Here is the form you need to evaluate your group members. If you can’t get a printed copy to my mailbox (Olney 141), you can e-mail me a digital copy. I need to finish all the grading by Sunday evening, so please get these to me well before that. It’s part of your participation grade.
On other items (the final package and the videos), everything is due posted on your blogs Thursday (late evening is fine). Full instructions are on the Assignments page, or linked here (final package). I will be grading those Friday. I will also be in my office (Olney 157) or in lab if anyone needs to find me for whatever reason (how to embed a video, e.g.) Thursday at the start of class, about 6:15.
Last class. We’ll try to make it quick, so you can have time to coordinate final video plans if need be. Remember that there will be a Final Cut session in Holroyd 165 at 2 p.m. tomorrow if anyone needs help. I can also arrange to have that lab open next week.
Beyond that the main agenda items are:
return of (older material plus) Henstenburg posts and slideshows, with a look at a few of the latter; slideshow grading includes a rubric useful for videos as well
be sure everyone is set for the final project; you each need a final package with several components, one of which is your group video; reminder that HD versions of Henstenburg and Goldbacher are up; be sure you’ve looked at encoding tips for YouTube and Vimeo
handout group eval sheet and my writing tips for final package
a few quick tutorials on B-roll more Kobre tips, Videolicious, Vimeo (see April 24 post)
do a custom Google map (required for final; also April 24)
look at some useful data sources for your final (below) including a Community Health database La Salle paid for
For exploring data, there’s always a Google product, in this case, Public Data Explorer and Fusion Tables. For us, we need to open up the Community Health Database and look for some figures (copy them and make a quick chart in Excel). Our main ZIP codes are 19138 and 19141. You could compare our data in 2000 and 2010, or compare our data to that from the NIH. It might look like this:
After we get things rolling, and I return a few items including reporting plans, we will have “lab” time to finish Soundslides, including narration, final export, FTP, and the gigya shortcode to embed it in your blogs. Most of these details are back in the April 3 post and you have a handout on the shortcode.
final package assignment is up (also a handout)
take a look at videos of Henstenburg and Goldbacher which you need (and don’t forget Wingert)
discussion of compression guidelines (and handout): here are suggestions from Vimeo (max is 720) and YouTube
Vimeo video school on framing if we seem to have time
The goal is to get you started doing a custom Google map, of the 13 Easter Food Drive locations, which will be part of your final package. It’s now (super) easy with the new Maps Engine. I’ll show you the one I came up with as well. You have the list on paper.
Next week we will look at some data sources for your final story package, including a paid database, make some charts in Excel, maybe some other mashups, and point you to Storify (and Storyful), and some social media places to know.
OK—here is a re-exported version of Dr. Goldbacher’s presentation from April 4. This is to get it in HD in case you want to use a clip (some people indicated that in their reportring plans), and also to break it into two parts. That is required to get it in YouTube, where the limit is 2 megabytes. HD videos of a bit under 20 minutes at 1080 (not sure if export is 1080i or 1080p) are running at 1.5 to 1.7 M, so that’s about the limit.
Warning that processing occurs behind the scenes in YouTube—eventually these all were available at 1080.
Most likely I’ll add the other half tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Here is part one of three parts of Professor Henstenburg’s presentation last week. This is edited only to set the start point. Note that the three parts were necessitated when the battery failed, and then the smart card was full. Not necessarily a bad thing, but i couldn’t easily reset the camera, so the angles are a bit odd and of course content was missed.
You should be able to get a clip or two from these for your final group video. Note that this time they were exported in HD. As such, it’s taking a while to upload to YouTube, so I will try one now and the other two bits tomorrow. Still audio is low (is external mic OK? battery issue?), and it wouldn’t load a thumbnail. Also wasn’t HD till it finished processing… and I used YouTube Share button to customize the <iframe> embed code (made it 60%).
Compare to audio with Tom Wingert—mic has an external switch which I turned on, but now I wonder if it also needs power or is not working in some way. Still, good video, and you can try to boost audio in post-production.
