Digital First Media’s ideaLab coming to an end

The Southeast Michigan Media Lab, part of my ideaLab project, will continue, although the ideaLab is coming to a close.

The Southeast Michigan Media Lab, part of my ideaLab project, will continue, although the ideaLab is coming to a close.

It’s hard — and not so hard — to believe. After 3 1/2 years, Digital First Media’s ideaLab is coming to an end.

I was shocked when I was named to the inaugural group in July 2010, surprised when it continued past what I thought would be a year-long stint and forever grateful how my time spent experimenting with digital media tools has helped me grow as a journalist, editor, mentor and trainer.

The news came in the form of a phone call Dec. 13 from Mark Lewis, communications/operations editor for DFM’s Thunderdome in New York. He wanted me to know the project was ending. He also solicited my feedback about the experience and announced a new project could replace ideaLab in the coming months. I wasn’t completely shocked at the news because my boss, Glenn Gilbert, group editor of 21st Century Media’s Michigan cluster, had warned me that it might be happening, and I knew many of the labbers had taken on new roles in the company or left for other endeavors.

I was so honored to be part of the ideaLab. When I first learned in a blog post by company CEO John Paton that I was part of the exclusive group of 18 representing editorial, advertising, finance, circulation, production, IT and Classifieds, it came as a total shock because I had not applied. My name came up as top brass deliberated over the makeup of the team. When I read the post announcing who was picked, it blew my mind, as noted in the “about” page of the ideaLabHeritage blog I created to share information about my project and its progress.

The ideaLab met for the first and last time in late August 2010 for a daylong summit at company headquarters in Pennsylvania. Members received advice and tips from a newly minted advisory board and we hashed out our individual project ideas and goals. At that time, while I was telling the group my interests, we determined my goal would be to “incentive co-workers to learn new technologies and understand the value of digital; train co-workers to utilize new tools by showcasing the strength and potential of each offering.” We were each given a smartphone, iPad and netbook, a stipend of $500 per month and encouraged to spend 10 hours of our 40-hour work week on our projects, and communicated through conference calls, email and a Facebook group.

What came of my project initially was a partnership with Eastern Michigan University professor Michael McVey and the Saline Area Historical Society to create a virtual historic walking tour of downtown Saline, with audiocasts sharing each building’s history, digital map, and photos from the past, as well as today. I learned how to use Audacity for editing audio, although Michael did the bulk of the work, and I partnered with one of my reporters, David Veselenak, for the mapping component. I also crowdsourced photos from the historical society and used a freelance photographer to get modern-day shots. Given the opportunity to tackle this project three years later, I would do it very differently, using different tools and presenting it as a cohesive package using ThingLink.

After the historic walking tour podcast was completed, my ideaLab project evolved into an effort to document, through audiocasts, historic moments and milestones that local residents experienced. As part of the effort, I visited Brecon Village retirement community in Saline to interview older residents about their lives. I tried to get staff and the community involved, as well, but that proved difficult to do with limited resources and scheduling conflicts. I used the tool ipadio.com to gather and share the phonecasts, which were embedded on our website under a drop-down menu under the news tab our web department created especially for us. I later added audiocasts on other topics to the channel.

In February 2012, as the ideaLab grew in number, with the acquisition of Media News Group, and as a request for proposals to develop community media labs came forth from Digital First Media, my project morphed into the Southeast Michigan Media Lab, the muse behind this blog. My proposal was among 12 approved in 2012, and the only one in Michigan to receive funding. For me, it was the perfect opportunity to dedicate my ideaLab time toward an even greater good, teaching the public digital storytelling and social media tools to grow our network of community contributors and blogging partners.

With the newly invigorated ideaLab came a virtual space for us to work called BaseCamp. Here we created to-do lists, sought advice from one another and shared the progress of our projects. In February 2013, my ideaLab project had morphed into my job, along with other responsibilities, and my home became SPARk-East, a business incubator in Ypsilanti where our media lab was — and continues to be — based.

I’ve had much success with the media lab, where I’ve hosted dozens of workshops, led by local media professionals, educators, social media gurus and myself. We have a loyal following of nearly 100 “labbers” on Meetup.com. I would estimate I’ve worked with several hundred people either individually in person or virtually through email exchanges, Facebook, Twitter and live chats, as well as workshops. Next month, in my last blog post about my ideaLab project, which I will post on my ideaLabHeritage blog, I’ll provide more concrete numbers, analysis and reflection.

