This class, while one of the toughest I've taken at Lehigh, has taught me so many practical skills for my career in both marketing and journalism. J230 offers a ton of information about digital journalism and media, and gave me a lot of knowledge about how to position myself as a journalist. One of the most valuable things I took away from the class was learning how to connect with an audience or community through social media.
While some of the class was not completely new information, I felt like we had an opportunity to fine tune our skills and learn what we are good at. I am not a huge fan of videography, but I feel like I learned a lot about to to quickly film and edit a quality video, which will be beneficial in my future career. I really enjoyed learning about data visualization and the role it plays in journalism, since I know that despite the fact that I love words and reading, most people would rather take in information in a visually stimulating way.
The curation project, while it really took a lot of time and commitment (and remembering to do it) was by far my favorite part of the class. Even when it took me a long time to think of something to post on my blog, I loved looking at my archives as the months went on and seeing how I'd made progress. It was also really rewarding to watch my Twitter following increase, even if I still pale in followers to some people. Most of the people who I interacted with on social media really related to my curation topic, so it wasn't completely random.
I had a lot of great learning experiences with the curation project. I was trolled, I fed the trolls, I tried to backtrack from feeding the trolls, etc. I also learned so much about my topic that it is something I would consider as a potential career track for the future. I really feel like having to produce content so frequently will help me as I start my internship this month and have to be constantly writing blog posts, white papers and other marketing collateral.
The one part of the curation project that I have to critique is the community involvement aspect. I felt like a lot of my community involvement came from the followers I was gaining and interacting with on Twitter, and I didn't make as much of a connection in an online community group like on Reddit or Facebook. Maybe it was because the topic of my project was about music and so the Reddit pages were more geared toward just posting songs and videos, but I felt like I was able to interact more just from my daily tweets and weekly blog posts.
The overall experience of this class, now that I am done, was positive. It was a ton of information to take in and I was definitely stressed throughout the majority of the semester, but it was manageable and worth all of the hard work. I know the department is considering breaking the class into two parts, and I support that, because I feel like there are some parts of the course that would be even more effective if we could spent a little bit more time on them.
Thanks for a great semester!