‘Friend’ Interview

For the section of the documentary where the user if given the option to consult a friend before the date, we needed to source somebody with valid experience and anecdotes on the matter who would be comfortable coming forward.

Our friend Nicole was happy to oblige this segment, where we used her actual advise as later interactions (texting a friend, showing the profile picture to a close friend and cross-referencing them on a more reliable social media such as Facebook).

Friend interview still 2

The user was given the chance to talk to her, as opposed to do their own online research (where exclusive interactions present themselves).

She revealed her own experience on the matter where a relationship had come as a result of the date, and was also happy to act out the part where she produces a contact for our other interview – the expert Ben Mitchell.

This was necessary to link the stages and she agreed that consulting an expert in the field is a recommended action.

We filmed the interview with both to Go-Pro and a handheld camera as we were not confident the Go-Pro would catch the footage perfectly as it did not have an interface, and we did not want to inconvenience her by re-doing the interview. We ended up using the handheld footage as the lamp impaired the sensitive Go-Pro, it gave it a natural edge and a better eye-line height – so that was a good contingency plan!

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TV News report

We are in the final stages of completing our project now, but having a look through our piece, we wanted to incorporate some more interactive content to engage our user further.

The topic revolving around the dangers of online dating has been quite topical in the news in recent weeks, regarding the case of Jason Lawrence.

This case involved Lawrence meeting 7 girls and raping 5 of them, with whom he had been exchanging messages with on the dating site match.com.

We wanted to incorporate this story and an element of current affairs into the piece.

To do this we sent our social media editor, Charlie, to record a news bulletin providing the user with the key facts about the case.

This report would then be yet another choice the user has throughout the documentary, by having the chance to view the entire report from a TV screen.

The user will be able to pick up the TV remote and then turn on the TV to play the sequence.

We thought this was an extra interactive element that would provide the user with a case in the real world which demonstrates the fatal dangers of meeting someone you do not know from online dating apps and websites.

Dating expert!

Expert Interview Blog Post:

Finding an expert in online dating was going to be a tricky task. Who could answer all the questions we had about the trials and tribulations of online dating?

And then we found him, Mr Ben Mitchell, our online dating expert.

Ben Mitchell

Our Social Media Editor, Charlie Milward, interviewed Ben on Tuesday to ask him for his professional insight into the online world of dating.

Ben Mitchell is the founder of Cheeky Boo, an online dating app based in Bournemouth that allows you to connect with other users within a 10 mile radius. Ben said that unlike other popular dating apps that now resemble more of a game than an actual hub to find love, Cheeky Boo allows you to find successful dating opportunities with the possibility of a romance blossoming at the end.

The interview provided us with the top tips that we needed to present over to our audience.

Such questions that we asked, and our users will be able to ask through interactivity, included:

  • What measures should someone take when they meet someone online?
  • What are the dangers of meeting a stranger?
  • What are the key signs that someone is not who they say they are?
  • Is there anything I can do to find out more about the person I am talking to?
  • When is the right time to ask for a meeting?
  • What are the key safety tips you would advise an online dater to use?

As a group, we thought that these were prominent and fundamental questions that the user would want to know. We also got Ben’s stance on what someone should do if they were asked to meet at one of three locations; a café, meet up with friends or going to a strangers house?

We were really pleased with the information that we obtained from our expert and hopefully we can convey this successful throughout our piece so that our user can stay safe when searching for love online.

To find out more about Cheeky Boo visit; http://www.cheekyboo.me/

 

 

Statistics

In the process of creating our interactive documentary we wanted to include real statistics about online dating and the different aspects and dangers of online dating. In doing background research into online dating statistics, I found a range of data from 2009 to 2015, making sure the data is as up to date as possible.

Here are some of the statistics I found:

General Statistics:

94% percent of online daters said they expect a response from their message within 24 hours.

9.1 million people in Britain are using online dating services.

Two-thirds of online daters go on dates with people they meet online.

Relationships:

1 in 5 relationships now start online.