Earlier today, while working at The Oakland Press, where I am now offering regular office hours to teach our journalists new digital storytelling skills, I created a NewHive expression featuring some of the tools I’ve learned over the last three years or so. While my ideaLab project is ending, my job continues to be “to learn new technologies and understand the value of digital; train co-workers to utilize new tools by showcasing the strength and potential of each offering” — and for that I am extremely grateful to the company for investing in me and my potential to help our newsrooms grow the skills of our digital journalists.
Digital storytelling tools

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Making yourself marketable in journalism today

The Southeast Michigan Community Media Lab is located at 215 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti at SPARK-East. It's a free resource for journalists, students and the public.

The Southeast Michigan Community Media Lab is located at 215 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti at SPARK-East. It’s a free resource for journalists, students and the public.

A reporter I had hired to cover sports and write news a few years ago — but who then left for another media company — contacted me last week and wanted to meet. I knew he had been laid off from the company he had left for, but he had rebounded and was hired by a daily near his home. I assumed he wanted to visit me at the Southeast Michigan Media Lab to learn some new skills he could apply in his relatively new position.

I was surprised, however, when he told me that after just a few months he had been laid off from the second company. I shouldn’t have been too surprised, though, given the state of the industry and after going through our parent company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy (twice). Since emerging from bankruptcy, the company I work for has been working hard to change the culture of our newsrooms, encouraging reporters to embrace digital media and the tools that can generate content to complement their storytelling while helping to share it with a wider audience. But not all companies have been as successful, including, I suspect, the two that had let go of this reporter, as he told me that neither was using social media and digital media tools to the extent we and other leading media companies were.

As we talked, I saw that he wasn’t there to learn as much as he was there to network. He was checking in to let me know he was back on the market and wanted to know if I knew of any job openings in the industry. So, I pointed him toward the Facebook group DFMjournalismcareers and took a look at his resume. The first thing I told him was to ditch the traditional printed resume and copies of his clips, and set up an account at Pressfolio, as it’s made especially for journalists. It’s a nicely designed site that’s easy to navigate. It aggregates all of your clips and you can view it by “section,” such as breaking news, sports, features, and include page design, video and other work. There’s an “about” section and a “skills” section similar to LinkedIn, as well. Its “featured” selection reminds me of the same functionality that I use on Meetup.com to highlight an upcoming workshop.

I also advised the reporter to immediately dump the old flip phone in favor of a smartphone. Every journalist, I told him, has to have a smartphone. In today’s world, it’s more essential than a reporter’s notebook and pen, as it will connect you in real time with your readers, and — bonus — you can take notes with it, and record audio and video.

Until I got my iPhone in 2010, I had no idea what I was missing. Using free apps, I can capture audio for an immediate post on my phonecasting channel at ipadio.com and share videos in real time using Tout and my social media channels to distribute breaking news from the scene. Live tweeting an event, court proceedings and government meetings has become standard practice, just like sharing updates, links and crowdsourcing on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. We use Instagram and Pinterest to share photos, and there’s ScribbleLive to update a live blog and uStream to livestream video from a remote location.

Let’s not forget Google Maps to ensure we don’t get lost while driving to the scene of a breaking news story or interview, and the weather app to report on a weather event or check whether you should bring your umbrella. There are a lot more, and I encourage people reading this post to share their favorite apps in the comments section.

At the end of our conversation, I had hoped I got through to this reporter. To be marketable in the field of journalism today you have to be social media and tech savvy. You must master the social media and digital media tools that will aid in your reporting and set you apart from the pack of other laid-off journalists looking for work. Having those skills also will make you competitive with the journalism school graduates who have embraced many of these tools while growing up and those skills have become second nature to them.

This journalist has the reporting chops and source-building skills necessary to succeed. Those are always at the top of any publisher or editor’s list when filling open positions. But if you haven’t figured out how to share video, photos, text or audio from the scene of a breaking news story or crowdsource information using social media, you’re sunk.

Practice makes perfect, I reminded the reporter, so get out there and start playing with some of these tools. Take control of your destiny and grow in this ever-evolving field so that you can continue to do what you love.

Before we parted ways, I handed him a flier listing all of our free workshops he can take advantage of at the media lab to learn some of these skills, and I encouraged him to return for individual instruction, also free. The next workshop is “Using social media to engage your audience,” and it will be taught by Eastern Michigan University professor Gina Luttrell.

