Sat 27 Sep
Gates to the Glorious and the Unknown | August–November 2015
The project aimed to engage new audiences with academic research through the attractive and accessible presentation of archival content. The KE award provided match funding for a successful application to Arts Council England, which enabled the team to commission Katherine May to design and build the website as well as providing a neo-Victorian narrative to link the research. Activities included: the creation of the website at http://glorious-and-unknown.co.uk/ as well as reminiscence training, participation in the Being Human Festival, related activities at the Folkestone Book Festival sponsored by South Eastern Rail, and presentation of the website as part of the Margate literary festival inaugurated in November 2015. The website was covered in the national press in connection with digital contributions to the Being Human Festival and can be described as a digital ‘choose your own adventure’ website based on the time travelling figure of ‘Lucy’, who journeys from 1862 London Victoria to 1922 Margate. The website showcases work undertaken by colleagues in our English, History and Education courses and provides a portal for local and seaside studies that can be accessed by universities, schools and members of the general public.
Project Legacy and Outputs:
An article about the project website is currently being revised for Cogent Humanities .
Fri 11 Jul
Researching online news and communication in local communities | September 2015–February 2016
Local communication has changed significantly in recent years due to developments in digital technologies. This project aims to develop our understanding of how local news and information flow online and how local communities use online platforms. To achieve this aim, as well as to address methodological challenges in relevant industry and academic research, two new innovative research tools will be piloted to develop methodologies that are more apt to study online environments than traditional methods. A greater understanding of online local communication will benefit a variety of stakeholders who have an interest in reaching and interacting with local communities.
The project aims:
- to develop our understanding of how local communities use digital platforms for local news and information which will benefit a variety of relevant stakeholders
- to pilot a new audience research tool to study how audiences consume and interact with online local news and information
- to explore the value of GIS as a methodological tool to study online local news and communication flow
- using the findings of this pilot study develop an external research bid for a larger project
This is a pilot project that will focus on Herne Bay as a case study, which provides a well defined and active local community. To meet its aims the project will have the following activities:
- interview three local stakeholders (a local media company, local council and a third sector agency), who are project partners, to explore their strategies to reach out and communicate online with audiences in the case study community
- carry out a small scale content analysis of news and information on online platforms for the case study local community, including relevant local news and information websites, Facebook forums and Twitter feeds; the content analysis will incorporate a GIS tool (ARcGIS online) which will allow visualisation of local news and information flow in a map form
- carry out a small scale audience research with participants from the local community (35 participants) using a new research tool that involves a digital diary as well as a content analysis of participants' public social media feeds
- organise an event at the end of the project with project partners as well as other stakeholders to disseminate findings of the project and plan future knowledge exchange activities
- develop an external research bid that investigates the same research aims but on a broader scale
- develop relevant project outputs such as short report of findings for stakeholders, conference paper and potentially a Ref-able journal article.