Digital Artefact & Contextual Essay (Moriboys)

For my BCM302 digital artefact (DA), I decided to venture away from my music journalism at Eject Music and AUD’$ that I completed earlier in my course. I’ve always wanted to have a clothing brand but it was never something I was passionate or brave enough to start. However, as my final goodbye to BCM and in the iterative spirit of Fail Early, Fail Often (the quicker you learn it, the sooner you’ll succeed), I’d like to present my last DA for the University of Wollongong (Rosman, 2018).

Moriboys is a Wollongong-based brand dedicated to Australia’s streetwear and hip-hop culture. The brand can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and Spotify, as well as on our Squarespace website. From my experiences of interviewing and collaborating with different people in the music industry, the main issues I’ve identified is the lack of high-quality merchandise and alternative income streams for artists.

To create meaningful innovations, I continue to work with AUD’$ as a way of understanding and emphasizing with my users and their audience (Plattner, 2010). My obsession with providing service to Australia’s hip-hop culture is what compelled me to find even more ways I can do that and combined with my passion for creating and experimenting with new skills, this is where the social utility of my DA lies.

Vincō, Street X and No1.Network are three Australian brands that I have taken inspiration from in regards to their contributions to the Hip-hop scene. The three of them support the local culture by hosting events and selling their own products including collaborative pieces with artists. There are a few other brands like this across the country but I’d argue they’re the biggest three for the scene. What I feel sets me apart from these guys is that when I do start collaborative work, it’ll be ideally more consistent and with a wider variety of different artists, designers and creators.

The target audience of Moriboys is largely male-dominated, typically aged between 18-25 with interests in Australia’s unique hip-hop scene and fashion style. I’ve found that the majority of my audience is based in Wollongong and Bathurst, where I currently live and my hometown. However, I am starting to build an organic following from people who have come across my account. Here’s how each social media is tracking:

Instagram: 195 followers

Facebook: 159 followers

Twitter: 31 followers

TikTok: 25 followers

There’s a direct correlation between the social media I was most active on and what platform has become my most engaged. Instagram averages 30 likes per post and has been my primary platform, allowing me to share mock-up designs, samples, stickers and posts about the regularly-updated Spotify playlist, Moriboys Music. The playlist has been an opportunity to showcase the diverse hip-hop/R&B talent from across the country, soundtrack the release of Summer I Collection and network with artists I hope to collaborate with. It also gave me a chance to repurpose content across platforms and maintain a more consistent posting routine, which has been one of the major flaws in growing my DA.

Due to time constraints and being overly posting precious, I haven’t been able to produce the desired quantity of content. In response to the feedback loops from the peer reviews, I have started to solve this issue by:

Refining Brand Aesthetic:


Pinterest was one of the earlier iterations I made to my project and has inspired me with clothing designs, content, aesthetic and brand positioning ideas and brand positioning that will “occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market” (Branding Journal, 2016). This was my first time using the platform and I’ve really enjoyed scrolling it even more than Facebook or Instagram. I found Pinterest useful to also routinely do a bit of market research on the brands I’m interested in and the ones I find, and also keep up to date with overseas fashion scenes.

Creating Short-Form Videos:


According to a 2016 study, the average human attention span is now eight seconds and one of the biggest contributors to the decline is the increased consumption of information (Sandikar, 2021). People share videos at twice the rate of any other form of content and 84% of people were convinced to buy a product or service based on the brands’ video (Wyzwol, 2020). With TikTok’s domination over the social media space in the last few years, it’s a no brainer that I should be posting more video content. Since the DA pitch, the number one advice I’ve received from peers has been to start utilising TikTok and Instagram Reels. I had little to no experience in TikTok and was simultaneously wildly inspired and terrified at the thought of prototyping video content. The biggest setback for this has been the postage delays and multiple lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic but with the right attention to planning and prototyping, I can create a stronger community by posting video content.

Recently, I posted a first look at the embroidered logo tees and posted it to Tik Tok and Reels. While Tik Tok felt like a bit of a void and didn’t gain much momentum, the same Reel reached an unexpected amount of potential users and in a couple of days after, I gained 30 new followers.

Plan, Prototype & Post:
For past digital artefacts, planning a production timeline has been pretty straightforward with the weekly job of curating, writing and posting an article. This semester has been more chaotic than most with Moriboys easily being my most labour-intensive and least FIST (Fast, Inexpensive, Simple & Tiny) implemented DA. While I had anticipated this would be the case, I’m only just now starting to receive the final products and properly plan content in the lead up to the release of Moriboys’ Summer I Collection. If you can’t tell already, I’ll be continuing my DA past the end of the semester so I’ve recently created a weekly schedule, along with an ideation list of various content. According to Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, posting 2 feed posts per week and 2 stories each day is ideal for building a following on the app (McLachlan, 2021). This is what I’m going to start working towards and when orders are shipped out it will allow me to repost people sharing their deliveries. So before the end of the year, I’d like to be adhering to this and if not, exceeding it.

