#bcm302 DA report

My classmate Shu-Ning Li and I finished our DA project on October 25, and we made five videos in this project. Although there were only five videos we put a lot of effort into these videos and we made a lot of adjustments during these months. The satisfaction is that we finally saw some good results at the end of the project and proved that our efforts were not in vain. This DA was also my last project at the University of Wollongong and it was a satisfying “graduation gift” for me. We encountered a lot of difficulties and lost our way in this DA, but in the end, we think we have finished the task successfully.

In this report, I will review the DA process from the beginning to end including:
1: Why we are doing this DA
2: What method did we use to create it
3: What difficulties we encounter and how did we solve them
4: What we have learned from this DA/course

Our DA theme is Truth of China and I have a lot of DA projects for BCM courses that are focused on China. My goal is also very simple: I want people to have a clearer perception of China. During my years abroad, I found that people know very little about China and there are lots of people who know about China from the Internet. As a Chinese who has lived in China for almost 20 years, I hope that I can help more people who can see a different China in various ways through my small efforts. We have taught people how to make Chinese food at home during the covid-19 through video lessons in bcm206 and we have also introduced Chinese snacks to people in bcm325. We have taken them on a “tour” of several Chinese cities through our YouTube videos. We have tried to introduce various things about China in the past of our DA project and in bcm302 we also want to continue to “promote” our country.

For this project we want to let people have a deeper understanding of China, people can experience what it is like to live in China from our video. You can see what are the advantages of China that you can’t enjoy in foreign countries, and what are the differences between China’s institutions to those of foreign countries.

With the onslaught of covid-19, China’s role as the originator of covid-19 has been highly discussed internationally. In fact, the discussion about China on the Internet never stops. We have witnessed U.S. sanctions against Huawei a couple of months ago caused which brings irreversible damage to Huawei(Corera, 2021). The outbreak of covid-19 has also brought China to an unprecedented level of discussion on the Internet. We also feel very helpless when“#ChinaVirus” and“#WuhanVirus” trending in the United States(Vazquez,2020), after all, no one wants an outbreak to happen and spread globally. We used to be angry when we saw the “corona chan” memes which represent the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that occurred in Wuhan, China(Philipp, 2021). We have also sawed a video on youtube that criticized our government( MelkwedSage, 2020).

However, we believe that it is always a small minority of people who harbor ill will. I have never had anyone disrespect me in the almost 4 years I have lived in Australia and everyone has been very kind and accommodating to us.

Comments on YouTube
Corona chan

Although my power is weak, I still want to do something for my country. In order to make people see China in a normal way, I decided to make a YouTube channel with my classmate Li Shuning. Maybe people will have a different interest in China after watching our video.

We also decided to use Youtube as our main content outlet, and the reason we chose Youtube is that we prefer to deliver our content through video. We think that the combination of audio and video is a better way to deliver what we want to say, and the fact that Youtube has users from many different countries makes it a great cultural outlet.YouTube is also a revenue-generating platform compared to Instagram and Twitter(Anon, 2019). We can also take into account user comments and feedback to improve the quality of our videos and we will make more vertical content as users demand it. We also believe that using YouTube as the main content delivery platform follows the principle of fast inexpensive simple and tiny(Teodor, 2019). We can create a YouTube channel and upload videos in a very short time and it’s free to upload videos and people can also watch our video for free, it’s very convenient for people to click and watch our videos at any time, anywhere with their smart devices.

Important learning moment 1
At the beginning of the project, we couldn’t decide on a weekly video topic because there were so many topics about China. Since we didn’t know what parts of China were of interest to our audience, we decided to ask people for their opinions through a weekly Twitter poll (#bcm302) and use it as a channel to collect topics of people’s interest(Clarke, 2019). We all thought it was a great way to do it because we wanted to cater to the needs of the public, after we finished the pitch we started posting a poll on Twitter with the theme of “what do you want to know about China”? People could leave comments on what they wanted to see in the comments section, and we would choose one of them as the theme for this week’s video. However, after three days of waiting, we still didn’t get any comments. We were used to worried about how to choose the theme of the video if there were too many comments, but now we seem to have made a wrong decision. We were so overwhelmed by the situation that we decided to send an email to our tutor, asking if there was a problem with our current approach. We received an email back from the tutor and got some critical feedback which made the process much smoother for us.

Feedback from tutor

Through our tutor’s feedback, we realized that it was risky to rely on users to provide ideas at the beginning of the project because we hadn’t produced any videos and people weren’t familiar with us yet. It was not a good way to collect opinions without any subscriptions, so we decided to change our mindset from relying on users to provide opinions to decide the content of each video ourselves. This is how we started our plan, we wanted to use the video data to make adjustments to the theme of the subsequent videos, and we produced two videos in a very short time.

Important learning moment 2
When we were able to produce our videos and start our plan, we ran into another problem that has been bothering us for a long time. Our videos had very low likes and views and we were even more troubled by the fact that we were not receiving any comments or feedback on our videos. This put us in a dilemma because we didn’t know what we were doing wrong and we didn’t know where to make changes, so we had no choice but to send the video to our friends and let them analyze where the problem was from viewers’ point of view.

From this comment, we realized that the title of our video was questionable because it was not very specific and the viewers could not understand what was being presented in the video from our title. So in the second video, we changed the title of the video, although the number of views was still low it was an improvement over the first video and proved that our plan was gradually moving in a good direction.

