North Gong Pt. IV

Make sure to read North Gong Pt. III, the start of my Digital Story, before reading this!

Nippers on Sunday’s is always packed

Interview 1: Social Media Manager – Laura Booth

For my first Interview I spoke with Laura Booth, and prepared a different set of questions than the ones for the other interviewees, since she is the North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Social Media Manager and will have a different perspective regarding the various accounts. I spoke to her in person a few weeks ago, during a Patrol we both were rostered onto. The Interview transcript went as follows:

H: How often do you update and post on the social media?

L: I try to do it as regularly as possible, at least every Sunday, once or twice throughout the week and when something relevant happens.

H: How long have you been running them?

L: For the past two seasons, so one year.

H: Do you run them all/did you create them?

L: No, I just took over. Yes, I run them all, but Nippers stuff is separate.

ย H: How often do people comment or react to your posts?

L: Someone always reacts.

H: Are there any posts that do particularly well?

L: Posts that have things to do with events that have happened and we have pictures to go with it do the best. I guess ones that require an interaction, like Nippers type ones or the presentation.

Our goal is to increase our exposure and awareness to potential sponsors and other clubs.

Laura Booth

H: Do you know how much engagement you get?

L: Utilising social media as a free platform of advertising and creating exposure has been made really hard by the way that Facebook and Instagram now filter posts. Iโ€™m finding now we arenโ€™t getting as much interaction with posts now because of this. Facebook and Instagram keep trying to encourage me to pay to help โ€˜boostโ€™ interaction.

H: Do you have plans or a schedule?

L: The plan was to post every Sunday, and have every Patrol Captain send a pic and update of the patrol, not going so well for Instagram and Facebook.

H: Does anyone help with it?

L: All self-guided, though lots of people have access to accounts.

H: Do you have goals?

L: Our goal is to increase our exposure and awareness to potential sponsors and other clubs.

Laura also shared her Accounts’ insights (above), which highlight how many people the posts reached (1,090) and how much engagement is achieved (657) as well as how this compares to the previous posts.

  • H = Hayden (Me)
  • L = Laura

Read more in North Gong Pt. V!!

North Gong Pt. III

An exploration of how sporting organisations communicate with its members, with a focus on North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club and the community around it.

North Gong Pt. I and North Gong Pt. II are my Pitch for this project, so make sure to read those to find out about my initial thoughts on the topic!

The way people communicate is constantly changing, as new advancements in technology continue to appear and develop, and, in the last few years, mobile phones, social media and the internet have come to the forefront of this communication.

With the internet came the development of online communities who can connect with people who share the same interests (Luck & Buchanan 2008, p. 45). These advancements have made communication easier for a large amount of people, and most organisations and businesses have incorporated social media into their plans.

For Organisations such as North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club, social media has been invaluable in planning its weekly, monthly and yearly operations and goals. North Wollongong Beach is an extremely popular beach, the Club needs to be prepared for every Sunday, as Members volunteer to patrol the beach in shifts and there needs to be a certain number of proficient award-holders available to spend the day at the beach.

During this Study, I aim to find out how North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club interacts with its members through social media and how its members respond to this and whether they have a preferred method of communication with the Club. I have spoken to 4 people and myself, with one being the person that runs the accounts (Laura Booth) and the rest being members of the Club.

For the interview with Laura Booth, I asked her a different set of questions than I did the rest of the interviewees as she is the one running the accounts, therefore she has a different perspective and insight into the social media of the Club. In her Interview, I asked her about the performance of the accounts and how much interaction they achieve and what they aim to get out of it. In the other Interviews, I asked about how the interviewees interact personally with the Club and what they think about the Clubโ€™s social media presence overall.

From this I believe I have achieved an understanding of why Sporting Organisations utilise Social Media to communicate with their members, as well as discovered what certain members think of this plan.

Read North Gong Pt. IV for the next step in the story!

References:

North Gong Pt. II

For the first part in this series, see North Gong Pt. I

An exploration of how businesses communicate with its members, with a focus on North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club and the community around it.

Image sourced from nwslsc.com.au

This study will be completed over the course of the next four weeks, until the submission date of the final report, on the 10th of November.

During this coming weeks, I will spend time at the Club, talking to both members and club officials, as well as observing whether they use social media whilst at the club. I will also monitor the Clubโ€™s various social media pages, during these next few weeks to see how much engagement the Club gets, as well as how people interact with the Club when online.

North Wollongong Surf Club has 6 social media profiles, pages and groups linked to it, on both Instagram and Facebook, which are:

During my research, Iโ€™ll look at most of these profiles and how much activity and engagement they get. Although I have only just begun my research, it is already clear to see that the most popular part of North Wollongongโ€™s social media presence, is the Nippers Program and its supporting material.

When interviewing and talking to the people involved, Iโ€™ll need to make sure I follow the MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics, to ensure none of the Participants feel they have been misled or harmed as a result of my study. I aim to do this by informing all Participants of the research I am conducting, asking permission before using their name, picture or information given. I believe that since I have been a member of the Club since 2012, I believe the people I interview will be able to provide me with information that I will be able to apply well, whilst still maintaining respect for those being interview, however, I need to ensure I can remain professional despite my ties to the club and its members.

