Unit J6008260 – Identify sources of information and present findings

Task 1

What are the different potential sources of information you can use when given something to research? Ensure that you cover the difference between primary and secondary research.

 

There is a variety of sources of information available to conduct my research into my chosen social media platform, Instagram. A good starting point would be to use Google to search for relevant topics on the subject, which would bring up a wide range of sources, ranging from articles and blog posts to infographics and videos. Gathering the information from these sources would be an example of secondary research, which is using data that has already been produced. An alternative source of information would be to conduct some primary research and create a survey to be completed by a small group. Primary research is when new information is found and collected. The benefit of primary research is I can ensure that the information that I collect is relevant to the topic.

 

Task 2

Think of an idea that would allow you to use converging technology, within your own workplace if possible, to either connect with your customers/clients or make day to day working easier. This could be to implement a social media platform you do not use, bring in a new messaging system, create a new blog or website. State what your idea is in detail.

 

 

My idea would be for the company to run an Instagram account. The purpose would be to offer a “behind-the-scenes” view of the company, showcasing the work we do and to show more casual images of working in the company. It could be also used to share images of events we are involved in in real-time. This would give us an opportunity to share our work with a wider audience, which would both promote our clients as well as ourselves. Additionally, it would help build our brand personality, particularly from sharing the more casual images from work.

 

Task 3

Identify the different sources of primary and secondary research that you can use to gather information for this project. This can be people at work, researching certain websites. Write down where you think you will get the information from.

I will use Google to help with my research, searching for relevant articles/blog posts on the topic. I will visit some websites/blogs written by social media experts, such as http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/ and https://blog.hootsuite.com/, to see what insights they have concerning Instagram. Additionally, I will look at Instagram itself to see what similar companies post and generally the sort of content that is posted.

I will gather primary research from questionnaires or interviews with my colleagues.

 

Task 4

Talk to an ‘expert’ on the topic to gather some initial info to help you do your research. Who are they and what did you ask?

 

I talked to my manager, Helen, who comes from a marketing background. I had a discussion about using social media, the benefits it offers a company and then talked more specifically about her experience and opinion of Instagram.

The key points we covered were:

  • How can social media benefit a company
  • What she knows about Instagram
  • What does she use it for
  • How do others use it
  • What does Instagram offer that is useful in terms of marketing
  • What are the main pros/cons of the platform

 

Task 5

Carry out research on your ideas by coming up with a minimum 5 questions to 5 people (colleagues if possible). Explain who you are asking the questions to and why they were chosen. Keep a record of your responses. What method will you use to distribute the questions and why that method? (email, face to face, questionnaire).

 

I created the following questions as I felt they provided the opportunity for the responders to include their own personal insights into the matter. The questions I asked covered a range of ideas, from more general ones about the platform to specific ones concerning marketing.

 

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?
  • What makes an Instagram account successful?
  • How could we use Instagram?
  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?
  • Do you think using Instagram would increase traffic?

 

I decided to talk to my colleagues about the topic as they would be most equipped to provide answers in relation to the company, additionally, they have experience in marketing.

I chose to talk face-to-face to ask the questions, as it provided a more relaxed atmosphere and I would be able to gather more accurate responses. It also ensured I could get the responses quickly, If I had emailed them a questionnaire they may not have allocated time to do it during the busy workday.

 

Tom, 19 – Interests: Sports, Technology, Gaming

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?

 

Yes, though I don’t really post anything. Instagram is a social network for sharing pictures.

 

  • What makes an Instagram account successful?

 

The accounts I follow that work well are ones that post fairly often so you always see new content from them when you open the app.

 

  • How could we use Instagram?

 

Posting updates on the projects we are working on.

 

  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?

 

I think they could, they would allow us to reach people who aren’t following us already.

 

  • Do you think using Instagram increase traffic?

 

I think if we paid for ads we would likely see a boost in traffic.

 

Richard, 41 – Interests: Photography, Design, Football, MMA

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?

 

Yes, I post photos and follow a fair number of accounts. It’s a photo and video sharing platform that Facebook bought for a lot of money.

 

  • What makes an Instagram account successful?

 

Quality. I only really follow accounts that post quality content.

 

  • How could we use Instagram?

 

I think we could share the work we do, would be like creating a live portfolio. I think creative content works well on Instagram as it is primarily a photo sharing service.

 

  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?

 

I’ve seen how Facebook ads have benefitted us so I’m sure Instagram ads would work too, though I’m not sure if the people we usual work with are that active on Instagram, we don’t have that many requests for integrating Instagram into websites we build.

 

  • Do you think using Instagram would increase traffic?

 

As long as we actively use it I’m sure it will, the more online presence the better!

 

Michael, 38 – Interests: Technology, Gadgets, Computers

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?

