Portfolio Site Stats

And I thought I was popular. Hmpf.

Well, now I know how to make my portfolio site more popular–through greater outreach and constant updates. As you can see, I haven’t done much of either this semester, but it’s not too late. I’ve accumulated lots of clips and have worked on great school projects this spring–I can definitely post my articles and link to my multimedia pieces for viewers to see. I can also tell them to keep returning to the site, especially through both Facebook and Twitter. Maybe as projects come out, I can link to my site through these social media outlets instead of the sites that my work appears on. I think I’ll get great traffic from that. And good comments, too!

Of course, the portfolio site is a work in progress. I’m pretty happy with how it came out this semester. My internship recruiters were impressed by it, which made me feel cool. But when it comes time to job hunt after graduation, I’ll really need to hook the site up with more. I’ll definitely have the time this summer to get this going…when I’m not at the beach.

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Debating the NYC Skyline Social Media Follow-Up

For the days leading up to the event both Matt and I posted the event blog post on our facebook pages to promote to friends and family. I don’t have a screen shot of Matt’s page but here is mine from early in the day of the event (5/11):

And we both did later on the day of the event, about an hour before, on Facebook:

And we posted on Twitter using the #NYCSkyline hashtag we created:

Here is Cheryl’s tweets:

I also created a handle for us on Twitter, only to realize it didn’t matter that we had a handle if we had no followers!

Oh well. It was a good exercise in speed since I was creating the account as we were at the event.

We also sent an email to the entire class list. We have followed up with the communications folks that we met at the event to see if they are interested in posting our coverage.

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Dan R. – Portfolio Site Analytics

I’ve had 16 visits to my portfolio site, which is a step up from the 2 that I had last week. It’s not many, but I haven’t done much outreach on my site lately. Unsurprisingly, Facebook works well and is the second biggest source of traffic to my site. On Friday, I posted a story on my Facebook wall with a link and I got six hits and three the next day. Respectively, I also got 18 page views Friday and 4 Saturday.

The average user sees 2.6 pages-per-visit which means they check out a story or two, and leave. It looks like that could improve, though I haven’t advertised my site as “portfolio”  in a while. The average time spent on my site is a minute-and-a-half. (Actually, I’ve had many visitors for over two minutes, but a quick couple of visitors for nine seconds brought my average down.)

Encouragingly, my search analytics show that some people came to my website searching for subjects I’ve written about for other sites, so it looks like I’m getting some SEO love.

 

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Live Coverage Follow-Up: Whitney Community Day

Whitney Community Day graphic. Image courtesy of content.standardculture.com.

Whitney Community Day graphic. Image courtesy of content.standardculture.com.

On Saturday, May 21, I worked with Ashley Welch and Laura Ratliff in covering the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Community Day. It was celebrating the groundbreaking of the Whitney’s new site (though the literal one happens Tuesday, May 24).

Laura and I were out covering the event in the Meatpacking District (where the new site was located), and Ashley was producing at school.

The main site was set up inside a tent, and Laura took a video introduction on her iPhone. Since I only had a Blackberry, I concentrated on live-tweeting the event, using the hashtag #whitney.

I tweeted facts about the future Whitney building, and asked patrons their thoughts on the museum moving to the new location in 2015. I also interviewed the Whitney project manager on the new building while Laura filmed it.

Overall, it went very well, and I learned some things that may be useful in the future.

It was definitely helpful working in a team of three. Laura and I were able to coordinate on who would do what, and got more coverage in than if it had been just one of us out in the field.

Ashley was great at directing us. She told us when we were live, and made suggestions about things to do. For example, she asked that I talk to someone there about what they thought about the Whitney moving locations.

It was also fun to see the interaction the CoverItLive site. (I checked it after the event.) I was surprised that we had people following and responding to our videos and live-tweets.

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How Cricket Explains New York

 

Like everyone in our group, I was a “jack of all trades” for our Blog Talk Radio panel on How Cricket Explains New York. I made contact with an old professor at Hunter College that taught a class “Sports in the Media.” He told me he was willing to come in, but that he had someone else in mind, Arnold Gibbons, Hunter College professor and retired professional cricket player. I also made contact with the cricket coach from Bronx High School of Science, and was given permission to come in and talk to players and take pictures of practice; however, the weather didn’t allow that to happen.

Pat took on the role on being host and writing the script, but both Felipe and I did our part with editing it. Finally, I took on the role of photographer and took some action shots before and during the production.

Once we got everything going with our guests in studio and the equipment ready, then it was simple. We were well prepared when it came down to questions to ask, and also people to call in to keep the conversation flowing.

