For this project I have decided to use WordPress as it is easy to use and is very versatile. To make my website I will use many skills including design, research and technical. I hope to make my website look as professional as possible with content that isn’t just articles.
To start my content writing process I found an article on The Telegraph website, find article link here, about a mental health reading scheme. Since I wanted to write about mental health and books for an article, I thought this would be a good place to start.
I ended up get in contact with the organisation that runs the scheme and an author who is on the recommended list of self help books and fiction about mental illnesses. I decided the best way to contact the organisation would be via email as it seems more professional, and then a website called Goodreads for the author – Alexia Casale. After looking back on my interviewing process, I think that using Goodreads would be a lot easier for interviewing people about the entertainment genre as the website has lots of users who are book and/film fans, which is the type of content I want to create. Also, if I want to interview an author, the majority of authors use the website.
Initially, I was a little skeptical and worried about interviewing people as I didn’t think they would message back and I wasn’t comfortable doing a face to face interview. However, after finding the right people to interview, mesaging/emailing them and then getting a response, I feel more comfortable about interviewing and don’t consider it a weakness anymore.
After using my calender planner for a few weeks, I think that it has helped a lot with organising my time and is easy to use as I can easily change things around to fit to what deadlines I am given. For the past few weeks of using the planner I have also liked how I can add different features to it, like a section for notes so that I can write when I need to start or finish something etc.
To allow me more time to focus on content creating and the design of my website, I chose to make my website at the very start of the project. I think this will work out better in the long run as I can now focus and dedicate my time to content creation, research and design.
I chose to create my site on thisistap.com for hosting and then wordpress as a platform as I found it easier to use compared to MUSE.
Today I finished my mental health article and decided to start a new article on Book to Movie Adaptations. I had already wrote an article about this at the start of the year, but wanted to recreate it as it will suit my website genre and is something I enjoy talking about. To do this, I interviewed a few people on Goodreads.
For some of my articles I couldn’t think of photos to take to accompany the article, so I decided on infographics. In my opinion, I think the infographic worked really well for the types of article I made them for. Also, they were really easy to make and weren’t time-consuming to make in comparison to photos.
Creating the infographics have helped me work on my research and analytical skills as I had to find statistics related to my article and then analyse and work out what they mean. Also, this task helped me work on my design skills when coming to make the statistics look presentable.
19/03/17 – 20/03/17
Today I decided to work on my adaptations article as I got some answers back from the people I interviewed. To do this I opened my previous adaptations article to see if I could use any of it as a starting point and then work the quotes from the interviews into the article.
After talking with a tutor about my Adaptations article and discussing what to cover, I know what I want to include. We discussed topics like genre and which one is more popular (which are more likely to be made – e.g. romantic comedy versus fantasy), and era and whether adaptations that are created have increased/decreased over the decades. After considering these options, I plan to research into whether there is a more popular genre to make as it will fit my article best.
After emailing and messaging numerous people for an interview for one of my articles and them not getting back to me, I am going to consider what other articles I could do to replace it. As I already have quite a book dominated content collection, but I want an entertainment website, I have and need to carry on researching ideas for articles related to films.
After thinking about what film article I could do, I decided on The End of The Vampire Diaries. I started looking on The Vampire Diaries Twitter page to see if there was any fans I could interview. After seeing the same person tweet about the show numerous times, I decided to ask her for an interview.
Today I started a new article on The End of the Vampire Diaries. I originally came up with this idea because I am a fan of the show myself, but also because I wanted to add a more film/tv element to my website.
After talking to a tutor about my whole project, I have a clearer idea of what I want to create. I have also been given a lot of inspiration about what to do for photojournalism pieces and media packages.
So that I have lots of pieces of work on the go at once, meaning I will have more free time to work on the overall design of my website, I decided to start another article about the diversity and representation in films and books. So far, doing lots of little projects at the same time is going well due to me keeping track of my time on my action plan. Throughout my project, I think I am going to continue using this method of keeping track of what I need to do.
I have also conducted more interviews for numerous articles. I have used a range of ways to contact people including Twitter, email and Goodreads. So far Goodreads has been working out really well for the book related articles. However, because the site is a book social media site, interviewing people on it about films isn’t working as well as I hoped as there aren’t as many film fans on the site compared to book ones.
As I couldn’t think of another article idea, I decided to look on news websites at the entertainment section. This helped because I could see all the most recent entertainment news stories all in one place. Also, because all the news stories are set out in categories, the type of stories I were looking for were easy to find under the entertainment tab, instead of scrolling through a whole website like Twitter.
