Here are some reasonably light visual readings for your return from spring break. Mainly, you need to read through the assigned Briggs chapter 6 on visual storytelling. Think about his advice and note the example experts he gives. Some of you have been incorporating visuals into your work from the start, others have come around to it, and a few are still pounding out mostly text articles each week. Use these readings as a way to start thinking about more creative forms of visual storytelling. How might your blogs tell a story that is more visual than text (and while “use lots of photos” is surely an answer, it’s not the ONLY answer).
Second, I’d like you to look at some photoblogs. What’s a photoblog? Find out for yourself. You’ve probably seen some photoblogs – post an example in your response (and use an in-text link, please – full URLs are so tacky).
A great home for this kind of thing is Tumblr. This site (and others like it) are becoming prominent examples of quick-hit, visual blogging (actually, I’m not even sure if “blogging” is the right word for whatever Tumblr is, but it’ll suffice for now). This Huffington Post list of “33 Tumblrs you NEED to follow” is a good place to explore. It may not be your thing, but resist the urge to gripe’n’grumble and remember: Look past the content to what’s behind it. What ideas are here that we as journalists can use?
Finally, something that you’ll either get a kick out of or really hate: Memes. The meme is a basic cultural unit (much like the gene is a biological one). Like a virus, it lives to spread from carrier to carrier, mutating and adapting as it goes. Successful memes thrive, unsuccessful ones die out. Go to quickmeme (or your own favorite meme creator, if you have such a thing) and browse the current and most popular images. Then go to the Facebook WVU Memes page and scan back a few weeks/months (if you weren’t aware of this, I’m sorry/you’re welcome). Yes, Marshall and Pitt have their own meme pages, and the college meme trend is already showing signs of burning out, but take a look anyway. Resist the urge to say “this is dumb” (which it surely is), and consider what’s going on here. I won’t ask you to come up with a journalistic application for memes, but how might the kind of sharing and creativity going on here be useful in more valuable mass communication?
Remember, your responses are due by noon Monday, April 2 (after spring break) as a comment to this post.