Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WEEK ONE SUMMARY & OVERVIEW

SUMMARY:

This week, we will:
  • Be introduced to the semester-long project and general course structure
  • Break into editorial production teams that are assigned to a specific reporting "beat" or niche
  • Begin to set up our reporting blog with co-authoring permissions
    • Identify the preferred blogging platform (e.g. Wordpress, Tumblr, Medium, Blogger, etc.)
    • Identify the name of your semester-long blog
    • Prepare a branded logo and theme/design for your blog
HOMEWORK:
  • Collaborate with your team to set up your reporting blog
  • Feel free to stylize your blog with a unique logo/theme
  • Make sure to set up co-authoring permissions for all team members
  • Begin work on your first reporting assignment (to be discussed on Aug. 27)
  • Read the following chapters:
    • 2: Selecting and Reporting the News
    • 10: Quotations and Attributions

Choosing a Blog Brand Name & Creating a Logo

Igor International has created a great Naming Guide with information that can help you demystify the process of creating a great brand name.

Per Igor's Naming Guide, some things to consider as you review possible brand names include:
  • Appearance
  • Distinctive
  • Depth
  • Energy
  • Humanity
  • Positioning (How well does it support your core positioning for the brand?)
  • Sound
  • "33" (As per Igor's guide, "The force of brand magic and the word-of-mouth buzz that a name is likely to generate. Refers to the mysterious "33" printed on the back of Rolling Rock beer bottles...")
To get started, we'll be using a few web-based resources that will help us to:
  • Identify a Brand Name
  • Create a Logo

Brand Name Creation
Trademarkia.com is the largest visual search engine for more than 6 million trademarked logos, names, and slogans on the Internet. Use Trademarkia to identify whether or not your proposed brand name is already registered.

Logo Creation
There are several options to creating your logos. If you are comfortable using Adobe Photoshop, you can use it to craft suggested logos.

However, many people lack the graphic design skills in Photoshop. If this is the case, then you can use one of several web-based "logo generator" services. Here are a few suggestions:

CoolText.com
It doesn't get any simpler. Simply type in your brand name and select the design style and a logo is immediately generated. Visit cooltext.com to get started.

Flamingtext.com
As with cooltext.com, this is very basic and easy to use. Select your text and preferred design and you are given a logo! There are some intermediate design options to explore, too. Visit Flamingtext.com to begin.

Logomaker.com
LogoMaker.com is a simple-to-use, web-based logo creation tool. Use LogoMaker to experiment with different branded logos for your fictional product, organization or company. Here is a quick tutorial video about how to use LogoMaker.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Virtual Journalism is on Facebook

If you are on Facebook, then I recommend you "Like" our official class feed. On Facebook, I'll be posting interesting and timely news stories, as well as job and internship opportunities -- some of which are exclusive to this class.

Team Media Workshop Project


WELCOME TO THE INCUBATOR

This semester is all about "doing." This class uses an "incubator" model that aims to conceptualize and launch original web news and information properties over the duration of the semester.

For the duration of the semester, each student is going to play an important role in the conceptualization and creation of an original website. You will curate and create original storytelling using written words, audio, video and photos to bring your site to life.

The class will soon break into website editorial "teams" for the creation of these separate, collaborative web properties. You will (as a team) determine the site name and even help design the logo.

Each blog/site will contain multiple posts and stories from each contributing team member, to include:
  • Traditional written stories/reporting
  • Original photojournalism slideshows
  • An experimental storytelling project
  • Original video reporting
  • Related social media streams
  • and more!
In class we will be demonstrating how to set your site up using a content management system (CMS). There are numerous free services that you can use, including BloggerWordpress, Medium and Tumblr. Each team is free to select the platform of their choice -- but please note that your instructor may not have technical familiarity with all CMS options. Please make sure that the platform you select allows for multiple contributors/authors.


For example, here is how multiple editors/authors can contribute to Blogger:

BLOGGER: HOW TO ADD ANOTHER AUTHOR TO YOUR SITE

Each student on your editorial team will be able to post to the blog at any time. To enable this feature, one student on each team should create the initial blog and then invite each student collaborator into the blog as a co-admin.

To begin, the designated student that begins the blog should select "Settings" from the Blogger dashboard.  Then, look for the "Permissions" section and select "Add Authors" under the "Blog Authors" area to "invite" a registered Blogger user to contribute to your blog. At this point, that person will have limited "Author"-level access rights to the team blog. (Note: You may want to change the level of permission from "Author" to "Admin" after your teammates accept the invite to join the blog).

Please note that you should think of this blog as a publication. Don't be afraid to highlight other interesting stories or sites that you encounter online. A large part of "blogging" is referencing (and referring to) other sites.

NOTE: Since this is a PUBLIC blog, be aware that all libel, legal and copyright issues do apply to what you create and publish online. Use caution and common sense in your creations.



Examples of Previous Team Projects

Here are some examples of team sites from recent semesters: