The Final Contextual Essay…

Project Summary

My digital artefact is a YouTube channel that focuses on basketball, but more specifically the NBA and the video game series, NBA 2K. I developed this project because I wanted to expand my knowledge on a passion of mine whilst also focusing on creating engaging content for an audience and community that I am quite familiar with. I did some research into video making tips and tricks, which helped me with speech within the videos as well as editing. To help further my skills in terms of content creation and video production, I undertook part of the Google Digital Garage ‘Fundamentals of Digital Marketing’ course, which addressed the basic ways to create digital content that is both engaging and entertaining. 

I undertook the YouTube ‘Creator Academy’ course as well, which helped me further understand the concepts and fundamentals of YouTube content creation. I’ve always wanted to be a YouTuber and this was the perfect opportunity for me to showcase my abilities in terms of creating content and engaging with an audience. Along with a YouTube channel, I paired it with my Reddit account. I used Reddit to ask questions about team moves and projections for the upcoming season. I focused on the Cleveland Cavaliers at first but I didn’t get too much engagement through this subreddit so I decided to move my focus towards the Phoenix Suns which gave me a lot more engagement and reassurance that what I was doing was right and had a positive effect on the community. Through this subreddit, I gained an idea on the audience that I was communicating with and it helped me come up with an idea for a series that I could run on the channel that would offer both entertainment and real-life correlations.

Based on my research on Reddit and through my Google searches, it was deemed that running a YouTube channel was the best possible way to showcase content and reel in a large community that all had the same interests, which was basketball. It was a fairly easy choice for me as basketball is a huge passion of mine and my knowledge on the subject is quite vast and deep. I always try to base a digital artefact off of something I’m passionate about and this kept the trend going.

I thought starting a YouTube channel would be useful for the basketball and 2K community, because I gave my opinions on certain aspects affecting the league and certain real-life scenarios that were occurring with NBA teams. That part was mainly for the overall basketball community. For the 2K community, although it was not consistent at all and there was a severe lack of content throughout, I think having two series that they could relate to and give their own opinions on was a fantastic way of getting some engagement whilst also conversing in the comments. 

The MyLeague series that I began near the end of this journey actually started well and I believe that it was one of my more creative and more interesting videos that I produced as I took the suggestions that were provided to me through Reddit and used those suggestions to make in-game decisions that affected the future and longevity of the franchise. Using Reddit as a platform for discussion was a fantastic idea and it also allowed me to expand my knowledge and overall thoughts on how I could re-direct the course of my Digital Artefact.

The production method that I first proposed was a little ambitious but I also thought that I could achieve this feat as I was very determined at the time to produce high quality content consistently across multiple weeks and months. I approached this decision by analysing how consistent bigger YouTubers are at uploading content, now obviously these content creators have a much larger following and more drive to create content but I believed that it would be a solid foundation to base my schedule off of. My original plan was one or two videos per week over the process period but this didn’t happen, it was much less than this and I’ll discuss this further through the report.

Analysis of Important Learning Moments

Instacurities (that was cool)…

First I made the decision to promote my videos through my own personal Instagram, which was a bold decision as I am quite insecure when it comes to producing and creating content and I had a YouTube channel in high school and I got bullied a fair bit for that so I decided to not post any YouTube content onto my personal social accounts besides Twitter, which I use for study purposes. With the occasional shameless plug on Twitter, I got some decent engagement with members of the BCM302 subject (Josh Cook and Ben Floyd) giving me feedback and commenting on my videos. 

So after I decided to not post on my personal Instagram account, I decided to shift this aspect of my project to Reddit where I have had a lot of experience and traction on in the past. It is such a great platform to converse and discuss almost anything with people from all parts of the world, it is truly amazing. The first non-pitch/beta video that I posted on YouTube was actually powered by a Reddit post that I found on the platform. It wasn’t my post but when I saw it, I just thought ‘WOW, this is exactly what I think’, it made it very easy for me to basically just react to it. I turned on the camera and just started talking and it felt so natural and I believe that this was the area that I needed to focus on much deeper.  

Along with this video, came some positive engagement and feedback that helped fuel more content for me, it was a great confidence boost for myself and made me more self-aware of the content that I was producing.  The engagement was minimal but it started a little conversation, which is something I believe I should be happy with. Josh left his thoughts on a certain piece of information I said in the video and he commented what he thought and I thought that was very encouraging to see, especially for my first video. Another person commented something about the Cavaliers being cursed and I agreed straight away so I gave it a love heart react.

Getting bored…

The second video I uploaded was my most viewed video as it was a video showcasing a build that people could use in NBA 2K21. It was a very popular build that I had seen almost every time I played online and it was really good. So I thought, I should make this a video and show how I made it so that’s exactly what I did. I got over 20 views on this video and it didn’t take me long at all to make as it was basically just one whole clip. I then turned this build into a career mode series where I made the player and put him on the Cavaliers and tried to get them to the playoffs and win a championship. I based this player off myself so it was quite accurate in the way it looked and I tried to equip animations that best represented my real-life self. The only thing with this series is that the career mode in NBA 2K21 became extremely repetitive and very boring after just seven games of playing.