One of the recent iterations I’ve made to my content has been the introduction of my Friends & Family list. Using the ‘close friends’ option on Instagram, I’ve decided I’ll share an early access link and discount code with my close friends and biggest supporters prior to the collection’s official launch. This creates a deeper and exclusive relationship with the Moriboys community that allows the brand to grow in demand before even the first collection.

Now, back to what I was saying regarding my DA’s biggest setbacks. Due to the postage delays and multiple lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, saving for, ordering and awaiting the arrival of the blanks has taken almost the whole semester. The main objective for my DA has been to release the first collection that includes the embroidered logo tee in black and purple colourways and a screen-printed matching tee and shorts set.

While delivering artists with an alternative income stream through high-quality merchandise is a key objective for Moriboys, it wasn’t achievable during the BCM302 semester. I wanted to release an exclusively Moriboys collection before beginning to work with someone else as it would help establish my brand identity and build my confidence in the production process before committing to a Moriboys collaboration. That being said, I’d like the collaborations and contributions to the Australian hip-hop culture to be the salience of the brand. I have spoken with a handful of different artists about potential collaborations and there’s one Melbourne artist in particular that I’m looking to work with next year.

Salience involves making a piece of information more noticeable, meaningful, or memorable to audiences. An increase in salience enhances the probability that receivers will perceive the information, discern meaning and thus process it, and store it in memory,” (Entman, 1993).

I’m not limiting my collaborations solely to artists but also just general collaborators that I’m interested in. For example, I’d like the Winter I Collection to include a collaboration with my Opa, Benedictus Mirande, a revered and retired Dutch artist who worked at C&A as the Art Director and freelanced through his company, Kangaroo Productions.

I’ve brought the idea forward to him and he’s finished up a couple of other projects so he’s itching for something else. This is something deeply personal to me and will test my photoshop skills but I’m excited to have more free time over the Christmas break to develop these further. Regardless, I’m getting ahead of myself because I still need to complete the website.

I have prototyped a range of different Squarespace templates before arriving at the current final iteration. The website features a clean white aesthetic with three tabs titled About, Shop and Sizing. The About page was initially only a couple of sentences about the brand’s conception and objectives but has evolved to include more context, a ‘Contact Us’ form and interactable social media widgets. The Shop needs the most attention as I have to take product shots and make the clothes available on the website. Lastly, the Sizing tab has been updated to include in-depth details regarding the products. Recently, I added a password screen over the website so I can add the finishing touches before officially launching the website. I’ve also created a discount code for free shipping on all orders over $100 and I’ll reveal the password on the F&F story as exclusive early access to the Summer I Collection.

In Dan Ward’s ‘Simplicity Cycle’, he states “the journey of design involves both learning and unlearning.” This has been the most challenging part of my digital artefact – to forget what I thought I knew about online marketing, social media presences and creating experiences for users (Plattner, 2010). I feel as though I’m stuck in the Region of Complicated where I’ve added unnecessary complexity caused by non-value-added parts (Ward, 2010). Not everything has been void of value because a lot of the work I’ve done this semester was behind the scenes work of starting my own company and clothing brand. Now that I’ve spent the semester getting everything ready and prototyping different designs, I’m now ready to start transitioning Moriboys into the Region of the Simple. By reducing the complexity of my DA, the reliability and simplicity of it will grow and further adhere to the FIST elements (Ward, 2010).

INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK
TWITTERTIKTOK

The best is yet to come – I’m excited for the future of Moriboys and Australia’s hip-hop culture so if you’d like to stay connected, all the socials have been littered throughout with hyperlinks, but here are they are one last time because I’m trying to get this word count up and repetition encourages and reminds users of the call to action (Assemblo, 2017).

Frank Tremain.

References:

Assemblo, 2017, ‘Repetition is Key: Why Frequency Makes Your Marketing Effective’, Assemblo, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://assemblo.com/blog/repetition-is-key-why-frequency-makes-your-marketing-effective/>.

Entman, R M. 1993, ‘Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm, Northwestern University, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://commsociety.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/entman_framing.pdf>.

Marion, 2016, ‘Brand Positioning Definition’, The Branding Journal, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://www.thebrandingjournal.com/2016/11/brand-positioning-definition/>.

McLachlan, S. 2021, ‘How Often to Post to Social Media in 2021’, Hootsuite, accessed 28 October 2021, available at <https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-often-to-post-on-social-media/>.

Plattner, H. 2010, ‘An Introduction to Design Thinking – Process Guide’, Stanford University, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://web.stanford.edu/~mshanks/MichaelShanks/files/509554.pdf>.

Rosman, M. 2021, ‘Fail Fast, Fail Often: What It Really Means’, RevelX, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://www.revelx.co/blog/fail-fast-fail-often/>.

Sandikar, A. 2021, ‘Why are reels and Tik Toks so addictive?’, The Bridge Chronicle, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://www.thebridgechronicle.com/tech/apps/why-are-reels-and-tik-toks-so-addictive>.

Ward, D. 2010, ‘The FIST Manifesto’, Defense AT&L, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://www.acqnotes.com/Attachments/The%20FIST%20Manifesto.pdf>.

