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Writing & Editing Week 7


Writing & Editing for Digital Media week 7 - focus on student media

Writing & Editing for Digital Media week 7 - focus on student media

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  • 1. Writing & Editing for Digital Media Week 6: Page design & making the story work Workshop: Student publications
  • 2. What does a good webpage need?
      • Home page/landing pages
      • Navigation
      • Branding
      • Search function
      • Useful links (useful to whom?)
      • Appropriate rich content
      • Footer (copyright, "About us" etc)
      • Archives
      • What else?
  • 3. Taking advantage of Web 2.0
      • Web 2.0 is about how we use the internet to communicate. It's about users, creators and participation.
      • Watch this video. Seriously, watch it:
    •          The Machine is Us/ing Us
        • by Prof Michael Wesch, Kansas State Uni
  • 4. Web 2.0 = conversation
      • print = one way conversation
      • web 1.0 = online but still one way conversation
      • web 2.0 = millions of conversations
      • Jay Rosen from NYU talks about participatory media and "the people formerly known as the audience"
      • don't talk to "the audience" - get involved in lots of different conversations with individuals.
  • 5. What does your website say?
      • Do you encourage readers to get involved?
      • Do you let people contact you online (via email, web contact form, etc)
      • Do you give people a reason to come back to your site?
        • ie news updates
        • does it look like the site content changes regularly?
  • 6. What should a student publication do online?
      • Do you let people know how to find:
        • Your print edition
        • Your editorial office on campus
        • Who's on the editorial team
        • Where to send in a comment or news tip?
        • Where else your paper has an online presence (link to Facebook group, Twitter account, etc)
      • Look at different student newspaper websites and see if they encourage readers to contact you or get involved.
  • 7.    
  • 8.    
  • 9.    
  • 10.    
  • 11.    
  • 12.    
  • 13. What does Farrago do online?
      • Many Australian student newspapers have a bare webpage without helpful information
      • What questions would a reader have who came to your site? Does your site answer these questions?
        • How can I contribute a story or news tip?
        • How can I find you on campus?
        • How can I contact you online (ie email, contact form, comment on website)?
  • 14.
      • Lack of control of the website (usually hosted by the student union)
      • Poor/difficult to use Uni website infrastructure
      • Lack of support for going online -  funding/training/tools
      • Uni concern about publishing online
        • opening up website to comments, user generated content, etc - legal concerns, defamation etc 
        • concern that website needs to uphold University's image (website as corporate marketing tool) 
      •   What other challenges?
  • 15. Yes, that's a  lot of challenges
  • 16. Here, have a puppy.
  • 17. Options for student publications
      • Depending on the web infrastructure and tools available to you, you may want to focus on:
        • Making your print publication more online friendly
        • making your current website more online friendly
        • exploring online options beyond your uni website
  • 18. Make your print publication more online friendly
      •   publish & promote contact details including email addresses in the print version
      • Ensure that the relevent people have access to that email to read and respond
      • Maybe one generic email for news tips - which will be seen by or circulated to the whole news team.
      • Have a visible presence on online communities where your readers are (ie Facebook, MySpace, Twitter). A place to share your news stories (here's a taste of what's in the mag this month) and for readers to send you feedback and news leads.
  • 19. What's a short term solution  to get us online?
      • University websites move as slowly as glaciers. 
      • Establish online communities outside the university to be able to do things quickly and to keep control yourself
      • Ning is a very easy way to set up an online community - it can be private (for your editorial team) or public (for all students of your uni)
      • A Facebook group or page is another option - and lots of students are already on there.
  • 20. External hosting warning...
      • Beware: Terms of service, copyright and censorship. Do you want to control your own media and copyright?
      • Some companies claim copyright on media (photos! vidoes!) uploaded to their site (ie Facebook) - read the terms of service!
      • Some companies make it difficult to get your data *back* from their site if you want to leave (proprietary file formats, difficult migration process). Can you back up your data and take it with you?
  • 21.
      • Companies like YouTube (owned by Google) who host the data can decide to censor it ie if someone claims it is offensive. Try googling "YouTube censorship" or "LiveJournal breastfeeding" 
      • These companies doesn't need to announce when they remove material or why
      • If you publish politically sensitive material, you may want to consider hosting it yourself where you can control it.