Important learning moment 3
However, after we followed our previous method and released the third video, our plan was again bottlenecked. Although we changed the title, the number of views was still very embarrassing. We decided that it was not the right decision to rely on our friends’ feedback every time, and we should find a way to get more people to see the video and get feedback through the video itself. We thought our video production was fine and the style of the video was changing gradually, but we still couldn’t figure out a way to increase the number of views. Fortunately, at the same time our beta results came out and our tutor gave us a lot of tailored advice on the difficulties we described in the video. This time the advice was much more helpful to us in this project than the initial advice.

Feedback from Beta

Writing BCM302 in the title of the video indeed is very meaningless, I should not consider this video as just an assignment but a brand new project which is face to everyone. This video is intended for a worldwide audience, not just BCM students, and we realized from the tutor’s proposal that the style of our channel is very inconsistent. The name of the channel should not be my name (Allen Cheng) but the theme of our DA, after receiving the feedback from the tutor we decided to change the style of the channel’s homepage completely. We changed the name of our youtube channel’s avatar (Truth of China) and created a playlist based on the tutor’s suggestion so that viewers can easily distinguish which videos belong to our DA.

In the two following videos we had unprecedented growth in views and these two videos had more views than all our previous videos combined. We couldn’t believe it was real. What was even more surprising was that in the last video we received a lot of comments. What surprised us even more was the number of comments we received on the last video, people were curious if the brand in BCI was still being boycotted, and I answered their questions seriously.

View is increasing
105 views in total
250 views in total
Comments from our final video

We think the reason for the increase in viewership is that our titles have become more compelling, we dropped the truth of China prefix and put the core content of the video directly in the title. We have also set the question in the comment area and tried to reply to people’s comments one by one(Balaku, 2021). The video’s viewership has proven that we made the right decision.

With our last two videos, we also realized that it’s very important to keep up with current events to increase our viewership. Although our previous three videos were also able to let people know a lot of things about China, that’s just what we wanted people to know and maybe people weren’t that interested. We originally thought that the boycott of Nike in China was only a topic of interest to Chinese people, but we didn’t expect the topic to have such a high level of attention outside of China.

From the previous covid-19 event or the current Nike boycott of the Xinjiang cotton event, we are aware that people are perhaps more interested in the hotter news(Brant, 2021). Even though we have finished the last video in our DA, we think this is not the end but a new beginning. Although we ended up with just under a thousand views, it was still a big breakthrough for us. Especially in the last video, some people got a more comprehensive understanding of the Nike event through our video. That’s our intention, we want people no matter what channel they see on the news about China to get a full picture of what’s going on before they express their opinion. In an age where the Internet is so developed and accessible, people can speak without restriction based on freedom of speech. The ability to think independently becomes the most critical factor in maintaining rationality. Likewise, the whole process of our DA is based on the OODA loop(Core, 2020). We first observed the number of plays (observe), analyzed the YouTube backend data (orient) and decided to make adjustments through the low number of views (decide), and finally made progress through the adjustments (act).

In conclusion, I am very grateful to our tutor for giving us the right ideas at the most difficult time, otherwise, our plan would probably have been stalled. BCM302 is my last course before graduation, and after I get my diploma I will try to find a job related to new media operations in China. I believe that through the understanding of user needs that I have learned in the BCM course, I can play a role in a team. I appreciate the three years I spent in Australia, it has opened my mind and shown me a lot of different things. I believe the foundation I gained at the University of Wollongong will bring me great luck when I leave my student status and enter the workforce as an employee.

References lists:

Anon, 2019. 5 reasons why YouTube may be social media’s Greatest Success Story. Social Media Explorer. Available at: https://socialmediaexplorer.com/content-sections/cases-and-causes/5-reasons-youtube-may-social-medias-greatest-success-story/ [Accessed October 27, 2021].

Balaku, M., 2021. How To Get Comments on YouTube Video: 6+ Tips, Strategies. Stranger Show. Available at: https://strangershow.com/how-to-get-comments-on-youtube/ [Accessed October 27, 2021].

Brant, R., 2021. Nike, H&M Face China Fury over Xinjiang Cotton ‘concerns’. BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-56519411 [Accessed October 27, 2021].

Clarke, T., 2019. How to Use Twitter Polls to Boost Engagement (Ideas and Examples). Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/twitter-polls-business/ [Accessed October 27, 2021].

Core, C., 2020. The OODA Loop explained: Coolfire Solutions Blog. Coolfire. Available at: https://www.coolfiresolutions.com/blog/ooda-loop-explained/ [Accessed October 27, 2021].

Corera, G., 2021. Huawei’s business damaged by US sanctions despite success at home. BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56590001 [Accessed October 27, 2021].

 MelkwedSage, 2020. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zawUPKSWT0&t=148s [Accessed October 27, 2021].

Philipp, 2021. Corona-chan. Know Your Meme. Available at: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/corona-chan [Accessed October 27, 2021].

Teodor, M., 2019. Fast inexpensive simple tiny archives. tedmitew.net. Available at: https://www.tedmitew.net/tag/fast-inexpensive-simple-tiny/ [Accessed October 27, 2021].

Vazquez, M., 2020. Calling covid-19 the “Wuhan virus” or “China virus” is inaccurate and Xenophobic. Yale School of Medicine. Available at: https://medicine.yale.edu/news-article/calling-covid-19-the-wuhan-virus-or-china-virus-is-inaccurate-and-xenophobic/ [Accessed October 27, 2021].


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