Web media production (WMP) is a rapidly growing field of communication in today’s contemporary society. Current with the increase and diversification of Internet connectivity in numerous parts of the world, there is a gap to satisfy millions of persons with sufficient media content. In most cases, WMP is intended for web distribution, development of the visual, audio and textual content of a chosen publication to fit a chosen audience or subject. The current reflective essay discusses a personal contribution to a WMP project that was aimed at enhancing the web distribution of the bookstagramwiz online content channel, and also illustrates the roles played in the development of the visual, audio, and textual content of the web page.
The rapidly increasing volume of media content on the Internet has turned WMP into a fast-growing business. Its success has been facilitated by the fact that WMP has lower barriers to entry compared to other Internet-based production operations. There are numerous forms of media that could be developed by using WMP. Such media include periodicals like newspapers and magazines, books, photography, visual arts, and films. Others include music, video games and a variety of new online media content. A team of my classmates performed a WMP project aimed at increasing web traffic of the Bookstagramwiz page on the Internet. As a team, we also sought to enhance the visual, audio and textual content of the page.
This is a community of individuals who share a variety of images with other persons over the Internet. In most cases, images are usually photos of books shot by various members of the group and posted on the Bookstagramwiz online platform. The members are also referred as bookstagrammers, and the images they publish are of the books they have read or those they plan to read. Once the image is posted on the platform, other bookstagrammers can comment or like the images and then share their experiences pertaining to the books featured in the photos. It is an excellent online communication tool where persons are enlightened about various exciting novels and short storybooks that they can read.
In this project, the team subdivided the roles into four primary categories. The roles included enhancing web distribution of the Bookstagramwiz page over the Internet, and development of visual, audio, as well as textual content of the platform. In the first part, the enhancement of the distribution of the book was meant to increase the volume of traffic visiting the Bookstagramwiz page. This was engineered with the underlying objective of attaining more bookstagrammers on the Bookstagramwiz web platform. This would translate into an increased number of posts featured on Bookstagramwiz each month.
Enhancing the Web Distribution of Bookstagramwiz During the WMP Project
To increase the distribution of images over the Internet, an Instagram account for Bookstagramwiz was opened. Instagram is an online service that allows members to share videos and photos with other persons, privately or openly (Moreau, 2016). The service also acts as a social networking platform since it can be linked to other social networking platforms like Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter (Tumbokon, 2016). The service was developed by Kevin Systrom together with his partner Mike Krieger in October 2010 (Lagorio-Chafkin, 2011). Primarily, Instagram is used for sharing photos across its vast number of users. As of 2016, it was estimated that Instagram had approximately 144 million subscribers (Statistica, 2016). By linking the Bookstagramwiz platform with Instagram, the team ensured that more target audience, who could be potential bookstagrammers, were reached.
As part of the team that produced Bookstagramwiz, my team members also invited other persons to like Bookstagramwiz’ photos on Instagram. This methodology is highly valid in distributing the contents of the Bookstagramwiz’s forum over the Internet. Particularly, I was involved in sharing photos of bestseller novels I had read in the past two years. In every post, I wrote a brief biography of what a book was about and a very brief synopsis of books. The method was highly efficient since Instagram application could be supported on various mobile devices I had, including iPhone, iPad as well as iPod Touch (Big Little Geek, 2016). I also played a big role in advising my followers on Instagram to download the application for their mobile devices on Google Play or App Store platforms (Li, 2014). This way, they could access and follow Bookstagramwiz’s posts conveniently.
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Development of Visual Content
Today, online content has greatly evolved. Most web media producers today no longer use white papers as the sole strategy for promoting their websites. So as to have an attractive page that attracts scores of persons annually, it is imperative for a person to enhance the appeal of his/her page using visual content. The most popular visual contents used by numerous people include infographics, memes, visual note-taking, Instagram and video among others. During the WMP project, the team’s goal was to increase the traffic of visitors visiting the Bookstagramwiz sharing forum. This meant that it was essential for the team to enhance the appeal of the platform.
In this case, Instagram that was also used to increase the distribution of Bookstagramwiz’s web content was also used in enhancing the page’s visual content. Photos are the widely shared media content on Instagram. As such, after Bookstagramwiz obtained an account with Instagram, its general appearance was enhanced by the thousands of other photos placed on the Instagram website. The use of Instagram, a social media platform, to enhance the visual content of Bookstagramwiz was considered effective, in light to research conducted by B2B Marketing Infographics. According to the research, online publishers who use social media platforms as visual content enhancers for the marketing purposes increase their traffic by 12% (Karr, 2013).
