CA 260

CA 260 has been one of my favorite classes this semester. I have learned a lot in this. I have learned about coding, websites, blogs, and so much more. One of my favorite things that we did this semester was creating websites.

Websites can be very important in the professional word, especially in the world of Strategic Communication. Knowing how to successfully create and operate a website will be a huge help in my future career. It will also help when trying to find that career. My website is a good way to showcase myself as a serious Communication major and show potential employers my abilities.

My website is http://dbwilliamsphotography.weebly.com/ and I love the way that it turned out. We have to present our websites to the class on Monday. I am excited to see how everyone’s websites turned out.

One of the best parts of the website project was the design part. I enjoyed picking out what design I wanted and figuring out how to put my pictures on the site in the best way. I wanted to seem professional and organized.

The tools on Weebly were easy to use and it was fun figuring out what the tools did. There was one time that the site glitched up and I had to contact the help service because a feature that I added to my page wouldn’t go away when I clicked on the “x”. The help service contacted me back immediately and solved the problem.

I loved learning how to use Weebly.

SEO

This week in lab, we learned about search engine optimization. I had no clue what this meant until I did a little bit of research and found that it is extremely helpful. I always noticed keywords when I searched for things on google and bing. I noticed that it would pull up articles and pages related to the words I typed in the search bar.

After learning about SEO, I knew that I definitely wanted to use it on my page. I will make sure that my titles on my page are specific so that when people search for those terms my page will be one of the many that pop up. Hopefully, people will click on my site and the traffic will increase.

I will also make sure that my site is easy to navigate. According to Google’s SEO starter guide, “Navigation is very important for search engines. The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important (https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf). If my page is confusing then people might leave it without trying to figure it out or even trying. That is definitely not what I want. I want people to be able to find the things that they are looking for with zero trouble.

I will also make sure that my site has quality content and is interesting. The Google SEO starter guide says, “Interesting sites will increase their recognition on their own. Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it.”

One of the disadvantages to SEO is that your competitors will be able to find your site with ease and step up their game to compete with you. More than just a person’s target audience will see it. This may be good at times, but it can also be problematic.

My Domain

This week in lab we discussed online privacy and the price of free. It was eye opening in a lot of ways. There are just somethings that I hadn’t thought of until that class.  I will now be extremely careful when posting information about myself if it can be used to hurt me. I don’t really care if people know my thoughts and feelings, but my social and bank information is something I would like to keep to myself.

This week we had to read the following:

One of the assignments for the week was to think of a few domain names for my website and then see if they are taken by searching them on WHOIS. The first possible domain name that I thought of was dbwilliamsphotography.com. It is not currently owned. There are other domains that are similar, but this one is available for $12.99. This is the only domain name that I would be interested in purchasing.

I might buy a domain name for myself in the future if my site picks up and I start bringing in business. If it is a failed project then I don’t want to waste money on it. If it is profitable then not having .weebly might make it look more professional. It might then be worth purchasing.

For now I am going to stick to free services because I am a broke college student and have a lot on my plate. After I graduate, if my site is still profitable, then I might pay for hosting. Then I will be able to spend more time working on it and making it a top priority.

Privacy

I am not exactly sure what we did in lab this past week because I was sick and couldn’t go. I am excited to be going back to class tonight and catch up on my work. I hate missing class. It always makes me feel so guilty even though I’ve done nothing wrong.

This week we had to read the following:

And watch this video:

I am always very careful with what I post on social media. I take a minute to think about the post/picture and think about whether or not it might haunt me in the future. As a future communication professional, the issue of privacy greatly concerns me because I don’t think that people actually have privacy. Just because an account is private doesn’t mean that people can’t see it. I know people who use other people’s accounts to look at my account because I am not friends with them on Facebook.

These posts can come back to affect my work/career. I am a teen and therefore do teen things. I might think what I am doing is cool now, but if an employer sees a picture of me doing it then it might make me seem like I am not employable. You have “to be careful about how you represent yourself on social media” (http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/social-networks/what-does-your-internet-profile-say-about-you-3474750/) because employers are always watching.

Changes in the way we view privacy has a huge impact on democratic society. Privacy, in my opinion, seems like it is becoming less and less of a given. People have to go through a lot to keep what they post on social media private.

 

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

My favorite book is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I first read this book my senior year of high school. It was an assignment given to my class by my English teacher. We had to read the book and write a paper on it. When I was first given the assignment I dreaded it, but as soon as I stared reading it, my heart opened. (SPOLIER ALERTS TO COME)

I read day and night. The love between the man and the boy was just so pure and real to me. It showed me that there are ways to let someone know that you love them without actually saying it. It taught me to see love in people’s actions and not just their words.

The book, to me, is a love story between a parent and child and a story of survival. It spoke to me on so many levels. It is the perfect book, in my opinion. I has love, hardships, cannibals, bad men, adventure, etc. I was never bored when reading it. It can be a little hard to follow due to the way it was written, but if you pay attention it shouldn’t be a problem.

When it came time to write the paper, I had it written in about an hour. I poured my heart and soul into the paper. I made an A, but the grade didn’t matter to me because I took something else away from the assignment.

I loved the book so much that I got a quote from it tattooed on my body. “Each the other’s world entire” is written across my right shoulder. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about adventure and a love stories that are anything but typical.

Web Design Training

This week in class we continued to code. We have been working on the same code for a few weeks now and just have been adding on to it. It is pretty cool watching things change and improve just by typing out a code. Our professor wasn’t here this week because he had just gotten married (congrats btw Willis). Our sub professor was super cool. She was funny and thought coding in a new way. I like her way better (sorry Willis).

