The subject BCM241 is Media, Audience and Place. Over the course of this semester, my last semester at university and my sixth semester blogging, I have gained an abundance of knowledge. I have gained an insight into the role of research in the media and how observation is key to guiding research based projects. A lot like other subjects in which I have blogged, BCM241 has opened my eyes to a new way of engaging with my audience. This semester being in this course has given me the opportunity to write in a way that is unique to me and allowed me to view many other students’ blogs and review their blogging styles as well.
This semester has not only been an eye opening experience in terms of what i’ve learnt, but it has been one of many unique challenges in terms of exploring the world of media from a range of different contexts. Before this subject I was not aware of the importance of ethnographic research, nor was I aware of the multitude of resources and theories available in the study of an audience in the media space. I have noticed a dramatic improvement in my style of writing over the course of this semester although as someone who likes a very minimal, somewhat perfectionist feeling theme, I have not changed my blog style.
I enjoy having a simple, easy to read and easy to navigate blog that anyone can work their way through should they need or want to. In terms of how I research and how I present information, I have found that I am constantly finding myself using links and quotes to refer to external sources rather than having a list of references at the bottom of my posts. I find this to be easier not only for myself as a blogger but also for my fellow bloggers in BCM241 to navigate and gives people the opportunity to engage more with the subject through further research/observation.
As for the content within the subject and the way that we as students have been urged to engage with it, I feel there has been a really good mix between students finding their own unique personality through blogging and actually finding information that is relevant to our lives and applying it to our studies as well as through social activities. As a way to engage the audience, the resources that have been provided on Moodle each week have been relevant and useful for this subject and have given a range of ways in which each student can process and evaluate information. I especially like that I can now see how each weeks topic applies to real life. Before undertaking this course I obviously was unaware of the correct term for certain things such as the study of different social habits, cultures and the difference between different groups of people (ethnography) or how models such as Hagerstrand’s often dictate how we act or what we do within public spaces.
It is important that we as students have become aware of these concepts and how they apply to real life. Concepts that are taught in BCM241 as well as other communication and media subjects will always stay relevant within the social spheres that are ever-present. As a researcher, I have gained the ability to summarise information and make the best use out of what I feel is relevant to my audience and express it in a way that I feel is the most engaging. I have found that being in the public eye has given me a range of challenges in terms of what I can and can not post online as well as getting consent from people should I choose to have them represented in my blog. This has been a good learning curb that I will continue to practice beyond graduation from university.
Through proposing my research topic and engaging in the research process for my own purpose, I can appreciate the time and effort that professionals in their fields go to in terms of producing the most accurate summary of information. I have found that through being given the task of designing, implementing and evaluating my own digital storytelling reflective project, I have been given a challenge. I think that through researching the very particular ways that people interact online and occasionally offline, specifically within YouTube vlogger’s communities, I can gain an insight into why people choose to watch others live their lives on a platform such as YouTube as well as why people are so interested in the lives of others and will choose to follow them as opposed to going out and actually doing the same kind of things in real life. From experience, I can say that this comes from pure fascination. Through my research, I hope to gain valuable insight and bring forward some relevant information that others can become engaged in, hopefully leading to an online conversation through Twitter and this blog.
As a student and a blogger, I hope to continue making use of the variety of research techniques I have learnt over the course of this semester. I think that one day I will look back on the time I spent blogging at university and thank myself for giving it my best and always striving for improvement. I feel that while this subject was focused on one distinct area of an overall course in media and communication studies, the techniques and values I have learnt throughout it will definitely be used within further education should I choose to engage in it over then next few years once i’ve graduated.