digiWelcome to Fundamentals of Digital/Online Media for Summer II 2015. I’m excited about meeting all of you and getting started with the class. We’ll be discussing a range of digital media issues, starting with some background and foundational materials, then moving to contemporary topics. I want to hear about your interests. We’re doing this course completely online, so everything you need will be handled via TRACS. But you can get a sense of the readings here on the course outline. It should be a fun and quick summer session.


Now that you have had time to work on a digital portfolio (and plan to continue after this class), you should think about ways you can network. This is an important step in a career hunt, and it’s something you should start well ahead of actually needing a job. Going to meetups with professionals may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The Austin area has many meetup, and you can try out several. Find ones where you feel interested and comfortable.

I also advise students to attend at least one meetup that stretches your skills, something you know nothing about. You have the most potential to learn when you are the least knowledgeable in the room. People are nice, and they like to meet students and recent grads.

Meetups are as much about what you bring to the community as what the community can do for you. It’s a two-way street. So, find groups that interest you enough to regularly attend and contribute. Eventually, you might even get asked to be a speaker. Who knows… you might even decide to host your own meetup group someday!

A good first step is to take Mass Comm Week seriously this fall. Don’t just attend the events that you have to (required for a class). We bring in multiple professionals and provide opportunities for students to meet with them. This event has grown to one of the most premier conferences in the region. This year, it will be held Oct. 21-24, and the schedule should be available soon after the fall semester begins at txstatemcweek.com.

There are a couple of calendars that list meetups in town. Check with the actual meetup group to make sure they still meet at the same time/place indicated.

Here are a few that I have attended:

  • Hacks/Hackers ATX – this is Austin chapter of the international organization that brings together journalists and programmers. I am one of the co-founders. It meets with the Online News Association Local chapter.  @HacksHackersATX
  • Social Media Club – this is a good place to start. They usually meet on the UT Campus (but not always), in the old ACL studios. They have speakers on a variety of general topics related to social media. We have a Student Social Media Club chapter at TXST (we were the 1st student chapter in Texas), and it could use some new leadership, so let me know if you are interested in reviving it. @SMCAustin
  • Refresh Austin – this is a great group if you are interested in Web design or development. @RefreshAustin
  • Austin on Rails – This is a meetup for Ruby on Rails developers. This is the one that I attend to stretch my technical know-how. Nice people, working for cool companies. @AustinonRails

Here are some others that may interest you:

There are plenty of student orgs in addition to the student Social Media Club, like Society of Professional Journalists and Public Relations Student Society of America. Check around campus for different opportunities.

Of course, if you can attend SXSW Interactive in March, that is an awesome opportunity to learn and meet new people. Another great conference in the area is the International Symposium in Online Journalism, held in the spring at UT.

There are also great meetups to attend out of town (NICAR, Online News Association, etc), but I have focused on those that are in the area.

I’m sure there are lots more. Get out there, finds groups that interest you, start talking to people and grow your professional network!




We’ll discuss on Monday. It is also linked on the course outline. The course outline for today also details your online assignment. Finish before midnight tonight (Fri, Aug. 2). And keep on working on your final blog posts on your topic. Make sure you see me if you have problems with any of the multimedia, Storify, YouTube, slideshows before the final exam.


Here are the last few things we have to do before it’s all over.

  • Please watch and read all materials for today Aug. 1 on the Outline. I want to be able to discuss the gender and race issues in tech. And I want to continue hearing your thoughts on tech in media education.
  • For tomorrow, you will have some readings and videos on the future of media, and you will have to do a blog post about it.
  • By 2pm tomorrow (Fri), I will have a final exam review posted on the course outline. We won’t be doing a Google Hangout. I can answer questions on Mon.
  • We’ll do the Student Perception evaluation on Mon. You will also receive an email about doing a course evaluation. These are two separate evaluations we are required to do.
  • I went over Storify embedding yesterday. When you publish, choose Distribute. You can’t embed on WordPress.com. But you can use the Export command. Cick the 2nd WordPress button (for wordpress.com) and configure your WordPress login info. Then hit Export. That should post the Storify directly to your blog. You can go in to your dashboard and edit the file, if necessary. Try this. If it absolutely doesn’t work, then do a post that links to your Storify. But definitely try it. I can help anyone having problems.
  • For your Slideshow, try that soon, to see if you have the Slideshow option under Type when you insert the Gallery. Let me know if you don’t, because we will have to come up with another option for that. Do so soon, because I won’t be available to assist very much after the final, since I a flying out the next morning.
  • Your blog posts, all the required options since the midterm, will be due by Wed, Aug. 7 at midnight. Do your best to make a great presentation of the material, good theme, sidebar options, etc.


We’re in the home stretch. The final exam is next Tues. I moved your due date for finishing your required blog posts on your topic to next Wed.

Here’s what’s going on:

  • Read Chapters 10 and 11 for tomorrow. Also, there is a link “Analyzing Data is the future…” and an article on TRACS under Resources royal_future.pdf (it’s a chapter I wrote in the book pictured above). We’ll discuss. Please read so you can contribute.
  • That will finish up the book. The final will cover 7-11, but there may be a few questions from the first part of the session.
  • We will finish talking about data-driven journalism tomorrow and pick up with the future of news.
  • Keep up the good work on news discussions on Facebook. Original news posters, make sure you are also posting on Twitter with #fdom hashtag.


