Roamin´ Europa

Spring Break. April 19, 2009

During my spring break, I traveled to three different places. First, a few friends and I traveled to Lisbon, Portugal for four days. When we first arrived in the city of Lisbon we were very confused by the set up. It took us a while to adjust to the steep hills that almost resembled San Francisco. While we were there the weather was beautiful and three out of the four days we traveled an a half hour outside of Lisbon to a small beach town called CasCais.060912aWe had to take a metro then a train there, but it was definitely worth it. There were shops and restaurants everywhere with two beaches that weren’t very crowded at all. After four days in Lisbon we had to take an eight hour bus ride to Sevilla. Although it was very long, when we finally got there I was happy to be back in Spain. We lost an entire day to traveling, so the one full day we had there we walked around, and ended up spending most of the day in a park. The next day, we took a train to Marbella and stayed there for the last four days of our spring break. Marbella is a very beautiful place, but I don’t think the hotel likes Americans very much because they were extremely rude and not accomadating whatsoever. My spring break consisted of a lot of traveling,marbella but once we arrived at our destinations all my friends and I did was lay by the pool or the beach, so it ended up being a very relaxing time. Spring break was so much fun, but I was very happy to get back to Barcelona by the end of it all.


Podcasting. April 15, 2009

Among all of the new technologies available to us these days, podcasting is another social tool that is up and coming within society.images A formal definition of a podcast is, a series or digital media files, usually digital audio or video, that is made available for download, via Web syndication. Like the term broadcast, podcast can refer either to the content itself or to the method by which the content is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. A podcaster is the person who creates the content. Interestingly, the term podcast was originated from Apple´s product the Ipod. Amongst the world wide web, there are numerous amounts of websites that one can go to in order to find and view other people´s podcasts. An example of this can be found at this website.

Many people are under the impression that you need an Ipod to podcast–this is VERY untrue! You can use programs such as Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, or any brand of MP3. Some people have even been known to download the podcasts, burn them to CD and play them in their car stereo, home stereo or portable CD player.

images1There is also a term called a ¨podcatcher¨ which is software that allows you to subscribe to your favorite podcasts using their RSS feed.
When new content or episodes are available, your podcatcher will automatically download them for you, and then you’re ready to listen to them on your computer or transfer them to your MP3 player! Here is a website that gives you step-by-step directions as to how use this tool.


Periodico De Catalunya March 29, 2009

elp31Last week we visited the newsroom of Periodico de Catalunya. We sat down in the conference room and learned about the newspaper through a page by page description. It is a thirty year old newspaper, that was created after the end of the Franco regime. It is the third most read newspaper in Spain, and it has about 800,000 readers everyday. Also, it was the first newspaper in Catalunya. Characteristically, this newspaper is very different from all of the others that are read in Spain. The graphics are a huge part of what makes this newspaper so unique. It was the first newspaper to use color, which makes the look of each story very appealing. Compared to a newspaper like the New York Times, there are clear differences in the layout and overall look of the newspaper. Periodico de Catalunya pays a lot of attention to style, color and design, while a paper like the New York Times doesn’t use color and has a traditional and more serious layout. nyt1

What also makes Periodico De Catalunya one of the most popular newspapers in Spain is its accomidation to the public. You can read it quickly in the metro, it is an easy read, although not a tabloid. Also, it is the only newspaper in the world that has two editions: one in Catalan and one in Spanish. It is mainly left side ideology that discusses topics such as human rights.

As it can be seen in these two pictures, Periodico De Catalunya is  much more visually pleasing to look at versus the New York Times. I really enjoyed learning about this newspaper because now I understand why it is so successful.


Corporate Blogs. March 23, 2009

In class we learned about corporate blogs, along with their advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion, I feel that a corporate blog could greatly improve a corporation´s success based upon various factors. Overall, a corporate blog is created by an organization to reeach a specific objective. Currently, all major browsers (including Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer 7) support RSS technology, which enables readers to easily read recent posts without actually visiting the blog, which is very useful for low-volume blogs. After searching the Internet, I have found that more than 12% of the Fortune 500 companies blog externally. Market research done in the first half of 2006 indicated that 34% of large companies had established weblogs. Another 35% planned to do so by the end of 2006, thus bringing the total to nearly 70%.

