Blog Post

Docs and Data

This post is simply to share some resources connected to my HASTAC work, which concerns the rise in importance of digital engagement metrics in documentary filmmaking.

Documentaries, and social issue documentaries in particular currently enjoy a high public profile. This is in part due to new digital tools being applied in the pursuit of audiuence outreach or engagement. What may be considered marketing or distirbution objectives in the traditional film industry have quantifiable impacts on the public good in the evaluations of certain insitutional actors. Raising awareness about a specific issue, sharing toolkits to help address a health issue, or obtianing crowd charity donations - each of these actions can co-constitute a film marketing campaign through the adoption and often adaption of digital tools e.g. use of social network analysis or building a shareable in-video player fundraising widget.

The Britdoc awards illustrate how certain metrics can be evaluated as demonstrating the positive impact of documentaries, and the newly updated Tribeca Film Insititute Sandbox is exploring toolsets to facilitate such work. This area is one rich in potential for creating useful relationships between universities, non-profits and the public at large and I am seeking to improve my own SNA skillset to contribute in this area. I am keen to explore how the use of SMRF's excellent NodeXL resource can be extended from political campaign analysis to the documentary field. As part of my HASTAC work I am looking to link the excellent work already occuring in this field in the United States e.g. the ConText Team with networks in Europe.

I would love to hear from anyone interested in these or connected areas. 

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