Cindy Wellings

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Cindy Wellings, instagram @cwellings

Cindy Jean Wellings (born 6th, February 1994) is a British student studying Media Production at De Montfort University. Cindy hopes to be involved within the Television industry; particulary childrens television; CBBC once she leaves university to present or to become part of the production crew. Cindy has had previous experience in television and film being involved in film sets at a young age and auditioning for adverts. Such credits involve The Second Hand Lion. Cindy's interests include dance, having grades in ballet, tap, modern and musical theatre, performing; being a part of musical productions such as High School Musical and singing. Cindy has recently set up her own SoundCloud account.

Since the age of six, Cindy performed in pantomime shows at the Broadway Theatre including 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves', 'Cinderella', 'Aladdin'. She performed until the age of 11 where she began focusing on school. In 2005 Cindy got the part of performing on a TV show in Switzerland to celebrate FIFA however, a month before filming this was discontinued. In 2009 (age 15) Cindy auditioned for ITV's The X Factor.

Cindy love for media evolved when she began Media Studies in sixth form, which was what led her to come to university. In January 2014, Cindy attended BBC Academy Wood Norton with her classmates where she created her own quiz show; 'Mindrush'.

Cindy wishes to follow her performing dreams, recently auditioning for Disneyland Paris and hoping to one day perform on an London Stage Show.

Cindy is currently researching into how hashtags i.e #FoodPorn effect our activity on social sites such as Instagram, for TECH3022 Advanced Social Media Production.



Cindy Welling's TECH 3002 Social Media Project Plan

How individuals use hashtags on Instagram and how do they make sense of the tagged photograph?

The research question the participant will be following is; 'How individuals use hashtags on Instagram, and how do they make sense of the tagged photograph?'


With a sub question being; How are the hashtags used to share images/ideas about food and how users make sense of using/finding the hash tags?


For the TECH3022 Advanced Social Media programme, the overall intention is to create a Social Media campaign concerning the use of sugars in our foods that we are subjected to. The aim of this campaign is to enlighten and spread awareness to what we consume within certain foods, and how much sugar in involved within foods and meals.For this campaign, each student will be looking at a different aspect as to how we can spread awareness through a variety of different selections, for example online and offline studies. Netnographic researcher Cindy Wellings aims to search the online platform; Instagram, to see how the food culture is shared online, through the use of hash tagging.

What the project will involve

Netnographer Cindy Wellings will be researching the use of common hashtags such as '#FoodPorn' on the photo sharing social platform Instagram. The researcher will be looking at how hash tags are used to share photographs and what effect does this have on those viewing/finding the photo through hashtags. Moreover, looking what types of photographs are uploaded/tagged with this hashtags and why people place hashtags such as Food Porn with these photographs.

The project will be on going throughout three weeks, using two research methods; Ethnography and Netnography.

Ethnography research method; open ended interviews within a focus group to discover why Instagram users use hashtagging and their responses to food uploads.

Netnography research method; becoming a participant online, learning the food culture shared on the app and putting research into practice by creating uploads along with hash tags to see it's effect.

Ethnography

A lived experience where the ethnographer studies the people within their environment and how their culture works. A method of understanding culture.

Ethnographer's principles:

  • Location
  • Participation
  • Interviews
  • Journals
  • Reflect

Factors such as recording, participating and understanding are key aspects for ethnographer's research. Shifting away from instrumental objects.

"An anthropological approach to the research of culture of culture based upon participant-observational techniques; ethnography's goals are a detailed and nuanced understanding of a cultural phenomenon, and a representation that conveys the lived experience of culture members as well as the meaning system and other social structures underpinning the culture or community" (Kozinets 2010)

“Ethnographers cannot simply observe because, by definition, we must participate in the fieldsite” (Boellstorff, Nardi, Pearce, & Taylor, 2012, p. 142).