Ward, D. 2005, ‘The Simplicity Cycle’, Defence AT&L, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://www.dau.edu/library/defense-atl/DATLFiles/2005_11_12/war_nd05.pdf>.

Wyzowl 2020, ‘Report: State of Video Marketing 2020, Wyzowl, accessed 30 October, available at <https://www.wyzowl.com/state-of-video-marketing-2020-report/>.

Advertisement

Moriboys (Digital Artefact Beta)

In previous digital artefacts, I often tailored them to benefit my journalism career and work at AUD’$, Australia’s Hip-hop connect. As this is my final semester at university, I decided to do something different and focus on my clothing brand, Moriboys. I started the brand back in November of 2020 with the purpose of capturing Australia’s Hip-hop culture through streetwear fashion and collaborative merchandise for artists. Working within the music industry, I’ve developed a plethora of contacts and niche understanding of my target audience and consumer needs.

Originally in my pitch, I outlined that I would be posting 3-4 times a week across my network of social medias including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter. Unfortunately, this was a little over confident on my behalf and I underestimated the amount of BTS work that goes into starting up an independent clothing brand.

A lot of the successes that my digital artefact has experienced so far is not seen by the masses but to me they are of equal importance – things like finding a place to print and embroider my tees, teaching myself design and marketing skills, and beating the postage delay odds to receive the stock. Heading into the final weeks of BCM302, I should be able to produce more content as I’ll get the final product of my Moriboys clothing and will be heading out of lockdown. This will mean I’ll be able to do photoshoots and start video content for Reels and TikTok as they seem to hold the most value in today’s digital age.

Responding to Instagram’s analytics and feedback loops, I created Moriboys Music as it directly aligns with my brand’s purpose of platforming local artists while being a source of discovery for fans. This type of content increased my audience engagement and helped me reach an average of 30 likes per post on Instagram. This was one of my favourite iterations made to my project as it has helped me build the ‘world’ of Moriboys and received support from some of the featured artists too. Pinterest has also been useful in prototyping what my brand positioning may look like on other platforms.

In regards to my main goal of releasing the first Moriboys collection, I predict I’m on track for an early November release but beforehand there are a few tasks that need attending to. Firstly, I need to redesign my prototype Squarespace website to include more personality and functionality for it to be the monetary platform for my project. This is something I’m really excited for as it will be my first directly monetizable digital artefact.

Secondly, I’m committed to creating a bigger social media presence especially in the lead up to the clothing’s release. This will give me a greater opportunity for valuable feedback loops and I’ll be able to better cater to my audience’s digital habits and hopefully, increase sales.

If you’d like to support my Digital Artefact, you can follow Moriboys on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok & Spotify.

Frank Tremain.

Moriboys (Digital Artefact Pitch)

For my digital artefact (DA) this semester, I decided to focus on my Hip-hop focused streetwear clothing brand, Moriboys. The long-term goal of my DA is to be able to create alternative income streams for artists and service audiences with high-quality merchandise.

Content is the trigger of customer interaction (Rahal, 2021). This is why my project will consist of posting frequent content across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Spotify. The type of content I will produce will include BTS of a clothing brand, prototyping designs, photoshoots, relevant starter pack targeted content and Spotify playlist updates (primarily of local acts to promote Australia’s Hip-hop scene). This is subject to change depending on the feedback loops and my further research into what content is suited to what platform and what content is worth repurposing. FEFO will come into play a lot here, as well as the prototyping and testing of designs and materials. There are also FIST elements in my DA but I’m hoping to increase its presence throughout the semester.

The target audience of my project includes fans of streetwear culture and Australian hip-hop, typically aged between 18-24. While it’s mainly male dominated (70%), I do consider my products unisex so I hope to see this gender disparity level out throughout the semester.

As I have little experience in graphic design, I am working with a Brisbane-based designer as well as my local manufacturer to create the logo and product designs. This is something I’m hoping to have less dependency on later on in the semester to give myself more creative control and be more independent as a brand. From working in the Australian music industry, I have a well-versed understanding of my primary audience and what gaps are needed to be filled by a clothing brand. However, over the next couple of weeks, I will be focusing my research on marketing as a fashion brand and graphic design.

Moriboys was created before this semester, and I plan to continue it afterwards, so this will be a great opportunity to begin laying the foundation of content and building my audience.


If you’d like to support my Digital Artefact, you can follow Moriboys on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Spotify.

Frank Tremain.

Digital Artefact Contextual Report

Introduction

For my BCM325 Digital Artefact, we were required to frame our topic with consideration to the future in the next 5, 10, 25 or 50 years. I wanted to create something of value for me following my graduation at the end of 2021. As I’ve already begun working in the Australian music industry, I decided to craft a five-year career plan that considered the short and long-term implications and the changing landscape of the Australian music industry.

I used Twitter to promote my articles and Canva to format the two YouTube videos that were embedded in Episode 1 and 2. The multi-media element added to both these episodes didn’t regurgitate the information in my blog but instead added an alternative angle to the topic. Due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to include a video for the third episode, but here’s a brief overview of the three WordPress blog posts:

  • Blog Post 1 used the SMART method of career planning to map out my future at AUD’$ as a music journalist.
  • Blog Post 2 ideated what role my clothing brand Moriboys will play in my career and investigated the relationship between streetwear fashion and Hip-hop.
  • Blog Post 3 examined the future technologies and trends in the Australian music industry.