 

Occasionally, I don’t check it daily and post even less. It’s a photo sharing service, popular with a younger demographic.

 

  • What makes an Instagram account successful?

 

I think the opposite of how I use. Regular posts and doing so consistently, this would keep the audience coming back. You would need to make sure what you post is interesting as well.

 

  • How could we use Instagram?

 

I think using it how most people use it – creating a visual diary, posting what we are doing in the day and the events we are involved in.

 

  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?

 

I’m not sure if Instagram would be the right platform to reach the demographic we typically serve. I’m sure we may get some interest due to paid ads but I think we would be better off using Facebook.

 

  • Do you think using Instagram would increase traffic?

 

It probably would but I don’t think it would be as significant a boost as we would see from other social networks which reach our demographic more.

 

Jo, 26 – Interests: Design, Fashion, Music

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?

 

Yes, it’s a social network for sharing photos and videos. It’s been trying to compete with Snapchat and has “borrowed” some of their features.

 

  • What makes an Instagram account successful?

 

Interesting pictures, being active, running promotions doesn’t hurt.

 

  • How could we use Instagram?

 

I think using it to show off the work we do would be a good option, this would also help advertise our clients.

 

  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?

 

They would definitely help us reach a wider audience.

 

  • Do you think using Instagram increase traffic?

 

I think we would see more traffic if we made interesting posts and kept the account active, paying for ads would help too.

 

Task 6

Are there any gaps in info? You should now do some secondary research on the topic ensuring you keep a record of your research using screen captures with explanations of the process.

 

I haven’t looked into the demographics of Instagram or checked to see what the most popular posts are. I would need to do some secondary research to gather this information.

 

I began by doing a Google search to see if I could find some information on the demographic of Instagram users.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 15.11.11.png

 

I checked a selection of the results to gather an impression of the demographic.

 

Sproutsocial.com had a useful infographic breaking down the demographic of instagram:

instagram

I then did a further Google search to find information on what sort of content works on Instagram

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 15.21.19.png

This led me to some useful articles which broke down the different styles/themes of posts on Instagram, explaining why they worked and provided examples of the concepts in practice.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 15.29.59.png

 

I also decided it would be worth seeing if I could find any information on Instagram Ads.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 15.35.08.png

Task 7

Review all the information you have, check any inconsistent or contradictory information, evaluate the data and come up with a conclusion. Present your findings using charts and graphs.

After evaluating the data I came to the conclusion that creating and running an Instagram account would be beneficial to the company. It would be important to create a strategy for how and what to post however, as the type of content has varying levels of success. The majority of Instagram users are younger people, which isn’t our typical audience. This leads to two considerations; there would be less competition when targeting our demographic as it smaller, and it would be a good platform to engage with a new audience that we don’t typically work with. I think more research would be required as to whether using Instagram Ads would be beneficial and the most cost-effective platform to advertise on.

Infographic of my findings

https://infograph.venngage.com/p/269321/apprentice-task

 

Task 8

You should then upload evidence that you have presented what you found out to your line manager by getting a witness statement or screen shot of an email from them with comments on what they think of your idea.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 00.16.51

 

Task 9

What are the main legal and ethical issues to consider when doing research? (copyright, confidentiality etc) How did you ensure that you followed these legal and ethical practices when doing your research?

 

In terms of conducting primary research, the main legal & ethical considerations concern the Data Protection Act. Participants must be made fully aware of how the data they provide will be used and their expectations for privacy must be respected. You cannot gather sensitive personal data (such as ethnicity, political & religious beliefs etc.) without explicit consent. Any data collected must be stored securely.

In terms of using secondary research, it is important to properly reference the data so as to show who initially carried it out. It may also be necessary to acquire permission to use the data, particularly if it has not been published.

 

L/600/9037 Awareness of Employment in the Creative Media Sector 2

3.1

Create and present a professional standard CV, with examples of own work, relevant to a specific job application

 

Attached is a copy of my CV and a link to my portfolio

Daniel Swanborough-Nilson CV

http://dcsndesign.tk/portfolio/

 

 

2.1

Describe a range of prospective employers and the profiles and products of these employers

 

Prospective Employers:

 

Helen Owen Marketing Enterprises (HOME) CIC – Marketing Company

(Current employer)

 

A small company focusing on providing low cost marketing solutions mainly to charities, community groups and social entrepreneurs. Offer web design, graphic design, marketing solutions (email campaigns, ad campaigns) and provide training to job seekers and clients as well as a free IT help drop-in service.

 

Very relaxed structure, wide range of clients. Workforce is very fluid due to the use of volunteers.

 

Having worked here during the course of my apprenticeship I know I have the required skills for the job. There is also the opportunity to do the sort of work I enjoy (design).

