I understand this post’s title is fairly misleading. I’m not actually saying “goodbye” to Greenville forever. But, for a reflection post about my journey and experience with this blog project, it felt clever and just the right amount of sentimental.
Becoming a Digital Diva
In her article titled “At Last: Youth Culture and Digital Media: New Literacies for New Times,” Glynda Hull writes, “…I want to suggest, a familiarity with the full range of communicative tools, modes, and media, plus an awareness of and a sensitivity to the power and importance of representation of self and others…” If I did not agree with Hull’s words before starting this project, I most certainly do now.
Hull also points out the importance of digital literacy. Defined by Education Week, digital literacy is, “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information.” Through this project, I’ve researched and learned what it means to be digitally literate in a digital-heavy world. Long story short: it is a lot more complex than a witty Instagram caption or nice blog layout. In my experience, important digital literacies for the digital age are: engaging with readers/viewers through interactive content, expressing ideas with brevity, and communicating with users in ways that are inviting and conversational.
Through my multimedia project and its various parts– including blog posts, videos, a podcast, and a portfolio– I have gotten to put the digital literacies I feel are important into practice.
Showing What I’ve Got
I have honed my digital literacy skills through the multiple assets of my multimedia project. In my blog posts, I learned how to communicate my ideas through quick, conversational, and interactive text by editing my posts multiple times to delete unnecessary words and by hyperlinking related articles and websites. Similarly, in my online portfolio, I expressed my personality through the words I chose and how I designed my pages with handwriting-style fonts and pops of color (I took tips from Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist to be inspired by websites I loved). Considering my desire to write later in my career, I wanted to focus on perfecting this skill. Lynda Felder’s book Writing for the Web was especially helpful for this, as she offers tips such as creating a persona to write for, always cutting down word count, and using the inverted pyramid model. I feel I did a particularly good job of this in my Nickel and Dining blog post because I walk my readers through a broad issue and then focus in on solutions.
In my group and personal videos, I learned brevity is key. More often than not, a main critique I received on the videos was to make them shorter. This connects to Felder’s suggestion to get the the point quickly in online media. My content was so much more powerful after editing clips down.
Finally, the podcast I worked on with my group showed me the importance of inviting content. My group’s podcast was very well-received by the class because everyone connected to the topic. That taught me how to understand and adjust my content to fit their interests. However, I wish the podcast’s narration had a more relaxed and conversational tone. I think that would have made it even more relatable.
New & Improved
Without a doubt, I have grown tremendously through this project. At the start of the semester, not only did not know how to use programs or effectively blog, but I was too intimidated to try. Now, I can make a high-quality video on Adobe Premiere or create an interesting collage on Photoshop. I am confident in Audacity and I can download fonts for my portfolio to represent my personal brand. I hope to build upon these skills by using them for client work during my internship and by exploring similar programs. For example, I am planning on learning how to use Adobe Illustrator soon. As I (hopefully!) continue down the marketing/public relations/communications path, these skills are key for me to stand out in a pool of job applicants in a creative office.
Perhaps most importantly, I can write for the web. Given my interest in furthering my writing career, I am confident I will need to write for online platforms as the media world is rapidly turning digital. Through this experience, I have learned key principles for the new and evolving digital writing genre.
I have grown attached to CCCB and all the other projects I poured myself into these past few months. Maybe I will continue to blog for each new city I explore.
Until next time, GVL.