So this week I had to read http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/training-online-resources-812225 and decide which ones would be most useful to me.

One of the most helpful tools I found was the W3Schools. I have actually used this site before when learning how to code. It was super easy to understand and it helped me out tremendously.

I also like the Google Code University. Coding it taught by the actual developers of Google! I think that is so cool because they do a great job. It offers tutorials that walk people through the coding process.

There are a lot of other sites that help with coding and web design on this link. There are 22 sites to be exact. You should go check them out if you are interested in web design.

If CA 260 was taught completely online, it would be a completely different class. I would enjoy it a lot less. I would get a lot less out of it as a student as well. I have a hard time learning from strictly online courses. I need to see things done, be able to ask questions, and see if I’m correct and that’s hard to do when your professor is miles away. I like CA 260 just the way it is.

CMS

This week in class we are writing a proposal for our websites. It should be pretty easy and it is a good way to really look at what you want for your site.

The module assignment this week is to recommend a CMS to a local business who is looking to build a website. We were required to read “3 open source content management systems compared” by Nitish Tiwari (https://opensource.com/business/14/6/open-source-cms-joomla-wordpress-drupal). It is a pretty interesting and helpful article. It lists three widely used CMS platforms and compares them. He compares Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. His comparisons are “based on this criteria: installation complexity, available plugin/themes, ease of use, and more.”

If I had to recommend a CMS to a local business then I would recommend WordPress. I have experience with WordPress and know how to operate it. I know that it is a good site because I use it for myself. It is extremely easy to use and figure out. I think it would be perfect for a small business. Especially since it is also cheap. My WordPress is FREE and it is not that much more expensive to add on other features. Tiwari says, “WordPress is the winner for customization and upgrades. That means it will be easy if you alone or a small team of people are planning to set up the website.”

It has many helpful features that a business can use. You can add videos, text, and pictures. You can also add code to it. There are ecommerce options.

I would highly recommend WordPress to anyone or business who wanted to start a website. It is awesome.

Promotional Video

 

I had to make a promotional video for my website and I decided to use my younger sister, Halee, in the video instead of myself. She is often a model for my pictures and so I thought that it would be a good idea to have a small interview from her so that others could hear about her experiences and become customers.

I would love to have more models for my photography. I have a hard time finding males who would be willing to model. I am hoping that the video will bring in some business. I do senior pictures and I would love to sell prints of my pictures.

My site isn’t well organized yet because I decided halfway through that I wanted to change the way that I organized it. I like it much more this way, but it is stressful trying to put it back together and delete repeat pictures. I am hoping that I will have it all sorted out very soon.

The video turned out better than expected. It was windy, but I edited out the background noise in the video. Halee was a really good sport and helped me shoot it pretty quickly. I would really love to shoot a longer video and maybe have more people in it. If I shoot a longer video then I would like to showcase more types of photography that I do and maybe even mention that prints are for sale. It’s a work in process.

I would love for you to check out the promotional video and maybe give it a thumbs up on youtube. I worked really hard on it and would really appreciate it.

Hogg Mine

This weekend, I went with the Geology Club to LaGrange, Georgia, where we went camping. It was really fun. We stayed up late, sat by the fire, and roasted marshmallows.

That night, it dropped down to 34 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m not used to it being that cold anymore so it was kind of a shock. My sleeping bag is only good for down to 40 degree weather and so I was freezing all night. I had two blankets wrapped around my sleeping bag and was wearing sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and a jacket. It didn’t help much. I tossed and turned all night.

We were up at 8 the next morning and I was ready to start the day. I took a quick walk out to the lake that was on the back side of the camp site. The morning sun sparkled across the water. Then we were off.

We went to Hogg Mine and it was incredible. Quartz was all over the ground. The ground sparkled when you walked because of the quartz. We dug and climbed for hours. We collected rose quartz, milky quartz, crystal quartz, smokey quartz, mica, muscovite, aquamarine, and tourmaline. I tripled the size of my rock collection. My bucket was so heavy leaving that I could barely carry it.

I definitely plan on going back. I hope I can go during spring break.

Email

This week in lab, we learned how to edit videos using really nice editing software. It was my first time editing video and so I was a little nervous, but it turned out to be really fun. We got to recreate our professor’s video and we got to add a little extra to it so I put it to country music because it is the worst.

This week we had to read the following:

We also had to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqk0baXEaL8.

I had to create a filter on my email. It was a very easy process. I decided to filter for my CA 260 messages since it was the class that I had to do it for. The process was very easy. I just searched the messages and then clicked “create a filter” and filled in the information that I wanted. I think that filters will help me in the future because I can make sure that important messages don’t get sent to my spam folder. I used the gmail link (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6579?hl=en) to figure out how to do it. According to the link the steps are:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the search box at the top, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  3. Enter your search criteria. If you want to check that your search worked correctly, see what emails show up by clicking Search Search. 
  4. At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter with this search.
  5. Choose what you’d like the filter to do.
  6. Click Create filter

The field guide link (http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/7-gmail-filters-to-make-email-less-of-a-chore-1646551691) has some really good examples of filters to add.

We also had to write an email to our professor that is clear and professional. I used the steps listed in the tutsplus link (https://business.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-write-clear-and-professional-emails–cms-20939). My email would be as follows:

Hi, George Willis.

I really enjoy your class. I always have a good time and learn something useful; however, I am going to have to leave next week’s lab early due to a family issue. Will you please make your lecture available on Sakai for me to access at home? Thank you for all of your help with this.

All the best.

Destiny Williams