 

bamb – Design Agency

 

A small (3 person) company based in Eastbourne specialising in branding, web design and web development who love good design.

 

I feel like working for bamb would be great due to their passion for good design, I can see from looking through their portfolio that their work is of excellent quality and similar to what I like. From looking at their website and social accounts, they seem to be have a friendly, relaxed work environment and not to take things too seriously.

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 18.38.15.png I also like their core values:

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 18.17.52.png

 

I think I would have the necessary skills to work with them; being proficient in Adobe CC applications, WordPress, Photography.

 

Self Employed – Design/Creative/Marketing

 

I think for a lot of creatives the dream is to work for yourself. Having the freedom to choose which projects to pursue and being able to put your own personal touch to the work is a real attraction. Of course, it would involve a lot of hard work to get going and noticed and to become sustainable. However, it can just takes one client, or one project, to be noticed and then you find yourself inundated with offers.

 

Realistically, I don’t possess all the skills and knowledge to make it on my own, but by bringing together a team to fill in the gaps it would be plausible. For example, my knowledge of PHP and SQL is lacking so I would need to find a web developer.

 

 

 

2.2

Explain how to choose an employer in terms of own personal interests, knowledge, skills and job requirements

 

When choosing a job, it is important for it to be one you would enjoy. Though getting the perfect job is unlikely, there is probably going to be aspects of a job that you don’t enjoy but as long as they don’t outweigh the benefits then that is good.

 

Your own knowledge is an important factor too. You must consider the benefits your knowledge could bring to the position, as well as how your knowledge could aid your success at the job. It is worth noting that it would be unwise to go into a job which is in a field you have no knowledge in whatsoever.

 

The skills you possess also influence your choice in jobs. Having specialised skills can be a real benefit to an employer and can increase your value to them. You may also have skills that won’t be utilised in the job, and whether you are happy with this is worth considering as you may lose the opportunity to practice them. This can be a particularly notable concern in the context of a Digital workplace due to the speed that technology is evolving, not using a skill for one year could mean you are completely out-dated compared to others with the skill.

 

It is also important to consider potential for growth in the job. If the job offers the opportunity to work across different sectors or gain additional qualifications/training it is certainly something to consider. The chance to develop in the workplace is valuable and can open up career progression.

 

One of the key factors when choosing a job is to examine the job requirements, as ultimately, this is what the company is looking for. There is little point applying for a position if you do not meet the requirements as they are what the company needs to be able to do the job. That’s not to say its worthless applying for a position without meeting the requirements, it may lead to something, though not necessarily the job at hand.

 

 

R/600/9038 ­& R/600/9010 – Communicating and Presenting Ideas in the Creative Media Sector & Contribute to good working relationships

R/600/9010 1.1

Explain the importance of balancing the needs and tasks of people

It is important to create a balance between the needs and tasks of people in the workplace. There is an obvious priority to tasks in the workplace, as these are what generates revenue. Ensuring that tasks are managed so that they are completed to deadlines is vital to being successful. Creating timescales for projects is a good way to manage each task. It is important though that there is communication within a team concerning their needs. I may need another team member to change a deadline for their task in order for me to complete mine. If I find myself unable to reach a deadline I would communicate my needs to the manager so that the priority of other tasks could be adjusted.

However, it is important to remember that people have needs too. Having employees focus 100% on the tasks whilst at work can be very draining on them, and allowing them to have small breaks to distract themselves can actually improve productivity. (http://www.pcworld.com/article/239054/why_employees_should_surf_the_web_at_work.html)

We have a fairly relaxed and flexible working environment. I feel this generally improves productivity and certainly builds team morale. This is as long as tasks get completed to deadlines, if colleagues spend too much time socialising it can affect tasks getting completed and this can reflect negatively on morale. To this point, we generally coordinate coffee breaks etc, so that everyone in the team works and breaks equally.

It is also important to note the needs of clients. For example, a recent project I have is creating the Annual Report for a client. They have a final deadline for the project to be completed so it can be printed and delivered for an event. They also need to be aware of my needs in order to complete the project; receiving content in time to actually create the layout.

 

 

R/600/9010 1.2/1.5

Explain the Importance of sharing information with colleagues

Explain the Importance for liaison with colleagues to productivity

 

It is important to share information with colleagues so that everyone has all the facts. It is particularly important if multiple people are working on the same project. For example, when creating a new website we would have different people on different tasks, i.e. setting up plugins, gathering content, designing. Some of these tasks may be dependant on having other tasks completed, so it is important to keep the rest of the team updated on your own progress so that they know when something is ready or so that they can focus on a specific area so as to not hold up other stages of the production. By liaising with your colleagues you can make sure everyone is aware of what stage each other is at and ensure everyone can work productively.