OK, here is part II—same issues although sound is a bit better (I moved the camera).
look at what NPR is doing with new media (post below)
return Goldbacher assignment, comments, chart, video
check in on status of slideshow content (due next week) and video from food drive, other
visit from Prof. Jule Ann Henstenburg; ASSIGNMENT: Write a 200-plus word post on our guest’s visit tonight; the angle is up to you, but remember that your blog talks about how La Salle (and Exploring Nutrition) is working to help solve issues of health, nutrition and obesity in our area. As always give your story a news-feature-style lead, a clear conclusion, write a good (SEO) headline, get some sort of art and include at least two links to other articles or resources. Due on your blog next Thursday, April 24.
look at some other instructive slideshows (April 3)
either build your show or run a test with slides and audio (March 13), export, FTP, publish_to_web and embed using gigya shortcode (all on April 3; handout for shortcode)
collect the four group reporting plans
That’s probably it. Remember to be building content that you cvan use both in your final video and final package/blog post (details next week; both due May 8). I will see about posting an HD version of the Goldbacher and Wingert videos so you can download and get a clip included. I’ll post video from tonight before next week’s class.
Thought I’d point you to a key site called EducationShift, part of PBS’s MediaShift effort. This piece notes some new digital tools that E4ric newton suggests working journalists try.
This is a tough landscape to navigate—one year’s Twitter is next year’s Everyblock—but you should keep an eye on what the industry is following.
I have played with Videolicious, so will cover that in the remaining weeks. Other j-blogs suggest that journalists need to master both medium- to long-form video, and quick video for breaking news, which is where Videolicious comes in. Note that several of these are paid.
look at her slides and video and video download add-on’Jon Matos will continue his duiscussion of video including the summer project from last year
other video resources including:
some other video resources for you to consult as you go to the field next week: NewsU self-directed course on video storytelling; compare Fourth of July videos, note tips on lighting, sound; Framing & composition and Video 101 from Vimeo school especially Lesson 2: Shooting Basics;
Here is the video from last week’s class. Note that audio levels are low—last time you might recall with Tom Wingert he was in front of the desk. So that slight distance makes a difference. You can download this and use a bit of it in your groups video, and try to boost the audio during post-production. Try viewing this in YouTube as opposed to here and note differences in audio and video playback. Try the settings gear in YouTube to set it at max (480p in this case).
Main areas for tonight are planning for slideshows and video, prep for our visitor at 7, the “press conference,” and post assignment, and looking at slideshow design and tutorials, then practice with my photos and sound file, and try embedding a test in your blog. A reminder that we will be in lab in Holroyd tomorrow from noon to 2 (room 190, up the short stairs past Mac classroom, DArt student lab = 190).
First, two issues of interest: the earthquake bot story (last week); something called paper.li, sort of a self-publishing system
Then the main agenda:
listen to a few minutes of well-mixed audio: Mike, Bethany, Connor
who has been on a “shadowing” trip and where
plans for covering food distribution days (Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12); these will be part of individual slideshows if needed, and group videos
prepare cameras, questions, issues for guest (who is she? what’s her job title? where does she work? what are her specializations?)
guest 7 p.m. 15 minutes presentation, the Q&A (that’s your part)
ASSIGNMENT: Write a 200-plus word post on our guest’s visit tonight; the angle is up to you, but remember that your blog talks about how La Salle (and Exploring Nutrition) is working to help solve issues of health, nutrition and obesity in our area. As always give your story a news-feature-style lead, a clear conclusion, write a good (SEO) headline, get some sort of art and include at least two links to other articles or resources. Due next Thursday, April 10.
slideshow examples; tutorial from Mark Johnson (sidebar) and visit the Soundslides online manual
work with stills/sample images (March 27)
how to embed (need “gigya” shortcode [handout, also here]; try that on your Other or tech page.