Netnography

*"a type of online, or Internet, ethnography; netnography provides guidelines for the adaptation of participant- observation procedeures- planning for fieldwork, making a cultural entree, gathering cultural data, ensuring a high-quality ethnographic interpretation, and ensuring strict adherence to ethical standards- to the contingencies of online community and culture that manifest through computer-mediated communications' (Kozinets 2010)

Netnographer's can be discussed as 'virtual' nonetheless, it is important for the researcher to learn that the online community are as 'real' as those offline; "They are real communities with real people, which is why so many end up meeting in flesh" (Kozinets 2010)

  -"Using the internet is a 'culturally located' experience' (Hine 2005) 

As the researcher will become a participant on the online application, the aim is to gain a sense of community through participation, from here "community and culture can inhere in many of the familiar forums and 'places' of the internet" (Kozinets 2010)


What is a Hashtag?

Hash tagging is a form of tagging that helps categorize certain posts/uploads together. Once a hashtag is formed; through the use of the hashtag key ‘#’ attached to a word, all photos/tweets with the same hashtag are therefore linked and can be discovered by being searched.

The aim of this project is to find out how hash tagging is used to promote photographs, what effect they have and why people use it.

Forms Of Research

1. Interviews

The first stage of research that took place was an informal group interview with a group of students who uses these online applications. Here open-ended questions were asked to gain feedback as to how these applications are used, showing examples of existing profiles, and sharing their own experiences by asking about their own profiles.

“The foundation of an ethical netnography is honesty between the researcher and online community members”(Kozinets, 2010, p. 147).

The idea was to gain qualitative data through an ethnographic study, noting their answers and gaining insight as to how they use these applications, and to test whether the plan could be successful, and if not find out how else it could be done differently. Such questions included:

  • Have any of you hash tagged before using Instagram? If so, why?
  • What do you think of hash tagging?
  • Why do you think people use hashtags?
  • Have you heard of the following Hashtags; FoodPorn, InstaFood etc., are there any more?
  • Have you ever used or searched these tags before?
  • Have you ever uploaded a photo of food before onto your profile? If so, why?
  • Have you ever followed Instagram profiles that has shared food? - If so, which ones and why?
  • Would you be more likely to upload profiles which uploaded healthy foods with recipes, or unhealthy foods?
  • What effects do photographs of food have on you?

(show photographs of those on existing profiles)

  • What effects do these photographs have on you?

- Examples of images taken from: 'Clean Food Cook' [1]

Here are the transcripts from my interviews; transcripts

What was learnt?

It was learnt that those on public use hashtags more as they have a effect and are thought of as something that is just done on the app, usually tagging things that are appropriate with the image uploaded, although some use hashtags as a joke, to make others laugh. Moreover, food porn and Instafood were the two most familiar hashtags noted by the interviewees. Uploads of food seem to be done as a sentimental process, used to represent a experience, or a symbol of recognition to the presentation of the food; if proud of the product made or to show others the experience of their meal.

All interviewee's agreed that they follow food accounts on Instagram of both healthy and unhealthy foods. Unhealthy foods had the effect of cravings, where the interviewees' would want to eat badly whilst the healthy food uploads helped encourage the interviewee's to cook healthily and give motivation of eating well. They also agreed that they would find it interesting and would help teach them more about what food contains, if an Instagram profile were to be made that spread awareness of out daily foods/ sugar intake.

From these interviews, it gave a clear idea as to how Instagram users felt about hash tagging and gained further knowledge about the application and it's use for the next stage of research; Netnography research becoming a participant on the application.

2. Participant Research

2.1 Searching of hashtags

Progressing from the information learnt from the interviews, the researcher then began researching into popular hash tags such as #InstaFood and #FoodPorn on Instagram to see what the posts involve e.g. number of likes, type of profile and photograph that is tagged. Moreover, during the process the researcher discovered other hash tags that can be used for future uploads that can be used when the project is put into place, such as #foodie and #instachef.

The researcher typed into Instagram's search box; '#FoodPorn'. From this, 42711,142 posts were discovered all uploads of different types of food worldwide. It was found most were fattening foods (meals) but many were healthy also.

2. 2 Personal Uploads

Once researching into these hash tags, the researcher uploaded their personal images of food taken in the past, onto their own personal Instagram profile, using the popular hash tags to see what effect is gains.

Firstly uploading a photograph of a unhealthy meal, then later decided to upload a photograph of a healthy dish. This was decided due to the interest of the researcher, wishing to see if there was a clear difference in effect between the two.

