Making – The End…?

Despite what the title of this post may say, no this is not the end of Just Jess OR Just Music. It is however the end of BCM114, which means I need to reflect on my process, what I have learnt and where I intend to go from here. So here we go…

I’ve already spoken about some of the setbacks I have experienced throughout the duration of this project in my prototyping blog, so instead I want to use this post to talk about what I have learnt, both about myself and my own limitations and about media and what it takes to create content in a digitally saturated world.

Despite what other people might tell you (including everyone who tells you that a media degree ‘isn’t real’) creating engaging content regularly is HARD. After completing BCM112 in Semester 1 (with a somewhat failed DA), I went into BCM114 knowing that establishing and maintaining a Digital Artefact could be difficult, but I assumed that if I changed my topic and platform to something I enjoyed and understood more, it would be easier. Boy was I wrong.

In creating ‘Just Music’, I expected to be able to easily create content on (semi) regular basis because I was writing about something to close to my heart. While this may have lasted for a few weeks, the reality is that no matter how much you may think you will enjoy something, when it comes to actually doing it, it’s not as easy.

In terms of my own limitations, I think maintaining this DA has taught me that I need to consider other things going on in my life before I make a commitment to a work load. When I started the blog, I said I was going to make weekly posts on a Friday along with other posts when relevant things happened in the music industry. I quickly realised that saying you’ll do something and actually finding the time to do it are two completely different things and sometimes life just gets in the way. While I realise it’s important to maintain somewhat of a regular posting schedule, it’s also important to look after yourself and make sure you don’t commit to more than what you’re physically capable of.

Working in media isn’t something I’ve wanted to since I was a kid, like some people. This ‘dream’ has only developed in the last 2 years or so, and after (almost) completing my first year of the degree, I think I can safely say that I have made the right decision. I think I have learnt that while many people look at what people do in media and call it easy, it’s far from it and only with practice will it start to come easy to me. This year is only the start of the journey and I’m excited for where it’s headed.

So where to from here? I want to keep up Just Music, but for now, I’m not commit myself to a rigorous posting schedule. I’m going to write when I want to write and when inspiration strikes. If that’s once every three weeks, then so be it. Obviously, in the future I will more than likely (try) get back to a regular schedule, but for now I’m comfortable with posting when possible. Having said that, if anyone has any suggestions of any music related topics I should write about, let me know.

I guess that’s it for BCM114.

Catch ya next year?

Jess x

 

Prototyping – Singles and Albums and Artists, Oh My!

For me, two of the hardest things for me to maintain whenever I start a new project, have always been time management and maintaining motivation. Looking into the future, it’s easy to say you can do something, but actually doing it is a whole other story. Unfortunately, this has kind of been the case with my Just Music blog.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m still writing and posting music related blogs, just not as regularly as I would like to be. And this entirely comes back to my time management skills and personal motivation. But I have thought about this a lot, and I have come up with some ways that I can rectify these (and some other minute) issues that I have encountered. I am also 100% open to suggestions, so if after reading this you think “Hey, I know how Jess can motivate herself”, PLEASE let me know.

The pile just keeps piling up

The problem with university is that, generally, subjects don’t really interact with each other. This means that more often than not, you end up with 3 assignments, 2 presentations and an exam all in the one week. Add writing weekly blog posts to the mix, and the pile of work seems to be never ending. Time management has never really been my strong suit, but it becomes increasingly obvious just how much I suck at it when weeks like this happen. In terms of Just Music, this has mainly affected my intention of posting weekly ‘New Music Friday’ posts. Restricting myself to  posting on a Friday was my first issue; assignments are always due at the end of the week, so if I’m not rushing to finish an assignment, I’m probably driving home, meaning I lose basically all of my Friday. This makes it really difficult to write a blog post about the new music that has come out that day, considering music is not released until at least midnight, sometimes even later. I’ve decided that in order to rectify this problem, I need to not restrict myself to posting on a Friday, and potentially open it up to posting anytime over the weekend. While not ideal in terms of getting content out as soon after a release as possible, it’s the only real way I can commit to weekly content with my current schedule. I think it’s easy to say that my plan for ‘New Music Friday’s’ was definitely a case of Fail Early, Fail Often, but now that I have identified this, I can work on figuring out a way that works best for me. This part of my process definitely involves a fair amount of breaking; I need to essentially break what I have already created, take out the aspects that worked, and put them back together in a way that works better than the original.

 

Motivation, where you at?

