Artefact 1 – video

That’s my artefact (above) – look at how boring it is. It’s OK to agree, I made it boring.

Here is someone else’s (above) from a few months ago.  It has less than 100 views which is kind of surprising considering the style they have used.  I also found this video, which is a few years older and made by other students, which has over 300 views – it is my goal to beat the view count on this video. I set out to do this by:

  • Sharing media on several platforms to get engagement
  • Sharing at times that encourage engagement
  • Targeting online accounts to get the video to spread further
  • Using tagging on YouTube to find an audience

Bonus video – filmed using the GoPro egg timer, it was going to be the main artefact but I didn’t like the light bleed and lack of clarity.

Why did I make this artefact?

Because I tried something else and it didn’t work and everyone loves a good timelapse. I had an animation made and had planned to project it on to something all Halloween-related however the projector was not bright enough and my phone didn’t pick up the action.

So as this didn’t go so well and with only 4 days until the deadline I had to find something else that was engaging and relevant. I fell on the idea of a timelapse because a) I had the kit to do so and b) they are an ‘easy sell’ for engagement as you can tag locations and businesses as well as local news groups.

How did I make this artefact?

I used a few different mobile apps to create this video, however I didn’t film it with a mobile phone for a few reasons, mainly that the contrast settings on the iPhone6s I have wasn’t good enough to pick up any differences in the clouds – thus making it a really crap timelapse. I did however edit with LapseIt and worked out the best time of day and direction with the app Magic Hour, both of these apps I talked about in this previous blog post.  Magic Hour is particularly useful as it helps you work out how long you are going to be taking images for, which means you can easily see how long you want to leave between images. I opted for a photo every 20 seconds.

Here is an image of me taking an image during the timelapse, as well as an image of the GoPro setup, Below is an image of the 4 other people/groups of people who where also taking images or videos of the media city at sunset on a Tuesday night in October. I also found an Ian (but more about that in his blog post).

How am I going to get engagement for this video?

I have set up a schedule of sharing the video on Twitter (the average tweet has a life of 40 minutes and a half life of a few hours), I have posted once on my own Facebook profile (something I really hate doing) and have encouraged others to share the content further. I even shared it on LinkedIn.

With twitter I have used simple hashtags including #mscret and #mediacityuk which means it will hopefully get picked up by local businesses and other class members. I have in other tweets tagged the university with their handle and a few local to Salford news/views accounts. The combination of these two things has lead to 5 retweets from businesses that I didn’t follow or have any other interaction with before today (Wednesday).

 

Attack of the Dones

The domestic hobby drone market is massive and thought to be worth around $3.3billion internationally (http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/drone-statistics/). In September, GoPro made its first step into the drone market with the Karma – a product that has been way overdue – something that was not only impressive in terms of drone specifications but also had a removable stabilising unit for their standalone cameras, meaning it offers more bang for the buck. Only days later DJI (arguably the biggest drone maker in the world) released their newest and smallest drone the Mavic.

As you might’ve guessed, in testing the GoPro Karma’s camera did slightly better than the DJI Mavic’s camera, but DJI’s drone body did slightly better than GoPro’s. See, each company specialises in different areas: DJI has got their aerial drone game down, while GoPro knows more than a thing or two about tiny action cameras.

Below is an infographic of these two similar drones to help the consumer decide which one to spend their hard earned cash on.

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We Killed the Comment Section

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Go to any mainstream news or entertainment website and you will notice that the comments section has either been removed outright, or it’s a wasteland. I first noticed this with the DigitalSpy redesign in early 2015 or even late 2014 – the comment section was removed and now all commenting was on the social media platform plugins. People said they hated it, then they got used to it.

NPR, a platform known for its robust community of thoughtful commenters, recently announced that they’re doing away with their comments section to make way for social media interactions via Facebook and Twitter. Along with many other internet sites the in-built comments section is leaving us in favour of the increasingly recognised social media comments plugin, or is simply showing the feeds of comments coming from the article’s social media post.

NPR‘s reasoning for this move is along the same lines as most other mainstream sites who’ve already gone down this road. Their in-article engagement only shows a small fraction of how many people read their content – in short it is easier to comment with an already logged-in social media than it is with a dedicated login required for each website. Plus it is well know that all comments from Facebook and Twitter are well thought out and are based on the commenter reading the article (not just a title)…

It’s about popularity and attaining the holy grail of going ‘viral’  as more and more ‘news sites’ compete with each other to get their 2 cents out to the masses, or to be the first to break a story. Because more commenters = more readers = more times adverts are seen on the site = more money earned from advertisers. Advertising has held up the world of news and media for decades and whilst the formats may have changed, the same basic fact remains and fundamentally we accept that that’s OK.

The more social interaction occurs, the higher the algorithms place you on search results; it feels dirty because really it’s modern news prostitution.  The difference is now it’s not just the creators of the media that are selling themselves, we the readers are doing it too without a second thought as we jab at our little touchscreen devices, tagging people to read an article, commenting on the poor nature of the facts, spewing garbage and self gratifying opinions that you expect others to read and adore and then getting understandably irate when someone dares to think differently from you.

But why not give the people what they want? It’s good business sense, right? I mean most people read their media linked from a social site on a mobile device on which they are already logged in across multiple apps. Where is the harm?

