As part of our Multiplatform Journalism unit, we were asked to write a feature article with a corresponding multimedia element. Although at first I struggled to find inspiration for my feature article, the idea soon came to me, an article of my first hand experience of the DOW Sustainable Fashion Show that was held at the university recently.
Once that bridge had been crossed, I faced a different issue. A BIG issue. I’m almost completely technologically illiterate. Luckily, we received a lot of help in class with our multimedia element, with tips on how to carry them out and even some classes on audio recording. I decided to film one of my interviews with the creative director of the show, this proved to be a challenge as I tend to find camera’s quite stressful and was a bit confused with the ins and outs of recording and what not. But with some determination, and a little help from a friend (shoutout to Ellie) I worked it out. I even managed to teach myself a thing or two about editing video, as the audio in my interview turned out to be a little quiet, and needed cutting in some places.
This week in Multiplatform Journalism we read an article that I found particularly helpful: How I Got 6.2 Million Pageviews And 144,920 Followers, by Ali Mese. In the article, Ali shares his declassified survival guide to blogging.
Reading the article has really helped me to see what steps I need to take in order to perfect my posts on my blog. For example, one of Ali’s main tips in the article is to write simple. As is the case with most writing nerds such as myself, I tend to babble and go on a bit of an ‘artistic tangent’ with something that could really be explained in half a sentence. It’s important to keep your audience in mind with blog posts, not many online readers are going to be interested in your overly pretentious, over-thought version of what you had for breakfast.
To tackle this issue, Ali suggests including no more than three sentences in a single paragraph. This is something I’m trialling in this post, as paragraph structure is another one of my main faults! It’s definitely helping me to keep my word count down.
Give Ali’s article a read if you fancy improving your own blog posts, it’s worth a look.
In my last reflective post I spoke about the advantages of good feedback. Along with getting good feedback comes making changes.
Throughout the last 2 blog posts I have made, along with my About Me page, I have been continuously improving upon my posts with help from the feedback I have received. My classmates have brought particular issues to my attention such as the fact that I don’t always use enough paragraph breaks or that I am sometimes too informal in my writing style. Through feedback such as this I have been able to improve upon my work.
Along with getting feedback, it is also important to help others improve. Giving feedback can be tricky, especially when dealing with peers. But in our lectures we have learnt that feedback is best given when you balance good comments with improvements. For example, while I found that one of my classmates had a post that really brought across their personal voice and writing style, I also found that they could’ve written a little bit more and developed some of their points.
My lectures have also been very helpful towards the positive changes I have made in my post. For example, in this morning’s lecture I very quickly realised that my last blog post hadn’t featured any of the online writing features that Danilo had shown to us. This prompted me to feature hyperlinks, images and to highlight key words in my last post.
Feedback is without a doubt something that is crucial to improving upon your work. Getting instant online feedback from my classmates has definitely helped me a lot, particularly from getting praise and positive comments.This positive feedback has helped me to gain confidence in my work and writing, which is something that I definitely have lacked previously!
It can sometimes be hard to deal with criticism, especially from your peers, but it is not something that I see as being totally negative. When we published our first reflective blog posts last week (you can find mine here), my classmates told me that my style of writing could be a bit chattier, a bit less formal and that I should have more paragraph breaks. Although it can be hard to hear that your work isn’t completely perfect, I was happy to keep this in mind for future posts and make changes to my original.
Something in particular that I found extremely helpful was when one of my classmates told me not to put myself down so much in my work. I tend to rely on self deprecation as a source of humour sometimes, but I now understand that it may be off putting for readers in some cases.
I feel that getting feedback from my classmates has been a good learning experience for me. Through doing this I have learned to make sure I am keeping a less formal tone consistent in my posts and use less self deprecation in my work.
It seems almost obvious to me that I would want to enter the world of journalism. Journalism has never been more exciting. Information can be communicated through a multitude of different ways, whether it be a live stream, or a caption on a social media post. People can be reached on an entirely new level. Multimedia journalism is evolving quickly.
When I try to think of my strengths; I struggle. So, from that, I’ve automatically come up with what I think would be one of my weaknesses: I’m too critical of my own work. If I can pride myself on anything, it would be that I’m good at spelling. I also think that I’m quite good at motivating myself. Another weakness is that I’m one of the laziest people alive and manage to always leave things to the last minute.
Throughout this course and this unit, I hope that I can improve my writing skills and my time management skills. I hope that I can learn to get my work done quickly and efficiently. I plan to do this mainly by attempting to get all of my work done in the allocated time in the seminar, so that I’m getting it done quickly.