I am quite enthusiastic about the latest podcast for Media Lab. Before we discussed the assignment as a class, I had the idea brewing in my head of doing something related to the Virginia Tech Massacre. Rachel had the same idea and Dr. Jerz liked the idea as well.
It ended up turning into a class podcast. We were to each produce individual podcasts that captured various responses about Virginia Tech. I covered the faculty/staff portion of the assignment. I had wanted to do this portion because I had hoped to talk to Dr. Boyle. Unfortunately, I was unable to meet with her; however, I got excellent responses from several other faculty/staff members on campus.
Not only was the content sufficient and pleasing to me, but I didn't have any technical difficulties either. I did have a slight issue with sound and distortion. This was my first time having more than two voices on the recorder and I noticed the difference in volume in each of my interviewees. I came to the conclusion that this occured because I let people hold the recorder themselves in order to try and up their comfort level. Even though I tried to demonstrate where to hold it, people were still going to hold it where they wanted to. Thus, all of the different tracks were recorded at different volumes. I just had to be careful when I recorded the files onto the computer and I could pretty much adjust the volume levels that way.
The most difficult thing about this podcast was getting the content. Yes, the issue is one that people will have emotions about; however, alot of people are afraid to voice those emotions. I had a lot of people not want to speak. I think the main reason was that they didn't want to be recorded. It didn't matter either way. I respected their decision and made it clear that people weren't obligated to particpate. I also had a couple of people who asked me to come back so they could prepare statements. I was appreciative of their participation and anything that could make them more comfortable was no problem for me.
I just wonder if getting reactions from students was the same thing? Were people shy? Or were they less worried about what other people would think?
Overall, I enjoyed doing this podcast. I enjoyed hearing the views of so many different people. I think this is my most successful podcast yet and I cannot wait to see the finished product if the class decides to combine all of the parts.
Podcasting, although an enjoyable experience, I must say, has not been as technically pleasing to me as I would have hoped. Six weeks ago, when the first podcast was due, I couldn't get the files to upload from the recorder to my computer. I finally got things sorted out with Dr. Jerz and attempted my feat again. No luck. I still couldn't get the damned thing to upload from my computer. Long story short, because I really don't feel like reminiscing and reliving my frustration, a very kind friend helped me to solve my technical issues and I now have two finished, polished podcasts. (Which are saved in three different places; I'm not taking any chances).
Actually being able to work more with the audacity software was something I enjoyed. I couldn't believe how long it took to edit an 8 minute file; I liked it though. I even got to the point where I began to recognize when my interviewee was saying "um".
Dr. Jerz commented on the sound quality of my podcast and how it was evenly spaced and the other comments included: "very technical, nearly perfect sound quality", "good quality, good interviewee". These comments were on an anonymous basis, but they did come from my peers in my EL200 class.
This issue of the Setonian seemed to fly by. I had been asked to write an article, which I successfully did this time, thank goodness there were no more complications. My other contributions were small, but extremely helpful and I plan on contributing in the same manner for the last issue, along with another idea I have. I have also included some tentative final plans for my website, along with podcasting issues and reflections as was required in the last portfolio.
Lori Rupert had some success with this issue of the Setonian. Her article was successfully completed and published in the latest issue. "I always seem to have issues, but then again, sometimes I take on possibly impossible articles," Rupert said. It was a center spread article, more of a tips list really, but nonetheless important to graduating seniors and students applying to internships. "It was a list of cover letter tips," Rupert said, "Tiffany said it didn't really have to be an article, it could be more of a list so I got information from career works and composed it in a creative manner, with some of my own thoughts, experiences and learnings." Rupert mentioned one of the key aspects of applying for a job: Sending a thank you letter. "I have heard stories of people who have gotten jobs because they sent a thank you letter. It is always a good idea," Rupert said.
Her other contributions were made possible by Stormy Knight, News Editor. Knight was willing to meet with Rupert at odd times. Their work schedules coincided, therefore they were free around the same late hours. "I helped Stormy copy-edit some articles, and I also gave her valuable information," Rupert said.
"I am a commuter; sometimes it is hard for me to get the names, titles, and years of people. Lori has always been a big help to me with this issue, and did so for this issue," Knight said.
According to Knight, she tried to give Rupert ways to help on her own time, due to her conflicting off-campus work schedule. "No matter what though, anytime I called or asked in class or whatever, Lori was able to help me fact check and figure out technicalities," Knight said, "I also appreciated her extra eye and ear during a few of my own copy-editing sessions."
"I know my contributions have not improved greatly, but, I was able to negotiate some time, even though odd and late, in which to contribute to the Setonian despite my work schedule," Rupert said, "I plan on working with Stormy again next issue and also asking Val if she would mind sending me copies of articles to copy edit or if there is anything, anything at all that I can do for her."
My term project is coming along. I am completing the website I began last semester. It was about a page and a half last time and I intend it to be 4-5 with at least one podcast if I can get the sound files uploaded. It has different sections that are tips for new Setonian writers. They are problems I have noticed that editors usually encounter at the beginning of a semester or within the first article of a new writer. I figured that if I finish this and it can be posted maybe somewhere within the NMJ site, then potential writers can just click on a link and hopefully have most of their questions answered. I will have doubled the size/information on my website and added a new media element.
Once everything is smoothed out from my existing podcast technicalities, everything should be smooth sailing as long as I can come up with interesting topics. I have one in mind but it was originally going to be added to my website, however, I have to double check that is still acceptable. Hopefully the next few go smoother than the last.