After realising that I wouldn’t want to post this content or even play the game, I decided to switch it up a bit and take on something different. One thing that I found really hard to manage was my schedule, I had so much uni work piling up and I couldn’t quite get a grasp on my priorities at the time, which was meant to be producing content for my YouTube channel. This led me down a sad road where I thought what I was doing with my project was terrible and I clearly wasn’t putting in enough effort to get to the point where I was satisfied with my efforts.

I posted my beta video to YouTube and in the video I discussed my intentions for the closing weeks of my project. My intention was to start another career mode series with a different, more entertaining player build. I recorded the first video but I got so bored of playing again so I stopped editing when I thought “I really need to come up with something that would be enjoyable for both myself and my audience”. I began putting my own priorities first, which I think was a great opportunity for me to truly showcase what I can do.

This event definitely relates vastly to the Week 3 topic, the OODA loop. I was able to observe the content that I was producing and really begin to evaluate it and see where I went wrong. I think the content was boring because I wasn’t putting enough effort into editing the videos, I treated it more like a chore than something that I really wanted to do. I blame this mostly on my decisions throughout on which content I should post and the effect that the audience would expect. What I found throughout my research and content creation is that posting content that people have already seen is simply not going to cut it, I had to really think outside the box. The best example of outside the box and content people haven’t seen was the build video that I posted. Sure, there were videos of it around YouTube but not as much as the most popular build videos on the platform. It was now decision time and I decided to start a franchise series where I basically picked a team and built them from where they are in the game to a potential championship winning team. I had to act on this idea so I went straight to Reddit and asked a question about their thoughts on the upcoming offseason for the Phoenix Suns and I got some amazing feedback and it led straight into my first video of the series.

A significant turning point…

As mentioned previously, Reddit played a huge, vital role in the decision of starting a new series. I posted on Reddit asking a question regarding what the community thinks about the upcoming offseason where the Suns can really utilise their assets to fix up their roster and prepare for one of their biggest seasons in recent years.

As you can see on the left, I got some amazing responses which really drove the entirety of my series and it was such a relief seeing feedback that I could really use as a foundation for the franchise mode. The first response was probably the most detailed response I’ve received on a Reddit post before and when I saw it, I was so excited and happy as it made a passionate Suns fan get involved and voice their opinion. He mentioned a player called Christian Wood who was high on their offseason wish list so I added him straight to my target list for the offseason, along with a few rookies that could help push the team into playoff contention. The Redditor also gave suggestions on who to keep as they believed that the listed players were important and an integral part of the Suns’ future and that was a very positive outcome. You can see the engagement in a screenshot below, I thanked the commenter thoroughly and he proceeded to help me out more with where to find more information about the upcoming offseason so that was amazing.

About an hour or so after this post was made, I hopped straight onto the console and hit record. Across this time, I accumulated 90 minutes of recording time and that made me very stressed as I knew straight away that editing the video would take many hours. The video ended up taking 3.5 hours to edit and it was such a relief to be able to finish it and then post it for the community to see. I tweeted a status that hyped up the release of the series and it gave me even more confidence heading into the premiere. Another thing I was extremely proud of with this video was the thumbnail I made, it was so simple and easy to make that I was overall really happy with how the image turned out. It didn’t take much time at all to make and to be able to pair the thumbnail with the video was really exciting to see. I uploaded the video and was really happy with how it all went. 

Conclusion

With the project finally concluded, I think it is the right time to reflect on my overall approach to the project. This wasn’t my best effort and that is really disheartening as I like to think I put 100% into my DA’s but this semester just wasn’t the one but I am honestly okay with it. At points I believe I made the right attempts to steer my project into the right direction and that is a positive that I take out of this project and process. I need to manage my schedule and time better but that has always been the case with me. I am proud of the way that I picked myself up and came up with some good ideas for future videos. Yes, I will be continuing this channel well beyond this subject.

Reference List

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reddit. (n.d.). r/suns. [online] 

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Hardwood Rundown (2020). Hi, I’m a Cavs fan… YouTube

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlBN0o6N2Us

[Accessed 13 Nov. 2020].‌

Hardwood Rundown (2020). BEST SMALL FORWARD BUILD IN NBA 2K21… YouTube

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHJ4bHTx5bY&t=442s

[Accessed 13 Nov. 2020].

What is OODA loop? – Definition from WhatIs.com (2019). What is OODA loop? – Definition from WhatIs.com. [online] SearchCIO. 

Available at: https://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/OODA-loop.

[Accessed 13 Nov. 2020].‌

Teodor Mitew (2020). The OODA Loop. YouTube

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNK0y0nMfJw

[Accessed 13 Nov. 2020].

reddit. (n.d.). r/suns – Offseason Suggestions? [online] 

Available at: https://www.reddit.com/r/suns/comments/jlt7sc/offseason_suggestions/

[Accessed 13 Nov. 2020].

‌Hardwood Rundown (2020). Phoenix Are A Dynasty In The Making – Episode One. YouTube

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW8Fhe3wTzw&t=14s

[Accessed 13 Nov. 2020].

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