Chàe Media has undergone important iterations throughout this semester. Initaly, when considering the BCM302 proposal “solving a problem”, we wanted to create another issue of Chàe Magazine as an editorial guide to influence our audience to consider building their editorial profile. Chàe Media has helped us obtain so many opportunities for our future, with gathering internships and job possibilities. We believed that it would be beneficial to encourage our student based audience who majored in digital & social media and visual communications design. With successfully releasing our magazine Print & Publish: how to editorial design, we have also undertaken another methodology of vlog-style videos. Our day in a life videos changed our project’s trajectory where we aim to explore youtube vlogs in the future.
Initially we recorded our instagram “day in a life of lockdown” experiences through the stories feature as social media skyrocketed in this time (Marzouki et al, 2021). We grew from simply posting picture-type updates of our day to recording and editing vlog-style videos for the stories. We got demands from our audience for more days in a life of lockdown videos through instagram, which then led us to the suggestion of posting them as reels. These videos were pivotal in the reach and impressions that Chàe has achieved as a brand altogether. Our reels were key to the progression we experience with reels usually resulting in “3x-4x more impressions” than a normal post (Nieto, 2019), and through our Beta project we identified why our audience seemed to like these videos so much. The appeal of our reels resided in our audiences interest in our work/life balance routines, inspiration for their own routines and fascination of the videos aesthetics. Thus we reframed the problem that our Digital Artefact addresses as inspiring our student based audience to nourish a healthy work/life balance.
As for our magazine, we were committed to a productive timeline which proved beneficial to keeping us committed to the magazine’s intense workload. However, our magazine release date was postponed until the 26th of October as some articles that were meant to be in the magazine dropped out. This caused both Emma and I to come together and power through, covering the expanse of the magazine ourselves with only one external article written for the magazine. Despite the hiccup, I believe our magazine excelled and proved more successful than most of the magazines we have posted. Our impressions indicated that our audience was reading the entirety of the magazine. Typically, our metrics would usually indicate that of all the impressions we received; only 30% would read the magazine. However with this magazine we succeeded in maintaining the audience’s interest through the whole magazine. On October 29 our impressions were 76 with 71 reads meaning 93% of the audience were reading the magazine. Correspondingly on October 31 we had 94 impressions with 80 reads meaning 85% were reading the full magazine. This is a significant difference in comparison to our other magazines. I believe this is because our social utility for this magazine was much more powerful than our previous issues. This magazine provided a guide for editorial design, it provided content that could be used by our magazine for their design and editorial pursuits. Not only that but it showcased how important a university portfolio can be to a students future endeavours and opportunities. Chàe media opened so many doors for us, we only wish that the same happens for our student cohort.
Considering the achievements we made through our digital artefact this semester, we experienced a myriad of learning moments for both our methodology and utility of our project. We learnt that our constant release of content, being the day in a life reels, proved much more valuable to our audience than our normal content. Constantly posting instagram posts meant that our content was being maintained by a social media presence, however when we posted reels we reached another level of purpose to the consistent release of content. This was when we initiated an iteration in our Digital Artefacts methodology. It was important that we experienced this learning curve as it demonstrated another avenue that Chàe could succeed in, perhaps even more than the editorials could ever provide.
Similarly, the learning experience of our project’s social utility in our audience was brought upon once more the success of our reels. Our audience was able to access content that was available to them more often and through a platform that they were typically already using actively. The reels iterated our social utility when we investigated the intrigue around them from our audience’s perspective; finding that they were engulfed by fascination with our daily routines and aesthetics. Thus through this we are able to instigate a social utility of inspiring our audience to realise the benefits of a healthy work/life routine. For example, Emma’s reel on the 30th of September was a video dedicated to showing our audience that a slow day for your mental health is never an unproductive day to have. It has an underlying social utility for our audience, letting them realise the benefits of days just for themselves and “taking it slow”. We posted this reel while we were still unsure as to why our audience was intrigued by our videos, thus even when we were unaware – we were creating content that was beneficial to our audience’s work/life routines. After our investigation into the appeal behind our videos is when we realised why certain videos did better than others.
- Hannahs Reel 18th of October: 2,322 views: showed a productive uni day with breaks and time with her boyfriend
- Chelsea’s Reel 2nd of October: 2,918 views: took audience through a vaccinated picnic experience with friends
- Emma’s Reel 30th of September: 765 views: showed how beneficial a slow day can be to someone’s mental health
- Chelsea’s Reel 17th September: 1,213 views: demonstrated activities to do like going for a walk and having a healthy lunch when having a uni day
- Emma’s Reel 9th September: 3,348 views: experienced a productive day with workouts, groceries, healthy food and university classes
- Chelsea’s Reel 6th September : 2,375 views: Ran through a daily routine with segments of university work, social activities and time for self
- Hannah’s Reel 2nd September, 1,323 views: demonstrated her before uni routine, during uni coping mechanisms and after uni relax routine
Throughout the entirety of the semester from when we started videoing the day in a life reels, we were addressing this social utility of sharing different work/life routines and activities. Now, with thorough understanding of our audience through the feedback loop we understand that relatability is an important component as to why our audience is appealed to the reels (Azevedo, n.d) (Christian, 2009). Ideally, we will be able to replicate this when we delve into youtube vlogs throughout the university break – demonstrating how even when uni is finished we can maintain a healthy balance between jobs and social life in order to nourish our mental headspace.