Thank you for giving Kolten your attention in class today. We can discuss his talk a little more on Mon.

  • For tomorrow, you have an online assignment on the course outline. Watch the Remix Manifesto video and read about Video Games. If you haven’t done the readings on Music, make sure you have done so.
  • Online Assignment – Do a blog post discussing the video and your opinion on some of the issues it raises. Do this post on Friday, as it is your online assignment for this day.
  • We will finish up with that and move on to Online Journalism on Monday. Read Chapter 9 in the book for Mon.
  • We will also spend a few moments catching up with the Business Models and Personal Brand readings on Monday.
  • Keep up the news posts and comments. Juliette and Carlie tonight, Morgan S. and Morgan R tomorrow.
  • Work on your blog posts for the final section of the class. Photo slideshow and video are 2 of them. We will talk about Storify a little more next week.
  • Just a week and a bit more to go with this session. Have a nice weekend.


Bio-PicI graded your Blogs for the halfway point (midterm). You can find on TRACS. You can find feedback in the Dropbox. I am very pleased with most of them. Several did excellent work. Many apps were very creative. Some good content and thought!

We won’t meet in class tomorrow (Wed). But you have reading and videos on Developing a Personal Brand. The Crush It Excerpt is under Resources on TRACS vaynerchuk_crushit.pdf. I will post the powerpoint with audio tonight. You are to do all the readings on the Outline for July 24 and then do a blog post by tomorrow night (Wed midnight) on this:

Assignment – make a blog post summarizing all today’s readings/video and provide an outline of how you will improve your personal brand. How is your personal brand perceived right now? How would you like it to be perceived? List at least three things you could do to better convey your personal brand.

For Thurs., there are a bunch of readings and a TED Talk on Music and Remix Culture on the Outline. Make sure you do those for Thurs. We will also have our guest speaker, Kolten Parker on Thurs., so be ready to ask him questions. We will finish up on Video that we began today.

We’ll discuss Fridays assignments on Thurs.

Kristen and Anil will post news tonight. Jennifer and Elizabeth tomorrow. Be sure to make your comments. See you on Thurs.



I posted the Review Presentation that was playing during the Hangout.

If you have any questions, a good first place to address them might be on the Facebook group. Then email me if you don’t get an answer or need something specifically from me croyal [at] txstate.edu.

Great job on the Hangout. I think at least half the class attended at some point. There were a couple technical issues, but overall I think it allowed people to ask some good questions. We’ll discuss.

The test won’t take you the whole class on Monday, but you can take that long, if you need it. You can leave once you finish the exam.

Have a nice weekend. Good luck with the studying!


That’s two weeks down. We are making progress through this quick summer session.

For this weekend:

  • Complete all your blog posts. Refer to the Assignments page for all the details of your blog posts and getting the basic requirements of the blog set up. 5 good posts: good content, images and links. Everything well thought out.
  • Study for Midterm. We’ll have on Mon. 50 questions, Multiple Choice/TF. I’ll bring scantrons, you bring pencils.
  • I’ll be having a review on a Google Hangout tomorrow at 2pm. I’ll send an email around 1:45 when I crank up the Hangout. You will probably have to download a plugin – should be quick and painless. Make sure you in a quiet place with pretty consistent wifi or Ethernet connection. You can watch the Hangout, but Join it when you want to talk.
  • Follow more people on Twitter, ask questions of a few more people. Try to get some more responses. We’ve had good ones so far.
  • Wade and Cecilia will post news for tonight. Make sure you do it both on the FB group and Twitter with #fdom.
  • Reminder: we won’t meet in class tomorrow (but I’ll be online on the Hangout). We also won’t meet on Wed next week 7/24, but you will have an online assignment. On Thur. 7/25, we’ll have Kolten Parker as guest speaker. Please follow him and be prepared for his talk (@koltenparker).


Great discussion today. Everyone seems to be making the proper connections between using some of these tools and understanding their business and successes or failures. Please review what we now have going on:

1. Twitter – find three new people to follow AND ask questions of at least 2 people, something about your career, advice, skills, anything. Be creative. Let’s see if we get more responses.

2. Work on blog posts. Review the requirements under Assignments. Make sure your blog looks good, meets all the specifications. You have 5 posts before the midterm. One on your Facebook page, one with a mobile app idea. We’ll discuss this a little more tomorrow. Every post must be well written, have a few paragraphs (not just one or two sentences) and all posts must have carefully considered images and links – not just things thrown in as afterthoughts. Choose all your elements carefully.

3. Cameron and Allison will post news tonight. Please do on FB Group and Twitter with #fdom hashtag. Everyone comment by noon tomorrow.

4. Check your Klout score.

5. Read Chapter 6 on Visual Storytelling with Photos. The midterm will cover through Chapter 6. We will discuss your photo assignment, but that will be due next week after the midterm.

6. Start studying for midterm. We will discuss the review session that will be done online on Fri.