Reaction: Reflections

May 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm (Reaction)

Well, okay then. In creating my multimedia project, I found within myself a lot more than I had initially anticipated I could do. As always, I struggled with interviews – I get nervous when preparing them and even initiating them. I’m not sure I’ll ever really overcome that. After an epic battle with notepad and tables, I finally buckled down and learned how to use Dreamweaver (thanks to Graphics class). I’m kind of glad I did – then again, I’ll really miss it in about two weeks when I no longer have access to it.

I almost want to keep working on the package, even though it’s “complete.” Like I’ve said a good number of times in the actual package, the Baltimore music scene is huge. Not many people take into consideration the music that comes out of their own city and there are so many levels and facets that make the Baltimore music scene what it is. If I wanted to cover everything, I don’t know if this project would ever be completed. And that might be necessary. Unfortunately, I’m moving out of the area, so I won’t have the immediate access that I currently have.

I only seriously edited the second module. The others I may have changed links that didn’t function and made slight spelling grammar changes. Nothing serious.

A lot of good people helped me out with this project – and I’ve provided them with their own page in order to give them the thanks they deserve (and I’ll be sending out e-mails, finally, with the completed project).

But really, I feel like I did learn a lot about my own abilities in doing this project. There were times when I felt a little awkward – partly because there were a lot of things that I did want to get involved in myself – but it would have taken up my attention that should be observing everything. I cheated a little. I couldn’t help it, some of the events were too fun to not get involved. When it came down to it, though, interviews were strictly interviews and they weren’t so bad once they got started.

I explored one part of the scene deeply and already think I’ve made a good breakthrough to why Baltimore was named the Best Scene of 2008. And since I haven’t seen anything like a Best of 2009 from Rolling Stone, I guess the title’s going to stick around for a bit.

I think if I were to explored the scene a little more, I would definitely need to hit up the underground rock bands, the hip hop scene and the club scene. These would probably be the top priority. Like Matt Davis said when I first talked with him, there are so many different genres and sub genres that the scene has to offer. It would take time, but they definitely need to be explored and put together. Hello, summer vacation.

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Hello, Aaron LaCrate. It’s nice to meet you.

May 3, 2009 at 10:47 pm (Research)

Thank you for sharing Baltimore club music with the world. It’s always nice to have some attention.

The feature and Q&A from Blackook Mag gives some insight to the already popular DJ and designer Aaron LaCrate and his background. In addition to those two resume builders, LaCrate is working on his record label B-More Gutter World Wide.

Clothing was something he had done since he was 13 for lack of better options. Lily Allen endorses the clothing. Other celebrities have asked for personal designs.

His music history comes from Baltimore club music and he mentions his mentor DJ Equalizer. Equalizer was actually the first person to sell B-more club music to the world. According to LaCrate, it sends a true message to those from Baltimore.

Despite dropping B-more from his clothing line’s name (for aesthetics), LaCrate has some pride for his city and good memories of the sounds that have come out of it. He mentioned that growing up the Baltimore club scene when he did was a great time for influential DJs.

Anyway, it’s not what I’d covered in my stories for the MCOM407 project, but Baltimore club music is a facet of Baltimore music. And all facets should be explored.

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Multimedia package design: A reaction!

May 3, 2009 at 10:20 pm (Reaction)

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I don’t believe that counts in Web site design, but I’m going to attempt to make some sort of connection.

While looking at the few multimedia package designs, I definitely reacted. I made my judgments and confirmed which one I liked best from the list. This one that I called best was the Islam in Europe project. It was the cleanest, in my opinion. Its statement is clear as soon as the page loads, and the layout doesn’t ever change.

Inside the Toughman was not my favorite. It was not my least favorite either, but it was definitely on the more negative side of the spectrum. Straight away it starts off with a video and there’s no way to stop it. Everything is video (although there is the option to see the text). Really, I see the design as either too busy or too simple. There’s a lot of white space, which is nice for video viewing, but why not make the video bigger. I was not a fan.

Jonathan Harris’ The Whale Hunt made me smile so much with its opening page. It was clean, it was simple and it was classy. In comparison to the last project, when I say “simple” here, I mean it in a good way. The front page was almost artistic, with all of the focus on the center photo, and tiny directional links almost like captions. Once I clicked into the project I was depressed. As an experiment, I don’t frown, but I don’t know if my computer wasn’t well-equipped enough or if the project was just too complex for me and that was a turn-off.

My least favorite, though was A Song Shall Carry Them Home – a project about two musical brothers from Mexico. It is too busy. Even though a bulk of the words are summarizing information, there are too many of them crammed into not enough space. The main page of the project looks like a page from the middle of a newspaper section. That – combined with the advertisements’ creation of “white space” – the design is the opposite of eye candy.

So, in light of my attempt to relate Newton’s Law to Web design, “the more time you put into a bad layout, the more disappointed visitors will be with the result.”

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New Festivals: A plus!

April 26, 2009 at 11:49 pm (Research)

It’s never a disappointment to see that a festival is coming to town, especially one that could be annual. What was disappointing is that I wasn’t there. What can I say? It was Tigerfest.

Anyway, thanks to Sam Sessa, I found out about a new festival: The Station North Spring Festival. It took place in… the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Founded by Joe Squared Pizza and Bar owner Joe Edwardsen, the festival was set to have multiple stages (15, I believe) in various locations including Joe Squard The Zodiac, Windup Space and Hexagon. The price? Free!

Events included music, burlesque and a fashion show – all taking place at different spots in the district.

It’s not only sparking up interests of the entertainment buffs, either.

Jacques Kelly, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun, took interest in the festival as well. His stance on it leaned more on the idea that the festival will help to revive the district’s market.

Kelly pointed out that the Station North Arts and Entertainment District had pretty much plummeted after a six-alarm fire in 1968 and for nearly 40 years, the area was dead. This death of the area has been undermined by the art students and supporters who have taken over the area in an “attempt” to revive it. So far, things look good. That’s what the festival is celebrating.

I’m bummed I missed out on the opportunity to get to the festival and its too bad I’ll have to wait a year to (hopefully) experience it. I’ll be on the lookout for info and reviews of this festival. I’m glad it’s sparked a lot of interest, because it’s a nice area that isn’t getting the love it deserves.

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Law and Ethics for Blogs: Reaction

April 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm (Reaction)

Hm… I really didn’t think that blogs were to this level of seriousness. By that, I mean there have been lawsuits regarding blogs. Weblogs. Wow. That’s pretty disgusting. I was really glad to see that many cases were dismissed because the supposed libel was opinion. The fact that this has become a legitimate issue is pretty bogus if you ask me. (This was written as a response to Mindy McAdams’ blog post entitled “Libel suits, blogs, and comments”

Ethics – now there’s a concept I am grasping. Granted, a lot of things on the OJR’s piece about blog ethics were basics. And basics aren’t hard to hold onto. “Disclose” – that’s a good one to keep in the noggin. Links, links, links – so that the readers know where your information came from and so that they can find out more for themselves, should they want to. At least that’s what I got out of that one. “Check it out, then tell the truth” is essentially a basic principle of journalism. Just make sure what you write isn’t false information. No one wants that spoiling their day. And no blogger/journalist needs that to ruin their career and credibility.

News Judgment, I think, was the “newest,” most important concept on ASNE’s article on Online Journalism as a New Frontier. It was a good wrap-up of everything and it made it clear exactly how expansive and involved that the world of online journalist is becoming.

It’s a little frightening.

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