Final Reflection

A New Age

Today, we are living in a digital age. The importance of digital literacy is stressed to allow readability of content and adjust to a new era. First, social networking is very important. In the beginning weeks of school we created accounts on Twitter, Youtube and Flickr. This allowed us to hyperlink or embed content from these sites onto our blogs. Pulling information from different sources by hyperlinking is a key element in digital literacy as well. This adds credibility and gives credit to the source.
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Obviously, other important digital literacies include headings, body, clear and concise paragraphs, and writing in an inverted pyramid. But even more than that, accessibility is crucial, such as providing the correct URLs, a menu bar, and clear titles. Without accessibility, users will get frustrated and exit out of the website altogether. Another important element is identity. By establishing your voice, the reader will be able to get to know you and perhaps be able to relate to your post better. For example, in my introductory blog post, I stated why food interests me.
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Furthermore, using people’s different skill set to achieve a desired outcome is very important. Teamwork is what allowed our podcast and video to be able to be completed. We each were good at different things but together, we made a finished product. For example, Nick was good at technical parts of Premiere, I could edit photos with Photoshop, and Amanda R. knew how to work audio with Audacity. Together, we created our podcast and video using each of these aspects. Finally, images and b-roll related to content is key when creating a blog post or video. It provides content and be visually aesthetic. For example, in our video when Dr. Friis was discussing people eating together, my group made sure to get a shot of students enjoying a meal together.
 

Hindsight

First and foremost, I have never done anything like I have in this class before. When we were first assigned a blog and had to think of a subject, I had no idea what to do. When I finally figured it out, I found myself improving on what to say, how to say it, and how to display it. I hope you can see this in my recent posts.

I also saw improvement from the individual to group video. I used more b-roll and had it more related to what the audio was saying. I found that my title was placed better (about 0:10 seconds in).

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I improved on the background of my interviews. I also liked the addition I made to the group video with background music. I thought the sound made the video more put together. I also liked the visuals I put that actually added (instead of just supported) the content. For example, the map of where students are from (0:07 seconds) and the map of the “Grits Belt” (2:50).

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I also think the interviews from both students and professors adds more credibility than just students. Overall, I was very pleased with the group video. However, I did have some issues with audio. Exporting made the audio on a speaker (besides my laptop) not work only on the interviews. However, I fixed the problem by putting the audio setting to “small room.” Although you could hear the audio clearly, the audio quality was definitely compromised. It sounded like there was more of a slight echo and volume was distorted if you really pay attention to it. All in all, the original audio was good and I don’t think you could notice the new audio too much. I learned from my mistakes to export the audio to Audacity first instead of from the camcorder to iMovie.

My group podcast can be improved as well. I think the background noise made it seem not as professional. I was swamped with work the week we were creating it due to my concussion but still helped as much as I could. However, I think the audio was good and so was the overall content.

On my personal website, I realized it was very plain design compared to other students. However, I realized I liked it this way because it is simple, accessible, and I wanted it to be professional. Although I do want it to reflect my personality, I think being professional is more appealing. That is why I added a fun font and colorful social media buttons. I think the subtle pops keep the website what I want it to be– simple, professional, and a little fun. I wish I had more in my e-portfolio but I have a new computer that doesn’t have all of my old research papers and other projects. However, I am sure I will be assigned plenty more before I graduate so I can add them later.

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Skills for the Future

I’ve learned a lot of relevant information in this course.

I learned…

  • how to record and edit audio with Audacity
  • how to blog by using the inverted pyramid, hyperlinking and SEO
  •  how to create a personal website for self branding which forced me to find out details about myself such as skills, what I want to do with my life, who my target audience is, creating an e-portfolio, and finally building my resume
  • how to live tweet
  • photography and film–  how to white balance, how to properly edit and create a video
    • transitions
    • music
    • audio
    • capturing different angles
    • B-roll
    • Premiere
    • iMovie
    • Photoshop

I hope to build upon these skills by continuing to blog and create video in my future. I know there is always improvement, but I am pleased with my improvement thus far. These skills will help me in my academic and career goals by executing projects assigned by teachers or future bosses, building my resume, and acquiring skills that will further my achievements.

