Post by Mr. Dominic Price, Horizon Research Fellow, contributing to CREATe’s WP2A.
This workshop brought together content producers from the creative industries (artists, authors) with academics actively engaged in research relating to content production and distribution, to discuss how small scale content producers engage with social media to promote themselves and their work, and how future software platform development might aid them in promotion on social network platforms.
In an earlier blog post (http://www.create.ac.uk/blog/2014/01/17/creating-a-more-open-user-and-creator-platform/) we discussed a proposal for an online platform for a more open platform for content producers to use when engaging with social media. During the development of a prototype platform we discovered a number of problems involved in creating such a platform, in particular, the control that social network companies exert over access to an individual’s content makes it incredibly difficult to access that content through any means other than the networks official software. Social networks also have a vested interest in maintaining this control and without regulatory involvement the situation is unlikely to change.
This workshop then was organised to discuss these challenges and to ask content producers what they would value from a stripped down platform in their own practice. A group discussion session resulted in 3 areas in which content producers believed that there was scope for technological intervention to aid with social media engagement.
Getting ‘Stuff’ Out There
Or in other words, how to make it easier and more manageable to reach an audience and how to tailor publicity to reach an audience, particularly across multiple social networks. This would involve some analysis of the way that people have engaged with the content producer on social media in the past, for example what times engagement is at its highest, what countries the audience are from and so on. A software platform could then integrate this information to provide prompts to the content producer on how best to maximise engagement (e.g. promoting to specific people who are effective at re-promoting content).
Experience Based Customisation
The suggestion here was to implement a filtering mechanism for social networks that would show content based on an adaptive filter so that an individual would only see content that they deem relevant.
What Journey Brought You To Me?
The interest here was in determining how an individual user on social network became aware of a content producer and how a relationship (e.g. following on Twitter) was formed. This would be of potential use to a content producer in future promotional work as they would be able to gain an understanding of what types of promotion were more successful than others and where to target their promotional efforts.
The outcomes of the workshop have fed into development work that is currently under-way in Horizon and will be discussed in future blog posts.