BCM 325 Peer Digital Artefact Beta Commentary

Just as I did following on from my own digital artefact pitch submission, the BCM 325 subject is now requiring I comment on three of my peers’ beta submissions before offering a critical analysis of my engagement with their work. Below, I’ve linked three blog posts exploring the future of music streaming, live music, and virtual reality, respectively.

Blog 1: The Future of Music Streaming

Jett’s digital artefact incorporates a TikTok series and concluding essay focused on the sustainable future of music streaming over the next ten years. Specifically, it addresses his prediction that streaming services will become even more convenient and cost-effective for users while decreasing music piracy. After evaluating Jett’s original digital artefact pitch, I was super keen to follow up on his beta submission on the future of music streaming.

Before even getting into the video, his blog post was very clear and to-the-point, highlighting how he incorporated the FIST approach to produce content that is fast, inexpensive, simple and tiny – a great strategy when prototyping ideas! He also acknowledged the fact that his initially proposed timeline was slightly unrealistic, however, he does not actually explain why this is the case nor includes a visual to highlight his progress in completing his digital artefact thus far. I also noted that he had not linked his original pitch submission, which I think would have been a great way to provide context to new viewers who may be unfamiliar with his digital artefact.

In the video itself, Jett very clearly demonstrates an operational prototype of his project, showcasing the number of TikToks he has produced and uploaded, as well as the feedback received from the platform in terms of the number of likes and views. He also spends a considerable amount of time addressing the feedback he has received from his original pitch submission and explaining how he has since used these insights and resources to improve his initial concept. In the second half of his video, Jett explicitly links his digital artefact to the subject challenge and content, too.

My main critiques of Jett’s beta submission primarily relate to his initial concept and social utility, as outlined in the comment above. While he clearly addressed both of these areas in his original pitch, I feel as though this could have been much clearer in his beta. In doing so, he would have familiarised new viewers with the concept and purpose of his digital artefact, and highlighted how the feedback received has influenced his original idea. To conclude the video, Jett discusses his ‘future plan’ for his digital artefact in respect to the feedback received, and so contrasting this with his initial concept would have been an interesting addition to his beta.

Due to his proactive approach following my feedback on his pitch video, which incorporated new insights and resources that he specifically addressed in his beta, I decided against providing additional sources in my comment. Firstly, the feedback given on his original pitch included all of the best information and resources I could locate on the topic as a music-enthusiast myself, and so I didn’t believe any additional sources I could provide would offer the same level of value to his project. Jett had also clearly done considerable research himself which provided a strong basis for his essay. Nevertheless, I believe my comment overall was written in such a way that addressed the downfalls of his beta submission while offering suggestions on how to improve these individual elements.

Overall, I believe my comment on Jett’s blog post was constructive and insightful, while commending him on the areas I feel he has exceeded at.

Blog 2: The Future of Live Music

Alex’s digital artefact is a series of blog posts about the short-term future of live streaming and virtual reality in the music industry, to be concluded with a podcast. Of all the digital artefacts I’ve seen from this subject so far this semester, this was most in line with my own so I was very excited to explore what he’s achieved so far.

Although I hadn’t viewed Alex’s pitch prior to assessing his beta submission, it was extremely clear what his initial project was, how his methodology had changed throughout the course of the semester, what the next steps were in completing his project, and how it related to both the subject content and Future Cultures challenge. The only area in the marking criteria I think he could have improved on was in incorporating background research. While he had addressed this several times throughout his video, he failed to actually include examples or links to the sources he either had previously used or was planning to in his upcoming blog post and podcast. From his discussion about his concept, it was clear that he is familiar with the topics, however, as I explain in the comment below, it wasn’t specifically addressed as I’d like for it to have been.

Unlike Jett’s, this was the first time I’d heard about Alex’s digital artefact, and, being in the music industry myself, I had plenty of insight and resources to offer. In addition to providing an insight into my own personal experience with live streaming in the music industry in an event production role, I also incorporated a number of resources which covered the topics of each of his blog posts (i.e., live streaming and virtual reality). The first two, from Time and Dot.La, focused on the future of live streaming in the music industry, and discussed this in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which saw the rapid acceleration of live streamed events.

For his second blog post, which he is yet to publish, I provided a link to MelodyVR – a company specialising in virtually streaming music events via mobile phones and VR headsets. Not only is this concept extremely cool, but it is a great starting point for Alex’s blog as it highlights our current capabilities with live streaming and virtual reality technologies. I also added in a third article, from WIRED, which explored the beginning of the collaboration between live music and virtual reality.

Lastly, bringing my comment back to my initial discussion about my own live music event taking place next month, I shared the details of the live streaming team I’ve hired to record the gig. Not only could the team share their experience in actually producing these live streamed events, but they may potentially be able to appear on Alex’s podcast to offer a different, first-hand perspective and discussion around the impact these technologies are having on the industry. After having completing the first round of peer comments during the pitch analysis, and then Jett’s which re-familiarised myself with the assessment requirements, I felt a lot more comfortable and confident in repeating this with Alex’s beta submission.

Blog Post 3: The Virtual Reality Rise

Leo’s digital artefact is a series of blog posts exploring the rise of virtual reality and the future role of VR in education delivery, fitness regimes and surgical procedures, which is set to conclude with a one-off video essay in Week Thirteen.

Of all of the digital artefacts I’ve viewed this semester, Leo’s clearly stood out as being the most recognisably linked to the Future Cultures subject from the moment I read the heading of his blog post. Throughout his beta submission, he supported this with a discussion addressing specific subject concepts, and was extremely clear in the way his project related to the subject challenge. Following his pitch submission, he also proactively responded to comments, taking on board all of the feedback from his peers to develop new and improved project iterations.

As my last peer comment of the semester, I am really proud of the quality compared to that of my initial pitch comments in Week Four. I opened the response commending Leo on his improvement and ability to accept and act on the constructive criticisms from his initial pitch, and highlighted all of the beta elements I believed he achieved to a high standard through his discussion and use of visual examples. His topic, also, was extremely appropriate for the subject, and it’s clear that he has put a lot of work into producing a weekly blog post to encourage engagement and feedback during his development process.

There were two elements, however, I believe he could have improved further and addressed more clearly in his beta, as highlighted in the comment above. In my justification of each of my opinions, I provided examples of both audiences and platforms he could utilise to add greater value to his digital artefact, as well as an explanation of why each would be appropriate for different goals he may have. In directing Leo to the subject lectures for examples of different sources he may choose to make use of, and acknowledging the link between his project and our most recent screening of Ready Player One, I also managed to tie in the subject content within my comment, which I believe is a strong reflection of both his project’s relevance and my own understanding and engagement with subject content.

As I identified in my comment, Leo was fairly vague about the niche his audience fell into, and so finding sources that covered each of his chosen fields collectively was extremely difficult. Hence, I decided to focus on one specific area he may choose to focus on, being the role of VR on future education delivery. This field identified by Leo in his blog introduction was the one of most interest to myself, and the one I would recommend he focus on if he does decide to explore just one specific niche as opposed to multiple. Additionally, I provided a link to a Utah Business blog which discussed VR in relation to Ready Player One, claiming we are already living within a metaverse though ecommerce, virtual workplaces and the entertainment industry. I believe both of these sources offer valuable insights into Leo’s overarching topic, and may encourage him to home in on one particular niche in order to offer a more insightful discussion.

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