Deadlines/Brief

Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

COMPANY BLOGS

Some of these are good; too many not, so here's a quick guide/checklist...

  • who's it for? what's its purpose? who are the audience? aside from attracting marks (TgtAud, UseICT, Pres'n, Comm'n), its a commercial business' site, aiming to attract interest in its current projects ... and future commissions for more vids/ads/dpak designs
  • that means you've got to remove initials from post titles, and...
  • references to school/students/class
  • you're professionals for this blog, NOT students
  • does your blog blurb (text you've added below title) reflect this? Keep any blurb below the title simple but clearly directed at an audience who may wish to commission work from you. Have you included an email for enquiries about new commissions (could be made up - or, and why not, could be yours as you never know: your vids are pretty damned impressive after all!) Blurb eg: 'a 21st century horizontally integrated media production company! MUSIC VIDEO – PRINT/WEB ADS – CD PACKAGING'
  • you're NOT the artist; you're employed/commissioned by their record label/management to create this promotional material - so YOUR company blog would surely feature a tiled background image of your vid (and would change over time to help highlight new content, e.g. to the mag ad, dpak cover - take a screenshot before you change background, and blog in your main blog about this)
  • having said that, just as bands'/acts' official FB pages do, you could occasionally note YT vids or media appearances by an artist who you're currently creating material for!
  • you could pose a simple Q: 'who is the aud for [artist] today?' If you agreed to mutually post responses with other group/s you could find these very useful for aud rich (+Eval). 
  • tie any polls firmly into aud feedback you will benefit from and can legitimately discuss for Eval Q3 (you could use PollDaddy instead of/as well as blogger's tool). A simple e.g.: 'we have room for ONE more track on the new CD: YOU choose which its to be!' - and list a few tracks [don't copy/paste my words/ideas, find your own!
  • have you looked at any actual examples for pointers yourself?
  • Facebook pages are also useful for ideas + pointers ...
  • and you really should set up a FB page, so easy to do [UseICT, TgtAud...] - help each other out with comments/likes!!!
Lets consider an eg... GG/TW's TwoTwigs blog has too few updates; posts lack text which would help show its aimed at a particular audience/seeking to create a dialogue (no polling either, another opportunity to interact with audience lost there); the news feed topic is much too general; the blurb doesn't accurately reflect what you'd expect from a company; there's no background pic; wording of top links list is questionable for this sort of blog. BUT...there's a clear logo (itself hyperlinked to the Twitter feed) and link to Twitter. I think we should really be seeing FB/Twitter icons in 2012. How does yours match up? Has this blog changed much after 12.4.12 (3am) when this screenshot was taken?!
  • frequent updates help drive traffic to a site
  • just as with main blog, that means updates on plans, shooting schedules, actual shoots, rough cuts - and really highlight the idea that blog readers can have THEIR say on the vid; their ideas + feedback will be considered
  • think about stickability (a recognised technical term): features on your blog which will encourage folk to spend time there;  Sites we like’ is a common links list you see on many
  • any news feed/RSS must be specific and relevant!
  • Twitter feeds are great (see pic at bottom) ... BUT don't look so great if they're never updated!!! Swillob (see bottom), ST and HBK all set up Twitter accounts, interacted with each other ... and then ceased operations ... 100+ days ago!!!!
  • altho its still the norm for vids to be produced sep'ly from print texts (getting less so with convergence tho), you should cover ad/dpak too (you could write as if you're getting the info from another co yourselves, or as if its all in-house)
  • that means drip-feed: slowly reveal track listing, cover design, DVD contents, availability on various formats - even, at a late stage, invent reviews!
  • remember, this is a commercial outfit: have you provided iTunes links for the artist/track?
  • links lists are an important blog feature: perhaps to help entertain/attract (back) an aud you could links list sim artists, or vids you like etc etc? ('stickability' is the term for content + features that encourage users to stay within a site, something FB is very successful at. Note that FB links are set to open up a new tab or window, which you can also select when setting up links lists; this means your site always stays as an open tab)
  • behind-the-scenes vids also help drive traffic, and any shareable multimedia features (from jpgs to URL/embed code of pod/vodcasts/vids) may go viral - can you evidence any of your content being virally shared/spread? (ask others to post on it in blogs/FB + send you a screenshot)
  • recent comments can be highlighted thru a gadget - again, work with other groups to mutually gain comments for this purpose!
  • and finally: proofread posts, including checking for orphaned pics. avoid excessive blank space; i generally position images to L or R of text (and use caption text) depending on its size, and rarely publish posts with a series of images with lots of blank space around them - because that looks simply awful!!! 
  • i also learnt quickly enough that blogs with dark/black backgrounds within the main posting frame cause too many problems: grey/blue text rendered unreadable for instance. far too many of you seem oblivious to this incredibly obvious point
Here endeth...
This is a long text-only post: no hyperlinks, no images (with captions) or embeds to liven it up [and then I went and added to it. repeatedly improving upon it, not being satisfied with it - there's a lesson in there somewhere for you folks...]; you should generally strive to avoid this!!!


Another 2012 eg: Swillob. Good background image, but there's actually nothing to immediately scream THIS HERE PRODUCTION/DESIGN COMPANY IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON A MUSE VIDEO!!! The blurb explicitly cites the A2; the post titles keep the main blog format; there's no text to try and develop an interaction with/address the audience. Presumably, looking at the top links list, this co only produces vids, doesn't design ads/CDs?! How would one contact this company to commission more such work? There's no contact info. Why would you label the logo pic with the words 'the company logo'?! The Twitter feed is potentially great ... just hasn't been updated for 126 days!!! Screenshot taken 12.4.12 @ 3.16am ... perhaps its undergone some changes since then!

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