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.
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.
Going 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.
This wasn’t my first time setting up a WordPress blog, but that didn’t make things any easier.
A couple of months ago, I (finally) decided to create the blog I’ve been meaning to make for quite some time. The interface on WordPress is very clean and simple, so getting the blog up and running is no sweat. The problem comes in formatting it in your liking.
There were few restrictions put upon us by Professor Bridges, but the ones that were there did make it more difficult for me in choosing my theme. With one in mind heading into the project, my plan came crashing down when I saw we were required to choose a theme with at least two columns. After much deliberation, I finally chose one I liked.
The other major wall I hit in creating the blog was choosing a topic for it. Stuck between my two biggest personal interests of sports and music, I decided to fuse the two given the many overlaps between them.
The above photo was taken by Gordon King of the Yakima Herald-Republic in Washington State. It takes the reader inside the locker room of the Yakima Valley Pippins prior to a game against the Wenatchee Applesox in June of 2014.
In all honesty, I had never heard of those two teams prior to finding this photo. However, it was a perfect demonstration of one of the many ways athletes use music in their every day lives — in this example, starting pitcher Reed Garrett is using it to get his mind right before getting on the mound.
It’s one of many examples I’ll take you through during the course of our semester together.