When presenting my final report for my research, I plan on submitting it as a series of short blog posts on my website, ๐˜พ๐™ช๐™ง๐™ก๐™š๐™ฎ, under the BCM241 category.

From the research Iโ€™ve currently completed, there is little to no previous research on the topic of Surf Life Saving Clubโ€™s and their Media Usage. I have discovered though, that a large amount of Surf Clubs have some form of social media presence, and researching into whether North Wollongong has a stronger media presence than other Clubs and why they do could be a good follow up to the study I am about to undertake.

Stay tuned for more info!

Hayden.

North Gong Pt. I

Part 2 out now!

An exploration of how businesses communicate with its members, with a focus on North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club and the community around it.

Image sourced from nwslsc.com.au

My research topic is an exploration of how Businesses communicate with its members, with a focus on North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club and the community surrounding it, which I am a part of, and has been a big part of my life since I was 12.

Since the creation of social media, Businesses have slowly been incorporating it into their business plan, since it has almost limitless applications. During my research, I aim to discover how North Wollongong Surf Club has incorporated Social Media into its communication, and how members keep in touch with whatโ€™s happening within the club.

Understanding how North Wollongong uses social media and more traditional forms of communication and how its members prefer to communicate with each other and the club would be incredibly helpful for the Clubโ€™s social media managers. Knowing what platforms and method of communication is preferred by members would allow the Club to prioritise whichever method is preferred by members.

My project will be conducted alone, and I will observe people using social media during my time spent at the club, by speaking to various members, and with those people in charge of the clubโ€™s social media profiles.

Since I am a part of the group being researched, this study will be conducted like an Auto-ethnography, as well as having elements of a Digital and Industry Ethnography. In The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography, Ellis states that Auto-ethnography is:

“an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno)”

(Ellis, C 2003).

This statement explains that auto-ethnography is a form of ethnography where the Researcher analyses and applies their own experiences to the topic being researched. My research will act as an auto-ethnography because I will be using my experience as a member of this club, and including myself as a participant in my study.

This study will also act as both a Digital and Industry Ethnography, two prominent topics looked at this semester. As we learnt in Week 6, the Internet acts as both a culture and a cultural artefact โ€“ it has its own dynamic community with a distinct way of communicating, and it can be used to display information deemed important to anyone. The emergence of the Internet has also created a new Industry of jobs, based around the Internet, with roles such as aggregation and curation or management of certain profiles or websites.

By researching how North Wollongong has established their social media profiles, I aim to find out what influenced the Clubโ€™s decision to use social media as well as find out how successful they have been and how they use it. I will also be talking to members, to find out what they think of these, and how and when they interact with these profiles.

My research will also touch on Week 8โ€™s topic of the Media Community, as I look at these members of North Wollongong who could be classified as โ€œfansโ€ of surf lifesaving.

For more information see North Gong Pt. II

References:

de Matas, R. (2019) โ€˜Sensory autoethnography: Engaging the senses, emotions and autobiographical narrative towards a transformative pedagogical practice in higher educationโ€™, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 12(1/2), pp. 167โ€“180.

Ellis, C., Adams, T. and Bochner, A. (2011). Autoethnography: An Overview. [online] Qualitative-research.net. http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

Ellis, C. (2003). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography.

Neighbourhood Watch

My street has a group chat.

I live in Figtree, and at the end of the street, at the part where I live, there is a cul de sac. My parents and neighbours like to refer to themselves as the “Executive Committee” of the street in their Messenger chat, which consists of 14 people, and frequently send each other messages regarding what’s happening in my street, share interesting things and organise events and catch-ups with each other.

As there is always at least one person from the group at home, there is a constant surveillance of the street, and anything interesting that occurs is documented and shared via the group chat. The group is also used to plan meet-ups and parties periodically, with families coming along and planning dishes to bring.

My family friends, who live a few doors down, also have a system built into their house, called SONOS, described as “the ultimate wireless home system”. This system lets them play music or other sound through each room, and can be controlled via a mobile device.

On the other end of the spectrum, one of the other, older couples in the group still use a radio to listen to music, and frequently bring it to the group’s catch-ups. My neighbourhood has both what appears to be Innovators, with fancy new technology, and the older generation of Laggards, who still use a radio to listen to music.

Most of the people in the group often have their mobile devices on them, particularly the younger people in the street, and we often share things we found online with each other.

The threat of surveillance is not a major concern for most of the people in the group, however, my family and myself all have ad-blockers on our laptops and computers, as do some of the others in the street.

Digital signage is not a major occurrence in the neighbourhood as there are no public screens, however, ads do appear on mobile phones, televisions, computers and gaming consoles, and as most of homes in the street have at least 2 or 3 of these, digital signage does still occur frequently. This is limited by ad-blockers, however, free-to-air TV still contains ads, so not all ads can be hidden.

