Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sam's class reflection

I found this class to be the most valuable for me in terms of practicing my skills. The class was said to be a lot about giving us the tools and doing brief overviews. I had already had some experiences with multimedia and the things we learned, so I enjoyed delving into the tools more in depth and filling in some of the gaps I had. Like with Timeline, I didn't know you could embed things like Tweets. Or with Storify, I practiced creating more cohesive storylines with multiple elements.

The thing I was most proud of was my documentary video. It was a lot of hard work but I learned a lot about filming and editing. And it's really awesome to have a work sample of an 8 minute high quality documentary. It was also exciting to win a Williams Prize for my videos. It was probably the most new thing I learned in this class and therefore the largest area where I strengthened my skills and feel like I made a large improvement.

Another favorite thing that I produced was my final multimedia package. More than anything, it showed me that any and every article had the potential to be more than just writing. Every article can be dressed up and made more interactive and interesting with the addition of some multimedia elements. It doesn't have to be a once a semester thing – it can be adding bits here and there as well as taking time to create more polished packages. 

I liked the curation project a lot, but I just don't know if I picked the best topic. It was something I was really passionate about and knew a lot about, but I found it hard to break into in terms of being an expert. It was a rather exclusive community where people didn't really care what others had to say. Those with connections have the monopoly on information and breaking news in the industry. Tweeting the links helped establish myself with some smaller people who would retweet my blog posts and my information, but I didn't see a way to further advance myself when there was a limited amount of stuff for me to comment on. And I didn't really feel like my opinions would matter or make an impact.

I had a few blog posts get a lot of posts after putting them on Reddit and good timing of writing them. But a time when I tried to create my own new content by pulling facts I found on a Reddit thread commented by a band member, he saw it and Tweeted at me that it was weird. So that was kind of a failure.

I think my favorite part of the curation project was the online community, which I know wasn't popular for others. I really liked being on Reddit. It felt less exclusive than Twitter and was a place where I could go to learn as well as discuss the topic that I was so passionate about – with other people who were just as passionate as me. I didn't have to try to connect with the people out there on Twitter, because on Reddit they're all already in the same place. It informed the other two parts of my curation project – material to blog about and providing me links to tweet. I still find myself checking it and using it to keep updated on the music I like.

Danielle's final blog post

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!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Emilie's Class Reflection

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 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’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 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.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Kelley Class Recap

When I talked to students that had taken this class before, the one thing they told me was that this was going to be one of the most demanding journalism classes in terms of workload and deadlines but would also be the most beneficial and most rewarding when completed. They were right. Although there were many projects throughout the semester, as well as the curation assignment, I realized that I probably learned the most from this class in comparison to any other journalism class so far. Learning about multimedia sites like Timeline, Piktochart, Soundcloud, etc. definitely will help me with my career. I don't know how many journalism students from other schools can say they got to use Google Glass and create video projects with the device. I think that was one of my favorite parts of the class- learning how to use Google Glass, because in reality I probably would never have gotten to experience Glass if I didn't take this class. 

Although I am not 100 percent of what type of journalism career I will pursue, I do enjoy magazine writing and social media. I think learning how to code is really important and although Code Academy took me over 8 hours to complete, it was definitely worth it. Many business and engineering students learn to code at Lehigh, so the fact that we journalism students also got to learn was really exciting. I think the video editing and projects were really important as well because it allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. I had to talk to people I never met and film them, and although it was a bit uncomfortable at first, I learned a lot. Recording them and asking them questions actually helped me with my Journalism 298 class (writing for the media II). Between that class and this one I definitely learned a lot in terms of interviewing and deadlines. 

 I think one of the hardest parts of this class, at least for me, was the curation assignment. The actual assignment itself, tweeting, blogging, participating in an online community, wasn't the hard part, but doing all three each week at certain times was difficult. This was definitely one of the most demanding parts of the class, and although I didn't start out the assignment too great, I think I learned how to handle the tweeting twice a day, blogging twice a week and writing in the Reddit community. There were times when I would be getting ready for bed and think "shoot, did I tweet twice today?" After experiencing this I realized that Tweet Deck and setting times for tweets to go out was the move. This made things a lot easier because I could set a tweet to be sent out two days from when I created it, which was nice. 

The curation assignment was definitely a learning experience. My tweets weren't great at first, but I learned and ended up finally catching on, on how to make a newsworthy tweet, I even got some publicity from people I've never met. I ended up gaining followers and from big company's like the verified McDonald's twitter account. They actually retweeted and responded to my tweets a number of times which I thought was pretty cool. I do wish my blog got a little bit more publicity or views, but I am happy that I was able to create a professional website. In terms of the online community, that was probably my least favorite. Although there were some interesting posts from people and although I got responses on my posts, my subreddit community had millions of people participating, so it was kind of tricky to have many people view my posts and comment or share them. Overall, the curation assignment was an interesting experience, and I can see why the assignment is included in the syllabus.

