Blog post 1 – Week 3 – 13/02/21

Y2K Reloaded is a pop up station dedicated to everything Y2K (defined as 1995 – 2005). We will be running for 4 weeks with a show a week. Each show follows a notable theme of the week,  in order, the themes are: Fashion, Entertainment, Music and Culture. My role is Editor and music co-presenter. I will be co-hosting the Music week show on week 3 of broadcasting as well as the 5v5s in the second hour of every show. This is the third week of the making of Y2K Reloaded which is all about the pilot/programme prep as well as broadcasting logistics.

As Editor, I have met with everyone in the team to go over the: website, clocks, music, each show, 5v5s, content, contributors, digital content, social media, competition and branding. As I am also one of the music presenters, Marlyse and I have been paying extra attention to the music show. We found a contributor called Ashley who is a Britney Spears impersonator who we were planning on interviewing on the 11th as our music show contributor but she cancelled last minute as her rehearsals went over. We hope to reschedule but in the event we can not interview her we have been contacting other impersonators and cover acts such as the official Spice Girls cover band and another Britney Spears impersonator who also does Christina Aguilera.

I also found our fashion show contributor who is called Aicha who is a friend of a friend. She is a TikToker and social media influencer with a combined following of almost 300k. She posts mainly fashion content such as styling videos, outfits of the days and fashion reviews. I interviewed her earlier this evening as a prerecord. The questions I asked her were pre-drafted by Andrea, Lauren and I during our meeting on Wednesday. The questions asked included “Who are your Y2K Icons?” “Where do you get your clothes?” and “What are your Y2K must haves for our listeners?”. I feel the interview went really well and we had a good relationship on air and we kept the interview predominantly very light and bubbly. I think this was achieved as we had a conversation beforehand talking about social media, fashion and our commonalities such as our friend in common and living in Glasgow as I lived in Glasgow for 2 years. After the interview was over we stayed on the call and spoke for an hour which was really lovely as not only have I recorded an interview I am confident in but I’ve also networked and built a personal relationship.

In terms of online branding, I have met with the web and branding team. Andrea has built a beautiful website which I feel is on brand for our theme. Over the past few weeks Paola has been creating and adding quizzes to the website and Hannah has been making templates for our online presence as well as the branding such as the logo for our website. In our last meeting on Thursday, we spoke about the audio branding and have decided we would like a male voice to do the competition read and possibly the idents as well. This is because the music is female heavy and all the presenters on air as well as the contributors are female. As Editor, I am trying to see ways to find more of a balance or differentiation in voices and sounds on air. This means while I have been scheduling music with Marlyse, we have been paying attention to the ratio of male to female artists. Although the voices are very female heavy, I think it’s important to have a mixture of accents/textures for the contributing females so there is some differentiation. Aicha is from Glasgow and has a young voice. Janine (our podcast contributor) is American (New York) and Ashley is from Orlando but sounds like Britney Spears and the contributor Andrea found for Entertainment week is Spanish. These accents should make the on air branding more interesting.

For the coming week, I think it is most important to focus on the scripts, getting the contributors recorded, making the on air branding and doing all the relevant prep for the pilot next week! During Mondays lesson we also need to go over the broadcasting logistics, especially for the 5v5 which I am especially excited for as it will be interesting to see how we broadcast live remotely and on Radio.Co.

Blog post 2 – Week 4 – 22/02/21

This week was pilot week! Throughout the week we have been all systems go for the pilot, making sure the branding is ready, music is ready and our features are clear as well as the overall structure of the station/shows. We have had many meetings to fine tune content and go over details for the show and the plan for the team is to stay one week ahead of the scheduling to ensure we are prepared and ready to edit any content with enough time! We also had a few technical trials with Simon for the logistics of the 5v5 and I am happy with the way it’s turned out. I also edited my interview with Aicha and chose a grime bed to match what she was saying in her interview which I thought added a nice element to the interview. Marlyse and I also managed to record our show with Ashley which I think went really well but needs a lot more editing than Aicha’s one as there was a lot of distractions on Ashley’s end as she has children. However, I loved the content and passion Ashley had when talking about Britney and her tips were great!

Paola and Hannah also recorded with Janine which I loved, I thought Janine was so fun and I loved the pace switch ups in the podcast. I also paid for the branding via a user on Fiverr called Travis and I like the male branding as I feel it Brings a bit more balance to a very female heavy show. I love Hannah’s edits and styling of the branding as I think they work really well – particularly the 5v5 ones! We also filmed our individual clips for our competition which is being platformed on TikTok. I had fun getting in to character and getting physically stuck in to the Y2K theme/aesthetic. I used my knowledge from doing research for fashion week to come up with my look and I’m happy with how it turned out. I am really proud of everyone and feel the competition clip really shows off each individual team member and the different looks, angles and props really elevated the different styles each member has. I particularly loved that Hannah was at a long shot angle standing on her bed and I also loved that Andrea used a cool filter. Super happy with everyone and thought Paola did an amazing g job splicing it together and aligning the visual lip-syncing to the audio overlay.