Another learning curve we experienced was the effectiveness of the feedback loop we invested our time and attention into. When unsure about the attraction to our day in a life reels, we initially took to our BCM302 class when we hosted a seminar takeover in week 9. This activity proved extremely beneficial to our Digital Artefacts direction as we asked the class why they are attracted to certain vlog-style videos. We also divided into Instagram polls and question features that we posted on instagram to gather direct feedback from our audience. The reason we decided to gather this feedback on instagram as we knew that the followers on instagram were guaranteed to have experienced our instagram reels at some point – being that they are on the same platform. The answers we cultivated on Instagram in addition to those we gathered in class were all of the same topic. Answers surrounded an “interest into others routines”, “fascination to watch a more aesthetic version of my own life” and “inspiration for daily activities”. Other answers provided brief details on the attraction of the aesthetics of the video, however overall we discovered the underlying interest to our day in a life reels. Without the feedback from our audience, we would not have been able to create these reels and witness this new avenue Chàe Media has slipped into. Even before asking the audience why they liked our reels, without their feedback on the day in a life of lockdown stories we would not be here today with the reach and impressions that we have garnered through reels. In this instance is how our feedback loop was vital to the success our Digital Artefact gained. It is proof of how effective a productive feedback loop can be to a project when applied not only properly but consistently throughout the prototyping process.
Feedback loops are a successful phenomena in projects that have developed for years, originating as a means of regulations and systems to modulate the engineering of robots (Sanford, 2018). This progressed into an observation in behavioural alteration, “The potential of the feedback loop to affect behavior was explored in the 1960s, most notably in the work of Albert Bandura, a Stanford University psychologist and pioneer in the study of behavior change and motivation. Drawing on several education experiments involving children, Bandura observed that giving individuals a clear goal and a means to evaluate their progress toward that goal greatly increased the likelihood that they would achieve it.” (Goetz, 2011). Feedback loops are essential to human learning and development, “In part, it’s that feedback taps into something core to the human experience, even to our biological origins” (Goetz, 2011) proving so in our project. Our feedback loop kicked us into gear, we were given one when producing content and thereafter seeked one out when we were unsure of the attraction of our reels.
Connecting to our BCM302 content, we related our day in a life of lockdown videos as a part of a system that regulates an audience into our new paradigm that we have experienced with COVID19. Throughout lockdown we seeked ways to optimise our life despite our circumstances and made a routine through this “new normal” (Australian Government Department of Health, 2020) of which our audience was attracted to. This longing for inspiration of daily routine is arguably due to the lockdown instance we were thrown into as a society. Paradigm Shifts occur when we experience an anomaly that cannot be solved through the current rules and regulations, causing people to flee the paradigm and practise real thinking which addresses that anomaly and eventually turns into a new paradigm when others flee to it (McLeod, 2020) (Hall, 2018). This paradigm shift caused by coronavirus was necessary to succeed in a new life of restrictions and lockdown liberated through an age of technology “it [changes and fluctuations in the economic climate] naturally follows that the pandemic paradigm shift is necessary if society is to make progress.” (Rubinic, 2020). Our audience had a collective interest to understand our new normal through instigating a daily routine that nourishes their mental health, meaning our project engaged with this pandemic paradigm shift “This inevitably results in the pandemic paradigm shift, conceptualized through the departure from the narrowly defined self-interest maximization toward a society which will put humans back into the economic equation and acknowledge that it is only by maximizing our collective interests that the society can find a way out of the crisis” (Rubinic, 2020).
Overall, Chàe Media has undergone a new direction of vlog style videos through the insight and success an effective feedback loop can provide a project. Our learning curves allowed us to embrace our iterations and work toward our project for success. As proposed in our Beta, our magazine will also be available on Patreon to instigate a start to our monetisation stage for Chàe Media; once more suggestions given through our successful feedback loop.
- Australian Government Health Department (2020) “Coronavirus (COVID19) – Video – Living the New Normal” Australian Government of Health Department. Accessed on the 20th of October. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/videos/coronavirus-covid-19-video-living-the-new-normal
- Azevedo W (n.d.) “7 Reasons Why Vlogging is so Popular” VloggerPro. Accessed on the 22nd of October. https://vloggerpro.com/why-vlogging-is-so-popular/
- Christian A J (2009) “Real Vlogs: the rules and meanings of online personal videos” Peer-Reviewed Journals. Accessed on the 31st of October https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2699/2353
- Geotez T (2011) “Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops” WIRED. Accessed on the 29th of October. https://www.wired.com/2011/06/ff-feedbackloop/
- Hall J (2018) “On Thinking and Stimulated Thinking” Deep Code. Accessed on the 20th of October. https://medium.com/deep-code/on-thinking-and-simulated-thinking-5e434e92cf86
- Marzouki Y et al (2021) “Understanding the buffering effect of social media use on anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown” Humanities and Social Sciences Communications. Accessed on the 30th of October. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-021-00724-x.pdf
- McLeod S (2020) “Thomas Kuhn, Science as a Paradigm” Simply Psychology. Accessed on the 22nd of October. https://www.simplypsychology.org/Kuhn-Paradigm.html
- Nieto M (2019) “The Power of Instagram Reels” Social Media Delivered. Accessed on the 30th of October. https://www.socialmediadelivered.com/toolsandtips/power-of-instagram-reels
- Rubinic I (2020) “Pandemic Paradigm Shift” Journal of Labour and Society. Accessed on the 31st of October. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7436549/pdf/WUSA-9999-na.pdf
- Sanford C (2019) “ A Short History of the Concept of Feedback” Carol Sanford. Accessed on the 31st of October. https://carolsanford.medium.com/a-short-history-of-the-concept-of-feedback-524b90ac6d71