As most families in the street have children between the ages of 24 and 8, most families have some form of gaming console or computer. From this, the children have a source of entertainment and are also able to connect with each other. However, this does provide a platform for ads to be viewed on, and most consoles and computers have a built-in camera, which could be used to watch those in front of it.

The neighbourhood that I live in is therefore a very interconnected network, as each house has multiple devices, including mobile phones, laptops, computers and consoles. There are no Public Screens in the Neighbourhood, however, Digital Signage is still available on Televisions and Computers.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

At 7pm on a Thursday night a few weeks ago, I got a group message asking if anyone wanted to watch the new Spider-Man: Far From Home film. Of the 10 people in our group chat, only 4 agreed to come along, but that didn’t stop us.

It was 9:10pm when we all rocked up at Greater Union Cinemas Wollongong, parking was easy as everyone had cleared out for the night. 4 of us met in the parking lot, then headed over to the Cinema. The doors opened inwards and we piled in out of the cold, inhaling the smell of fresh, warm popcorn as we did. There’s twenty minutes until the movie begins, and Con ducks out to the Woolies 100 meters down the road.

We got a phone call from another friend in Primbee, asking if it had started, and after waiting ten minutes, until right as the movie was about to start, he walked in with us. During that ten minute wait, we spent the time outside on our phones and talking to each other about what we’d been up to, whilst Connor got snacks and Max drove from Primbee.

I brought a packet of Sour Cream & Onion Pringles with me from home, and the others brought an assortment of M&M’s, Chips and Soft Drinks to share during the movie, and we passed them around throughout the duration of the film.

We got into the movie just as it was beginning, and from the moment it began, I was blown away. I’ve been an avid comics fan since childhood, and seeing everything that Marvel had created and expanded upon was an incredible experience. Throughout the film, I was whispering with my mates every time something amazed me, which was a lot.

We were sat in a side aisle, and, being 6’4.5″, my legs pressed into the seats in front of me at Greater Union, so I had to sit straight up, rather than slouching or stretching out.

On second thought, I probably should’ve gotten an aisle seat…

The cinema was warm and dark, a big contrast to just outside the cinema, where there must have been at least a 10ยฐ C drop in the temperature. We finished at 10 to 12am, and we all walked straight out of the cinema and towards where we had all parked, next to each other, in the same parking lot, down Church Street. During the walk we discussed everything that we did and didn’t like about the film, offering up our different opinions of each scene.

Upon the way to the cars, we stopped at McCabe Park for an hour, chatting about everything that had happened to us in the last few months, as we hadn’t seen each other for a few weeks and wanted to share everything with each other. Slowly, we made our way back to the cars, stopping again to continue our talking, both about the movie, and our recent life events.

And so ended a fun late night trip to the cinema.

SYRE // ERYS

Music has played a large role in my life since the age of 10, listening to Rainbow, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and other heavy metal bands with Dad, we often jammed out to the same songs on car trips, bonding along the way. Often he would play a new song that I’d become hooked on, or he would let me choose what was playing from his phone, and he’d then crank the sound up in the car.

However, my discovery of Spotify in 2016 changed my music habits as I am able to play it when I want, where I want, especially in the car whilst driving myself, or in the bedroom having my own jam session.

My tastes have also drastically been altered, by letting me branch out and discover many new sounds and people to listen to.

My music taste went from heavy metal and rock, to rap and hip hop, with artists such as Eminem and Kendrick Lamar taking prominence. Since then, my music taste has branched out, with my new favourite artist becoming:

Jaden

In 2018, a friend introduced me to Jaden’s 2017 album, SYRE, and I was instantly hooked on his songs Icon, and B L U E (four songs making up one whole), which focus on sadness, anger and regret after a break up, and the story of Adam and Eve, as well as Icarus from the perspective of Syre, an alter ego of Jaden’s. In an interview with Complex, Jaden promised that “this album is something completely different from what they think”, and SYRE followed through on that, as it blew my mind and changed music forever for me.

On the 5th of July, Jaden released a sequel to SYRE, titled ERYS. This album continues the story created in SYRE, taking the story of the boy SYRE as he becomes ERYS, a darker, more determined version of himself. Jaden has described ERYS as a “strict hard-rap album”, featuring such hits as P I N K (Like BLUE, they are four parts of the same song), NOIZE, Summertime In Paris and Fire Dept.

One of my favs

Originally, I didn’t like ERYS, however, after recommendations by a friend, and multiple listens on Spotify, I have grown to love the album, even more so than SYRE, which was a game-changer for me. Since then, I have been able to hold conversations and suggest songs for friends and bond with new friends over a shared interest in the same albums, songs and Artists, especially Jaden.

However, without Spotify, I wouldn’t be able to stream all of this music whenever I like or share my interests with others, and in turn receive recommendations which have changed my viewpoint.

Spotify has allowed me to connect with both family and friends, old and new by letting me stream all of my various music tastes, from metal to rap, and discover new sounds and artists that appeal to me.