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My incessant ramblings

Jurassic Coast – First Brief Idea

Resort Marketing

Resort Marketing are a Dorset based company that offer tourism marketing for many different resorts, the one I am particularly interested in is their website worldheritagecoast.net where a section on the Jurassic Coast is available.

The company already appear quite digital media savvy, offering social links to Twitter and Facebook and offering tourism apps, UK Visitors Guide and Cruise Guides Worldwide, but only for iOS devices.

Though they do offer digital media artifacts, their main products are free visitor magazines which are distributed around the local area, offered at camp sites and restaurants etc.

 

Doing a search for Durdle Door on worldheritagecoast.net brings up some information on the location plus some surrounding area attractions. These attractions appear to be tailored more to older couples and families, though they do also include local pubs and clubs for younger audiences.

I would like to encourage more professional, working young couples (30 – 40 year olds) from the inner city to the area by advertising the the Jurassic Coast as a potential date or romantic getaway location.

Transport shouldn’t be an issue for most of the target audience, because most of them would probably have driving licences and the resources to own their a vehicle.

The Jurassic Coast could be too far for some cities as only a day trip, luckily the worldheritagecoast.net site shows local hotels available which I’m postive they recieve a commision on.

The Jurassic Coast could be advertised as an inexpensive alternative to a weekend abroad, with much less traveling time.

 

An app that offers information on Jurassic Coast attractions, including history and facilities would be a nice idea, but competing services such as Foursquare would more likely be used. Therefore an incentive for using the app would be necessary.

Offering discounts, such as allowing one half of a couple eat for free or at a reduced price at one the the local restaurants listed on worldheritage.net as a reward for visitng other attractions along the Jurassic Coast could be successful.

A mix of Foursquare and the current apps offered by Resort Marketing would be a good start.

I also like the game aspect of Ingress, especially because the geo located “portals” more often appear near landmarks. Though this could be off putting for an older, more professional audience, so the heavy game and sci-fi aspect would need to be toned down a lot.

 

References

Play.google.com. 2013. Untitled. [online] Available at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nianticproject.ingress&referrer=ai%3DC9NyIFR9VUsGiPMis0gXa4oDgBq-7870D99z7hkvNmPj7pgEIABABILeRpx5Qpe-swv3_____AWC7rpmD0AqgAfn81NwDyAEBqgQZT9A9mk4CadObdjjBhEegbJSb_kVSrS8G-4AFkE6wBgGAB–CqyOQBwI%26gclid%3DCLTfzM61iboCFYfMtAodhjwANA%26conv%3D999636601 [Accessed: 6 Dec 2013].

Worldheritagecoast.net. 2013. Holidays on Dorset & East Devon’s World Heritage Coast. [online] Available at: http://worldheritagecoast.net/ [Accessed: 6 Dec 2013].

October 30, 2013

Professional Studies Assignment 1 – Third Post: Richard Wallis

Richard Wallis is a TV Production lecturer at Bournemouth University (2013), he has accumulated numerous amounts of year working in the television industry and is currently also an Associate Senior Producer at Twofour.

Twofour (2013) is one of the UK’s top independent television and digital media agencies.

Wallis covered a lot of interesting points during the lecture, some of the things that were particularly interesting to me and I’d like to highlight, were the statistics for internet enabled devices and the increasing budgets spent on advertising online, but as this is a professional studies assignment, I will cover the professional points.

A point raised by Wallis was convergence, how things in the media world are becoming more cross contaminated, one example being job titles and roles.

The roles expected in professionals working in the industry are increasing, Wallis listed some examples of opportunities in digital media content for converging TV, these included;

  • editorialised content

  • supporting and developing fandom

  • social interactivity

  • game playing

  • consumer advertising

 

This fits more inline with what Laurence Topham told us in the previous professional studies lecturer, that working at The Guardian, he is expected and needs to have a broad range of skills.

This is interesting to me, as it completely contradicts what Tim Wright said on the first intensive day of professional studies lectures. He suggested that we find something we are good at and specialise in that area, don’t try to learn everything.  A point akin to the jack of all trades, master of none idiom.

I can see the advantages in both points of view, having skills in multiple areas is extremely useful, but to spread one’s attention across too many fields could be detrimental in mastering each skill, a fine balance needs to be found.

 

References:

Bournemouth University, 2013. Richard Wallis – Bournemouth University Staff Profile Pages [online]. Bournemouth University Staff Profile Pages. Available from: http://staffprofiles.bournemouth.ac.uk/display/rwallis [Accessed October 30 2013].

Twofour Group, 2013. Twofour Group [online]. Twofour Group. Available from: http://www.twofour.co.uk [Accessed October 30 2012].

 

Professional Studies Assignment 1 – Second Post: Laurence Topham

Laurence Topham, a former graduate of the Digital Media Design degree (then known as New Media Production) at Bournemouth University has worked at the Guardian newspaper as a documentary filmmaker since 2008 (The Guardian 2013). One of his biggest digital media works for The Guardian to date is the interactive documentary, Firestorm (2013), which includes photographs, articles, video, interviews and maps.

Laurence tells us that Firestorm took some inspirations for the award winning interactive documentary Snowfall (2012) from the New York Times.

Firestorm was filmed in Taz Mania and revolves around one family’s ordeal with bush fires in early 2013.

Laurence told us a lot of facts that I found quite interesting during the making of Firestorm which I will aim to highlight here.

