Critical Report

So the Advanced Online Media module that I took this year, has been nothing like I had expected it to be.  I mean this in a good way obviously! It was interesting because in six weeks we had learnt about a small amount of everything that makes up the online media world and the first project that we had to do stemmed from this.

The individual element that I created was based around creating a new podcast, that was centred around British folklore.  Now I must admit that this was a challenge, but in some ways it wasn’t.  I study radio production anyway, so I knew the basics of how to record and how to write for radio. But my writing for radio isn’t all that good, so this is where I thought I could test myself in order to make it harder for myself.  I also do not usually like presenting things either, I like working in the background, and organising things, so I put myself at the forefront of that too.  Now it sounds like I’m trying to inflate my ego, but this was not the case at all. Editing a voice clip that contains your own voice is one of the worst things, as it is true what people say ‘you don’t like the sound of your own voice’.  So I had recorded my story, but I kept putting the editing off because I just did not want to hear it.   I did end up editing it in the end, otherwise I would’ve had no marks! But I will stress that even for someone who studies radio and does the occasional editing, it still isn’t the easiest thing in the world.  The decisions that have to be made in production can be quite challenging, I might like something but when someone else listens to it they may think that it is pointless, but at the end of the day you have to think about your audience.

The one thing that I did like about this part of the module and also with the second assignment as well, was the fact you had to keep a running blog, which is something I had thought about doing but had never had the courage to start – until now.  Being a radio student running a blog isn’t something that is heavily focussed on, so this made me realise that not everyone is going to want to listen to something, they may just want to sit and quickly read something.  This contributes to the ideas that I had about AOM when I first started that hence the name it was going to be very digital, but it has also made me realise that online media isn’t just there to watch cat videos or scroll through buzz-feed!  The information that you can gain from sites like Storify, can make things a lot easier to get to grips with as content is made by the general public, so it is produced in a way that is more natural rather than traditional.  You do not have to wait for any of this information either as it is accessed by millions of people across the world at any one time.

The second aspect of this module was the pitch.  Now I’m not a big fan of public speaking, so doing a 10 minute presentation was a big thing to me.  As via my blog posts, you can see that I did a fair bit of research about what I wanted my pitch to be about. But over time this changed according to my research, I did want to create an original podcast app, but as I found there were a few competitors and why put the same thing on the market if it’s already there.  So I went with idea that Apple’s Podcast App needs updating to utilise what it has available.

So my pitch went better than expected on the day, so I met the time limits.  And my idea seemed to go down well, but the only thing that I had focussed on was the usability, but maybe I should have also gone down another wavelength and thought about the functionality of the app, and create new things that the user could utilise, this could be the discoverability of new and different apps that users might not have heard before.  So this could be done by creating a new algorithm which, takes what the user listens to and then matches the genre and subject to give the user a list of similar podcasts.  Another feature that was discussed was looking at a human generated list of podcasts, created by people who the user would trust.  The points that were bought up to me at the end of the pitch were well thought, and it was something that I had clearly missed when thinking about my app. But it has made me realise that when looking towards changing an app, you need to think about what works in conjunction with each other, i mean one thing can be fixed but if features are being taken out, then they do need to be replaced with something.

So the outcomes that I’ve gained from this module are different from expected, but it has taught me more about the media world.  After being an avid user of social media, for posting pointless tweets etc it can be used for a much better use like live blogging of serious incidents and collating information from all over the world instantaneously.   Another thing that I have realised about the module is that running a blog as you go is helpful in more ways than one, and it has caused me to want make this one as best as it can be.  This is due to the fact that blogs do not have to be that well versed, they are like journals that any one can write and have access to, but that is not a bad thing.  This creates an avenue of interactivity for people on the platform, either being educational or just informal.