Now, let’s see if he shows up.

I am crossing my fingers — and toes.

New media lab opens at Macomb Daily

Southeast Michigan Media Lab intern Elise Waller works with Maryanne MacLeod at the new Macomb Regional Community Media Lab at The Macomb Daily.

Southeast Michigan Media Lab intern Elise Waller works with Maryanne MacLeod at the new Macomb Regional Community Media Lab at The Macomb Daily.

My intern and I had the pleasure of helping Maryanne MacLeod, community engagement editor at The Macomb Daily; Jeff Payne, editor of Voice Newspapers; and Jody McVeigh, editor of Advisor & Source, in launching the new Macomb Regional Community Media Lab June 27 in Clinton Township.

While Maryanne has been working with bloggers and the community for sometime, the media lab space, which came to be when The Macomb Daily moved into its new digs on Hall Road earlier this year, will provide a place the community can call its own, and where community contributions to 21st Century Media publications will be encouraged.

Our help consisted of setting up a number of accounts that will serve to promote the media lab, communicate with the community and facilitate activities at the lab. For example, we set up a uStream channel so community workshops can be livestreamed, and Twitter and Facebook to communicate with our audience and publicize our work, while also making connections with the community. We also set up an Instagram account and YouTube channel to share photos and video from our work in the media lab. The Macomb media lab was added to our Meetup.com account for the Southeast Michigan Media Lab so we can promote workshops and other activities.

We still need to set up a Tout account to share short-form video, a blog to communicate our activities and work with the community, Scribd account to share PowerPoints from our workshop presenters, WeJoinIn to schedule workshop presenters, a RebelMouse page to curate all of our social media content, as well as RSS feeds from our publications serving Macomb County.

Equipment for the lab has been ordered. They will be getting a few laptop computers and an iPhone. These will be available for in-house use by anyone who comes in looking for help in writing a news release, creating a photo slideshow or video, editing audio, or posting to their blog, among other things.

The idea behind the media lab in Macomb County is similar to the one in Washtenaw County, as 21st Century Media wants to provide community outreach and encourage contributions to our publications. For instance, at the Southeast Michigan Media Lab we have helped senior citizens set up Facebook pages to connect with family and friends, local chambers of commerce and political organizations set up Twitter accounts to boost their presence on social media, and representatives from local nonprofits write news releases about their newsworthy activities. In addition, we have worked with individual writers and bloggers, helping them fine-tune their writing and add bells and whistles to their blogs to make their blogs more visually appealing. We link to many of these blogs from our website and, in exchange, their blogs feature our headline widget to help drive traffic back to our websites.

If you live in Macomb County, feel free to stop by the Macomb Regional Commmunity Media Lab or if you are in Wayne, Oakland or Washtenaw County, you’re welcome at our media lab in Ypsilanti at SPARK-East.

Surveys and focus group show readers want to contribute and share content

OPFacebookPic

A focus group held April 17 at The Oakland Press in Pontiac, Mich., and a survey used to learn readers’ thoughts on the newspaper and website, use of social media and interest in contributing content have netted some interesting feedback that shows, of the readers who responded, most want to contribute community content and share local news links on social media.

A total of 19 people attended the focus group, 11 filled out a survey on site and 31 people responded to the survey online. The online survey was promoted through a NewHive expression, which had 180 views, with 77 views coming through a Bit.ly link, shared on Facebook and Twitter. There were 44 clicks, and 30 responses, on a Bit.ly link to the questionnaire, which was hosted on SurveyMonkey.

Of the readers who participated in our survey, 65 percent said they consume their news both online and in print. Just 12.5 percent said exclusively online and 22.5 percent said only in print. Most, nearly 61 percent, said they want a mix of county, state and national news, while 31.7 percent said state and county, and only 7.3 percent said community specific.

A total of 24 respondents, or 75 percent, said they watch video on our website, 59.3 percent click on hyperlinks, 50 percent want to see timelines, 46.8 percent participate in online polls, 43.7 percent read blogs linked on our website, 37.5 percent appreciate locator maps and 37.5 percent would like to listen to audiocasts.

