North Gong Daily DACE

BCM302 Digital Artefact Contextual Essay


Going to the beach is an extremely popular past time for many Australians, whether that be surfing, swimming, or just chilling on the sand. Therefore, people often want to know “Where should I surf and when should I surf?” and “When and where will the waves be best?”, hence the need for quality surf reports.

Since the age of 11, I have been an active member at North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club. I began as a Nipper in 2012 then finished in 2014 and began patrolling. During this time, I met Kel and Michelle, long-standing members of NWSLSC, who in their spare time run North Gong Daily. They began North Gong Daily (NGD) on the 11th of January 2018 as a free daily surf report for people seeking reliable, free information on their local beach. Each day, Kel and Michelle go down to North Wollongong Beach and record themselves taking a look at the beach. They also create two stats images, which they source from

In 2019, I approached them and asked if they would be interested in having me build a website from scratch for them. Having recently created a WordPress blog for BCM112, I suggested as the host, as it was what I was familiar with, to which they agreed.

When creating the site, there were a number of websites used both as inspiration, and as things to steer clear of in our site. The website, provides information on North Wollongong beach in the form of both a written paragraph and statistics as well as a live surf cam. When clicking on the site initially, the surf cam takes up a large portion and in order to access it, Users must sign up for a paid subscription. Upon clicking on the Premium option, it redirects to the website, another surfing website, which suffers from the same problems as the previous site – ads and the paid surf cam take up most of the page, and the raw stats can only be found by scrolling down past this. This abundance of ads and content hidden behind a paywall creates an unpleasant experience for people who just want to know what the beach is like today, and therefore something I steered away from when creating North Gong Daily.

The site is easier to look at and find information, however the information it does offer is very limited, and there is no visual content available, despite there being a “Daily Photos” tab. On the other hand, is clustered with irrelevant information (e.g. ads) and the sites design looks outdated. is slightly more appealing, in that it offers its information appears at the start of the page. Though it has ads and a “magic seaweed pro” option, the core information and imagery is still accessible freely. It also has a 7-day forecast for the coming week’s surf stats. also served as an influence on NGD’s design, as it is ad-free and has a good range of weather and surf forecast information (though this may be confusing for some viewers). It also has a beachy-blue aesthetic that is appealing to look at.


North Gong Daily is a surf report website and, more recently, a store for NGD’s merchandise. Every day, I upload their video, two stats images and a picture of the beach to the site. These videos are recorded at North Wollongong beach and feature Kel, Michelle or a friend giving the report of the beach that day. The stats images are created by Kel and Michelle and I save these from their Instagram page*. I also access a folder on google photos, which contains more than 400 pictures of North Wollongong beach and its surrounding area. One of these pictures is included on every post, as the layout of the site has thumbnail pictures for each post, therefore, including a picture gives the post a beachy aesthetic and looks nice. Having a picture on there also lets users know that we know the beach inside and out, due to our time spent there, giving off a more credible vibe.

The site is built on a WordPress Business plan, as this allows the use of plugins. There are two plugins currently in use on the site – WPForms and WooCommerce. WPForms allows me to include a small feedback form at the bottom of the Home and Checkout page for people to share their thoughts on the site. This was suggested to me by a fellow student, Verity, in their Peer Review of my project, and was an excellent suggestion as feedback is a difficult thing to gather for my Digital Artefact.

Recently, I began transforming the site from just a website into an online store, where my audience can purchase all of the North Gong Daily merchandise. To do this, I have been using the plugin WooCommerce, “a customizable, open source eCommerce platform built on WordPress”. WooCommerce is designed to give Users the freedom to build their online stores, however they would like. Due to my inexperience with eCommerce, I began with a simple store, keeping it to a small page on the site. There are currently 10 items available in the store – 2 hoodies, a long sleeve tee-shirt, 4 Men’s Tees and 3 Women’s Tees. Adding items to the store requires the following steps:

  1. Obtain a photo of the product from a shared Google Photos folder
  2. Under the Product tab of the WooCommerce plugin, select “Add New”
  3. Give the new product a name and short description.
  4. Place the product image/s in.
  5. Make the product a “Variable product”
  6. Give the product custom attributes (different sizes)
  7. Under Variations, give each size a price (prices remain the same for each size, but each size must still be individually given a price).
    1. Prices are:
      1. $35 for Tee-Shirts
      1. $45 for Long-Sleeve Tees
      1. $65 for Hoodies

*The Instagram and Facebook pages are not a part of my Digital Artefact, only the website.

