We are the future and we’re here to stay. – Silhouettes (Avicii)

Maybe I’m being just a little bit deep for for a WordPress blog post about my master’s thesis project, but Sihouettes by Avicii started randomly playing just as I was about to start writing and I thought that quote was strangely relevant to what I wanted to say. After meeting with my capstone class last week and getting their feedback and suggestions on where my project is headed, I felt inspired and excited. They’re all such creative minds and I’m really going to miss that when we all graduate. Being in such a stimulating academic environment is amazing (one of the reasons I chose to pursue a master’s degree…I just want to be a forever student). But if other members of the future generation are as creative, innovative, inspiring and just plain awesome as my classmates are…I feel pretty good about our future because we are the future…AND WE AIN’T GOIN NOWHERE (cause we bad boys for life? Yeah P.Diddy, I hear you).

So, in response to some of the concerns I currently have…here’s what my classmates said:

Concern #1

Consistency of video interviews (if I go the webcam route, is that going to be detrimental to my site? What can I do to curb this?)

Suggestions

  • Stylize the videos in a unique way by adding effects in After Effects and Premiere to make it look visually interesting and taking away from the fact that all of the footage is not consistent and also not the best quality (since it would be webcam and not a high-end camera)
  • Compile a set of “rules” that the interviewees should follow to keep videos more consistent (i.e., tell them how to frame shot – should it be shoulders up? waist up? sitting in a well-lit room, constrain it to under a certain length of time, etc.)

Concern #2

How to be more innovative with social media than just developing a hashtag and establishing a presence

Suggestions

  • I had the idea of incorporating fan Instagram photos onto the site and having them give me the story behind their photo (i.e., what concert was it, what was memorable about it, what it/the music/experience meant to them, etc.)
  • I also had the idea of having fans complete a sentence like “Good beats____?___” (to me…Good beats bring good vibes) and tweeting their responses with a certain hashtag or maybe asking for a picture of them with their written answer and posting it to Instagram, etc.
  • Make a video using Instagram photos from fans like the Doritos Locos Tacos commercial
  • Come up with competitions to spark interest (I know I get sucked in to contests all the time on Twitter and Instagram…finally all my hard luck paid off one time and I won a $50 gift certificate to ModCloth with my puns…which were arguably pretty witty…not to toot my own horn)
  • Come up with different themes each week or each month that people can respond to (i.e., pose a different question for fans to answer, target certain festivals and have people post their pictures from the experience and give a little story – What Coachella means to me…What Ultra means to me….) and people can pick their favorites (by “liking” or retweeting) – I guess I should think of some fun prizes to entice people? Free stuff is always great
  • Post Secret postcard designs = people design postcards unique to them and their “secret” – could apply this to my project in some way, someone also mentioned a New York Times project that asked people what Manhattan means to them and they colored in a map of the city to represent their story

All of the feedback definitely got my thoughts going and I got excited to start implementing some of these ideas. I really hope I can get people interested and involved in all of this. I know my friends will be willing to help out…I will be super excited if I actually gain traction with others though. If you’re reading this right now…you better help me out!

I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time of just doing more brainstorming (what a long process) and researching (whether it’s design styles, social media campaigns, potential artists to interview, etc.). I got in touch with the manager of one of the (4) bars here who has a bunch of connections to great local artists, so that should help me out in getting the interviews; my classmate (Ruth) has some musician friends who said they’d chat with me; I reached out to the manager of a productions company who will hopefully be interested in helping; my dad sent me an article talking about an Elon alum in the music industry who might be interesting to talk to; and tonight I’m going to e-mail the Mad Decent family (a.k.a. the record label Diplo heads…I love him…and P.S. I’m seeing him this Thursday for the Major Lazer concert at Cat’s Cradle….peeing my pants in excitement…it’s like Christmas). So hopefully with all of these connections I’m trying to make…I’ll get some people interested and willing to interview and get featured on my site! If you (yes, you!) know of anyone…HOOK A SISTA UP. I love any and all musicians and genres and think all perspectives are just AWESOME.

Oh, also note to myself: I need to check out Next Big Sound (thanks to a classmate for the tipoff about this). It’s an analytics and insight tracker for the music industry that kind of has the pulse of up-and-coming artists. If I could get some interviews of artists listed there who are trying to break into the industry (and actually have a good chance of doing so…I mean, Alabama Shakes were on their list once and then they landed 3 Grammy nominations)…I could say I got to them first! #ultimatehipster

That’s where I’ll leave you for now. More updates coming soon.

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