BCM 325: Future Cultures – Reflecting on Commentary Again

Following on from our pitch presentations and commentary for the digital artefact, we proceeded to work on out projects and then present a beta update which the class would again comment on.

If you’ve missed anything and feel like catching up, I’ve helpfully linked my original pitch, my blog commenting on the comments I made on other pitches, and my beta.

Below you will find the latest instalment, my second attempt at trying to be helpful in the comments section. 

It’s Cinema

Dayle’s Beta was the first presentation I looked at for BCM325 Future Cultures and was one I felt I might have something helpful to say. After enjoying the cinematography in the films we were watching for class and running into a few problems with her original idea, Dayle changed her Digital Artefact. Taking inspiration from the focus in week four, this DA is now comparing the futures presented in films by collating screenshots of the scenic elements and publishing them on dedicated Instagram and Tumblr accounts.

Dayle has a solid formula and plan for this project moving forward and is currently focused on trying to grow her reach. To do this, Dayle is mostly focusing on a strict posting regime. As accounts usually follow others that post similar material, I suggested a few I already knew of that she could follow to expand her reach and perhaps get some inspiration.

I also suggested that editing/touching up the screen shots a little might help. Whilst the shots selected are very cinematic and set a good mood, when taken out of the scene as a single shot, they can sometimes look too dark or washed out. Slight adjustments of the colour and highlight/shadows would make some of the shots easier to see and really show the scenic elements that are being focused on. 

Overall, this project is really well organised, so I feel like my comments were very specific, but hopefully helpful. 

We Need to Have a Serious Discussion About Sexy Robots…

Up on It’ is a podcast series developed by Emma and other Future Cultures students, which focuses on sex futurology, particularly in the digital space. The group has already identified a few areas where they can improve their project after running into a few minor problems when producing their beta – namely audio quality and presentation format.

From earlier feedback they reported that some listeners thought the way they presented information on the podcast – teaching each other – sounded like they didn’t know what they were talking about. I suggested that instead of losing the ‘teach each other’ style, they spend some time before recording sharing the points that each of them will be focusing on and coming up with a dot-point schedule. That way, when they are recording, they can still be teaching each other, but it will sound like a well-planned and researched teaching session. 

I also suggested that they perhaps double the uses for the research they have already done and write companion blog posts to further explore the issues and ideas in their show. This would allow people who cannot necessarily listen to a podcast to still access the information they are presenting, without too much extra work on their part – thus easily providing a boost to their reach.

This is generally a big project, but it seems to be handled well, and the group are troubleshooting and adapting as they go. Overall, I think my suggestion of maintaining the ‘teach each other’ approach with a bit more organisation will probably help them the most, as I know it has worked for me in the past.

Here Be Dragons!

For this beta, I returned to a project I looked at in the pitch stage. Simply put, the Pythia Project is a series of introductory materials for anyone interested in Role Playing Games (RPGs), accompanied by a series of blog posts examining the future of RPGs.

To continue this project into the future, I suggested a focus on the live Twitch streams and tutorials. In addition to this, I also suggested trying to get guests onto the streams to offer some variety and work through some of the tutorials. Whilst I don’t know much about RPGs, the content produced in this project is of interest to me as a writer, so I tried to think of what would be helpful and interesting to me, as I see a large overlap in many of the issues discussed (e.g. world and character creation). 

I suggested as well that the development of supporting material, namely a website, might encourage people to engage more and also provide a central hub to host all any blogs, starter kits and archived streams. 

It was very nice to see a project develop in this way from pitch to beta, and I think it could possibly continue to grow so the majority of my comments focussed on suggestions as to how to go about this.

Anyway, that is just a brief overview of some of the betas I have looked at. Overall, whilst commenting on other betas hasn’t given me any ideas about mine, it has gotten me in the right headspace to critically analyse what is and isn’t working and come up with possible solutions. 


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