21 Apr

Platform team meetings Monday, April 24

We’ll look forward to seeing the Platform teams on Monday morning for some quick meetings. You don’t need to prepare anything formal — just be ready to show us what you have so far on your design and websites, and we’ll offer any feedback we have. Note there’s a change in venue: We’ll meet in one of the J202 labs. Here’s the schedule:
304: 9:00 a.m.
305: 9:15 a.m.
307: 9:30 a.m.
308: 9:45 a.m.
301: 10:00 a.m.
302: 10:15 a.m.
303: 10:30 a.m.
18 Apr

Important note about IS projects

I’ve been spending some time over the last week looking at your IS sites, and I’ve been so impressed by all that you’ve done with your projects!

However, there is one issue that concerns me, and I’m going to ask for your help in addressing the problem.

You may remember that one of the ethical issues we discussed in the first weeks of class was the idea of recording a source reading a written statement rather than capturing authentic audio. As the directions for the IS audio story explain, this isn’t ethical because we have no way of knowing whether the source actually made that statement, or if the author of the story made it up and had someone read it — the source or someone else entirely.

But as I’ve been listening to some of the audio stories and audio slideshows, I’m concerned that there are some that sound as if the sources are reading statements rather than simply talking in an interview, and I want to be sure that the audio stories and slideshows don’t cross any ethical lines. The syllabus makes it clear that this is considered academic misconduct.

I am asking that everyone in the class upload the raw audio files for interviews used in the audio slideshows or audio stories to the Learn@UW dropbox so your TAs can regrade them. Please upload your audio by 11:59 p.m.. Tuesday, April 18. If you no longer have your audio, you must email your TA, Meredith and me by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday with the names and contact information for your sources so we can check with them about the authenticity of your audio. (Note: You do not need to upload the audio of your narration — just the interviews that you might have used in either piece.)

I’m happy to talk with anyone about this — please come see me if you’d like to discuss it in person.

10 Apr

Finishing up your Portfolio Site

As you are putting your finishing touches on your Portfolio site, just wanted to remind you that the branding impression and required elements portions of the site are graded by Stacy and Meredith.

You’ll find the final prompt about ethics in media and more detail on the required elements on the portfolio blog assignment sheet.

The sites will be graded as though we were looking at you as a perspective employee—not a J202 student. So, here are some questions and tips to keep in mind:

Does your website easily convey the career path you’re striving for? For some this will be more broad (e.g., PR, journalism), for others this might be more specific (e.g., music PR, specific style of news outlet). Either way, within 30 seconds of being on your site, we should have a clear idea of who you are and/or what you’re striving for based on the introduction, images and other design choices.

Are you putting forward your best work? In-class writing samples (e.g., Stoughton pieces) are not the best examples of professional work and should not be used on the site. Instead, try to include examples related to the field you want to be in. For example, if you want to work in film, either include sample work or make sure your blog posts are tailored to that topic.

Is the website user friendly? Remember that you’re one of 105 “applications.” Things that make the user do all the work are generally not well received. These include:

  • Having to download a Word version of your resume instead of hosting it on your site (or another service).
    Listing links with no context or explanation on a page. (For example, writing just “resume.”)
    Not linking to a new window for outside sites, linking your own pages to new tabs.
  • Is the material appropriate for your audience? Related to this, think about:
    – Providing enough context: Make sure you provide enough of an explanation for your audience to understand what’s on your page. For example, had you ever heard about the IS prior to taking J202? Would someone outside of the J School know what an IS ASF is?

Photos: Are photos of yourself appropriate for your targeted working environment? Do you really need a photo of yourself on every page? Are the photos you’ve selected of yourself appropriate for a professional presence?

Language: Does the tone of your site match your career goals?

Social media links: What’s on your Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat? Is this something you would feel comfortable sharing with an Human Resources director or your future boss?

Personal information: You want to show that you’re savvy. There’s no need to include your home address on the version of your resume that’s hosted online.

All this isn’t to say that you can’t have personality. What you want to aim to do, though, is present yourself as a smart, dynamic professional who understands what they are communicating through their web presence. If your dream job is working at Vice or the Daily Show, your site will look dramatically different from someone who wants to be the next Olivia Pope.

06 Apr

Getting ready for the final project

You’re getting close to finishing up your IS stories and sites (yay!), but we want you to also spend a few minutes looking ahead to the final project. There are three things you should do before next week:
1. Be sure to read the final project pages on the J202 site — there might be some kind of quiz Monday in lecture
2. Fill out the job preference survey so your TA can get you divided up into your work teams right away
3. Come to lecture with at least one final project idea