In today’s society, social media is a key tool and an essential part of everyday life. Without it, people may not know what is going on in the world as they find out all their information from what is trending or what people have shared about the most on Facebook. However, it is a complex and sometimes dark forum where people can post content anonymously, giving them the freedom of expression to state what they want, but this content can be explicit and dangerous.
My role as social media producer, is to ensure I vet what content is shown to the audience about our work and how it is delivered. For our group’s documentary, I have created a Facebook page simply because so many users have Facebook and it is a great mothership to house links to the twitter and Instagram pages which I have also created. Twitter allows us to encourage a dialogue with our audience, creating a more conversational flow with not only local users, but tweeters all over the globe. Using the hashtag ‘#mrmystery’ the audience are allowed to delve into discussion about the topic of online dating itself, but also, they can report back to us on what we may have posted too. Instagram has become a prime hub of content for social media in the last couple of years. With this tool, we are able to visually demonstrate to our audience what goes on behind the scenes of our documentary so that they are able to follow us on our journey. By showing our work through picture, the audience are able to acquire pieces of the jigsaw and piece by piece, build an image of the project so that when they finally see the finished product, they know how it has come together.
Social Media provides an immersive experience for an audience. With so many sites where people from all over the globe can connect, there are multiple ways for content to be shared and shown to an astonishing amount of users. Social media has developed from the deterministic approach whereby a single unit of information would travel in one direction and register with a large audience. But people are always looking for new ways of translating information, and emergence is a skill like no other.
For any social media to work effectively, there needs to be positive emergence, allowing the audience to have some power and participate in an active dialogue. To harness this attribute, there are a number of ways in which the team and the audience can make it happen. Flocking, or trending as it stands to most, is an essential practice for online discussions. As the topic is discussed more, and the hashtag ‘#mrmystery’ is used, our documentary will gain popularity and as users from across the globe see the hashtag trending, they too can join the discussion. Of course, we have a five week window in which to do this. Looking at future possibilities, if we were to have more time, then the topic would gain more of a following and become higher in trending polls to reach our audiences across the globe. Positive alignment is another key attribute. By the team and our audience working together, we are able to form a collaboration. Again, looking at future avenues, we would like to enhance the dialogue by getting our audience to post about their own experiences on our Facebook page. From these posts, we would be able to offer that user the chance to have their experience played out in our documentary, there by having others learning from their own personal experience. Using these anecdotes would allow a creative collaboration to be built, as the audience member becomes one of the team. Cohesion is of great importance for an effective impact. As the documentary gathers more and more attention, it is likely to be shared and discussed more online. This would allow others to move towards this hub of interest and then they themselves become part of the immersed experience. By getting the audience to post their own experiences, we are able to create positive cohesion because both the team and the audience are working towards a common goal of getting others to learn and take advice from others shared experiences. Our documentary is then able to touch on the reality of real life situations, not simulated scenario, but one which does actually happen.
We want the use of social media to be a positive influence. We do not want any negativity created by what is posted by the team or others. Not only does it create an issue of cyberbullying, but it also generates a negative response to the social media aspect and the tool becomes ineffective. We do not want people to feel peer pressured or bullied to post anything about their own experiences as it can be quite personal. People need to feel as if they can share information without being ridiculed. The one thing about social media is that the user is often identified when they make a comment. However this doesn’t make it any easier to steer away bad traffic and it is even harder to try and enforce a policy whereby anyone who is likely to critique another user should not visit the site. The curation policy enforced for our social media will be to allow our audience to speak and discuss freely about the topic. Though it will have to be closely monitored by myself, as social media producer, so when critical and offensive comments are posted, I will need to ensure they are deleted so others are not turned away by the negative cyber bullies. Although freedom of expression is a fundamental right in all aspects of modern society, vetting and controlling those comments that will cause someone to feel like a victim should be policed.
As the process of making this documentary goes along, we as a team would like to learn about online dating safety as well as our audience or otherwise, what the point of the documentary. Throughout the production, I will be making a how-to-guide on the do’s and don’ts of online dating. This will be another way that the audience are immersed within social media as when they visit our pages, there will be a link to a specific part of our blog, so they can learn the best way to safely date online. We as a team are able to demonstrate what we have learnt by producing such a guide.
In today’s world, there are so many different dating websites and apps, which led us to create this documentary. We would want to, if we had more time, to be able to link up with these sites and corporations to promote the safety aspect of online dating. Although it can be fun, there is a dark side, and by working with the professionals behind online dating, we can promote awareness so there is not a negative stigma behind it.
So if you are reading this and want to engage with us as a team, follow, like, and share our content on social media as we want you to be as immersed as we are in the project. For our social media links, see the tabs on our blog home page.