Firstly, only around 10% of material that Laurence produced was actually used in the final product, this includes video and footage and photographs. There was even a whole range of interviews with other characters also affected by the bushfires that was completely cut, the reason behind this was to focus on the main story, the family.

During the final stages of the project, Laurence physically created storyboards using colour coded post it notes. He said having a tactile feedback from the storyboard offers a great advantage over a digital version.

Firestorm had ten different prototype iterations before it was finally finished, according to Laurence, this was during the final week leading up to the deadline.

In order to see how the product would be used, and to know if any changes were needed to be made, a user testing lab was set up in order to monitor users.

The testing lab consisted of a room with a two way mirror, in which twenty people with computers were asked to use the product. Various cameras were set up monitoring each person, concentrating on the users hand, eye and monitor.

With the feedback collected here, changes in order to help the user were made, on of the most important being a “scroll down to continue” message at the bottom of the page to help guide users who didn’t know how to navigate to the next section.

In total, Firestorm took three months to complete, in comparison, Snowfall took six.

Firestorm has received 750,000 views, with an average viewing time of twenty minutes, though only 60% of users actually made it to the end. This raises an interesting point, though Firestorm has a linear narrative, being interactive, users have the ability to view sections in any order they wish, even missing some out. Relinquishing the control of the narrative to the users was a new attitude that Laurence had to adopt.

References:

The Guardian, 2013. Laurence Topham, documentary filmmaker | The Guardian Open Weekend | theguardian.com [online]. The Guardian. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/open-weekend/laurence-topham [Accessed 21 October 2013].

The Guardian, 2013. Firestorm: The story of the bushfire at Dunalley | World news | The Guardian [online]. The Guardian. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/may/26/firestorm-bushfire-dunalley-holmes-family [Accessed 21 October 2013].

New York Times, 2012. Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek – Multimedia Feature – NYTimes.com [online]. New York Times. Available from: http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek [Accessed 21 October 2013].

October 21, 2013

Professional Studies Assignment 1 – First Post

“following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain” (dictionary.com 2013).

The prior text is a dictionary definition of professional, which boils down to; if you are being paid for what you are doing, then you are a professional. But is it really that easy to become a professional? I think there is a huge difference to being “a” professional and being professional.

One of the main points that was raised in the intensive day lectures was a point from Helen Zaltzman, that was “don’t be a dick”.

So is being “a dick” not professional? Why would an employee’s attitude matter as long as their skills are adequate? Professionalism is also how you act, and how you act reflects upon the company you are working for and representing. Therefore being professional will make you a more desirable hiring opportunity.

An example in the digital media field of this would be the hiring process from the well loved shoe website Zappos. Zappos has a very highly regarded customer service, consistently achieving satisfaction scores of 90% or more (Stiglitz 2012). CEO Tony Hsieh states “Our corporate culture is our brand” and aims to protect their brand by offering new employees a cash incentive to not work at Zappos (McFarland 2008).

New employees are put through an intensive four week training program. During this time, employees are exposed to the inner workings of the company’s culture, strategies and processes. After around one week, Zappos then make their offer to each individual; “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you have worked, plus a $2,000 bonus.” (McFarland 2008). This sounds like a great deal, but only 3% of trainees accept this offer. This is a clear show of confidence from Zappos which also inspires loyalty and pride in new employees immediately from the offset.

Reputation and brand perception is so important to Zappos, that they are literally willing to buy off unprofessional employees, this should be enough inspiration to aspiring professionals.

 

References:

Dictionary.com, 2013. Professional | Define Professional at Dictionary.com [online]. Dictionary.com. Available from: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/professional [Accessed 7 October 2013].

McFarland, K., 2008. Why Zappos Offers New Hires $2,000 to Quit. Bloomberg Businessweek [online], 16 September 2008. Available from: http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2008-09-16/why-zappos-offers-new-hires-2-000-to-quitbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice [Accessed 7 October 2013].

Stiglitz, K., 2012. Customer Satisfaction is Not Dead. Vertical Response [online], 11 July 2012. Available from: http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/customer-satisfaction-is-not-dead/ [Accessed 7 October 2013].

October 7, 2013

Changes to my portfolio website

image

The reason I chose a “rainbow” type scale is because it engages the user with a sense of order, a balance in the visual experience. The human brain rejects what it can not organise and understand. This is known as colour harmony.

image

I have added descriptions for each piece of work in my portfolio. I liked the symmetry of how the equal sized boxes looked, and I didn’t want to ruin this effect by adding text underneath, so I used CSS to overlay text on each thumbnail. The text highlights in white when it is mouse overed, giving the user a sense of haptic feedback.

When a thumbnail is clicked, it now shows the work embedded into the site instead of a blank page. This was accomplished using PHP include as my whole site uses PHP to stitch together all the sections. This allows me to, for example, edit the nav bar only once and the changes will then be reflected on every page. Though this takes longer to set up, it can save a lot of time.

My “about me” page now offers a link to my CV in the PDF format.

I now have a linkedin profile which can be accessed from the “contact” page.

March 25, 2013

Daruma Doll Logo

My logo is already based upon a real world object. This is my own personal Daruma doll that I have on display in my home.

I have asked some of my Japanese friends if they could recognise my logo, and they all said it was a Daruma doll without hesitation. So I feel my logo could be easily made into a real Daruma doll.