This exegesis discusses the web presence of Timthefilmmaker.
This project has required the development of a new web presence, and I have chosen to create the web presence of a young man, named Tim, who is an amateur filmmaker and who has a passion for all things film.
The unique handle chosen, Timthefilmmaker was selected due to its obvious implications; this is about a person named Tim, who is a filmmaker. It was purposely chosen to allow for unique tagging and trending,taking into account many Web 2.0 platforms, such as Delicious, do “(..) not allow spaces in tag names” (Mathes, 2004). A google search for Timthefilmmaker now delivers the twitter account node for this web presence as the second response, the first response of which is for a different entity, abandoned in 2009.
A central node was required for the presence and as Helmond proposes in regards to constructing an online identity, “There is a need for a centralizing force within the distributed network: a central identity hub” (Helmond, 2010, pp19). I chose WordPress, as it satisfied the criteria, requiring the ability for content, an about page, and a separate section to feature this exegesis. The central node also required the ability to link to a minimum of 3 contributing nodes. I have chosen 4 connecting nodes that best project a rounded and complete presence being Twitter, Vimeo, Delicious and Instagram. All nodes in return clearly link back to the central node. The “Bushwick” theme was appropriate for the task as it allowed clear hyperlinks for my contributing nodes and a large display picture.
All 5 nodes share the same avatar. The use of the same avatar on each node maintains the cohesive identity of the presence on all nodes. An avatar, described as a “form of digital memory” (Wood and Solomon, 2009) can be considered of significant importance to a web presence as “possessing an avatar is seen as an authenticating act” (Wood and Solomon, 2009). To provide authenticity to the presence and a signature footprint, the avatar utilised is that of a man, holding a camera, with bright saturated colours baring the name “timthefilmmaker” in the corner. Using the handle in the avatar is important, as it transforms the avatar into an identifiable piece of the presence. The nodes also share the same concept statement for the presence “Amateur filmmaker and dream weaver”, this is featured with the avatar, providing a uniform theme statement for the presence and also advises the users what type of content to expect on the node.
Boyd and Ellison advise, in regards to social networking sites, that while “networking is possible on these sites; it is not the primary practice on many of them” (Boyd and Ellison, 2007). In acknowledging this, the functionality of each node has been utilised to highlight different elements of the presence while maintaining the networking pattern through trending, hashtags and uniform elements of identity featured on each node.
Leaver proposes that twitter provides “continuous partial presence” (Leaver, 2014). The twitter node of my web presence provides an immediate contact point for followers to make contact with Timthefilmmaker but also allows users to see the activity of the presence, which is usually updated every few days. The information tweeted to the followers is only about cinema or Timthefilmmaker’s other nodes, communicating content only relevant to the presence, and only content that the network of users would expect from a presence devoted to film. The “tweeted” material is usually “tagged” and “tags are used for indexing content by search engines and are often used for retrieval” (Helmond, 2010, pp18) meaning they can be grouped into user-assigned pools of links to all media considered to be relevant to the tag and accessible via search engines through hypertext. The twitter customization also allowed for the avatar to become the wallpaper, which I feel has enhanced the identity of the node, clearly representing itself as a node of Timthefilmmaker. There is also a clear link back to the central node under the profile.
Delicious, a social bookmarking site provides a continuous flow of links to resources and sites of interest in line with my web presence. Despite limited customisation tools for profile, I was able to use my concept statement and avatar, linking it visually as part of the network. A link to the central node is clearly accessible from the homepage. The content features useful links to resources and sites related to filmmaking. All links are tagged with relevant subject words and grouped accordingly, providing much more exposure to my presence. Links can also be automatically shared to the Timthefilmmaker twitter account, allowing user traffic to travel between the two sites via tagged hyperlinks.
Vimeo, a video sharing site, is of key importance to my web presence as it allows sharing of my own personal films, the main reason behind the purpose of my web presence. The vimeo node displays the films from Timthefilmmaker, providing followers with original film content created for the channel. A short clip was created and edited, and uploaded under the guise of a clip for a short film Timthefilmmaker had been working on. The user information contains a clear link to the central node, as well as linking to the supporting nodes. The profile also features avatar, as well as the concept statement that is featured on the central node further enforcing the connection to the web presence.
Instagram, a photo sharing site and mobile application, which allows users to upload simple filtered and edited pictures, is an additional node provided by Timthefilmmaker. Predominantly a cellular application, having an instagram increases the network the presence reaches, by providing another medium of a social networking and content sharing. The profile also features the node avatar/concept statement and link to the central node.
Originating at the central node and supported by the contributing nodes, Timthefilmmaker is a networked web presence maintained by Web 2.0 sites that use “the web as a platform”(O’Reilly, 2014). The nodes I chose for this assignment allowed for a consistent and clear presence online, while the differing functionality of the nodes utilised expressed the alternative ways in which Timthefilmmaker’s content and presence can be generated and shared on the web.
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Boyd, D. M. & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Journal of computer-mediated communication, 13(1). [online] Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x/pdf [Accessed: 12 Feb 2014].
Leaver, T. (2014). It’s a small world after all: from wired’s minifesto to the twitterati. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.tamaleaver.net/2007/03/11/its-a-small-world-after-all-from-wireds-minifesto-to-the-twitterati/ [Accessed: 15 Feb 2014].
Mathes, A. (2004). Folksonomies – cooperative classification and communication through shared metadata. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.adammathes.com/academic/computer-mediated-communication/folksonomies.html [Accessed: 16 Feb 2014].
Helmond, A. 2010. Identity 2.0: Constructing identity with cultural software.. [e-book] Amsterdam: University Of Amsterdam. p. 18-19. Available through: http://ww.annehelmond.nl http://www.annehelmond.nl/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/helmond_identity20_dmiconference.pdf [Accessed: 13th February, 2014].
Wood, N. T. & Solomon, M. R. (2009). Virtual social identity and consumer behavior. New York: M E Sharpe.
O’reilly, T. (2014). What is web 2.0 – o’reilly media. [online] Retrieved from: http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html [Accessed: 15 Feb 2014].