Notes about your SMP final report …

A few notes to help you with your SMP report:

written report Delivered as a final blog post, your report should summarise and evaluate your activities as an SMP (as evidenced by your regular blog entries), reflect back upon your initial goals and include a considered and well-argued self-assessment against the criteria outlined in your Job Plan.

Comm2322 Course Guide & Blog

Reports should be in the order of 900-1200 words – concise, well written and clearly presented. Also, you all have a 1 week extension – reports are now due Friday of week 13 (so email your tutor with your final blog post url by 5pm on Friday June 4)

We suggest you break the report up into three sections:

1, Summarise and evaluate your activities as a Social media producer.

  • Tell us all the things you did as a social media producer – include your tute-specific activities, your personal community building task, your work as a community mentor in Pool
  • Link to your SMP blog posts and reflections, Pool uploads and comments wherever possible – this evidences that you have done what you say you did (and is a way of saying more without going over the recommended word limit)
  • Evaluate your work in relation to what you thought you would do in the job plan – for example …  did you get your tute-specific activities done on time to an acceptable standard, did you successfully recruit, grow and harvest the community you targeted, were you a good ‘community mentor’ modeling recommended behaviours on Pool. Etc.

2, Extrapolate what you have learnt about the role of a Social Media Producer

  • What have you learnt about the role of the social media producer or the environment one works in or how to produce media socially… don’t try to cover it all – drill down on a specific area that is of interest to you or something you have discovered on your own …
  • You can be a bit free with this section and focus it how you wish – but do back up your statements

3, Self assessment for your SMP task

  • In the light of what you have done and what you have learnt – you need to give yourself a mark out of 100

Last of the FB admins …

Thanks to Stevie and Josh for some excellent copy – and hello Emma H and Aaron …

opportunities …

A couple of quick notes – first off, congratulations Rose on a great piece HERE – if you are producing good work, the chances are you will get noticed –  Andrew Davies from Future Tense wants to broadcast Rose’s piece – and it is highly likely Claudia will want to air it on 360documentaries … so, that is a nice little problem to resolve.

Also – was contacted by the Immigration Museum last week – they are very excited about the My Tribe project – they see it as a bit of a model for a project they want to do and that it is doing interesting things etc etc. I’m currently trying to convince them to put up some prize money for contributors… will let you know how I go.

In the meantime – Could you be the ‘difference’ and win $5000?


Museum Victoria is offering a $5,000 award for up to 2 young emerging new media artists.
We are looking for innovative proposals for digital projects that can be exhibited online as part of a 3 year project called Talking Difference.
The aim is to inspire conversations between and within cultures about difference and commonality.
Your project could utilise any form of digital media.  It could be a short film, interactive game, online interactive artwork, digital public art project, mobile phone application… the possibilities are endless.
For more information and application form go to:


A comment a day…

Ross has suggested a great way to work smarter in tackling the SMP task of Community Mentoring (see Job 1 tasks) .

 “Just had a brainwave. Instead of commenting on my tribe works in bursts, if I do one a day, that is 7 a week – which is heaps! And one a day can’t be hard!”

Working in this way will prevent common SMP ailments like My Tribe Fatigue and Commenter’s Block.

Where are you taking the community …

As David discussed in his last post one of the ways you are learning about the role of the SMP and UGC projects is by observing and analyzing the Pool community and the formation of ‘my tribe’ as a micro community within that.

A behaviour noticed by Raph in the Online tute was that an emerging protocol my tribe users don’t tend to write negative comments – that negativity within the group is generally expressed through silence.

Something I find quite interesting is how comments shape the meaning or the function of the media text submissions and through them, the space itself. Comments in the ‘constructive criticism’ category – frame the text as a communication object and give the my tribe site the sense of being a practitioner space where craft issues are discussed… in other comments users respond to the emotion or content of a text by sharing something personal themselves (your-story-reminded-me-of-my-own-experience category) … the media text is a catalyst for some kind of connection/ or expression of empathy between users … giving the site a different flavour/function/tone.

As community mentors and social media producers in My Tribe it’s key to think about how your actions and behaviour shape the my tribe community. Users who come into My Tribe probably don’t learn how to use it by reading the instruction materials – they are more likely to work it out by seeing what everyone else is doing – particularly active and confident users like yourselves.