Lauren and I were in a shared screen zoom call whilst editing the show in Audition (on Lauren’s end) which was nice to see the magazine show coming together for the first time. I loved the pilot of the show and thought it went really well but I agree with Matthew that the clocks need redoing for a smoother listening experience. There were a few technical difficulties to begin which I will admit through me off (just for a sec though!) but I was relieved it happened in the pilot and that is now a lesson learned for future scheduling. Overall I really loved the first hour and podcast but also agree the e girl v it girl needs some more fine tuning. Moving on to the 5v5… I had so much fun! I loved doing it and feel like Lauren’s Tech Op skills are on fire which really helped the flow of things and made my job as presenter a whole lot easier. I love co presenting with Marlyse and doing this pop up station has already made me feel a lot more confident in my presenting skills as I haven’t presented live in 3 years as the presenting opportunities I’ve had over the last 6 months have been prerecorded. Working with Marlyse is really amazing especially as we both know the original format of 5v5 really well (On No Signal Radio which is 10v10 instead of 5v5). This is because her and I listened to the No Signal 10v10 output together a lot over Lockdown 1 and Grime v Garage back in June was probably the first time we experienced being on opposing teams so the rapport has been brewing for a while now! We need to reschedule the 5v5 to have more variety of artists and full length songs throughout to make up an hour versus 40 minutes which I’m excited for as it also gives us a little time off air to take a breather and reflect on each section to come back improving and keeping the energy going!As a team we have also started casting our to do list to include Entertainment week so we can stay ahead of the game as mentioned earlier! Overall I am really happy and super excited to meet with the team more throughout the week to really fine tune fashion week and have an amazing first show!

Something else which is really fun that I’ve been working on for pop up (and life) is that I have been reflecting more on my role as Editor and my team management skills/how I work in a group in general. I have been utilising the university/external university approved skills programmes and mini courses on offer on the engagement hubs and personal development portal. This is so that I can further understand my personality and working style which I’m finding really helpful for being more self aware and perceptive. I have found out I am an ENFJ which is cool to know as the development portal also gives you personalised run downs of strengths, weaknesses and creates a visual map of your core skills and ones which could use some work – there’s even a full breakdown on teamwork. I almost regret not doing it sooner as it would have been great points for the professional practice synoptic assessment but I’ve done it now – better late than never! I’m excited to further reflect and utilise the development skills on offer while I’m still a student at Westminster and bring these new skills/outlooks to my role in pop up! (:

Blog Post 3 – Week 6 – 09/03/21

We are 2 shows in to pop up and I am feeling happy with our output so far and I am looking forward to the remaining shows. Fashion week was a strong start but I do agree that the shows/s structure and overall execution needs more finessing and out themes of Y2K Reloaded needs to be engrained and at the heart of everything we do and we need to communicate that in an effective way. From taking the feedback on board to answer questions about Y2K such as “what was it like to be alive then?”, “what were the key symbols?” and “why should listeners care about Y2K?”, I formed a Padlet and sent it to the group for everyone to contribute their ideas/answers for all of these questions. We then reviewed this Padlet in one of our weekly meetings and discussed how to implement the vision and ideas which were on the Padlet. For the 5v5 myself and Marlyse implemented these ideas of band and music culture by referencing popular Y2K music tropes and accessories (such as an iPod) in our links. I feel talking more about the culture surrounding our 5v5 artists/theme made for more interesting listening and added a more immersive and informative frame to the 5v5 rather than an hour of competitive ‘trash talking’. I think this change made the listening of 5v5 more enjoyable and more inclusive for the listener. I also loved the way we implemented the 5v5 full songs as it was important to take a notable pause from the competition of the 5v5 and allow room for other artists and to play some full songs. There was a lot of choice but I am happy with the 5/6 we chose.

For music week, it is the music week presenters takeover (myself and Marlyse) on Y2K Chatz and I am excited for the content we have and to co-present a magazine show. We already have one contributor which has been recorded and we are interviewing our second one tonight for our Grime and Garage package which is a male voice which I think will be a nice contrast to the rest of the show/s. We have also reinvented Y2K2Day to “oops I did it again” which is about music sampling which is a great coincidence as Janine, our Y2K Time machine guest contributor, briefly mentions sampling on this coming episode so there’s a direct crossover to link the two shows. We are also adding a more audience interactive element to Top Five by running a social media poll for listeners to decide their favourite music video for the 5th music video.

