Sunday, May 10, 2015

Austin's Class Recap

            While this class has been a lot of hard work, I can certainly say that it has improved my multimedia skills greatly. I think my work with editing and producing videos has improved the most over the span of this class. After J24, I still didn’t think my video editing and production skills were up to par, but after all the videos we made in this class, I can definitely say that I’m much more confident about the whole process.
            In addition, I have learned how to use tons of different tools that I’ve already begun using in my journalism work outside of the class. While I already knew some of the skills such as live-tweeting and creating infographics with Piktochart, I learned different perspectives on them and could refine my skills. I feel that the work I did for my final multimedia project was not only the best article I’ve ever written in college, but the best multimedia package, and I’m excited to put that on my work samples page on my website.
            I admit that I didn’t excel at everything we did in this class, but I took these struggles/failures and used them as learning experiences instead of just seeing it as a negative. The scavenger hunt assignment was probably what I struggled with the most, so maybe I’m not fit to be the type of person who goes up to random people on the street for interviews. No matter what, that’s a difficult and often awkward thing to do. I also struggled with some of the video production, but I felt like I improved greatly on that after each assignment.
            I think where I excelled the most was in the curation assignment portion of the class, which is also the part I enjoyed the most. Blogging and using Twitter were already things I loved to do, but putting them in the perspective of the class and learning how to create a brand was something that I didn’t quite understand until I began to do this assignment for a while. For my topic in particular, I wanted to make people think of the Eagles when they saw me on Twitter, because that’s not only my topic for the curation assignment, but also something I’m regularly passionate about and hope to continue to write about. As I mentioned in class, it’s the best feeling in the world when someone comes to you with a question about a topic because they feel like you would best know how to answer it and they want to hear your opinion.
            My follower base, while already large, continued to grow as a result of this project. After starting the semester with just under 1,000 Twitter followers, and as of now I have just over 1,300. I can’t wait to continue to expand this follower count while also learning how to engage with my target audience more to gain an even better rapport.
            As a result of this assignment, I have come to some very interesting conclusions about how Eagles Twitter works. This may or may not be accurate for other groups of people on Twitter, but what I have found is very intriguing and would be interested to write something longer about it. I’ve come to figure out generally what types of tweets are going to get the best interaction (mentions, favorites and retweets), and have often found myself rewording my own tweets before I send them to try to garner a better response. In the end, I want to be viewed as one of the so-called “experts” on the Eagles, of which there are currently two levels. The first level is the paid beat writers, who all have thousands of followers and obviously get the most interaction. The second level is the Eagles bloggers, many of which have formed a group in which they often interact with each other, but not quite as much as other people. They are seen as the “elite” in terms of knowledge among fans, and unless you’re in that group, it’s hard to be recognized as much as a knowledgeable and trustworthy fan due to the many ignorant people in the fan base. Once you’re in that group though, it’s very easy to receive positive responses to most of your tweets though because you’re already seen as a reputable opinion.

The pre-requisite for that seems to be twofold: 1) writing for an Eagles-centered blog, which you mention in your bio (and likely have a link to the website) and 2) more followers than people you’re following. For the latter, I think that more people are willing to follow you if you have a positive ratio, and they’re also more likely to interact with you and inquire your opinion on a topic. For example, if I look at an account that follows 1,500 people and has 700 followers, I might be less inclined to seek out their opinion as opposed to someone who follows 200 people and has 700 followers. I’m not sure whether they get a positive ratio due to the fact that they’re already very knowledgeable or if they’re more able to get their opinion out just by having that good ratio. I will definitely continue to follow this though, and my ultimate goal is to be included in that “elite” group of Eagles bloggers who people come to for information.

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