Group Blog Analysis

SKINT BUT MINT

The group blog exercise was great fun, but quite a lot more work than I first anticipated. I loved working with the girls, bouncing ideas back and forth. I found working in a team gave the blog such momentum and I enjoyed reading the other girls’ pieces as well as writing my own.

I was the sub-editor for the group. Most days I posted a message from the team, stating the problem for the day and how we intended to solve it. I also edited all the posts. Editing the posts was quite a big job as I wanted to make sure that I caught all the typos and spelling mistakes, but I didn’t want to affect the author’s voice. It was really interesting to read all the posts in such detail. I’m glad this was my role as I don’t think I would have read every post otherwise and then I would have definitely missed out on some great pieces of work.

Coming up with ideas for the content of my posts was tricky at times, I wanted to make them as light-hearted and funny as I could while also giving the best advice and ideas. I really enjoyed doing the recipes and it was great to get comments on those posts.

I tweeted most days from my personal twitter account and I tried to update the group on Facebook as often as I could. Maybe we could have done more on the social media side of things and found more readers, having said that I think we did OK on that side of things.

Maybe in the future - image from edublogawards.com

Overall I was really proud of what we achieved – I think that the blog looks clean and attractive, the layout makes it easy to find what you want. Viktoria did a great job on making the blog look good and she really kept us up to date with the social media side of things.

I don’t really think there’s much I would have changed about my group or the blog. However maybe next time I would have liked to have a clearer idea of what everybody would be doing, as at times the work load seemed to be a little lopsided.

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The new ‘Twitter(er)’ and dinner with Julian Assange

Before I started at university I never been exposed to the wonderful procrastination device that is ‘Twitter’. I knew the kind of basic premise; 140 characters, regularly updating people who don’t care about things that don’t matter, or so I thought.

As the world of Journalism is changing, we can no longer just rely on writing skills and investigative nous to get the scoop. Modern journalism is over-run with ‘tweets’, ‘blog-posts’, ‘status-updates’ etc etc etc

Anyway, having been introduced to the world of Twitter this week in my ‘Multimedia Journalism’ class I began to get quite excited. So much news is generated by people sending tweets out into the twittersphere – I really began to feel that I had been missing out all these years.

Today I found a tweet that about a scheme that, for a small donation, sets up a dinner for you and your friends with Mr Wikileaks himself, Julian Assange.

It’s actually not as good as it sounds, basically you can invite all your mates round for a dinner party and at 6.30pm (GMT) you can enter the password you are given (after you make your donation, of course) into the site and Mr Assange will appear on you computer. He will then presumably talk to you, and everyone else who made a donation, about the freedom of speech.

I personally have two problems with this:

1) What happens if the outcome of his extradition hearing (happening today 7/02/11) means that he will not be able to broadcast to all wikileaks followers on the world-wide-web??

2) Is this a rubbish money-making excersise that will only end up benefitting Assange and the Wikileaks posse??

Maybe he is having trouble paying his legal bills and this is his way of making some quick cash.

Don’t get me wrong I like the idea of Wikileaks and the freedom of speech (and press) is very important to me, but I am sceptical as to whether this ‘dinner’ will make a real difference.

And finally, would any of you out there really get excited about the idea of dinner with this man??:

Five top tips for making the most of twitter:

  1. Make sure you follow interesting, trend-setting, news-making people – you can’t get the good goss if you’re not in the loop.
  2. Be active – don’t just expect people to follow you, encourage them. Make an effort to write interesting tweets and follow up on conversations/threads.
  3. Stay on top of what happening – follow the trending topics and big news stories, there’s a wealth of information to be found if you look hard enough.
  4. Remember a story can come from anywhere – I was browsing on Twitter the other day and something caught my eye. There was loads of comments and messages about a girl who was being ‘trolled’ (abused) by other users. I thought immediately that it would make a great human interest story – so keep your eyes peeled.
  5. Use your contacts – you will be amazed at how welcoming the Twitter community is, this can be great when you’re researching something. You will be surprised at how eager people are to help you out.

So happy tweeting!

Review of Online Journalism Blog

The Online Journalism Blog is a great source of information and a fantastic tool for all journalists – from the student to the expert.

I have to say that the site is not especially pleasing to the eye and it isn’t the most usable blog in the world. The

Image from ybf.co.uk

layout is a bit all-over-the-place, which can make it hard to find what you want sometimes. These superficial facts aside, once you get the hang of the design, the site is fairly easy to manoeuvre.

For me, content is much more important than how something looks, but I know this isn’t the case for everyone. I’m sure there are other, more attractive-looking, online resources/blogs for journalists, but I urge you (if journalism interests you) to have a read of a few pieces from this blog.

One good thing about the design is that it doesn’t force whole articles on you. For each post a short section from the beginning is shown, if you enjoy what you read you can choose to click through and read the rest, if not you can move on. Making it very easy to scan for little snippets from each piece, this is great if you’re looking for something very specific or if you just want a quick scroll.

Image from journalism.co.uk

The range of topics is huge – from teaching ideas and tips on improving skills to news updates and job opportunities. There are some particularly good posts on multimedia journalism and data-reading skills.

These are some of my favourite posts: Should you ‘brand’ a hashtag? and All the news that’s fit to scrape

I hope you have a read and find something that helps/interests you.