Continuing my investigation on corporate blogs, I found a great website that lists some important disadvantages. Some of these include, time, representation, measure of success and popularity. I suggest going to this website for more detail on disadvantages. I also found another website that makes a very good point…”This medium represents the missing ingredient that traditional media lacks: the ability to directly connect a company to its customers”. This is where the importance of a corporate blog comes in, because it is a tool that can be used to directly connect a company to it´s customers or potential customers. This website also gives steps that Fortune 500 companies take to create a blog: determine if blogging is a good fit for your company, determine if your company is willing to invest in a blog, create a strategy, ensure that everyone is on the same page, determine the involvment of PR, select bloggers, train the bloggers, writing posts, realize that the blog doesn´t need a tone, editing, establish a commit policy, develope a promotion strategy and establish a measurement program. This website talks about each of these steps in depth, so I highly suggest visting and reading it for anyone else who is interested.


Social Networking. March 1, 2009

grasgf1Nowadays, websites like facebook, myspace and twitter are extremely popular among society. It started with adolescents and has now moved on to the adult age group as well. A more formal definition is, “a social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations) that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as values, visions, ideas, financial exchange, friendship, sexual relationshipskinship, dislike, conflict or trade“. Although it is possible to participate in social networking face-to-face it is most popular online. Hence, websites such as facebook, myspace and twitter. There are many positive aspects of social networking. For example, it is easy to communicate with others, relationships can be formed (such as friendships) and for job purposes as well. Some negative aspects to social networking are invasion of privacy, never being off the radar (always being in constant communication with other people), fraud and blackmail. Fraud and blackmail are more serious issues than the ones previously listed because people feel safe enough to post personal information online and don’t realize that others can use this to their advantage. Blackmail can happen for example because people post pictures of underage drinking, that are never deleted and follow them into later years, and prevent them from getting certain jobs, etc. Provided in the next link is a list of popular social networking websites. Also, the next link provided is a good opinion on the positives and negatives of social networking. 


Multimedia Stories February 23, 2009

Filed under: General Topics,Journalism 2.0 — apins @ 2:12 pm

In class last Wednesday, we learned about multimedia stories. A multimedia story is a combination of text, pictures, video clips, audio, graphics and interactivity presented on a website. I think this is a great way to combine all of the technology that is available to us, into one source. Multimedia stories have many advantages. For example, they have the ability to provide background infomation, databases, information boxes and graphics to relate to a story. Also, feedback can be provided. An important aspect about multimedia journalism is that it takes a lot of preparation. Information needs to be gathered, photos and videos collected, etc. It is also important to note that when created this type of story, the reporter is in charge of putting the story together. Then, the editor and producer determine which stories should be analyzed in a multimedia format. After searching online, I find an interesting article on multimedia convergence.  It explains how it is the polar opposite of how media used to work, where different companies own different pieces of the media. Due to media convergence, everything has combined into one, among newspapers, TV, radio, and anything else you could imagine. Years back, cell phones were only used to make calls, but now they can be used to go on the internet and read the news. Overall, the world wide web has made media convergence so easy and possible.


When in Barcelona.

barcelonasunsetpa0Finally, I spent the weekend in Barcelona. While I love going to so many different places, it was nice to relax and not travel for a weekend. The most exciting part about my weekend is that my family came to visit me! My parents, brother and sister stayed in a hotel a few blocks down from my apartment. They stayed from Thursday to Sunday and I had the best time with them. Thursday night we went out to dinner for my dad´s birthday at a restaurant called Carpe Diem. The next day I took them inside the Sagrada Familia. I enjoyed doing that because I pass it every single day, and have never been inside of it. The next day we went to Park Guell, which was beautiful. The weather was nice and we walked around for a few hours. It was nice to have my family in Barcelona, but a little stressful because I still don´t know my way around the city that well, and they expected me to know a lot more than I actually did. Besides my family visiting, my best friend Michelle also stayed in my aparmtnet. She is curently abroad in Rome, and it was really nice to show her the life that I live her, and for her to compare it to hers. While I really enjoyed my weekend with my family and best friend, I´m relieved its over.