The Prodigal Altar Boy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Shouts Out to My Ashford COM480 Peeps - The Prodigal Altar Boy

Shouts Out to My Ashford COM480 Peeps

In the almost two years I have been running this blog, I always get a kick out of looking at the stats and see that the early Ashford COM480 posts (COM480 Media Technology Blog Posting Week 2 Assignment and Blog Improvement Plan) generate the most views.  The Week 2 Assignment generated over a thousand views.  My only hope is there isn’t some instructor steering COM480 students over to those posts saying, “Now here is an example of the worst there is in blogging.” 

At any rate, thank you for keeping the blog alive.  I am not a blog expert, but I do want to share a few things I learned during the journey:

·         Blog to timeframes
o   When I did the last 100 days of 2011 blog series, I learned a lot about consistency, and more importantly, laying a foundation conducive to blogging on a regular basis.  You don’t have to make it 100 days, it can be 30 days or 7 days, or whatever number you choose, just pick a number and stick to it.
·         Blog ahead of events.
o   When you’re blogging about events, such as holidays, celebrations, events, etc., give yourself an advantage by writing as many pieces ahead of time.  You know holidays and observation days are coming well in advance, so write those pieces out and heave them ready to go.  Once your text is written out (proofed, edited and polished), you have time to find appropriate graphics, sound bites, links and videos to support.  One last suggestion, publish before the event.  Timing is crucial.
·         Technology is your friend. 
o   I shoot many of the pictures for my blog on my iPhone.  I use the Plastic Bullet app to add a little character to the pictures.  Plastic Bullet adds random effects to your pictures, but if you are patient, you will find a look that really adds to your photo.
·         Steal from the best.
o   When I’m taking pictures, I avoid the head on, squared up shots when I’m taking pictures of people.  Learn the rule of thirds, or better yet, look at how the legendary portrait artists do it.  Thumb through some old Rolling Stone magazines (70’s – 80’s) and look at Annie Liebovitz’s work.  Check out some 70’s album covers and look for anything shot by Norman Seef.  The same principle applies to scenic photography, steal from the best.
·         Steal from the best (Part II)
o   If you see a blog style or technique that catches your eye, feel free to try it with your blog.  If it works, great, if not, remember that no venture is ever a total loss.  Salvage the lesson from that experience and roll it into the next post.
·         Keep it short
o   ‘Nuff said.  Shorter is better.  If a draft of a post starts to get long, consider dividing it into two, or even three posts.  Save some for later.

I hope some of this helps.  Best of luck in your academic pursuits and when it looks like the end(your diploma) is too far away, that's the time to kncuckle down and keep pushing.  As Jesse Jackson would say, "Keep hope alive."