BLOG (FORMERLY PEN TO PAPER)
Hopefully you will have seen by now that I have just launched my new blog. That means that I am at the end of this phase of the implementation of this design. I have written about it quite recently, so I won’t go into it again here, but I will say that this design as had some unexpected repercussions.
When I decided to change my focus from ‘green journalism’ to blogging, I spent a long time looking at other blogs (I still do). I noticed that what I really loved about them (even though words are my thing) was the pictures. I knew that if I was going to produce the kind of blog that I wanted to, then I would need to get much better at photography. I have had an on/off affair with photography all my life, but to be honest, I had never quite got my head around the technical aspects. I decided to go on a course (I actually ended up going on two) and suddenly everything just started to click into place. I became completely fascinated.
At work at the University, my colleague Mike and I would spend hours and hours poring over photographs we liked, trying to work out what was going on. Mike managed to convince the University to buy a DSLR so that he could work on photo and video content for the website. After a bit, I joined in too. We did a bit of turning up and shooting stuff, but then we started talking lots about why people watch video – why it’s interesting and meaningful – and storytelling came up and there, I was in my element. With Mike as technical director and me as scriptwriter we made this video.
It was then decreed from on high that the University was ‘restructuring’ and my department would no longer exist. My boss asked me if I had any ideas about what I would like to do next and I said that I would like to do video and photography stuff with Mike. It was so odd. It was just ‘ask and ye shall be given.’ My boss talked to the boss of marketing and comms (yes, I work for them now), we had a quick meeting and then Mike and I decamped to M&C as Digital Media Officers. We are the first ever people in M&C to have responsibility for video and photography so consequently no one knows what we should be doing. Thus, we have free rein to do what we think is best. What we think is best is telling stories, setting the bar high so that we don’t get stuck in ‘talking head’ land. It’s really really good. My job finally reflects the things I am good at and it’s interesting every day. Best of all, it has provided me with a photography mentor in the shape of Mike, so I get to learn new things every day too. It is a two-way street though. He gets to learn stuff too. I spent a good two hours the other day delivering a lecture on the importance of detail and specificity to the believability of a story.
If all that comes out of the blog is my new job, then it will have delivered more than I could have imagined, but I don’t think that’s all… The blog makes me feel a little funny when I think about it. It’s so strange to have been thinking of something for so long, to have taken such care putting it together and then realise, when you send it out into the world, that it doesn’t really exist in other people’s heads yet. It will be so interesting to see how it beds in, how it grows and changes.
I don’t consider this design finished yet. I’m going to have to set a finish date for it, so I think this design will be done when the blog has been out in the world for a year and I have put my marketing plan into practice. That means it’ll be done very close to the end of my diploma (which is scheduled for, but probably won’t be done by, April 2015). I am so excited to find out what has happened to it by then.
…has been done and dusted for a while. Hooray!