insight into the new media world
Interest in Media Culture stream
My internship at Tencent News inspired me to upgrade my knowledge in interdisciplinary area where media, art and technology converge. In a long time I thought Chinese academia followed industry. I changed my mind after I seriously considering the possibility of building online communities in mobile video application. Users watching and discussing the same TV series or news could be seen as members of a interest-based community. Great minds think alike. Days later, a new version of Tencent Video released a new function called Fun Club, a community for users who like a certain actor/actress or a TV series. And I eventually believe that when I am equipped with all-round knowledge of media, art and technology, I can lead in industry.
Thus, I apply for Media Culture stream to further study the impact of cutting-edge technology on media and humans. And I hope to grasp a more scientific thinking process to generate an idea and complete a so-called good work. All these will guide me to create contents that cater the targeted audience.
Looking into the relation between media and technology
In the autumn of 2011, I entered School of Journalism and Communication, Wuhan University. Social media like Sina Weibo was flourishing in the same year. I was fascinated by the development of new media and the Internet. After a year’s studying of introductory courses of journalism, advertising and digital media, I chose Communications as my major, which focus on new media. I am introduced to development of media and technology, and fundamentals of Internet economics and society. Through hands-on practice I gain a range of digital media skills, from visual expression to film editing, from prototyping to interface design. My term papers combined theories and research methods and were praised by professors. I am also proud of my skills and creative thoughts in multimedia production. It is through my academic study that I became truly interested in the merging disciplines to create innovative and meaningful experiences.
In spring of 2013, I was selected to be an exchange student at I-Shou University in Taiwan. Therefore, I was exposed to fancy multimedia technology and my passion for multimedia creation was motivated. I devoted myself to different roles like graphic designer, sound designer and programmer. Collaborating with different teams, I worked on a short film and a digital guide. I also completed a 30-second 3D animation independently. Among all above, I love the digital guide most. This assignment was designed for Taiwan Sugar Museum, a place displaying machine, factories, and lifestyles of old-time and modern people and the history of Taiwan Sugar Corporation (TSC). TSC accompanies generations of people. We built the digital product more than displaying information, but bringing traditional culture and memory to audience. During this time, I developed my skills in making creative content and was amazed by advanced media technologies.
Back from Taiwan, I hoped to apply my abilities to something beyond “media”. As a result, I seized the opportunity to work in a team to build a family network application named Famory. With Famory, family members share photos and status to strengthen family bonds. To promote this application, we encouraged users to upload funny moments of their parents. This user generated content would be liked, shared to a wider range of people. As the backend programmer for this application, I knew that data of all these moments will be stored forever unless our sever is down. In The Bias of Communication, the author Harold Innis divided media into time-biased and space-biased types. But the development of storage technology goes beyond his imagination. Everything online could be stored and shared. This allows me to think more about the relationship between media and technology, and how to utilize technology to facilitate the dissemination of information.
Practice in media
I served for Wuhan University Radio for three years. Being a director enables me to be meticulous about every detail of broadcasts and response quickly to any unpredictable problems. As the directors’ team leader, I instructed freshmen in technical skills and coordinate their schedule. Besides, now as a senior student, I also help junior students mastering Adobe Flash and animation producing in class Animation Design and Construction. I was a journalist of Wuhan University Weekly where I developed my abilities of topic selection and news writing. All these activities push my individual boundaries, offer me the opportunity to present my creativity, and cultivate the makings of a media practitioner.
During the internship in Chief Editor’s Office at Tencent, I dealt with tasks like improving Tencent Video application on mobile device and supporting breaking news reports. It was a busy time as a spate of incidents happened. I worked on heated headlines such as MH370 with professional editors and product managers. It was really inspring to observe and absorb how people at Tencent apply interactive minds to polish every detailed function of their product. Once I led a team of 3 interns to look into the push service of mainstream mobile video applications. We analyzed language style and length of the text, frequency, video type and user interface. And I figure out the push style on Android devices should be slightly different to catch users’ eye. And this advice is accepted by leader.
The 4 months at Tencent imparted in me a new adaptive thought process where I applied my own self-awareness, critical thinking skills together with the creative thinking process to real situations.
Journey to the Future
I value the skills set I developed through these experiences, but I am more thankful for the self-awareness I gained through years of exploration. And I eventually confirmed the idea of pursuing an MACM degree and specialism in Media Culture stream. In the future, I would like to set up or join a media studio to offer interactive service for companies of different background and offer their audience a new interactive experience.
When I check this programme in School of Creative Media at CityU, I found it perfectly match my plan. The 4-year undergraduate study give me a solid foundation of theories and practice in the field of communication. And your courses catch the latest trend of the innovative industry and will offer me a opportunity to systematically learn how cutting-edge technologies can impact the life of everyone. And I’m certain that my academic foundation and adequate experience has prepared me for the graduate programme.