Archive for the ‘JN 553’ Category

For our graduate projects, we all have to create prototype websites that will help to solve a community issue.  The only problem is that the websites are set to launch in two weeks (yikes!).  We all have issues I think are worth tackling, and the websites are coming along, but what most of us don’t have is feedback from outside users.  In the chapter “Usability Testing on 10 Cents a Day,” Steve Krug highlights the basics on usability testing from recruiting testers to the difference between usability tests and focus groups in his book, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability(more…)


In my assessing community journalism class here at the University of Alabama, we are developing a survey for students, faculty and staff, and alumni to assess the College of Communication and Information Sciences website. We are also implementing Google Analytics in our study to help the department determine things about their traffic and what improvements or adjustments should be made in terms of content and multimedia.

Today’s class was definitely an eye-opener. I’ve taken many surveys online, at shopping malls, over the phone, and through the mail. I’ve also read tons of material as a graduate student on surveys, but you don’t quite get how difficult it is until you try to create one on your own. (more…)

After reading about Poynter’s EyeTrack study, I was left wondering how do I read the news in print vs. online or on Apple’s iPhone vs. the iPad.  I’ve never thought about it in terms of what our eyes do and how much we remember based on that. I’ve always focused on just the consumption of news.  So, I think the updates Poynter is including with tablets is beneficial, considering that’s a new form of how we’re consuming the news, and it very well may be the only way in the future. (more…)

One thing I have found particularly annoying is that my hometown newspaper, The Sandersville Progress, doesn’t have a website. Sure, we have a Facebook page, but our newspaper only comes out once a week.  I think having a website to focus on news for the other six days of the week, as well as providing another outlet for people that prefer the web is necessary.  We also have another newspaper, The Spotlight, but it has more of the sensational stories and “Busta Mug” shots.  Again, it has a Facebook page, but no website. (more…)

After reading about Pamorama’s top Twitter analytic tools, I have a better idea of how to use the social media platform to my advantage professionally, which is something I have always struggled doing.  I have to be honest.  I usually use Facebook and Twitter to keep up with friends I probably do not call enough or artists, musicians, and designers that I hope to write about one day.  I read more about what is going with everyone else and the world through status updates and news feeds, but I rarely use them to promote myself and my work.  Well, until recently, that is.

I have always appreciated Twitter for the three reasons mentioned in the article:

  1. Real-time Results
  2. Wide Reach
  3. Direct Feedback (more…)

With this sudden surge of online news sites and hyperlocal sites, many have failed to meet the needs of their audiences, failed to secure advertising, or failed to be innovative.  As I stated in my previous post, many startups or blogs are successful for many reasons, but the key aspect is maintaining a business model that supports great content.  Voice of San Diego does that efficiently and that is why it is considered one of the most successful online news startups.  Again, I discussed the Voice of San Diego briefly, but I wanted to go into more detail about why it works and why it stands out in this myriad of hyperlocal sites. (more…)

It’s hard to believe some online news startups started as blogs.  What factors or characteristics turn daily postings into a successful news startup like Rafat Ali’s paidContent and Josh Marshall and Michael Arrington’s Talking Points Memo?  What is considered successful? (more…)