  • 22. Legal risks
      • I AM NOT A LAWYER!
      • We will look at legal issues in Week 10
      • Educate yourself on the laws around copyright, defamation & privacy - since you may be storing & publishing reader's personal information (a la Facebook)
      • You need to be aware of the legal considerations the uni faces if moving to online student publishing
      • If you are able to demonstrate knowledge about these issues, you have a better chance of the Uni supporting your move online.
  • 23. What can you do now?
      • Talk to the editors of Farrago about how you can get involved.
      • Talk to its publishers (the University and Student Union) about how students can get involved in university web publishing & online news
      • Continue in print and web or migrate to web only? A long term decision which won't happen overnight, and involves you, the Student Union and the University. Not to mention your readers, the students.
      • What else do you want to do online? What do students want?
  • 24. Extend your involvement on campus
      • Contact and work with student/community radio stations (TV/internet broadcasting?)
      • Work with teachers and students in the Media & Comms school as well as Publishing & Comms
      • Think about other departments that may have skilled people wanting to get involved - IT, visual arts, graphic design, TV & film production courses 
      •   Clubs and societies who may have skills to offer or a large potential reader base or source of stories (ie overseas students association)
  • 25. Unofficial "offcampus" websites 
      • PROS: 
        • Bypass the University and Union and publish something independent. 
        • You control the website and can update it as often as you want
      • CONS: 
        • You can expect problems if you use the uni name or the name of your publication.
        • An unofficial website might be hard for students to find, and you probably can't link to it from your "official" website
  • 26. If you start a separate blog...
      • GA separate blog or website loses the "Google juice" of your main website. How can students find you?
      • Link to the blog in the main navigation bar of your publication website if possible
      • Put a teaser for the blog (including links to recent posts) on your publication's main web page - you can do this automatically with a widget
      • Mention relevant blog posts in your print publication
        • ie at the end of a story, mention that the author blogs also and give the URL of the blog
  • 27. Be good at Web 2.0
      • Don't just blast out your content and ideas. That's as annoying as advertising. Converse & respond.
      • Don't just use your website - comment on Facebook, other blogs & websites. 
      • Link to interesting stuff created by other people, that your readers might like.
      • The web is multimedia - use photos, video, audio.
      • Use a tool to manage updates across multiple sites at once (ie Twitter, Facebook etc) - eg Ping
  • 28. New tools available "off campus"
      • Video - YouTube
        • has limits on how long your video can be
        • for pre-recorded video
      • For live video streaming, check out Ustream
        • You just need a video camera
        • You can show your Ustream on your website
        • Or people can watch your Ustream site on your own "channel" or page on the Ustream website
  • 29. Blog software is powerful
      • Blogging software is publishing software - so it can be used to do a whole website if you want, not just a standalone blog
      • For example,  publishes a very busy news website using WordPress 
      • Crikey publishes a whole network of blogs using WordPress:
      • Or you can publish one individual blog:
      • Open Source blog software like WordPress or Drupal is free and supported by a community of developers
  • 30. Blogs
      • Blogs - a free hosted blog  means it's on someone else's website (ie if you start a blog on, Blogger, etc)
      • If you host it yourself:
        • it's on your own website
        • you need to register a domain name and an account with a web host, then upload blogging software.
        • One easy hosting option is Dreamhost, because they can set up your blogging software for you  - check out Dreamhost Apps to see how it works
  • 31.
      • One cool tool is Cover It Live -
        • Great for covering live events "as they happen"
        • Check out the Demo on their website - it shows how you can get it up and running in two minutes
        • You embed it on your website just like you'd embed a YouTube video
        • Readers can ask questions and you can answer instantly
        • Crikey used it to do their US Election night coverage      
    Live Blogging
  • 32. Free Image &Video resources
      • Sourcing free pictures, video and music is possible through Creative Commons
      • Creative Commons helps writers, musicians and multimedia producers share and build on each other's work, legally. It's an alternative to traditional copyright.
      • Barack Obama just made the White House website Creative Commons!
