CommTogether right now, over…journalism

I’m a student in the School of Communication at the University of Miami, but you would think that the various journalism programs (print, broadcast and visual) speak different languages sometimes from the lack of collaboration that is present.

Yes, there have been several notable successes — and I’ve been lucky to be in three classes this year that focus on convergence (In-depth reporting for convergent media, online journalism and interactive storytelling) — but the level of cooperation is still not where it should be.

I kept all this is mind while devising a new final project for my CNJ 442 online journalism class, after the first plan regarding the new didn’t work out a planned.

The result is a social networking site the class is developing using Ning:


The general idea came to me one night as I was chatting online with Hurricane Visuals Editor Will Wooten (check out his recent site redesign). Regarding the group name, which I love, credit goes to Kiersten Schmidt.

Here are details from the CNJ 442 proposal that I drafted and the class helped refine:


  • Bring together in one forum the three journalism programs at the University of Miami School of Communication: print, broadcast and visual
  • Recruit students, faculty, staff, alumni and prospective students
  • Begin a conversation about the future of school’s journalism programs
  • Conceptualize collaborative projects for classes, students, media outlets, etc.
  • Take ideas and turn them into reality


  • Profile pages: students, faculty, administrators
  • Groups: programs, classes, projects, media
  • Feeds: blogs, news, etc.
  • Photos and videos
  • Blogs: internal
  • Comments

Action plan

  • Discuss and decide on name for group (complete)
  • Create network (complete)
  • Create profile pages (complete)
  • Create groups within network: programs, classes, media, organizations, etc.
  • Invite/recruit students, professors, administrators, staff, alumni and prospective students (in progress)
  • Table in the SoC courtyard
  • Solicit ideas from everyone regarding the future of curriculum, organizations
  • Conceptualize possible collaboration projects, way to converge
  • Maintain the discussion
  • Continue to recruit new group members

UPDATE: I forgot one very important reason for this site:

Students should have a voice in the development of curriculum.

Weigh in:
Any suggestions/ideas for this site?

Advice for bloggers, part one: Reader stats

I started blogging in November to discuss online journalism, journalism education and other related topics.

Since mid-January, I’ve also been using the blog to fulfill an online journalism class requirement because everyone in class is required to maintain a blog.

Professor Sam Terilli, who spoke to my class Thursday about law and the Internet (see related video), brought up a point that one of my classmates, Josh Newman, mentioned on his blog Friday:

“[Terilli asked] the question that, I think, made most of my classmates (including myself, excluding Greg Linch) squirm a little. ‘How many people read your blogs?’ …Silence.”

Josh goes on to mention Google Analytics. This is a great service, but it’s only one way to measure how many readers you have.

I subscribe to all of my classmates’ blogs via Google Reader and would recommend that they utilize FeedBurner, an earlier suggestion (How to…use FeedBurner) that the class has been using, to keep track of their subscribers.

FeedBurner is great for adding an e-mail subscription widget, something our professor required, but that should only be a preliminary step.

Explore the different tabs in FeedBurner, specifically “Publicize” and “Analyze” — the latter of which shows you how many RSS subscribers you have. The number of subscribers is also available on the “My Feeds” page.

There’s a lot that can be said about the question of increasing blog traffic and readers, so I decided to divide my thoughts into shorter posts.

Stay tuned…

UPDATE, March 23: I clarified above that not all journalism students are required to blog — only the ones in the CNJ 442 Online Journalism class.

Other School of Communication students have their on personal blogs and may blog through the SoC’s Web site.

Also, I should have mentioned SiteMeter as another option for blog/site analytics.

Journalism prof, former Herald counsel’s advice for new (or any) bloggers

Sam Terilli, a University of Miami journalism professor whose background is in law, spoke with my online journalism class Thursday about law and the Internet. He has practiced law for more than 24 years, including 12 as general counsel at The Miami Herald.

After his talk I asked him what advice he would give to a student wanting to start a blog. Check it out his answer, which is relevant to any blogger.

Tips on doing Web video from Ricardo Lopez

Listen below to excerpts of advice Miami Herald visual journalist Ricardo Lopez (left) gave my online journalism class on Feb. 28.

I captured the audio with my Olympus DS-30 using a lav. The photo is from the new media panel during Comm Week. Will Payne, from Current TV, is on the right.