Background Research

For the background research, I studied some of the work of my peers within the field including Ben Madden and Parry Tritsiniotis. These are two creatives in the industry whose work has demonstrated a strong public utility and who I think, are key players in elevating the Australian music industry through their journalistic work. In addition to examining my peers and their approaches, I also found three of the subject materials to be particularly useful for my project.

After the Singularity: A Talk with Ray Kurzweil (2002)

In Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity, he describes a new era of society that is a “merger between human intelligence and machine intelligence that is going to create something bigger than itself.” Although my DA doesn’t directly focus on this thought, there is a quote in his reflection of Singularity where he states, “We’re kind of like the pattern that water makes in a stream; you put a rock in there and you’ll see a little pattern. The water is changing every few milliseconds; if you come a second later, it’s completely different water molecules, but the pattern persists. Patterns are what have resonance. Ideas are patterns, technology is patterns. Even our basic existence as people is nothing but a pattern. Pattern recognition is the heart of human intelligence. Ninety-nine percent of our intelligence is our ability to recognise patterns.”

The notion of pattern recognition was incredibly useful to my DA that focused on Australian Hip-hop and career plans. By understanding the patterns of Hip-hop’s development in other countries, I was able to make educated predictions on the future of the scene. Similarly, it led me to research the SMART method of goal planning that followed a structured pattern in accomplishing my ideal career.

The Ecstasy of Communication – Jean Baudrillard (1987)

Jean Baudrillard’s The Ecstasy of Communication argues that society’s gaze is changing into an ecstasy of promiscuity, from the world of the object to the start of the hyper-reality, described as “the space of simulation.” Though my DA focuses on the medium-range future, I also detailed plans for both the short and long term. This paper, in particular, allowed me to reflect on the content that I produce for my career and how I should be aiming to create an immersive experience with my work. By doing so, my short-range future will benefit from consistent and quality content, my medium-range goals will hopefully be achieved quicker and the long-range future will feature a hyper-realistic niche of Hip-hop in Australia with a more active and international fanbase.

Making People Responsible – Wendell Bell (1997)

Wendell Bell’s Making People Responsible challenged the opinion I gained from After the Singularity and gave an important perspective on futurists’ roles and responsibilities. Although my DA is a career plan, it also attempted to predict the future of Hip-hop in Australia and its growing appeal to global audiences. Bell states, “futurists not only study images of the future held by various people in an effort to understand and explain their behaviour, they also investigate the process of image-making itself, encourage people to rigorously explore alternative images of the future, and construct images of the future themselves. In so doing, futurists aim to help people become more competent, effective, and responsible actors, both in their personal lives and in their organisational and societal roles.”

This resonated strongly and provided me with a stronger public utility as I began the DA to better understand my career trajectory in order to make more educated predictions on the future of the industry. By embodying Bell’s perception of a futurist, I hope to, for lack of a better phrase, ‘stay ahead of the competition’ and play a key role in the globalisation of Australian Hip-hop music.

Public Utility

Reflecting on my production timeline, I was able to accurately follow the actions accordingly. If I had the chance to re-do this DA, I would have created a more comprehensive production timeline with details on additional content that I should have made. This could’ve included Instagram, Reddit and Twitter posts related to my DA that would’ve increased my engagement and provided me with a stronger public utility.

The public utility of my DA is unfortunately one of its biggest weaknesses. Reflecting on my work, I limited myself to my WordPress, YouTube and Twitter audience that mainly consists of other UOW students. While they are included in my target audience, I recognise that I was somewhat unable to create a strong public utility for a larger audience. The primary utility that my DA holds is to myself, future employers and fans of Hip-hop in Australia, typically aged between 15-25 years old. While my engagement was less than ideal, I did find that my DA delivered on its public utility to myself and future employers as it provided me with a convincing career plan to follow in the final months of university and post-graduation. I recently applied to a PR/Management company in Sydney and managed to secure an interview as well. Though I’m waiting to hear back, my DA provided me with confidence and clarity heading into my application.

Despite the lack of engagement, the peer feedback loop from my pitch and beta helped me ideate new approaches to my DA. In particular, Rachel, who also focused her DA on her clothing brand, recommended some marketing articles that while were directly useful to Moriboys, also became applicable to the public persona side of my career as a music journalist. It was also suggested by another user to utilise Twitter more which is something I did for my third episode.

Conclusion

BCM325 has been extremely beneficial to my life after graduation as it has given me confidence in my aspirations and abilities, and my career plan is something I will frequently revise throughout my life. I will be entering my field with a concise career plan, a renewed perception of the future and an understanding of my responsibility as a futurist and the potential technologies and trends that will play a future in the Australian music industry.

Frank Tremain.

Career Planning: Future of the Australian Music Industry (Episode 3)

In this final episode of my digital artefact, I want to take a look at the exciting new technology and trends arising in the Australian music industry.