Although stressful at times, I thought this was a really interesting and important class. I learned a lot about multimedia storytelling and I am really happy I took this class. I would definitely recommend other journalism students to take Jour 230.... but maybe not this class and Jour 298 in the same semester!!    

Kelley Glass Projects

Glass Tweets:

Process Video:


Day with Glass Part 1: 

Overall I really enjoy Google Glass. I think it's a really neat device and I'm happy I got to experience it. I think my favorite project I did with Glass was the process video. I had a lot of fun when doing the assignment, however, it did get frustrating at times to teach my sister how to use the device. I think that was the hardest part of using Glass- teaching others who were not familiar with the device how to use Glass. Although some people understood how to use it after a couple minutes, others' just couldn't get the hang of it.

I think it terms of journalism, it may be difficult to use Glass, not because the device is difficult to use necessarily, but because of its presence. Say a person was recording news or a breaking story off of Glass, the device itself is a bit distracting and it's difficult to get the right shot of a person when you're filming because the screen is so small. I think it could be used if a journalist is working on a documentary or a feature story. Otherwise, I am not sure how Google Glass would fit into a journalism career.

I think Google Glass could be a really awesome device for journalism, but would need a few changes. For example, the appearance itself. While it's big on the head, the screen is very small. I would rather carry around a video camera than wear Google Glass on my head when telling or recording a story to be honest. Although it's easy to transfer photos and recorded clips to a computer (which is an advantage of Glass) I think most people have a problem with the way Google Glass looks when on and aren't willing to wear it in public. At least, that's what people told me when I asked them what they did and didn't like about Glass.

I think Glass is neat because it combines video recording, photo taking and sharing all in one. We see this with almost all Apple products including Iphones, Ipads, etc. What's different about Glass is that it's a hands-free device. Besides swiping and tapping a couple times, you really don't need your hands, which is nice. This means you can record while using your hands to write down notes or whatnot, which is important in terms of journalism. I think Glass will make a comeback in the future, but the biggest concern is just the way it looks and the small screen. If these two things are fixed I believe many people will start looking to buy Glass, because it really is cool technology.

Gaby's Class Recap

This class has been so helpful in making me see that I really like doing multimedia work. I might not love the "social" part of it as much, but I've come to realize that I really like filming and editing video, and other visual things - like photography. So I guess I intend to keep that going potentially as part of my work for The Brown and White.
Besides that, learning basic coding, and all those other multimedia tools (like Timeline JS, Piktochart, Story Map JS, etc.) will help me think of a story as a package as opposed to just the written word and that can enhance a story to make it better.
I really liked all the work we did on our websites, because it gave me something to show during my internship search and it seemed to really impress people. The class also helped me create great multimedia work for my portfolio. That being said, the class was a little bit tough at times since there were so many things going on at the same time. All the projects, although helpful for creating that multimedia portfolio and improving my multimedia skills, were so jumbled up because of the passing around of google glass that it was hard to keep track what was due when.
It was good to have a constant that was the curation project. I'd say that my least favorite part about it was the community aspect of it. I don't know if I just chose the wrong community or I just didn't get it - since the book community can be so broad - but I just felt lost in it and not at all invested in the discussions. Sometimes it would be interesting, but most of the time they discussed things I didn't care for.
I loved blogging and reading articles on my topic to tweet them out. I had never been super in-the-know with all the book news, and it was nice to always be on the loop with what was going on. My friend from work, who also loves books, noticed I tweeted a lot about it and would ask me for book news of the day. I never had an experience like Austin were people on twitter considered me an expert, but I liked having the knowledge for myself.
For the blogging aspect I had to get a little creative, since I didn't want to review books. I usually gave my opinion on the kind of stuff I saw in the news I was reading or just general book-related topics. Sometimes I talked about book news. I liked doing this and I'm going to try to keep it going this summer and beyond.

