For this project we had to create a piece of interactive media. Being able to focus on our own strengths I decided to creative an interactive website that was based in a storyline and the development of this story line with user input. The website that I ended up creating was then also turned into a Facebook app so that people could connect using their Facebook and talk to each other about the story this way. I believe that my piece was a good example of interactivity within new media as it not only was a website that people could talk to each other on and discuss the subjects that were covered on the website but also because they were able to incorporate their social network site into this.
“In the past, the interaction between a user and a web application was very simple. When a user wanted content they load their browser, go to the URL and get the content…this has changed. No longer can a website wait for users to navigate to the right URL, the website must contact the user wherever that user maybe. The paradigm has shifted from a website-centric model to a user-centric model. Now all interaction starts and ends with the user.” (Roden 2010; 2)
I believe that in this quote Roden has described exactly how things are now. It was also using this quote that I decided that in order to reach a larger audience I must try and contact them in any way possible. The easiest, fastest and most effective way of doing this was through social media. The main website that could help in reaching a mass audience was of course Facebook. This proved to be easier than was expected as there was an entire section that allowed a user to turn website into an app for Facebook. This in turn allowed users to log onto the website that I had created using their Facebook log in details which meant that it was easier for users to interact with the website as they didn’t have to go through the entire sign up process.
This was something that was easy to do given that I am a Facebook user and was able to post the app on my on page which meant that it was reaching over seven hundred people instantly.
“New technology is transforming the way media is used. An audience exists when a few people use the same medium at the same time, so the millions of people who log on to Facebook at the same time constitutes a mass audience.”(Davis 2009; 244)
The idea for the content took a while to produce. After doing some research I was able to see that fantasy stories have great audience appeal and are more likely to get a higher readership. This is due to the fantasy novels that have been big successes in recent years including Harry potter and Lord of the Rings (movies). This also led me to discover the website which has recently been created by the author of the Harry Potter books called Pottermore.
This website was created to allow the audience to become a part of the Harry potter world. It allows them to go through each book and discover things that were not included in the actually printed books such as the history of characters and objects. This was where I got the initial idea from. Based on this I wanted to create a website that did the same, that allowed the reader to enjoy the story but then delve deeper into it by having knowledge of the background of characters, which is unlocked for them gradually as they make their way through the story and about any magical objects. Further to this with users being able to leave comments on the page I would be able to ingratiate some of their ideas for the storyline as I decided to not put the whole story on at once as this would take away from the interactivity of the project.
The final product of what I had decided to create was a website. It had several pages that were dedicated to different parts of the story and some that would come over time. As previously state the whole story is not on the piece that I am giving in as this takes away from the interactive part of the project. The “News” section of the website allows me as the maker of the website to announce when new material has been added and to let users know that their ideas are incorporated which also gives them more of a reason to continue reading and checking the website.
I think that my piece with a few more members and more comments will be successful as an interactive website as it allows the user to become a part of the world that they are reading about on the website. It allows them to contribute to the story that is being told which in turn makes it their own. The website was easy to use making it user friendly and therefore more likely to get user input as the audience can understand what is going on on the website.
I think that the only issue now, for this website to be an on going piece is that I need more users but I have ensured that I am able to do this by turning the website in to a Facebook application s well as a website.