Byron Bay Bluesfest in 2019. Credit: Bluesfest/NME.

COVID-19 has had an undeniable and severe impact on the industry with a recorded loss of 345 million. Hip-hop, in particular, was on an impressive trajectory to reach new mainstream horizons, and although COVID-19 stunted this growth, Hip-hop in Australia has significantly developed during the pandemic.

To be the best creative I can be in the Australian music industry, it’s important for me to understand the development of future technologies and trends within the field. Here are a handful of the developments that are closely related to my future career plan and the subject materials of BCM325:

Virtual Reality

While virtual reality music videos aren’t necessarily ‘new’, its popularity could see a significant increase in the future of the music industry. The entrancing and immersive nature of VR could have endless possibilities for the future of not only music videos, but live performances as well. One of my favourite quotes from William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer describes cyberspace as “a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation.” COVID-19 forced live performances to a halt and has encouraged events managers and artists alike to opt towards online performances. To ideate this to the extreme, the long range future of music festivals could be entirely virtual where even maybe one day, the technology reaches such an immersive point that we’re able to touch and feel things within the virtual reality, similar to what we’ve seen during the BCM325 screening of Ready Player One.

Journalism & Marketing

Journalism and marketing in the future of the music industry is already beginning to change in its format and execution. Speaking from my own experience, COVID-19 made Zoom a more popular tool for interviewing artists and working from home. Although, face to face interviews are still preferred and make it easier for interviewers to create a stronger relationship with their interviewees, Zoom has expanded the possibilities for myself and my peers at AUD’$. In regards to marketing, COVID-19 forced the world to become more dependable on the internet. Apps like TikTok has become a great avenue for artists to market their music through and for publications to broaden their audience. The pandemic has actually inspired me with the ideal approach to my career where I could work from home when needed and still achieve a similar result. Once restrictions are lifted further, I’ll be able to have a mix of online and in person work experiences. The future of music journalism and marketing is something I’m passionate to keep a close eye on to stay ahead of the competition and be able to quickly adapt to new trends.

AI Composers

Artificial Intelligence can be described as “how close or how well a computer can imitate or go beyond, when compared to human being.” AI technology is slowly starting to become utilised in music production with companies like Amper able to allow users to generate original compositions by setting limitations on genre, track length and instruments. Though I do believe AI will play a role in the future of music production, I find it unlikely that AI technology will be able to create music on its own, at least in the medium range future. Even if possible, I think the emotional drive of musicians and producers make it for AI to ever replicate.

Frank Tremain.

Check the Competition: Digital Artefact Beta Reviews

“There is a danger of imagining the future in terms of the present and thereby of forming a closed circuit of representation.” – Tony Myers, The Postmodern Imaginary in William Gibson’s Neuromancer (2001).

Heading into the final stages of the BCM325 Digital Artefacts, we’ve been asked to review peer’s betas and reflect on the feedback loops from students and our audiences. My digital artefact maps out my future career path as a journalist and creative within the Australian music industry. By reviewing the following DA’s and gaining insight from other students, I hope to understand the changes I need to make to my project before the final submission.

Throughout the final weeks of BCM325, we’ve explored cyber culture, cyberspace and the implications of cyborgs and artificial intelligence. While I found it hard to relate these topics back to my DA, I’ve been interested in the ways in which art such as films, music and art have shaped the future. With this in mind, my future career plan and the work I produce both as a journalist and creative should look to push new boundaries and challenge perceptions of the future.

Digital Artefact 1: Future After Graduation – Hussein

For the first review, I commented on Hussein’s beta regarding his Future After Graduation:

Hey Hussein! We’re doing very similar Digital Artefacts and I really enjoyed reading through your approach. I focused more on my individual career in the next five years and the different aspects of my work. My first recommendation for your project is to consider the future of the particular industry you’re looking to work in. This helps readers gain a more personal insight into you and will align with the subject of tackling these issues through various scales of personal impact and overall impact. I also found Wendell Bell’s work super helpful for my DA but I want to recommend ‘Marketing in Cyberspace: What Factors Drive E-Commerce Adoption’ as I think it’ll line up with your project! It looks at marketing in the cyberspace which obviously ties in nicely to the subject materials but also is an interesting read on how the marketing industry might change over the years! Lastly, I think you could build your audience a lot bigger than just Twitter. While it’s a great starting point and it is as far as I’ve taken my project as well, I think Facebook would work really well for yours! Or even Reddit. Try think about your public utility deeper than just students at UOW. You’ve got future employers, other university students, people with interest in marketing etc. Looking forward to seeing your final product and good luck in the next couple of weeks!

Hussein’s DA is extremely similar to my own, as he predicts his medium range future in social media marketing/management after graduation. His DA is depicted through a series of blogs and his online presence on Twitter.

In his beta video, he showed the multiple feedback loops from comments and Twitter interaction and revealed some of the background research he had undertaken since his pitch. I recommended for him to consider what the future of his industry might look like and how or if this might impact his own future in the field. Hussein included reference to Wendell Bell’s work, which I also found to be useful in my own DA, I linked him to an article I found regarding the future changes in his industry. While he had made a clear effort to include outside sources, I thought that tying in subject materials with industry specific sources would enhance his DA significantly. Secondly, I suggested for him to use Facebook and Reddit to expand his reach as I think his blogs would appeal to a larger audience than just the UOW cohort that he is currently targeting.

