Final Project For Converged Journalism

**Ammendment to the below post.

After two whole days, it’s finally working. A small glinch in the sizing, that prevented the project from loading in any time less than half an hour, was the problem. It has been sorted now, so it loads properly.

Our project was on the Orlando Bike Polo group. The project goes in three chaptesr: how it got started in Orlando, a personal story from a member, and the rules of the game, as well as a description of the gear. It’s an overall look into this small little group that for the most part flies under the radar.

Each chapter is a soundslides project that one of my partners and I put together. The whole thing was sequenced together using Adobe Flash.

So, I am at a complete loss. One of my other partners is as well. Oh, and my third partner has been as help with this project as a ten pound anchor would be for a cruise ship.

Our project has been finished and we’re actually quite pleased with it. Our last step was to upload it into our webhosts and link to it through our blogs. That’s where the problem has come up.

We published it correctly and uploaded it into our “public” folders through filezilla. However, when we try to write the link in for the script, it doesn’t work. We’ve tried every phrasing. We tried deleting and reuploading to our webhosts, we tried republishing, and one partner’s boyfriend tried to rewrite the script for the published file correctly. Nothing has worked.

It is probably some small thing, like a period somewhere, that we are missing. I’m about a milisecond away from throwing my computer against a wall, because I cannot get this link to work.

So today will be spent scowering the internet and blogs to find a solution as to how to link to our project from or webhosts. It’s completely ridiculous and has been the most stressful 24 hours of my life. Our project works and it’s good. Now, why won’t it link?


A Look at Two Different Ends of State

The New York Times took a direct approach when analyzing the two worlds that inhabit Orange County, California.

Though I personally found this sort of short and lacking any real inspiration, the NY Times junxtaposed the thriving beach communities of San Bernardino county with the inland communites of Riverside county.

As a viewer clicks through the sides, every photo is placed next to its opposing scene in the alternate county. This clearly illustrates the difference between the economic atmosphere of each area. However, there were not that many photos. I feel like there is plenty of room for a more in-depth look. There is an article that accompanies the slideshow, but I wanted more photos.

This could be a door to a much deeper analysis of the situation in California, but for now it seems like a skim of the subject.

The photos are a decent insight though, but I want to know more about each situation. I wonder if this would lend itself well to a video piece? Perhaps that is something that could be explored. Honestly though, I would just like a larger photo bank for this piece, it is too quickly clicked through.

A Look Into the Art of Conducting: New York Philharmonic

The New York Times partnered with the New York University Movement Lab to take a look into the craft of conducting a symphony.

The video is about 8 minutes long, but you keep watching, because the variety is content. Alan Gilbert, the new director for the New York Philharmonic, explains the progression of his role throughout a performance piece.

The Movement Lab created this wonderfully simply computer model of Gilbert conducting. At the beginning of the video, it was slightly unclear as to if the computer tracking system was portraying Gilbert but as the video went on, the clips led into each other and it was clear that Gilbert was the computer model.

Gilbert is very candid about his craft, which leads to a great piece. There is a passion that can be understood through Gilberts dialogue. The produce/videographer did a very pleasant job of getting video content of Gilber while he was conducting that matches up so well with what he is talking about.

There is a part where Gilbert is speaking about the ending of the note and you get a nice clip of him conducting during rehearsal and then also, you get this wonderfully computer generated model of Gilbert that puts all the emphasis on his has. The model is so simplistic that it gives the viewer a complete trail of the conductor’s hand movements. This makes it appear as though you are actually watching the notes, which Gilbert is essentially doing, making the notes come alive.

There is another very pleasant momement when Gilbert is explaining the connection that he makes with the music and the musicians while anticipating the music. When he knows something important is coming or he was to put emphasis on something coming up in the piece, Gilbert makes a connection with the musicianwith his eyes, body language and hand movements. While he is speaking about this there is a side-by-side view of a shot on Gilbert and a shot on the musician.

This piece is such a great example of when science technology and multimedia make brilliant manifestations of stories. There are so many attributes in this piece that are so alluring and draw the viewer in. So even if the viewer isn’t a musician or into music, their whole body is draw in, they are seeing the conductor, they are hearing the piece that he is conducting, they are seeing the musician, they are seeing the simple movement of the model that makes the music look as though it is a complete dance.

April Fool’s the Sentinel Style

On Sunday, April 1, the Orlando Sentinel posted a multimedia source full of top ten April’s Fools pranks as listed in the Museum of Hoaxes.

The Sentinel’s format included a photo carousel, a brief discription of the prank and then a link that led to extra sources that depicted the prank in more detail.

This is an interesting idea, but I feel that it is lacking any real draw to the Sentinel’s content. For one, the links that the site uses to explain the prank in further detail sends the reader off of the site. Granted the news organization should bring in other sources, but I don’t think it is the best format to send the readers off of their page where they can get lost somewhere else. The news organization could lose the reader for that visit.