Instead of carrying on with creating content, I decided to start looking at designing my website. To start off with, I looked at themes for my website that would suit my content theme and that would look professional.
After deciding on a theme, I began to create my masthead for the website. I had already created the logo on Powerpoint, so I copied it onto a website called Canva and began creating the masthead.
After designing my masthead, I added it to my site. However, since I wasn’t completely happy with the mast head and how it looks, I decided to go back and change it slightly.
Today I decided to work on my masthead further and see if I would make it more entertainment related. To do this I went back onto Canva, the website I used to create my first masthead, and started to redesign and create a new masthead.
Initially, I just added random things that looked nice to it. However, I wasn’t happy with how it looked, so I thought about how I could make it more entertainment related. After much consideration, I decided to go with a more film related masthead and chose to make a film reel to go down the side of my masthead. Once I was satisfied with the look of the masthead, I then uploaded it to my site.
After working on the more technical side of my website for a while, I decided to go back to my article about the end of the vampire diaries. After reading through what I have written and what notes I have from my interview, I realised I had a few more questions for the interviewee. Whilst waiting for the interviewee to get back to me, I still carried on with the article and added some tweets that the cast of the show had said. I also researched into a listicle idea I had to accompany the article.
As I had nothing to do for today that was important or needed to be done as soon as possible, I got feedback from a teacher about my website and ideas for my two mobile packages. After getting my feedback about my website masthead, I went back to redesigning my masthead as I was told it was too big and that it took up too much space on the page. As for my mobile packages, I think they are a little blogg-y. However, since I don’t have much to do for the next two weeks, I plan to film my ideas and start creating my two mobile packages so that when I go back to college after easter, I can get people’s opinions and see if I need to rethink my ideas or reshoot anything.
17/04/17 & 20/04/17
I spent these two days filming for one of my mobile packages. I think both days of filming went well. However, I still need to get a little more footage and start editing it all together which I plan to do in the next week or so.
Today I spent some time contacting my interviewees so I could have their contact information to add to my production diary. A problem I faced was that a lot of my interviewees were from overseas, so I had to work out the best piece of contact information to ask for. I ended up going with an email address. Also, because of time differences, a lot of the interviewees won’t be able to message me back straight away, so I am going to keep track of it over the next few days.
To keep track of all the information, I created a table on Word where I could add all the relevant information I needed.
For today’s session, I decided to work on editing my where to buy cheap books video. After editing a lot of the footage, I realised that some of the footage had recorded portrait instead of landscape which meant I had to spend the afternoon refilming some of the footage.
For my morning session, I carried on editing my where to buy cheap books video as I had managed to get all my footage. A problem I faced once I had finished editing and the video was complete was that it only uploaded two seconds of the footage to YouTube. To overcome this issue, I deleted to video from YouTube and then re-uploaded it which seemed to work.
As I had finished my video and didn’t have anything else to do, I spent the afternoon recording my podcasts. For this I used a Zoom microphone and when I am next in a Mac room, I will use Garage Band/iMovie to edit all the clips together to make two of my podcasts.
Today I decided to work on editing one of my podcasts about book to movie adaptations which will be linked to one of the articles I have produced. Overall the editing process went well. However, because I haven’t used Garage Band in a while, it took me some time to work out how to use it again. Since using Sound Cloud is a little difficult and complicated, I decided to upload the audio/podcast to iMovie and then upload it to YouTube. This also means I can add images over the top of the audio if I want to.
After trying to access my website both at college and at home, I realised that my site was corrupted and needed to be remade. To tackle this issue, I spent some time deleting the site and then recreating it again. However, I didn’t have time to design the site so I plan to do that another day.
Whilst adding content to my website drafts, I realised that I didn’t have an image to put over the top of my podcasts as I chose to have them as a video instead of just audio. To tackle this issue, I went onto Canva.com and Picmonkey.com (two editing/designing websites) and began creating my images. For my Book to Movie Adaptations I used the photo from my feature and slightly altered it on Picmonkey, but for my Comparing Sheffield Cinemas podcast, I chose to make a completely new image. After spending some time being unsure on what looked good, I asked a peer to help me and got her feedback on some of my ideas. As the image was for a cinema related piece of content, I thought about what was related to cinemas and films. This helped as I then knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to look.
Once I had added the images over the audio on iMovie, I uploaded both podcasts to YouTube.
To see how my website looks with several pieces of content on and how each category looks, I decided to upload my comparing Sheffield cinemas podcast as well as add my book to movie adaptations podcasts to my article of the same name. After doing so, I looked at my website to see if I was happy with how it looked and to see if I needed to change anything.
