the feedback:

First, I have to admit I was pretty happy with the feedback I received about my blog. I do put a lot of time and effort into making sure my posts are engaging, as well as well researched.

When writing my week five to nine posts, I made sure to double and triple check my referencing and put hyperlinks where needed – as well as linking to previous and relevant blogs I had written previously, for example, my media effects post written in first year BCM110.

I also continued to use gifs, memes and photos to break up my posts and keep them engaging and to add an element of humour.

I believe I continued to outline the theory or idea, and then elaborate with examples and easy to understand concepts. Each time I wrote a post, I made sure it would be accessible to someone who was outside the university and hadn’t done BCM240. This was important to me because, even when I have done a course, it frustrates me when I read posts say “as outlined in the lecture” because it doesn’t explain the subject content in the best way. This is true to all posts, excluding this one, for obvious reasons.

I also took more care to end my posts less abruptly, and round them up at the end, avoided using contractions, taking on Renee’s advice.

How I engaged with the subject content:

I found that, in the beginning of this subject, I did not quite understand the trajectory of the subject. But, going forward, as the weeks went on I started to understand how all of the topics relate to each other and how they relate to the larger media world.

I tried to find a personal example for each topic that I could. I found that not only did this help me to understand the subject matter on a deeper level, but it made for a more interesting post.

For example, looking at the experiment I created for Week 8 to test attention span and multi-device use gave me a greater understanding of what I wanted to do for my final project. I did not write a proposal in Week 7 because, to be completely honest, I was still confused about what the final assessment was about, and did not have any idea how to execute it.

Now, I believe I am going to take my Week 8 experiment and refine it to look at how media use is affecting movie watching experience, both in the home where there is an abundance of screens and devices and in the cinema, where people are paying for a service and an experience. I will need to conduct more research into this area in order to effectively research this topic and effectively present this online.

Reader engagement strategy:

I will admit that in this area of the assessment, I did not apply myself effectively or do this in the best way.

Analysing what I did well:

I used tags on all of my posts. I did not just include the BCM240 hashtag, but also tags relevance to the post in order to get traffic to my site. I work for an online blog, and as part of my job I have to work with SEO in order to get our posts to appear high up in Google and in other search engines, so I know how important metadata and tags can be in achieving this.

I made sure to hyperlink to other sites, but also to hyperlink to my own site to encourage readers to stay on my page and continue reading my posts.

Analysing what I didn’t do well:

Engaging with my audience was an afterthought. I put a lot of effort into making sure my posts would be entertaining to readers without putting in the time to ensure that readers would make their way to my blog. While I did promote my posts on Twitter, it was also an afterthought.

Looking at my blog statistics, though, was quite positive.

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-9-48-29-pm
Blog views for 2016

Highlighted in red are the blog posts for this subject. It is looking at these that I really see the benefits in using audience engagement, because ‘Me, Myself and Media Space‘ and ‘Ethnography, Anthropology and Other Academic Sounding Words‘ were both sent out as tweets, and obviously they paid off.

There might have been more people reading my posts than I can calculate, though, because my home page has all of my posts on it in their entirety, and so there is a good chance people did read my posts, but just didn’t click on each individual one.

I acknowledge that by not engaging with my audience in a subject about audiences will have a negative effect on my overall mark.

Reflection:

Overall, I feel like I understand the content of this subject, and I hope that I communicated that well through my blog. My main reflection would be to have realised that audience engagement was extremely worthwhile, especially for this assessment and subject, and I wish I had put more effort into this area.

I would have done this by Tweeting my posts regularly, and I would have commented on other students blogs to engage with them and encourage them to view my posts.  I would also add an open-ended question to the ends of each post to encourage readers to respond to the posts. Things like

  • What are your views on internet piracy?
  • Are you a multi-device user, even when you should be focusing on one thing?
  • What is your opinion about street photography? Should there be laws restricting it?
  • Have you ever had a negative theatre or cinema experience?

I believe if I had done all of these things, I would have no just understood the subjects content on an academic level, but would have more practice in applying what I had learned.

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