Hello, My name is Natasha Fowles and this is my blog :)! I will mainly use this for assignments for my COJO-3530 Online Journalism class. I currently go to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and am a junior.
On this blog, I will mainly be posting about class topics such as multimedia, writing and of course journalism.
For this assignment, my class was split into pairs to create a visual news story of an event on campus. Since it is the end of the school year, my partner Mykel and I had so many options to choose, and finally decided on the “7220 Finals Destresser.” It was a very energetic event with activities varying from life size hamster ball races to making stuffed animals.
What I enjoyed the most about this experience was getting to participate in some of the events to get a good idea of what they were like and how I should portray them. I also enjoyed finding people to interview about how they liked the event and what their favorite thing to do there was.
I had an overall positive experience at this destresser, however, the one thing I did not enjoy at all was the fact that there were long lines for just about everything. It was also a bit difficult to film certain angles due to the fact that Half Acre Gym was extremely crowded. I almost missed filming the stuffed animal activity because there was a limit on how many people were able to due to materials running short.
What surprised me the most about this project was how many things would be going on at the same time, and how I had to use a lot of space on my iphone, which eventually ran out, to capture everything. It also surprised me that finding a quiet place to interview would be so difficult.
One thing that I wished I had done differently was free more storage space on my phone before going in to film. I would have also tried to get there earlier to film the setup without people for one part of the story.
As far as using video in my future career goes, I see this as a very likely outcome. I had a lot of fun filming everything, and believe I have gained experience for the future.This isn’t my first time filming, I often do this for fun in my spare time. I would love a career where I am using video storytelling.
For this assignment I was supposed to pick an event happening in Laramie and then live tweet what was happening. Although it may sound easy, I faced quite a bit of challenges. I decided to live tweet my favorite sport, basketball.
The University’s men’s basketball game was going on against the Pioneers so I decided it would be the best event to talk about. The Pokes had a close game but the score came to a final of 82-70. At one point they almost lost their lead, it was an exciting game.
What I enjoyed most about this experience was seeing everything happen from a reporter’s point of view. I would look at the plays and see what would work to talk about, and what would not. I also enjoyed talking to people to get their point of views on what what was happening.
Although this experience was a positive one, there were still things I didn’t quite get as perfect as I wanted them to be, and I was a bit hesitant on what would actually work. I did not enjoy the fact that everything was happening so fast. I would try to get pictures of the players dunking but I could never get the picture to portray what was happening in real life.
I learned that to have a successful story, a person has to go in with a set plan to get a story that would make the most sense. What surprised me was just how fast the experience went, even though the game was about two hours long. I wish that I would have moved around instead of just sitting in one spot the entire time, so I could get different angles and talk to a lot more people.
As far as social media use in my future career goes, I feel like I will use it, and thanks to this assignment, will have a better grasp on what to do in a next live tweeted event. I think social media is an excellent tool for places of business to use because it gives a more personal touch to articles and reports.
It is pretty obvious that the two soda brands that have been around the longest are Pepsi and Coca-Cola. These two favorites have been rivals for a very long time; they do target the same consumers after all. These days the best way a brand gets their name out the fastest and stays in the loop is through social media accounts. For this assignment, I compared these two brand’s accounts because they have such huge platforms and overall chose the best one to be Coca-Cola.
Of course every company has a Twitter, so this was the first social media platform I looked at. As I looked at the Coca-Cola twitter, I noticed that they did their best to incorporate this drink into recent events such as the world series, Halloween and of course fall in general and according to “5 Tips to Build More Loyalty With Your Twitter Fans,” this is the best course of action.
Pepsi did the same thing and incorporated events with the world series being their most recent post. As for posting things about Halloween went, this company went way more in depth about this topic. I think that was a good idea because their Twitter literally had a theme instead of everything being random. Pepsi also used Twitter very well through their constant use of unique hashtags.
What Coke could have done better about with Twitter would probably not have as many generic ads on their page. They constantly talked about drinking Coke with food for over half their feed. I would also recommend that they not use as many ads that clearly look automated or set up months in advance. Last, I would say that Coke should add a more personal touch to their videos, instead of just an ad you would see on television.
I believe that Pepsi could have added a few more things to their Twitter, such as made their profile and header picture a little more diverse; it was just their logo. I would also say they should have added more diversity to their ads; they often posted about the same thing over and over. Another thing they could have done better is interact a little more with their followers.
I then looked at their Facebooks, which were still had similar content to what was on Twitter. Coca-cola was very tentative to their fans/consumers. Every time they would reply to a posted they created, Coke would answer. They also used their social media in a constructive way for damage control and contacted the person right away. Coca-Cola also offered their page in a variety of languages so they reach more consumers.