Online dating is the fourth most common way internet users over 18 meet someone.

One in five married individuals aged between 19 and 25 met their spouse online.

Online Creeps:

85% of the victims of sexual offences linked to online dating were female in the period 2003-15.

43% of first face-to-face meetings between a victim of rape and the offender take place within one week of their initial contact online.

10% of Online Daters are Sex Offenders.

Catfishing:

81% of people have lied about their age, height and figure when using online dating.

1 out of 10 online dating profiles are fake.

71% of people who use online dating said they found people had been misleading in their profiles, and 21% of them were concerned people misrepresented their appearance.

All the statistics I sourced were found on the following websites:

 

Filming

The last two weeks have had us filming and exporting on Klynt.

 

We’ve strapped a Go-Pro to Natalie’s head and had her going about her daily routine, moving rooms, interacting with different objects that afford different statistics and future opportunities.

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The fish eye effect of the Go-Pro gives an interesting dimension to the shots. We’re using still shots segmented between videos to offer the user split decisions.

Sitting on sofa still

This is an unfinished version of our Klynt project. At this stage, we still have holes to plug and are in the throws of introducing fresh content. For example, interacting with a newspaper will bring up a mock newspaper article about dating fraud. We are hoping to achieve a mock TV news report by interacting with the TV about a recent story that has been circulating the news.

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The biggest struggles we’ve faced so far is ensuring consistency of shots, to make sure the videos are seamless and there are not any plotholes.

We have aimed thus far to never give the user one option, they should also have a variety of options. We have achieved some exclusive content for particular choices, but also key chokepoints along the way

With the last few days before our presentation, we will look to incorporate more graphics such as mock websites and social media profiles to enhance the options the user has,

Meeting 25/02/16

Today’s seminar allowed us to explore our options for the project further, by pitching our idea and layout to our potential audience.

At this time, we feel confident with the direction we are heading for this project, with filming commencing over the weekend.

But today, there were some questions raised by our pitch, which we welcomed and we were able to respond, allowing our audience to understand the concept more.

These were some of the questions put to us;

  • Where are your locations?

From looking at previous blog posts, you can see that the conclusion of our documentary is that the subject will meet with the person with whom they have been interacting. “Mr Mystery” will suggest three potential locations; a café, a house and asking the subject to join their friendship group in a more public, open space. The user can choose which location in which they meet, which will reveal the “type” of person they would meet; Mr Right, the catfish or the creepy stranger.

  • Why are you portraying this from a female’s perspective?

In early discussions, we all agreed that we did not want to overcomplicate the documentary and we wanted to produce a quality piece within the time frame given. Although we appreciate that both men and women are faced by dangers in the world of online dating, a female character projects further vulnerability and allows us to explore avenues that a man would not face if in the same position.

  • Do you want to meet “Mr Mystery”?

As a team, we have agreed that the element of mystery is essential to this piece and we want the audience to be left in suspense. So instead of actually going to the location you as a user choose, we will instead provide facts and statistics from the research we have conducted of each eventuality. This way the documentary is more informative and provides the audience with the essential information we are trying to convey.

  • Do you want to give them replay ability?

With our original idea, we had created so much replay ability that we as a team, we thought the user would become bored and not explore every avenue they were given. With this new, updated concept, we have created a simple narrative which allows the user a choice of two ways they can gain advice for this “meeting”, and which ever one they don’t choose, they can play again. Similarly, with the alternate endings, the user can play the documentary again to gain access to the information from the location they had not chosen previously. The audience liked this choice and said that the replay ability was simple, not complex or boring.

  • How are you incorporating facts throughout?

This was a fundamental question raised about the concept. Throughout the documentary, key facts and statistics would be drip fed in so that the user is learning throughout and not just at the end. Our expert will provide safety tips in a fun and interactive manner and a friend would be able to convey their experience, allowing the user to learn in an emotive way. However, the choice of location at the end will fundamentally display the key statistic to what would happen if you took this route.

