Us Takes Uni was developed to fulfil the social utility of entertainment – a place where other students form university could come to absorb content that they could relate to and find humour in. The artefact is made up of 20 vines over the course of nine weeks whereby the two of us created short seven-second videos involving situations students might or might not find themselves in at university – an account of “two-first years trying to uni”. Originally the vines were to fall under several ‘series’ that we categorised with hashtags, including #firstyearproblems, #HARDCOUR, #caraoke, and #howtouni, however we found after several weeks that the series were restricting our content creation and so as a result we decided to not place as much focus on keeping vines within a particular ‘series’. In regards to this however, in the future once there is a large amount of content to sift through it would be appropriate to bring back specific series to perhaps help direct audiences to content they prefer.
The content was not only created for Vine but was aggregated across a variety of social media platforms in order to increase our reach and audience. To improve it potential public availability, upon the creation of the vine account we made an accompanying Facebook page and Twitter account to share the content further. After some convincing I created an additional Instagram account, however the other creator did originally think it was not worth it and would be too hard to gain a following on. In the beginning we expected our largest following to appear on our twitter, however we were both very wrong when in the first couple of weeks our largest following ended up being our Facebook page and Instagram account – much to our surprise with 244 followers on the Facebook page and 161 followers on Instagram. Twitter only resulted in a following of 114 and Vine 65 – with 8827 loops.
Us Take Uni was birthed from the understanding of ‘the medium is the message’ myself and Chloe Barr had; where we aimed to explore how this newly popular medium of Vine could be the message itself. We wondered how we could possibly produce content with so much depth yet with such a condensed form – the restriction being seven seconds and being edited on a smartphone. When investigating this we realised that the vines themselves could be the application of this concept by Henry Jenkins, and that only by experimenting would we see how the project would support the theory. By failing early and failing often we were able to see how the platform itself became the message for us and as we explored the processes of producing and aggregating content the message became clearer to us. With our knowledge we were able to effectively manipulate our medium to convey the message we wanted – condensed scenarios of the modern university student. Further exploration of the ideology would further our knowledge as we continue to produce content at our goal of two vines per week for future DIGC subjects and a portfolio of content produced upon graduation. In the future we hope to see similar success like the Viners we aspire to be similar to such as Lele Pons and Thomas Sanders – humorous condensed content with much depth and reliability.