When starting a new website project, we will have someone complete a form with all the basic information of the client (form template below)

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 10.42.46.png

This will be shared on Dropbox in the relevant client folder so everyone in the team has access to it. This is useful as we don’t need to rely on one individual for specific information, particularly due to how our company is structured with employees & volunteers having flexible hours.
We also email each other with updates of how stages of a project are going. Image below shows how I was informed that a domain transfer was progressing.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 10.49.23

This meant I could begin packaging the offline version of the site to be transferred to the new domain once we have it linked to our hosting provider.

R/600/9038 1.2

Compare a range of techniques used for influencing and persuading others and their application

 

There are numerous ways one can influence or persuade others, with different techniques being more suitable and effective depending on the context.

 

One can try to persuade someone verbally by having a discussion. This works well when trying to persuade one person as you can adjust your argument based on their input. Alternatively, you can use written communication (e.g. email, printed report). The benefit of this method is that it gives the individual you are persuading the opportunity to go over the information at their own pace and really process the facts. When persuading a larger group, preparing a presentation can be a successful technique. It allows you to put your point across and have supporting data displayed on a screen. Another technique would be to provide a demonstration. This can be useful when the matter that you are discussing is somewhat abstract, an example could be when working on a logo design for a client. Showing them an alternative design is much easier than trying to explain how a particular different design would be better (without them seeing it).

R/600/9038 1.3

Describe how to give and receive constructive feedback

R/600/9010 1.3

Identify ways of tactfully requesting others to change working arrangements to improve own productivity

 

When giving constructive feedback it is important to speak objectively and not attack an individual personally, this can be done by separating the situation from the person. It is also important to be specific with the feedback. For example, if you had presented a design to your manager and they said “I don’t like the colours used”, the only useful information you have is that the colours used need to be changed. You could edit your design and still be using colours that aren’t right. Better feedback would be “The colours aren’t right, I think using warmer colours would work better as it would reflect the nature of the product more”, this highlights a reason why the original is not successful and provides a guideline for what would work better.

 

Another common technique when giving feedback is known as the “feedback sandwich method”. This is where you offer a positive, followed by a criticism and ended with another positive. This helps it not seem like an attack on the feedback receiver as you don’t jump in with what’s bad and highlight the positives of their work.

 

When receiving feedback it is important to remember not to take it personally and not to get emotional over it. It is also important to clarify any feedback you receive to ensure that you have understood what is being said properly, this also shows that you are listening and willing to make improvements.

 

When requesting others to change their working arrangements to improve your own productivity, it is important to communicate and explain your reasons and needs and allow them to respond. You may need to find a compromise that benefits both parties. It is important that you do not force them, or make them feel forced, to change their arrangements as this can conjure negativity and damage relationships.

 

An example could be that I have a task and need additional help to ensure I can deliver it to the deadline. A colleague may not have such time sensitive work so I may ask them to assist me, however by doing so I may end up putting them in the same situation as me in the future. In light of this, I could ask them to assist me and then I would help them with their tasks so they can maintain their schedule.

F/600/8323 – Produce Copy for Interactive Media Products

Task 1

1.1. Identify relevant constraints, possibilities and opportunities offered by the selected target medium/platform

1.2. Identify key constraints or considerations arising from the use of an online content management

 

I typically write content for websites using the WordPress CMS. WordPress offers a basic text editor allowing you to set text styles and import media, it is however rather limiting. Often making your content appear just how you want it requires additional CSS. A lot of the websites I work on use the Divi Theme which does offer more freedom in layout and style due to the Divi Builder plugin. This essentially offers a grid system with pre-made modules which offers more freedom in how content is laid out. Additionally, created layouts can be saved allowing you to load previously made layouts for new posts and maintain a consistent style for similar posts.

 

A benefit of using the WordPress CMS is that there is a multitude of plugins available to improve functionality and experience. A common plugin we use is a Social Network Auto-poster. This allows us to define certain post types that, when created, will automatically be shared to connected social media accounts. Furthermore, the Divi Theme (and most modern themes) is fully responsive, meaning that it will display nicely on various screen sizes.

 

I also write content for printed media, generally for advertising purposes such as flyers or displays. This is usually done in Photoshop or Illustrator. Working with text in design software essentially allows full control over the appearance. What isn’t available is spelling and grammar checking, so this has to be done manually or outside of the design software.

 

Task 2

2.1. Identify a style that is suitable for the target audience and purpose of the communication

home roller.jpg

The attached copy is from a roller banner for the company I work for to be used at events. The target audience of the copy is essentially anyone in attendance at the event where the banner is being used, with the aim of it to express the core identity of the company. As such, the writing style needs to be clear and concise, conveying the key facts about the company in a way that it can be comprehended quickly.