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Jobs of the Future

An article by The Economist discusses the jobs of the future- cyberjobs. These cyberjobs are increasing the number of jobs from China to Africa and boosting the demand for mobile-internet access.

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The article goes on to say the very important implications of this demand. It creates a virtuous circle in which growing use of mobile telephony encourages more investment in infrastructure, which in turn puts more people in touch with the growing global digital economy.

In the Ted Talk, Economist, Andrew McAfee suggests that androids will take our jobs we know now. In this far-seeing talk, he thinks through what future jobs might look like, and how to educate coming generations to hold them.

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He speaks of technological unemployment– due to technology understanding, speaking, and writing. These are the reasons why androids are taking over today, instead of hundreds of years ago. He calls it the “new machine age” and thinks it is great news.

Food for Thought: College Edition

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Sunset at the Furman Lake

Located in Greenville, South Carolina, Furman University is one of the top liberal arts universities in the nation. It is widely known for its scenic campus and academic rigor. I asked student’s their opinions on the campus food, such as how satisfied with the healthy options provided. Overall, students seem to ignore the healthy options because they find them not as appealing.

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Furman University’s Fall leaves

The new exposure to a meal plan has lead to something called the “Freshman 15.” College students all over the nation are known to gain weight their first year away at school. A study by Public Health Nutrition found you eat an average of an extra 200 calories a day eating out at restaurants than you do at home. This weight gain is the outcome of a year adjusting to a new lifestyle and eating habits. Charlie Anderson (Freshman), says that the “Freshman 15” is inevitable. “It’s hard to eat healthy because it’s so expensive.”

 The Paddock

 The Paddock is Furman’s pub-style restaurant. It is located at the bottom of the Trone Center, overlooking the lake. However, it is hardly ever packed due to its high prices which lead to student’s running out of “Palapoints” fast.  Allie Powell (Sophomore), finds that there are some healthy options in the Paddock. However, no one seems to order those due to the undeniable appeal of a hamburger and fries.

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Rose Garden outside of the Dining Hall

Charles E. Daniel Dining Hall

The Dining Hall is undoubtably the most social atmosphere at Furman University. This is where most students eat multiple times a day. They provide a wide variety of buffet style food to keep students from getting bored. Karina Nazareth (Sophomore) and Tucker Erdmann (Freshman) both know that “salad is the healthiest option.” However, Nazareth and Erdmann both say they still indulge in the DH’s less healthy options, like corn dogs and the infamous cookies.

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Furman’s Dining Hall View

Einstein’s Bagels

Einstein’s is located up the stairs of the Dining Hall. This is a popular study break location where people can grab a quick bagel or coffee. It is also ideal for late night breaks from the library since they’re open until 12:00 am! Plicca Watt (Sophomore) likes the fact that Einstein’s offers a healthy menu of options under 350 calories. Options such as this allow students to consciously make better eating choices.

Webdesign Editing and Trends

Trends are ever-changing. This is displayed with the article, 18 Pivotal Web Design Trends for 2014 by Chris Lake and Brian Carroll’s Chapter 6 in Writing for Digital Media.

New Trends

  • Less text (Inverted Pyramid)
  • Video/Moving Backgrounds
  • Richer content with less words
  • Varied typography
  • Bigger photos
  • Minimalist navigation

This trends are important to remember because people are using the internet more and more daily. Bigger pictures will catch their eyes and less text allows them to actually read your message. Most people do not read everything online, so the less you say, the more they will read.

The Big Four

  • Balance- allows no competition for attention
  • Contrast- creates variety, mix up text and picture size
  • Unity-  the same text throughout, layout works
  • Symmetry-  proper proportions

Getting it Right: Online Editing, Designing and Publishing

  • Explain the fundamentals of online editing and publishing
    • Theory of Gestault– the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
  • Understand the responsibilities of the editor
  • Understand the process of publishing online
  • Begin editing online content
    • headers and hyperlinks, copyright notices,
    • check and recheck

Fall for Greenville: A Taste of the Town

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Fall for Greenville is the annual street festival held in Downtown Greenville every October. There is food, live music and entertainment that covers 8 blocks of downtown.

