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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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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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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Reaction: Readings

April 19, 2009 at 10:56 pm (Reaction)

I decided to respond to the online reading Why Photojournalists Should Gather Audio by Brian Storm.

It’s a little outdated, being from 2005 and the current stock we’ve put into video, but it’s still relevant. As beginning journalists, we’ve begun to experiment with photography and other forms of electronic journalism (hello, blog).

The story was a good way of firing off benefits of adding sound to photos. In addition to enriching the the story, it’s a good financial benefit. Even though it takes a lot more energy to gather and organized video, the end result should be worth it. Audio gives the story a more personal and in-depth feel, while complementing the photo – which is necessary in the age of information. Even though pictures say a whole lot, we’ve gotten to the point that where even a picture needs rounding out.

What I enjoyed about the article was the different perspectives and effects that the combination of words, photo and audio can have. The inclusion of different outlets was a nice touch, too.

Interestingly enough, he provided a section on how this combination compares to shooting video. This makes a good argument for the still images – one being it works better for print, also.

From Briggs, I’m responding to Chapter 11. As we’re getting ready to work on our slideshows, one of the more prominent things I need to be paying attention to is the voice-over/narration. Unfortunately, the introduction to my chapter ruined my dreams. My dreams of being an improvisational master have just been crushed. Even so, I’ve already started “preparing” my narrative.

Unfortunately, much of my interviewing and such was done before this chapter happened, and I don’t believe that my slideshow will have audio interview. Even so, I’ve got some good advice for future audio stories. Of course, that’s what always got me nervous.

It’s kind of crazy how the voice-overs and interview sound clips are different. I’m baffled. It’s the completely the opposite of what I would have written a script as. But the voice-over is currently more applicable. I’ve never taken any sort of broadcasting courses, so this is my first introduction to anything of the sort.

The script from the hurricane family was helpful – and probably a slight model I’ll look to when I’m writing my script this week. What should be basic common knowledge would be the “operative words” but its definitely helpful knowledge for me to know.

Hopefully it helps enough.

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Interactive Map is Interactive. Zing!

April 12, 2009 at 11:04 pm (Reaction)

As I ventured my way to 10,000 Words I wondered to myself what exactly do we mean by interactive maps. Honestly, my first thought was that we were supposed to be looking at interfaces. They’re kind of close, but I was very wrong.

Anyway, the first map I looked at was USA Today’s map following the economic crisis. It’s a little scary (obviously, seeing how far we’ve fallen), but I think it was a pretty neat way to go about things.

The map starts entirely in the year 2000. You drag the bar at the bottom of the map, and as you drag it to the right, it reveals the status of the economy and number of housing loans in 2007 (which is much sadder than it was in 2000). One problem I felt was that I, at first, thought it was a time line, that didn’t work right. Then I realized that it was a comparison between 2000 and 2007. I questioned what would be more effective, but I think that this was the more powerful way to go. Instead of a gradual change, the ending result is much more intense this way. I do think the gradual change would be an interesting way to go, too. It would look kind of like a sped up spreading of a nasty fungus.

Second, I looked at the Capitol of Punk map. After you enter the main page, you get a very scrungy-looking Google map with some pop-up pictures to mark some important places. As you click on them, you are taken to a video which give overviews and visuals of the places. I liked it. The combination of all the different media was executed very well.

The last map I looked at was the Chicago, In Color. This was a nice visual collection of monuments dedicated to the diverse populations in Chicago. The main piece, in my opinion, was the mural on the side of a McDonalds. It covered all of the cultures through famous faces from the city. Of course everyday locals would be a good representation, too, but I feel the mural of famous Chicago locals brings a sense of unity in addition to a sense of pride. It also featured the two Native American statues (The Bowman and The Spearman)which stand at the entrance to Grant Park for the Native American citizens. It showed the statue of Mexican President Benito Juarez to celebrate Chicago’s Mexican population. The last monument showcased was Willie Dixon’s Blues Garden – which was viewed at different angles.

Each monument had a small description which shared the meanings of the landmarks. The one thing that I disliked about this map was that I couldn’t find a way to get back to the first map which showed all of the the monuments in which they stood.

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