AOM – Individual Project #1

For the second part of my AOM module this year, I need to create an indvidual project. The brief for this is so wide though that I have really struggled in nailing down a specific idea and even though I have now decided on a specific platform for my project, the idea itself is still a bit vague.

We could have created anything on this project from an audio slideshow, set of podcasts, or we could have quite simply created a blog project, however, I felt that I needed to do something different. I always try and focus my work around blogs and things that I’m familiar with, but this project is different. I’ve decided to delve into the world of Storify.

Storify is a site where you can ‘create social stories’. In doing this, you can search for a subject matter, topic or person on their ‘storypad’ and compile tweets from anyone around the world, Facebook updates from anyone, and even updates on sites such as YouTube, Flickr and Instagram.

Although I don’t have a definitive story that I am going to Storify yet, I have decided to have a play about on the site. Over this weekend and the beginning of next week I will be tracking the updates that relate to Sport Relief as it is taking place this weekend. I will try to include updates from ‘normal’ people, as well as the celebrities that are getting involved to help raise money for comic relief.

Wish me luck!

Evaluation: Group Blog

For our group blog project, Sarah came up with the idea of a video review blog, in which we would take all the ‘best content’ off the big video hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo, and discuss them. Each person in the group was interested in different things so it didn’t take us long to decide what each of our ‘Hot Topics’ were and what, individually we were going to focus on. As much as I’d love to say I was totally down with the idea of  a video review thing in the beginning, I wasn’t, but I knew it did have potential, and we managed to shape the idea into something really interesting I think.

We decided to call ourselves ‘VidPick’. We thought it was catchy and was very literal, telling our readers exactly what we did in the name. Instead of being a plain old ‘reviewing’ service which has of course been done before, we each decided to relate our videos to an issue, in order to make the writing a bit more interesting than just stating ‘I like this video,’ on every one we posted.

My category was music which suited me perfectly. I came up with numerous ideas for my features but the ones I used in the end worked really well. I did three long posts: The Midnight Beast, Artist License and The Lonely Island, and then wrote reviews of my Top 5 Music Videos over five days. The other thing that we decided to do was make our Own Content one a week, which meant that we had to either make fools of ourselves or do something interesting on camera for our viewers. If you haven’t already, I would urge you to go and watch them. Some were hilarious!

We didn’t have any trouble working together for the most part in the blog. We each had our separate roles, but we all took on the responsibility of reading and editing each others work, just  to look out for simple errors which helped us all. We had a production schedule which most of us stuck too, but when somebody couldn’t post for one reason or another, we discussed it, and worked together to shift what was posted so something new was on the blog every day. We disagreed a little bit about the layout of the blog because each of us all had different ideas on what design features would make it stand out. I liked the minimalist approach, meaning the blog was clean and tidy and somewhere that, to me, looked inviting, whereas some people liked the idea of more widgets on the side bars. We compromised in the end and worked together to get the final layout just right.

Pages were set up on Facebook and Twitter for VidPick and some of us also set up the ‘publicize’ feature so that when we posted on the blog, followers and friends on the social networking sites were updated and directed to the site.

VidPick was such a success that we’ve decided to keep going with it, not to a tight schedule or restricted categories, but with a free reign so we can post whatever we want, when we want.