Monday, May 3, 2010

ATEC Presents Founder Feedback

The following email was sent to the ATEC Presents "Contact Us" section

Good Afternoon,
I am in working on a group project for my social media class and would love to get your feedback.

Basically we are trying to create a NING based hub to give ATEC students access to resources such as ATEC Presents.

I would love to get your opinion on what has worked thus far and what you would have done differently.

Thank you for your help,
-Christie Wright
MFA Candidate

Below is the response from Michael Tsai

(below is the response in a legible format)
Hello Christie,

Well we've evolved quite a lot over the past year and a half. When we started this project it was for a school project. Our goal was to make a website full of useful
content and resources, where users can login, post whatever they want, have discussions, collaborate on projects and eventually meet in person. We knew that
students like ourselves were more comfortable meeting online because of work and comfort zone.

That didn't work out because we were dealing with software that was foreign and the lack of time and support to put in on such a big website didn't make much
sense for just two people. So we went back to the drawing board.

We knew we were facing and challenging facebook and other sites that people were already familiar with so we wanted to make something just for UTD students, (this
is the same idea for Tier 1, I just forgot to include this bit above) We've learned students don't really like to get outside their comfort zone and try out new things. Sad
to say and hear this but it is true. When someone learns they need to register and wait for a confirmation they make a U-turn. I on the other hand love trying out new
things and sites that are experimental.

Ah yes, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Yung Tsai, but most people call me Michael. I am one of the curators for ATEC PRESENTS alongside with Philip Atha.

Now back to what we've learned - We also learned that some students just don't care to interact with ppl so we decided to simplify things and do more work. What you
see now is just a gallery. We post submissions on the site, cut, crop, and post on facebook and Twitter. People are lazy and they don't want to do most of the work.
This is why Tier 1 didn't work, there was too much work, like registering, making a new profile, make a bio, e.t.c //

This Tier 2 (we've really gone through more than two tiers, the others are not important to discuss because they are not related entirely to your question, mostly it has
to do with software) from what we've learned from the feedback from students is a great way visually to explain what ATEC is all about. Personally it's a great wake-up
call for students who don't put their entire time on working on their 3D models.

Lastly, as an artist , and I think it's safe to say that every student in the ATEC department is an artist, we MUST do a lot of work to perfecting our skills AND to promote
ourselves. The problem I think with Tier 1 is that students (and I may sound bitter but I'm not) really don't want to do the work themselves in promoting their work.
Personally I know colleagues and close friends who only do classwork and put that in their portfolio, they later realized that that's not enough to satisfy a company
looking for original and creative works. Students really need to understand that they need to work really really hard on their portfolio or they will be like the many others
I know who still can't find jobs or are going back to school to get a Masters ........when they should just work harder.

They also need to utilize tools like Twitter for
resources, inspirations, news, and feedback. They need to start following people from the industry, other artists in their line of work who can HELP them, I think a lot of
people who use Twitter have a misconception of what it is ONLY used for, it's not about tweeting what you ate in the afternoon (though I may have done it a couple of
times) or following someone who only tweets about their favorite foods, it's a tool, and they need to start using it the right way.
So in short follow people who are helpful to you.

Let's recap:
1. Tier 2 works because we SIMPLIFIED it.
2. People are lazy. (sad face*)
3. If we could do things differently we would still have Tier 1 but there's a problem, that's #2 on this list.

Well I've said too much and probably not enough at the same time. I hope this helps.

Michael Tsai.

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