Soundslides stuff from earlier posts::
Go to Soundslides (our software, and like Audacity, sort of the standard, powering for example New York Times shows), support and Online manual, try e.g. Lower thirds and video tutorial (pro version only so that means in lab)
Grad student at UC Berkeley (note Soundslides was not registered) [WE SAW this one last week]
You’ve got a Soundslides handout by Michelle Johnson from Gaylord Institute/AEJMC seminar. I’ll also link to another rubric for the images (Sue Robinson, Wisconsin) and a PDF on video and audio storytelling by Mark Hiland (also Gaylord Institute/AEJMC seminar).
Here are some other powerful examples from NPR (1 ), and this which could help with your final project, as well as a student project from Prof. Culver that has one instructive audio flaw. And here are two great checklists from Brian Storm: 10 Ways to Improve your Multimedia; 10 More Ways; for any multimedia project, but that mostly refer to slideshows.
explanation of how to make sure controls are always showing (make sure your browser’s View->Zoom is at 100% or Reset)
try adding some lower thirds (Audio tab), a Headline (Project info) and changing the Template including transitions; try a bit of Ken Burns (zoom effect) which is Slide Info-Movement
Make one text and a final credit slide in Photoshop and add those to your slideshow (Slides->Add image); recall from assignment 500 X 375 pixels at 72 ppi
Save as and name the folder before you hit Save so it’s not just called project; note that you will get a whole bunch of files and folders, with
project.ssproj as the file to relaunch, if you want to continue editing (recommended over opening Soundslides first); if you want to view it, launch the index.html file
Export, which will produce a publish_to_web folder inside your project folder; again you might want to rename it later; this one also has an index.html file you can launch; when you FTP to alpha.lasalle.edu you should send the whole folder up; say you renamed it food_drive, then your URL will be of the form:http://www.lasalle.edu/~beattyj1/food_drive/That will automatically launch the index.html file
Start with the Soundslides embed tool if you want the show to display directly in your blog, but that is not for .com sites (that you all have), just for .org sites (that I have). YouTube embeds via a different tag <iframe> than does Flash <object> and <embed> , and those are the ones that WordPress removes. Jon found a work-around that involves a WordPress short code. I’d rather not post it on the course blog, so check here: WordPress.com Forums → Tags → gigya shortcode or, this post in the forums (second one down). And here is Word file with instructions and code before and after (also as a handout). When embedded you will see it in your blog :
Recall that I pasted the embed code supplied by the Soundslides embed tool (link above) into the Text window of the dashboard, not the Visual. Also you can do more before you embed (resize it, etc.) and you should pick a template in Soundslides that fits your color scheme.
Your final slideshow post will include the following:
Write a brief intro—make it grabbing, enticing. Make people want to watch the show
Set appropriate tags and categories
try for reasonable file sizes on your photos, although Soundslides makes smaller versions for the Web
include at least one title/credit/info slide done in Photoshop
FTP to alpha.lasalle.edu (password is 12345_abc version) and use the embed tool and gigya code above to get it in your blog; while you’re there, try to set a reasonable size, background to match your blog etc. As a backup, link to the folder e.g. http://www.lasalle.edu/~beattyj1/food_drive/
return and discussion of three assignments: inforgr.am; nutrition labels; audio
assignment of teams for the final video project (and any other planning or sharing as you see fit); you will still be doing individual slide shows (let me know if you went with a partner and want to share photos) and individual story packages that include your slideshow and group video;
updates on food drive/slideshow trips; there are openings Friday and Monday
after a break, Jon Matos will give us a session on video, with two instructive videos 1, 2, demonig the Panasonic cameras we have, and the project we did asa followup to last year’s class
then plan for the press conference, any other issues with site visits
look at slideshow examples (February 27 post)
Remember to download the free version of Soundslides. We will also have lab time next week to work on those.
reminder to finish nutrition labels post by tomorrow morning
last chance to post audio either in WordPress or Soundcloud
finish infogr.am due tonight as well
probable visit from LGU students and Bill Durham, La Salle Community liaison in preparation for slideshow assignment
handout on Soundslides and possible practice with the images below
look at other slideshow projects (Feb. 27)
be prepared for guest Prof. Jule Ann Henstenburg next class (March 27).
