This was definitely the most valuable class I’ve taken at Lehigh so far in terms of my future career goals in the digital magazine industry. The amount of work in this class was not underestimated and I truly believe that it was a survival class, but I learned some really valuable things that I hope to apply this summer as a web intern at New York Magazine. Prior to this course, I was just getting comfortable with regularly tweeting and “being involved in the conversation” on social media. I quickly learned from my web internship at Cosmopolitan.com last fall that using twitter is crucial and employers for that presence in the web industry. I like practicing live tweeting, blogging, and slowly creating my own website with all of my blog posts. One of my goals for myself going into the semester was to actually start my own blog and to practice pitching and writing news articles using the same techniques that we had used as interns for a website. I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to do the curation assignment in this class and wrote posts every week. Through this assignment I also got a better feel for my voice as a writer. When you write articles on the web, everything has to be succinct and catch the audience’s attention. I noticed that last fall I didn’t have much practice with blogging and I believe this has helped me sharpen my editorial skills that are used in the web industry.
Another really valuable skill that I picked up in this class was interviewing people whether they were scheduled or impromptu interviews like the ones we did for the scavenger hunt. It’s great to get comfortable grabbing random strangers and getting them to want to talk to you about a subject. This can be difficult obviously because everyone is going about their own schedules, but it’s also necessary to be able to get that time from them and to be approachable.
I also really enjoyed becoming familiar with FinalCut this semester, I think that storytelling through videos is an important skill, and because I’m tedious in nature, I enjoyed putting the story timelines together and creating the documentary and shorter videos. Although, I think my strength is more editorial than it is video production. Also I was really amazed by how big Periscope has become, and I’m glad we had the opportunity to use it before it blew up on social media and before every company fell into the Periscope hole.
Although I touched a little bit on my curation assignment already, I really enjoyed all three aspects of it. At first tweeting out links twice a day seemed like a daunting task for someone who was just getting used to tweeting once every other day, however, by the end of the semester it came natural and I was constantly on the look out for cool fitness articles on twitter without even really noticing that I was doing it. I also thought that becoming involved in fitness.com’s Facebook world was interesting because I used to steer clear from commenting on pages in the past. It’s funny because I always noticed that the Facebook reactions were much more harsh than the twitter ones and people would go off on rants on some of the fitness.com posts. I remember this was the case with Cosmopolitan’s Facebook page as well and people on the web are always quick to notice flaws or glitches with the articles.