As one of the pieces of content I need to make is a photo gallery on a topic of my choice, I decided to start working on the presentation of mine. As one of my peers was completing the same task as me, we decided to work together to find a plug-in that would work for our websites and look professional.
As I had free time in the morning with no urgent work to do, I decided to get feedback from a tutor about my website design. By doing this I found out my social media buttons were too big and decided to change them from 800×800 pixels to 200×200 pixels. After getting the feedback and changing that part of the design, I am a lot happier with how the site looks and think it looks more professional.
As I have had my mobile package finished and had nothing urgent to do, I decided to work on my 70 word caption to accompany my video. Even though it was a simple task, I struggled with how to start it and getting it to the word count so I ended up asking a tutor and a peer for help. This helped as I got feedback from both of them about the caption.
Once I had finished my media package caption, I decided to plan when I would upload content onto my website by using my action plan. I found this method of tracking when to upload really helpful as I can look at it each day and know what I need to do that day or what needs to be uploaded.
I decided for today to start planning when to upload more content, however when I was on my website I noticed that my header/masthead font wasn’t black, but grey so I decided to go back onto Canva.com and change it to black.
Fo today I decided to start working on my final piece of content (diverse books slideshow). For this I started off with researching other people’s diverse book recommendations in general and for the diversity bingo 2017 challenge on blogs, YouTube and Goodreads. After completing my research I went on to start taking photos for my slideshow. After taking the majority of the photos that I needed, I started to run out of locations to shoot each book. However, as I didn’t have a lot of books to take photos of, I decided to take time in between each book to thoroughly think about where would be the best location to shoot the photo.
I also decided to upload another piece of content onto my website so that I had enough time to get feedback on my finish product.
Since I had completed my photoshoot for my diverse books slideshow, I decided to focus on editing the photos. After I had completed editing my slideshow photos, I then created a new slider/slideshow and added the photos one by one to the slideshow. I also decided to add a caption to each individual photo for the book title and author’s name so that it made the photos a little different and more exciting. Once I had completely finished with editing and creating the slideshow and was happy with how it looked, I the copied the shortcode and pasted it onto a blank blog post added a title and linked my corresponding article then published it.
As I have finished all the content and design side of the project, I decided to start working on the audience feedback for the project. For this, in class we held a class discussion about the sorts of questions we should ask to get the best constructive responses. Doing this helped as it gave me a lot of ideas as to what questions I could ask in my survey to benefit my work. After the discussion I decided to take time to plan out my surveyand the questions I was going to ask.
Once I had completed the planning stage of my survey, I decided to start creating my survey on survey monkey.com. I found this website really easy to use and versatile. After I had created the survey, I sent it out to people in my target audience (16-24 year olds) via direct messaging on Facebook and as a tweet on my Twitter page.
In my opinion, planning out what questions to write worked really well as when I came to create the survey, I wasn’t wasting time thinking of questions.
For my website I created features about a range of topics including book to movie adaptations, diversity and representation in books and films, a mental health book recommendation scheme and the end of the vampire diaries. I also made multimedia content (podcasts and videos) on where to buy cheap books, comparing Sheffield cinemas and book to movie adaptions. For my photojournalism content I created two slideshows about diverse books and a second hand bookshop.
After completing this project, my strengths were interviewing relevant people, producing the content, coming up with relevant and audience appropriate ideas, fitting in my interview quotes so the articles flowed, time management, doing in depth research into the design of my website and sorting out the technical side of my website.
My weaknesses in this project were the quality of my multimedia content being shaky or muffled and my plan for the project being a little brief as I didn’t plan for if some content didn’t work out.
I think that my articles are of publishable quality because one was published in the local newspaper. However, I don’t think my video and podcasts are of publishable quality because the quality is a little poor.
From the feedback I got from my audience survey, I think that my website was easy to navigate as it scored 10 out of 10 on that part of the survey. My target audience is 16-24 year olds with an interest in entertainment. After analyzing the results of my survey, I know that my website did target my audience because it was popular amongst 17-19 year olds and they all said that the content related to the entertainment theme.
I think that my content could be improved if I filmed using a tripod to stop shaky footage and recorded my audio in an echo proof room. My overall website could be improved by adding more interactivity including twitter feeds and other social media, even though I have social media buttons.
The Production and Presentation
After reviewing my work I know that I have followed journalistic conventions as I have used the rule of one sentence one paragraph, including relevant interviews and using relevant photos that I have taken myself. However, I didn’t use the five W’s rule because I didn’t produce hard news, I only made soft news content. Also, I didn’t use picture captions because I didn’t create any photojournalism pieces, I mainly created articles and podcasts.