You’ve got a Soundslides handout by Michelle Johnson from Gaylord Institute/AEJMC seminar. I’ll also link to another rubric for the images (Sue Robinson, Wisconsin) and a PDF on video and audio storytelling by Mark Hiland (also Gaylord Institute/AEJMC seminar).
Here are some other powerful examples from NPR (1 and 2), and this which could help with your final project, as well as a student project from Prof. Culver that has one instructive flaw.
Don’t forget t Mark Johnson’s Audio Slideshows video (sidebar)
I created a demo of a trip along the King’s Way in Prague (Soundslides version).
The King’s Way, Prague (click image to launch).
You need to be able to:
download the images above
play them as a slideshow on the desktop to get a feel
sketch out a script to go with them; about 3 to 5 seconds per slide, aiming for about 45 seconds to a minute total
use this audio file to build on (Right click, Save Link/Target as—don’t try to open it
follow the handout to import the photos and audio
add a headline, some titles, a caption, a lower third, adjust the timing of some slides, change the order of some slides, delete at least one slide
export to the Web and view (click on the index.html file)
We’ll keep going with this and related video tips next class. We’ll also be setting up teams and discussing plans for interviews in the field.
Because we will want to capture video during the preparation stage, Jon Matos will be discussing plans for video training next class, including Friday labs on Final Cut Pro in Holroyd 167 (stay tuned to the Schedule page).
OK—hope you are all up on what happened with the new nutrition labels. Here is tonight’s agenda:
take a look at the posts yesterday and assign you the next Nutrition Issues post: 200+ words on what was actually decided, with some art (I took my own picture of a yogurt label) and at least two links to other sources. One of those should be a story that you are summarizing or working from e.g. the Politico piece; one probably should be Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move another could probably be the Facts Up Front site that the food industry has created (we’ll poke around that a bit);
an interactive info graphic that illustrates food labeling (most likely calories) in some way; there are several free sites such as easel.ly, visual.ly and infogr.am. (What countries are these sites hosted in?) We will use infogr.am to create one that might look like the one shown here (I did this with data from Germantown ZIP codes that we will look at after break).
to help, here is a neat piece on food calories from food carts in Philly from Axis Philly, and an article on food calories at McDonald’s; the basic procedure is to: create an account at infogr.am, verify it via email, try New Chart; select Treemap; double-click the generic info to add a title and edit the content; create some data for now in Excel on Food item (col. 1) and calories (col. 2); copy and paste that into infogr.am (NOTE you can do this with two sheets so you could compare McD’s calories to the food cart ones with radio buttons it will create; test with the eye at top left; publish button, top left; View on the Web; get embed code; paste that into the Text window on your dashboard; Publish to WordPress (don’t go back to Visual till later)
finish editing and posting the audio if you haven’t; see posts below on how to post with a WordPress player, or a link to SoundCLoud;
last chance to finish posting the HTML/CSS page and the PHP page to your Other Stuff page; be sure you have working links and that they are linked to text such as Here is my experiment with PHP.
if we have time, we’ll start looking at some examples of slideshows that we’ll dive into after break; you will be asked to include a story from one or more of the organizations in the GHN, so take a look back at that handout and see if you might want to make a call ove break.
We will use Soundslides (our software, and like Audacity, sort of the standard, powering for example New York Times shows). For now, take a look at their site, support, etc., and these examples:
Grad student at UC Berkeley (note Soundslides was not registered)
Hope you all enjoyed the storm—19 inches in Allentown in two days.
The plan, then, is to
discuss the Patch post (see Feb. 13);
blast ahead with the audio assignment (see Assignments page). It will still be due at the end of the day next week, Feb. 27, so we don’t extend over spring break. As always, I will look for assignments Friday morning, so you can finish things up and post them during the day Friday and still meet deadline. I expect most of next week to be work on the audio assignment;
I’ll also hand back and comments on previous work;
we will give folks a last chance to get the PHP and HTML/CSS files linked (most of you probably left the files on your lab computers);
we will talk a bit about recording audio (see Briggs, Chapter 7 and tips under Audio I and II last week);
we will do some hands-on with Audacity. Three handouts to help.
