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Posts Tagged ‘COM466’

Final Project: A prospective students guide to the UW

For our final project, Josh, Preet and myself decided to create a website for prospective University of Washington students. Each of us has a separate page reflecting on our time at the UW and what the school means to each of us. Furthermore, there’s an introduction on the front page and a resources page where prospective students can find links to everything they need.

Link to homepage: http://brydenjoshpreet.wordpress.com/

Link to my Soundslides and photo gallery:
http://brydenjoshpreet.wordpress.com/bryden/

Direct link to Soundslides (“Future, Hope & Progess”):
http://students.washington.edu/bjm24/com466/bryden_final/

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Twitter and social media: what’s next?

I first signed up for my Twitter account way back in 2008, and since then I’ve researched the website, used it, and seen it explode as one of the most popular and — in my opinion — one of the most important tools the Internet has to offer. For at least a year, I didn’t take Twitter seriously, often just using it as a way to communicate with my friends and family. It wasn’t until I transferred to the University of Washington and started my communication classes that I really started seeing the true potential of Twitter. And within the blink of an eye, it seemed like the website exploded in popularity. Suddenly every celebrity, newspaper, television network and everything in between was using it. Twitter had become a regular in popular culture and a regular punchline on late-night television.

When we were assigned to use Twitter for digital journalism, I was already following several journalists and joining discussions about the news and other topics. Although already familiar with how to use Twitter, the COM466 class list actually was nice because I learned how to use the ‘list’ feature to better effect. As for the future of Twitter, I see it as a continually important aspect for journalists, bloggers, news organizations, and citizens. It’s certainly one of the most powerful tools for citizenry journalism. Suddenly, anyone on Twitter is a reporter. Moreover, anyone on Twitter is a source — I’m thinking about the recent scandal involving New York Congressman Anthony Weiner and Whatcom Community College student Gennette Cordova.

But Twitter can be both dangerous and extremely powerful. Its dangers lie in who you can trust and what you can trust. If news organizations aren’t careful, they can lose credibility through Twitter — both by the accounts they run and the accounts their employees have. All it takes is one unchecked source, and suddenly a tweet is online forever. I’m reminded of a tweet earlier this year involving a UW basketball recruit. He was upset with a story that ran in The Seattle Times about his high school academics, and blasted the reporter through his Twitter account. Within minutes, he removed the post, probably thinking it was better to let cooler heads prevail. However, the tweet was already captured forever by third-party websites, and word spread like wildfire to Husky athletic websites and message boards.

Nevertheless, the power to do good with Twitter exists as well. It’s easier to get — sometimes — reliable updates about breaking news. Not just from your community, but from around the world. The role Twitter has played in movements in Iran and other countries is extraordinary. If a website like this has helped bring social change to millions, what more could it do? Only time will tell. Furthermore, the potential for the journalism world is still growing. Bringing in clicks through Twitter for blogs and newspaper websites could be huge for potential advertisers. In comparison, Twitter could (and likely already has) help diversify the journalism market — community and subject-specific (like sports) blogs still seem to be all the rage. Will this take business away from smaller newspapers? Can those newspapers adjust?

Plus, Twitter might just be the start — what big idea is just floating around in someone’s mind, waiting for millions to join in?

Categories: Assignments, COM466 Tags: ,

Three terrific audio slideshows

1. “Surf Town Canada” from CBC is a bit long, but it uses ambient sound well. Awesome action shots and lot of variety in perspective. It keeps me interested the whole way through.

2. I remember this one from the LA Times after seeing it in another class. It moves a little slow but that also fits perfectly with the subject — waiting to die. The photography is beautiful.

3. From The New York Times and their “One in 8 Million” series: a story about an “urban taxidermist.” For me, the story is unusual, creepy and interesting, and the black and white photos work great.

Lessons from the Soundslide Proof of Concept

May 20, 2011 1 comment

My main goal in turning my interview with Wes Miles into a soundslide was to see if I could take a music-related story and make it somewhat compelling. I found cutting the interview down easy — I also found that it flowed pretty nicely. The photography was much more difficult. I had to use a few courtesy photos and I have some shots that are just ‘okay’ to me. So I decided to get creative. The middle section of the soundslide is filled with rotating CDs that took a ton of time to shoot and put together in the soundslide program. As for any music I wanted to use, well, I decided against it — too messy legally, even if my project would probably count towards “fair use.”

This is my third soundslide I’ve made in the past year and a half and I have to say, I think I’m the happiest with this one. Looking back, my first was awful (no surprise) and my second was mostly boring. This is at least interesting, to me at least. If I could go back in time, I would have taken more photos at the concert. I would have maybe gone to Capitol Hill and went for the Block Party angle a bit more. Lots of little things. But not so bad overall.

Categories: Assignments, COM466, Projects Tags:

Wes Miles on Songwriting and Discovery

May 20, 2011 1 comment

Ra Ra Riot — a Syracuse-based band from Syracuse, NY and signed to Seattle-based label Barsuk — released their sophomore album, “The Orchard,” last August. Following in the footsteps of their acclaimed debut, “The Rhumb Line,” the album features string arrangements, terrific songwriting and soaring vocals provided by frontman Wes Miles. While the album was just released in Europe, Ra Ra Riot was recently announced as a headliner at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party in July. In this interview, Miles discusses songwriting for “The Orchard” and his side-project, Discovery.

Watch the soundslide (1:42)

Categories: Assignments, COM466, Projects Tags:

Putting Together the Soundslide Proof of Concept Project

Coming soon: Ra Ra Riot — a Syracuse-based band from Syracuse, NY and signed to Seattle-based label Barsuk — released their sophomore album, “The Orchard,” last August. Following in the footsteps of their acclaimed debut, “The Rhumb Line,” the album features string arrangements, terrific songwriting and soaring vocals provided by frontman Wes Miles. While the album was just released in Europe, Ra Ra Riot was today announced as a headliner at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party in July. In this interview, Miles discusses songwriting for “The Orchard” and his side-project, Discovery.

Categories: Assignments, COM466, Projects Tags:

#FF (Follow Friday): Pacific Northwest journalists

1. @TheNewsChick (local) Linda Thomas – Twitter enthusiast, lots of great links and, of course, the anchor in the mornings on KIRO FM.

2. @sona23 (local) Sona Patel – Associate producer for social media at The Seattle Times.

3. @pdebarros (local) Paul de Barros – Great music writer at The Seattle Times.

4. @barlowkm (local) Katrina Barlow – News producer at The Seattle Times, enough said!

5. @jontalton (local) Jon Talton – Lots of great economic/business tweets.