April 8th, 2012

[View the story “Ryan Gosling to the rescue!” on Storify]

Project Glass

April 5th, 2012

Google glasses are going to be insane.

Google has confirmed after months of rumors and speculation that they are preparing a pair of glasses for wearable computing. These augmented-reality glasses are not yet available to the public but are apparently being worn and tested by Google staff for the next few weeks.

The glasses stream information into the lenses. They allow the wearer to send and receive messages through voice commands. The glasses also have a built-in camera to take pictures and record video. Nuts!

Briggs Chapter 10

March 30th, 2012

“It is often said that ‘information wants to be free’, but it is truer in the digital age that information wants to be analyzed, shared, synthesized, curated, aggregated, commented on and distributed”

News as a Conversation: News is no longer a lecture from journalist to public. In the digital age, journalists and the community create an interactive conversation.

Making Conversation: Digital conversation between journalists and readers first started in the comment sections of online newspapers. Today, with the advent of social media, journalists are active on websites like Facebook and Twitter. This allows for more in depth coverage of beats because the reporter can turn to the public and hear immediate feedback.

-Downsides of Digital Conversation: Because online users are able to comment on content anonymously, there is the potential for mean spirited or harmful feedback.


March 22nd, 2012

I got my Pinterest account a few weeks ago when it was first mentioned in class that we’d need to. In those few weeks I have taken zero effort to try to figure it out. I’m sure I can get a sorority friend to break it down to me.

Briggs Chapter 9

March 22nd, 2012

In chapter 9, Briggs discusses data-driven journalism. The first part of the chapter essentially indicates that if you organize your online life, your journalism will follow. “You can become a better, more efficient reporter or editor simply by trading any of the paper-based information storage systems you’re using and going digital” (Briggs, 251.)

Every story is a gathering of data. Stories all have information. It’s about organizing and breaking down that information in a way that will benefit your storytelling and accuracy.

I payed particular attention to the section of Map Mashups. Map Mashups are “the product of taking information data, such as addresses or points on a map, and organizing them based on a category or information type” (Briggs, 268.)

“It’s heavy on manual labor, but once the work is done, we have a repository of everything we know in one place,” said Megan Garvey, LA Times editor.

My group for this class is planning on making an interactive map of the Virginia earthquake, so we will definitely be referring to this chapter.

Workshop #2: BBC 5-shot Method

March 22nd, 2012

The five shots:

  • Medium shot to establish the sequence. It will start with someone talking or something going on. Jake
  • recommends it is sedintary and the camera will stay still.
  • Closeup shot to establish the people in the video.
  • Hands shot or an action shot of what your subject is doing.
  • Over the shoulder shot to show the subject interacting with another person.
  • A shot panning over the area of the venue.

The five shot method is one of the easiest ways to get good video and create a video story.

This is Why Social Media is Awesome

March 21st, 2012

About 3 weeks ago I was on Twitter wasting time, as usual, when a tweet caught my eye. Jonah Hill was traveling around the country promoting his new movie, 21 Jump Street, and DC was the next stop on his list. He tweeted that the next few people who respond to his tweet would win tickets to the DC screening and meet the stars after the movie. So I did, and I did.

The movie was actually really funny. I say actually because the trailer makes this movie look stupid. And besides Jonah Hill, cast doesn’t instantly make the mind think “comedy.” But Channing Tatum and Ice Cube held their own on screen and I was joyously entertained by the hilarious antics that ensued.

This is the cast from left to right: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube

Briggs Chapter 8

March 21st, 2012

In chapter 8, Briggs discusses the digital video revolution. According to Briggs, “visual journalism is about telling compelling stories that connect the audience with subjects, people and issues.”

Just remember to tell a story with your video. How does one do that? Arrange your video clips in a coherent and interesting order. Put more emphasis on information gathering than information editing. Keep it short, though.

More lessons to learn:

  • Define your story in the first 20 seconds; hook the audience.
  • Make sure you have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Don’t let the viewer have a chance to be bored. Use short clips, the more the better.
  • Focus on one central idea and stick with it
  • Remember that characters make stories. The better your characters, the better your stories will be.

Radio Host Offers Obama $50,000 for Debate

March 15th, 2012

Mark Levin, a conservative radio host, has offered President Obama’s super pac $50,000 in exchange for an hour of the president’s time in a debate on Levin’s radio show.

Disclaimer: The only reason this article caught my attention is because I went to school with Mark Levin’s children. I argue with his son, heated arguments mind you, about politics via Facebook quite frequently.

Apparently Levin does this sort of thing a lot. After the horrendous shooting of rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona last year, Levin offered MSNBC Chris Matthews $100,000 to be his debate opponent after Matthews made remarks about conservative radio hosts like Levin.

Workshop 1: PC to Mac

March 15th, 2012

Last week I attended a workshop in the Johnson Center, meeting half of my starlab workshop requirements for Comm361. This workshop was designed to help familiarize PC users with the Mac technology because it’s bleeping awesome.

Now, let me be clear. I’m writing this post from a Macbook. I’ve had this once-white now light-grunge laptop for about four years now, and I like to think I know how to use it. Spring break was rapidly approaching and was worried I wouldn’t be able to cram two workshops in during the hectic happenings of the final half of the semester, so I jumped at an opportunity to try to not fail the class.

While most of this workshop was a refresher for me, I did learn a few things:

  1. The obvious difference between Mac and PC is the operating system (currently Mac OS X Lion and Windows 7 for Microsoft). But I didn’t know that Macs could run Windows. However, PC runs programs on .exe which cannot be interchanged between Mac and PC.
  2. PCs are very customizable. The most you can customize on your Mac is the display.
  3. Macs rock the drag and drop. PC ain’t got nothing on the drag and drop.
  4. The Mac apps Spaces and Hot Corners are awesome and PC doesn’t have anything close to them.

The rest of the workshop was pretty much about keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are the best way to work your way around your Mac, in my opinion.