Speaking of previous work, fully 7 of 16 folks did not follow email instructions and do a blog post on SNAP/the farm bill last week. Snow happens, and your job is to keep up on communication and get things posted if required. It’s the nature of the enterprise. That said, given the unusual circumstances, if you seven, who still have not done that post, get something done before class tomorrow (Feb. 20 by 6 p.m.), you can still get some of the credit.
Another WordPress player demo, this time with some tips about the Audio assignment itself. And a caution that you should exit the Dashboard if you have inserted code in the Text (HTML) editor; don’t switch back to Visual to take a look as that can mean the code then IS text and won’t function.
Olympus saves files as WMA (Windows Media Audio) which Audacity can’t import. You’ll need to come to the front (or Center for New Media) to convert your files to .WAV or MP3 to bring into Audacity. I’ve got an app called Switch to do that, which you can download for a brief free trial (lasts longer on a Mac). Today or next week we will experiment with these files: a prerecorded mic clip; a music clip; try to produce this result.
Try the timeshift tool (double arrows) if you want to move some of your narration in between quotes
select, go to Effects->Amplify as another way to adjust sound besides the Envelope tool—can also decrease volume here
Effects -> Fade In and Fade Out are the only others you should need although you might try Noise removal (see handouts)
you can do the export to MP3 without using Quick Mix (in the handouts)
split any stereo track, then just delete (use X) rather than convert to mono
the spacebar plays and stops in most AV editing software
you have already found Record (red button); use Skip to Start/END (Purple arrows) to move around
be sure the Project Rate (bottom left corner) is 44100 Hz; you’ll need that setting for Soundslides later
don’t forget to locate the Audacity project file (.AUP) the data folder, your original file from the recorder, and your exported MP3
we will upload from a URL (see Tech Notes page); you will have to write a short piece of code in the visual editor that looks like this in square brackets :
See these links for how to post audio and use SoundCloud. For posting to WordPress, you need to FTP the MP3 file to alpha.lasalle.edu (remember PSWD = 12345_abc). For SoundCloud you’d need an account and then upload to their site.
You can also try adding some HTML color codes to the end of your shortcode (test this on your WordPress.com). The code after the 0X is RRGGBB (2 red, 2 green, 2 blue), so I used |bg=0x0000ff|righticon=0xcc0033 ] which makes the background 0000ff=blue (small line shows through) and the right arrow cc0033=red . Compare the first one to the standard player:
Paste your WordPress shortcode into the Visual editor (not Text). It will look like this (my code has audio:)
[audio http://yourfileswebaddress ] No space after the first [ but one space (no more) before the final ]. Note if there is no space it assumes that the ] is part of your URL, so the player can’t find the file.
Be sure to put your exact URL in (Q: what will that be?) after you FTP the file to the alpha server. Don’t use the example from WordPress (it’s mattmullenweg-interview.m4a Q: Who is Matt Mullenweg?). See if you got a Playlist editor.
be sure you have finished and FTPed the HTML/CSS and PHP files and linked to them on your Other page (see revised instructions Jan. 30 Part II post)
finish your farm bill/SNAP 200-word post by Friday a.m.
take a look at the links for audio, including the new post Audio II; try to get some interviewing done and bring files to class next week; note that the deadline for the Audio assignment is now Feb. 27
If we do meet, I will give back the Photo assignment with some comments, and do some demos and hands-on of mixing with Audacity (see Audio II above). I will have some handouts and files to practice with.
finish the HTML/CSS/PHP and FTP them to a page (e.g. Other or Tech Stuff); be sure these are up by next week, Feb. 13
hand back and go over Tom Wingert posts; note lessons for later
get a handout on AP style for subsequent blog posts;
assign another post on issues connected to nutrition looking at takepart.org and in particular SNAP, using a Morning Call handout and one other piece of your reporting (minimum 200 words, add some art, good headline, AP style, check your facts and spelling)
begin audio on the street; a key start for us is a handout from Brian Storm’s Media Storm site and blog
when your subject is talking SHUT UP!!!! No sounds, “umms” grunts. Nothing.
we’ll do the editing in Audacity next week. Go ahead and get a copy on your computer and make sure it has the LAME encoder so you can export to MP3. Maybe take a look through the install and record with Audacity PDF we saw today.
