260MC // Reflection

From this module, I have learnt that when starting up something new, a ton of research is required for you to get it right. There are so many details and little things that you need to look into and learn about before starting. Although I am already used to research for films, photography, writing, etc., this is something very new to me and it has been an interesting journey.

I’m glad I have chosen this project because it is something I’m passionate about and that’s important when creating something. However, I personally feel like this module has been a nightmare of stressed out nights and worrying endlessly as to if what I was doing was right or where to go or what to write or what to do. A lot of the time, I felt as if I needed someone to come and push me in the right direction or to just start writing for me. I didn’t get to read much of the reading list as I didn’t know about it until half way through the module and I already had too much on my plate with this and short film to read them all. This has perhaps hindered my development and research but it’s too late to worry about.

What has been good overall is that I feel I have a pretty solid idea as to what I want and where I want this to go. I need to think further about all of my prompts before I go ahead with this as it would be awful to run out of them halfway through! I already have a ton in mind but I’m going to brainstorm further. What has also been good has been the wonderful feedback I have received from people who are willing and eager to get involved. I do really like my design of the website, the colours are fun and the design is different to those normally seen on social networking sites. I especially like the font due to the crafty feel that it adds. It reminds me of cut out letters, due to the missing counters in the letters.

What I could improve on next time is that I feel I need to research further. I feel like mine’s lacking a solid basis of research, although at the same time, I feel as if I have done a fair bit! It’s also lacking theory which I have struggled with including. Overall, I feel as if I have greatly let myself down this module. I could have included so much more and researched a lot further but problems in my personal life got in the way and I have never been very good at managing my time or being organised altogether. I think for very large projects like this, I need to make myself a schedule to stick to and goals to aim for on a weekly basis in order to get everything done and to achieve everything that I need to do. I’m disappointed but I do think that my project has potential if I put more time and dedication into it.

260MC // Business Plan

As I have never written a business plan before, I researched before writing one, in order to have all of the information that I needed to. I found several websites which have helped me to understand what a business plan needs, from direct.gov all the way to Barclay’s bank.

Here is my business plan:

The Product

Creation

The product is an online social networking campaign to encourage people to be creative and to make on a weekly basis, through prompts that will be placed up for people to follow once a week. The product will be hosted over several networking sites that will intertwine through links to one another, such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Youtube but will branch out into Instagram, Vine and Pinterest. These social networking sites also link together with the project through the use of hashtags and through the way it is designed to be spread across the internet and not confined to one space.

Vision

Within a year, this project will be up and running, with profiles on all social networks created and fully designed, with people already actively interacting. In three years, I would like for there to be a large, worldwide following of people who are actively taking part, with it spread out across the internet and to be viral. I hope that people will be creating separate profiles on these sites to showcase the work they have made for this, such as Tumblr pages. I also would like to have an app that will let people look through past prompts and to look at work that I’ve chosen to showcase. Also, I would like for people to interact with the app and perhaps upload their own work or update with what they’re doing through a connection to Twitter, where it will appear in #create52 hashtag. I would also like for the app to send out notifications such as the prompt of the week, to remind people to do that prompt after a few days and to let them know when time is almost up. In ten years time, it will be sectioned off into different creative practices and arts for people to pick and choose. For example, a writer will do a writer’s only 52 project. I would also like to have several people on board my team who specialise in different areas of arts and have featured famous artists who will create their own special prompts from time to time for the audience.

Aims and Mission

The aim of this product is to help those who do not have time to create fully fledged projects but still need a creative outlet, to help those who want to create more but are currently stuck for ideas and to help those who wish to ease into creation and are new to it. The overall mission, however, is for people to have fun and to find a creative outlet. I also want it to help influence people who are stuck for new ideas to see a prompt of mine and to run wild with it and to create their own fully fledged project from my influence.

Purpose and Reasons Behind Product

I created this product as I myself struggle to find time to do creative projects that I enjoy. I like to write but find that life gets in the way too much to be able to properly focus on it. I enjoy being able to have quick bursts of creation where I can do a quick short story or paint something or build something, but without having the dedication of making it the best thing I’ve ever created. It’s all about exploring your own skills, finding new skills and releasing the creative frustration that has built up! I also find myself lacking inspiration at times and like to seek out prompts or inspiration that can be used for me to create. I have spoken to many people who have the same problems as myself so I felt that this would be something really useful and beneficial to a lot of people. I also feel that with it being interactive between me and the audience, it allows them to connect with me on a personal level and I feel that that is very important.

