How We’re Different

Most websites in the general interest area of mine fall into either category that I cover — sports or music. I not only cover both, which some of the other sites do, but I often intertwine the two in ways others do not.

That’s big, as it separates me from the usual sites. Even if they cover both, the content of the genres are kept completely separate.

Look at Grantland, for example. Before it was taken off the face of the internet (rest in peace, the greatest website of all-time), the ESPN affiliate had in-depth long read stories about the NBA from Zach Lowe, from college basketball from Mark Titus, popular culture from Shea Serrano, among a lot of other talented writers.

But rarely, if ever, did those world intersect. Each person stuck to their lanes and did not cross-contaminate, so to speak.

This continued with Grantland’s spiritual successor, The Ringer, another brainchild of Bill Simmons. Though the quality dipped significantly, the idea was the same — each category had its writers writing a lot of words about a specific subject within the sports and popular culture sphere.

Not at the BallRoom. That’s the difference, or at least our goal.

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Please Steal My Content

The content I’ve created on this blog is original, but I am no means attached to it.

In other words, I’m not copyrighting anything I’ve done here — I want it to be open-source, for people to take it and use it.

Aside from the usual sharing my content through social media, which would be pretty awesome if people did to be quite frank, the most meaningful way of spreading my work would for people to make their own work inspired by mine.

Take my blog post on best rap lyrics about basketball players. If one were to make a video version of it like the ones that populated YouTube at its infancy and credited my blog post as inspiration in the description, it would mean so much more than a simple tweet.

It could lead to the Long Tail of YouTube helping my blog grow — if the video gets even 100 viewers, I anticipate at least a quarter of them to click the link to my blog and at least a fifth of those to like it enough to follow my blog. That’s five followers right there!

Any form of sharing my stuff would exceed my wildest expectations, but if I could inspire others to create themselves, I imagine it would be a feeling like not other.

All is Fair (Use) in Love and War (and Creative Commons)

basketball-game-competition-sport-39593.jpegI chose an image off of Google of the Georgetown Bulldogs taking on the Florida Gators in an NCAA men’s basketball game. I was surprised to see a photo from a game disputed between two Power Five programs being available for free use, so I jumped on the opportunity to use it.

My usage of this image falls under Fair Use for purposes because of its use — I’m using it for scholastic purposes as this article is for a class.

It’s favorable to my educational objectives — if I don’t do this assignment, I’ll make it harder on myself to pass the class.

It’s a small quantity as the photo is one of many taken by the same photographer at the Florida x Georgetown contest that day.

Finally, and in my opinion most importantly, my use of the image has no significant effect on the market or potential market for copyrighted work — I’m not profiting off of the photos use and it certainly won’t affect others from using it.

In all, I don’t see there being an issue with me using this image, at the very least when it comes to copyright. Whether those players or those teams want to be featured on my blog is another story.

Casting Screens

You can find my screencast of Brianna Dalcanton’s ‘Rantings of a Bored 21 Year Old’ here: https://www.screencast.com/t/OAqfSmGsiLQL

The progression through the ranks of multimedia used to distribute continued in our Strategic Presentation class.

After photo-editing and audio recording, we’ve moved onto screencasting — a combination of the latest project with a visual aid.

The process of screencasting was relatively simple. Downloading Jing didn’t cause too many issues seeing as it was only 10 megabytes, and after a quick demonstration in class by Professor Bridges, getting it up and running wasn’t a hassle by any means.

The lack of an editing option made the process a bit more stressful seeing as the whole thing needed to be recorded in one shot, but it only took me a couple of attempts until I felt comfortable with the final product.

Uploading the screencast was a different issue.

My preferred method of distributing video is through YouTube, a website which doesn’t accept the format in which Jing creates videos. I thought I could solve this issue by converting the .swf file into an .mp4, but the conversion left the latter file without some necessary parts, at least according to YouTube.

From there, I followed Prof. Bridges instructions to upload to screencast.com, which wasn’t a hassle at all.

Screencasting could be useful in a number of different ways. An example in a field I’m interested in — let’s say i’m reporting on a basketball game and want to demonstrate to readers how the Golden State Warriors use the elevator door screen better than any team in NBA history.

With screencasting, I could record a few examples and voice over them simultaneously, drastically reducing the time I would use doing both separately.

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I found this assignment to be far easier than the photo-editing assignment. I’ve worked with audio in the past, both in class and in hosting my own podcast, so editing it is something I’m quite comfortable with. As far as selecting the songs to use, it wasn’t too difficult to find a pair that pushed the narrative of my blog given that most of the content is centered around rap.

Once I had those chosen, I imported the audio and cut up a 45-second section of each song for an intro, outro and as background noise. Before recording my voice, I made sure to jot down a script. I find that having what I’m going to say prepared keeps me less likely to stutter or mix up my words together, making the process much quicker and seamless. It only took about two or three run throughs to get a proper recording I was content with.

To record, I used a Blue Yeti microphone I’ve used for projects in the past. The recording is crisp and sounds much better than if I had used the voice memos app on my phone or the recording option on my MacBook.

The one obstacle I encountered was exporting the audio as an MP3 out of Audacity. It’s something I’ve encountered in the past but remains frustrating as I’m forced to download the file as a .wav and convert it to an MP3 file, which is incredibly tedious.

But once I got it done, the remainder of the assignment was pretty self-explanatory. This was definitely my favorite assignment we had to complete for class thus far.

Creating My Header

aGoing into the design of the header of my blog, I had an idea for what I wanted it to look like. But as most of, if not all of my classmates can relate to, it was far harder to create than I expected.

The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was finding images suitable for use within the confines given to us (most notably the need for an image with a Creative Commons Attribution license). I knew I wanted an image of a kid walking onto the basketball court with a pair of headphones on — a situation I’ve found myself in countless times that I feel really captures the essence of what I’m looking for in my blog.

Getting a photo of a basketball court was the easy part. Once I did that, I went on a long journey lookign for the perfect photo of a kid with a basketball in one hand, his phone in another and a pair of headphones on his head. Sadly, after what felt like forever of searching through Google, I was unable to find anything, so I had to improvise.

I had taken a pair of graphic design classes in high school, and while I wasn’t the best student by any stretch, I felt I had held my own. After not editing photos more than a handful of times since then, however, I immediately recognized that the rust was there and I needed to shake it off.

It took a very frustrating hour or so to complete, but I finally got something that I thought wasn’t absolutely awful together. I still couldn’t find an image of a kid with a basketball and headphones, so I improvised by shopping a basketball with a kid walking down the street with headphones.

Editing photos is something very useful in many aspects of life, whether it be personal or professional. From a journalistic standpoint, it is valuable to be a jack-of-all-trades, so being able to use a photo-editor is a solid addition to a resume. From a personal standpoint, it gives one the ability to make personalized gifts for friends and family, something which is often far more appreciated than a store-bought present.