Follow my blog series, TechFed

I’d like to invite all of you to read a new blog series I’m writing for a class called TechFed, where I look into UK and Lexington related technology and social media news.

I guarantee to give fresh facts and analysis than any other tech resource in the area.

The column is something I am doing for my Media convergence class, on the site BlueCoast Live. It is another wordpress CMS-run site and I am taking the opportunity to do something different than my usual daily activities for the Kentucky Kernel, UK’s daily student newspaper.

So far, I’ve analyzed UK’s Facebook and Twitter activities, and identified the most active and also the most lazy social media outlets for UK organizations. Yesterday, I Storified Greek Sing, an annual Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraiser put on by university fraternities and sororities.

The opportunity to write about something that I have a passion for is a great one, and even though right now this is just for a semester and for a class, I think if I find this continually interesting, I could really run with this, and even take the idea to my first job and offer it up as a blog idea.

What I find so interesting is that social media is becoming a huge part of the daily lives of Americans, but right now, news organizations only look at the national level of social media, like the new announcements by Twitter and Facebook and Google. But, as social media is getting taken more and more seriously be local business owners, a huge industry of social media advertising, community engagement, marketing and news are flooding even the smallest of cities. The industry is large in Lexington, I know it. But the mainstream media is lacking serious coverage of this market.

I’m going to change that.

While I may not have the resources to fully cover every aspect of social media news happening in Lexington, and can sure take a stab at is. I think this will be an exciting experiment for both me and my readers.


Why Google+ changed my photography

One Kentucky Kernel alumni said he was tired of people on Google+ talking about how great Google+ is. So I lead with this disclaimer: this isn’t about how awesome Google+ is, but my experience with it so far.

But I digress.

Google+ opened up the twitter world relationship I had with photographers and photojournalists and placed it in a more open and long-form version.

I mean now I could be immediately introduced to new photography. And boy have I.

I follow landscape photographers, portrait shooters, art photographers and I even followed some HDR nerds. While some turned out to be bad ideas, and some aren’t posting their photography (like me), some are really inspiring me at least to appreciate their styles.

Something more than that happened, though. Its the changed the way I see through my own viewfinder, and my photography this summer has dramatically improved.

They (yes, those ominous beings that no one can identify) say that people need to take a break in order to learn.

I’m doing that this summer with photography, and I know when I step back into the arena at my student paper in the coming weeks, I’ll be ready to take on any challenge.

P.S. – I actually did write a blog about how awesome Google+ is. Here’s that blog post for the Oklahoman Intern blog.

Here are some of the photographers that caused this transformation

Dave Beckerman

Trey Ratcliff

Pedro Tavares

Alex Koloskov

Victor Bezrukov






Storify: altering storytelling techniques

I’ve read blogs and books that experiment with story structure and storytelling techniques. When I ran into Storify not too long ago, I knew it would change storytelling for me. It gave my writing new pathways into alternative narratives and plot structure.

If you are a hard news journalist, you know how severely formulaic your pieces can become if you let complacency seep into your routine.

Here is an example of a great storify piece from UPI on the debt debate.

Example of Storify's unique storytelling capabilities

Storify example of UPI's story on the debt debate

Storify is a social media and information tool that drags Snippets of information – like tweets, blog posts, articles, photos and videos- into a storyline.

It’s not a new concept, but Storify let’s the user create an annotated piece of virtual nonfiction by allowing a writer to provide evidence like a broadcast journalist would.

What I mean is that Storify presents written evidence in a visual storytelling way. An “author” (or really a social media editor) can be an integral role in a story, or let the information completely dominate the piece and speak for itself.

I haven’t used the service yet, but I see the potential, and I’m biting at the bit for a good story to come along to fully see its potential.