Also, the images that the Sentinel chose to use along with the pranks are not that interesting. As a viewer, my eye would not be drawn to the piece. I was expecting something rather neat and then was really bored by the presentation. April Fool’s pranks have a lot of range for entertaining photos. Also, it was just one photo per prank, I think a gallery would have sucked a viewer in more.

These seems like an overly simplified version of something that had real potential.


L.A. Times and Their Hometown Glory: The Oscars

Of course, who would cover the Oscars better than the L.A. Time? Probably no one.The L.A. Times did a bang up job covering all of their bases.

The news organization has a who page devoted soley to the event. Why wouldn’t they? It is one of the year’s largests most talked about event of the year. The Envelope: The Awards Insider give full coverage of the event from start to finish. In the main carousel of the page, there is a link to a running story with updates on the latest award winner. Inside that artictle is are links to photos or arrivals, a list of quotes from actors and actresses, and an updating list of the winners.

Back to the main page below the main carousel is a “Guide to the Oscars.” This includes the scenes for each nominee, a cheat sheet about each film or nominee, polls about who’s the favorite, count of tweets, negative and positive, a play-at-home ballot, and pundits’ picks. An Oscar fan could go nuts here and get lost for hours. A viewer can get all the good gossip as well as do their research.

The site also offers photo galleries that is updating as winners are announced. It has red carpet arrival photo galleries as well.

On the right hand side of the site is a ticket that updates with each announcement and then links to video interviews from the nominees’ red carpet arrivals.

This really is brilliant coverage. I can’t think of anything that the L.A. Times is missing. They have articles, photos, videos, audios, and interactives.This is a model of an event that should be praised. Unfortunately, not all news unfolds this way and the L.A. Times is very lucky to have this event happen in their city so that they can step up and show off their multimedia skills. It’s not very often that so much news is happening and can be perfectly anticipated.

The L.A. Times does a great job though of makign their site look attractive to the viewer and having so many nooks and crannies that the viewer can find their way into.


The Guardian Utilizes Tumblr for Fashion Week Coverage

As London’s Fashion Week unfolds the Guardian pulls in an assistant to keep the coverage up to date.

Screenshot of Guardian fashion page

The Guardian has a twelve cell carousel set up that rotates the latest post from itself and from its Tumblr. At certain times the squares are completely filled by Tumblr sources and at other times it has a few of the latest article written by the Guardian’s writers.

Below the carousel, they have a section for the news organization’s fashion blog which gives good commentary from the fashion editor of the Guardian about the designers and they success or lack there of.

I think this is quite innovative. When a viewer clicks on the tumblr link they are sent to a photo or a photo gallery. Photos are of designer’s work, their shows and presentations, and the happenings of London’s fashion week. This adds a personal level to the news coverage that will get readers hooked. The viewer that can’t be there in London can get their latest updates from the Guardian. It gets the paper more notice and the site more clicks.

I do, however, have one critique. If the news organization had implemented more video features, they could have had a more rounded media coverage as opposed to only the photos and the articles. It is a terrific idea and I really applaud them for their coverage and taking the reader inside London’s Fashion Week. I think that they could have reached a larger span of interested viewers, though, if they had added more videos to their Tumblr or news site.

L.A. Times Coverage of the Death of Whitney Houston

As can be read all over the internet and in the majority of print publications, the pop-singer and icon Whitney Houston died at the age of 48 Saturday evening. Now, obviously, every news organize is coming it. One news org. that stands out is the L.A. Times.

Kevork Djansezian / AFP/Getty Images

On the L.A. Times website, there is an entire page in their entertainment section devoted to the full coverage of her death, the investigation of her death, and rememberance of her life and achievements. The page offers viewers access to the breaking news article and articles to follow. Lower down on the page there is a multimedia section. Included in this section is a interactive timeline of the singer’s life, a photo gallery, and a video page that includes 6 memorable performances by the music queen.

The timeline of Houston’s life walks the viewer through the singer’s birth, included is a map with a pin on the birthplace of the singer, and major events in the singer’s career, inlcuded are photos and videos.  

The timeline is very unique and successful when involving the reader. The read has the choice of where to go on the timeline making it an active view as opposed to a passive read. Within the timeline there are options to click on videos that will lead the viewer to other pages, resulting in more clicks for the website, which one of the ultimate goals.  

The photo gallery page is pretty self-explanitory.

The video page is, in no particular order, a sampling of six of Houston’s most memorable performances. Above each video is a little blurb to explain the signifance of each song  or performance. Again, the reader has the choice of which ones to watch.

At the bottom of all three pages is an area where viewers are welcome to give feedback. L.A. Times makes it personal by asking “What is your take”. Viewers can feel like they are a part of the news when they can give their two cents. This coverage by the L.A. Times reaches across a decent span of media. There is print, interaction, photos, and videos,which include music audio. The viewer of this section has plenty of avenues to explore and plenty of paths to follow through the L.A. Times website, which is great for them. The clicks will just keep pulling the viewer deeper and deeper into L.A. Times’ site.