Rhiannon’s Blog

If it’s one thing I know about this class, it’s ‘preparation is everything’, and it really is. The tasks that we were assigned over the course of the semester really aren’t that hard  if you have all of your ducks lined up. The storyboard and other methods of planning really make things a lot easier when trying to find story ideas during crunch time.  Just simply having an idea of where you are going and who you might talk to  can make even the most elaborite modules seems a little less intense.

As with my first time around, my biggest issue with the class is the blog posts. I’m carrying 18 credits this semester and  it was to a point where i literally had to set an alarm on my cell phone to try and remind me to do the posts every Friday. Big projects were a no brainer, they were completed successfully and on time, but boy those blog posts. That is why I say preparation is key. Knowing what you’re doing and where you’re going ahead of time is so important.

Technically speaking, I learned more about html  and  photoshop which I love. I am a journalism major and honestly at this point I really wish I would have went into something else, not because of this class but more like all of my mass communication classes. I would rather  have studied something more like graphic design or website  design or business. Overall, this class was a good experience, technology-wise and I really cherish what I learned about the internet and the Adobe programs.

Here’s the links to all my comments! Enjoy!

1. http://rachelciarleglio.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/research-3/#comment-37

2. http://rachelciarleglio.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/reporting-post-on-tattoos-in-the-job-world/#comment-38

3. http://rachelciarleglio.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/reporting-post-on-trendy-tattos/#comment-39

4. http://courthammond.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/first-interview/#comment-38

5. http://courthammond.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/cats-and-dogs-aren%e2%80%99t-the-only-pets-being-kicked-to-the-curb/#comment-39

6. http://courthammond.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/obsession-with-small-pets/#comment-40

7. http://daniellekoch.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/reporting-post-3-newlywed/#comment-35

8. http://daniellekoch.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/research-post-2-12-reasons-to-go-to-grad-school/#comment-37

9. http://daniellekoch.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/research-post-7-top-ten-jobs-for-recent-grads/#comment-38

10. http://lilymlee.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/45/#comment-39

11. http://lilymlee.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/vroom-vroom-or-is-it-zip-zip/#comment-40

12. http://lilymlee.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/green-is-the-new-black/#comment-41

13. http://lilymlee.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/i-drink-green-i-see-green-and-i-feel-green/#comment-42

14. http://arabe1.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/odd-job-number-six-high-profile-nanny/#comment-31

15. http://arabe1.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/a-very-grave-job/#comment-32

16. http://chrisreilly425.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/keeping-the-fun-in-sportswriting/#comment-23

 

This week’s blog search has brought me to Unique Culinary Adventures, by Baltimore native, Jake Segel, a writer at the Baltimore Chronicle. He began writing the blog a few years back after making numerous accomplishments about unusual Baltimore foods, that have even landed him in the Baltimore Magazine. In addition, Segel developed and launched a line of his own unusual canned foods called Denzer’s Food Products. 

Today Segel’s interests have landed him publishing his own online blog with various stories of unusual places he’s been along with the unusual foods he’s seen and tasted.  His blog consists of various personal stories and recipes he’s also found along the way. His most recent post, Mrs. Yi’s Fried Green Tomatoes, a lady whom has  been perfecting her recipe for years, and was ready to share it. Once again, I prefer blogs like these compared to the ‘corporate’ blogs because I am able to relate to write  more efficiently. Not only do they refer to places that I actually know of, their writing is more intimate and conversational. It makes everything feel more close to home, rather than feeling like I am reading a generic post. Overall, the blog is effective and  enjoyable.

Multimedia presentation, the Science of Sex, is a thoughtful and provoking collection of images, interviews and a brief background of information regarding love, dating and of course, sex in the year 2009. I could tell when I first went to the site that this was not going to be a simple overview of where babies come from. Students at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism interviewed over 100 people for the project. Each section of the project is just as clean as it is inviting. The elements of color and arrangement of photos and use of flash are easy to navigate through and keep you interested at the same time. 

There is well-created page that is devoted to the three authors, with their pictures and biographies. 

