Read/Land was undoubtedly a unique experience. Not only did it provide a platform for personal expression, but it also formed a hub amongst which people could discuss our varying experiences with the land.
Tasked with the role of analysing our audience, it’s very interesting to look back upon what was a very successful callout and response, and to consider why this was the case.
Having created multiple graphs and spreadsheets to consider the information that came through for the Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr sites Read/Land was represented on it was interesting to note the below:
Predominately, our audience was young – 18-24. This age group is most proficient when it comes to technology, which allowed them to engage with this project in a unique way. While text was the predominant form of self expression witnessed through this project, so too, there were instances of audio and even video that served to express the creator’s view of the land and what affect is had upon them.
As such, it is important to ask, as a person who is making media, what are we getting out of this? Primarily we are learning something very important about the necessity for a captive, involved audience. By having this audience, one is able to form a community. And once one has a community, the project can more or less self perpetuate if you keep an eye on the fire a continue to stoke it at regular intervals.
As creators, we have learnt to create something that interests us. A project can always take that extra step if the person driving it is passionate about the project.
Furthermore, this flows onto the audience. Audiences can become more than just an audience if they are similarly passionate about the subject/the project – they become contributors… collaborators. This involves reducing the ‘friction to collaboration’ as Adam Hyde et al. suggest, and we achieved this through an inspiring callout that gave an ‘initiative for collaboration’ and ‘a leading guide-line that implicitly coordinates the contributions that follow.’ (Hyde et al, 2012)
Certainly this was the case for Read/Land, where we created what could easily be considered a ‘sticky’ community in the Song reading of this. Whereby, ‘a legitimate, safe, and creative social space that is attractive and welcoming’ (Song, 2009) is fostered.
Throughout the project I personally kept an eye over both Tumblr and our E-Mail, reblogging whenever I could and acting as a back up to our E-Mail editor.
The things learned in this project are handy going forward. While they may not dictate the way I go about my next project, they give a great insight into just how well a project can progress if the idea is right, the audience is there, and the creators are willing to put in the hard work.
Hyde, A. Mike Linksvayer, kararinka, Michael Mandiberg, Marta Peirano, Sissu Tarka, Astra Taylor, Alan Toner, Mushon Zer-Aviv (2012) “What is Collaboration Anyway?” The Social Media Reader. New York, New York University Press: 53-67
Song, F. (2009). “The Institutional Landscape: The Market of Virtual Communities”. Virtual Communities: Bowling Alone, Online Together. New York, Peter Lang Publishing: 77-99