Tales of a bullet sponge- Contextual report- wordpress version

Introduction

My Digital artefact this semester for 215 was a subsection of my blog analysing games media and the linking paratexts. This idea Stimulated from wanting to work on my WordPress blog, since the start of the year in Bcm112. I was unable to reuse my past DA from first semester because I couldn’t see a FIST (Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny) way of bending it to fit the subject goals. So, Tales of a bullet sponge was born, allowing me to beautify my WordPress blog and work on my writing skills. This blog gave me the chance to really for once write about topics I was passionate about and that I enjoyed. My defined social utility for this project was to promote games in an amusing way and study gaming communities. This leads into my analytical framework.

Analytical framework

My analytical framework for ‘tales of a bullet sponge’, was to break down a game after playing it. The way I would write the majority of my posts is to get a decent amount of playtime in, either a day or a half day of play, from there I would break it down making it humorous and entertaining. A perfect example of this is my Witcher 3 post, I break the main game down in 200 or so words then spend the rest of the post talking about the in-game card game gwent.

Sometimes it meant playing half a day of a multiplayer game for instance my Fortnite post I played a five hours to get some talking points to discuss that were funny. I would then go on to write these down on a field note journal and put the post together. This framework worked well as It made the post more interesting because If I didn’t work this way, I wouldn’t be giving the reader an  authentic experience. I differ in one post to this framework as that was a post viewing a third-party play Zelda for the first time.

Structure

After reviewing feedback from my tutor on my beta of my project I changed the way I approached writing, as I knew I could “ramble”. I decided to use a shorter format where it was applicable to keep the attention of the reader, this meant aiming to keep posts too about 250 words with an interesting graphic, this is supported by a study I found in regards to student blog writing (Hansen, HE 2016). This is in direct opposition to the 1000 or so words I wrote on the battlefield series as I didn’t enjoy rereading that piece of my work. I decided to investigate attention spans when I was changing the length of post, I found this interesting article out of the US about marketing and catching the attention of shoppers.  The article claims as content creators we have 8 seconds to catch the reader’s attention if we take it in terms of our blogs rather than a supermarket (Strailey, J 2014).  Here is an example of how I set up a general post this one was on Mariokart Wii.

As, you can see, I keep it short and interesting, and I break up text with humour and jokes, this was loosely based on things I have witnessed in class over the semester, notably in Richards teaching style which personally helped keep my attention. This is best directly contrasted to my earlier posts which were significantly longer post from earlier in the ideation process.

This was a post I did early on in the development of the project and I would argue I was ‘working out the kinks’ in the project, as you can see I “ramble” on a bit throughout and there isn’t much humour. After receiving feedback from my tutor and peers,  I went back and investigated my work and wasn’t happy with it, now you can see a noticeable difference in my work.

Iteration process

I aimed to have a post go live on WordPress twice a week, I won’t lie this didn’t go to plan in the end it worked out I had one post average out at 1 per week. In total I have 10 posts that are live as of 09/11/2020, I have 3 more post to clean and finalise, two are in my drafts folder and I have one to put together. Sitting now on the outside of this project, not having cohesive format all the way through is a major flaw of this project. my other major part of iteration was promotion, or the lack there of. I know after discussing with fellow BCM215 student Angus Andrews (marketing), we both believe my project could’ve taken advantage of a dedicated twitter account that I have made but I understand this is little too late. After making this account I have seen significantly more interaction with posts. Find the account and figures below.

Background research

as most of my post were opinion pieces, supported from a comedic energy, my background research was playing the game. To supplement this, I would explore subreddits to see opinions within communities. For some posts I looked at external research, this is for explanation purposes as I don’t make a judgement. Opinion pieces rather than arguments, allowed me to make this project work under the FIST structure for DAs. In task 3 and 4 I made a statement regarding WordPress being a niche platform, Richard (my tutor) set me straight explaining it supports 35% of the world’s websites, I would like to take back that statement. As I have done more research into working with WordPress making it more streamline for the page.

Final Summary

Tales of a bullet sponge needed a more polished approach I am at a point now where I feel I could go and continue doing this and really get it off the ground. In a contextual essay for Bcm206, I describe this DA as my most enjoyable DA, even though it has undoubtably been my least successful. In the last 7 days since I have started promoting my own posts I’ve seen 6 views, this in comparison to my last DA The lime and Dry where I  saw consistent 40+ views, it’s a little disheartening this is my own fault and I will treat this as a learning experience. As stated above this blog has finally got to a point, I could take it somewhere however my fears have been realised and it is too little too late for this semester, there is always next year.

References

Strailey, J 2014, ‘Gone in Three Seconds’, Progressive Grocer, vol. 93, no. 5, pp. 99–108, viewed 9 November 2020, <https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f6h&AN=95970703&gt;.

Hansen, HE 2016, ‘The Impact of Blog-Style Writing on Student Learning Outcomes: A Pilot Study’, Journal of Political Science Education, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 85–101, viewed 9 November 2020, <https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=poh&AN=113137104&gt;.c

Published by Tobias Thomas

Just trying not to fail UNI, because I don't want to go work on the mines

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