Emilie's Glass Projects

Glass Tweets:

Glass Process Video:


Working with Google Glass for the first time this semester was a really interesting process, especially after hearing so much hype about it. The very first time I had a day with Glass, I was overwhelmed by the new technology, and not being familiar with how to use it. Once I spent some time reading the directions on connecting it to Wifi and how to use the device, it was pretty cool. I loved walking around practicing taking pictures, checking out the different features like Google search, and everyone I passed by was really fascinated by it. Although, from the first time I used it I did noticed that I couldn’t see the screen clearly unless I closed or squinted one eye. So when I was taking pictures or recording a video it took a lot of focus because the screen was so small and unclear. I feel like I was able to get a grasp of its features on my first day with Glass and the learning curb wasn’t all that difficult but it did take some practice and getting used to. However throughout my experience with Glass, I noticed that there were a lot of features that could be improved upon and it wasn’t as high tech as one would expect. My subjects who I taught how to use the Glass said that same thing, and they were actually disappointed that its picture quality wasn’t great, the camera was slow, and that the voice command was as useful as Siri is half the time. In other words, the Glass seems cool in its concept of wearing a camera on your face, but it is also lacking the sleek, high tech features that its name holds. In order to have a technology that will sell like the Apple Watch, these features need to be improved and the concept alone isn’t enough.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to use the Glass in my future journalism career because I’m interested in pursuing the magazine editorial industry. However, I know that Periscope has been huge among magazines since the app came out, so if the Glass’s features improve, I’m sure it would be something that companies are interested in using for live reporting on the streets or capturing first person images that couldn’t have been caught with an iPhone. For example, if they’re testing out a product that involves a lot of visuals and if best seen from a first person perspective, this could a unique way to film. Glass is hands free so there are a lot of possibilities for what it could do in stories that require action.

Danielle's Glass recap

I actually thought my videos turned out pretty well. For the topics that I chose, I thought the first-person aspect for the process video was cool. It was sort of boring, but the person that was wearing it did a good job. For the Glassumentary, I think the environmental sound aspect was really awesome. Having someone singing and wearing Glass was really cool and gives the viewer an inside look into the process of being in an a cappella group.

I like Glass. It gets annoying and hurts your temples sometimes, and people look at you weird when wearing it, but it is a useful tool for capturing video from different perspectives and gives more of an "inside look" for some things you would otherwise not be able to see just from a traditional camera.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sam's Multimedia Project

My multimedia project, which was also a long term story I was working on for The Brown and White – can be found here.

My two multimedia elements were a timeline and an annotated document, which I published as a separate element and linked to in the article. I also included a graphic I had designed for the print version.

Kelsey's reflection

Kelsey: I definitely think that this was a valuable class experience. I learned so much this semester, and especially in areas that I normally struggle with. Despite the fact that both my parents work with computers, I usually am very slow and hesitant to figure out how to use new technology and applications. Even though this course isn’t a requirement for journalism majors, I decided to take it to challenge myself and get over my timidity in reference to technology. All of the skills we learned this semester-- coding, filming and editing videos, maintaining a social media presence, and being knowledgeable about other forms of data visualization—are so valuable to journalists, so I think that these are definitely capabilities that I will use in my future career. I also think that the practice of feeling uncomfortable, getting over it, and then feeling confident just diving in is also incredibly invaluable. When we had the twitter scavenger hunt, I felt kind of nervous going up to random faculty and students with my phone, because in the past, I’ve always interviewed people who I’d arranged to meet with ahead of time. Stopping people to interview them on the street is a side of journalism I had not yet experienced, but that’s definitely a part of journalism, and I need to get used to that feeling of never knowing how someone is going to react to my inquiries. Curation blog: I actually had a funny encounter the other day with my blog! I was talking with a friend, and he asked me randomly if I have a blog. I said yes, and we actually started discussing one of my posts. I was so shocked, because I sometimes forget that people actually read it, and it was such a pleasantly surprising experience to find out that someone had read it and was interested in what I had to say. That’s something that I need to keep in mind, because to me, it’s felt more like a public diary of my thoughts on a particular subject, but I really need to keep in mind the public aspect of it. Curation twitter: I was surprised, but it was a lot easier to find interesting things to tweet about as the semester went on. I had expected that I might run out of things to say or that the articles would get repetitive. But, contrary to my expectations, I found that once I knew my subject area better, I could sift through and find the articles that appealed to me the most in a much more time-efficient manner. In the beginning of the semester, it would take me hours to find articles or events that I wanted to tweet about. By the end of the semester, I was able to navigate the different sites a lot easier, and I feel a lot more knowledgeable and in tune with what each of them are saying. Curation online community: I feel like I’ve learned a lot from my online community. Like I said in one of the past check-ins, I find out a lot of international feminist news through reddit, since a lot of the users are from all over the world. It’s interesting to see how different members react to posts. I absolutely love reading the discussions, because everyone has such a unique point. Even though a lot of the members identify as feminists, they do not always agree, so I think that underlines my point that feminism is an umbrella term that embodies so many different points of view.