When it comes to projects, I am always either SUPER motivated or completely disinterested, there is no in between. Writing for Just Music, I have at times found myself with zero motivation to write a post, mainly when it comes to my ‘New Music Friday’ posts. Personally, I think this is because I am not always interested by the content that is released in a particular week. Some weeks, there is more new release music than others, this is just a fact. The issue arises when the new music isn’t by an artist that I usually listen to or of a genre that I like. This actually arises a few issues; it is a LOT easier to write a review of an artist if you have somewhat of a knowledge of their background, their audience and their older music and the same goes for genres. This isn’t really an issue that I can fix through feedback loops, it entirely comes back to me having inspiration and finding the motivation to actually write the posts. Another issue with this is the fact that the music industry is not regular; events such as festivals, concerts and interviews are not something that happen weekly or on a regular schedule. This makes it difficult to formulate a regular posting schedule, as I can’t always predict what content I am going to be able to write about in a particular week. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a way I can overcome this, I just have to try and stay on top of new content and write and publish posts as quickly as possible.

 

Engaging Engagement

You may not have realised, but I have also created an Instagram account to promote and direct traffic towards this blog. While the aesthetic of an Instagram account is incredibly pleasing, there a few issues when it comes to actually directing the traffic. It’s not possible to include links in an Instagram caption, which means that I have to then direct readers from the original post in the news feed to my actual profile, where the link is then in my bio. The problem with this is, people like to mindlessly double tap on Instagram posts, but very rarely do they actually go any further. To rectify this, I want to start posting more regularly so that my account becomes a regular presence in both my followers feeds and in the hashtags. Another issue I have encountered is that while I am getting a decent amount of likes, people aren’t actually following me. This also makes it difficult to use the Instagram Story feature, as I don’t actually have that big of a dedicated following who have access to what I post. Going forward with this in mind, I would like to focus more on the blog aspect of my DA, building that up and regularly creating content, before focusing too much on the social media presence. When I do eventually start to focus on the social media aspect, I will need to experiment with

It’s not all bad…

Despite the setbacks I have encountered, it’s not all bad news. Following my original pitch, I was approached by ‘Volume Media‘ and asked to review concerts and events. While I haven’t written any reviews yet, we have a few in the works and they will hopefully be coming soon!

So while there has been a little bit of a lull in content, I am working on breaking and remaking the way I produce content to better interact with my audience. Just Music isn’t going anywhere and the only way is up!

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x

Ideating – The Birth of ‘Just Music’

You might be wondering why all of a sudden I have started posting (somewhat regularly) about music? Well, the answer to that is simple. I have decided to create a ‘side blog’ about music from my usual media blog for my Digital Artefact (or DA). 

Why a music blog?

After completing BCM112 last semester, it was clear to me that I would not be continuing my (failed) DA that I began in that class. This is for a few reasons; 1. I was not able to create the content that I originally intended because of time constraints, equipment access and just my own motivation, 2. It was difficult to create an audience (I didn’t realise how niche of an audience musical theatre generated) and 3. I just completely lost interest in it.

From this realisation, I knew that I had to create something new, and quickly too. Music has always been something close to my heart, and is also the area of journalism and media that I would one day love to get into. Over the semester break I published a blog post about my 5 favourite albums, and I was able to generate some interest in that, so decided it was worth the risk of attempting to continue tapping into this audience for my DA. And thus ‘Just Music’ was born.

What’s been happening so far?

So far, I have published 5 posts under the overarching title of “Just Music”, and all have them have generated pleasing feedback given the beginning nature of the blog. After posting The Most Splendid of Splendour“, one of the bands reviewed, Cub Sport, reposted the article on their personal Instagram story, cubbies.jpg

which definitely helped to draw audience to that post in particular and therefore the blog overall. Other blog posts have also drawn feedback which is helping to develop my writing style and ways of promoting the blog.

Why does this work?

This DA ticks all the boxes that my failed one from last semester didn’t, namely those of FEFO (Fail Early, Fail Often) and FIST (Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny). With my DA last semester, I was initially scared to put out content, meaning that I didn’t actually put out any content for public access until the later weeks of the semester. This definitely did not follow the idea of FEFO; I was too scared to fail in the first place, so I didn’t even get the opportunity to do it early. With this DA, I have been attempting to put out content on a regular basis, more so for the purpose of bettering my own skills rather than being successful. In terms of FIST, I 100% overestimated my abilities (and my bank account)with my ambitions last semester, meaning that it didn’t fit any of the ideals of FIST. By changing to “Just Music” I can now follow these ideals; writing blog posts on a topic I love can be done super fast, the blog is free to run and maintain, when you’re writing about something you love, it’s easy and blog posts don’t have to be long, which also contributes to the ‘fast’ factor. On top of all of this, by keeping all of my writing together, both on music and media, I am able to create a sort of portfolio of work, which I will be able to keep together and use in future years when looking for employment.

What’s Next?

In terms of blogging regularly, my plan is to post weekly ‘New Music Friday’ posts, showcasing new music released that week and ‘Monthly Musical Moments’ posts, showcasing all the big music moments across the month as well as reviews and profiles of any other music, artists or events in the music industry that capture my interest. As well as this, I am going to begin writing for media website ‘Volume Media‘ as a way of bettering my skills and growing my presence across the industry (stay tuned for that). This is only the beginning of Just Music!

Catch ya on the flip side,

Jess x