Bill Gates, the famous founder of giant Microsoft, once wrote that “The most meaningful way to put distance between you and the crowd is to do an outstanding job with information. How you gather, manage, and use information,” Gates wrote, “will determine whether you win or lose.” It is important to keep this in mind as a professional media maker in the near future.
There is no doubt that a good media maker needs to know how to access to the ideas or content which you need when you need it in this information explosion Era. The Internet has brought about a revolution which empowers people like never before. Power shifted to those who could enter the right terms into a search engine and wade through the results to the best links.
The quality of the media products you produced is largely determined by the ability of dealing with those ideas or content which you are actually looking for. Therefore, a good media maker needs to know how to integrate gathered information and to create new digital media products by contributing to and sharing their own understanding based on the information they gathered.
What you really need is network literacy. Which means recognizing that there are no longer canonical sources and having the skills to find what it is you think you want, of being able to judge it, and then of being able to incorporate this, in turn, into your knowledge flows (Kress, G, 2003). By applying the fundamental skills of network literacy, extraordinary media makers would access to the information and perspective flowing through their social network. You can definitely make better decisions and promote something significant when you can tap the unique, real-time intelligence of the people you know.
“A participatory culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artists’ expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations.” In fact, there is no shortage of creative ideas and shared media content as always. A research showed over 50% teens produced media content and about one third shared their work (Lenhardt &Madden, 2005). The issue is, however, how to integrate creative ideas together defying time and space, and then make individual’s small creative ideas value more. Fortunately, HitRECord, a successful collaborative production company, are devoting themselves to attracting excellent brains to contribute to and share their own works in the same place online. In turn, the fellows, like you, who shared their own works will consummate your staff in the aspects they are good at. HitRECord provide creators with effective platforms to create and share one’s creations with others, in this platform, members feel some degree off social connections with one another. (Henry Jenkins, 2006)
The data demonstrate that most of users (about 50%) are preferring sharing the content and messaging all over the world, although there is a slight difference in different countries based on the research from global web index in 2011.
The image from: http://visual.ly/global-map-social-networking-2011
Taking my own experience as an example (from ideas to production). I participated in the process of production of a wedding short film which is produced a few years ago. The most creative part of the wedding is that “the bridegroom doesn’t know he marry today.” The video recorded how the bride prepared for the wedding ceremony, but the bridegroom didn’t know this until the wedding day. The idea itself is innovative and the content is touching. What I believe is it would be better no matter the content or the design if we have had chance accessed to the platform like HitRECord. Some other fellows must know how to make the plot more fluent and recommend which background music is better.
The power of Social Media
Internet offers higher effective and most economical platforms to disseminate your media products comparing with traditional media such as TV, Radio, magazine. Because people usually get information from social network prior to from TV, newspapers.
The wedding short film we produced is mainly broadcasted by YouKu, TuDou, WeiBo, and WeChat and QQ. There are about 40% of new customers knowing us from chat apps (QQ and WeChat) and 30% customers knowing us from Youku after watching the wedding short film. What if we have more available social platforms to broadcast our works, such as Facebook? We might attract more customers based on much more active users on Facebook (1.184M) than QQ (816M) and WeChat (272M).
The image from: http://was-sg.wascdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Slide011.png
Taking another example to show the strong impacts of social media:
Ice Bucket Challenge as an example, in mid-2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media, particularly in the United States, with people, celebrities, politicians and athletes posting videos of themselves online participating in the event.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease ALS and encourage donations to research. This challenge is designed to bring massive awareness to the rare disease ALS.
Is it fun enough? Surely it is, but the question is: how do you attract the attention of the public and raise the awareness of ALS among the majority of people? Why is this campaign so successful?
Fortunately, we are in an era of social media, living in the shadow of the vast network system. Although it is not launched for fundraising for ALS on purpose in the beginning, with the assistance of social network and media, this campaign gained great success from both the economic and promotional dimensions.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has a significant impact, it is just like a storm swiping across our life, causing a great hit on the social network and media. According to The New York Times, people shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and August 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter between July 29 and August 17 (Wikipedia).
Whether you’re for the Ice Bucket Challenge or against it, there’s no doubting that this viral, organic, wildly successful campaign has brought in the big bucks. As of August 26, The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $88.5 million dollars to fight the horrible disease, according to the ALS Association web site.
The image from: ALS Association web site
Prior to the challenge, public awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was relatively limited; the ALS Association stated that only half of Americans had heard of the disease prior to the challenge going viral. From above, we can see how successful this campaign is with the interpersonal dissemination of the social network.
From a media maker’s point, there are several essential factors why Ice Bucket Challenge have been a contagious success, especially in terms of fundraising for non-profit organizations. In order to become a great media maker using network literacy when launching or organizing activities, we have to learn the following lessons:
Folks want to be involved
Getting people fired up about your ideas is the perfect method to make your works spread widely. Quite possibly the most important lesson we learn from the Ice Bucket Challenge is that people want to get involved in the act of fundraising. As we have seen from the ALS campaign’s success, getting people involved should be #1 on your list of to-dos for your activities.
The Ice Bucket Challenge shows us why we should not limit our fundraisers by limiting people’s involvement to the simple signing of a check. When we allow people to get involved through advertising (spreading the word in their own way, using tools or frameworks provided by your organization), promoting (challenging others to get involved with incentives, events or activities/actions provided or inspired by your group), and donating (letting people decide how much to give and in what ways) the fundraiser begins to take a life of its own.
Always keep the fun
This fundraising campaign breaks the canonical charity form. Who said fundraising must be serious and sensational? As we known, people are willing to involve in comfortable and interesting activities and instinctively turn against too weighty topics.
This one is so important. Wherever you are and whatever you are raising money for, do not forget to make the act of fundraising an enjoyable, fun, meaningful experience! The seriousness of ALS does not mean that the fundraiser has to be a downer. In fact, as we’ve seen from the Ice Bucket Challenge, having fun is contagious and if you want your fundraiser to go viral, you’ve got to add in the enjoyment factor.
Innovative idea and media impact
Audiences are always fascinated by creative and fresh ideas and will follow the trending and abandon outdated stuff without hesitation.
Fundraising for ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge is definitely an innovative idea. There is no doubt that a weak idea won’t work no matter how much social media you are going to use or how many times you post it. Therefore one of the most significant factor which makes your ideas go rival is the creativity of your idea.
Besides, one factor which cannot be ignored is the power of social media, which plays a leading role in the dissemination of Ice Bucket Challenge. The Ice Bucket Challenge hit was thanks to campaigning on social media from people all over the world who wanted to participate and promote this awareness. One of the best things about social media is the way it can unite people behind causes and be a force for good. Its immediacy and accessibility has allowed it to contribute to charities.
In a word, if you do these things as a media maker, you’ll be on the path to become a network literate. As Gates predicted, you’ll be putting distance between yourself and the competition. As for me, there is still a long way to go.
Anderson Chris. (2013). “The Long Tail”.
Duncan. (2005). “Media Literacy: Essential Survival Skills for the New Millennium.” Orbit Magazine, 35 (2). Available in: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/orbit/mediaed_sample.html
Henry Jenkins. (2006). “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century”. Retrieved from http://www.macfound.org/media/article_pdfs/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF
Kress, G. (2003). “Literacy in the New Media Age. “ New York: Routledge.
Jenkins, H. (2006). “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide“. New York: New York University Press.
Lenhardt & Madden. (2005). “Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation”. Teens and Technology. PEW INTERNET & AMERICAN LIFE PROJECT.
Thanks for: ALS Association web site
Thanks for: http://www.hitrecord.org/