Objectives and Business Goals

My business goal is to get this project and campaign to become viral and to be heavily interacted with. I want to be able to search and google for my project and to be able to find a lot of interaction from people across the world. It’s important for me to reach as many different people as possible from as many different countries and cultures as I feel that the different creations made across the world would be really interesting and rewarding. Whilst for now, I do not mind receiving no money from the project whilst it’s on a small scale, when it grows into a proper business, I would like to be able to earn money from creative sponsors, advertising revenue, donations, etc. so that I will be able to provide extra services for people and to improve the experience.

Business Strategies

I’m going to build up my business by creating a buzz through the internet. I will garner attention and get as many people that I know involved as possible and to pass the message along. I will also create posters to put up in public places to garner interest so that I’m drawing people from the real world into the internet world, rather than just attracting those who are already online.

Unique Selling Point

There is no other online campaign like mine. There are other things available that encourages people to be creative, but what makes mine so different is that I’ve created a time frame for people to create in, rather than leaving it open. Also, it’s multi media, rather than projects that exist such as taking a photo every day or every week.

Costs

To start everything up, it will cost me approximately £4,000 for the website hosting and paying for web designers, as well as a domain name and copyrighting my property, such as the name, logo, etc. This budget will also go towards to creation of the app, as well as advertising my product on websites, paying for printing of posters and other resources.

Action Plan – Steps to Take Now

To finish creating profiles on several social networking websites and to begin spreading it upon the internet, as well as sorting out fundraising and finding some advertisers who I can promote on the websites in order to gain some revenue. I will also begin to create posters in order to spread the word for my product.

260MC // Demonstrator

This is the Twitter page that I have created in order to get my prompts out to people and to share other people’s creations. This and the Tumblr will be the two main components, as Tumblr is great at showcasing work, however, Twitter is great at sending a notification out to every and their phones, computers, tablets, etc. so that they can get the latest prompts.

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Here is the link to the Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/create_fiftytwo

I would very much like to start this project up properly as I feel like it will be very rewarding to see other people creating from my prompts. Not only this, but I would like to take part in my own prompts because I would love to show others what I have created myself and to get involved personally.

260MC // Contextual Research

I first thought about this idea and about how it is ideal for teenagers and young adults who struggle to be creative due to school and homework, which was then confirmed by many, many people within my survey so thought that I should look up issues on the amount of homework that is given within schools. Issues with homework has always been a hot topic within this country, especially whilst other European countries don’t have homework. It’s very relevant to people’s interests right now and is a growing concern within students.

I found this article from independent.co.uk, written by a student who enjoys painting but can’t find the time to do it anymore because of the amount of homework that schools now give to children. [1]

When I was younger, as soon I was old enough to hold a paintbrush, I used to do pictures every day. I used to lose myself in a sketch and explore different painting techniques. It’s just what I did. I’ve recently come to realise that I now hardly ever paint unless I’m in an art lesson. Nor do I do much reading, baking or any of the other things I used to enjoy. There’s just too much homework.

…Children are more creative than adults. Many people dislike how the creativity of childhood fades away with age, so children’s ideas and activities should be encouraged.

This article proves that homework hinders creativity for students. As someone who is creative myself, I no longer write as I don’t have time with classwork. But back in school, the stress of homework and coursework and revision severely hindered it to the point where I have only recently began writing again. At school, during GCSEs, I was set two and a half hours of homework a day (as proposed by the Department of Education in 1998 [2]), as well as spending every other moment revising for the thirty exams that I had to take. During revision, it is recommended to take short breaks in order to rest. I personally feel that creating can be relaxing and doing some fun doodling or painting, rather than full on portraits, can be a nice way to relax within breaks.

