Making Media | The Making stage

“Design fiction is a way to speculate seriously. It’s not quite brainstorming, nor is it ideating. It is the design that tells stories. It creates material artefacts that force conversations and suspend one’s disbelief in what could be.” – Joseph’s Design Fiction concept

Following the Joseph’s Design Fiction concept, I have created a meaningful and story-telling platform. I always insist on the concept of maintaining the classical vibe of my hometown, Hanoi, by uploading semiotic photos which were taken and selected by myself. Besides, Reminiscent of Hanoi is also the platform where I can express my inner taste of photography. I put my effort not only into social utility but also the urge to create my own photography portfolio.

In the making stage, I follow what I have figured out in the previous stage – prototype. I insist on selecting story-telling photos rather than implementing content writing. My taken photos are being positively responded by my target audience. Furthermore, as David Lister’s statement, Arts should not be explained. I enjoy how people interpret my photos as semiotics and it also makes my audience more curious about and interested in my platform.

I perceive my Digital Artefact as a “Product” which proceeds through 5 stages of Product Life Cycle

Reflecting my Digital Artefact development process, I have developed it from the ideating, screening, prototyping stage to the making stage. I identify my Digital Artefact as a product. According to the Product Life Cycle concept, that is, the typical stages which a product progresses through new product development, introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Adapting in the introduction stage, I focus on Digital Artefact’s positioning, target audience and the quality of uploaded photos. By critically using Instagram techniques such as Shortstack, hashtags, and stat analysis, I have gained nearly 100 followers, more comments and likes in every uploaded post.

“I have learnt that the more I focus on social utility, the more audience engages will my Instagram.”

Shaping my Digital Artefact in the Design thinking concept, which refers to focusing on understanding audience’s wants and needs, I started to consider the Reminiscent of Hanoi’s value offering. Aiming to maximize the social utility, I have uploaded more photos related to Hanoi’s cultural norms. Since the limitation of photo resources, I selectively referenced other sites’ photos such as Vietnamese Cursed Image or Human of Hanoi. Selectively uploading photos helps me to develop Digital Artefact’s brand and be accurately perceived by the audience. I have harvested a lot of positive feedback on uploading classic Hanoi photo in the 90s. Recently, I have received an appreciated comment from Vietnamese man when he found himself in my randomly uploaded photo, which makes me more motivated. My Digital Artefact is growing unexpectedly with followers and comments. I have learnt that the more I focus on social utility, the more audience engages will my Instagram. Compared to previous photos, my photos have increased 27% of post likes.

Overall, I reckon that creating an impact on the society is considered as a long-term effort. During the making media stage, I recognize the potential of a classic platform in Vietnam. In the modern age, people may need some place to reminisce of their pasts and have a tranquil gap of time. I hope Reminiscent of Hanoi may be the place for them to find tranquillity and recalling the beautiful classical norms. In addition, I hope my Digital Artefact can keep evolving after BCM114.

 

Project Beta – Prototyping

God created a number of possibilities in case some of his prototypes failed – that is the meaning of evolution.

Graham Greene

After 4 weeks of officially running my Digital Artefact on Instagram. I have experimented through 3 stages of prototyping. Till now, my Instagram account (@reminiscentofhanoi) has reached 67 followers with 17 posts in 4 weeks. Conveniently, my Digital Artefact focuses on my own photos which I have taken during the time I was in Hanoi. These photos express my characters, my taste in art and the classic vibe of Hanoi.

I want to remain the classic vibe of Hanoi by telling Hanoian’s stories through the pictures I took. 

A film photo was taken by me in January 2018
Captured from my twitter

Being advised in the lecture of week 6, in the prototyping stage, I focus on refining my target audience, what story I want to tell through my Digital Artefact, how I want my Instagram page is perceived by my audience and keep evolving my Digital Artefact through the feedback loop.  Fortunately, I have received a lot of encouragements and feedbacks from my tutor, classmates and my target audience through each step of prototyping. Since I target to people who are in the age of 18 to 25, live in both Hanoi, Vietnam and Australia, they also regularly use social media, I was suggested to use Instagram to implement the images and content. In the first prototype stage, I uploaded images without useful hashtags such as #photograph #filmphotograph or #retro, which highlight the key concept of my platform. Surprisingly, after using as many related hashtags as possible, my Instagram page has considerable profile visits and followers. It accelerated from 5 followers to 30 followers in just 1 week. Also, in this prototype stage, I tried to implement the contents in each image. As I intended in the ideating stage, I aim to create a platform which can tell stories about Hanoi and Hanoi cultures through the images taken by myself. I started to try writing in both Vietnamese and English since my target audience is both of Vietnam and Australia. Then, I only write in English when I found my posts appeal to more foreigners than locals. Finally, I found it is not effective to implement contents on Instagram.