The audience did really like the narrative we had produced and encouraged the air of mystery to be kept throughout, even to the very end. They emphasised the importance of feeding in information throughout, so we are not just producing a game, but an informative interactive activity.

 

Meeting 23/02/16

After some discussions, we ironed out some issues we had with the mindmap. We have now devised a new 9-stage flowchart for the documentary.

We realised that under the old regime, we would be overcomplicating the user with too many trivial decisions as a result of offering 3 men to interact with so we changed that dynamic to involve 1 man instead. We were starting to obsess over the minor details. We wanted to afford the user roamability, but those so far hadn’t been nourishing to the main purpose of the documentary. Also, our previous roamability didn’t offer replayability, which was also something we needed to achieve. We needed a way of ensuring this didn’t spiral out of control with pointless, time-consuming decisions and also ensuring we aren’t funnelling the user into a rigid skeleton of events.

Finally, there were a number of loose ends, mainly the innocuous way the user comes into contact with the expert and needed to find a better way of producing that. The convenient way the user bumps into a friend also resonated that. It just felt too carefree and rather than fussing about picking our dresses, we should be giving the user important decisions. It was becoming less of a documentary and more of a story – and whilst it should cater as both – we needed better balance.

Stage 1: Intro video and scene setting. The user wakes up and goes about a succinct morning routine leading into the next stage.

Stage 2: The main message interface, giving the user the chance to now speak to just 1 person rather than the original 3. Their motive will be unclear at this stage with generic conversation and their dialogue starting to hint at meeting. The user will have a variety of responses.

Stage 3: Being on the backfoot about meeting, the user has two choices of consultation. They can choose to consult a friend who offers personal experience and advice, or they will conduct a websearch for advice. This will offer 2 different options the user can select at Stage 6, and both will produce the contact for the expert.

Stage 4: After a cut-scene, the user conducts a compulsory phone call to the expert, whose advice will become important in the final decision.

Stage 5:  The user receives further contact from the ‘mystery man’, once more they can respond with a number of multiple choice answers which will unveil more about their personality and motive as it develops their character. Ultimately, the user is always agrees to meet the man.

Stage 6: Upon agreeing to the date, the user will be afforded a number of options depending on the choice at stage 3 and this in turn educates the user on potential ways to protect themselves with online dating. This is crucial to offer roamability and replayability. We still need to develop how best to make these payoffs most appealing. For example, one precaution will be to text a friend beforehand so that will be an option.

Stage 7: The user receives a definitive/ultimatum message from the man asking where they should meet.

Stage 8: Based on the advice of the expert, the user can set the location of the date. An open and public place (cafe perhaps), an event surrounded by friends or their house. The man has a different motive for each location which encapsulates the 3 different character motives in the previous mindmap – it’s perhaps obvious at this point which is which, so we may well alter this. It shows the man to be ambiguous, playing off the previous ‘catfish’ aspect. He has the opportunity to be both good and bad, which shows the dangers and wonders of online dating.

Stage 9: depending on your choice, a video plays an outcome backed with facts and statistics that consolidate the experience.

 

Mr Mystery on Social Media

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.

Meeting 19/02/16

We have settled on the idea of dangers of online dating under the name: Mr Mystery.

As mentioned before, this is a topic that has has fair coverage in the past so we must find interactive and creative ways to set it apart from the rest.

However, we have the wind at our backs in terms of a like-for-like hands-on nature so we have plenty of options for things we can translate into an interactive documentary: messaging, swiping, profiling ect.

Our basic structure has been cast:

The ‘user’ is female, for the sake of argument. The equality would be desirable in having the choice of gender, but not really achievable in the time-frame. We do balance this later.

The user will be guided through a day scenario from the eyes of this girl, from waking up and going about a normal day routine in between a series of messaging interactions from their dating app and ultimately deciding whether you wish to meet up with the man in question.

The catch is that the user must choose to speak to 1 of 3 men, all of whom with different motives and it is your objective to select ‘Mr Right’ – he could be suave or clumsy, we haven’t decided yet.

