Friday, 19 February 2010

Question 3- What have you learned from your audience feedback?

After doing a large amount of audience research and gaining audience feedback I am able to answer this question in depth.
I have been understanding and making sense of my audiences responses and I have been taking there comments and finding out what they "really" mean.

All my audience research was qualitative as quantitative research would require vast amounts of time and money and would still not be as useful or revealing as qualitative methods!
To gather my audience feedback I created questionnaires with in depth questions like "how did the text make you feel, why do you think this?" as I know questionnaires aren't the best option for feedback but I wanted to get as much audience feedback as possible.

I then used social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace to post videos and blogs on what I've done and what I wanted to know. I did this on a regular basis so I could keep changing my ideas to fit their needs.

I also used the Internet to gather audience feedback by posting my media product on Youtube and seeing what star people rate it and what comments it gets without me asking questions. Also using MSN I was able to get audience feedback by online conversation which I found useful as I could send my media products and questions to my target audience and get quick efficient feedback.

Finally one of my last ways of gathering audience feedback was to actually talk to my target audience one-on-one which I did by visiting my little brothers friends who are all in the target audience age range I showed them my media product and asked for feedback in a variety of ways and this is what I found out:

Effects Approach- This approach attempts to focus attention on to the effects a media text has on the passive, undifferentiated audience.

I found the audience were affected by the text mostly in an unexpected way. They seemed to be shocked when the Lego superhero turns into a human boy which is the exact effect I wanted. I didn't want them to not be affected by the media text and I wanted them to be surprised by it as well. Also when Lego turns to real life they seemed to be more interested with what was happening as they wanted to understand what was happening which meant that had to be listening and watching carefully. This is also the effect I wanted on the audience I wanted to give them the "bate" which was the first part of the media text then "reel" them in, which was done by the second part of the text.

However the overall effect my media product had on the audience seemed to be a direct effect. Because so much was happening in a small amount of time and because the text was something different compared to other children's TV Dramas the audience seemed to show all sort of emotions as the video played. Most of the audience were silent and glued to the screen while some were shocked and a little confused on what had just happened but that was mainly the lower end of my target audience which I was kind off expecting and worried about.
From the effect theory I have learnt a lot and overall I am happy with the way my audience responded which shows me I am going in the right direction. However due to a few of the audience having an indirect effect on my media product I am going to have to think about how I could change my media product to help the lower end of my target audience to understand my text. Maybe by applying more redundant elements to me media text? (look at question 1)

Uses and Gratifications Approach- This approach attempts to focus attention on how individuals use the media.

This is where the audience are active and the audience used my product to mainly fulfil their need for laughter. From the beginning of my text to the end they laughed. They said they loved the way Lego was used and how it mixed with the real world. They seemed to take pleasure from the narrative plot. From this I am happy and confused as I wanted to create a text the audience would enjoy but I was surprised that they used laughter to fulfil their needs! Laughter can sometimes be negative but in my audiences case they were using laughter to express how much they were enjoying the media text so even tho I wasn't expecting it I am happy with the outcome and don't feel the need to change that effect.

After the audience watched my media product I spoke to them about the Gratifications approach and asked them how they used the media text for their own personal needs.

I was expecting the top responses to be "Role modeling" and "Escapism" as they were the top two I was aiming to achieve.
However surprisingly the top two responses I got was "Role modeling" and "Distraction". I was over the moon to realise that all my effort into creating a main character my target audience can aspire to and relate to on a personal level paid off. This was very important to me as from the early working of the course my quest has been to create something an audience could mould there life around.

However I was disappointed to hear that the second highest response was "Distraction". For me personally this is the negative version of "Escapism" as the audience don't need the text but use it to avoid and not escape everyday life. From this I will have serious work changing my media text from "Distraction" to "Escapism", however I can alter my work as much as I want but as the audience are active and feel the need to use my text for "Distraction"rather than need it for "Escapism" there isn't much I can do.
Cultural Studies Approach- This approach attempts to focus attention on the ways Different audiences "read" media texts differently as a result of their socio-economic position.
This is a tricky approach to look at as the focus is about the social context of the audience member and how this might affect the way they "read" the text, therefore I have to ask questions about the audiences backgrounds before I can ask questions about my text.
I couldn't get feedback from all my audience on this topic as I need to go into a lot of detail. So I chose a reasonable amount of the audience and found out about their social backgrounds then I went on to talk about my text.

There are 3 reading positions: Negotiated, Oppositional and Preferred.
After talking to members of my target audience I found that 70% of them chose negotiated reading. They recognised the values being offered by my text as legitimate and accept them in general, but adapt their reading of the text to fit in with their experiences and interests. I was shocked that 7 out of 10 chose negotiated reading even tho I thought it would be the highest of the 3 readings I didn't expect it to be by that much! Thankfully no one chose oppositional reading which shows my work is heading in the right direction in terms of being accepted by the target audience. I think because my media text is so unique that the audience are a bit cautious about taking a preferred reading to it as they might not 100% understand it and that's why negotiated reading stands the highest. But overall I'm pleased with what Ive learnt from this audience feedback and my aim now is to turn most of the negotiated readers into preferred readers and the way I am going to do this is by making my text more clear through using redundant conventions.

Below are to links on cultural capital and the hypodermic needle theory which helped me learn more about my audiences responses, also there are links that helped me on researching audiences, gaining audience feedback and answering this question:

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