Briggs Ch. 3 – ‘Crowd-Powered Collaboration’

This chapter showed the power of the people…in journalism.

Citizen journalism


  • Crowdsourcing/distributed reporting – demonstrates committed power of the community for a project
  • Open-source reporting – using transparency in reporting
  • Pro-am journalism – journalists are no longer the gatekeepers and let the audience publish on the same platform as themselves.
  • Beatblogging – build a social network around traditional news beat then bring the leaders and listen to what they have to say.
  • Link journalism – linking to the competition’s sites.
  • “Citizen journalism” – concept where the public/readers publish their stories. Showed that print was still appealing to the readers.


An amusing cartoon on Crowdsourcing

Virtual’s ‘Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Best Practices’

Getting your blog to show up on search engines was the subject of this post.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

My takeaway:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — refers to the practice of refining your Web site content so that it has better visibility in search engines, such as Google.
  • Changing On-Page Elements such as Page Title, URL and “Invisible” Page Content can increase SEO
  • Changing Off-Page Elements such as Inbound links and certain practices can also increase SEO
  • Sharing Links and Network Badges also increases SEO.

Mindy McAdams’ Teaching Online Journalism: Web literacy: Should be required

Web hosting and domain names was the focus of McAdams’ post. She starts off with an anecdote in which someone calls her up and didn’t know the difference between Web hosting and domain names. Apparently this had happened more than once.

Web Hosting

Web Hosting

She put a link on her blog to help others understand the difference.

My takeaway on the article:

  • Domain names — site where the owner has to pay annually to keep it running. Ex.
  • Web hosting — a home for your Web pages, most often set up by companies using servers. Can include a domain name, if needed.
  • You need both a domain name and a web host to set up your own Website
  • FTP program/client — can help in creating and uploading Web pages and graphics

Briggs Ch. 2 – ‘Advanced Blogging’

This chapter was all about blogs. Most of it is stuff I’ve heard before, that blogging has changed journalism and so on. Like writing, in blogging, you have to read in order to learn how to write. There is a list of the top 100 blogs at


Blogging and are two of the leading platforms. They are often used by organizations so it’s best to start a blog on those websites to give you practice for potential employers. When blogging, keep in mind these tips:

  • You should put the reader first.
  • Organize your ideas.
  • Be direct.
  • Be the authority, with a personality.
  • “How’s this, Mom?” – step away from your work for about 15 minutes before you publish it. Also, keeping your mom in mind will help you write respectfully and clearly.
  • Make your posts scanable – make your posts easy to scan for busy readers.
  • Link, summarize and analyze.
  • Be specific with headlines.
  • Have a good attitude.
  • Use photos and screenshots
  • Post early, post often – doesn’t have to be once a day.
  • Participate in the community
  • Read, Comment on and link to other blogs
  • Set up RSS feeds

I also liked this video on the myths of blogs:

Briggs Ch. 1 – ‘We Are All Web Workers Now’

This chapter was very helpful in explaining a lot of the technical terms you hear but don’t always know what they mean. Have you ever heard of kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes? These prefixes, similar to other units of measure, talk about bytes in large quantities. Why would we need such large quantities of bytes? Take a CD for example, it can hold 650 megabytes. Everyone from large corporations to yourself could need the extra space when you consider music and digital files.

Multiples of bytes
Wikipedia’s chart for multiples of bytes

Plug-ins and extensions are software that allows the user to do more than just see the display, some are ad blockers, translators, etc.

HTML is a markup language that shows the browser how to display the page with all its texts, graphics, images, etc. When a Web page displays a copy of the HTML document saves on the computer. The code then tells the computer how to build the page. There are online services and software that can help you create a page but it is important to know how to do HTML for your own benefit. HTML uses opening and closing tags to create a pair. A pair designates a paragraph, bolded word, headline, boxes or bullets. You can use HTML in image tags to create alternate text, a border, show width or height, alignment, etc.

CSS (cascading style sheets) is another markup language that can add a bit more creativity into the Web page, unlike HTML. You can edit, modify and troubleshoot existing Web pages and designs. In CSS you declare a font, color, size and other attributes for a specific type of content. XML works with HTML, is customizable and describes what data is. It is most often used in RSS feeds.

Some Helpful Definitions:
Byte– unit of measure for digital information; contains eight consecutive bits and is capable of storing a single ASCII (“as-kee”; American Standard Code for Information Interchange) character.
Internet – system of computer networks that allows users to connect by using the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) and includes email, instant messaging and file transfer (FTP).
The Web – refers to a way of accessing information through the network, using hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) and web browsers. It doesn’t include email, instant messaging and file transfer (FTP).
• Web server – a special type of computer that stores and distributes information over the Internet.
URL (uniform resource locator) – also known as a “Web address”. Computers recognize the Web address’ corresponding IP address when you type it into the Web browser.
IP address (Internet Protocol) – a unique, numeric identity of a Web address.
Domain name – secures a human-readable Web address and associates it with an IP address.
Web browsers – tools that people use to access the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web. They do three things:
1. It searches and finds information on Web servers.
2. It retrieves the information and brings it back to you.
3. It renders the information for display on your computer or mobile device.
Cache – temporary storage of all the files you download while you’re browsing the web.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) – subscribes to an information feed that gets delivered directly to an RSS reader or Web browser. This is a great tool for sifting through lots of information and keeping updated on different feeds.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – simply moves a file from one computer to another.

To break it up, here is a video that describes some of my sentiments toward technology.