As you all know, for the past 10 weeks I have been working on my Sim photoblog, ‘Sims of EA’ -inspired by ‘Humans of New York.’ Over this semester I’ve had a lot of difficulties with this project, however I have also managed to hit some milestones along the way. For example, I had a follower directly submit a Sim to be featured on the page which was not something that I was expecting to happen at all this semester.
…And I hit 100 followers! Which allowed me to view my demographic insights.
Throughout my struggles of time management skills, story and character development and scouring Reddit and Tumblr for sims to feature I have learned a lot about my audience’s likes and dislikes about the ‘Sims of Ea.’ Here are some of my most valuable learning moments that have helped me develop this project…
#Hashtags are a god sent
An obvious one, but very important! Hashtags give Instagram posts so much traction. They allow your posts to be viewed by so many different accounts which helps connect your content to people who will like it, which therefore allows you to reach a larger audience and gain a following. Through some trial and error I have established my core hashtags which relate to every post, such as #sims #sims4 #thesims #thesims4 #simstagram, along with this I also use a variety of other hashtags which are relevant to the individual posts. [Input: Hashtags. Output: More followers and engagement.]
People don’t necessarily like long text
As I’m using Instagram (a photo heavy platform) for my DA I’ve realised that people don’t necessarily want to read long amounts of text. I’ve discovered that I need to have really captivating images to draw people into my post, and that I need multiple images that tell a story visually to allow for less text. [Input: Engaging photos, less text. Output: More likes, more views.]
…But at the same time they like a story
However, having no story at all wasn’t well received. Finding a happy medium between a short, sweet, yet in depth look of a character/storyline that’s enough to capture the moment and bring some inspiration without being too long and rambly. [Input: Medium length text. Output: More engagement, more likes.]
People like empowerment
Diversity and representation is important, I think that using ‘Sims of EA’ as a medium to represent and empower minorities will be better received than ‘just another joke page,’ or ‘just another cliché Sims storyline filled with cheating, backstabbing, teen pregnancy and killing off spouses for money.’ (Trust me, I tried this with Simulation Mindy and she wasn’t well received by non bcm folk!) If I peel back some of the layers of this DA and shift towards a heavier ‘Humans of New York’ influence by giving ordinary people a voice (but through fictional characters and storylines) my DA will flourish. Rather than creating inspiration for Sims 4 gameplay. [Input: Representation of minorities. Output: More engagement, more likes, more comments, more reach.]
My digital artefact is still in the very early stages of it’s development and there is a lot more that I want to do with the page before it even gets close to reaching it’s full potentials. This includes, creating a regular upload schedule, finding the perfect mix of images and text length OR find a platform that better suits my DA, and most importantly, I want to create a strong sense of community through my digital artefact. I want it to be a space where people feel as if they are represented, and feel that they can send in sims, suggestions and storylines that resonate with them.