By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
Bangkok University launches an international programme to teach social media tools
Digital media has been around for years though never at the level and of the variety we see today. An increasing number of people from all walks of life are jumping on the social media bandwagon to sell their products, offer their opinions or claim their five minutes of fame, and competition is fierce, with usually only the most savvy filtering their way to the top.
Much, of course, depends on the mood of the moment and these new social networks enjoy a huge spike in popularity every now and again, taking the Internet by storm with droves of icons, influencers, brands and publishers hoping to get in on the next big thing. And by creating posts that catch the eye and engage the viewers, they can make an impact with their brand and connect with their consumer base.
Bangkok University is also paying attention to social media and has just launched a new international curriculum called “Innovative Media Production”. Working in collaboration with Malaysia’s WebTVAsia, one of YouTube’s largest partners in Asia with a multichannel network that regularly surpasses two billion monthly views from 70 million subscribers, and South Korea’s HuMap Contents, a global artist agency representing many content creators, artists and influencers, the course focuses on content creation.
“In essence, the curriculum teaches students to be content creators using what’s available to them – a smartphone camera, for example, or earphones with a microphone. Our aim is to help them become world-standard content creators, which is why the curriculum is in English. It is also why we’ve joined with WebTVAsia, a digital media entertainment company founded in 2014 by Prodigee Media as a YouTube Certified Multi-Channel Network, and South Korea’s HuMap Contents, a free offline map application that won the Invitel InnoApps Award in 2013,” says Tashapon “Ball” Prapanont, programme director of Innovative Media Production International Programme and bilingual programme coordinator for the Communication Arts faculty’s broadcasting department.
“Content creators earn a decent income and that’s what the new generation wants. They don’t want to be office workers. And when you can create content and can sell it on the world stage, income flows in automatically. With us, you will learn about techniques and strategy, as well as big data and how to use them to check what the information is suitable for and for whom. Big data also evaluate the advertising we are interested in and the subjects we search for. In this digital world, making marketing and creating online content has to be supported by social media. Content must be short and catchy. This curriculum will help you have ideas how to produce it and how to make it go viral,” he adds.
The new international curriculum is designed to develop students to successfully meet the challenges of the new media landscape and global-scale innovations of today. Studying with world-class practitioners through action and practice-based learning, the students will become experts in content creation and applicators of computer-generated imagery (CGI), contributing art, printed media videos, films, television programmes, and simulators. They will also become competent in using their knowledge professionally and for commercialisation. Students will collectively gain a creative and entrepreneurial mindset, and produce content with advanced technologies.
In short, this is an ideal programme for those who are interested in becoming digital media startup entrepreneurs as well as the influencers in industry-leading global companies.
“This curriculum doesn’t directly help you to achieve success as much depends on what type of success you are chasing – income, fame or happiness. But it does help you to understand the business world these days. And if the content is good enough, income will follow. In this era of the Internet, it makes the world smaller. For example, the content we produce here today could well be popular in China, Vietnam or South Korea the next day. But, if your content is in English, it will go further and probably become popular in the West too,” Tashapon explains.
The curriculum is designed for anyone seeking a career as an influencer, a startup, entrepreneur, digital media entrepreneur, creative director, art director, production designer, motion graphic designer, motion editor, animator, YouTube creator, Vlogger, TV host, DJ, announcer, news reporter, presenter, digital broadcast entrepreneur, script writer, programme producer, cinematographic designer – the list is endless.
Among those who have already made a name for themselves are South Korean rapper Kisum, Thai rapper and actor Guntee “CD The Star” Pitithan, the Buffet Channel gang and Pemika “Pupe” Thiravanitkul, a fashion blogger who uses the name Stellar Balcony. All turned out for the launch of the curriculum to encourage young people to sign up.
“My channel is like an introduction to me. I upload my singles to it, talk about my personal life, my lifestyle and the way I make music with my friends. YouTube is a very good channel and has certainly made me better known everywhere,” says Guntee.
“My hip-hop character isn’t as strong as hip-hoppers in general. But I’m getting there by posting my rap numbers,” adds Kisum.
The Buffet Channel is doing well too. “Our production team is made up of five people who have been friends since university. Our strength is highlighting our friendship on our show. We all graduated in film and our parodies are well known. We used to make films to enter contests but as we all have a strong sense of humour, we figured parody was the way to go. We’ve been working with WebTVAsia for almost four years and are now very popular in Beijing,” says Japan, a member of Buffet Channel.
Learn a little more
– This curriculum, which will be taught through Bangkok University’s Communication Arts faculty, will be available from August.
– Find out more at www.BU.ac.th/bui/curriculum/bachelorsdegree/innovativemediaproduction/.
Republished with permission from The Nation