“The problem with prototypes is they don’t always work.”

Laurie Anderson

Example

In the second stage of prototyping, I asked my tutor for the feedback and advice after recognizing my ineffective content implementation. He gave feedback on my photos and recommended me to use Reddit if I still wanted to focus on content writing. After considering the aesthetic photos and writing content, I finally choose to focus on my photos rather than content. I put more effort into choosing photos to upload. I rather upload photos which can tell stories itself and added a short caption in each photo I uploaded. In this stage, I continue to use hashtags in the comment part. I observe my posts are doing better 85% of my previous posts. During this stage, I only got only 45 actions taken on my account and 70 accounts reached in a week.

In the final round of the prototyping stage, I continue to do what I have done in the second round. In this round, I aim to find a way to accelerate followers without paying for the Instagram promotion.  My classmate suggested me start to use the story function more effectively to engage more with my audience. I started to use hashtags such as #Hanoi #travel #retro or #classic in each story I uploaded. I also found a web tool to check and scan what kind of hashtag is effective in growing traffic to my Instagram page.  After 1 week of prototyping, the interaction and discovery rate grows slowly. From now, using hashtags in story function help me to accelerate the profile visitors and followers as well.

 

 

 

In conclusion, during the prototyping time, there are 3 things I have learned to confidently start the making stage. First and foremost, using the relevant hashtags in the bio, posts, and stories as well. Secondly, instead of focusing on content, I should utilize the material that I have already had on the Instagram. Last but not least, the story can be a tool to attract more interaction and discovery. In the making stage, I hope I will reach at least 100 followers by keeping implementing my idea from the prototyping stage. In addition, I also aim to highlight the social utility in the making stage.

 

 

Reminiscent of Hanoi

“In the world full of trends, I want to remain classic” – Iman

Being born and raised in Hanoi, I am fascinated with Hanoian’s classic lifestyles, those ancient streets and its stories. As Iman once said, “In the world full of trends, I want to remain classic”. I found that the attractive point of Hanoi is its retro vibe and classical lifestyle. As vietnamtourism.gov.vn reported, Hanoi welcomed nearly 24 million international tourists in 2017. Surprisingly, Australia ranks 8 in top 29 international visitors in Vietnam. Being aware of how potential the tourism market of Hanoi is, I want to make a project to attract more and more visitors. Reminiscent of Hanoi aims to remain the classic vibe of Hanoi through Hanoian’s stories and images. Besides, I want to spread the stories of Hanoi through all over the world. I believe that a culture of a country is created by local people. By telling stories of Hanoian, I hope I can deliver the message of lifestyles and culture from my country to the foreigners.

Concept

I choose the concept of capturing images attached to stories about Hanoi. I understand the how difficult to adapt and understand a new culture. In my own perspective, a culture is established by individuals, each individual has their own stories, and each story contains a society’s beliefs, ideologies and values. By telling Hanoian’s daily stories, I hope readers can somehow understand our cultures and lifestyles.

Methodology

I intend to use auto-ethnography, which is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand the cultural experience. (Carolyn Ellis, 2004). I tend to use Instagram to implement my idea for two main reasons. Firstly, since the project targets to both the Vietnamese and foreigners at the age of 18 to 25, I found that Instagram is the most suitable and sustainable platform to engage with the target audience. Secondly, I have the capability of taking and retouching photos, due to my personal strength, I think my Instagram feed is one of the hooked points to attract the audience. In addition, the content will be written in two languages, English and Vietnamese. Applying the #FIST (Fast, Inexpensive, Simple and Tiny), I plan to post weekly and most of the material is from my own portfolio created by me since I was in Hanoi.

Social Utility

My motivation is to create a platform through which my international friend can understand my country. Furthermore, in the age of globalization, when Vietnamese people are affected by many different cultures, I think every individual should take responsibility for acquiring modern perspectives and remaining the national cultures and values at the same time. In the long-term, I hope this project will be the platform which can promote a range of foreigners visit Hanoi and remind the Vietnamese studying abroad student of our countries.

Links

My DA platform: https://www.instagram.com/reminiscentofhanoi/ 

My WordPress: https://miintonio.wordpress.com/

My personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pminh.hanng/

Reference:

Carolyn Ellis, 2004, The Ethnographic, California

VNA, 2017, ‘Hanoi to welcome 24 million visitors this year’, vietnamtourism.gov.vn, 7th December 2017, <http://vietnamtourism.gov.vn/english/index.php/items/12392&gt;