My biggest concern was that only having to guests and two callers lined up wasn’t going to fill our 30 minute slot, and that we would have nothing to talk about. I found out that we didn’t have enough time. Because we were so well prepared, and because our guests had so much to say, we could’ve easily filled an hour slot.

I had never done anything like that before and was very skeptical about how good it could actually be. But after doing it, I’ve been reassured that doing live coverage, something like Blog Talk Radio can be a big success with the proper preparation.

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Semester Wrap-up

A few notes on things from this semester:

Live Coverage
I worked on the back end of this project helping to design the website and coordinating the posting of projects. It gave me insight into what goes into producing a project with so many participants and numerous people who have thoughts about what the end product should be. The biggest improvement that could be made if this type of project were to be done again is to start earlier. There were some design/functionality things that were proposed that were too complicated (but would have looked nicer) and perhaps they could have been implemented if we had more time. Also I think it would be helpful if the major themes were decided ahead of time so that students could pitch stories to fit a theme instead of trying to force stories into themes after the fact.

Analytics
I am not using the portfolio site that I set up at the beginning of the semester. I did it quickly to fulfill the assignment and have been working with Daniel all semester on customizing WordPress themes. I successfully customized a theme for my iPhone photography site (iphonemeetsnyc.com) using HTML, CSS and PHP, including making all images shareable via Facebook and Twitter. I activated the plugin for Google analytics but I have not started promoting the site yet because I am in the process of adding content (at least one photo for each day starting in July 2009).

I also visually designed my final portfolio site, but it will require creating a WordPress theme from scratch. I have documentation to study over the summer and will complete this with Daniel’s help in the fall. Working with him has been very helpful in learning how all of this stuff actually works so I can better manipulate it myself.

 

Other
Learning Flash was very helpful for me, even if it’s on its way out as a widely used platform. I am taking Interactive III in the fall and hope to use it as my capstone class so I can combine all of these skills to create a multimedia heavy capstone website showcasing reporting and other material that I will gather over the summer in Egypt.

 

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Semester Wrap

Google Analytics

I didn’t find analyzing my web traffic on my portfolio site that useful. I haven’t been able to put in the time to get it to a place where I feel it’s even worth it to promote it as a portfolio–my big project for the summer.

I didn’t do a live coverage because Kirsti and I worked on the website. As has been discussed, there were some overall organization issues, but working on it was a useful enough project.

 

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Finally, analytics

I’m a little late on posting the analytics to my portfolio blog. There isn’t much to report, but I’ll say a few things.

Over the last month, I’ve only had six hits on my site. Two came through the Interactive 2 site. Oddly, two came through a google search for Norma Diaz, the founder of a youth baseball field in the Dominican Republic, who I met when I was reporting on Dominican baseball from Santo Domingo a few years ago. The wallpaper on my laptop is a photo of an equipment shed with “Norma Diaz” printed on it in big red letters, and I wonder if the search was originated someone who saw my computer screen.

Two hits came after I tweeted a response to an article by a baseball writer named Ben Badler. I rarely tweet, so it was interesting and encouraging* to see that one mildly opinionated sentence would make someone curious about me.

*The question of what kind of interest I want to generate is one I’m still working on. I had started out with the idea that my site would be a place to showcase work, but I have some ambivalence to attracting people to my student work. Not to read too much into two responses to one tweet, but it feels like the thing I might want to use the site as a way to let people readers know more about me by curating some of my better work. Something to think about this summer …

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Live coverage wrap: Cricket in the city

I did a little bit of everything for our Blog Talk Radio panel on How Cricket Explains New York: promoted the show, took photographs, worried over web functionality and hosted the program. All members of the team contributed to the most important task: booking guests to appear on the show.

I thought our program was pretty fair, especially after it moved from question and answer to open conversation. We settled on a three-part structure where I would interview each of three guests on different aspects of NYC cricket, but in the booth, I was aware that our two in-studio guests had natural chemistry, and it was awkward to leave one sitting silent while I interviewed the other. I think that the broadcast got better as it went along and it became more of a conversation.

The broadcast itself was the easiest part. I liked the idea of having a reporter call in a report from a game in action. We were also going to have a package on a high school game or practice, but we were rained out for three consecutive days.

I’m superstitious about seeing a thing with my own eyes before I write about it, and I was lucky to stumble on a cricket match being played in the rain on an asphalt field the day before the broadcast.

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Wrapup of Live Cricket Panel

The Live Cricket Panel was more or less a success. I would say our only major slip-up was not having written our script a day or two earlier so we could have gone over it a few more times. A produced package also may have added to the broadcast, but it rained the weekend before our show so the games we planned on attending were canceled. Continue reading

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