Thursday, December 15, 2011

Week 15: Get it Out!

Thank goodness! We have finally reached the end of our Fall semester at CCV. Congratulations to us all! I have mixed feelings about this class and I don't wish to express them in full right now. I can say that I have found college to be a gigantic waste of time and money. The only good thing college has to offer is well written text books, but they are insanely overpriced. The constant tweaking of these books into new editions is unnecessary and ripping people off. I have learned that any moron can go to college and earn a degree. This breaks my heart. I had been led to believe that higher education was a real thing. I am retiring from college upon completion of this semester.

I enjoyed the easy access to online multimedia tools that were mostly free. I also really liked our instructor, Lisa. She was organized and thorough with her teaching methods. Lisa was very supportive throughout the class. I  just wanted to recognize her and let her know that she is appreciated.

I have already begun implementing things I have learned in this class in my everyday life. I am working on a website for my band, The Hitters™. I will post a link once the site goes live.

I need to go sew some gold vests for a long overdue band photo shoot. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  Priorities are as follows.
1. My three children
2. My health
3. My job
4. My band
5. Keeping House/ leaving house
6. Moving to a tropical island
7. Passing this course before dancing the next number
8. Dropping "college" like a bad baby ( on it's head)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Week 13: Employing Generation F

Gary Hamel, an author for New York Times wrote a fascinating article on 12 work relevant characteristics,  "Genteration F"-Facebook people will possess. The article compares the clashing views of the Fortune 500 generation and this new web driven generation. It was empowering to see how users control their environment. I loved reading about knowledge being freely given. "Think of all the articles contributed to Wikipedia, all the open source software created, all the advice freely given—add up the hours of volunteer time and it’s obvious that human beings will give generously of themselves when they’re given the chance to contribute to something they actually care about. Money’s great, but so is recognition and the joy of accomplishment."  click to read article
I'm not an advocate for the overall message from this article, which seemed to be; How are you, the corporations, going to buy out this new generation? That being said, the article is still a good read and offers a clearer view of the expectations of Generation F. 

Week 12: The Long Tail

In short, the Long Tail describes the narrowing of option with specification of search.
This idea can be quite useful for any business wishing to promote an obscure or unique item or service. If the searcher knows specific details or "key word" for what they are looking for, their chances of finding exactly what they want are greatly increased. Both business and consumer benefit immensely from the effects of the Long Tail.

An article by Chris Anderson gives some excellent examples of how the Long Tail works. The article highlights the importance of diverse entertainment and product options. Only a small number of people actually seek out mainstreamed items. Robbie Vann-Abdid, the CEO of a jukebox company which offers over 150,000 titles has incredible statistics that prove this point. Out of 10,000 top titles 99% of them are listened to at least once a month. This goes to show that variety and specificity are key elements to success in the ever expanding and abundant, new commerce we operate in.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 11: Sound

    Here it is folks! The sound you've all been looking for! I found some great voice effects in Garage Band this week. It took me a little while to get used to the program as I am usually just the voice in the band, not the "real musician" and certainly not the audio engineer.
    The process was rather simple once I figured it out. I was using my iPad which made it a little tricky because iPad's don't give you the luxury of saving things to the desktop and whatnot, which confuses my gracefully simple mind.
    After repeated attempts to make a jingle for Drive Hairfully using Garage Band's "smart instruments," I gave up hope of ever playing a keyboard and just used my trustworthy voice. There are five different "instruments" in the track. Three are voice recording with different effects on each and two are a synth machine. I used the small room effect for the commercial part of the track and a megaphone effect for the disclaimer. In case you are not able to make the disclaimer out is says "Drive Haifully in not responsible for any automobile accidents that may cause... death."
   The hardest part of this assignment was figuring out how to upload the final product from the iPad. After way too much time spent messing the whole program up, I finally figured out that I could email it to myself. I then downloaded the track onto my iMac, then uploaded it to my eportfolio from there.
    I know, it's super amateur, but you have to start somewhere!

Week 10 Take Your Vlog on the Road!

    This week we had to take our vlog on the road, meaning we had to use a mobile camera instead of the built in webcam on the monitor. The process was considerably more difficult then my previous vlog post process.
    When using the built in webcam, the video was automatically recorded onto the computer, making it that much easier to edit and upload to the internet. I had no problem picking the camera up and finding something to blog about. I ran into a huge obstacle when it came to actually uploading the video onto my computer. For some reason I just couldn't find the time to do this simple task. Yes, I am a procrastinator, but this is a whole new level!
   I discovered this week that I would make a terrible vlogger because I would never post the things I shot. I'm sure that as the children get older this won't be such an issue, but for now, I'd like to stick to the built in camera.
   When I finally did find the time (1am), I uploaded the video to Final Cut Pro X and made a few simple edits. The next problem I encountered was uploading the MOV. file to YouTube. My internet connection cut out over 4 times while trying to upload the video blog. The whole process drove me bonkers!
    Not only that but when I went to embed the video in my eportfolio, WebStarts wouldn't allow it because apparently I have run out of storage space and I need to upgrade to a not free account. UGH! That will never happen because I only have checks! HAHAHAHA!!!! I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to be able to pass this class.
    Keep your fingers crossed for me! Here's a link to the vlog.
    And here is a link to my eportfolio, where you can also find a link to the vlog.
    And here is the vlog! Hope that covers all the bases!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 8: Presentation Magic

   In the past I have strongly disliked animations used during presentations and on websites. I viewed them as cheesy and thought that they distracted onlookers from the main objective. My opinion has turned 180ยบ this week.
   After watching a presentation done by a Swedish man named Hans Rosling, I am now able to see the value of animation. Rosling executed his presentation with a perfect balance of humor, animation and simplicity. The animations he used did a phenomenal job of illustrating change on a chart. Rather then showing the typical before and after slides of different charts Rosling used animation coupled with an entertaining, live announcement to draw his viewers in and point out the facts.
   Rosling uses technology to bring statistics to his audience in a whole new way. He has three key elements for his technique. Animate, liberate and make it searchable. I hope to mimic his method in my future presentations so that they might be successful too.