Home Page


In their article, Wood, Nelson, Atkinson & Lane (2008) state, “You can’t tell any more the difference between what’s propaganda and what’s news”. This quote is extremely important when analysing the social utility of a project, as it is important to remember that the project must be relevant and useful for the creator, whilst also benefiting the audience and the public. North Gong Daily has social utility for 3 groups – the creator (myself), the collaborator/prosumer (the people it was created for) and the public.

North Gong Daily was created to help two friends branch out their Instagram/Facebook project, and give them an avenue to create a safe place for them to sell their clothing. Because of this, they play a role similar to that of the Prosumer, in that they create the content for the site, but the site was created for them to use. It has social utility for the public, as they are able to access all the information they need to know about the beach and the forecast, and the videos allow them to view what the beach looks like on that day, similar to a surf cam.

The website also has social utility for myself as the creator, as it lets me showcase my website development skills to potential clients and employers. According to Toorenburg (2015), “The initial screening of applicants’ résumés can lead to strong first impressions regarding their hirability”. Being able to make a good first impression is essential when searching for potential employment and being able to show the projects I have worked on will be invaluable for this. Therefore, North Gong Daily has a lot of utility for myself, as it will serve as an indicator of my skills, dedication, willingness to learn and professionalism.

Response to Feedback

The hardest thing to access for North Gong Daily, is feedback. Because North Gong Daily is the type of site where Users access the information then leave the site, there is very little communication between myself and my audience. Often, when people give feedback or suggestions on how to access feedback, it is usually in reference to the Instagram and Facebook pages, which I have no control or access to. Furthermore, asking people what they think of the site usually results in comments such as “it’s cool”, which is an appraisal, not constructive criticism which will help the site to grow. As mentioned above, a fellow student suggested I implement WPForms on North Gong Daily, to give users the option to give feedback and suggestions, which will hopefully allow me to access more feedback.

Feedback is a difficult thing to give clearly, as “humans are unreliable raters of other humans”, because, people are able to point out others flaws, but are incapable of seeing their own flaws. This results in all people being unable to truly observe objectively, as there is always some form of bias (Buckingham and Goodall, 2019). Therefore, because the feedback I have received is from such a small group of people, there is bound to be bias to it. This by no means discredits the feedback I have received, but rather, NGD would truly benefit much more from a large amount of feedback. Accessing feedback is the largest problem I have with North Gong Daily, and because I receive such a small amount, I believe more feedback would be extremely helpful for my Digital Artefact.

Store Page


FIST is a concept created by Dan Ward, standing for Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny, that seeks to demonstrate the most effective process of creating a project. Ward (2011) states “success is more profitable than failure”, and “data indicates FIST has a higher success rate than the big, expensive, slow approach”. This means that projects that fall under the FIST concept have a higher chance of success, as they can access feedback, don’t break the bank, and are easy to maintain, making the process smoother as a whole.

In an article by Keller & Wirthlin (2013), they state that “early feedback from users leads to rapid development and shorter timeframes”. Therefore, the Fast in FIST actually refers to how quickly feedback can be accessed, as well as how quickly content can be produced and shared with the audience. As North Gong Daily has issues receiving feedback, I believe it fails in that aspect of Fast, however, producing content does satisfy the Fast concept, as it only takes 10 minutes a day for me to complete.

When applying Inexpensive to my project, there are two opposing outcomes. The project is inexpensive for me, as it is being funded by the creators of North Gong Daily. However, it isn’t inexpensive on their side of the project, as they must pay for the business plan of WordPress as well as the merchandise.

Whilst setting up North Gong Daily, it wasn’t Simple or Tiny, as I had to learn a lot of information to successfully complete it. However, now that it is set up, posting each day takes about 10 minutes to do, and is easy to fulfill, therefore I believe it does now fit Simple and Tiny.

Though Ward states that FIST is more efficient than failing, I have also used FEFO (Fail Early, Fail Often) in my project. FEFO is the theory that “it is possible to learn from failure then the sooner the failure occurs, the sooner the learning begins” (, 2019). The idea is that the faster you fail frequently when creating your project, the more you’ll learn from it, and adjust to work better, rather than being unable to adapt. I have used FEFO a number of times for North Gong Daily, one example being when I implemented the current theme, and had to start including a picture of the beach as a header image for each post. This worked well, as the site now looks nicer and shows off a picture of the beach as well.


There are a number of things I plan on doing with North Gong Daily moving forward. Firstly, I plan on completing the store, as I only have 2 items left to add. I would also like to try a number of different themes, to potentially improve the site’s layout, design and functionality.

In our class discussion for BCM302, it was discussed that I should try to monetise and turn my website creation skills into a business, and approach other surf clubs in the Illawarra area and offer to re-do their websites. Since our discussion, I have contacted North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club, and I will be starting my work on their site, as well as showing them how to maintain the site themselves, at the end of November.

