My Reflections on Undertaking a Digital Research Project

I had decided to make YouTube the focus of my Digital Research Project. Media practices and audience experiences are very spatial in nature, and I believed that YouTube could be used to demonstrate this. As an aspiring YouTuber, and loyal user, I was interested in researching and presenting the links between the YouTube platform and media, audiences, and places.

After spending the last weeks of the Spring semester researching, collaborating, filming, editing, editing, and more editing, my Digital Research Project has finally been uploaded. Please check it out here. If you would like to see the whole interview I conducted with Dan, from Danger Dan Vlogs, then please also make sure to check that out here. Now the project has been completed, and published, it has come time to reflect on the experience.

University life can be especially overwhelming this time of year, with numerous assignments and exams, and especially if you are also working four days a week. I found myself in this situation, which lead to me missing the deadline for my last assignment, and handing it in late. After making this mistake once, I was determined to not let it happen again. This was an important aspect of the project management element of this exercise. Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques in order to meet or exceed expectations, in the most effective and efficient manner.

This project was quite different to any I had undertaken before. There was a great degree of freedom attached to this task; it was an academic assignment, set by the university, but designed by the student. I was able to pick my own topic, conduct my own research, and present it in a way that I believed to be most suitable. Because of the almost-overwhelming number of directions I could take this task, it required a great deal of planning and researching, which is an essential part of project management.

The first problem I encountered with this task was that I knew I needed to begin, I just hadn’t found the right idea; I hadn’t found the inspiration to start my creative project. This can be a problem when working with a deadline. As Catherine McIntyre-Velky (principle at Adept Creative Project Management, and Director of Operations at Go East Design in St Paul, MN) notes, “the idea doesn’t come when you need it. It arrives when it arrives.

Another concern I had with this creative project was the fact that we were to demonstrate we could collaborate with other people. In the early stages of the project, this was a very daunting thought. I prefer to work by myself, especially on creative projects. There are many challenges and complications that can arise when working with other people, especially in a creative environment. In his book, Creative, Efficient, and Effective Project Management (2013), Ralph L. Kliem summarises these challenges, particularly on page 197.

However, when I met Dan, who is a fellow BCM240 student, and vlogger, and began discussing the project, our collaboration began quite naturally. I really enjoyed working with Dan, and am very grateful for his help with my project. I found the whole experience extremely valuable, both as a student, and a vlogger.

When editing my video, I really struggled to cut it any further, without damaging the integrity of the whole video. Unfortunately, I couldn’t submit a video that was over an hour long, so there was plenty of research that I had found that didn’t make the final cut. If you would like to read more on this topic, then check out the following links:

The final challenge I came across when completing this project was one that I had not anticipated. After finishing my video, and uploading it to YouTube, I was told that my video had been blocked due to a copyright claim. I had edited in snippets from other popular videos on YouTube as supporting evidence in my video, which I could no longer use. This is another important lesson I have learnt from the project management element of this exercise – to be prepared for the unexpected.

Thank you for joining me on my journey this semester. Stay tuned for what I anticipate to be another year of blogging in 2016. If you can’t wait that long, then be sure to stop by my YouTube channel in the mean time.

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