Teaching Examples

Flash Tutorials for the Complete Beginner
April 30, 2007, 12:32 pm
Filed under: Flash, journalism, online, training

After more hours than I’m willing to count, I’ve produced three 10-Minute Flash Tutorials aimed at journalists, photojournalists, students, and … whomever!

I debated whether to start with something more advanced, but in the end, I decided to try these because I thought I could make them as short as 10 minutes. Well, each one is less than 11 minutes, so — close enough!

These tutorials definitely start at zero. If you’ve never even opened Flash before, please try them.

I’m very, very eager to hear whether anyone likes them!

These are the first narrated “screencasts” or screen videos I have made. I’ve tested them on three different computers, and they seem to run well as long as there’s a broadband connection. So please take a look if you are one of those people who says, “I want to learn Flash!” — but you never have enough time. Surely you can spare 10 minutes?

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Good online journalism design work
April 29, 2007, 9:58 pm
Filed under: awards, design, Flash, graphics, journalism, online

SNDies award winners have been highlighted in a news posting at the SND Web site. Although the annual awards in the past have been decided in the late summer or early fall, for some unknown reason we now have “early SNDies.” Huh?

But in any case, these are interesting and varied examples of online journalism design and presentation. I had not previously see the Philadelphia 2006 homicides graphic — it’s a real winner! (Very effective interactivity.)

And if you have not seen Light Beneath the Streets, then have a look. Compare it with the excellent minute-by-minute graphic of the Virginia Tech shootings, which uses the same template. This is a good method for packaging this kind of work. It won’t work for every package, but you can see how versatile it is if you compare these two examples.

SND is the Society for News Design.

And hey, unlike the silly EPpy people, the SNDies people actually provide LINKS to the work! (Angela Grant has supplied us with links to many of the EPpy nominees.)

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Survey results: What my readers said
April 28, 2007, 5:37 pm
Filed under: audiences, blogging, data, metrics, tools

A week ago, I posted a Wufoo survey here, and 173 of you were kind enough to complete it (108 said they are journalists). Thank you!

You can see the results in graphic format. It’s not the most user-friendly format I’ve ever seen, and it’s only the raw data, so it includes everyone who answered. I have downloaded all the data as a CSV file and will analyze it properly after I finish grading (yes, our semester ended Wednesday).

To see the questions I asked, look here.

Reading Habits

I asked: How does this blog fit into your other blog reading?

  • 70 selected: It is one of the top 10 blogs I read regularly.
  • 67 selected: I read a large number of blogs regularly, and this is just one of them.
  • 10 or fewer selected one of the other six answers.

I asked: Have you seen this blog before today?

  • 74 selected: I have your blog in my RSS feeds and check it often.
  • 46 selected: I check your blog often.
  • 19 selected: I check your blog occasionally.
  • 12 selected: Today is the first time I ever saw your blog.

There were four other answers, each with lower totals.

Preferred Content

I asked: You want to see more posts about … (tick only 3)

  • 58 selected: Online journalism packages (larger stories with multiple segments)
  • 51 selected: Video online
  • 42 selected: Flash
  • 41 selected: Newsroom reforms
  • 38 selected: Teaching online journalism
  • 37 selected: Interactivity

(This is one of the questions where doing a proper data analysis will yield more useful results; I can sort for regular readers, journalists only, etc.)

I asked: What type of post do you like MOST?

  • 51 selected: Tutorials and how-to posts
  • 49 selected: All of these, or I can’t pick just one
  • 22 selected: “Think pieces” or original essays
  • 16 selected: Links to examples at professional journalism sites
  • 14 selected: Critiques of specific online journalism work
  • 10 selected: Overview posts that provide links to several related posts or resources at other sites

I asked: What type of post do you like LEAST?

  • 60 selected: I like all of these, at least sometimes
  • 43 selected: None of these are a type I like LEAST
  • 18 selected: Summaries of other people’s very long articles or blog posts
  • 14 selected: Critiques of specific online journalism work
  • 12 selected: Overview posts that provide links to several related posts or resources at other sites
  • 12 selected: Tutorials and how-to posts

So, this is all pretty interesting to me (I don’t know about you). As I said, these are just the raw data, but it does make me think I should adjust some of my practices with this blog!

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Information Graphics Workshop and Conference
April 28, 2007, 5:44 am
Filed under: data, graphics, journalism, news

June 3 through 5 at Michigan State. Take advantage of discounted registration until May 4. Details here. Check out the video interview with Nigel Holmes. Organized by Karl Gude.

No Flash and no animation, but there will be 3-D.

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Five sites doing something right
April 27, 2007, 9:01 pm
Filed under: journalism, online

Hard to resist a challenge like this: Ryan Sholin invites us to write about someone, somewhere, doing it right. “Heck, tell me about five.”

He started us off with five of his own choosing.

Here are my five:

Santa Barbara Independent: This California arts and entertainment weekly recently redesigned its Web site, and it looks great! They offer good news coverage too.

Brady Lane’s ongoing video learning experience. Check out “On the Bus with Tex.” Lane has mastered time-lapse!

Missiles and Nuclear Installations of North Korea (Misiles e instalaciones nucleares de Corea del Norte): No words are necessary to explain what this animated graphic is saying (from El País). Have you ever seen a better use of satellite images? I haven’t!

The Bakersfield crew covering a local murder trial with tight, short, well-conceived videos. Check out how well these videos are titled, blurbed, and introduced! Davin McHenry says site traffic has doubled this week.

Meranda Writes: I’ve linked to this blog before, but I have to say I love the enthusiasm for journalism that I find here. If j-schools can send out young ones like this more often, I think we’ll be okay. Two examples: One about learning her craft in a place where the mentors have left; the other on why she chose journalism.

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Help improve this blog
April 27, 2007, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve been running a survey since last Saturday. Tomorrow is the one-week mark, and I’ll be taking it offline about noon (-04:00 GMT). The survey’s goal is to show what this blog’s readers like, dislike, and want more of.

Please fill out my survey.

There are ONLY eight (8) questions! Please help!

Update (April 29): The survey is finished. To see the questions I asked, look here.

An internship you’d love
April 27, 2007, 4:15 am
Filed under: jobs, journalism, online

Rob Curley is looking for summer interns at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.

We want solid journalists who can write their backsides off. We’re also looking for programmers with an understanding of Django. And if you’re a kick-ass designer with killer Flash or motion-graphics skills, we want you.

Via Meranda Watling.

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