Due to similar nature of both our projects, my comment to Hussein was beneficial to my own work. Like Hussein, I need to continue considering my public utility and create more feedback loops for myself before the end of the semester.

Digital Artefact 2: The Future of Retail – Steph

For the last review, I commented on Steph’s beta that investigates the Future of Retail:

Hey Steph! I think your project presents a really interesting discussion about the future of retail and your first blog tackles this topic well. Your second blog is quite short and I think if this was the type of content you were eager to continue doing, I’d recommend using Twitter (through threads etc.) or even Tik Tok/Instagram. This will help build your audience and better cater to the content you’re making. Building an audience was something I have been struggling with as well, especially because my Digital Artefact mainly benefits me (I’m doing a career plan for my DA). The easiest way to build your audience is to understand your project’s public utility – why should the average viewer care? Who would be most interested in this content? Who are you trying to target? Exploring this side of your project a little more in the future will make a huge difference in your overall DA. Another suggestion, I’d look to include more subject related materials and readings. I love how you incorporate your DA with the films we’ve been watching but I think you could take this even further and start investigating how your DA relates to futurism, cybernetics, AI… maybe even cyborgs! This one isn’t from the subject materials but this report might be useful. You could definitely have a read of this and explain it to your audience through a futurist lens. Good luck in the last couple of weeks!

Steph’s DA investigates the future of the retail industry and the long range impact of potential changes. Her project takes place on her WordPress website where she has posted two blogs so far.

Steph has conducted thorough research into her topic and connected insightful links to the films we’ve watched throughout the semester. Similar to the other DA’s I’ve reviewed, I recommended that Steph branches out to other social media platforms and gain a deeper understanding about her public utility. In doing so, she’ll be able to create constant feedback loops and heighten her engagement with her audience. I also suggested a report to her that might allow Steph to better link her DA to the subject materials and investigate the retail industry through a futurist lens.

Steph’s DA is one of the more well-researched projects I’ve seen and I was really impressed with the way she referenced her DA throughout the film screenings. This inspired me to reflect on my DA and how it could relate to the films we’ve watched, as well as consider my public utility to a further extent.

Digital Artefact 3: Bits & Masterpieces – Elise

For the second review, I commented on Elise’s beta and her project, Bits & Masterpieces:

Hey Elise! I think your Digital Artefact targets a really interesting niche and it’s great to see how adaptable you’ve been to feedback already. I think the biggest weakness of your project would be your audience, as you’ve been focusing on building your website. However, your DA has a huge public utility that you could be targeting more. Pinterest or Instagram would work so well with your project as you could show different art news or art you think will/won’t have a place in the future. As well as that, using these other social media will help boost your audience and you can direct them back to your website. One thing that I’ve noticed in the future of art is NFTs. Not sure if you’ve heard much about it, but it’s quickly becoming a huge source of income for artists (not to mention a bunch of other creative/sports industries. Here’s a little explainer to NFT’s. Lastly, I’d love to see how you tie this into more of the subject materials in regards to futurism and hyperrealities. This would tick a box for the subject outline but I also think it would be super interesting to see how these developments in art ties into the ideas of futurists. Goodluck with your project in the last couple of weeks!

Elise’s DA was altered since her pitch and now, she’s chosen to explore the future of art trends, forms and accessibility in the next 20 years. Elise has created a new website and has posted two blogs so far.

Bits & Masterpieces is an incredibly interesting niche for Elise to be investigating but I feel as though her content production is one of her DA’s biggest weakness. Though it’s definitely hypocritical of me to say it, I think Elise’s project regarding art is held back by not engaging on image-focused social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. By posting new artworks that she likes or art-related news, Elise would be able to create a larger following that she could then direct back to her blog. In regards to her blog, I suggested she explore NFT’s as it is a relevant trend in a bunch of different industries and would help her relate back to the subject materials.

I think Elise’s DA has huge potential and its one of my favourite project’s I’ve seen, however, by peer reviewing her work, I found obvious areas where I thought she could improve. Commenting on her beta has provided me with new ideas for my next DA blog and given me confidence that although our project’s are niche, there is still a large audience interested as long as we’re able to correctly market towards them.

Conclusion

The three projects I reviewed were all similar to my own with the way they are blog focused and industry specific. Reading my peer’s blogs and checking out their DA’s has allowed me to recognise the importance of a project’s public utility and consistent feedback loops. The main criticism about my comments is that I should’ve engaged more with the subject materials instead of just recommending them to check out particular articles. I think I did this more successfully than the previous blog but I should’ve expanded upon these ideas further. Heading into the final weeks of BCM325, I’ll be able to put to practice both the advice I’ve given Hussein, Steph and Elise, and the suggestions from other peers.

Frank Tremain.

Continuing to Plan

My digital artefact is for BCM325 consists of a series of blogs and videos detailing my career plan in the next 5 years, with implications to both the short and long range future.

