Digital Integration, Be There or Be Square

screen shot final post       And we’re done. Well not quite.

One thing I really enjoy in school is really learning a new skill. Not just learning new techniques and further areas of studying, but learning something brand new that I had never much or ever deigned to play with before. It’s exciting, it reminds me why I’m here, not just for a diploma and recommendations at the end, but to become better at what I hoped to do and to become a more capable person.

The class has really been good for me in this specific area. I never much played with Flickr or Pinterest, in fact to imply that I had even started my own account or done anything more than follow links to them at another’s behest, would be dishonest. I had more experience with Facebook and had even started to post my own professional tweets on twitter. But I had never even flirted with real blogging, not beyond a few short rants or posts on social networking pages, I remember MySpace had an actual blogging function I think. Facebook’s change to “notes” did seem to motivate the creation of such posts.

I now feel like I have a chance in this high tech world. Not only do I feel I may be able to keep up my own blog in a manner that might be described as competent, I no longer see tasks like getting video onto YouTube, or starting a podcast, as so daunting. As Renay SanMiguel  intones in his, now twice read, piece “It’s Hard Out There for a 21st-Century Future Journalist of Tomorrow,” no longer is the newsroom a diverse  collection of uniquely skilled individuals putting the puzzle pieces together as a team.

digital media

This is the future, and every job opening media outlets have is looking for a candidate that can produce more with less. Consequently, aspiring journalists, not to mention journalists looking for better work, need be able to function as a one-man-unit with the ability to produce all of the content needed for publication or broadcast. And they need to be able to do so with a strong internet presence.

The internet offers means to connect to ones audience in a way that could never be achieved in eras past. Sure, you could use an editorial section to get some personal opinions out and to allow some outside  opinions in, but now comments, likes, shares and updates are all just a click away.

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Its something that Mark Coatney, director and media evangelist at Tumblr talked about during his interactive chat session at Poynter.org. I look forward to adding Tumblr to my newfound wealth of interactive creative tools. That and Polls, everybody loves polls?

 

Now that you love polls, make your own!

Slim, Clean and Professional, Still Hip

newsdesign

I chose the Journalist design for my Blog. I liked its simplicity in design right off the bat. I take my news at least a little seriously, so I chose to present mine in form that, to me, seemed reminiscent of the clean style of newspapers. The site still allows for widgets and features a few options to play with the on the front page. A main page can be designed or the newest blog can be the focus, the design allows for a bit of personalization, but the focus is on the writing, on the topic.

I love The Daily Show and I think journalism has plenty of room for levity, plenty of room for jokes and irony. But there is also a need for the discussion of important topics to be taken seriously. Not everything has to be hip or cool, funny or controversial. Each page and update has the ability to be presented with eye catching graphics or fonts, but the site as whole I look forward to presenting as a serious page, that with any luck will speak to, and begin discussions when possible, on serious topics.

The script is serious without being old fashioned or stilted. A few fonts are spread around the page, eye catching and noticeable, highlighting separate topics and point. But it all flows well and it all looks intelligent. A good place, I think, for conversations to start and news to be printed.

_____________________________ Updated 7/8/13______

In order to customize my Blog more personally, I looked at the article “40 Impressive Dark Websites for Inspiration,” and chose a blog that offered a little visual contrast, with a dark personal picture, a copy of my signature smoke in the dark avatar.

The blog article “Backgrounds in Web Design: Examples and Best Practices,” discusses the evolution of blogs over the last decade, and how far the presentation of these, generally self-designed and self-hosted pages have come. What may have started as digital paper, with a visual image or two followed by copy, has become a plethora of personal windows, when best done offering a glimpse into the author’s mind and the blog’s content, that hopes to draw new viewers, fans or interactions from new visitors.