ShakeItUp is a social media platform, created by Katie Furness, Sophie Antunes and Stephanie Watson (myself) who form KSS Productions. Our idea was to create a social media platform, geared towards cultural diversity, to be used by university students where a cultural barricade is most evident.
Originally, ShakeItUp was designed as a mobile application however; I was worried about producing a working prototype which included the features Sophie envisioned. Upon further research, an Entrepreneur article stated that we should find a technological expert to create the application. No-one in the group had a technological background or knew someone so, I suggested we develop the product into a social media platform enabling us to use Ryan, Katie’s experienced, technologically minded friend.
We met weekly, enabling us to choose tasks to complete for the next meeting while keeping updated on the progress of our prototype. But, I forgot to complete all the content in the first week, which led to issues on pitch day. Although, I did enjoy researching cocktails/mocktails and their histories, giving me ideas for next time I fancy making drinks in our student house. Watch out housemates, you’ll be my testers. Sophie forgot to research into the legal issues leading to myself, taking the responsibility on while creating our pitch presentation and script which led me to feel that I had contributed more than the others to our presentation. I did enjoy the research aspect despite my feelings, as I found some rather interesting journals and it allowed me to visit my own little happy-research world- I enjoy researching immensely. A key decision within our group was to film ourselves making cocktails/mocktails to demonstrate the products interactivity and enabled the group to bond as we could not stop laughing every time something was spilled or did not taste quite right. Just so you know, red grape fruit juice is not an okay substitution for white grape fruit juice…
Communication is an issue within KSS because we only saw the finished prototype on presentation day, despite asking to see it beforehand. Also, the prototype was not what I had envisioned or how it had been described. Since then, we have discovered the platform does not have a registration option which, we were assured would be created plus drinking games not incorporated onto the platform, or a profile page. If I had known that these issues had developed, I would have tried to learn the technological side, instead of developing my research skills or insisted we use an expert in the Sheffield area permitting us to have more power over development. We were left scrambling for content, due to my mistake however, I had asked the previous night whether we needed to retrieve the recipes from Cocktails of the World and received no answer. Myself and Sophie spent the morning, with bed heads as we messaged each other about finding content, making jokes about sitting in pjs, in the comfort of our own homes whilst Katie sat in the library.
Developing the prototype, pitching it to an audience with no previous technological skills has taught me to have more confidence in my presentation/development abilities. Furthermore, my task was to develop research for content, legality and privacy issues, which taught me how social media platforms function without law-breaking as well as, how to narrow down research to key texts.
One key text that I found useful is The Facebook Case; you’ll find a breakdown of the article by clicking here. It helped me gain an understanding of the ethical issues you may encounter while developing a social media platform and demonstrated the openness of individuals on their own social media profiles, including myself, when it comes to privacy. I was excited about discovering this text, as it raised a few questions I have since been considering; why are people so open to strangers? How long did the research take? How big of an issue is social media? The article stirred my interest and made developing the prototype an enjoyable, yet slightly stressful learning experience for an assignment I feared but also, opened my eyes to possibly answering assignment two about social media, which will enable me to delve further into the world of research surrounding social media, especially as this is an older article. There is a wonderment, about discovering what scholars are now saying, with more platforms being developed and I get to dive head first into it.