Much of the presentation is devoted to rising virtual world network, Second Life. There is a special page for it as well, which tells the readers how to meet, date and eventually have sex in the virtual world. Having sex in the virtual world takes specific steps, according to the video that is available to the reader as well. We are also shown how to get married and cool places to visit, through a convenient slideshow.  

The authors quickly shift the lighthearted focus, and we are emerged into science mode as the science of dating and finding a mate is discussed. This page has multiple videos offering real accounts of dating and relationships, along with an interactive quiz that measures your dating symmetry. Again, this project is so impressive because it combines all of the necessary angles needed to give the readers a “nutshell” of an idea of what they are reading about. 

Finally, the authors give us information on the current use technology to ‘engineer’ unborn babies to be the best, and to help infertile couples. 

I really liked this presentation because with all of the information that is given, the authors had a way of not making the reader feel overwhelmed with so much copy. There were efficient videos and images to back up each point. The images and video were especially helpful during the Second Life section because though it’s very popular, many people have no idea of it or how it works. Once again, the additions of images, video and interactive elements to a story today are not only enhance it, but are completely necessary in a society that has a hard time paying attention.

My weekly search for Baltimore-based bakeries has landed me with Sweet Mary, a blog by Mary Lynn Ellen, a former business woman and teacher. In her late 30’s she decided to give up her 20-year career to enroll as a freshman at Johnson and Wales culinary school, where she graduated at age 38. Ever since she’s been teaching private and group cooking classes, blogging about her favorite recipe treats, and reporting on local food-related activities for her audience. For instance, in one of her recent posts she talks about her Autumn Pie Class at Kaleidoscope in Roland Park, and events at Baltimore’s local Center Stage that center around cooking.

With her Local Flavor section and Interview section, she helps bring the readers closer to her by providing a more personal flare with her writing. She interviews some of her fellow local bloggers like Rachel, author of Food Maven and Coconut and Lime, for their opinions on cooking and to share a few stories. As I’ve mentioned before, what I’ve liked the most about these local blogs is they give me so many ideas for module stories. Not only am I introduced to more local places of interest, but also festivals and gatherings that focus specifically on my semester topic.

This week I found the  blog, ‘What’s to Eat Baltimore’. It’s ran by a husband and wife who basically love food, finding new places to eat, new recipes and quirky food ideas. Once again there is a personal element to the blog because  they are from the area and most of their posts pertain to local stories. A post that initally caught my eye was from right around  Halloween. Many of their readers emailed them pictures of crazy cakes  that they designed for Halloween. Some were gruesome and some were cutesy, but each was unique.

What I like about the blogs that I find is how true they are to the area and that makes it easier for me to find new story ideas. For instance, one of her posts from last January is about the 18th Annual Chocolate Cake Fair at  M&T stadium.  I never would  have known that there was a specific fair for chocolate cake  in Baltimore and that all of the proceeds go to charity. I kind of wish that I could cover  it for a module because it’s such a neat story. With music, demonstrations and celebrity guests, I would have some great angles to cover for a module.

I took some time to look over the interactive maps at 10,000 words and I was immediately drawn to the map of London. Not only are the colors vibrant and inviting, the font is easily readable and the map itself is easy to navigate through. I feel there is nothing worse than interactive media that is hard to use and/or understand. There are multiple flags  that correspond to different areas on the map and that offer blog information, video and additional images for the viewer. By far, it was my favorite one.

Probably the worst map I viewed was designed for Wrestling fans. The map is designed for high school’s whose  students can log on and make votes for their school. The map is designed like a Google map and you can click on different dots in map to see which school has the most votes. The map itself is efficient, it serves its purpose. However, I found it boring and uninviting. The colors used were lame and didn’t catch my eye at all.

The third map I viewed depicted New York and New Yorker’s views about the city’s government services. It includes a virtual map of New York divided into the major areas like Staten Island and Brooklyn. Overall this map was efficient and definitely better than the wrestling map.  There were contrasting colors which helped it to stand out more. The only issue might have been with the way the results were displayed.  I actually had to read over it a couple of times to understand the data, and if I, a college student, had to reread, I can imagine it possibly being difficult for someone older and not as used to the technology.