In the beta of my BCM325 digital artefact, I analyse the ways I can improve my feedback loops and audience to help me craft a concise and well-researched 5 year career plan with implications to the short and long range future.

Paying close to the responsibilities of futurists and trends in the future of the Australian music industry, I’m planning to focus on building a large DA audience so that I can create more public feedback loops.

With one episode left, I intend to investigate the changing nature of the music industry and digital journalism to help me understand what role I can play.

Frank Tremain.

Career Planning: Moriboys (Episode 2)

Streetwear fashion has been embedded in my life since a young age, and exists in the music I listen to, the movies I watch and even the sports I enjoy. Relying on elements greater than just clothing, the streetwear scene continues to be greatly influenced by the Hip-hop scene. From the evolution of NBA style to rappers and their designer collaborations, Hip-hop culture has evolved streetwear fashion from a fringe subculture to one of the most dominant force in popular culture.

Despite being in the early days in my career as a creative within Hip-hop in Australia, I feel an undeniable urge to further extend Hip-hop’s influence on Australian streetwear fashion. So in November of 2020, I conceived the idea of my clothing brand, Moriboys. Moriboys is dedicated to providing luxury quality, streetwear merchandise and aims to celebrate the culture and creatives within Australia’s Hip-hop scene. This clothing brand is grounded in the inevitability of death and the empowering nature of our own mortality, inspired by the Latin phrase ‘Memento Mori’ meaning ‘remember you must die.’

From learning about Future Studies in week three of BCM325, I’m able to better understand the practice of predicting the future and the ways in which I can contribute. As Hip-hop began in the United States, we can attribute its history as our own crystal ball or oracle. By learning the history of Hip-hop and its globalisation across continents and evolution in popular culture, we’re able to make predictions about Hip-hop’s own development within Australia. I am hesitant to suggest that Australia’s scene will follow the same path as Hip-hop in the U.S, however, if we treat it more as a possible future, we’re able to start planning for a more preferable future.

In this week’s video episode, I explore the history of Hip-hop in Australia in relation to streetwear fashion and culture. I focus on some of my favourite Australian brands and their contributions to the scene to help me shape my own future plan for Moriboys and the role I hope this brand plays.

Below, I have planned out brief Moriboys plans for the short, medium and long range future. These include:

Short Range:

  • Bulk order tees and contact local screen printers.
  • Finalise logo.
  • Enhance social media presence with more activity.

Medium Range:

  • Organise shipping and website logistics.
  • Release Collection 1.
  • Release collaborative collection.

Long Range:

  • Sponsor artists and events.
  • Build a team of graphic designers.
  • Release regular drops of an assortment of items including tees, hoodies, shorts etc.

Moriboys is still in an early development stage and these plans will continue to evolve as my brand grows, however, it’s a convincing start to the overall impact that I hope to have on Hip-hop culture in Australia. If you’d like to support my brand, you can find us on Instagram and Facebook!

Frank Tremain.

Career Planning: AUD’$ (Episode 1)

For the first episode of my career planning series, I utilised the SMART method of goal setting to map out the medium future of my career in the Australian music industry. In particular, I focused on my role at AUD’$ and the progress I wish to make in the next five years.

Though never directly mentioned, many scholars credit Peter Drucker’s The Practice of Management (1954) as instrumental to the development of the SMART acronym. In a study during the 1960s, Dr. Edwin Locke examined the relationship between motivation and goal setting and determined that specific and challenging goals are more motivational than vague and easy ones (Lawlor, 2012).

In Wendell Bell’s Making People Responsible (1998), he divides the our perception of the future in three categories including the possible, probable and preferable. Bell states “Futurists not only study images of the future held by various people in an effort to understand and explain their behaviour, they also investigate the process of image making itself, encourage people to rigorously explore alternative images of the future, and construct images of the future themselves. In so doing, futurists aim to help people become more competent, effective, and responsible actors, both in their personal lives and in their organisational and societal roles(Bell, 1998).

As BCM325 encourages us to be active futurists, this is the way I approached my career plan with elements of possible, probable and preferred futures. Beginning with the possible, there’s a possibility to move to Melbourne to immerse deeper in the scene which would assist me in building a stronger network. Additionally, venturing into PR and events managing is probably the biggest possibility. Although this is something that I am interested in, I would first like to establish myself as a journalist to leverage myself into these roles. That being said, if this doesn’t come to fruition in my medium range future, it is probable that it will occur in the long term.

Next, I included probable elements of my future in the career plan such as maintaining a strong relationship with AUD’$ and being able to interview artists in a longer form that what traditional Australian music media is accustomed to. These probable elements will lay the foundational work for the possibilities in my long range future in playing a key role to the Australian Hip-hop music industry.

Lastly, the preferred outcome of this career plan future would be to exceed the goals in a short period of time and begin examining more long-term, challenging goals. In Baudrilard’s Ecstasy of Communication, he argues “the shift from the world of the object, of the mirror and the scene, to the laboratory of miniaturisation has transformed the pleasure of the gaze into an ecstasy of promiscuity. For Baudrilard, the obscenity of the all-too-visible signals the end of the secret and its representation and the beginning of the era of hyper-reality, the absolute space of simulation. This ultimate call to a disappearing reality permeates popular perceptions of the power of technology and technological images(Baudrilard, 2012).

