Beyond Blogging

For our “Beyond Blogging” meeting President Jamie Ratermann and Publicity Chair Ian Bowman-Henderson showed our members the different way they can expand their online skills through unique blogs and using design software like Scribd or My Virtual Paper.


We showcased website from our Scripps alumni like SnackFace, who takes a positive and comical approach to her busy vegetarian lifestyle, and  some campus publications who have a great we design like The Essay. With great angles and design like these, we also referenced some of our favorite websites like MediaStorm. If you haven’t checked out MediaStorm yet, this multimedia site is the new best way to view some compelling profiles and features. To us, this publication could only be this effective only through great virtual design. No printing needed!


Our last two websites we chose to show was Gawker, a larger blog aggregation site about big cities culture in the U.S., and our last blog was Sea of Shoes, who writes about fashion interest and personal style. Many of these writers make money through advertising and promotion. In the case of Sea of Shoes, her perspective has earned her chances to meet the designer, models, editors and fellow bloggers through collaborations.

Jump, Look, Think

So from there, we think the next step is to add design along with your content. Ian had a special interest in this when he started his online zine, Jump, Look, Think . He puts together a couple issues a quarter to and adds his own spin to not only the the content but also through design. Jump, Look, Think used Scribd to publish their past ten issues. Scribd is social publishing community where you can a fully designed publication up for FREE.

Finally, we brought up the next step in online publishing. So, Jamie showed our members the magazine she started last school year called Thread Magazine.
It is Ohio University’s only fashion publication that holds a staff of more than 150 photographers, writers, designers, stylists, copyeditors and PR students. Thread is published using My Virtual Paper where publishing can cost from $120 to $400 depending on the features in the magazine, but one great perk is an unlimited amount of pages.

Thread Magazine

A discussion followed the presentation and we tried our best to summarize it.

There are a lot of questions about future of media. Content producers, such as ourselves, fear that they are losing their social and economic value due to the immediate and vast number of voices polluting the public consciousness. We understand these opinions, as well as the many-times-mentioned affection for newspapers. We put forward, however, that the marketplace for news has grown vastly; it would be appropriate, through our discussion, to refer to newspapers as “paper news.” As technology breaks down barriers between content providers and content consumers, a process achieved mainly through erasing the difference between the two, there will be a rising tide of jobs available to create content tailored to fit an ever increasing amount of channels.

This is already occurring. Companies are hiring journalism graduates to work as so-called “Brand Journalists,” supposedly honest journalists just working to tell the story of a product/company/whatever to consumers. For example, CocaCola might hire Joe Bobcat-Journalist to run their twitter, facebook, and blogging. Joe is effectively agreeing to produce content soley on one topic for as long as he is employed — he is, in effect, The CocaCola Channel. This future will likely insure that we all have jobs in in the “New Media Future.” Actually, we were especially impressed by our ability to assess the material ramifications of the Internet. A few of us also raised some interesting, and valid, ethical concerns, but what I’m really wondering is what effect this will have on the soul of a journalist.

What do you think about the move to going virtual? What are some of your favorite blogs?

Please leave us a comment if you have any questions.

Follow some of the sites we mentioned on twitter: @seaofshoes @scribd@mediastorm @gawker @Snackface @theessaymag@JumpLookThink @threadmag

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