Read the Pitch and Beta first!
My digital artefact is a Surf Report Website called North Gong Daily, created as a partner for the Instagram and Facebook pages of the same name, originally created by Kel and Michelle Giddey, who I know through North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club. They’ve been running NGD for 2 years now, and so, at the start of BCM112 I approached with my offer. Since its creation, I have continued to upload surf reports daily, which takes roughly 10 minutes to do, and have spoken to Kel and Michelle about potential upgrades and changes to the site recently.
These possibilities include:
- Advertisements/Sponsors – Kel and Michelle have spoken with Quadrant Financial Solutions about potentially featuring ads on the site and have sampled it on Instagram
- Dropshipping – Selling merchandise by taking orders and placing them with the manufacturer, who then ships directly to the customer. This can be achieved through plugins such as WooCommerce.
- A SurfCam – a 24/7 video camera, like the one used on Coastal Watch placed at North Wollongong Surf Club, letting people view the conditions for themselves live. However, we would need permission from the Surf Club, and Wollongong City Council.
- Updated Merchandise – NGD has sold Shirts since the before the website existed, and recently began selling Hoodies, so I have suggested that the next order of shirts and hoodies should have the website URL on them, to help advertise more.
What I’ve found whilst creating North Gong Daily is that since it doesn’t require Users to be signed in to access any information and the topic is always the same, it doesn’t generate much discussion, since it is just giving important information and only receives views rather than likes. This makes it hard to access feedback, unless I ask people for it. I’ve found that this isn’t the most effective form of gaining feedback, as it requires people to access the site then search for something they can comment on, which usually results in a compliment or appraisal of the site, rather than encountering something naturally and providing constructive criticism.
Since NGD was made for two people, the most important feedback is from them, since it must cater to what they want it to do, as well as the users. As this is the case, I have iterated multiple times to suit what Kel, Michelle and the Users want.
As we are coming into Spring and Summer now, I believe North Gong Daily’s social utility will increase as more and more people begin going to the beach again due to the heat, and will need some way of accessing information whenever they want, with no cost of entry. North Wollongong is also one of the most popular Beaches in the Illawarra area, so having that coverage is helpful for a lot of people, both local or non-local, as seen in my starter pack
Through utilising three platforms – Instagram, Facebook and the Website, North Gong Daily indicates a fully connected Network Topology with each platform utilised acting as a node, connecting to the others in a distributed network, with no one controlling platform.
NGD does this by reaching out to a wider group of people, with each platform used as a tool to provide exposure and link to the next – which creates this connected network amongst the platforms.
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