I then looked at Pepsi’s Facebook and it was also offered in a variety of languages. This company was way more responsive on this platform than the last. Pepsi also had new content on Facebook that was not on their Twitter which showed that include variety in their postings.
What Coke could have done better with their Facebook page is come up with more diverse posts; everything I saw was mostly on their Twitter page. They could have also added a call to action, I did not see any and the article “Ten Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement” said it was very important because it increases interaction. Coke could have also tried to use Facebook Live.
Pepsi could have again, tried to make their profile and cover photo more diverse. They also did not use Facebook Live. Another thing they could work on is that use more instant articles, just as the website stated above said.
Moving on to their Instagram pages, Coke and Pepsi and they were almost identical. They both took advantage of the option to post videos and had numerous ads and closeups of their product. They both posted often and had numerous followers. Coke had 1.6 million while Pepsi only had 759K followers.
Both of these Instagrams could have answered their comments more. I didn’t see any interaction there at all. Again, I did not see any new content on either pages that I hadn’t seen before. They should have also tried to follow more people, they weren’t even at a thousand.
I then looked at three other platforms, which were Snapchat, Linkedin and Pinterest. Pepsi had a PepsiCo presence for all of these, but they were not relevant to the actual drink Pepsi, so it would be a waste of time to critique those. I believe they should have actual platforms to compete with Coca-Cola, but they chose not to for some reason.
Coca-Cola’s Snapchat, Linkedin and Pinterest were all the same as their other main accounts, so it feels redundant to again critique them critically. They did collaborate with celebrities often on these platforms. I would give them the same advice as I did for their Facebook and Twitter profile.
From this assignment, I learned what makes and breaks a social media profile and really believe I can use the advice I read in my own profiles. A perspective I hadn’t thought of before is that having current and unique content is the most important part of the entire experience.
Last blog, I recorded a raw audio of my partner Mykel Owens discussing her time at UW, this time I will be editing it down to only two whole minutes. For this specific project I used the software called “Audacity” and it definitely had a steep learning curve. Thanks to this challenge, I feel like I can confidently say I have mastered another program.
At first, this experience was very tough. Audacity is not very self explanatory and many of the very important buttons are a bit hidden. It took be about three days to do this, averaging to about three hours in total. It was difficult to decide what audio stayed and what was deleted because I saw everything as important.
I do have to say that my favorite part about editing is watching the product come together. It is very satisfying to delete sections and start to see the length of audio go down. It is also a good skill that I believe all people should learn. What I did not like about using Audacity is that I often lost my spot and had to take five minutes to find it again. It was again, very hard to figure what button did what, and where I had to go do a small thing such as turn the audio up.
What surprised me the most about using Audacity is that it was so intricate. I had no idea so much when into sound editing. I respect audio reporter who edit there own work so much more now. It is definitely time consuming work.
If I could have one anything different, I probably would have seen if it was possible to take out anymore of the background noise. I also wish that my transitions between topics were a little smoother, and added a little more time between sentences. I wasn’t trying to make the story rushed, but I wanted to keep as much as possible in only two minute
For this weeks assignment, my class focused on the joys of strictly audio interviewing. We then interviewed someone in our class about whatever topic we chose. I interviewed my classmate and friend, Mykel Owens. Since she is a senior this year, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss her overall college career.
My overall experience of interviewing someone with just a recorder was interesting. I kept thinking to myself that this is the actual interview, and I don’t need to take notes like I usually do. It was also a bit difficult to come up with questions that easy flowed together as if it was a story.
I myself was then interviewed by Mykel. Before I was recorded, I tried to think of what I was going to say and when, and also how I would transition on to the next question. It is always weird when someone hears their own voice on audio, but I think it turned out pretty well for a first time experience.
The one part of this process that I enjoyed the most was the end result.I never really hear the interviews I conduct or talk in because it is usually pen and paper based. It is almost more accomplishing to have a “hard copy” of the interview. Now, I can always go back and listen to it if I feel inclined to.
On the other hand, what I enjoyed the least was trying to find an appropriate area to conduct the interview and then trying to get to an exact time mark. I kept looking at the time while I spoke because I thought I wouldn’t have enough to say. It also took my interview partner and I about 30 minutes to try and find a spot that was quiet and out of the way of people.
If I were to do anything different for the interviews, it would probably include better time management. I had two topics to potentially talk about and I should have worked on them more before the actual interview. I also wish that as I spoke I would have transitioned a little smoother and not have said “um” as much.
