My Adventure in Digital Communication

We live in a digital world, a world where digital literacy is becoming more and more important  in all aspects of our lives: school, work, entertainment. This semester, in my  digital communication class I have learned an array of things that will help me succeed in this digital world. The most important digital literacies required in this new digital age are personal branding, the understanding of one’s medium and audience, storytelling, and  the importance of search engine optimization.

Personal Branding

One of the most important digital literacies is Personal Branding. It allows one to market and mold their online personas. This semester, I created a personal website, which contributed to my own personal brand. I aimed to make my website both professional and fun with color schemes and images that reflect my personality. My hope for this website is that potential employers will be able to view the site in order to get a better sense of me through my portfolio and digital resume.

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Know your Audience and Medium

Each medium should be approached in a different way.

Writing a research paper is completely different than writing for digital media. Similarly, you would not want to write the script for a video or podcast in the same way you would write a blog post. It is important to keep your medium in mind, besides no one is going to watch the rest of your video if your introduction sounds like a thesis for a research paper. It is also important to know who your audience is. Write what your audience will appreciate and write or film in terms that your audience can relate to.

This semester I kept this blog for my digital communications class. It was through this blog that I learned the importance of knowing one’s medium and audience. I kept my posts short and to the point, as well as added images and links to keep my audience interested. My audience for this blog was teens and twenty-somethings who were interested in or had experienced fad diets, and I kept this audience in mind through every post I made.

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Storytelling takes the digital literacy of knowing your medium and audience one step further by hooking the audience into wanting more. There is no point of making a video, podcast, or blog if you have no story to tell. My group video and podcast were edited to tell a story, and it is this story that kept people listening and watching until the end.

What’s next

Through my digital communication course I have become literate in the digital world. It also sharpened my ability to use digital editing software including Premiere Elements, Photoshop, and Audacity.  What I have learned in this class will contribute to my success in any future career, whether I become a digital media executive or not. Any career can grow from knowledge in the digital world.

I look forward to learning more about our digital age through my future endeavors at Furman University. My adventure in digital communication is far from over, in fact it is just beginning.

Thanks,

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Furman University Women’s Lacrosse

The following Video and Podcast analyzes the starting a new sports program at a Division 1 school, Furman University. The Women’s Lacrosse program was introduced to Furman University in the Fall of 2013, and they entered the Atlantic Sun conference for their inaugural season in the spring of 2015.

Starting a new program

In this episode of the Paiges and Blake show, we interviewed Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Rachel Whitten. Whitten discusses how she started an entirely new lacrosse program, as well as her hopes for the future.

What does it take to be a furman lacrosse player? 

The Following Video takes the podcast one step further. It looks at both the coaches and the players opinions on starting a new team, balancing academics with lacrosse, and what it takes to be on their team.

Thanks,

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Social Networking Sites

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Social networking sites help establish an individual or business’ identity and connects them to people all over the world.

 

 

Do you have a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? If so, then you are on a social networking site. Social networking sites can be defined as  any site that allows you to create a public profile that allows you to connect and interact with others.

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Linkedin is a social networking site that allows individuals and businesses to extend their professional networks and create a professional identity.

Social networking sites are not just used to connect socially with friends, many social networking sites allow both individuals and companies to establish professional relationships like in the popular site, linkedin; Many scholars also turn to social networking sites in order to share their work and collaborate with other scholars.

 

self presentation and social connection

In her book, A Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites, ZiZi Papacharissi, explains that social networking sites attract so many individuals because they allow for self presentation and social connection.

Within a social networking site, self presentation is seen through the text, images, and other multimedia individuals decide to post. Through this self presentation, one’s self identity is formed. However, one’s self identity online is not fully shaped until it has been compared, defended, and adjusted after one experiences social connections.

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Social Networking Sites help connect individuals socially and professionally that otherwise would have never met.

The performance of social networking sites is focused around social connection. People go to Facebook to talk to friends or to Linkedin to speak to potential employers. The central idea around every social networking site is connection. These sites allow one to connect between a multitude of social spheres and authenticate their self presentation.

Social networking sites are essential in today’s digital world. Job interviews are now held online via skype, photos are stored on facebook instead of printed out, and one’s identity online can have major effects on how they are treated in person. Social networking sites now have major influence on one’s life, that is why It is important to take care of your self presentation and take advantage of your social connections.

Thanks,

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Brainstorming

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Brainstorming is an essential step in the preparation of any project.

Whether you are writing a blog post, making a podcast, or filming a video, before you start, you must brainstorm.  Brainstorming  is  planning and generating ideas. As simple as that sounds, it is essential in developing good work. Before you can turn on the camera, you have to know what you want to film, what you want your audience to gain by your film, and how you are going to achieve this. Anything that is considered a great piece of work requires immense preparation. Brainstorming is the first step in this preparation.

Brainstorming Techniques: 

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Sticky Notes are a helpful brainstorming technique because it allows individuals to easily add and take away from their lists.

Sticky Notes-  Write down anything and everything that comes to mind. You can use sticky notes and post them around your workplace, home, or anywhere else you will see them. Seeing your notes regularly will spark new ideas as well as allow you to easily get rid of the ideas that will no longer work.