 

As the banner is generally used at events, the copy has to be written in a welcoming tone to encourage people to talk to us. Rather than referring to the company by name “we” is used. This personifies the company, which makes it more approachable. Verbs such as “offer” and “provide” are used as they aren’t forceful and have charitable connotations. “Sell” could have been used instead of “offer” and it certainly would have made much clearer the fact that what the company does is sell a service, yet it would have had a colder tone and focused too much on the business aspect of the company rather than the charitable aspect (as a CIC).

 

2.2. Maintain a consistent style both within texts and between related texts

Show at least one other example of a post to show that you have a consistent style by analysing this as before and commenting on the similarities in style.

homead.jpg

The provided example is an advert highlighting the services the company offers. Like the previous copy, “we” is used to personify the organization and make it appear more approachable. Again, verbs like “help” and “provide” are used as they are less forceful and indicate the company’s focus on helping.

 

Task 3

2.4.  Structure the text-based content for readability and accessibility

2.6. Format copy, following relevant writing conventions, style guides and policies

 

As a lot of the copy I produce is for printed media, length/amount of text is often depending on size and context of the media. For example, the roller banner is 200cm tall and 80cm wide which gives me a lot of space to add text. However, in the context it is used it is better to include less text. This is because it will generally be viewed from a distance, meaning text needs to be large. Additionally, the audience is usually viewing it at a busy event and it is not suitable for them to be standing still reading large swathes of copy. Whereas an A5 sized flyer is much smaller in physical size, it is more appropriate to include more text as the reader can hold it and spend more time looking at it.

 

I generally have to be quite adaptive with the style I write in as I often produce copy for different clients. If I am given a guideline on the tone they use in their writing I will follow it, otherwise I will read through other copy they have and reflect its style in my own writing.

 

As demonstrated in the previously attache examples, I will use paragraphs to break up text as it allows the reader to distinguish different points easily. Similarly with the list of services, I chose to include one item per line as it enforces that they are separate items, which can be important when using terms that the reader may not know as to avoid confusion.

 

Task 4

2.7. Produce appropriate captions or descriptions to accompany content

 Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 15.32.39

When adding images to WordPress, the media library allows you to define the image Title, Description, Caption and Alternative Text.

 

Task 5

2.9. Produce and embed metadata

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 15.27.55.png

We use the SEOPresser plugin on our WordPress websites which allows us to add metadata to pages and posts on the website. Here I have defined the Title Meta, which indicates the title of the page, and provided a Meta description, which provides a brief overview of what the page is about. Utilising metadata help with SEO and the data can be used as snippets when displayed in a search engines results page.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 15.30.50.png

Task 6

3.2. Check the accuracy of any facts and figures quoted, seeking advice as required

 

How I check facts and figures depends on the context of the information. For example, if I am writing about the services a client offers I will contact them for an accurate list of check their website/social media to see what they have previously stated. If it is a more general fact, I will use google to see if I can find a reputable source that backs up the claim.

 

For example, for the advert attached above, I asked my line manager for an up-to-date and accurate list of services the company offered to include in my advert, and then had her check the final version to ensure it was all correct.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.02.15.png

 

Task 7

4.1. Review the content against any legal and ethical considerations

4.2. Make any necessary changes to comply with relevant legislation

 

One of the main legal and ethical considerations when producing copy is that the information is truthful and not misleading. I ensure this by fact checking and confirming the information is indeed correct. Furthermore, it is important to write statements in a way that is clear and comprehendible and not to word text in such a way that its interpretation is ambiguous. Not adhering to this would breach certain laws and open the company up to legal issues.

With the advert attached previously, I ensured that the information was all accurate and truthful and had my manager check it to both see if it was correct and that it isn’t worded in a way that could mislead the audience.

Another consideration is copyright. If I have used someone else’s copy it is important to get their permission to reproduce it, or if I am quoting them to ensure I include adequate reference to them. Copy can be protected under copyright law so using it without permission would be a legal issue, there is also a matter of how ethical it is to use someone else work without permission, even if it is technically legal to do so.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.24.56

Y/600/9039 – Converging Technologies

1.1

How is digital technology used in the creative media sector and what relationships has this created between different industries in the sector?

 

In the creative media sector, digital technology is a vital component in being able to function and improves productivity and efficiency in many areas. At the company I work for (a marketing company) we use digital technology in almost everything we do.

 

Looking at a typical project that we would undertake; the creation of a website, we use digital technology at most stages of development and production. To begin with clients are given a form created in Microsoft Word to assess their requirements for the website. From this we can begin to create wireframes either using Photoshop or a wireframing tool such as Sketchapp. These are then uploaded to our cloud storage and a link shared via email to the client for feedback. Using digital technology for these tasks allows us to produce and share them quickly and easily.