Over 40 restaurants participate in Fall for Greenville. You can stop by a station and try some of their food (which turned into my dinner). As you could imagine, the festival was filled with a mouthwatering aroma. Even though their weekly Farmer’s Market is always packed with people, it was a great way for Main Street to shake things up.

With over 600 restaurants, Main Street has had national attention to their unique blend of restaurants. From Persia to Japan, Downtown Greenville has a place that will cure any craving. Some international restaurants that were participating in Fall for Greenville were Pomegrante, Gringos and Sushi Murasaki.

Pomegrante

Pomegrante is a Persian style restaurant that gives Main Street something different. There are not that many Middle-Eastern restaurants on Main Street besides The Lazy Goat, but both restaurants are known for having high quality and authentic food. Pomegrante’s  food never disappoints according to Urbanspoon.

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Entrance to Pomegrante on Main

Gringos

Gringos is a Mexican restaurant right off Main Street. It is known for its tacos and margaritas. It has patio and indoor seating which overlooks a view of Main Street. Although it is mexican style food, Gringos gives some of its dishes a certain twist, such as a Cheeseburger or Shrimp Po Boy taco. This unconventional blend is part of the unique charm of Greenville.

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The front of Gringo’s Cantina, right off of Main Street

Sushi Murasaki

Sushi Murasaki is a well known sushi restaurant on Main Street.  With many oriental restaurants on Main, Murasaki has stood out because of its high quality foods. This speaks volumes because restaurants on Main Street are highly critiqued. It has a authentic atmosphere which makes it feel like you are really in Japan. They were serving sushi dishes in their tent which seemed to have a long wait due to high demand.

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Sushi Murasaki at night time

If you missed Fall for Greenville this year, make sure to stop by October 9-11, 2015 for some fun!

Digital Media Ethics

 

 

Moral Claimants, Obligation and Social Responsibility

Thomas Bivins a professor in Communications wrote the book,  Mixed Media which I found to have helpful tips when using digital media.

The Linkage Concept

This concept is identifying the most important entities in an environment leads to survival and success.

It is important to note that misreading a market can cause huge losses in revenue.

From his book, here is an example of the linkage of a journalist:

via Mixed Media by Charles Bivins

Key linkages that are common to most organizations.

The Importance of Consequences

We must consider our consequences when discharging the importance of our obligations. The effects (consequences) of our actions are the main reason why we feel obligated in the first place. However, he says this is our moral, not ethical, obligation.

The Nature of Obligation

Bivins defines an obligation as a bond — social, moral, or legal– to someone or something. He also says it is a synonym for “duty.”

Moral philosopher, William David Ross names six areas all humans recognize as being morally binding:

  1. Duties of fidelity– I think is most important because one’s word means credibility.
  2. Duties of gratitude
  3. Duties of justice
  4. Duties of beneficence
  5. Duties of self-improvement
  6. Duties of non-injury

All of these are used with ethics in the work and social world.

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Copyright & The Ethics of Distributing via Digital Media

Charles Ess wrote the book, Digital Media Ethicswhich discussed a very essential topic for digital media: copyright.

Approaches

There are different approaches to copyrighting law in the US and Europe, most importantly highlighting their ethical differences. This has to do with the cultural background from each country and diverse traditions that they have.

 

Adding Motion

Chapter 4 of Writing for the Web by Lynda Felder provides helpful tips for video storytelling.

When to Use Graphics

Types of Moving Graphics:

1. Video– real life, moving images, good for promoting products and messages

2. Animation– individual pictures of characters or objects in continuous movement, good for short ads and demos

3. Motion Graphics- 3 dimensional logos spinning across the screen, film titles dancing, images fly across the screen and then evaporate

4. Software Simulation- models the experience of using a software program by shooing the software screens and mouse movements for typical tasks, good for promoting software packages and instruction on tools within software application

5. Games– for entertainment and can be educational

6. Photo Slide Show- still photos can provide an emotional experience

7. Digital storytelling- works well for personal stories and educational purposes

Brainstorming

Some brainstorming ideas that have worked well for others

  • Sticky notes
  • 3×5 cards
  • Lists
  • Outlines
  • Napkins

Developing a Storyboard

First, you must understand the concept, the structure, the setting, the action, and any spoken narration.

Second, as Aristotle says, every story needs a beginning, middle, and end.