For exemplars, try the Coney Island piece from NYU’s graduate Pavement Pieces site, and this from Prof. Culver (from Poynter/Wisconsin) that intersperses narration with interview (but right now her interview audio is breaking up):
Maybe sample some of the On the Street posts from last spring.
Also take a look around this free course from the Poynter Institute’s NewsU site. You might want to practice a bit with it before you go into the field.
Agenda for part one today. Be sure you are good with the following:
Be able to optimize a photo in Photoshop
Be able to post photos to your blog (Add Media button above the ribbon)
Continue review of your WordPress blog. Note that I am now on WordPress 3.5 (as are you). Note new options e.g. top left, top right on menu bar.
In Settings, look at Reading to be sure your Blog is the home page and that there is enough of them to see them in the main blog window. Look at Permalinks and set those to Date and Name. Under General be sure your blog Title and Tagline make sense.
Start your Categories and Tags under the Posts menu and add those to the photo assignment that’s due next week.
Under Posts, be sure your photo post has a reasonable title and Body Title if your theme (Appearance->Themes) has that.
Be sure that you have at least the Admin/Meta/Log-in widget (Appearance->Widgets) in a sidebar.
Explore the options for your Theme—does it allow sidebars, customization, etc.?
Check your Profile and follow the instructions from last week to add a gravatar through WordPress.com (Might be Users->Your profile; or go to WordPress.com, login there and then Settings->Public profile->Change your Gravatar)
Go to Pages->Add New and add a page (e.g. Other or Technical) that you can use to store items that are not part of your blog on food and nutrition.
Go to Posts->Add New and take a look at the Visual and Text (formerly HTML) tabs.
Then we’ll discuss the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web (they are not the same thing; take a look at this WIRED article and Briggs Chapter 1). We’ll then do some hands on with HTML and CSS (Briggs Chapter 1) . I’ll introduce RSS (and XML, which it’s made of) and PHP, which is what most blogs (such as WordPress) are written in. To give us a common source on these, we’ll use W3Schools.com.
(We’ll come back to all this as needed later on.)
Some examples: Here’s an RSS feed I made for a DART class (try it in Firefox). Here is what a PHP test page will show if you post it on alpha.lasalle.edu.
By next week (hoping to do most of this tonight), be able to write a basic HTML page with a CSS rule embedded, and a basic page to test for PHP (sum of two numbers). We will post those to alpha.lasalle.edu with FTP. The standard FTP client is Filezilla (note the URL). You can also experiment with RSS readers and install one either here or at home. I used CITA but it got buggy, so I switched to feedreader.com.
We’ll also discuss the state of online journalism and blogs a bit using Briggs (foreword, preface, Introduction, Chapter 3), this video from Clay Shirky, shared from BigThink.com. (Note sharing from this site allows only a link, not an embed.).
Recorded 2009, as a follow-up to the success of his book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations.
and what would Shirky think about the CNN/Twitter partnership? What do you think? And what about Jay Rosen’s post that summarizes the bad and good of the new “information ecosystem, ” to paraphrase Shirky?
be sure I have the URL for your blog so I can post them in the sidebar
go over the basics of your blog to be sure it’s up: Title, tagline, first post, About page, your profile/photo, did you use categories and tags for your post; refer back to Mindy McAdams’ site for this (and later topics);
visit from Tom Wingert (more below) and assignment to post on that
photo assignment on Urban Food; I have this as a handout
go over optimizing photos in Photoshop
For Tom Wingert’s visit, by next class, January 30, have a post of at least 200 words on his visit. Think like a blogger—you will be building a blog on issues of food and nutrition in Germantown, Philly and beyond, so explain how his talk fits in to your semester project. I am shooting video that I will post here so that you can watch for some quotes. There’s a pic in this blog you could use. Think of visuals as well as the text (did you bring a camera?).