I was also approached by Aurora Consulting, a training and consulting company, who have asked me to recreate their website to make it appear more modern and professional. We met recently to discuss what it is they want changed and we will be starting this in December.

Learning Moments

Undertaking this project during my time at university has taught me a number of skills and knowledge. Prior to starting university, I had very little knowledge regarding website creation. Now, upon reaching the end of BCM302, I have created two websites and will be beginning two new projects for two separate organisations at the end of November and early December. I am now considering a potential career in the website creation industry, as I have found it interesting and believe I am good at it.

A major learning moment for myself, was coming to understand the phrase “Show, don’t tell”. When North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club approached me, it was completely unprovoked by me, and was (presumably) because they had seen my work on North Gong Daily and wanted me to do the same as I had there. The same is true for Aurora Consulting, I hadn’t inquired into whether they wanted me to work on their website, but they were aware of my previous work and approached me first. Therefore, I have created a page on my personal blog that acts as a digital portfolio of all the digital & social media work I have completed and partaken in.

Peer Review #2

Bodhi Todd – @bodhitodd


Hey Bodhi, since your pitch in week 3, you’ve made some great progress on your digital artefact. Most notably, I’ve seen that you’ve started making content for Instagram Reels which is great! As someone that spends a lot of time at the beach and has a beach-related DA, I really like seeing your beach photography, and the 4WD posts are a great way to ensure you don’t post repetitive content.


Instagram Reels is Instagram’s response to Tik Tok’s short 15/60-second video format. This has only been introduced recently and provides an excellent opportunity for you to break into this new format and be successful, as a decent amount of users most likely aren’t familiar or confident with it.

When taking a look at your stats on Instagram, it’s evident that the posts that appear more “out-there” and creative appear to consistently get higher likes and more comments on them, such as the “wet-suit” post. One reason this might happen is because these more creative posts stand out from other surf photography and people are more interested in them and therefore feel the need to like and comment. By trying to stand out from the crowd in this way, you can potentially increase the reach and interactions you receive from your audience and target market.


This account is a great way for you to create a portfolio of all the photography work you’ve done for potential clients to see. Having everything on the account lets your audience discover everything they need to know about you without having to search multiple, tedious locations. It is especially helpful that your video and photo editing skills are all on display on Instagram, as this shows your viewers the skills you possess.

You’ve done an awesome job so far, keep up the great work Bodhi!

Jonathan Pica – @j.creates_


Hey Jonathan, I really like your Digital Artefact! An Instagram and VSCO account documenting your “journey in experimenting with photography” is really cool to look at. Though I haven’t reviewed you before, I can see that you’ve made significant progress and multiple iterations since the DA pitch and really thought about the feedback you’ve received from your peers.


I like the idea of posts of photos taken on both the Sony digital camera as well as your Samsung. One thing you could try is taking the same photo on both the camera and phone and post them side by side to create a coherent story. This could be an interesting way to capture the audience’s attention as they wait to see the next in the series.

You state that one of the biggest problems you have is consistently posting on a schedule, which is one of the issues I face too. I’ve found that picking a set time or day to post is the best way to do it, and setting an alarm or reminder could potentially help with this.


With the increase in engagement since your Pitch, it is essential that you continue to communicate with your audience, and this can be done by responding to comments, posting Stories with questions that provoke a response, or posting questions in captions. By doing so, you can potentially keep your audience engaged as well as make people more aware of you and your endeavours.  

Great job on your Digital Artefact Jonathan, I’m excited to see how you go!


Because of my involvement with North Gong Daily, North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club has also approached me and asked for me to update their website and show them how to do so themselves. Though this is an excellent opportunity and would provide a lot of experience, I am hesitant to accept it as they have asked me to volunteer my time freely. Due to them being a volunteer-based council organisation, they don’t have a lot of funding to spare, therefore asking to be paid is hard to do. Though I am unsure whether to accept this, it would be a good step towards turning myself into a business, as I could then put it in my portfolio and approach other similar organisations (such as other surf clubs).

I have also been asked by the owner of Aurora Consulting to update and modernise the businesses website and we will begin working on it in December.

Another opportunity I have noticed is that by transferring North Gong Daily to, NGD’s owners could save a decent amount of money, whilst also gaining more customisation options.

There are a few changes I’d like to make to North Gong Daily, such as an automatic gallery of images on the front page. This gallery would need to be able to recognise which images are stats images to make sure they don’t get included and if successful, would make the site look more professional and aesthetically-pleasing. I also want to update the theme of the site to something more interesting as I feel it has the potential to look and perform even better. The implementation of a small selection of ads on the site could also allow for some more monetisation, though this wouldn’t be a large figure. A small selection would mean the site still makes money whilst not being too intrusive or over-loaded with information.