 

When building the site we use the WordPress CMS and a premade theme. This allows us to quickly create the website and add content without the need for excessive coding as the CMS and theme both provide a foundation to work from with the necessary features and code required already existing.

 

Once the website is completed we can use social media to promote it. Social media allows us to reach a wide range of people with ease so we don’t need to target the desired audience individually. We also sent out an email using Mailchimp which allows us to create a professional email and send it out to a mailing list incredibly easily.

 

The use of digital technology in the creative media sector has allowed collaboration between different industries to be achieved much more easily. It has also meant that there has been a merging of some of the services these industries offer due to the ease of access to the technology. For example, a web design company may previously have just designed the layouts and coded the website, whereas now, with digital photography and the availability to create professional imaging easily, they may be more involved in producing the content for the site as well.

 

2.1/2.2

What is meant by converging technology and what impact has it had on the workforce within your organisation/industry?

 

“Technological convergence is the tendency that as technology changes, different technological system sometimes evolve toward performing similar tasks. Digital convergence refers to the convergence of four industries into one conglomerate, ITTCE (Information Technologies, Telecommunication, Consumer Electronics, and Entertainment).

 

 

Media convergence is the interlinking of computing and other information technologies, media content, media companies and communication networks that have arisen as the result of the evolution and popularization of the Internet as well as the activities, products and services that have emerged in the digital media space.”

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_convergence)

 

 

Converging technology is where separate technologies evolve to perform similar tasks as other technologies. A prime example being mobile phones, which besides their core function of voice calls and text messaging are now cameras, gaming devices, payment methods (e.g. Apple Pay), video players and basically a computer in your pocket.

 

The impact that technological convergence has had in my industry is substantial. With the improvements to smartphone cameras, a lot of content can be created and shared quickly without quality being a concern. Social Networks have also allowed us to created targeted advertising for a lower cost and with improved accuracy compared to traditional methods (printed ads, radio ads etc).

 

3.1

How has converging technology changed the expectations of audiences/consumers within a chosen creative media industry?

 

Looking at web design/development, one of the main changes in consumer expectations due to converging technology is the focus on mobile-friendly design. With more people accessing the internet from mobile devices (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/11/01/mobile-web-usage-overtakes-desktop-for-first-time/) there is a demand to make websites that work well on smaller screens and with touch input. Additionally, due to Social Media being such a widely used tool for organisations, there is a strong need for Social Network accounts to integrate with websites, be it by displaying posts from the Social Network on the website or by having new content from the site being automatically pushed to the social network accounts. There is also an expectation for websites to be full of high quality content, particularly high-res images and HD videos.

 

3.2

How have ideas for multi-platform content been used to reach new audiences/generate revenue?

 

A great example of how multi-platform content has been used is Lego. Lego has branched out from a physical toy and released a series of computer games, the more recent ones being tied into larger entities such a Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. By doing so they can introduce their product to fans of the other series as well as gamers. Additionally, Lego has created feature length films, most recently The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. Creating a successful film can be a huge revenue boost, and The Lego Movie generated over $450 million at the box office and a further $128 million from domestic video sales (http://www.the-numbers.com/movie/LEGO-Movie-The#tab=summary).

 

By expanding into different platforms, Lego has offered new ways to generate revenue and can reach audiences who may not typically be interested in their core product.

 

3.3

Describe examples of commissioning processes and funding opportunities in relation to converging technologies

 

It is much easier for new projects to find funding with the advent of crowdfunding organisations such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe. These crowdfunding companies allow a user to upload their pitch to the site, set a funding target, offer funding incentives etc. and then anyone can help fund it.

 

A prime example for the effectiveness of crowdfunding is the Pebble Smartwatch. The company failed to attract traditional investors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_(watch)#Funding) so turned to crowdfunding through Kickstarter. Their target was $100,000 and they offered the smartwatch to users who backed $115 (effectively pre-ordering the device at a discount). They achieved their goal in 2 hours, and went on to raise over $10million during the campaign.

 

Pebble researched other successful Kickstarters to build the most effective campaign, deeming a “video that had a personal pitch and talked directly to your customers and viewers was really important”. They also realised that the most important aspect to a Kickstarters success is how traffic is driven to the Kickstart page. In light of this, they target a number of relevant tech & gadget bloggers as well as teaming up with Engaget to promote the launch of the campaign.

(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michaelprice/heres-how-the-pebble-smar_b_5798406.html)

The launch of the Kickstarter essentially went viral, reaching a wide audience and gaining massive exposure through online and social media.

 

For content creators who regularly release new content, e.g. Youtubers, websites like Patreon offer an opportunity for funding. Patreon is another crowdfunding solution, however it works on more of a subscription basis, with individuals pledging an amount on a monthly basis in return for extra content. Other methods to receive funding can be to include adverts on their content or to gain sponsorship.