I also found a couple of other articles that speak of education hindering creativity and creative thinking. [3] [4]

Resources:

[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/is-it-time-we-banished-homework-8586836.html

[2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/211159.stm

[3] http://www.ted.com/conversations/13905/does_formal_education_as_a_chi.html

[4] http://naturalfamilytoday.com/education/how-traditional-classrooms-hinder-creative-thinking/

[3]

260MC // Create52 Prototype

Through the brainstorming of names, I finally settled on the name create52 for my project. This easily explains the idea behind it, with 52 being a prominent number. This will also be good for hashtags on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, etc. as it is short and to the point.

This is the logo I have created for my project:

create52logo

And this is also the website design that I have created for the Tumblr:

create52website

I asked some people who took part from my survey what they thought about my design. They really like it, said that it looked different and interesting. I went through several fonts after I was told that the others were difficult to read until I found one that truly worked and that they liked.

The reason I chose the colours was because a lot of social networking sites are blue and I wanted this to be different and to stand out. I chose this font as it looks fun and quite crafty, due to the missing counters (holes in the letters). I also created the aztec print style with the jagged line as it’s very popular in fashion and crafts right now, which I have found through researching on Pinterest through craft boards. [1]

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I included the conventions of websites here too, such as including a search bar and links along the top. The circular links were inspired by Buzzfeed and I thought that it looked neat and cute. [2]

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I would like to create this Tumblr page for my prototype, however, I do not have the skills to create this. I will create the Twitter and Facebook pages for it though, where I will stick to this theme of patterns, fonts and colours to create an association between all of my websites.

Resources:

[1] http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=aztec%20craft

[2] http://www.buzzfeed.com/

260MC // Lecturer Feedback

After I had a meeting with Matthew to look over my pitch video, he emailed me some feedback for me to work on. This is what I received:

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Matthew’s suggestions are very much inline with my own thoughts. With the sculpture idea, for instance, it doesn’t lack accessibility as everything I wish to suggest for prompts would be easy and accessible. For example, using every day objects around you, for example. However, this wasn’t clear in my pitch, which shows my pitch needs working on!

The overall aim of my idea is to benefit the user by being able to be creative. As someone who enjoys being creative but doesn’t have the time, it’s frustrating when you really want to create. This helps the audience with their ‘creative frustration’ (if you will!) and is, in some respects, ‘yoga for our minds’.

I’ve taken Matthew’s comments on board and will think further about the benefits of the user and the accessibility of it. However, I wish to stick to the weekly tasks, due to the results from my survey saying about people creating weekly or less but wanting to create more.

260MC // Market Research Survey

In order to understand my target audience further, I created a survey on surveymonkey. I then distributed this. This way of target audience research is known as primary research, due to the way that I am undertaking this research myself. I have also began some secondary research which I will later blog about.

The questions on my survey are as follows:

  • What is your gender?
  • What is your age?
  • Do you enjoy being creative?
  • If yes, how do you like to create?
  • If yes, how often do you create something?
  • If yes, what stops you from creating more often?
  • Which social networking sites and apps do you use frequently?

I have chosen these questions in order to determine my target audience, as well as to understand if my idea will actually fit and if I am choosing the correct websites to host my idea.

Through this survey, I found that the vast majority of people were female. However, I feel that this doesn’t completely reflect on my target audience, I just feel that the people I managed to reach were largely female. As I distributed it over the internet, a lot of my followers on social networking sites are female and I have struggled to contact many males so I’m keeping my survey open for now to reach more people.

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I have also gathered information on the ages of my target audience. Looking at the results, people aged between 14 to 25 responded. I also worked out the average by adding all of the ages up and dividing them by the amount of people who responded. I also received a response from someone aged 60, however, I removed that result before working out the average as it was an anomalous result. I also removed the results from the people who said that they didn’t enjoy being creative, which left me with 31 responses. The average age of the people who responded and my target audience are aged 19.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 22.08.32Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 22.08.43 Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 22.08.56 Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 22.09.09