You shouldn’t reward people for choosing not to read an article before throwing out their opinion on it, just so they can give their two cents on a headline that’s either taken out of context or is simple click bait. It’s a trend that is becoming more and more common, even in the once well-respected national institution’s online publications.

Not everyone wants to create a Facebook or Twitter account, because Facebook and Twitter comments are a proven cesspool of negativity, bickering, and intentional ignorance. Not everyone wants to have their name, picture, work history, and friends list displayed to thousands of strangers on a daily basis (me included). You may not want to have your whole Facebook or Twitter collective see your opinions on an article, but there is still a part of you that might want to read something online and even offer comment without the rest of the world knowing that it’s you.

Urgh. Rant over.

Experimental things mkII

There was too much for one post – whilst the first looked primarily at the idea of traveling, this one is the random crap left over. Enjoy…

Laser Tag

I really enjoy laser tag and I turned the nightclub venue (capacity 1300) into a laser tag venue for the weekend. I made this possible by hiring in UV lighting to supplement that already in the venue, then renting the laser tag kits. To make this most effective I ran a ‘UV rave’ themed event for the weekly student disco then had a new set of staff come in at 5am and turn the venue from a nightclub to a laser tag playground and I also made use of the wall hangings from the ‘Infest’ events to block out the windows and add to the general aesthetics.

The video above uses a GoPro strapped to a laser tag gun for a 20 minute session (test phase for staff) which I then condensed into a 3 minute short video. There was hope to film more later but it got busy and I never had the time 😦

360 time lapse

This looks extremely dated and was filmed by students, with the exception of the GoPro footage at the 2-ish minute mark. A GoPro set on an egg timer taking a photo every second for an hour leads to some cool effects. In this case it was an apple shaped egg timer and lots of gaffer tape holding everything in place.  Since then I have improved on this with a lighter camera (the Hero 2 upgraded to the Hero 3 Black Edition) and gone through 12 different egg timer models – finally stopping on the one I have now which is a flat topped IKEA model with a magnetic base.

I also used this style of event capture at Fresher’s Fayres and other events, including graduation ceremonies.

Experimental things

After sitting in week 2’s lecture on Mobile, Wearables and VR Filmmaking I realised that I have actually done more experimental things over the years than I originally thought. I haven’t for a while though but I am going to fix that.  I apologise for next week in advance!

Lone Train 

I was on a train all day… I filmed it… I was on my own.
The idea of the project was to create something unplanned and unstructured with the idea of ‘point and go’.  I covered the screen/ viewfinder on the camera and strapped it to the shoulder of my bag, so the 1st time that even I saw the footage was during the editing.

Morag the RC car

I built an RC car (rather I modded a Nikko Vaporiser RCC) with a GoPro mounted on the front. I have done quite a few things with this over the years but none of it ever really made it to YouTube, including the time I drove it on a frozen canal where it subsequently fell in…

I will drive it to class next week.

GoPro Kite test

In a very early attempt to get a camera into the skies I put my GoPro on a stunt kite and took it to the beach. It didn’t go well – as you can see from the footage.  After this I strapped the camera to a better kite in a park, and then to an RC helicopter.

Since none of this really did what I wanted it to, in 2015 I went on to complete my UAQ drone license for sub 20kg drones.

 

 

Online Presence

All things considered, my name is relatively unique.  Unfortunately, there are *some* people in the world with the same name and two of them have jobs that give them a need for rather prolific online presences: one is a professional violinist and the other is a sex and well-being therapist from Texas.

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As you can see I only feature in two images on a name search, but it is worth noting that my LinkedIn profile image does come up quite high.

This is something I discovered a few years ago and addressed in order to stand out more as a professional entity in online media. I use the handle Rachelle Moose or Rachelle ‘Moose’ Hunt which gives me a considerably more unique identity and makes me much easier to find – as demonstrated in the below images which come up when you use the new search term.

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#WhatsInMyBag

The photo below shows the contents of my bag during the first RET lecture.  It’s important to know two things:

1- my phone is in my hand taking the photo

2- I packed light and this bag is missing a bullet journal and a fiction book of some sort

With that out of the way, I’d say it looks pretty average; I guess there isn’t much to say about it.

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That is unless you really start to think about it, really look at what I have in the bag and then you can discover a lot more about me.

To start with there is the bag itself: messenger bag style, easy to fit a laptop in (but there isn’t one here) and with a small logo on the front which is a ‘d20’ with the phrase ‘bag of holding’ – something all the cool kids know is a Dungeons & Dragons reference:

A bag of holding is a fictional magical item in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, capable of containing objects larger than its own size. Since its introduction, it has appeared in other media.More information

Then you have an A4 note book, an iPad in a heavyweight case and an assortment of pens – I mean this is a lecture after all – my iPod Classic which was taken out the case for this photo and two portable chargers – because I need to have charge in my phone at least for work, and I like to have my iPod/Pad charged as well. The chocolate is pretty self explanatory considering it’s 2pm on a Friday and I am suffering with the onset of a cold/freshers flu which is why I have cold and flu tablets herewith my ever trusty inhaler (no self respecting geek is complete without a physical ability-limiting condition). Lastly my wallet which has BATMAN on it (officially licensed DC merchandise from the 1989 batman film, which for the record I don’t actually like).

I feel that gives a rather large amount about me away and there are some definite conclusions you could make from the contents of my bag. I would be interested to analyse the contents of someone else’s bag and maybe I will in a future blog post.  Actually maybe that’s a bit too creepy…