Beta (Feedback) Groups

In this class, in addition to creating individual remixes, you’ll be involved in the cooperative/collective process of giving feedback with a small group of fellow classmates—what is known in some remix communities as “beta-ing.” This term and practice emerges from fan culture, its parallel in academia would be peer feedback. Basically, your role as beta is to provide honest and thoughtful constructive feedback on remix drafts with the others in your group on your designated group slack channel. Of course, you can also connect with other fellow middremixers who you discover share your particular interests over the course of the semester.

A few pointers for giving and receiving beta feedback:

As the Remixer: 

  • Let your betas know what type of feedback you would like & if you have any specific questions you’d like to hear their thoughts on.
  • Always remember that in the end, this is your remix, and you don’t need to change something in the way that your feedbacker suggests, even if they’re making a good and thoughtful suggestion. But maybe their feedback can give you a hint of something else in the video that could be changed to help better signpost what you’re going for.

As the Feedbacker: 

  • Do take into account what the remixer is going for–don’t give the feedback that’s basically like “this is what I would do.” Also keep in mind that people have different tastes and cultural frames that could influence what they’re creating with their remix, and that’s part of what remix is about!
  • When giving feedback, it’s always good to use the feedback sandwich approach: first say something you appreciated, then something you think could see being worked on/reconsidered, then something else you appreciated or your larger appreciation of the video.

Just keep these things in the back of your mind, and I think (hope!) you’ll find the beta group experience fruitful and rewarding!

I will ask you to reflect on your beta experiences (both as beta and as vidder) throughout the course.