Final Overview

I have come to the end of the module for Creating and Publishing Digital Media, so I suppose now is the time for reflection. 12 weeks on from when the module began, I now have a completed blog, a podcast, a photography portfolio, and a Prezi presentation to show for my efforts. For that alone, I think that the module has been a success, as it is not every module that forces you to go out and actually create something that you end up being proud of. I have come to realise the purpose of blogging, and perhaps in future endeavours that are notable I will create blogs to update my progress, as you never know who could have an interest.

With regards to the photography aspect, I’d say it was my favourite. I really enjoyed just messing around with the camera and experimenting with different settings, and often I was pleasantly surprised when I would capture a good photo almost by accident. I can see photography becoming a hobby that I might keep doing even after this module is finished.

Overall, I was pleased with my blog and the content on it. I think that a lot of the elements of it can be reused for stuff in the future as well.

Advertisements

Search Engine Optimisation

When creating any sort of digital media, one of the most important things is visibility. It doesn’t matter how edgy or creative your blog is if no-one sees it. Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is a process by which you can increase the visibility of a website or web pages in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) by changes to the layout, content, or especially the language of a site. Search engines find websites though keywords search, so by effectively adding specific keywords to a site, it adds focus and increases the ranking of the site within the search results.

Organic SEO refers to any natural non-paid effort to increase a site’s ranking and visibility. This can be done on-site of off-site. On-site SEO is when one makes changes to the webpage itself and thus improves its position. Off-site SEO is the process of promoting the site by external means, for example social media campaigns or content and inbound marketing. By using on and off-site SEO it is possible to increase traffic to a site and ideally once they reach the site, they will complete a goal.

There are also other methods that involve paying that can be used to generate traffic. For example, Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, involves paying for improvement to SERPS results, placing your site within ad results via AdWords, and Pay-per-click programmes. By effectively utilising both SEO and SEM it is possible to increase the inbound traffic to a site.

Copyright Issues

Everyone has heard of copyright, but up until this lecture I realised that I didn’t actually know what it meant. Copyright is a legal concept that gives the creator exclusive right to their own work, usually for a limited time. Generally, it gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for their work, to decide who is allowed adapt and perform the work, and who could financially benefit from it.

There is a distinct difference between underlying and derivative works. The underlying work is the original, and is protected by copyright, whereas the derivative work is an expressive creation that is distinctly different from the underlying work. A derivative work is protectable only to the extent that it embodies original expression. Any non-original aspects are not copyright protectable.

Anything in the public domain is not copyright protected. This refers to works whose intellectual property rights have expired, been forfeited, or are inapplicable. Works like these, for example the works of Shakespeare, are available for use by anyone.

Digital Image Management

Image files can be made of pixels or of vector data, however the files are rasterized to pixels when displayed on most graphic displays. Most image files are lossy, meaning that when they get compressed or transferred, they lose some image quality, and each time this happens the image will get steadily worse. However, it is possible to reduce the file size without losing the overall quality of the image, but this means that the image is not reduced to as small a size. If image quality is valued over image size, lossless algorithms would be used.

Lossy image compression takes advantage of the fact that the human eye wouldn’t notice the loss of quality, and it only becomes visible at the highest compression levels. This is worth remembering when deciding what file format to make an image, due to the fact that both lossy and lossless formatting have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Photo Editing and Retouching

The ability to edit and retouch photos after taking them is invaluable, as often you don’t get the time or opportunity to make sure your photo is perfect when you take it. Because all aspects of life are fleeting, this is reflected in photos. Frequently the object of the photo will be a little off centre, or it won’t be straight, or there is another unwanted object in the frame. By being able to crop and straighten a photo, which are very simple tasks, one can hugely improve the overall look of a photo.

As well as simply cropping and straightening photos, it is possible to augment the colours and vividness. A photo that may seem too grey, or washed out, can become vibrant and warm. Also, it is possible to adjust the contrast and sharpness to affect the photos positively, which can change the texture and depth.

Reflection on Prezi

Making my Prezi presentation about photography was a bit of a challenge, as I found that frequently the different slides wouldn’t go where I wanted them too, and the pathways between them became somewhat convoluted. However, after a little bit of playing around with it, I was able to improve my Prezi skill, and in the end I was very pleased with the overall result.

This was the first time I had used Prezi, although I had heard about it before. It is a really good way to make a presentation in my opinion, as it makes for a welcome change away from the typical PowerPoint presentations that we have become so accustomed to. My Prezi wan’t anything spectacular, but I thought it was simple and clear, and got my points across effectively.

I especially like the fact that it isn’t simply a slide by slide summary like PowerPoint, but rather a visual journey that begins with a large overview, before delving deeper into each point. As well as that, because there are so many different ways to transition from one point to another, it stops the presentation from becoming boring and tiresome, thus keeping your audience more interested for longer. Perhaps some time in the future using a Prezi rather than a PowerPoint will be the difference between an adequate and an outstanding presentation.

Podcast

This week our task was to create and publish a podcast on our blog. Having never made an audio file before I expected this to be a very difficult thing to undertake, but actually it proved to be less of a problem than I anticipated. Using Audacity, LAME, and Podomatic in conjunction with one another made it relatively simple.

The biggest issue I encountered, (apart from being painfully aware of the sound of my own voice on recording), was the actual recording of the podcast. I was surprised to find how much background noise was picked up by the microphone. However, with a little help and careful editing from Audacity I removed the majority of background noise and I was pleased with the overall result.

Here is my link: Podcast