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The majority of people who responded said that they mostly created weekly, whilst others were daily, fortnightly, monthly or bimonthly. When asked what they liked to create, these were the responses I received:

songwriting, photography, video making, drawing, writing

  • Drawing, filmmaking, photography, art
  • Writing Scrap-booking
  • Sewing
  • Writing
  • Writing
  • painting
  • Taking very creative notes for my classes.
  • Writing.
  • Doodling
  • drawing, writing
  • Writing in my journal, painting, scrap booking, acting.
  • writing
  • I like to write
  • Writing usually
  • Writing.
  • Designing graphics
  • Writing
  • writing fiction, fashion
  • drawing, graphic design
  • Painting and drawing
  • Writing
  • drawing, creative writing
  • Film making, Photography
  • Dancing
  • Writing
  • writing
  • Filmmaking, photography, graphic design

When asked why they didn’t do it more often, these were the responses I received:

  • Work/other hobbies/being tired/lack of motivation
  • Work, Uni, social life, not enough time
  • Time constraints
  • Not enough time
  • Lack of inspiration and motivation
  • Depression. And school. Although the two are not dissimilar.
  • School, but that’s also why I am creating what I do so…
  • lack of motivation.
  • school work, other obligations
  • Procrastination, can’t be bothered, emotions
  • depression during winters, school work, dismissal from social circle
  • Writers block, school
  • Laziness or procrastination, sometimes the fear I won’t do it we’ll.
  • Work and obligations to other people in my life, mostly.
  • high workloads of schoolwork
  • Inability to get words down
  • no inspiration, laziness,
  • Money for art supplies
  • Too busy with school to spend more time at it
  • being busy with work/school, laziness, feeling the need to spend time on “more important” things
  • Being Lazy.
  • Schoolwork
  • Busy demands of general life, something always needs to be done taking time away from when I would like to write.
  • Schoolwork
  • time, self doubt
  • Work, homework, classes

From this, I have gathered that a lot of problems for people are that they don’t have time. This has made me realise that I really need to make my creative prompts simple and less time consuming, but fun enough to help with the need and want to be creative. Also, with someone saying that the cost of art supplies hinders their ability to create more, I need to make sure that my prompts are not costly for people, as I know that not a lot of people have disposable incomes for this kind of thing.

With the results to what websites people use the most, I know where to mostly base my project. I would like to primarily host it on Tumblr, with perhaps weekly video logs on YouTube highlighting my favourite creations. I will also use hashtags that can be used through Twitter and Instagram, as well as creating a fanpage on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 22.11.00

Overall, this survey has really helped me to  understand what exactly I need to do with my innovation for my target audience. This greatly makes me see where I need to develop my idea and alter it and has been useful.

Link to my survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3DWTQJW

260MC – Project52 Video Pitch

After receiving feedback from my lecturer, I decided to change my idea from a web series. I was told that it wasn’t very innovative, which I accept and understand. I have decided to stick with the creativity theme though and not chosen one of my other ideas.

My new idea is influenced by the book Wreck This Journal: To Create is to Destroy by Keri Smith. As someone who does not have time to do creative projects outside of class or sometimes lacks ideas, I came up with the idea to create an online social networking campaign involving creativity. Wreck This Journal is all about creating something quickly without putting too much thought into it. Overthinking can hinder and waste a lot of time when creating and I feel like my campaign will greatly help other people like me.

I will be conducting a questionnaire soon in order to fully determine to demographics and to fully define my target audience. I have also emailed Keri Smith in order to gain more information from her to use for research.

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When compiling my pitch, I searched different social networking sites to find out the amount that Wreck This Journal is posted about. I discovered a website called Statigram[1] where you can search results as to how often something is tagged on Instagram. I found out from here how often #wreckthisjournal is used, as well as finding variants of this tag and Instagram accounts which are solely dedicated to Wreck This Journal.

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With Project52 just being a working title right now (due to the name already being taken), I’m still brainstorming name ideas before creating the websites for this.

Resources:

[1] http://statigr.am/search/wreckthisjournal

260MC – Further Development

I have decided for my innovation to create a web series. Web series are gaining in popularity at the moment, with more and more people beginning to create them. I feel like this is helped by the way that YouTube ‘famous’ users are becoming more frequent with more people viewing them and by the way that Netflix is now creating and streaming it’s own shows that aren’t viewed on television.

I would like to create my web series about a guy who has writer’s block and showing about the ways he overcomes it and how to he continues to stay creative. I think this could help people who struggle to stay creative and I think it will be an interesting thing to make.