Dissertation Week 1 – The Beginning
It’s Monday, October 4th, and I’m officially four days in to my allotted dissertation writing time. Of course, I’ve been thinking about the project a lot before October started, mostly just forming a few ideas and keeping my ears and eyes open to suggestions. The great thing about UGC (User Generated Content) is that it’s a subject everyone instantly can understand, and thus talk to you about. I’ve had useful discussions on what kind of things I could talk about with a few different people and one obvious thing from the start is that there is a lot of potential ground to cover. The hard part is going to be getting it all down on paper.
It seems like a large task to overcome. Luckily I was able to meet up with my project supervisor on Friday 1st October to talk about how I was going to tackle this gargantuan report. She did a good job of assuring me that I would be able to manage, and to be honest, I think it will mostly be a case of breaking everything down into sections and sorting through all the little ideas and notes I will no doubt have littered around. I’m just hoping I’ll be able to crunch it all down into a manageable size, and in coherent form…
Aside from the research & literature review sections, I also have to worry about actually using UGC to cover and archive a live event. It’s been suggested to me to look into the BBC’s “Introducing” project, where local or unsigned bands get to have their gigs filmed and shown by the BBC, and the gigs have been filmed by Salford students in the past. This is a really interesting idea, partly because the BBC is involved with it, partly because it is of interest to the younger and often more social media-using independent music scene. While there are a lot of unformed thoughts and ideas in my head about this aspect of the project, one thing I’m pretty sure about is that I don’t want to go to a gig, hand out phones and direct people to basically shoot a music video with low budget equipment; I’m not saying this would be a bad thing for anyone to do, but I just think the concept I’m more interested in is one where anyone can choose to participate in any way, and their incentive would be just to have their own creative input be part of the experience for those watching. I think it would defeat the object of using UGC and crowdsourcing if it would just be shot in the traditional way, except using volunteers with phones instead of a camera crew. I’m sort of envisioning a new social media platform where people can “pledge” to go to an event and film parts of it on their phone, streaming their videos and pictures live to a page on the website, with viewers able to navigate between different video streams live; then afterwards the would be able to see photos and videos arranged on a timeline with Photosynths and text reviews/blogs accompanying the footage… OK, so this is a lofty goal, but you have to think big!
My goal for the week is to have a solid plan to build upon so I know which sections to put everything in, as well as having the beginnings of something of substance in front of me… also need to look more into BBC Introducing or any other possible live events in the next 3 months. Until next week!