I teach Media at the Department of Media Arts and Communication, STA. My research interests cover multiple aspects of digital media including social media, audience and participatory culture. My current research explores audience engagement in video blogs (vlogs) on YouTube. I was awarded a PhD in Digital Media and Communication, and an MSc in Design and Digital Media (with Distinction) both at the University of Edinburgh and a BA Hons(1st ) in Fine Art at Nanjing Normal University, China. Before joining Sheffield Hallam University, I was a tutor and project supervisor for MSc Design and Digital Media at the University of Edinburgh. I was also a professional Graphic and Digital Designer with varies skills in Digital Media Design.
I am a Lecturer in Media at the Department of Media Arts and Communication, STA. I currently teach Making Media, Making Media 2, and Media Evolution And The Professional Landscape modules for BA (Hons) Media. I was awarded a PhD in Digital Media and Communication in May 2019 and an MSc in Design and Digital Media (with Distinction) in 2014 both at the University of Edinburgh, and a BA Hons (1st) in Fine Art at Nanjing Normal University in China in 2013. I consider the area of media to be challenging because it requires creative thinking, research and technical skills. However, it is also a rewarding subject because of the creative outcomes it delivers. Therefore, I always feel enjoyable in teaching and research in the area.
Before joining in Sheffield Hallam University, I was a tutor and project supervisor for MSc Design and Digital Media at the University of Edinburgh and taught several modules including 3D and Animated Design, Digital Design and Digital Media Studio Project. I also worked as a professional Graphic and Digital Designer at creative agencies in UK and China, and delivered works in, for example, web/app design, infographic design, branding, advertising and visual identity. I also worked at the Edinburgh Centre For Data, Culture & Society for creating, developing and writing website content. Studying, working and teaching across multiple subjects constructed my broad knowledge base in creative media production, including 3D Animation, Film Production, Graphic Design, Branding and Visual Art.
My research interests cover multiple aspects of digital media including social media, audience and participatory culture.My current research explores how video bloggers (vloggers) achieve Audience Engagement via film techniques and social performances in their videos, considering engagement theories have rarely been applied to vlogging but is an important aspect for understanding online media audience experience and vloggers’ career success. It is an initial step towards applying engagement theories to vlogging and providing research directions for exploring online media audience experience from a perspective of obtaining engagement both within and beyond consumption. Outcomes of my research have been published in and presented at both international journal and conference in Internet and social media studies.
Teaching Interests and Expertise :
Creative Media Production,
Media Theories and Studies ,
Digital Media Design.
Audience Engagement ,
Social Media User Behaviours ,
Online Audio-visual Participatory Culture,
Tele(presence)and Social Presence
2015- May 2019: PhD, Digital Media and Communication, Edinburgh College of Art, the University of Edinburgh
2013-2014: MSc (with Distinction), Design and Digital Media, Edinburgh College of Art, the University of Edinburgh
2009-2013: BA Hons (1st), Fine Art, Fine Art Department, Nanjing Normal University, China.
Business, Technology and Enterprise
I currently teach the following modules for BA (Hons) Media course: Making Media , Making Media 2, and Media Evolution And The Professional Landscape
Making Media (Module Leader), Making Media 2(Module Leader), Media Evolution And The Professional Landscape
Research title: Exploring Engagement in Vlogs through Content, Context and Presence
The research explores how video bloggers (vloggers) achieve Audience Engagement. Engagement is crucial for developing relationships between product providers and consumers, and for the quality of audience experience with media. Researchers in Marketing and Media suggest that achieving engagement with their audience is significant for the success of vloggers’ careers, such as obtaining large fan bases on YouTube and other social media sites. However, engagement theories have rarely been applied to vlogging, and how vloggers achieve engagement is rarely explored. In my research, I define vlog audience engagement as having two facets: Consumer Engagement and Media Engagement. The former relates to marketing, referring to vlog audiences’ behavioural connections with vloggers beyond video consumption (e.g., commenting under videos, following vloggers via social media), the latter relates to Media Studies, referring to audience involvement with the video content. I applied theories of both Customer and Media Engagement to address the question of how vloggers achieve Audience Engagement by investigating three factors of vlogs — content, context, and presence.
The research is the first step towards applying engagement theories to vlogging. By exploring engagement in vlogs through content, context, and presence, my research bridges the gaps regarding the explicit application of engagement theories to vlogging and builds a substantial understanding of how engagement can be achieved via vlogging. Employing both Consumer and Media Engagement theories to define vlog Audience Engagement helped to investigate engagement comprehensively in media products by considering both aspects of marketing and media production. It provides directions for establishing both consuming experiences with the media and audience-producer relationships beyond the consumption for multidimensional audience experience.
Zhang, H. (2018). Evoking presence in vlogging: A case study of U. K. beauty blogger Zoe Sugg. First Monday, 23 (1). http://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v23i1.8107
Zimmer, F., Scheibe, K., & Zhang, H. (2020). Gamification elements on social live streaming service mobile applications. In Meiselwitz, G. (Ed.) HCI International 2020: 22nd International Conference on Human-computer Interaction, Copenhagen, Denmark, 19 July 2020 - 24 July 2020 (pp. 184-197). Springer: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49570-1_13
Zhang, H. (2018). Vlogger's engagement via facebook: A case study of UK beauty Vlogger Zoella. Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Social Media, ECSM 2018, 479-484.