Social Media in Disaster Response Review

Jess, Vanya and Grace did an excellent job of showing us the main points of Liza Potts book, Social Media in Disaster Response. Looking back on the presentations I recall theirs the most, the facts were there and easy to understand. Life now makes more sense because of the book. I realized that I do not even need to watch the news or look up the weather, its all in my news feed! Thanks to the ability of sharing links we can spread media quicker and more people are also seeing it. So many people are on the web on social media sites that more people get a hold of the information this way then are actually watching the news. I know that when I want to know what happened on the red line or what the huge boom was I immediately start searching it on twitter. With twitter we only get up to date stuff where as if we searched the same thing online we would get posts from two years ago. Another thing social media is great for is sharing links for relief funds. I found this great info graphic that shows the climatic use of social media in disaster response.


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Writing Arts Agora with New Media

When we sought out to create Arts Agora we had one goal in mind. We wanted a place were students can go to get motivation. Going to an Art School we often wonder if we will be in retail our whole life. Our mission is to set out to find people who have “made it” with their degree or current studies at Columbia College Chicago. We first started off by interviewing people who have essentially “made it” whether they have their dream job or are close to, working in your field doing what you love and making money counts. After we collected enough articles to post on the site thats when I went ahead and made the website and started posting them on it. I think the project gets across the message, but the only way people have to be motivated right now is by reading these interviews with people saying how they have a job. This motivates people to do better in school to either get to the place where the person who was interviewed is or to even go beyond that. We have already gotten some great comments on the site and some of the artists on our page our gaining followers already. This is only building their web presence even more. For what we have now there is nothing I would do differently to the project, there are only things I would do in addition. I think our site would be a lot better if we added more outside facts as well. In addition to our interviews we would have research done on graduation rates and job rates from art schools. We would then be a more credible site. Speaking in sense of the class project I do think that Arts Agora accomplished what it set out to do. 

I learned so much great information from Writing New Media. All of this was easily transferable to creating Arts Agora. Some of the most helpful information I learned for my end of the project was straight out of the book I was tasked to read, How to Design and Write Web Pages Today. I applied many of the things I learned from Stolley about web design and presence right into our project. I also took what i learned from him and expanded it by directly applying it to our project. I also got a lot of help from reading our text book the Web Writing Style Guide. I learned what to and what not to tweet and also what to title posts and all of the above. Watching a remix manifesto I learned much about copy writing. On our site I made sure that i did not copy and paste anything, I also made sure that I included all original made graphics. I did not want to end up with a law suit on my hands from a school project. Overall this project would not of been possible without the knowledge that i gained from taking this course. Cheers! 


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Content Strategy: Arts Agora

Arts Agora is solely based on the idea of Columbia College Chicago students and alumni who have become successful in their creative field. Its a place to go for motivation of advice. Our audience we are targeting are students who currently attend Columbia. It is a very competitive industry and sometimes people give up and feel like they are not good enough, or not prepared enough. We are interviewing people to put on our website who have made it in their industry. We will base the interview on the skills they have learned at Columbia and applied to themselves in jumpstarting their career. Since we are interviewing people that is one way that we will get the word out, the people we are interviewing will probably share the link to their interview and if the audience is columbia students then they will probably want to see what they can do to be a part of the Arts Agora movement. Image


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Arts Agora

Arts Agora is a web space designed for Columbia College Chicago students. Its a place to go for motivation. Follow our web space to get the first updates on alumni and currently enrolled students who are finding success in their field of study. 

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How to Design and Write Web Pages Today by Karl Stolley Book Review

The title of this book is quite lengthy, How to Design and Write Web Pages Today, it’s also very self explanatory. This book guides you through all the rhetoric’s of creating your own websites. It is a step-by-step guide to make you have the best content online. Along with all the in depth information the book also has an online reference that you can use as a great resource.

The book starts off by saying this book is best read near a computer. I find this statement true if you are reading this book so you can actually make your own sites. It gives you all the information to get you started; you just need to apply yourself. The beginning of the book also goes over what we have been learning and doing in class. It’s a pro choice for a beginner looking to learn more about creating and writing in your web space. This book takes you step by step through all the important aspects of making your website(s) stand out. Being so many chapters in the book I could sit here and list everything that you would learn from reading this book but that would take way to long.