Last week here in Laramie was homecoming, a time when all the students show their school pride and we play teams on our own campus. I decided to capture this pride at the football game. The hardest part about taking these pictures was the bright sun and the mass amount of people.
If I were to change anything during this shoot, I would maybe try to move around in the stand a little more to catch different angles.
For this first photo I wanted to capture the crowd in front of me as I attended yet another homecoming event. I moved several times but stayed the longest behind this couple. They seemed so excited about the weekend’s events, so I tried to keep this as the theme of the photo. I did not ask for their names because then the shot would seemed staged. I used the creative device color to get this picture; the gold just pops everywhere.
This second photo is also at the game as the Pokes run back onto the field. This was after a time out in the third quarter and the coaches had started to get nervous. At this moment the Falcons were actually catching up very quickly to our score. The crowd was not as loud at this moment because of the suspense and tension. I used the rule of thirds in this photo.
The next photo is of Western Thunder Marching Band as they play during half-time. I wanted to get a close up on the band members as they formed the giant UW symbol. They played numerous songs throughout the game, but really shined during half time. The crowd loved the songs, and even sang along when they could. I used leading lines as a guide for how I wanted this photo to come out.
This next photo is of ROTC participating in a flag ceremony during half-time. They maneuvered the flag in a very unique way that many have not seen before. The crowd loved the intricate way they folded and flipped the flag. It was difficult to pick what shot I was going to use because all of them turned out to be so unique. The creative device I used was balancing elements.
This last photo was taken at the start of the fourth quarter. The Pokes had finally gotten their lead back and the crowd was very excited to see what would happen next. The energy of everyone around was contagious, and at times it was difficult to see capture a shot because no one could stand still at this point. I used leading lines and color for this photo.
The five photos below are ones I captured on the University of Wyoming campus and around my apartment complex. What surprised me most about this assignment was that it takes time to set up a good photo. Any movement I made could potentially ruin the shot, so it definitely took a few tries to get a photo I was satisfied with.
This first photo is of weeds I found by my apartment. The dominant creative device in this picture would be texture. A person can really see the barbs on each part of the plant. Another creative device could be cropping, because the photo is a close up of just the weed
This next photo is of a flower I saw on the UW campus. I think it uses the color device very well because the vibrant pink and white of the plants is the first thing a person would notice when looking at this picture. Texture could also be a creative device because the petals are very detailed.
The third photo is of my roommate’s dog. I decided to get a close up of her face and use the creative device cropping. Daisy’s eye is most likely the first thing a viewer would take focus on. Texture is another device because there is such a close up to her fur.
I then took this photo of the trees outside my apartment because they lined up in a perfect row. Clearly the device used here is leading lines. These trees went on forever and I wanted the viewer to see the beginning as the main focal point as the trees fade into the distance. The second device used in this picture is rule of thirds because the trees, the sky, and the buildings all stick out the most.
This last photo is of a fire hydrant in my neighborhood. I took this picture with the car in the background for the creative device establishing size. The car takes up so much room in the back that a person can tell that it is really big, but the fire hydrant is shown close up, making it appear larger than it actually is. Another creative device for this could be viewpoint; a viewer cant tell what else is around by just looking at this photo.
The comedian Adam Devine has recently journeyed to the University of Wyoming to share his relatable stories and college humor that really elicited a positive response. UW often hosts comedians and singers for their large scale events planned by the student led organizations 7220 Entertainment.
The Overall Experience
Thanks to campus activity centers such as 7220 Entertainment, students are able to experience comedians, panels and other forms of fun that normally wouldn’t step foot into this state. Danielle Smith, Head Coordinator, of large scale events expressed that there is no market quite as unique as Wyoming’s.
The show was held in the Arts and Sciences auditorium on campus, and the night boasted a full house. This auditorium is where most of the school related events take place. X Ambassadors has graced this stage as well as Iron and Wine.
The Adam Devine comedian show had an amazing turnout. The audience never stopped laughing. People like Adam Devine instantly connect with the audience. By accessing the Wyoming Union Facebook page, students can see photos and updates on past and future events.
Their unique brand of comedy related to the entire crowd and the feedback was amazing. Many know Adam Devine from his role in the show “Workaholics” and the “Pitch Perfect” movies. The opening act was Adam Ray, not largely known, preceded Devine made an excellent opening act and the audience was impressed by his hilarious stories.
“I thought the show was amazing and very interactive, they asked the crowed questions, they made it feel personal and not as if it were a rehearsed skit. My favorite part was the opening act, Adam, when he was making fun of the rap group in town,” says UW Student Chloe Muller.