The first image uploaded was a photograph of take out pizza. Here the participant hashtagged all popular trends that are used to tag onto using food posts, each written with different cases (lower and upper) to gain more acknowledgement. These used were: #instafood #foodporn #Instafood #FOODPORN #FoodPorn #INSTAFOOD #foodchef #foodie and #instachef From this, the tagged image received 9 likes, 2 being already instagram followers of the participant's research.

It was then tested to add extra hash tags that were appropriate with the post, all things to do with the image such as; #pizza #food #love #yum #hungry #delicious, these gained the image an additional 4 likes, gaining 14 likes overall.

A second image was then uploaded a day later at a similar time; to keep the test reliable, of healthy food; a photograph of sushi that was taken a month ago. This was uploaded with the same hashtags as the unhealthy image (of different cases) which gained 10 likes, 3 of which were existing followers. Then additional hashtags were used that was appropriate with the food such as; #yosushi #sushi #healthy #healthyeating #instafitness #food which helped gain an additional 6 likes, creating 16 likes overall.

2.2.1 What was learnt?

This taught the researcher that using hashtags can make a difference, as others from around the world using that hashtag can find the image and 'like' it. It is a way of connecting people and photographs together. It was found that the healthy eating image gained few more likes than the unhealthy image, although that could be down to the types of hashtags used such as #instafitness or purely due to the different amount of people viewing the app in the hour. It is not a huge difference, so was found difficult to distinguish although, it has been learnt overall that including hashtags do help gain awareness of your post on Instagram.

Where the project took place

Before the christmas break, the first stage of the project; the open ended interviews took place, at the interviewee's home in Leicester. This was for the intention that the interviewee's could feel at ease and comfortable, so that their responses were fluent and care free, creating a natural environment.

Whereas the research participant took place during the three week christmas break at the researcher's home in London, where the collection of understanding was gained online as a part of the Instagram community, where the researcher could become a participant, learning from the interview responses as to how to use the tools on Instagram including the use of hashtagging.

Who

The researcher will be researching into photographs that contain hashtags such as #FoodPorn, looking at the types of photos that appear. Furthermore, will be interviewing a group of friends asking about why they use hash tags.

When

This experiment began from Monday 15th December through to Monday 12th January; three week extension.

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 16.38.16.png

From here, the Project Implement stage will take place, adding all research together to create an overall project awareness campaign.

How

Using the ethnographic and netnographic methods, Cindy decided to use two forms of research: - Interviews - Becoming an participant online - researching hash tags and creating uploads.

Here the researcher needed to gather a group of users of the application together, in an relaxed environment to encourage an reliable responses where the interviewees feel comfortable to give fluent and natural answers.

Furthermore, the technology and software; applications needed to be used; an iPhone (smart phone) with the app installed along with a profile used to research and upload photographs can be contributed.

All findings were documented within the researcher's blog [[2]] and evaluated onto this wiki profile.

Conclusion

Overall, it was learnt that hashtags play a huge part in the production process of Instagram, finding it was something people 'just do' when using the application. Using hash tags spread awareness of the post that is uploaded, and can circulate around the app, to those that use it worldwide. It helps gain 'likes' and 'followers' to the profile which is what makes a image popular on the application. Hash tags in particular #foodporn and #instafood were found the most recognised in relation to food on the social media platform, and through research others such as #foodie and #instachef were discovered and used in practice.

Once photos had be uploaded along with these hashtags, many 'likes' from profiles around the world were introduced to the photograph causing awareness to the image. This shows how users participate online; through searching hashtags.

Users choose to upload photographs of food for both sentimental reasons and due to feeling proud of either what they've made or gained from a restaurant, either way it was described as an 'experience' that is shared. An experience as important as any other. Furthermore, food is shared consistently on Instagram, with specific profiles that continuously uploads photographs of food; both healthy and unhealthy. Profiles that the interviewees admitted they were subjects to following.

Both healthy and unhealthy photographs creates an reaction to those viewing it. For example, unhealthy images of food creates a want/need to have unhealthy foods; develops cravings. Whereas, photographs of healthy foods create a positive reaction, giving the user a motive to eat better and learn to make healthy meals.

Finally, all interviewees' agreed that they would follow a profile that would spread awareness of the foods that contains sugar, that they may not necessarily know about. The idea was found interesting to them and believe it would help their overall diet and tell others about the upload discoveries too.

