Just Link It, Already!

March 5, 2012

Want to get create the next great blog and get rich doing it? “Blogs to Riches” will give you the vital information needed to do just that. But, it will also warn you that getting on the A-list of blogs, and maintaining your position there, is not easy.

The main point established by the blog is that getting your blog to the A-list is not easy and it all relates back to the “power-law distribution.” Those blogs that have already reached the elite status, will continue to stay there – granted their writer(s) continue to blog frequently – due to the amount of times they are linked.

According to Clay Shirky, if you take 1,000 people and have them post links to their favorite blogs, a feedback loop will emerge. Those lucky blogs that are linked by the first few people, will grow rapidly because others will be influenced by the linkage from earlier lists. Shirky says that although the content between the blogs may be equal, it’s all about being one of the chosen few.

The most important information this article tried to stress was the importance of linking for your blog.

But, I wanted to go further, and see the impact that social media had on linking. And, according to Dan Taylor, social media provides a great avenue to link your blog to.

Through social media, according to Taylor, a person can join groups, become an active participant, post their link and gain traffic to their blog. Plus, unlike other avenues that require somebody to follow your blog in order to view it, social media can allow your blog to be viewed by people who didn’t know it existed.

While it is not easy to become a millionaire from blogging, there is a chance. But, don’t forget that “linking” is the key word to success when it comes to that area.

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Basic Slideshow Project

February 28, 2012

Using Photos and Slideshows Effectively

February 27, 2012

Pictures, put into a slideshow, can help a person tell a story. Whether that story is used to teach a lesson, or show the highlights of a recent family vacation, slideshows can be very useful.

Mindy McAdams, a journalism professor at the University of Florida, combined a series of 15 blog posts, which gave young journalists tools to become a better multimedia journalist. These are the five that I think are most important.

First, take multiple photographs of the person, or object, you are photographing. If it is a person, this allows that person to get more comfortable, or, it gives you, as the photographer, more opportunities to capture that person acting “natural.” It’s also important to understand that unused pictures can just be deleted.

The second and third keys go hand-in-hand, because they both revolve around learning the photo editing program, Photoshop. According to McAdams, this is the industry standard for photo editing and needs to be learned. Although it is an expensive program, most universities, including Oakland, offer it in their computer labs. It is highly important for journalism students to take advantage of this and learn the basics, especially how to: crop, tone, resize, sharpen and save in an optimized format.

The optimized format for Photoshop is the “save for web” option, because the other formats may corrupt the image being used.

Copyright laws are very important for a journalist to understand, especially if they are going to use an image that somebody else captured. McAdams stressed that using, “Photo courtesy of,” was not enough to protect a journalist form infringing on copyright law. A suggestion, for those working under Michigan media laws, would be to look at the Michigan Compiled Law in regards to digital copyright.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, it’s important for the journalist to understand what they are trying the story and images to convey to the reader. There is a popular saying that, “A photograph can speak 1,000 words.” That is true in photojournalism as well, but the journalist must understand what they what the readers to comprehend. If they can do that, then the photos, or slideshow used, will accomplish its goal.


Facebook Goes Public: Should We Care?

February 14, 2012

On February 1, Facebook filed to go public. The company hopes to raise $5 billion, which would be nearly three times larger than Google’s 2004 IPO, which set a record by raising $1.7 billion.

Facebook is expected to go public in May and, according to USA Today, it will make billionaire owner Mark Zuckerberg even richer. Zuckerberg, who, according to the article made $1.49 million in 2011, will opt for only a $1 salary in 2013.

What is the reason for such a low salary? Facebook being made public will make Zuckerberg’s, who owns 28.4% of Facebook shares, personal worth $24 billion.

Other than the fact you can buy a share of the world’s most powerful website, should you care about Facebook going public?

Molly Wood, an executive editor at CNET, warns people to stay away from buying shares of Facebook. According to Wood, while she still believes the company will continue to be successful, she doesn’t see enough growth in the future to make the investment – which she believes will be expensive – worthwhile.

On the other end of the spectrum, Investment News reports that if Facebook finds success, other IPOs could benefit greatly and 2012 could become a banner year for companies that decide to go public.

In the end, Facebook going public will not have any effect on most of our lives – except for those of you that choose to buy shares.


The Long Tail

February 5, 2012

Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail” emphasizes the importance of unlimited selection and puts to rest the notion that all consumers care about is mainstream media. According to Anderson, every person will stray from the mainstream at some point and will want alternatives.

The best evidence supporting this idea is Blockbuster’s fall and the rise of Netflix.

According to the article, Netflix, which began in 1997, always took second chair to Blockbuster in the beginning. The main reason was because Blockbuster had a ready-now selection, while Netflix took three business days to mail a movie to the customer.

However, when high speed broadband and the ability to download and stream movies and television shows instantly became available, it was Netflix that ran with the idea. Because of this, people stopped going to Blockbuster and eventually the company had to file for bankruptcy.

Anderson highlights three main rules for the new entertainment economy to follow; make everything available, cut prices, and help consumers find it. Continuing to use Netflix as an example, they accomplished all three. The price is much cheaper than Blockbuster’s and they offer a greater selection, which is much easier for consumers to search through.

I believe the biggest question going forward is, which of these rules will be most important to consumers? If it is the price, then Netflix should watch out for Redbox coming on strong.


The Independent News Site

February 5, 2012

The Huffington Post is an independent news site that launched on May 9, 2005 and quickly became one of the most popular weblogs. According to the eBiz MBA, it is currently the sixth most popular online news site with nearly 54 million visitors every month. In February 2011, AOL purchased the website for $315 million.

The website gives readers the option to choose between four different front pages depending on their location. The options are USA, UK, Canada and France.

The website, which is updated frequently and offers breaking news coverage, allows readers to choose from a wide-array of news topics. Whether it is the latest political buzz, an update on your favorite celebrity, or the most moves by your favorite team, Huffington Post has it.

At the top of every page are tabs that allow readers to easily navigate through the website.  Readers can search for content by scrolling to the bottom of each page and finding the search bar. Although it can be difficult to locate, the search is very thorough.

Maybe the most popular feature on the website is the HuffPost Social News , which allows readers to sign-up through their Facebook and interact with friends. Here, users can see their friends’ comments, how they are voting on polls and other information.

Other popular independent news sites that you may be interested in, include, The Real News, The Independent (UK-based), and Project Censored.