In addition, the research evidenced that approximately 94% of the Internet users prefer the contents featuring attractive images (Karr, 2013). The research also stated that 37% of the Internet users increase their engagement on an online platform if the website includes appealing images and photos (Karr, 2013). All these evaluations supported the need to have an attractive platform with lots of photos. This could drive an increased volume of traffic to Bookstagramwiz’s visual contents. At this stage, I actively participated in re-posting the Bookstagramwiz’s image links as a tagline on other Instagram’s photos. This meant that every time an Instagram user clicked on an image on his/her Instagram account, a link suggestion would pop-up on the photo advising him/her to visit a different but almost similar image on the Bookstagramwiz channel.
Development of Audio Content
The creation of an audio content as a strategy of enhancing the visibility of Bookstagramwiz’s content was also designed by the WMP project team. The addition of audio material on various web contents entails obtaining, editing and placing a variety of audio data into a courseware (Jackson, 2015). In this case, it is performed in almost the same way as when adding visual contents. During the WMP project, some photos were added with melodious sounds that started a playback at the moment Bookstagramwiz’s users clicked on the chosen images. Such sounds were captivating, and the team hoped that Bookstagramwiz users would linger on the image and even read the textual content material written about the featured books.
In this stage, a computer with speakers and a microphone was used. In addition, a playback and recording software was also helpful. My role at this stage was to edit various sounds and tunes using the Sound Forge-XP audio editing software. The software can aid in increasing the volume of sounds as well as cutting out long silences in audio files (SONY, 2016). It can also assist in cutting out and splicing short segments of audio files into an audio sequence (SONY, 2016). After the team had implemented the audio contents on several Bookstagramwiz’s images, they performed an evaluation analysis to compare their traffic performance with those images that did not have audio clip attached to them. The team ascertained that an increment in likes on photos with audio contents was observed. This meant that more visitors visited the Bookstagramwiz profile due to the audio content.
Development of Textual Content
Good textual content is essential in promoting readability of a given online text by the target audience (Cronin, 2009). A good textual content should be short, precise, and with catchy phrases to capture the target audience’s attention. During the WMP project, the team decided that using short captions, only a few words long, would encourage the audience to view its contents. The team members decided that the words in the phrases would have a high keyword density. This was for the sole purpose of enhancing the visibility of the images on the Internet or for searching engine optimization purposes.
During this stage, my role was to format the textual content into the HTML format. HTML is a short abbreviation for Hyper Text Markup Language, which is a programming language that was designed by Tim Lee in 1990 (Computer Hope, 2016). The fundamental reason for using this programming language in the textual content of the WMP project was to enable Bookstagramwiz’s users to connect to other pages featuring Bookstagramwiz’s content. This was facilitated by the use of hyperlinks, which are references to other textual data that website visitors can follow directly by hovering or clicking a computer mouse on the featured textual content (Tech Terms, 2016).
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Summary of the Project Reflection
In the WMP project, the roles I performed included advising my followers on Instagram to download the Instagram application for their mobile handsets on Google Play or App Store. This way, they could access Bookstagramwiz’s postings easily. I also participated actively in re-posting the photos of Bookstagramwiz on Instagram to promote Bookstagramwiz. This was during the visual creation content phase. During the audio content development stage, I used the Sound Forge-XP audio editing software to format the audio files before being posted on the Bookstagramwiz visual contents. Finally, I was involved in structuring the textual content of some of Bookstagramwiz’s photos in HTML format.
The part I enjoyed most in the WMP project was re-posting of photos during the visual content generation phase. I loved viewing different photos on Bookstagramwiz before posting them on Instagram. The part that I found as remarkably difficult was structuring the textual content in HTML. At times, I made a mistake while coding HTMLs, and I had to repeat some sections entirely. However, incorporation of audio content on the visual contents of Bookstagramwiz’s photos worked remarkably well. This was evidenced by the increased traffic that was generated on online photos. In a next similar project, I would try to improve the quality of the textual content featured on photos. This section would have needed more time for it to be completed efficiently. Nevertheless, I learned a great deal about the excellent steps involved in performing a WMP project.
In light of everything discussed above, it is evident that WMP’s demand is growing due to the increase in the Internet connectivity in numerous parts of the world. During a WMP, there are various strategies that can assist in the distribution of the web content. The most useful strategy entails the use of social networking platforms such as Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter in driving traffic to online platform. Visual contents enhance the visibility of a website on the Internet. The use of images or linking a page with Instagram, a photo-sharing site, is an excellent way for enhancing a web media’s visual content. Audio content, on the other hand, entails the use of sounds on the web media to market its visibility. This can be efficiently performed using the Sound Forge-XP audio editing software. Finally, using good textual content helps in appealing the audience to read the materials featured on web content. The use of HTML formatting, as well as hyperlinks, is also an efficient way of promoting textual content coverage among the targeted audience