Project Brief 3: 500 Word Statement

Our project is a black comedy about a young woman named Emily, who represents the wider problem of young and inexperienced people who become obsessed with online validation and superficial gratification through their naivety and desire to be recognised and accepted.
As the digital age is new, it’s effect on young people and their development is unknown, and we are currently finding out as the generation born into the digital age are now adolescents and will soon become adults. Emily is representative of this group of people. She is an emphasised version (for comedic purposes and also to aid the story and themes), though not an unrealistic one considering some real world examples of teenagers who have gone to extreme lengths for online validation and fame.
The plot has been written, we know what will unfold over the three week period in which the story will take place and be published over three media platforms. However, we still have to write and create the media that will be published, the elements which will actually tell the story. These will be blog post diary entries on Tumblr, images and video on Instagram, and question/answer type text through Qoohmee. The three platforms are especially interesting because the audience can actually interact with Emily through these platforms, by commenting on or liking her posts, or by asking questions through Tumblr and Qoohme. If people interact with our protagonist we will respond in character.
Another interesting quality of our project is that it is both linear and nonlinear, depending on how and when it is experienced. If people follow along during the three weeks that the actual plot will take place and when we will be publishing in ‘real time’ it will be a linear narrative. After that, it will exist online as a database narrative that the audience can traverse at their own leisure. In this form it will work in any order that the audience chooses to consume the media within it.
So far we have all contributed equally, and we discuss and make all decisions about the story together (rather than assigning roles), through discussion and co-operative brainstorming and problem solving. In some circumstances this would not be my preferred style of group work, but as we work well as a team and are all equal contributors it works efficiently and fairly and I think we’ll continue to work this way in future, until the completion of the project. When it comes to the actual actions of having to post the pieces of the story, we will assign different parts to different people, but we will be writing and creating the elements of media together.
I’m excited to spend several hours writing and creating the media that will tell the story of Emily. The next major steps of our project are to create the Tumblr, Instagram and Qoohme content in line with the plot we have already constructed, and then create a schedule of events determining when it will be posted and by whom.

Presenting and reflecting.

Presenting is not my strong point. As much as I love to talk, I am a nervous public speaker. Writing the presentation was easy, we have a group of four people so I suggested coming up with four different important talking points that covered the project. As a group we discussed each category and had a joint Google Doc in which we scribed our ideas and notes, which were gradually refined into what I think is a pretty thorough four person speech. If it had have been a written assignment, our 1200 word presentation notes would have absolutely nailed it. As it happened, in the spoken form, it was not as strong. I prefer to speak with only dot points to navigate me through my planned notes, which is risky because it might not come out impressively or even coherently, but as long as I know the knowledge is there, I know I can speak about it. With this project, having discussed it at length with my team many times, I know what I wanted to say but I’m not sure how clearly it was expressed.
There were a few important points that I think could have been emphasised more, they were:
  • When you take superficial online content seriously it’s harmful, but when looked at out of context it is ridiculous and trivial, which is where the comedy element of our story comes in.
  • We want the audience to act and feel as they usually would, as someone wasting time online, traversing the internet through hypertextuality and stalking someone for personal entertainment, humour and sick self indulgent pleasure.
  • The key motivating factor for our audience will be their sense of agency. While they can’t actually manipulate the plot, the audience’s actions and choices within the media platforms will directly provide them with the reward of more information.
  • The story will explore possible damage that being so involved on the internet has on young people, that have been born into the digital age. The superficial and edited nature of the internet and the trivial and ridiculous qualities of online content, can have serious consequences when embraced naively and intensely by inexperienced young people.
As for the other presentations, I think people had the exact same issue as us. They’d written a fantastic passage of writing but it was long in the anxiety of presenting in front of a silent room of (probably rather bored) students and four very academic and stern middle-aged men. As such, the energy that is required to have a really engaging presentation was lacking. However, everyone’s projects sound awesome and it’s really great to see people who seem to be genuinely excited about their projects. While the presentations themselves may not have been amazing, the concepts are super impressive and as are the people talking about them.

Forming a Transmedia story


Sequence of events:

Back story:

  • Moved away from anonymity, hopes for a new start. She likes Disney, Little Mermaid, One Direction. Admires Kylie Jenner and the idea of famous of nothing. Is desperate for some kind of validation, looks for this online. Is obsessed with ideas of internet celebrity.


Positivity, new start.


The video comes out, she thinks it’s her ticket but things don’t really go as planned. She starts to become more desperate.


Her posts turn dark, she is excited to go to a party. The party happens.


Aftermath of the party and suicide.



#NewBeginnings post of a new house. (Not on Tumblr)

Instagram videos:

Snippet of the viral video that she appears in

General LA videos using captions to tell the story

Something from the party before it goes wrong



Written posts



Presenting, Week 5 (Story in 140 characters or less)

Speaking about my essay, Agency and Medium, was difficult, because I’m terrified of public speaking, but also reasonably easy because I realised that I know what I’m talking about. While it was difficult to articulate what I was thinking, due to the fear, the information was there. Listening to what other people had to say about their essays was more interesting of course because it was new. Unfortunately I was late and didn’t hear anyone else speaking about my essay topic, but hearing about others was very engaging.

While my essay wasn’t directly involved with ideas of story, it touched on the ideas of agency and how the audience’s involvement in a text will alter their experience of the text and the feelings which it provokes. Listening to others talk about story, particularly hearing Sarah discuss dance as a form of storytelling, straying far from the digital realm which we focus on in class, was enlightening though. The emotionally provocative nature of dance as a physical medium of storytelling is highly involved with the audience’s experience of story, while I would not think that it involved agency, this would be focused on empathy, two different and I’m sure two of many, emotive responses to storytelling.

My new ‘philosophy’ of storytelling is that storytelling is taking an audience on an emotional journey of perception and understanding. The medium, structure and method of conveying a sense of narrative is important to the creation and perception of stories but are not all that relevant to the defining of a narrative as a story.