With this in mind, I’d work towards crafting content in the short-term that will create new opportunities for myself and build an audience in the medium ranged future. I’d then be able to start creating a long range future for myself and the Australian Hip-hop media where the bridge between artists’ talent and coverage is narrowed with more diverse and quality content. By doing so, we’ll be able to create a hyper-realistic niche of Hip-hop in Australia where fans can become more immersed in my own content as well as the artist. Keeping a balance of intimate and loosely structured interviews with high level production value and accessibility looks to be my next best move in achieving this goal in the medium ranged future.

Although setting these goals for myself gave me a more refined vision of my potential future, it also raised some important questions into its practicality. While striving towards my end goal, these types of questions are beneficial in forcing me to continually push myself and update my SMART plan. In my BCM325 pitch, I outlined a different blog sequence than what I carried out so next week will instead look at my clothing brand, Moriboys, and the role I hope to see this brand have within Hip-hop in Australia, and my own future career.

Frank Tremain.

Check the Competition: Digital Artefact Pitch Reviews

“The past is not a guide to the future.” – Wendell Bell, Foundations of Future Studies (1997).

By studying BCM325, I have learnt that having a notion of what the future holds is entirely different to understanding future thinking. My digital artefact (DA) aims to take inspiration from the careers of music journalists of the past, however, Bell’s way of thinking has motivated me to think and plan ambitiously, both when crafting my DA and providing my peers with feedback.

Throughout the weeks of this subject, we have been identifying the future ideologies, technologies and trends explored in science fiction films. Despite seeing rogue AI’s, flying cars and space expeditions, I feel as though my DA is far more grounded in its sensibility. As Alfred North Whitehead said, “almost all new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced.” With that said, I’m looking forward to adding a sense of absurdity to my DA and helping other students expand upon their own project.

Digital Artefact 1: Virtual Reality Rise – Leo

For my first DA review, I looked at Leo’s Virtual Reality Rise video pitch. Leo plans to explore the rise of VR technology and its implications in the next 20 years.

In my comment, I referred him to two different sources including an article that might prove useful in one of his future video essays and then a reading from Wendell Bell titled ‘Making people responsible’. I recommended the second source as I thought his pitch lacked reference to the subject readings and lectures. This was something I struggled with as well and by commenting on his pitch, I was able to apply the readings in a way different to my DA, allowing me to better understand Bell’s work.

Another thing I pointed out in my comment was Leo’s methodology. His was clearly defined and it was obvious that he had approached his pitch with prior background reading. While I feel like I am knowledgeable in my own DA topic, Leo demonstrated how to express this more effectively to an audience.

Digital Artefact 3: The Future of Social Media Marketing – Rachel

In my second review, I commented on Rachel’s pitch and her investigation into ‘The Future of Social Media Marketing’.

Rachel’s pitch is an extremely well researched and thought-out start to her DA. Out of all my comments, this was the project I was interested in the most, as a clothing label owner and someone who is also passionately interested in social media marketing.

In my comment, I commended Rachel on her in-depth background research and clearly outlined methodology. As her project already has an existing audience, I suggested that she could play around with certain aesthetics and aspects to her DA, to create an immediate feedback loop for herself. This was something I did in previous subjects and it made it super easy to recognise what was working and what wasn’t.

As she already had plenty of academic sources, I sent her a couple of local brands that I enjoyed to give Rachel a few more ideas on different marketing techniques. One thing I forgot to include in my comment was a suggestion that she should include a multimedia element to her DA, as this was one of the key points of feedback that I received. Commenting on Rachel’s pitch inspired me for my own DA, especially when I focus on the clothing brand component of my future career plan.

Digital Artefact 2: VR Fitness Games – Yidi

The final DA review was for Yidi’s VR Fitness Games. Yidi’s DA is similar to Leo’s in the way that it explores VR, however, this particular pitch takes a more niche approach and plans to examine the use of VR for fitness.

In my comment on Yidi’s blog, I gave her some pointers on ways to get her DA to a 300-level project, as my DA was criticised for was its lack of multimedia elements. Yidi intended to carry out her project through three blog posts, similar to my own. However, I gave suggestions on how she could include multimedia aspects, such as a workout time-lapse or an instructional video on how she sets up her equipment. As part of this audience, I would be much more inclined to read a blog that included something like that and this has helped me understand how essential including a video or audio element in my project would be.

I sent her an article regarding VR and fitness that could be beneficial to her and I felt as though it gave an interesting amount of context that I didn’t quite understand from her pitch. Lastly, of course, I suggested that she include more subject related materials as this was something I’m still kicking myself for not doing more of.

Reading my peer’s blogs and checking out their DA’s has allowed me to better understand the importance of including subject materials and different ways to approach my own work. I’m looking forward to checking out all these DA’s and more as they develop into their beta.

Frank Tremain.