When in Laramie
Laramie is considered to be one of the best small college towns in the United States and with everything that is available here, it is not surprising. Wyoming itself has a much smaller demographic; the culture here is a little less flashy than others such as California’s or New York’s.
The University of Wyoming has a particular draw that brings in people from all over the world. Nowhere else in Wyoming provides this many opportunities to experience entertainment on such different platforms.
Students are able to keep track of what activities that are occurring on campus by checking into the campus activates section of the school’s website.
Some of the more popular acts that have come to town range from Jason Darulo to blue grass group Trampled by Turtles. Students are always excited to see what is in store for them each week.
“I think (7220 and its events) have benefited Laramie because so many people in the community are able to see amazing shows without having to travel,” says 7220 Entertainment member of 3 years Shaylynn Levada.
Behind the Scenes
Getting a professional organizational group to step into Wyoming, is difficult because of the small populace of the state. a very small market, is no walk in the park. There is quite a process to get them here. The event coordinators have to jump through numerous hoops to land an act.
The group 7220 Entertainment being recently founded is a new branch to the Campus Activities Center, one that tries to involve all students who want to try it out. It is a perfect way to experience marketing and have a fun extracurricular activity.
Danielle talked of how 7220 has to check if the acts have a member base and if they are possibly in the region during the duration of the event. They then contact the agents, agree on a fee and then follow through with the scheduling process.
It isn’t just work and no play for the members of 7220, they get to meet the performers and receive signed posters. It is also just a fun experience for all of them as they get to meet new people and build memories with each other
“Being able to work with such a great group of students and advisers is the best part of 7220. We help each other and provide skills we would not have,” Smith quoted.
It is very important to provide students an entertainment outlet other than education during the school year. UW has a number of activities to do, but the fact that they give a small community a chance to experience diverse acts has got to be one of the biggest perks for these students. It is amazing to see that the entire laramie population can attend these large scale events.
I like to think of myself as a very avid user of the internet. I have searched and been on numerous websites, but never really thought of the layout of such sites. Now that I think about it, presentation is the deal breaker for me at times. If a website is hard to follow, I will simply give up and find a different one. This usability test I completed on the website CFR for the article on “The Long Fight Over Trade and Medicines’, or council of foreign relations, was a real eye opener for me in regards to a pretty website.
When I am reading articles on websites, I always start by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the page so I can get a visual on how long it is, and what it consists of. The page I looked at was about drug trade and how it is ruining economies in different countries. Apparently free trade made prices sky rocket, and people couldn’t afford their medications. After I scrolled down, I looked at the media section of the site, which included a slideshow of pictures and the numerous graphs.
When it came to the more mechanical section of the page, I didn’t really have problems with navigation; the page itself was very clean cut and had a lot of empty space. I for sure saw how the website followed the rules, mainly that the page was not cluttered and things were plain. There was not much confusion figuring out where things were. I would have no problem going through this website on a smart phone or smaller screened device.
I then took a few minutes to find who the author of the page was. It did not take me very long at all to find the information, I simply scrolled down to the bottom and clicked on the credits button. It then pulled up a separate window of the creators/producers/reporters.
I then had my roommate complete this test to see if her perspective was the same as mine. She said that the pictures and graphs were the only exciting aspect of the page. My roommate first read over the article, looked through the pictures and then flipped through the different graphs. She also scrolled to the bottom very easily, because that’s where the credits usually are on most pages.
As far as our experiences went, they weren’t that similar, mainly because I had a better understanding of what I was looking for. The one thing that we did focus on was the slideshow of pictures. We both thought that was the main point of the page. There was also a small note at the end stating that the article isn’t true for all cases, but a good majority. My roommate also thought that the last graph broke up the actual written part of the in an awkward way. I have to agree with her on that one; there is a lot of text on the page, and it could have flowed a little better.
Every website has its flaws, but this one was on the better side of the spectrum. I wouldn’t change the way the slideshow is set up; it is nice to scroll through the pictures and not have them take up the entire page. I would also not change the fact that the home button and logo are up on top of the page, and again, not in the way. I also appreciated the fact that a person can easily switch through graphs.
If I did have to change anything on this site, I would first change the fact that the page is just plain white. Yes, it makes it easy to navigate, but it gets boring to look at after a while. Simplicity is good, but this article took that a little too seriously. Another thing I would change is the fact that the picture slideshow is before the actual article; I didn’t know what the article was about, and first only saw random protestors with signs about drugs. The last thing I would change is that the text should have been grouped together in a cleaner way so the graphs were not in the way.