If you are an artist planning on making a personal website or online portfolio I strongly advise you to read this book. I learned so many things such as what to post of my site, where to post it, and how to post it. There are so many things to take into account that I have never thought about before. I thought I had a decent amount of experience with web design but after reading this book I learned that I did not. There are so many things to take into consideration that Stolley talks about, from the usability to getting your site online.

Being a graphic designer one of the biggest things I took away from this book was learning about all the little secrets to making your site stand out to future employers. “By providing wayfinding devices such as visual cues in your navigation, you can encourage users to explore other areas of your site simply because they can be confident of where in your site they are.–‘Resume’ or ‘Design Portfolio,’ may not be enough to entice otherwise curious users to click. A compelling hyperlink image–such as a sample from your design portfolio, if you’re a designer–elsewhere on your page might be more appealing, simply because the content of the image may fit better with the vague idea of what a visitor to your site is looking for.” (Stolley 75) I found this one little piece of information so helpful. When thinking about my personal website I now will consider what images I could use for certain parts on my page to entice the users to look further.

Having basic knowledge of the languages( xhtml, html, java, xml etc..) referred to in this book will definitely assist you with the reading process. Stolley does go into great detail about what each language does and is used for in the creating process, which helps a lot. If you plan on reading this book I would suggest reading Web Write Style Guide  it’s a shorter read and will prep you on some of the things that you would be reading in How to Design and Write Web Pages Today. Both books talk about the same type of stuff but How to Design and Write Web Pages Today definitely goes into way greater detail.

What I took most from my reading of How to Design and Write Web Pages Today was how to prep my own site. I think this book would be great to add to the curriculum to a Web Design class or a class like Writing for New Media. It is a great guide for new users looking to develop great online spaces.

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Arts Agora

With insecurities in the developing and existing artistic industry, students face a daunting and unsure future within their majors and passions. Although there is no guarantee or easy way in, there are still promising stories of numerous hardworking Columbia students whose success has surpassed the norms.

            Arts Agora: creating a webspace for Columbia students and alumni to showcase upcoming projects, successes, success stories, how to break into the industry etc..

           This will be a space specifically for Columbia students, to try and raise morale and show that people in our chosen fields can be successful and show how they do it.


We will create a Tumblr, a logo, an email account, and a twitter. Other venues of social media are still being explored. Arts Agora will include interviews, pictures of completed works and works in progress of grads, professionals, maybe even feature students- updates on where they are and their plans and other relevant information. Make it about current students as well. (Maybe have submissions, feature someone once a week/month).

           We need to find and research successful Columbia grads and professionals willing to communicate with us and talk about their successes (what they did to get where they are). We will each research some people we think might be interested in this project and try to interview them.

Team Responsibilities

           Stephanie- Social Media Consultant/Graphic Designer, logo, tumblr,

           Gene- Twitter, Quality/Talent Control,

           Anne Marie- Social Media Consultant, Editor

           Tim B – Motion Graphics, C.O.O.


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HTML, do it.

Is there value to knowing HTML? The answer to that is always YES.

If you do not believe so then maybe this video and my thoughts will change your mind.

The opportunities you will get from knowing coding are endless. The most obvious reason for knowing HTML or CSS is for work reasons. No matter where you work or what you do your company will most likely have a website or use the internet in some way. To be able to know how to trouble shoot or make adjustments to your employers website is a huge plus. That is one less expense for them and a lot of brownie points for you. I believe that with the technology we have now that we are entering a future that will be based around the internet. Knowing the universal HTML markup language puts you one huge step in front of the game. If you are unfamiliar with HTML one place to start is at . If you are familiar with code and want to expand what you can do w3schools also has an awesome set of that you can use to enhance your coding.