 

K6008297 – Prepare assets for use in interactive media products

Importing, Editing and Assembling Video & Audio Clips in Premiere Pro

After opening Premiere Pro and creating a new project, the first step is to import the video file that is being used. I did this by locating the file in the media browser (bottom left panel) and dragging it to the timeline (bottom right panel), which imports the media into the project.Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 15.00.37As we captured audio separately, the next step is to import the audio track and sync it with the video. Importing the audio is done the same way as when we imported the video clip. To help sync the audio and video, we had the interviewee clap to give us a clear sound with visual reference to work with. Additionally, as the camera also recorded audio we can get a rough idea of where to sync the tracks by comparing the waveforms of the two audio tracks.Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 15.10.24With the audio and video synced, we can then remove the unneeded audio from the camera and link the new track to the video (this will help keep the audio and video together when cutting the video into shorter clips).Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 15.14.22To cut the video into smaller clips, first we select the Razor tool by pressing C on the keyboard, then we click on the part of the video where we want to cut the clip.

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 15.34.48Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 15.34.56To then trim a clip, making sure the selection tool is active by pressing V, click and drag from the start/end of a clip to where you want the clip to start/end and release.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 15.41.45This will leave a gap in the video so it’s important to move the clips together again after trimming.

Once we have cut the original video into smaller clips, they can be arranged in the desired order on the timeline. At this point we can add any B Roll into the project, this time adding the videos to a separate video track and removing the audio track from them. To make the transitions between clips a bit better looking, video transitions can be added. This is done by selecting the Video Transitions folder from the Effects window, and dragging the required effect to the transition between two clips.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 16.06.53Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 16.06.59Now we have the main video finished we will add a Title Card and some fade in/out transitions to the start and end. To add a Title, select Title > New Title > and select the appropriate format.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 16.32.50.pngThen we can create the title, using the tools provided, in this case I’m just using a solid background with text over it.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 16.34.45When you have created the Title, you can close the Title creating window. To insert it into the project, select the appropriate time and press “,” (this is the shortcut to insert a clip). Adding a Fade in/out transition to the start/end of the video is done by adding the Dip To Black effect from Video Transitions to the relevant part of the video.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 16.48.26.pngIf we need to make any adjustments to the video we can add a video effect, for example Lumetri Color (this allows us to make adjustments to the colour and exposure of a clip), by dragging it from the effects window to the clip. If we then open the Effect Controls window (making sure the desired clip is selected) we can make our adjustments.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 16.54.31With the video complete the final step is to export it by going to File > Export > Media.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 16.58.16.pngThen select the desired format and settings. I have chosen to use the H.264 format as this is widely supported and offers a good combination of video quality and file size. Premiere Pro has some build in presets for the export settings, in this case I am using the Youtube 1080p preset as I will be uploading the video to Youtube.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 16.59.19.pngThen it’s a matter of pressing Export and waiting for it to finish.Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 16.59.33

 

K/600/8297

2.2

What are typical frame rate settings, how do they affect file size and which would you use for video to be uploaded onto the web?

A typical framerate for videos is 24 or 25 fps, though 30 or 60 fps is starting to become used more. The higher the fps of a video the larger the file size will be as there are more frames captured in the video. For uploading a video to the web 24fps would be adequate to produce a smooth video.

What is bitrate and how does this affect file size and quality?

Bitrate refers to the number of bits processed in a unit of time, typically a second, or how much data is being processed per second. Typically speaking, a higher bitrate results in better quality as more data is processed but also a higher file size.

What are the typical frame dimensions of a typical video and how does this affect file size and streaming rates?

Typical frame dimensions
Ultra HD – 4k / 2160p : 4096 px by 2160 px
Full HD – 1080p : 1920 px by 1080 px
HD Ready – 720p : 1280 px by 720 px

The larger the frame dimensions the larger the file size are there are more pixels being used thus more data. The larger the frame dimensions the higher the streaming rate, that is more data is streamed per second the higher the frame dimension.

2.3

For audio explain what sampling rates are and how these and bitrate affect file size and data transfer rates.

The Sample Rate refers to the number of samples of audio carried out in a second, or how many times a second a snapshot of the audio is captured, typically measure in Hz or kHz, the bit rate is how much data is captured in each of the snapshots. A higher sample rate and bitrate will result in larger file size as there is more date being captured which in turn means that a higher date transfer rate will be necessary. A typical sample rate would be 44.1kHz and common bit rates are 256 or 320 kbps.

L/600/9037 1.1/1.2/1.3 Produce a report showing the main types of employment status within the creative media sector

Task 1 – L/600/9037 1.1/1.2/1.3

Produce a report showing the main types of employment status within the creative media sector: (Employee, worker(contract), self employed.