Overall I am feeling confident and I am looking forward to keeping up momentum, working with the team and continuously improving Y2K Reloaded week by week as well as bringing new and engaging content on air and digitally! (:

Blog Post 4 – 23/03/21

Y2K Reloaded/Pop Up is finished!

It has been a great experience working on our pop up station as Editor and co-music presenter but there has also, like with any project, been challenging at times. The final week was culture week which meant doing my usual tasks such as going over the website, listening to the podcast, building Chatz with the rest of the team and scripting/presenting 5v5 with Marlyse! As well as my usual organising/scheduling tasks I have done every week such as arranging meetings, recording (and uploading) the recorded meetings, having 1 on 1 chats with team members when they needed and offering my assistance where needed (or when requested) plus just checking up on things and keeping everything moving and on brand and to the brief – making sure to always keep the feedback and core brand of Y2K at the front of my mind.

For the podcast this week, we worked hard to make the relevant improvements as suggested by the feedback and what the group had decided we needed to work on during our meetings. We managed to source Niamh for an extra contributor to talk about societal issues such as climate change and women’s issues which I enjoyed going over with Paola after her and Hannah interviewed her and then listening to. For the podcast, I also made a few final edits to assist the production of The Y2K Time Machine and relieve some editorial pressure from Paola. I edited the final few minutes of the podcast which incorporates the sounds of the Y2K tech clips as the original did not include them and I thought it would be a nice touch!  Paola was also having some issues with the Myspace recording which was filmed and edited for our social channels so I helped with the final touches of that video by using Premiere Pro and cropping down the clips and adding a cover photo. I then tried to upload it to Instagram but it failed due to the size of the file but we were able to upload it to the website and direct our audience to the website with a post on our instagram. Overall, I think the podcast made a huge improvement by having an extra contributor but I also think we could have had a tighter edit on the podcast, by taking out “ummm”‘s, unnecesary pauses and places where presenters may be unsure or not as confident in their links – this also goes for Chatz! But I am happy we found another contributor so fast and see a real improvement of content and depth from last week. The podcast also briefly reset playing at the end of the show (for about 2 seconds), which is what Radio.Co does when a file is too short for the allotted schedule however I am slightly confused as to why this happened as the Podcast file was 30:10secs when uploaded to Radio.Co and 30:02secs once in the schedule/playlist. This was also not an issue we have had for the past 2 weeks but those files were about 30:20 rather than 30:10. If I was to do this again, I would have made sure the extro bed was a lot longer than 10 seconds for a further safety net to ensure the playout did not repeat again.

Moving on to Chatz, I think there was a real breadth of content and interesting topics explored for culture week which we all managed to plan and contribute towards. Marlyse, Lauren and I wrote the bulk of Laurens script for presenting Chatz as well as went over the songs for the music output. Every member of the team also contributed to Chatz through individual packages such as Top 5 and through sourcing content and contributors. In hindsight, there was a few songs I would have changed or placed differently to create a more varied and appropriate breadth of music for the final week as well as some tighter transitions and edits across the board for links and individual packages and the music.

For Oops I Did it again, our quiz element, as Marlyse hosts it, she chose the sample songs and wrote the script for her parts and I did my parts naturally as I was answering the quiz! I also sourced and interviewed our expert on music sampling who is a lecturer in popular music at Goldsmiths University. Marlyse edited the final version of Oops I Did it Again and I went over it and gave her some notes on edits she could make to improve the feature but her audition crashed and a lot of these edits did not make it to the final version. However I do not think the difference would have been too dramatic, mainly adding in my questions for our expert and shortening his answers as well as cutting a few lines of conversation from ourselves. Overall I really liked this quiz Marlyse and I came up with, originally for Music week and I am glad it replaced Y2K2Day as I feel it is more interactive and fun. We also adapted Oops I did it again to include an audience element as Paola ran a social media quiz where the audience could guess the samples as well and we compared how I did and how the audience did on air. I liked this element but I think we could have maybe made it more present in the show. I also think it would have been nice if Oops I did it again had its own branding as it becoming a recurring feature and the title is a play on a popular Y2K Song.