If you’re having trouble with the middle, I found these hints to be helpful:

1. Show the overview. Show a long camera shot as the audio narration speaks the introduction.

2. Show a mid-range shot as audio narration gives more specifics about the story.

3. Show a close-up shot and describe details with the audio narration.

Print

Different camera angles for storytelling via Learnaboutfilm.com

Writing Scripts

A script provides a “roadmap” for your production and example dialogue.

TIP- you don’t need a screenwriting program.

A script helps you remember what to say and when to say it

Remember: it should be clean and easy to read.

Using Guidelines to Produce Video and Animation

Most importantly, remember these suggestions from Felder when producing visual work:

  • Keep it short
  • Keep it simple
  • Keep the audience in mind
  • Keep the lighting suitable for any camera work
  • Keep it fun!

Video Production Primer

Pre-production the most crucial phase because it is the preparation for production. This phase can make the whole production much easier.

Interviews

1. List all the information you need to tell your story.

2. With your list of story-telling elements, decide which people can best fill in your blanks.

3. Compile a complete list of questions ahead of time.

4. Pre-interview each subject.

5. Schedule ample time for each interview.

Remember– Don’t forget that filmmaking is a VISUAL medium and you should be leaning on images just as much as voice-over. Otherwise, all you’ve got is a podcast with some pretty pictures.

Southern Comfort

Wide span of comfort foods found in Greenville, SC

Wide span of comfort foods found in Greenville, SC

Moving to South Carolina last year was a culture shock. People dressed, spoke, and even acted differently than what I was used to in Florida. However, they had the best food. The South really knows how to make comfort food.

Brick Street Cafe

Famous for their Sweet Potato Pie, Brick Street Cafe is a Greenville staple. This restaurant is the epitome of southern comfort. From their homey interior to their mouthwatering entrees, this restaurant is where to go for a taste of the South.

As we all know, fried food isn’t the most health conscious. In fact, Southern food in general isn’t thought of to be healthy. However, we need to treat ourselves once in a while…

Here are my top “Southern Comfort Picks” on their menu:

Appetizers: Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Oysters

Entrees: Shrimp and Grits, Filet Mignon

Desserts: Sweet Potato Pie, Sweet Potato Cake, James’s Peanut Butter Pie

My “Health Conscious Picks”:

Salads: Brick St Fruit Plate, House Salad

Entrees: Grilled Salmon, Vegetarian Lasagna

FUN FACT: The building where Brick Street Cafe is located used to be a belt factory.

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Brick St Cafe
315 Augusta St, Greenville, SC 29601

Colorful Interior

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Sweet Potato Cake & Sweet Potato Pie

Spill The Beans

Located at the entrance of Falls Park, Spill the Beans is a big part of what lively downtown Main Street is all about. Their refreshing coffee and tasty ice cream/yogurt makes for a unique atmosphere for working, studying or even just to stop by.

In my opinion, this is the best ice cream downtown. I recommend the chocolate yogurt or a hot fudge sundae. They have 49 toppings to choose from- ranging from chocolate chips to Nilla wafers. Whatever your combination, it’ll be sweet.

As far as coffee goes, their’s is fresh and delicious. Their selection is broad from plain espresso to their signature “Leaning Tower of Mocha.” If you don’t like coffee, they have other alternatives such as tea and Italian soda. Spill the Beans is definitely a unique coffeehouse exclusive to Greenville. If you want to see more options, here’s the menu.

Spill the Beans Interior

Coffee Station

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Ice Cream Cones

 Food Trucks: Asada

Asada is a combination of gourmet taste with street food flare. They are located in the Villages daily except for Sunday and Monday.

Asada has no preservatives or additives and every meal is made to order and packed in eco-friendly containers. They take a simple food, such as a fish taco, and adds something different.

What I like about food trucks is that they are fast and easy with a variety of foods from all over.

My picks from Asada:

Empanada- Their empanada is very fresh and doesn’t taste like it was just microwaved, (like some food trucks).

Lemon-Basil Thai Calamari Taco- This dish is really unique. When have you ever heard of a calamari taco? It has the flavor of a normal calamari dish with the zing of lemon to make it a little different.

Lemon-Basil Thai Calamari Taco

The Asada food truck with anticipating customers