What’s exciting is 48.7 percent of the respondents are interested in contributing content to The Oakland Press and 41.4 percent said they may be interested if they felt it was important. Only 9.7 percent said they were not interested. Of those respondents, the majority felt comfortable contributing community news and guest columns (56.25 percent), 40.6 percent would submit an item for the community calendar, an equal number felt comfortable sharing photographs of school and community events or share story ideas (37.5 percent), 15.6 percent are interested in becoming blogging partners with The Oakland Press, 12.5 percent would be interested in shooting local video and submitting it, and 9.3 percent would share sports news.

Contribute to The Oakland Press

The folks who took the poll are active on social media. A total 63.1 percent said they actively share news links, 26.3 percent said they are not active on social media and 10.5 percent said they are active but rarely share news links. Facebook is their No. 1 social media channel, with 93.5 percent using it, followed by 54.8 percent on Twitter, 48.3 percent on LinkedIn, 25.8 percent on both Pinterest and Google+, 16.1 percent on Blogger and 12.9 percent on Instagram.

When asked what keeps them coming to The Oakland Press website, the majority (89.4 percent) said local news, followed by county news at 73.6 percent, features and human interest stories at 52.6 percent and state news at 44.7 percent. Information on events attracted 42.1 percent of the respondents, followed by crime and entertainment news (28.9 percent) and court news at 18.4 percent. The video-based news webcast “News at Noon” attracts 15.7 percent, or six of the 42 respondents, the same number of people who said they come to the website to read blogs.

What you like to read

When asked what The Oakland Press needed to improve on, one respondent suggested a government page showing how our leaders have voted and their attendance record. Another suggested more information about amendments to the U.S. Constitution with information on when and why they were adopted. Another said more news about Pontiac is needed and one other responded that coverage of local and countywide news could improve. One loyal reader who attended the focus group said she wanted to see more letters to the editor in print and wanted the Mallard Fillmore cartoons banned. Another member of the focus group asked that the TV Guide page be printed again daily.

“Don’t ask fluffy questions on social media like, ‘What are you doing today?’ People are dumb enough to say, ‘I am going on vacation (please steal from my home),” one person stated in a response to what The Oakland Press could improve on.

“Provide more news, particularly coverage of positive local school and community news. Stop allowing anonymous comments on the web. Require those individuals to be accountable for their comments. Too easy for individuals to make derogatory remarks,” another stated in the online survey.

That Waterford resident’s comments were echoed by the majority of the focus group members, as well, who don’t like anonymous comments from “Sound Off” used in print.

A Pontiac resident noted in the online survey that The Oakland Press should include more outdoors sports news. “Outdoor sports are almost non-existent in your paper. It used to show photos of kids’ first large fish. I would like to see an outdoors section in every edition or on Sundays at least. Not just a page and a larger font.”

Another reader said she would like to see more positive stories about the community, people and events, while a Waterford respondent said the paper needs to report more news. “Stop the ‘action news’ style videos at noon,” another wrote. “Make stories easier to find on web pages instead of having to type in search to locate it.”

Others said The Oakland Press needed to improve on accuracy, grammar and spelling, and reporting more local news, sharing more posts on Facebook and coverage of business.

A reader in West Bloomfield wrote, “There is nothing wrong with The Oakland Press that more journalists doing more stories with more time wouldn’t fix.”

“Provide more coverage of Oakland County, especially Pontiac,” a Bloomfield Township resident wrote. “Write news stories which are longer than three sentences. Do not repost the same story day after day on your website.”

Another wrote, “Remove the government bias and start reporting. Look at Ben Swann in Cincinnati. By creating a liberty-oriented crowd, he has grown many followers and supporters. I canceled the OP years go because of the socialist articles by Bill Press and similar authors.”

A Rochester Hills resident said, “National politics seems to be lacking. I watch national news pretty regularly and TV snippets don’t often tell the whole story. The brief selection of AP stories leaves a lot to be desired.”

Surprisingly, only 15.8 percent of the respondents had heard of MiPrepZone/Oakland and 79.5 percent had not heard of the Southeast Michigan Media Lab affiliated with The Oakland Press. A total of 48.7 percent had watched “News at Noon,” the online news webcast produced by the newspaper’s staff, and 23 percent had never heard of it. Another 28.2 percent had heard of it, but hadn’t watched it.

So what do the survey takers think The Oakland Press is doing right? Listening to the community, and writing stories about community issues and events were among the responses. Sunday coverage of local parks and professional sports teams, as well as delivery service, working with community groups, sharing news on social media, “News at Noon,” local sports, school news, crime news and human interest stories were also cited.