Blogs relating to project's construction

References

Robert V. Kozinets (2010). Netnography. London: SAGE Publications. 190-191.

@thecleanfoodcook (2014). ‘The Clean Food Cook], Instagram [WWW]. Also Available on: http://instagram.com/thecleanfoodcook/ [Accessed on: 04/01/15]

Wellings, C (2014).' Cindy's Blog', Our DMU [WWW]. Also Available from: https://mysocialmediablog.our.dmu.ac.uk/ [Accessed on: 04/01/15]

Social Media Campaign Implementation

From academic week 16, the project itself began. The group was gathered together to discuss how the campaign will go about, and exchanging information that was found from their previous research. The campaign was discussed as a big group and agreed that its target audience will be towards Students. Living in an university environment, all students could relate to how the diet of a student is not always the more nutritious. However, more specifically the campaign will be aimed towards first and second year students, as it was thought that final year students would be more focused into their studies and upcoming deadlines.

Here ideas such as involving the 'Leicester Market' within the campaign could be beneficial, thinking of spreading awareness of the market, whom shares healthy goods at a cheap price. It was suggested that a event could be held at the Student Union's steps, where a stall from the Leicester Market could be placed, in hope to gain more awareness for students about the market and of healthy eating.

To start off the production of the campaign, three key groups were formed. These were;

  • Events

Here those volunteered to be a part of the events team, will have to schedule event, get in touch with those neccessary for consent for the events to take place and share all information about events with those in other groups to help encourage advertising the events nearer the time.

  • Social Media

A group of individuals created/taking over the existing 'No Quarter Given' pages on Facebook and Twitter. Moreover an Instagram and Pinterest account was set up to help encourage healthy eating. Here retweets and uploads will be formed to circulate the overall aim of the project; low carb diet, helping spread awareness of the dangers of sugar.

  • Website & Media

Finally the website and media group was formed as one, redesigning and uploading media to the website, and including ideas for uploads such as short clips and vox pox of events which can be uploaded onto the social media platforms as well as the website.

Cindy's Input for the Campaign

Cindy Wellings is a part of the 'Social Media' group, alongside Christos Tsartsalis and Farah Gangat. Here Cindy is the Twitter administrator for the Twitter account and the co administrator for the Pinterest account. Nonetheless, the details of each of the platforms are shared between the three of the social media executives, thus they have the opportunity to edit and contribute to each social platform.

                             Sm.jpg

Twitter

On 26/01/2015, the Twitter site; No Quarter Given was reinburst, unfollowing previous profiles and following new ones which was felt appropriate with the theme of the campaign; healthy diet.

Here Twitter profiles such as; BBC Foods and 'Low Carb Diet News' were followed as inspiration for future posts, retweets and to demonstrate what the campaign is about.

The Twitter account was reconstructed so the Twitter feed so it best fits with the campaign, such as changing the 'about' information to: Here to promote healthy eating through low carb diets! Be sure to follow us on Facebook & Instagram.

The Twitter account will be frequently updated, sharing tweets ('retweeting') from profiles the account is following from that are felt to be appropriate and interesting to those that follow the account. Furthermore, the aim of the Twitter account is for followers to understand what the account represents and its purpose simply from its tweets and images shared.

Recently, Cindy has shared via Twitter the new YouTube video created by Zam Zam onto Twitter to link each social platform together. This was also posted by Christos onto the Facebook page.

Pinterest

On the same date, the Pinterest account was created as 'No Quarter Given', keeping the same brand name throughout the different profiles. Here a board was created onto the profile page called 'Low Carb Recipe' board, where pins through searches such as healthy eating and low carbs, were used and placed onto the board which can then be shared.

Both platforms will continuously be used throughout the project to help promote healthy eating using retweets, pins, recipes, videos and other formats to help promote both the campaign and healthy eating.

Facebook

To help begin production of the campaign as a recognisable brand, Cindy had wrote onto the group Facebook page requesting name ideas for the campaign and suggested the name 'Health4Students'. From this contribution, the name of the campaign was called this, with the 'No Quarter Given' kept as the brand name.