The problem is that one of the men is a total creep or pervert, underneath his (possibly charming) facade and you want to avoid meeting this man.

The other is a ‘catfish’ – somebody who pretends to be someone they’re not online. A false identity of some kind, not necessarily cynically but maybe overcompensating. Their picture might be highly filtered or Photoshopped, but ultimately they will not be exactly how they paint themselves to be.

Along the way, you will interact with the man of your choice in a series of multi-choice messages. There will be only so many chances to reconsider your choice.

Also along the way, you will meet a friend (an actual person [male] we have sourced with a real life experience), which will advise you on the path you should take.

They will also refer you to an expert on the matter, somebody to offer more guidance – though you don’t have to see them. You can resume your day as planned.

Ultimately, they will press to meet you and it is up to you to make a judgement call.

When you discover who you have ended up with, the outcome will be accompanied by a salient statistic. You will then be presented with the chance to replay to see how you fair with the other guys.

 

First Meeting 12/02/16

Our interactive documentary is under way.

Over the next 4 weeks, keep tabs on our development and creation process as we bring you a multi-narrative story where you – our user – will navigate your way through the different entry points you encounter.

We have established our roles, as follows:

Ben Allen – Project Director. The head honcho. Ben will assign individual tasks and ensure all hands are on deck as we develop the project. With his leadership skills, he will oversee the project and act as a final arbiter in the decision making.

Reece Dixon – Graphic Designer and Web Editor. In charge of the aesthetics and cosmetics of the project, Reece will ensure the project looks and works as swift and smooth as possible. Closely liaising with Ben, they will work as visionaries for the project.

Charlie Milward – Social Media Producer. The conductor of our social media presence across the major platform of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Charlie will manage these operations to incite cyber hype around our project and invent ways for our audience to play an active role in our development. By uploading ‘backstage’ pictures of our work, this generates an interest in our work prior to its launch.

Georgia Pearce, Natalie Whitmore and Jacob Granger – Content Producers. Whilst active in development discussions and negotiations, these 3 will largely work to produce the bulk of the content. Shooting interviews and footage will be priority tasks, amongst general ‘team-player’ roles. As the project develops, they will be available to splinter into sub roles.

After this meeting, we have devised a shortlist of potential topics. Here are our best so far:

 

Dangers of online dating: looks to be the favourite, simulating a dating app in an immersed lifestyle using anecdotal stories to underline the dangers (and perhaps favours) of those apps – with built in statistics breadcrumbed along the way. The interface will aim to mirror the tactile nature of the apps and that works massively in favour of this option. The challenges facing this option is that it is a widely covered topic, but nevertheless always a pertinent one. We must challenge ourselves to find ways to innovate this topic interactively.

Autism Spectrum: Using a ‘necklace’ like system, we will use statistics and personal stories to shed light on a spectrum of autistic behaviour – where we feel there is perhaps misconception. Whilst a refreshing idea, we are challenged by how obligated we are, ethically, to cover the many different strains this entails. Given the time frame, we’d have to limit ourselves to a handful of cases. Also, how would we compel users to dive into our project and in what ways would be able to make this interactive other than a ‘wikipedia’ like project?

NHS: A highly topical story where we would look into the central issues in the NHS from the point of view of patients, doctors and any other affiliation. We had an interesting idea of filming in a hospital and choosing which doors to enter which would unfold a different story. The biggest obstacle of this is getting the permission to do so, as we are required to do – and especially hampered by the timeframe to source relevant and adequate interviews would prove very difficult, in addition to making the whole experience interactive.

Refugees: Again, highly topical but perhaps too wide of an idea. We wanted to gauge different moods surrounding the refugee crisis by speaking to different people but were restricted by the amount, and quality of, interview we’d realistically be able to access in and around Bournemouth. As such a wide topic, as journalists we’d be challenged by how many sides we would owe a point of view and right of reply. This could quickly scale out of control and difficult to keep a lid on, however it would be a highly rewarding documentary if we could pull it off.

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