Worker

A Worker will have a contract to undertake work or services for a reward, generally money. Their employer is required to provide them with work for the duration of the contract. They can’t work as part of their own company in an arrangement where their employer is in fact a customer. A Worker has to adhere to the hours of their contract even if they do not wish to.

Generally, the contract between the employer and the Worker will include terms such as “casual”, “as required” or “0 Hours” and often the Worker will be employed by an agency to undertake work for another company.

Workers are entitled to certain employment rights, which are:

  • National Minimum Wage
  • Protection against unlawful deductions from wages
  • Statutory minimum level of paid holiday
  • Statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • To not work more than 48 hours/week on average, though they can waive this right.
  • Protection against unlawful discrimination
  • Protection from “Whistleblowing”
  • To not be treated less favourably if working part-time

There are further rights available if you are an Agency Worker

  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Equal Treatment – the same rights to access and use facilities and services available to permanent colleagues
  • After 12 weeks
    • Equal Pay – the same pay as a permanent colleague would receive doing the job
    • Automatic Pension Enrolment
    • Paid annual leave

It is the duty of the employer to deduct tax and National Insurance contributions from their wages. The employer is also required to provide materials/equipment necessary to undertake the contracted work.

 

Employee

An Employee will be someone who work under an employment contract. Their employer, a business or organization, will provide a contract highlighting the employment conditions, their rights, responsibilities and duties. An employee has to stick to the terms of the contract until it finished or an agreed change is made.

Employees are entitled to all the right a Worker has, plus

  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption/Shared Parental pay and leave
  • Minimum Notice Period
  • Protection against unfair dismissal
  • Right to request flexible working – flexible start/end times, working from home etc
  • Time off for emergencies
  • Statutory Redundancy pay

Some of the rights listed require the employee to work for a minimum period before qualifying for them, this information would be outlined in their contract of employment.

As an employee, it is the duty of the employer to deduct tax and National Insurance contributions from their wages. The employer is also required to provide materials/equipment necessary to undertake the contracted work.

 

Self-Employed

A Self-Employed individual will run their business for themselves and hold responsibility for its success or failure. There are different business structures a self-employed individual can follow.

  • Sole Trader – This is the default structure one follows when becoming self-employed. As a sole-trader you are entitled to all profits (after tax) you make. You are able to employ staff, sole-trader refers to the fact that you are responsible for the company. It is your duty to send a self-assessment tax return in annually, pay income tax on profits, pay national insurance and, if the expected takings are to be over £83,000/year, register for VAT.
  • “Ordinary” Business Partnership – You and your business partner{s) share responsibility for the company. Profits are shared amongst partners as well as any losses the company makes. A partner doesn’t need to be an actual person but a “legal person”, such as a limited company. A nominated partner is required to submit a partnership self-assessment tax return annually, and each partner is also required to submit a self-assessment tax return annually, as well as pay income tax on their share of profits and pay national insurance.
  • Limited Partnership/Limited Liability Partnership – Similar to a business partnership bar the fact that partners can be excluded from the liability of the company. In the instance that the company has debts, general partners can be liable for the total amount, whereas, limited partners are only liable up to the amount they have invested. This type of business structure hold the same tax responsibilities as a Business Partnership.
  • Limited Company – An individual can set up a limited company, which excludes them personally from any liability as the company is responsible for itself. However, if one sets up a Limited Company they are not viewed as self-employed, rather as an employee of the company as well as an owner. Profits earned by a Limited Company are subject to corporation tax, after which it is owned by the company and can be shared.

Being self-employed means that you are your own boss, you can dictate the working conditions you have and don’t need to adhere to the rights workers or employees have.

 

Contractor

Contractors can be self-employed individuals or workers/employees working for a client by employed by an agency. The client hiring the contractors is not responsible for the tax of national insurance contributions for the contractor, that is the duty either for themselves (if self-employed) or their employer (if employed by an agency). Contractors aren’t necessarily entitled to the same rights as a worker, though things like health and safety still apply.

There are different benefits and in turn drawbacks to the different employment types. For example, being self-employed offers the freedom to work when you want on the projects you want. However, the amount of work you get is your own responsibility, there isn’t as much job security as there would be being an employee. As an employee you have your contract of employment, giving you the knowledge that you have work for the duration of the contract (and even if the contract is ended early, there is a required minimum notice period) and will be paid for that time. You don’t have as much freedom as a self employed individual, though you have the right to request flexible working but that can only flex so far. A worker has benefits similar to a self-employed individual, such as the ability to choose when they will work (that is outside of any contacted work), and whilst in a contract for work has some job security during the contracts length.