This is the project critique for Matthew Bernards Live and Probably Standing website
Alive and Probably standing is a blog dedicated to reviewing comedy shows and getting an open discussion on the shows that are reviewed. It was created by Digital media student Matthew Bernard. The content on the blog is basically written reviews that give Matthew’s opinion on the comedy show he is talking about and if he liked it or not. I think this is a really good Idea for him considering he worked on A Sweet Name for DIGC202 and that seemed to be his thing. His aims for the website were: “To have a free and open space to discuss comedy informally yet critically”, “to have a balance of both Male and females comedians” and ‘To feature small and upcoming comedians/watch live shows” . Now Matt felt that he hasn’t achieved his goals with the website and while it might be true I would say that He has indeed created a place where people can informally and critically talk about the comedians he has mentioned and with time he would get the balance of male and female comedians.
The website was a bold idea and it needs time to create a big following, the decision not to have a social media platform I feel was a mistake. Using sites like Facebook and Twitter could only enhance the people who will find his blog, Relying on WordPress and its tagging system isn’t going to get the blog out there into the market and that is something Matthew should consider when deciding to continue with this or not. Using social media is probably the best way to gain a following no matter what the venture is online, and I feel that if Matthew had even setup a facebook page that just linked the blog to the people who liked it and got his friends to share it, then it would have helped gather more interactions on the blog. Finally, not everyone has a wordpress account and those are required to make comments on most wordpress blogs. The use of something like facebook could have gathered more of a discussion because who doesn’t have a facebook these days? Just an idea, not saying the website needs a social media outlet but it couldn’t hurt.
The reviews themselves are really good, Matthew has obviously put the time and effort in to make sure he talks about every aspect of the shows and what he liked and didn’t like about them. I think if people seen the work he had done that the discussions are there to be had. The reviews Matthew made of the shows he watched have all been great quality work. The writing is really well done and is really well structured. I feel that more content could have helped build an audience more as well as using the tags functions on WordPress. I feel that a good amount of posts for a project such as this was 10; getting 10 posts on the website would make it look professional and would start to generate traffic. However, in saying that I understand there is a limit to how much one person can do and when you are at university there is even less time to sit down and watch 10 comedy shows and write reviews on them. Starting early really helped Matthew out and he started producing content at the right time.
For Matthews Seminar, I feel that his idea was solid; to show 6 clips and choose the ones with middle responses to review was a very good way of choosing the content he wanted to produce. Everyone can watch good comedy and no one will watch bad quality, but only serious people will watch the middle ground between those 2 and I feel that would generate good discussion in the comments. Once again though, I feel that through the use of social media Matthew could have achieved this on a weekly basis. You could post a few clips during the week and look for the ones with the most responses and chose that as the next review. I feel little things like that really could have helped Matthew cement a really good blog and help him achieve his aims and outcomes.
In Matthew’s Beta presentation he did discuss the lack of social media and his reasons behind it. I think they are really good reasons to not promote the website in this way. To keep it more personal is a really cool idea and I can respect not making a brand out of it. However, I feel for this sort of work with the aims and outcomes Matthew wished to achieve, the use of social media would have helped him immensely. Social Media does have its advantages like everyone has it, and I can understand why someone would want to keep stuff like this a bit more personal. But if you want to create an open place to discuss comedy then using social media is one way to ease into that sort of world.
Overall this was a really good website and a great project Idea, I think what Matthew has created is the start of something that could explode if given the right circumstances. I would highly suggest that if Matthew is serious about continuing this in the future that he should look into social media and using the tagging systems on both twitter and wordpress to build his audience. In a world like ours we need to be able to kick back and have a laugh at comedy and we need people to tell us which comedy is actually good. I think Matthew has the start to that platform where we can find good comedy to laugh at when things are at their worst.