      • Watch this video: Creative Commons - A Shared Culture
  • 33. Find and share free, legal content
      • Find out how to access content - and share it - using Creative Commons instead of traditional copyright
      • Here are two sources of loads of sharable media:
      • WikiMedia Commons:
      • Flickr Commons:
  • 34. Get on Facebook!
      • students are already there
      • a way to promote your magazine and get reader feedback and news tips
      • Make sure videoes and blog posts autopost to your Facebook Page
      • Have someone in charge of updating/responding to the page - roster it if needed to spread the load
      • Keep it alive! Change the status update message a few times a week, or send out a message to your group/fans  
  • 35. Be useful on Facebook!
      • Don't just use it as a way to advertise. 
      • Be useful and interesting
      • Use it as a way to communicate with your readers and make them interested in you and your publication.
      • How?
      • Break news & give teasers from your print edition
      • Publish video & photos
      • It's not all about you. Link to other interesting content! 
      • Give readers fun and easy ways to get involved
        • competitions
        • submit photos/videos
  • 36. Facebook - Group or Page?
      • Facebook Groups and Facebook pages can do different things.
      • Check out which one suits what you want to do with your Facebook.
      • For a blog post about the pros and cons of Facebook Groups versus Pages for student publications, see:
    •      The Student Leader Think Tank:
  • 37. Twitter? Ya rly.
      • - it's a short message, microblogging platform
      • 140 character limit
      • You can post messages (tweets) and "follow" other people to read their tweets.
      • You can update by web, SMS or Twitter tools like Twhirl or Tweet Deck
      • If you are selective about your Twitter community, it's a powerful resource and you'll have experts at your fingertips. 
  • 38. Journalists use Twitter
      • It's already being used by professional journalists, editors and publications
      • News broken there included the Mumbai terrorist attacks
      • You can break news and get news tips
      • Promote new content you've put online
      • Get feedback & let readers contribute to stories.
  • 39. How can you use Twitter?
      • Jay Rosen - teaches Journalism at NYU
      • "It's a handbuilt tipster network. The people I follow bring essential things to my attention and keep me current."
      • "Twitter keeps me in touch with people who are friends of my ideas. I know about their projects and current obsessions; they know about mine."
      • check out his Twitter stream: @jayrosen_nyu
  • 40. Join networks of student editors
      • Contact other student publications & editors - share ideas, potentially share resources
      • Join or set up online communities for student editors eg
      • Start a local community for Australian editors using Ning, Facebook, Google Groups,Yahoo Groups, etc
      • The NUS conference (week of 6-11 July 2009) will include 1 day devoted to student media. Contact them to find out more & get involved.
  • 41. Useful resources for online publishers
      • Tools for Citizen Journalism -  a wiki 
      • Handbook for Bloggers and Cyberdissidents by Reporters without Borders
        •   includes advice on how to start a blog, get it picked up by search engines, ethical guidelines and recommendations for the best tool to use
        • information on how to blog anonymously and technical ways to get around censorship
  • 42. Australian Resources
      • The Writers Guide to making a digital living
      • Arts Law Centre of Australia Online - Legal issues for bloggers:
  • 43. University news online  
      • The Melbourne Newsroom
      • The Union
      • Farrago
  • 44. Is it any good?
      • Pick one of the Unimelb sites and answer the following:
      • Start at the uni home page and try to find the section you’re looking for (ie Uni news, Farrago, etc). How easy/difficult is it? Try using the search function to find it.
      • Do they have consistent headers, footers and navigation areas?
      • See if anything about the site annoys or confuses you, and work out what the site  should  be doing at that point.
      • Turn off support for images or JavaScript in your browser, or use your mobile phone and compare the experience to using the same site on your computer.
  • 45. Workshop time!
      • Your challenge is to suggest ways to better use the Uni’s websites to publish and publicise student writing and news online
      • You should also suggest what kind of content you think Melbourne students want
      • Use your analysis of one of the Unimelb sites as your starting point
      • What navigation/layout changes would you suggest?
      • What kind of internal/external links would be appropriate?
      • Community/audience building: Where do students from Melbourne hang out online? How can you connect with them?