My multimedia class at Sierra Nevada College has been a great experience for my development as a student and contributed in making me an up-to-date employee who is entering the workforce soon.
I got to see different faces of journalism that I didn’t know existed. I grew up with the daily newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera, on the breakfast table every morning (and it’s still like that at my parent’s house). I found out how much more there is than the paper edition of the news or the television breaking news. From the three traditional mass media, radio, television and newspaper, I got to work with Twitter, WordPress, video editing, slideshow presentation, audio story. This thought me how easy it can be to reach audiences, if you only pick the right media. Depending on the situation, each media is more appropriate than others and knowing a little bit about each gives the journalist the tool for a greater success.
The saying that “a picture tells more than a thousand words” is true in many cases and through multimedia you can apply this concept thoroughly and make stories very appealing to a reader. Moreover, nowadays people read and work on their devices so technology can really make the process more fun by being interactive and eye-catching more than a newspaper.
I am still a big fan and supporter of papers- yes, I am very romantic and nostalgic- and I don’t mean to substitute them with exclusively multimedia materials. My opinion is that in some cases they are more appropriate to the subject and they can give a better and multi-sided view than having the paper as only source. The article by the New York Time, An Avalanche at Tunnel Creek is the milestone of a well-crafted multimedia piece. It is richer and gives much more information than anything could be written on paper. I am glad I opened my eyes on the multimedia world and I will benefit from it.
My first experience with blogging was here, with AmericaniseMe. I was really new to the world of blogging; crazy to say in the XXI century but I have never followed a blog or even consider blogging as something fun, manageable and easy.
I won’t hide that it has been a little bit hard for me at the beginning. First of all, I was not familiar with the website WordPress and although pretty simple, it still needs some practice in order to produce some nice output and make the blog pleasant to the eyes of the reader. The first stage was also exciting for me because I got to choose an area of interest, or better, a slant for my blog and that made me think a lot. What do I have to say that is worth to share and is of importance? And more, what do I really know? I reflected a lot and I concluded that what I know the most is ski racing, which is what I have been doing for the past 18 years. But then my business spirit came up and I started to consider my target, in this context called audience. I realized how ski racing is such a small world made of experts and professional figures and I did not feel ready to share what I got yet. Moreover, ski racing means to me more than a hobby and my attachment to it is very strong and serious, and I wanted to have a more humorous.
Therefore, I decided to go with a broader topic which is supposed to look at my American experience in a funny way while still being hopefully insightful for people that found themselves in my same shoes, and I am not only talking about Italians studying in the United Stated but those who are dealing with a new culture and feel “different” or “weirdo.”
It is fun to have the freedom of matching written content with visual parts or interactive tasks such as my Google Maps.
I can now see and understand the potentials of blogging and I believe it will be useful for my future career as well as for my personal enjoyment.
The American school system is quite different from the European’s, and this is no news so far. But how different is it, really? Well, in my experience I can say it is quite different. If I would bullet point you all the reasons my 300 words assignment would become a research paper; so I will focus only on the calendar of the year and the final exams. At Sierra Nevada College, students are done with the academic year and ready for summer on May 11th. Though, early end, early start, on mid-August. But before this three months break there are FINALS. Forget the Monday and Wednesday’s exams at 11 like they do in Italy- boring. To make them interesting, the school has a system that plans a schedule that keeps you busy on the weekends- I case you didn’t have anything to do. With my six classes, I have personally experienced the most bizarre schedule for finals. My first meeting was on Friday, at three p.m., followed by a three hours-long finance exam starting at six. In between, I managed to run to Alibi, the local brewery, for a fun end-of-year journalism event. (And no, I didn’t have the guts of having a beer before crunching finance numbers. I limited myself to a delicious Kombucha). Exhausted, at nine p.m., I run to my bed and (try to) sleep; the following day, on Saturday, I will have an early start- eight o’clock, same room of the night before, same finance teacher, but this time is the turn of Economic Theory. I wonder if I should have just arranged a tent in the classroom.
Despite the rough start, here is the fun part. Final exams mark not only the end of the semester, but mostly, the end of your diet. There is a very pleasant culture of ending the class not only testing but also sharing food and beverages with the class. I started on a very good note, with homemade corn bread and chili, still warm. I moved on to tasty sandwiches with plenty of avocado, and a lot, a lot of cookies, sweets and popcorn. Not only professors brought goods, but also the Student Government Association held an ice cream study break, on Monday night, where they served ice cream with any topping you possibly wished. That was my dinner.
I have to admit that this made finals sweeter and less stressful, and I officially finished my second year on a good note.
PS: Look what I did on my first summer break day
Yes, even the stone-age, tech (not very) savvy Italian joined another social network-this time is the turn of Twitter. For a Facebook-only user, Twitter was great add among the Apps, and of much more value than Facebook. I mean, they don’t compete in the same race, so it is unjust to announce a winner and a losers. The way I see Facebook at this point, after more than six years that my name is on that platform, is of something that helps me finding people that I lost touched with, or maybe that I have met in a specific situation or I don’t see every day and with whom I would like to keep in touch but I am not too close to text or call, or I simply don’t have the time to do so. For this purpose Facebook helps, although it’s tricky because it leaves you with the feeling of knowing about you friends’ life when in fact you don’t know anything. And this is frustrating. Plus, how much do you want to share about your life with your alleged friends? Sounds like a moral questions. And, realistically, you can’t be too serious on Facebook either, or trying to give the lesson of the day, every day. You don’t want to be that guy we all have on Facebook.
On the other hand, Twitter is much less of a life intruder and more of a life promoter. It informs you on news, and happenings around the world or in your community, and it’s extremely responsive to time. And the cool part about that is that it brings together a lot of different point of view about each topic or event through the use of #hashtags. I was amused by the GOP debates much more for what was going on Twitter than for the (repetitive at some point) debate.
The business side of Twitter is very interesting too. It is a very powerful tool to reach specific segment. Through the use of @, you can address any account and your Tweet will appear in their page, along with the hashtags that, if wisely used, will bring viewers to your Tweet.
So, give it a try and Tweet what you are passionate about! And remember, get rid of the superfluous or Twitter will do it for you after the 140th character.