Now that My Tribe has been running in public for five weeks – I think that a ‘best practice’ has emerged through your collective messing in this public space – making it possible to describe the key behaviours/attributes of great My Tribe Social Media Producers – this is how I see them:

  • great My Tribe Social Media Producers have uploaded good content – as students have noted in tute discussions – having good content is part of developing a reputation and authority in the My Tribe group. ‘Good’ content can range from being a strong and technically proficient piece of work, to something not-so-smooth but that says or captures something really interesting or work where someone is sharing something genuine about themselves. But it is also – on topic, as in relevant to the theme of my tribe and its subthemes of community, identity and belonging; it has an ID image and a good title; it has contextualizing text that frames the work for the viewer and look like the contributor has thought about it; it doesn’t use copyrighted material and credits all works used; it has hyperlinks and the text is formatted so it is readable;  if it is in the exhibition group it is a complete work, not a fragment, ie. If it is a photographic series then link to a gallery rather than load every photo in the series; it is also in the right group, as in either the work-in-progress or the exhibition group. Also, when others comment on your work it courtesy to reply as a way to acknowledge someone has taken the trouble to view and tell you they like it.
  • Have developed a strong public presence and personality through their comments – clearly everyone finds their own voice and way of presenting themselves professionally and as a user in this space and there is no cut-out model and many good ways to go – I think Ross Richardson, Jonathon See and Emma Judd have all developed really positive and distinct ‘social media producer’ voices through their comments. In terms of comments – obviously, good comments aren’t all just ‘great stuff’, having quite a few is fine but you need to be able to comment in a more interesting way as well – ways that develop conversation and dialogue and the meaning of the uploaded text and overall sense of what this space is – it goes without saying that comments shouldn’t be slanderous or hurtful (doing this is stupid and damaging to your reputation as well as illegal) – but I don’t think we have had much of that happen in the pool space
  • Good SMPs are also active participants in all the My Tribe sites – the facebook page, the exhibition and the work-in-progress page. Through example they teach other users what  how these spaces and how they function in the work. Also good SMPs identify good work within the space and pass this onto others

Anyway, just a couple of things to think about as you start thinking about your final SMP report.

What is this ‘My Tribe’ organism?

Browsing through the MyTribe exhibition page, looking at the new contributions and the various comment threads, as well as at the Facebook conversations, it strikes me that this social media experiment called My Tribe is now well and truly alive and kicking as a social media organism.

It has its own ecology, its own etiquette, its recurring characters, intriguing cameos, and every now and then someone new drops in with some unexpected comment or contribution (I am thinking zombies as just one example…)

As some of us have been discussing, its interesting now to reflect upon what this beast actually is.

As one of Kyla’s students has put it in a blog post analysing the learning focus in PP1:

This is all an exercise in understanding online communities and user-generated media — through using Pool as a case study… a model. And that’s something that I can understand and work with. We’re placed in this real-world online environment and interact with real people — and all this collective online interaction constitutes the “text” that we are attempting to understand in this subject.

Mostly when we think about analysing traditional media texts they are easily bounded objects with a set duration and production period: eg 90 minute feature film. They were made by A and B, with C to Z as the audience. Everyone’s role is clear. The nature of the text itself is clear. But ‘mytribe’ as a media object is multifaceted and changing every day, made up of a series of media contributions plus the various threads of dialogue that surround them. How does one contribution, or one comment create space for or invite another? By which I mean, if I show the mytribe community my personal family photo, with an autobiographical text attached, what might anyone else feel emboldened or allowed to contribute?

What are the threads that are developing, in terms of works contributed and/or comments? What styles? What genres? What interactions are crucial? When do comments move from feeling like an artificial forced interaction to something more authentic? If comments are invariably positive, what flows from this?

It is not quite what I expected.

It is bringing your student work to an audience much larger than you could otherwise expect. But the public out there are not distinguishing between those contributions from our students and those from anyone else – the relationship between you as a cohort and these members of the public who invite themselves in, or are invited, to join this community is also intriguing.

These are all things that, as you move towards the end of your Social Media Producer roles, you might want to analyse and reflect upon for yourself – the field of Social Media is so new and your analyses, from your own hands-on experience and involvement, will be of interest to many of your future colleagues in the media industries here and around the world. (And of course it counts towards your assessment in that task for PP1… 🙂 ). If your own Social Media role hasn’t gone as you expected, you could also do well to analyse who, in your opinion, has made crucial contributions to the ecology of this social media ‘text’ and how and why? This analysis then forms part of your important contribution.