J226 Taught me HTML Code, Sound Cloud, Flickr, Google Charts and How to be a Better Person

richard's mug
Photo by Richard Karevoll

I feel like I learned a lot in J226 this semester. I have never been very comfortable or confident with computers and the capabilities they provide, even the most rudimentary endeavors frighten me, as I have not built up any confidence in this field of work. This class has done a great deal to change that for me.

For one, creating maps on Google Maps, sharing them and making them interactive is not something I was previously able to do, or even aware of for that matter. Being able to supplement a story that involves locations with a map that is well marked and even linked to the locations is incredibly valuable. To take this idea further, posting them into a WordPress document was surprisingly simple and effective.

Creating audio files with Garage Band, putting them into Sound Cloud and then fianally into a WordPress post is something I wish I had known to how to do previosuly for the sake of my music blog, which now that I have time and skills, will hopefully become more entertaining and interesting for readers. It is with this knowledge that I created one of my favorite pieces this semester. For the XPress magazine I did a piece on the most recent formation of The Grateful Dead, whoa are now calling themselves Furthur. With audio documents and Sound Cloud I was able to insert audio files into my story, which was featured in the magazine’s WordPress account.

Using iMovie was the next best thing I learned in this class. Although my attempts were novice at best, I found the process very intriguing and really look forward to using it more in the future for my own personal use. It was much simpler than I thought and quite rewarding when the whole thing was done. The simplicity of posting to Youtube also got me excited about making short movies on my own time and sharing them with the world. Since this, my mind has been working on news stories that would work well for short video and Youtube.

Adults Seeking Health Information Online

This study conducted by Pew Research Center, entitled The Social Life of Health Information, looks at the number of adults who use the internet and social media to share and gain information about health related issues. The study was conducted by telephone in August and September of 2010. 3,001 random adults were surveyed across the country, and of those 3,001 adults, 74% of them use the internet. The below numbers are representative of that 74%.

I found it inetresteng that the number of randomly surveyed adults who use the internet was as low as 74%, I would have assumed it to be higher. Perhaps that bias comes from being in college, where everyone uses the internet.

If I were to write a story stemming from this data, I would like to explore the fact that of the 20% of adults who look for health related information on the internet, so few have shared their experiences or comments. Is their reluctance to engage in sharing related to health information, or is it a reluctance to share information on the internet in general?

I would use audio interviews to tell this story. Visuals might be sort of dull for such a topic, but I think their may be some very profound opinions from a variety of adults regarding their thoughts on sharing their personal experiences with strangers on the internet. A person’s health is a private issue, and the readiness to talk about it is obviously not as high as with other topics.

Key:
Blue. Tracked weight, diet, health indicators and symptoms online
Red(ish). Posted questions, comments, or advice on health related issues on health and news sites, in the comments section
Orange(ish). Posted experience with a particular drug
Green. Posted a review of a particular doctor
Purple. Posted review of a particular hospital

What Journalism Majors Think of the Royal Wedding Coverage

Royal Wedding balcony
Photo by John Pannell

Journalism majors were asked how they felt about the Royal Wedding coverage. As journalism majors, their opinions are uniquely profound and far more informed than the usual student.

In order, the speakers are:

Kelly Gough, Senior
Chris Hare, Graduating Senior
Caitlin Olsen, Senior
Tom Garcia, Senior
Kelsey Avers, Senior

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