“Strength in Numbers” is the idea behind Masters of Digital Media student Jodi Gregg's winning proposal for the 2011 OUTtv award. Using an online social network and visualizations of live data and statistics, Gregg's project aims to provide a powerful tool for interaction, engagement, and social change to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) community.
The $5,000 award was created by the Canadian television and web portal and MDM industry partner OUTtv in 2010. The award recognizes the academic achievement of a returning full-time MDM student whose work in digital media explores the cultural, ethnic or gender-identity diversity of the LGBT community. OUTtv's TV programming and web content targets the affluent and engaged gay and lesbian community.
Entitled "And Counting," Gregg's proposed website and social media campaign will invite community members nationwide to submit upcoming LGBT-related events and meet-ups. These posts will then be collected in a feed shown on the site intended to promote awareness, participation and community action on timely "hot topics." Using the video game model, the portal will reward involvement in events as indicated by member "scores." The site will also provide a list of supportive organizations and helpful resources, and feature data visualizations that chart the progress of the LGBT rights movement.
“We continue to be so impressed with the candidates from the Centre for Digital Media. This year was very difficult as we had five excellent candidates to choose from," said Brad Danks, COO of OUTtv. "Jodi Gregg’s presentation edged out several others because we felt it best fit the guidelines for relevance for our audience, creativity and having a realistic chance of being produced. I was also very impressed with Jodi as a student and a person."