How might we facilitate audience engagement and collaborative creation through social media platforms?
Location: Malmo University K3, 2012
Client: Malmo Symphony Orchestra
Project Time: 8 Weeks
Team Members: Carlo Luccioni, Chi Heng Peng, Yui Haglund
Personal Contribution: Research, Ideation, Workshop Facilitation Concept Development
The final concept was for a new web platform that parses and aggregates hashtags as a method of voting and user participation.
The concept allowed for a much longer period of user engagement that the Malmo Symphony Orchestra had at the time.
The brief was to partner with a cultural institution in the Oresund Region and develop a collaborative media project with them.
Our group partnered with The Malmö Symphony Orchestra to investigate ways of increasing Audience engagement around their Joystick series of concerts.
The Joystick concerts attract a much younger audience than the traditional MSO concerts attract. The audience is predominantly mid 20s males, who actively play video games and participate in online gaming and discussion. The audience members are active in their support of the concerts, and engagement in the surrounding events such as gaming demonstrations is very high.
The MSO aims to increase it’s audience by employing a non-traditional concert format called Joystick which happens once a year. These concerts play works from popular video game soundtracks and are aimed at an audience that potentially isn’t too familiar with classical music. While the events are incredibly popular, the MSO has found that there is little carry over to other events throughout the year.
We organised a series of workshops with audience members and members of the MSO organisation.
The aim was to identify how the relationship could grow into a “never ending friendship” and to engage in some form of co-creation between the MSO, the audience and us as designers.`
We developed a series of games using cards and visual material in order to try and cut through any pre standing bias. This was very helpful as their was a very clear hierarchy in the MSO, with the managing director taking part in the sessions.
Being able to engage all members of the workshop regardless of their stake in the event was key to the success of the workshop
From these workshops we identified there was a need for an ongoing conversation between the audience and the MSO.
The event planning is very involved and the audience members felt that they would like to be involved to a greater degree.
As a result we developed a platform which would encourage engagement on social media by providing the audience members with a reason to do so.
The concept was to allow users to actively participate in the creation of the concert through social media. There was a barrier though as the clearing of copyright and allowing time for the orchestra to learn the pieces meant that the first thought of simply allowing the audience to choose the concert performance pieces was not practicable.
This problem served as the germ for our final concept. We thought about extending the time period within which the platform would be active. Rather than making a platform that would only exist for a short period around the concert, we decided to stretch the lifespan to allow for a longer period of contact between the MSO and the audience.
This would allow audience members to have their say in the concert arrangement in the months beforehand, then actively contribute user generated content during and after the event.
A Longer Conversation
The concept allows audience members to feel as though they are participating in it’s creation and the content of the performance. This extends the relationship between the audience and changes their role at different stages pre-show and post show.
The platform was based on the idea of using twitter as a means of creating content. Using hashtags as a form of metadata encoded with a specific meaning. This was quite handy in this context as the Audience comprised of gamers would likely be accustomed with this type of communication anyway.
The platform would scan twitter for specific hashtags, these would be counted and reformatted in order to form the basis of the functionality of the Joystick website.These bundles of hashtags would then form votes or suggestions on the Joystick homepage. This would allow users to engage in events surrounding the concerts, while also encouraging discussion on social media.
We produced a functional prototype to test our ideas and present to the MSO. This was created using axure to initially wireframe the concept and then test behaviours of content during different time periods approaching the concert.