“There are a wide variety of stories on different topics and focused in different cities, not just specific cities,” a Waterford resident noted on her survey.

One enthusiastic respondent said in response to the question “What are we doing well?” “Everything — and then some. All of you! And I thank you. Reading my Oak Press is primary for me!”

A West Bloomfield resident also noted her appreciation, saying, “Not many newspapers are still in print, let alone seven days a week!”

Experimenting with NewHive to create ‘expressions’

NewHiveDigitalTools
I listened in during a training session about community engagement and digital media tools that was being livestreamed March 26 in West Chester, Pa., by The Daily Local News. I learned so much during that afternoon session, and one of my favorite tools I discovered was NewHive.

Since learning about the social media tool, I’ve created two “expressions.” These start as blank canvasses and you can upload text, video, headlines, photos and add links. My first expression was a promotion for the Southeast Michigan Media Lab, with two YouTube videos embedded and numerous photos, as well as a link to our Facebook page. The other is list of my favorite digital media tools and links to all of my social media channels.

Check them out and let me know if NewHive is a tool that you would consider using and it what ways. I see a lot of potential, from a place to highlight a reporting series to special feature pages, to use by nonprofits and businesses to highlight their work, special events and recognize employees or volunteers.
NewHiveMediaLab

Using live chats and livestreaming video for community engagement

ScribbleLive statistics from my cancer chat held March 21.

ScribbleLive statistics from my cancer chat held March 21.

Have you used ScribbleLive or uStream to hold live chats with your audience as they view your event online? Whether you’re an independent blogger or journalist working for a news website, these tools are great to incorporate into your skillset so you can provide better community engagement and practice interactive journalism.

I have been using uStream and CoverItLive for nearly a year to share our workshops at the Southeast Michigan Media Lab, formerly the Community Media Lab, with our online audience, and recently switched from CoverItLive to ScribbleLive. I held my first ScribbleLive chat, broadcast at news websites affiliated with our chain across the United States, March 21, and again March 28. Having these two chats — one on cancer and the other on marketing blogs — under my belt has helped me build not only on my skills, but my confidence, as well.

The cancer chat was a little intimidating because it was my first and I knew I’d have a national audience. I recruited experts for the chat from the American Cancer Society, Southgate Surgery Center and the University of Michigan cancer AnswerLine. Although none had participated before, they were excited for the opportunity.

I started by setting up the event in ScribbleLive and adding them as guest writers. They were sent invites through ScribbleLive a couple of days in advance so they could register, upload avatars and become familiar with the platform. In the meantime, I researched the topic and came up with questions in advance to facilitate the chat and fill in when the talk was running slow. I also created shortened links in Bitly to facts and information I was citing so I would have analytics later to view. ScribbleLive also shares data.

Although I don’t think the other media outlets promoted it as well as they could have, I tried my best, using all of our Michigan publications’ Facebook pages and Twitter accounts affiliated with our mastheads in Washtenaw County that I had access to as a former editor. So, it’s no surprise that most of our audience came from Washtenaw County.

In all, we had 41 concurrent watchers, 1,551 total uniques, 2,186 page views, 16 unique users who posted comments, 24 published comments and 101 total posts for our cancer chat. To view the chat, click on our article page at Heritage.com, where it was posted.

I also organized and moderated the chat for the Southeast Michigan Media Lab’s workshop “Marketing blogs so people can find, read them,” the following week March 28. I upped my skill level by incorporating livestreaming video with this chat, embedding our uStream channel, which has had 465 views since inception, in ScribbleLive. For this, I had help from Paul Kampe at The Oakland Press, who has been my ScribbleLive mentor. In the past, I uploaded three embeds — chat, video and PowerPoint — in an article page with a headline.

To prepare for the marketing chat, I asked the presenter to send me his PowerPoint in advance. I uploaded that to Scribd.com to share with our audience, but also so I could prepare questions and information blocks. This chat had 149 uniques, 200 page views, 48 posts, 13 comments and five unique users posting comments. It wasn’t as many as the cancer chat, but the subject was pretty narrow, so it was expected. In comparison, The Oakland Press hosts a chat on the Detroit Lions. On March 28, that chat had 3,455 page views, 3,046 uniques, 16 unique users posting, 34 published comments and 37 posts.