It was discovered that the Facebook and Twitter page are connected thus Cindy found it was easier to sometimes add to the Facebook page which then connects to the Twitter profile as it is easier to add and edit the URL. For example posts such as '10 Minute Meals for Busy Healthy Women' was added by Cindy onto the Facebook page which then followed onto the Twitter account.

Wiki Contributions

1) *Cindy Wellings created the Qualitative data page on the 'Useful Feeds & Links' heading on the TECH3022 Advanced Social Media Production page. This was done to help those on the course learn more about netnography. The link was placed within the Netnographypage when it was added/edited by Cindy Wellings so other readers and class mates could learn about what type of data collection is necessary for a netnographic study.

2) * Cindy edited the Netnography page on the main page TECH 3022 Advanced Social Media Production. This was done when was browsing through the wiki and began reading the Netnography page for revision purposes. However, it was not very detailed. Therefore Cindy included her own revision notes onto the page so it could be useful for other students/readers that also may view the page.

3)* Cindy Wellings & Marsha Barsby created posters and flyers for the campaign to spread further awareness of the campaign. These were then printed off and put into the fruit bags we handed out throughout the events. Cindy and Marsha then wrote up about how this was done on the Production Planning Page under new headingds; Poster Designs and Flyer. [3] [4]

4)* On 02/02/14 Cindy co-wrote with Farah Gangat to the TECH3022 Production Planning page creating an Social Media heading describing what activities the Social Media team involves, demonstrating the intentions of creating and sharing content on each social platform. Here links are included to each social page so it can be easily found by users within the campaign and easily navigated to each social network. [5]. Cindy Wellings also wrote the information underneath the 'Teams' tab on the Tech 3022 Production Planning page. Here she wrote each of the teams and their contributions. See here for more information:[6]

5) *Being an consistent Twitter user to promote the campaign, Cindy Wellings tweeted to Leicester Market requesting to arrange a collaboration between the market & the university to promote both the campaign itself's intentions (for student's to eat healthily) but to also promote Leicester Market. Here Cindy included her experience onto the 'contacting people' tab. [7]

6) On 09/02/15, Cindy contributed to the TECH3022 Production Planning page under the 'Target Audience' heading. [8]

7) Responding to Marsha Barbsy's request about name suggestions for our campaign, Cindy came up with the name 'Health4Students' which was then agreed to be used as the name of the Campaign. [9]

Blogs

Over the period of the module, Cindy Wellings has been reflective and keeping a record of her what she has learnt. To do this she has consistently been creating blogs, all of which involve content felt appropriate to what is being learnt and taught during this module:

1)Netnography [10] A reflective blog in attempt to revise the concept of Netnography.

2)The WIKI [11] A reflective blog discussing how the wiki works and how useful it has been found

3)Event Day [12] A blog analyzing the occurances during the day of the event

4)Posters[13] A blog speaking about the posters Cindy and Marsha created for the events on Monday and Thursday.

5)Health4Students [14] A blog keeping updates of the progression with the social media campaign; health4students.

6)'#JeSuisCharlie' [15] A blog discussing the power of a hashtag and how through collaboration it can spread awareness. A case study from my Social Media Project Plan research.

7)An Interview with my Nan [16] An interview recorded discussing the change of diet during the Second World War, as opposed to now

8)'#FoodPorn' [17] A case study from my Social Media Project Plan

9)Third Time's the Charm [18] A reflective blog from my lab session, where changes had been made in my Social Media Project Plan.

10)Pecha Kucha [19] A blog about what it is I will be doing for my Pecha Kucha presentation.

Further blogs:

  • My Social Media Project Plan EXTENDED! [20]

A blog about how my idea has developed from the previous blog.

  • My Social Media Project Plan [21]

My Initial Social Media Project Plan looking at Instagram and its use of Hashtagging.

  • Deep Fried Mars Bars [22]

A blog about a recent article I had read that I wished to reflect on.

A blog I decided to write, reflecting on a recent article I had read.

A reflective blog about a documentary we were shown during our scheduled lab.

  • Processed Media [25]

A blog about how our first lecture had a effect on the way I now think about food and its' industry.

Cindy's Advanced Social Media Production Video

  • The final submission for the Tech 3022 Social Media Production, a five minute vlog demonstrating what has been learnt throughout the module.

[26]