Archive for the ‘Electronic Communication’Category

New Year, New Site!

This website has long been my catch-all web presence. I’ve tried making it a sort of ‘one-size-fits-all’ space for my blog, professional and personal portfolios, and social connections; but I’ve never been quite happy with how it all fit together.

In truth, it didn’t. Like many other products, if you try to make your website do everything, chances are it won’t be very good at anything in particular. Co-mingling my personal life with my professional work on this blog sent mixed messages that didn’t do much to support my personal branding efforts. That’s what I saw as I monitored this site’s analytics. Pages displaying my past work didn’t generate any meaningful traffic. And the hacks that had to be done to display that work in this theme and template on a static Wordpress site didn’t make it look its best.

With help from my favorite graphic designer, Michael Champlin, I’ve now split the two conflicting personalities on The new site,, will be home to an edited collection of past work tailored to individual companies through the use of a ‘hire’ subdomain. And I’ll be free to continue blogging about whatever I fancy on this site, without much worry about confusing a potential employer. As an added bonus, it’s quite a bit easier to navigate with fewer pages!


01 2012

New and Improved:

I really wish I'd grabbed a 'before' screenshot. If anyone can find one, I'd be much obliged!

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of viewing the homepage, I am truly sorry. It was an experiment with Joomla hacks gone awry. Luckily, I was given the go-ahead to redo the site entirely, and you can see the result for yourself at (the School of Journalism and Broadcasting is now the School of Media and Strategic Communications).

In addition to aligning more with Oklahoma State University’s brand standards on the web, the resulting site is one that is much easier to navigate and much more appealing to prospective students.  All the information they need about a degree plan can be easily accessed from the same page – no more digging around for information! And the updated photos and new videos make the site look like it belongs to a school of media. The next two phases of the site will be to add features for existing students, then for alumni.

Of course there’s still work to be done on this puppy.  Maria Zhang, a graduate student at SMSC, is now in charge of the website and we’ll be working together from afar to get fixes and updates made. I also want to heap some praise on the team of students who worked to get much of the photos, video, and copy done: Sam Durbin, Marissa Chavez, Cal Garbe, Jordan Nelson, Raya Greenbaum, Taylor Gibbons, Stephanie Rowe, Brian Smith, and Britteny Wandel.

So do me a favor and go check it out! If you find any bugs or broken links, or just want to give feedback, feel free to leave them in the comments below or email me.


09 2011

You are not too good for iMovie.

Editor Rob Ashe is doling out some great words of wisdom on his new website. Ashe is both a professional editor and former instructor in his field, so some of his posts strongly relate to concepts I try to teach my Electronic Communications students. In a recent post, Ashe wrote about how many editors are rabid fanboy/fangirls of a particular editing program for no substantial reason, much in the same way people are staunchly pro-Mac or  pro-Microsoft.

It’s discouraging to see this attitude develop among some of my students. For example, a few of them were visibly disappointed last semester when I said we were going to use iMovie to make their very first videos. Somehow, the students already had the impression that they had to use Final Cut Pro if the videos were going to be any good.  To them, the quality of the video hinged on the program, not their ability.

In communications-related industries, it’s counter-productive to work under the impression that there’s only one program to do the job. You’re eliminating job and work opportunities if you focus on the program instead of the skill.  Employers want to hire people who are adept at learning, using and modifying a variety of resources (software and otherwise) to get work done efficiently and effectively.  And yes, that may mean editing videos in iMovie or photos in Corel.  Sure, one program might have more bells and whistles, or do something a little better than another program.  But that’s part of what an employer is looking for – someone who knows what program to use and when to use it over others. Software is just a tool and is not vitally important; one’s ability to craft the content is.

To combat this attitude, we have to help others learn how to learn other programs. Once a person has the fundamental skills down, it becomes a matter of understanding different interfaces. A cut is still a cut and a fade is still a fade no matter what program you’re in.


02 2011