Take some time to go through your classmates’ blogs – the list is over to the right. Leave a comment on at least two different blogs – on any post that gets your attention, etc. Yes, this let’s me see that you are doing the assignment – but it’s good to see what others are doing, what other kinds of comments they may be getting, etc. Sometimes it gives you ideas, etc.
Creative Commons photos February 24, 2009
So we are all finding photos online with Creative Commons licenses. I tried to find a few newsroom/media images. This one was on Everystockphoto.com
Photo by victoriapeckham/Creative Commons Attribution License
Audio slideshow example February 17, 2009
I’m going to start posting links to various audio slideshows to help you get ideas for your slideshows and also to think about how you are going to approach the project.
Here is a recent one from the New York Times about everyday people in economically depressed Pontiac, Michigan. Notice how you don’t hear the voice of the reporter – it is all voices of the people the story is about. Notice all the background sounds – of the restaurant, etc. Notice how the people introduce themselves – it’s great to get this on tape to use in your piece.
Promoting your blog February 11, 2009
First off, some of you have already drawn some regular followers of your blog – and that is great. Even if it is just friends and family, it’s a start!
Others may be wondering: Where is everybody?
It can be a bit discouraging, when you are writing post after post on your blog, but don’t see anyone commenting on your prolific witty and knowledgeable writings. There are many blogs out there that got off to an enthusiastic start, but slowly fizzle because the writer isn’t sure if anyone is reading and gives up. The best course is to just to keep plugging away. Write and write and write. Obviously you have to because this is for class, but it is also good discipline and you will grow as a writer, even if no one, but your best friends or parents, are reading you.
If you feel you are starting to find a voice, and you are writing regularly, you might want to think about getting your blog “out there” a bit more. There are a few ways to plug in to the blogosphere. One is to link to other blogs on your site and then read them on a regular basis. When you click on the link from your blog into theirs, they may notice you if they are following their referrer links (some blogging programs allow bloggers to see how much traffic they have and where it is coming from). Some of these blogs, may in turn, put up a link back to you, driving their readers over to your site for a visit. To be more involved, start commenting on these other blogs to join the conversation.
Another option is Google. Share your url address with Google and they may add it to their vast index. This means when people type in certain words during a search, your blog may turn up as one of the links. Go to this page to learn more about this.
But the purpose of our assignment is not to become the most popular blog or build high traffic. The point is to be “out there” with your voice, improve your writing, work with some original photography, and possible connect or tap into a community that exists in the blogosphere. Good luck!
Next blog assignment February 6, 2009
So by next week, I want you to write a post on your blog that will be off-topic for your regular blog posts. I want you to comment on the recent Michael Phelps incident where someone snapped a pic of him at a party smoking pot from a bong and then loaded it up online. Today the USA Swimming suspended him for three months and one of his major sponsors, Kellogg, has dropped him. I’m not interested in your view on smoking pot and whether or not it’s a big deal, he’s being fairly/unfairly treated. What I want you to write about is living a life in a world where we are surrounded by technology that can record our every moment – whether voluntary or involuntary. Do you sometimes worry about finding pics/video/comments about yourself online that might offend/embarrass/horrify you. Do you pay attention to your surroundings during social outings to who is taking pics, etc. Do you worry about who you can trust? Do you find you have to untag photos in Facebook, etc. Do you just live your life or do you sometimes censor it because of what may be online the next day? Are you comfortable or uncomfortable having your life documented online? Do you ever hear from parents in good or bad ways about what they see?
Here’s my recent story. I took my much younger sister to lunch the other day for her birthday. She first met me at a salon where I was having my hair done, then we went to lunch and then shopping. She was texting when I was at the salon, but otherwise I wasn’t really paying attention. The next day, I called my Mom and said we had a good time and my Mom was like “It looked like you had a great time. I saw the pics of your salon, the margaritas, your sister’s clothing purchases, etc.) I had no idea she was taking all these photos during the day – it was no big deal, but it was so funny to realize I was so clueless that she was updating Twitter, loading up photos of our outing, basically documenting our day as we went along, etc.
Slideshows Part I February 2, 2009
So this is an example of a slideshow made in iPhoto. We will be doing these in class tomorrow. The problem with this one is it is really just a bunch of travel pics – your slideshows will have more of a story to tell. As you can see – I made a title card to start it off. I played around with what little captions we can do (we will discuss more about this). I also sped up a few transitions for pics that go together, but other than that I stuck with the same speed and transition type (except for title card).
In order to load this up to WordPress, I had to upgrade and pay some $$ to have extra space for movie files. You don’t have to do this. See you in class!
Blog readings January 26, 2009
These are from the syllabus (second week).
Weblogs: a history and perspective – by Rebecca Blood
“How To Blog” – by Tony Pierce –some of his advice goes against our class policies for class blogs (e.g., “cuss like a sailor”), but it’s still a great off-the-cuff how-to list. Here is a more serious Q&A with him about his job at the LATimes (in charge of blogs) and how blogs are working at the LATimes Website.