My DA Starter Pack

BCM302 Peer Review I

Bodhi Todd – @bodhitodd

Pitch Video:

Concept and Methodology

Throughout BCM302, Bodhi plans on continuing to use his Instagram account, @bodhitodd, as his digital artefact. Bodhi posts fairly frequently and consistently and his account is primarily based around his photography and road trips/adventures, with an emphasis on beach and surf photography. Bodhi has a strong following currently of 3,393 followers and this will hopefully continue to grow.


Bodhi’s Instagram is a great way for him to curate and maintain a portfolio, as he can post his photography and have it appear in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Instagram is a good platform for his needs, as not only can he use filters and edit any posts, he can also market them to users of the app, which may help increase people’s awareness of his work.


Bodhi plans on using Instagram Reels, which is “a new content format for Instagram that allows users to create and share short-form video content”. As well as posting videos as reels, he should post them as actual posts to increase the amount of content you have, which will potentially bring more people to his page.

When posting, try to use portrait photos more than landscape photos, as this works better with the layout of most smartphones and takes up more screen space. However, it’s still okay to use landscape photos, as these will still get attention too.

To make your account more credible, include a way of contacting (such as an email address) in your bio so that people who may want to contact you can do so in a professional manner.

Another thing that may help is to create a starter pack of your audience, so as to better understand what it is they want to see from you.

When creating your pitch/beta Bodhi, make sure to speak clearly and loudly to appear more confident. Also try to include more information, to ensure you tell the audience exactly what you’ll be doing, why it’s relevant to users, and how it relates to the subject, BCM302.

Great job Bodhi – can’t wait to see what comes next!

Josh Cook – Gaming Channel

Pitch Video:

Concept and Methodology

For his digital artefact, Josh plans on creating a Instagram account, Reddit profile and YouTube channel where he will be sharing gaming content. He plans on playing lesser-known games such as the recently released PGA Tour 2K21. Josh will be recording his playing sessions, editing with Premiere Pro, and then uploading to his various streaming accounts.


The goal of Josh’s digital artefact is to showcase lesser-known games to people, to give them a variety of games to play in the event they get bored of more mainstream games such as the FIFA and NBA2K series. Josh has identified the late June-August period as the time when gamers often grow bored of the games they have been playing and therefore feels now is the right time for his channel to grow.


For your next video, try to spread your information out over more slides, and make the text slightly bigger, so as to give the audience more time to process what it is you are talking about, rather than overwhelm them with information. Also try to include images of your project or related materials, as this lets the audience relate what it is you’re saying, to something tangible, therefore making it easier for them to engage with you.

As PGA Tour 2K21 is just a sport game and is more niche than other games, it may not appeal to all people. Therefore, showcasing a wide variety of games that players might not usually purchase themselves could help broaden their horizons, whilst also giving you some more content to post. This could be done as a series, with a few videos dedicated to certain features each game has, before moving onto the next game. Along with this, you could also give a final rating out of 10, of what you thought of the game overall.

Another possible platform for you to explore is Twitch, due to its large userbase of 140 million average monthly viewers. However, it may be difficult to gain a solid following at first, as there were over 3.8 million streamers recorded in February 2020. Therefore, spreading your content out across 4 platforms may allow you to reach more people, who may then be directed to your other platforms.

Streaming lesser-known games is a great idea and I’m excited to see what comes of it Josh!!


Iqbal, M, 2020, ‘Twitch Revenue and Usage Statistics (2020)’, Business of Apps, accessed 27/8/2020,,Twitch%20User%20Statistics,monthly%20users%20at%20140%20million.

Leskin, P, 2020, ‘Take a closer look at Instagram Reels, Facebook’s TikTok rival launching today in the US’, Business Insider Australia, accessed 27/8/2020,

North Gong Daily Pitch

The one major issue I have with North Gong Daily, is that accessing user feedback is difficult to do. As most people that view the site do not use WordPress, they do not have an account, and therefore do not comment, as that would require creating an account first. Therefore, to access feedback, I need to seek it out myself, such as by asking people via twitter if they have suggestions for improvement, or messaging the owners and asking if there is anything they’d like me to change.

Original starter pack

When thinking about who makes up the North Gong Daily starter pack originally, I had an extremely broad range of people listed. However, upon re-consideration, I have narrowed my starter pack down considerably. Initially, my starter pack revolved around anybody that went to the beach. Now however, my starter pack is made up of people who have history or ties to North Wollongong Beach, such as through the surf club, from living nearby or surfing/swimming at the beach frequently. This is reflected in the site’s store, as though there is the chance anyone could buy from us, most people that have done so far either know of the account/s or know the people running it.

Updated starter pack