Lists– Write lists of everything you want to accomplish through your work and everything that relates to it. By writing what you want to accomplish you can figure out how to achieve it, and writing what relates to your topic will spark new ideas.

Phone– When you are in the car, on the treadmill, or walking around the mall and a new idea sparks use the notes section of your phone or send a text to yourself to remind yourself of this idea. When you are not thinking about or stressing over coming up with ideas, usually the best ideas spark. Our phones allow us to keep these ideas for safe keeping until we are able to look back on them later. This method is helpful because it does not require you to carry around a pen or paper.

Brainstorming is extremely helpful when you do not  know what to write about, because it allows individuals to dig deep and truly think. Brainstorming also helps filter information when you have too much to say. Brainstorming allows one to step back and decide what is truly important.

Thanks,

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Aesthetics in Digital Media

Aesthetics can be defined as the philosophical study of beauty and taste. Aesthetics  is arguably the most important concepts when it comes to the visual aspects of digital media. This one aspect decides whether or not  someone will be drawn in to look closer at a piece of work, or if they quickly move on to something more appealing.

 

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

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Every individual has a different opinion on the beauty of this painting, based on the individual’s definition of beauty.

Beauty is a concept that is present in all aspects of society. Whether I am discussing fad diets and their popularity with young women or digital media and advertising, beauty is an important factor.  In digital media we view the “beauty” of an image, format, or blog through the idea of aesthetics. How visually appealing something is contributes to its overall beauty. However, beauty is individualized, no person views it the same.

Taste is in the eye of Experience

The concept of taste is a broader idea. Taste is not an individualized interpretation, taste is developed through experiences and culture. Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright explained in Practices of Looking, An Introduction to Visual Culture, that taste can be shaped through their aspects of identity including class, education, and culture.  Having “good” or “bad” taste can be indicators of a person’s societal class and education levels.

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Chainsaw Suit shows that companies continuously stress the importance of taste when it comes to advertisements or news stories.

Many Companies spend both time and labor making sure that their advertisements are seen as tasteful. In 2013 Pinterest launched advertisements on their popular site that allows people to pin whatever they like online to their numerous, individualized “boards.” One of the main focuses Pinterest  had during this campaigns was to ensure their users that the advertisements found on their site can be seen as tasteful, or as they put it no “flashy banner ads  or pop-up ads.”

Aesthetics is an important part in digital communication.  It contributes to the overall quality of a piece of digital media. When deciding on an advertisement campaign it is important for firms and individuals to consider the tastes of their intended audience and develop something that can be seen as beautiful to a wide range of people. In the aesthetics of digital media, one has to be general enough to relate to a variety of people, but specific enough to fully engage these people.

Thanks,

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The Move to Digital Media

As the age of digital communication continues to rise, the traditional definition of journalism seems to be graying. When I think of the word journalism, I envision someone with pen and paper interviewing the witness of a crime. Today, however, the witness is the journalist. Regular citizens are now involved in both shaping and distributing hard hitting news stories.

Brian Carroll, author of Writing and Editing for Digital Media, defines journalists as those who “gather and share information, applying a discipline of verification in order to maximize the truth, minimize the harm, and to provide a fair and comprehensive account.” Everyday people are “journalists” without even knowing it, and their stories are the ones they post on social media including blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Newspapers are becoming a thing of the past.

So if more and more citizens have access to become journalists on a variety of blog sites and social media, what does this mean for news papers? According to the Pew Research Journalism Project,  journalism and editorial jobs are significantly declining, while digital journalistic jobs are on the rise. In order for newspapers and other print sources to keep up they will have to make some changes. Brian and Carroll suggest gearing stories towards their audience, the elderly, or making the move from print to digital.

Digital Media: the Good and the Bad

As more and more print news sources transition into the digital world there are both pros and cons to consider. First let’s consider the benefits digital journalism provides us.

  • Instant Gratification – We all want to know what is going on, who is involved, and why it happened as soon as the event occurred. We, as society, do not have the patience to wait to see what  tomorrow’s headline in the newspaper will be. We want it now.
  • Engagement – Comment and twitter feeds allow ordinary people to get involved with the conversation. This lets citizens feel like they are contributing to the journalism process and helps articles spread. When someone decides to share on Facebook an article they saw on ABC, all of that person’s followers will see that same article on their news feed. This cycle continues and each time the number of views on that article increases.
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Digital Media makes information available at the touch of a button.

In short, digital media allows news to be seen and distributed quickly.

Now lets take a look at the negative effects of digital media

  • Quality – The quality of the article may decrease because trained journalists are not writing the  full story. Journalists are trained in ethical codes as well as checking for accuracy. . Regular citizens do not always take this into consideration and therefore inaccurate and biased stories are commonly distributed.
  • Comment Feeds – Comments on articles can spark unnecessary arguments or hurtful remarks towards a group of people. These comments can end up shadowing the article itself and decreasing its credibility.

The Digital age is upon us and whether we like it or not, print is becoming a thing of the past.

Thanks,

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