Online Journalism: Spring 2011

the class blog

Friday @ Google!

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Hey folks, so Friday the big day. We’re going to Google!

Please be there NO LATER than 12:45 so we can get through their security and be ready to go at 1:00.

I will be bringing a Mac laptop with Keynote and Powerpoint on it, if you need them.

Here’s where we’re headed:

SEE YOU AT 12:45!!

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Written by sinker

May 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

Posted in Class Stuff

Analytics, Affiliates, and other Monetization Ideas

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Analytics: Understanding Where they’re coming from
Google Analytics
Beginning Analytics video
Analytics basics
Google Analytics for WordPress Plug-in

Make Modest Money: Simple ad programs
Google Adsense
iTunes Affiliates
Amazon Associates

Raise Money
Kickstarter

Written by sinker

May 6, 2011 at 11:20 am

Posted in Lecture Links

Presentations & Report for 4-29

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As we approach the end of class, it’s important that we check in on your site as you prepare to populate it with content (or, in the case of the content that’s already there, evaluate its value). It is also a time to strongly consider the presentation of the site itself, and to fine-tune the look & feel, because content is only as good as the site that showcases it. And it’s also crucial, of course, that you consider audience at every juncture as well.

The format for this presentation will be similar to our last, with slides and a group presentation. However at this point you should also be able to walk us through various aspects of your site itself, and be able to answer questions about the content and the look/feel of the site overall. Because of this, we will reserve the end of your presentation for a walkthrough of the site–the actual site itself, NOT a prototype. Prepare one of your team members to “drive” this walkthrough, taking over the projection computer. Map out what it is you want to talk about and highlight, however, so that your presentation remains professional and succinct.

As with last time, you will give both a presentation and hand in a report, signed by all group members.

presentation & report

The Site Idea and its Relationship to Content
–Be as succinct and clear as possible. Start with a one or two-sentence description of the site.
–Succinctly, how does content fulfill that mission?
–In other words: why are you featuring what you’re featuring?

The Content Itself
–What types of content do you see regularly appearing on your site? And why?
–What kinds of media will you employ for this content?
–Social media: What’s your strategy? Why? How?
–How do you plan on grouping the various content types?
–In other words, what are the various sections or categories on your site?
–How do these categories work to clearly state at a hierarchical level what your site is all about?
–Give seven specific examples of content currently on your site and ten specific examples of content still to come.

Content and its Relationship to Audience
This is important, so I will bold it: invite five members of your targeted audience to preview your site. Get as much feedback as you can from them regarding the content. For this section include bios/info about the people you talked with for the report and give their specific feedback there. In your presentation include photographs of these people interacting with your site.
–Who is the audience you are targeting and why? BE SPECIFIC.
–What content do you think they are looking for online, and why would they come to you to get it?
–How did you come to this conclusion?
–When you previewed your site to audience members, what was their reaction to the content?
–How did they feel it could improve?
–What other content did they feel could go in the site?
–What other feedback did they get?

Look & Feel
–Why does your site look the way it does?
–How does your site classify and display content?
–What are the calls to action for your site?
–How can a user access the various pieces of content–is there a menu system that makes sense?
–How does the way your site looks compliment the content?

Walkthrough

The walkthrough of your site should highlight the following:
–demonstrate the way that a user would access various content types
–highlight some of the unique ways your site is presenting its content
–show off your site’s look & feel and explain why it works the way it does
–demonstrate the categories your content falls into

Slides

Your slides should correspond to the major sections of your presentation. Create as many as you see fit.

Your presentation should be no longer than 8 minutes, including the walkthrough.

Written by sinker

April 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Posted in Assignments

Lecture Links 4-22-11

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Calls to Action
Creating effective calls to action
37Signals tests calls to action

Flickr’s clear calls to action
37 Signals answers basic questions fast
Culinary Culture makes the sale

User-Centered Design
I love that there is a government website about this.

Compare & Contrast
Google vs Yahoo
The Bold Italic vs SF Weekly

Ask yourself: What do these sites want me to do?

Written by sinker

April 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

Posted in Lecture Links

Lecture Links 4-15-11

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Written by sinker

April 15, 2011 at 11:36 am

Posted in Lecture Links

For next week: Kill “hello world” with REAL content

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So you’ve all been given the keys to the WordPress car, and just enough gas to get you rolling. So roll! You need to accomplish a few things next week:

1) Kill the default settings: get a theme that works for your site installed, kill the “just another wordpress blog,” switch the view over to a static page if that makes more sense for your content (it probably does), install plugins that flesh out your page. Tweak CSS. Make things happen.

2) Kill the default content with REAL CONTENT for your site. Starting this week and rolling through the next few weeks, you’re required to produce FOUR pieces of content for your site a week (that’s for groups of 3… our lone group of 4, you needs FIVE pieces).

Written by sinker

April 8, 2011 at 11:27 am

Posted in Assignments

Group Work: Data & Audience reports

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All three of these sites live and die by the data they can collect. Whether it’s suburban bars, urban hair salons, or dance audition locations, there is data and information that is crucial to your audience. How are you going to collect that data, in a way that’s going to be sustainable and achievable? What methods can you use? Where can you turn online? Where can you turn in the real world? Explain what your primary data is, what it consists of, and how you collect it and maintain it.

Also, all of your sites facilitate the obsessions of your users, but in different ways. You need to be able to engage with them in a way that will keep them coming back and will create the core discussions you want to foster. Who are the people that are coming to your site–-no more ifs, who are they really and what do they do when they get on there, how do they interact with each other, and what value do they add to the site and does the site add for them? What keeps them engaged and coming back?

Answer these two questions fully and completely in a report to be turned in next week. All of your team members must sign this report.

PS. Don’t forget your Twitter report is due next week

Written by sinker

April 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

Posted in Assignments