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What I’ve Learned From Journalism 224

Brendan Welch

Brendan Welch

This semester has been on of the most informative and interesting semesters I have had yet at Missouri Western.  With classes coming to an end, and winter break upon us, I have decided to take this time to reflect on what I have learned from this online Journalism class, and how it will help me in the future.

Working With Kompozer:

Image courtesy of Kompozer.net

Image courtesy of Kompozer.net

Coming into this semester, I had no idea how to create, design or manage a website.  So, when we began working with Kompozer, I was excited and eager to learn.

However, I quickly discovered that Kompozer is less than user friendly, and found myself stuck and aggravated quite often.  I was unaware at the time that there are many “template” sites that make website creation easy and produce better looking material.

In the end I was forced to settle with a disgusting 4 page “website” that barely works and doesn’t represent me at all professionally.

The Kompozer Project (Project #2):

http://webservices.missouriwestern.edu/users/bwelch1/

What I Plan to do With it in the Future:

Nothing.  I will avoid Kompozer like the plague.

I originally intended on going back to update this project to make it reflect my professional life, but the discoveries I made working on Project #3 (using template sites) convinced me that this was a waste of time, and if I value my future employment I should refuse to show anyone Project #2, forever.

Working With IM Creator:

Image courtesy of Vimeo.com

Image courtesy of Vimeo.com

The discovery of template sites such as IM Creator completely changed my view of website design.  The simplicity of choosing a template, and then being able to change it in an extremely user friendly setting to fit whatever design I needed it to was not only a huge relief, but a second wind.

Essentially, I became excited about website creation all over again, and was able to take Project #3 of Journalism 224 much more seriously, as it seemed much more professionally fitting.

The IM Creator Site (Project #3):

http://www.i-m.co/bwelch296/PDTfoodDrive/

The Professional Process:

Originally, this site was going to be a “looking for work” site for a friend of mine that graduated a year ago with a degree in Music Production, and has never had a single client. However, this friend of mine backed out at the last minute, unwilling to pay for domain space.

Instead, I created this site to advertise a food drive for whoever happens to be the Community Service Chair for my Fraternity next semester.

This works out because I know our budget, I know everything about the way we operate, and I know that I still have plenty of time to have this event organized before I can get my Fraternity brothers to vote in the use of the website.

The creation of this site was simple enough.  I chose a template that allowed plenty of space for images, while still offering enough room for the information that needed to be placed. I changed a few things around and added a moving slideshow that shows some of our past community service events.

After I typed out all of the information that a viewer could possibly need, I spent the rest of my time experimenting with various images until I found the color scheme that I believed looked best.

What I Plan to do With it in the Future:

Everything.  Template sites seem to save a lot of time, and allow plenty of room for creativity and originality.

I hope to start my own site someday soon in which I critique various horror novels, movies and video games, as well as interview people who are lesser known in the horror community.

In fact, I have already had an interview scheduled with the owner of a not-to-be-mentioned year ’round haunted attraction up in Illinois!

Other Things I Have Learned:

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org

I am lucky enough to be a judgmental person who spends a lot of time online.  I can tell when a website isn’t as visually appealing as it should be and that has become a very helpful trait when in it comes to designing sites.

However, there were very many things that I didn’t know about before taking this class.

I have learned valuable skills in Photoshop, online writing, and of course, WordPress.

While I was already mostly familiar with Photoshop, there were several sizing techniques that my textbook described which make things somewhat easier.

As an English major with a concentration in Technical Communication who is double minoring in Journalism and Spanish, I would’ve liked to think I already knew how write for the internet.

However, the restriction of paragraphs into 1-3 sentences, and the restriction of sentences into shorter sentences was something I struggled with quite a bit at first.

It wasn’t until I realized my own reading habits while browsing online that I realized that everyone on the internet prefers eye relief in the form of shortened text.

As for the introduction of WordPress into my life:

I absolutely love blogging, and am excited to have time over winter break to do much more of it.

What the Future Holds for Me:

Image courtesy of Mutamorphosis.org

Image courtesy of Mutamorphosis.org

I honestly do not know what I will do for a living after college.  I hope it involves online writing, but it may end up being teaching or technical editing, both of which require a strong knowledge of writing.

Until I discover the perfect job for me (or until one of my novels gets finished, published and made into a million dollar movie) I hope to continue learning things that I can add to my Linked-In profile to help make me more employable.

 

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