To help complete your “Urban Food” posting, we’ll use this photo, part of my continuing Florida State Fair series. You need to
get a copy (Right-click Save Picture As in IE, Save Image as in Firefox; if photo is a thumbnail itself, use Save Link As in IE or Save Target As in Firefox))
open that in Photoshop
find out how big the file is in file size and pixel dimensions, and check the resolution (pixels per inch)
take a quick look at Auto adjustments for tone, color, contrast
optimize the photo in the Save For Web dialog box and make a note of the final file size and pixel dimensions
upload the photo to your blog (hopefully, today); I suggest that you go ahead and make a page called Other or Miscellaneous or Technical stuff and put it there
see if it will center properly—if not we will look at doing that on the HTML next week (<div align=”center”> ..picture is here… </div>)
add a caption to the photo if your theme allows that (you will get a caption under the photo)
When taking your pictures try to keep these tips in mind:
remember the rule of thirds (see third video on this page); keep the main lighting behind you (over one shoulder); vary your shot depth (wide, medium, close, extra close/macro); move subjects among foreground, middle ground, background; move camera above, below, left, right of the subject; if you have to, crop foreheads, not chins; don’t cut off leading lines; cloudy days are best for outdoor shots. Go back to the photo composition site. Also Mindy McAdams’ Journalist’s Toolbox.
For example, how does his experience as an organizer relate to the health and nutrition issues you will be blogging about?
You will be doing a post on his talk, (assignment to come Thursday), so think about getting at least a photo for use in that blog post. I’ll record it on video and make that available for everyone later on.
Each week there will be a post or two that will make up our schedule for the classes. Blogs, of course, add the most recent post to the top, so take a look at the date of posting to find the post to start with.
Today, we are going to:
talk a bit about blogs and online journalism with the two preceding posts from Poynter.org
talk about optimizing and posting photos (Read Briggs, Chapter 6)
give you background on your “beat” for the semester
give you your first photo assignment (also see Assignments page).
My blog is hosted at lasalle.edu (note the URL), which was done with a “manual installation” at WordPress.org. You might want to do that after this course if you have a Web host such as GoDaddy.com that will give you your own URL.
Here are the steps for today and next week (we will go back over these and more next week):
Go to WordPress.com and open an account. See this Introduction about what blogging is, and this Getting Started page. We’ll try and pull some some relevant videos from WordPressTv as well such as this one on signing up. When you do this, think about your user name, password and URL as this can’t easily be changed. For example a blog on regional table tennis might be phillypong.wordpress.com. You might want to make it about you as this blog should be used to show your work in journalism, even beyond this course. So maybe beattytales.wordpress.com
Log in and you will see the Dashboard. You will see this a lot. Go to Settings and change the title of your blog, and add a Tagline. Obviously, this is something you can do again later.
Experiment with new themes. If you can get a thumbnail to add later, do that (right-click Save Picture As). Start reading my blog from the earliest posts (third page in) to see how I did along the way. Take a look at this video on Themes, and use the link that should come with your initial blog under Blogroll. There are lots of other sites that supply free WordPress themes such as Dynamic Guru , BogOHBlog and BytesForAll, where I got mine (Atahualpa, which is fairly common).
Create a first post. Explain the blog first—you are creating content about nutrition and La Salle’s Exploring Nutrition project, but also may be commenting about the process, adding other content later, etc. Spellcheck your posts. See Briggs Chapter 2. Go to Posts>Add New on the left side of your Dashboard. Also take a look at the text (actually the HTML) view.
When it’s up (today, we hope), send me the URL of your blog.
For general reference, the Journalist’s Toolkit is a great site where Mindy McAdams of U. of Florida has compiled her teaching resources. Here’s her intro to Blogging. Also always check Mark Johnson’s U. of Georgia video tutorials—this is the Content Management Systems (CMS) one, which is mainly a WrodPress introduction (but note that he misspells WordPress with a lowercase “P”).
Some food for thought from the Poynter Institute (a place you should get to know). Should college papers stop printing names of students accused or convicted of minor crimes on campus? Should public universities (such as U. Conn) have different policies than private ones (such as La Salle)?