For Top 5, we chose to do “millennial must haves” as we were finding it hard to focus on a top 5 for culture week which was interesting, appropriate and could work to include the audience for our number 1 pick. As there was some issues with internet connections (as expected working remotely from home), this meant there was a few changes in the content of top 5 and the web read as I had to do number 3 which was originally supposed to be voiced by Hannah and Paola had to voice/reedit the entire web read. This transition/last minute change wasn’t difficult for me as I had already helped Hannah (with Andrea and Paola) to write the script for the Top 5 element. This meant I quickly recorded and sent it to Lauren to edit down.

For the two interviews – Yael and Fran – I feel they were both informative and interesting listens. I sourced Fran who is the London Millennial Baby and scheduled the interview with Marlyse which she led and I silently produced on Zoom by writing extra questions on our live google doc whilst the interview was going on as Fran said some interesting things which we wanted her to expand on. Marlyse then edited this package down to 8 minutes which was too long so I decided to go over it and give notes for Marlyse to cut down on and assisted her with that editing process to cherry pick the most worthwhile content to fit our allotted time scale for this interview package. Marlyse also wrote the Cue for Lauren which Lauren cut down on to fit with the time on air. Yael was sourced by Andrea which was another great contributor find from her as she also found Devorah for Entertainment week. Her and Lauren organised the interview and Lauren interviewed her. I thought she was a great speaker and said some really interesting things and the final interview was edited by Lauren. Chatz was also edited by Lauren with assistance/overseeing from the rest of the team as always via zoom!

For the 5v5, Marlyse and I did our usual routine of picking songs which are appropriate for the theme and our artists which we’ve chosen and incorporating them in to the show with fun facts and links which explain their relevancy in the show. I had great fun, as always, working with my co presenter/producer on this and I know we were both so excited to do this week. I also tried hard to incorporate the feedback of sounding more natural and lifting our script off the page. I tried to do this by going over and over the script and as well by pushing myself to go more off script with fun facts and anecdotes about our artists and even a link about myself which unintentionally turned in to a cross platform promotion for the Grime interview from Music week on the website! I was really proud of this link and I was happy Sam liked it too! Another link which Sam picked up on from myself was the anno in t0 “where is the love?” by the Black Eyed Peas as it included speaking about 9/11, straight after a super happy bubbly link (which is how I like to keep my presenting style for the 5v5 as I like the energy it brings to the show and the atmosphere it creates for myself and Marlyse as well as Lauren for the socials). This link was something I knew I had to script and practice and to treat with care due to the sensitivity of the topic but I also had to say in a way which didn’t seem false and superficial. I am really proud of this link and will probably include it in my presenting showreel and I am glad it was so well received by the audience/Sam due to the “gear change” in my tone and style for this link which definitly needed a lot of care. We also had the competition winner announced and interviewed on air which I thought was super fun and I’m glad I suggested using an actual drum roll for the announcement as it added another fun touch to the announcement. Although Y2K Reloaded is technically finished – we have to make sure to send her prize out to the winner and to sort the final budget.

I think 5v5 overall has improved leaps and bounds from the pilot and I’m sad to see it coming to an end as I can think of so many more seasons/episodes of 5v5 for different Y2K artists and themes. I am proud of what we have done and think we have ended on an up! I would have liked us however to have more acknowledgment and time spent on the final link which not only was the winning link – but also the final link/sound of Y2K Reloaded overall. However, I think given that we were running ahead of time and the final links had to be short and snappy, Marlyse handled the final link really well with a final push to the website for all the content from Y2K Reloaded.

For the website and socials, I think Paola and Andrea have done an amazing job managing them and the content on them has been consistent, on brand and engaging. I have gone over some things with Andrea to tidy up the website in terms of wording/phrasing across the site as well as colours and the playlists/podcasted content. I think the articles and quizzes have been great with the content and graphics which was predominantly made by Andrea. I have loved the output across our social and digital channels and feel the team have done a great job. I would change a few things navigation wise such as pages and links on the website as we now have more content on the website compared to when it was originally created/formatted such as past shows having a more accessible place on the website than just in presenter pages. I also think it would have been nice if we were able to incorporate a search bar in to the website as we referenced specific content on air a lot of the time – this would have made it easier to find and created a more pleasant user experience I think. However I did test out the usability of the website a few times throughout Y2K Reloaded on my friends and younger sister, including articles and quizzes. Overall, I really liked the online channels and still feel we could have had more social interaction/followers but I am happy with what we have produced!

I have loved working on Y2K Reloaded as Editor/co-music presenter and I think it will be a while before I stop dreaming about Y2K Reloaded as well as stop having brain waves for songs we could put in to the shows and catching Y2K content online for the station! I think all our contributors have been great and the team has worked really hard – and thank you to Simon and Matthew for the guidance, feedback and technical operations!

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