I expected both of my chats to get a wider audience than they did, especially the cancer chat because of its broad interest, but I think as I do more and as I get more cooperation from each newsroom in promoting them, future live chats will fare better. I am still pleased, though, with the outcome. These are awesome community engagement tools that I anticipate will grow in popularity as our audience becomes more familiar and comfortable with the platform as they’re exposed to it more.

Just as I have been working steadily over the last month to recruit bloggers — partnering with 20 in the last month — I’ve been working equally as hard at lining up live chats, asking editors across Michigan and our audience for their suggestions. Some future chats in the works include a talk on Alzheimer’s disease, suicide prevention and tax filing headaches and deadlines this season.

If you have any ideas for live chats or workshops at the media lab, or want to learn how to use these tools, please contact me through Twitter, @digitalJRN.

Helping bloggers pursue their passions

AdriannaBlogWhen Adrianna Lypecky entered through the doors of the Southeast Michigan Media Lab in Ypsilanti yesterday, it was like a ray of sunshine peeking through the heavy Michigan clouds we’ve become accustomed to this winter. She was bubbly and excited to be there, and grateful for the help. A travel blogger linked at The News-Herald and Press & Guide websites, she was relatively new to the Blogger platform and was looking for design help.

And that’s where Monica Drake, community engagement editor at The Oakland Press, came in handy.

I had been in e-mail contact with Adrianna. She was looking for some feedback on her blog, and I gave it to her. I wrote:

Add hyperlinks to places you reference — beaches, hotels, restaurants, landmarks, etc.
Add locator map embeds
Include photo galleries or photo slideshows
Incorporate YouTube videos of these destinations
Ask readers questions such as have they been there or ask them about their favorite destinations. Start a conversation. Get some comments.
Encourage readers to share your posts on social media. You should be sharing them on all of your social media channels, as well. Feel free to post a link on all of our channels.
Include an “About Me” page so readers can relate to you as a person. Give your background and explain what qualifies you as an expert in travel.
Suggestions on changes: Eliminate all the white space around photos and text, and stay with one color of type/text. It looks a little crazy.
I like the recipes from the different locales. Great idea. I also like that you blog more regularly than some, but keep in mind our goal is three per week.
You may want to look into the different templates Blogger offers and find one that better suits your goals.
You can call me if you want to talk more.
But sometimes when people ask for help, they don’t really want it. They want to hear you say great things about whatever they’ve produced. But Adrianna was different, and her sincerity was apparent in her reply.
Thanks ever so much for all your suggestions. I really appreciate it. Is there any chance that I could meet you at your office in Ypsilanti and go over the details in person? It would be much better to meet one on one rather than talking via the phone.
Please let me know if this is at all possible. 
 
I really want to make my blog much more dynamite and entertaining. With your assistance I think I can make major improvements which will give me more enthusiasm to be creative and inventive. I do need some pointers on how to use software so that the blog is more eye catching.
 
I thank you for your assistance and hope that sometime in the near future I can meet with you so that you can help me make my blog reader friendly.
 
THANK YOU SO MUCH MICHELLE!

So, of course, I welcomed Adrianna to the media lab and introduced her to Monica, who knows Blogger like the back of her hand. In the next two hours, Monica helped transform Adrianna’s blog into a visually-appealing site, with a custom header that featured a photo reel of Adrianna’s travels and the name of her blog at the top, a new background photo, a new template and layout, incorporated some of Adrianna’s videos, made her “about me” box more prominent, and she linked Adrianna’s Twitter and Facebook feed to the blog.

In addition to Adrianna, Paul Rodman, a regular gardening columnist at The News-Herald in Southgate, came in after I approached him about turning his print column into an interactive blog. He, too, was excited about the prospect of going digital. Paul understood the value of digital, which will enable him to add hyperlinks and embeds of documents, photos, videos and information he is referencing. His newspaper column is called DigIt and he’s thinking about calling the blog DigIt Digital.

Paul’s visit was short. We talked about the various blogging platforms available and decided on Blogger. He then set up an account and decided he wanted to go home to digest all of the information before getting started. The plan is for him to start posting his weekly column, as well as a photo, video, aggregated content or a tip from him twice during the week.

One of the perks of working in the media lab is helping others pursue their passions, and discover how much fun it’s to express their creativity on a digital platform, where they can add all kinds of bells and whistles, interact with their audience in real time, and reach a wider audience from all over the world that they couldn’t have reached in print.