Overall I find coding very useful. Being a graphic designer I am required to have an online portfolio of my work. Coding has helped me customize my website to make it the way I want and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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RIP: a remix manifesto

One thing I cannot stand about going to school right now is seeing all of the work that is turned in that is comprised of other peoples photographs. Although my teachers say that it is okay to use pictures we find online it always bothered me. When we graduate and get real jobs this will not be an option. I think it is definitely a time to start practicing our skills as we would in the real world. Being a graphic designer some people may not have access to a camera or be able to afford high quality images, which I understand, but  people just use whatever they want and don’t even pay tribute to the person who worked hard to get them. Remix Manifest kind of related except it was all about clips of music. RIP: a remix manifesto went over the legality of using parts of peoples songs and putting them together into one song and calling it their own. It followed the guy who claimed himself as Girl Talk.  A few years back when I listened to Girl Talk I never even thought about the legality of remixing songs. I used to be a cheerleader so I thought it was totally okay to just throw together a bunch of songs and use it no problem. I was wrong. Girl Talk brought so many issues on the plate. In the end of the we didn’t even get a straight answer if what he was doing was legal or not. It came to a conclusion that all that matters is who your dealing with. Some people will not care, bands most likely wont, but it will be the record labels that will try to press charges or just charge you in general. I do not stand on either side of this argument, whenever I do not know if what I am doing is legal or not I just try to figure out my own way to recreate something that I can use as an alternative. 

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I had had so much trouble creating a pitch that everyone in the class could relate to. From reading our CCCWNM twitter, it also seemed as most of the students in the class were having trouble with this. Even though most people seemed to be having trouble, everyone definitely pulled through with some great ideas.

I feel as though the UNICEF tap project, by Grace, was definitely a very strong well thought out pitch. It would be easily attainable and we could market it to be wide spread through out Columbia. I feel though, that since this idea is already a real thing there would be no challenge in creating. We already have such a cool concept so all we would have to do is market it. Actually, now that I think about it, marketing would be my favorite part of it. Creating videos that would play around campus and a great print campaign. It would be very fun to design posters and advertisements for this.

Another idea I really liked was the Arts Agora. Since there are already a ton of sites for artists to share their work, I believe this would be even cooler if it was columbia students and alumni only. Not to many people have heard of or know of Columbia, as much as we don’t want to believe that. Creating an Arts Agora website, or place where people can go and share and display their success would definitely boost moral. It will also make people try way harder to reach standards that they need to be successful. I would love to start a group that meets weekly or even monthly just to talk about new business and where they are going with future projects, live critiques of work can also be held there.

Eat Healthy, Eat Local.  Erin’s idea was another one of my favorites. I can see it happening now. Since everyone loves food so much, this group can focus on promotion of restaurants, grocers and fresh markets that support local farms. We would be pumping more money into our economy and it would be fun. It would be super cool to also host an experiment seeing how much fresher the local food is than the imported.

Overall I am super excited to see whos projects will get picked and i’m looking forward to getting started on one of them!

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Let the games begin.

Jane McGonigal’s ted talk explored the idea of playing video games coinciding with the ability to progress with world wide issues. She had many valuable points. Having a background in gaming made me really understand the issues that she was addressing. Video games or any games that is, truly are universal. Many of the games shows we have in america, such as deal or no deal, the x-factor and family feud, are present in many other countries, just tweaked to their culture. If we forget about language barriers we essentially learn the same skills in team building and strategy. Now lets take a look at not so mainstream corporation games. McGonigal had talked about the community of World of Warcraft , although still a huge group of people, we start to learn more about the strategy put into the game. Many people fear that they can only be themselves in video games, where in the video game they are the hero. If we use the right video games to train humans, our society will become so much more advanced. Jane had mentioned a game she started called Superstruct, in the game people have to solve many real problems. Cruising around the site, it seemed like a very fun and interesting game, I would love to get the chance to try it out.

Although I agree with most things Jane said, I would have to bring in a counter argument. I do not feel that people can learn that much in games, on how to “save the world” or solve problems, because the people who create them must actually know how to solve the issue that we would want to be learning how to fix in the game. If the people creating the games already knew the key to the worlds issue’s then they would of already fixed it. Maybe games cannot help that big of causes but they can definitely get people going in the right direction.

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