I’m a notoriously harsh marker. Despite the fact that I’m not in any sort of authority position to mark anything, I’ve always enjoyed giving experiences, events, food and even friendships a quantified assessment (Dan, you’re a solid 86%).
There’s been a whole lot of BCM240 these past 10 or so weeks. There’s been plenty of theories, concepts, yelling, heated discussion and, for better or worse, many, many blogs. Now here I am, after ten or so weeks of ‘Media, Audience & Place’, reflecting on the whole process and what I have produced during the course. In keeping with my love of harsh marking, I’ll try to keep it as critical as possible.
First up, I’ve got to watch my speling more. Also, I tend to make way too many really bad jokes. Humour, as it should be obvious by now, is one of the constant themes in my BCM240 blog posts. Writing these blogs, I’ve tried to keep the mood light and the content humorous wherever possible while also attempting to impart or demonstrate a serious and in-depth knowledge of the course content matter. This isn’t an easy task and, if we’re to really assess this attempt, I’d say that the result is uncomfortable oscillation. Blog posts deviate wildly between an overly-obvious attempt to outline a concept and irreverent humour and this juxtaposition has the tendency to undercut both the insight and the humour that I am trying to present. Fruit is great on it’s own and so is cake, but no one likes fruit cake. Combining the two brings out the worst in both.
Why then do I keep making jokes? I’m realistic about the content of this course, and I’m especially realistic about the audience that these blog posts would attract. The course content is relatively abstract and unlikely to attract the attention of the general public. Instead those most likely to read these posts are fellow students of BCM240. To simply rehash the content of the week, even with my own twist, is unlikely to appeal to those already doing the readings, watching the lectures and taking the tutes on the same content. So, at least in my humble opinion, my best option for attracting and retaining readership is to make the posts entertaining.
Keeping readers is pretty irrelevant though if you don’t have any readers. Promotion, then, has to be pretty dang important. For the most part, promoting my blog took place outside of wordpress. Though I would of course carry the BCM240, UOW, BCM and media tags by default, most of my blog promotion and redirects were done on other social medias like Facebook and twitter. Whereas facebook was used more to coerce/pressure pre-existing networks (friends) to read, I used twitter to reach out to the BCM and BCM240 communities. Specifically, #bcm240 was especially useful and accounted for the majority of my twitter redirects. When promoting my blog or a specific post on twitter I would try to use the tips outlined in this article, such as quotes from the post or a question relating to the topic but these turned out to be the least effective tweets. Instead, tweets that featured an irreverent or humorous comment followed by a brief allusion or a simple suggestion to read the post as well as a link seemed to work the best. This is best exemplified by the tweet bellow:
This tweet was by far my most successful in the hours after publishing it I had 23 uniques on this blog post that had been redirected from twitter. It is worth noting that this tweet was published on the 3rd of October, just a day before the due date for this assessment, when the BCM240 hashtag was noticeably busier than ever before. It is very possible that the effectiveness of this tweet has nothing to do with the content or the format of the tweet itself, but rather that the greater redirect rate is simply a product of greater traffic on the hashtag.
Moving on, the class content, concepts and ideas discussed in the posts. I believe that I have adequately interacted with the concepts discussed in BCM240. The forever changing relationship between media, audiences and spaces was, at least in principle, an interesting one to discuss. I feel I have interacted with the core of these concepts well, but I’m not convinced that I have added anything new or significant to the conversation. Of course, it might seem a little outrageous for me to assume that I’d be able to shape or influence such academic and difficult concepts, but I’m still a little disappointed I wasn’t able to contribute to the research or theory of the topic in any significant way.
The feedback from part 1 was mostly positive but there was a fair warning about watching my grammar and punctuation. Though I’m reasonably confident in my writing style, I will admit that I have trouble in my editing. I’ve taken to a stricter edit and review process. Essentially, I simply reread everything twice and draft my friends into editing the longer pieces as well.
Overall, I have enjoyed the blogging aspect of BCM240. At first, the word counts required seemed a little long, but as the course and the topics expanded, the longer word counts for the posts encouraged me to explore the concepts more than I would have without it. Rather than simply meeting a smaller word count with a recital of the topic, I found myself using the blog posts to understand or expand upon the more complex aspects of a weeks topic. I’m happy with the way my BCM240 blog has grown, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it.