Mastering Storytelling in Photojournalism- Project Presentation

Abstract

Over the past few decades, new media technologies such as smartphones, tablets and other devices have changed storytelling and the ways stories were once delivered.¬†Due to the shift in new media, there are new ways stories are shared through social media sites such as Facebook(an online social networking), Twitter (an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called ‚Äútweets‚ÄĚ), Instagram (is an online mobilephoto-sharing, video-sharing and social networking¬†service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms)¬†and blogs (a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (‚Äúposts‚ÄĚ) typically displayed in reverse chronological order).

A popular site that uses storytelling and visual rhetoric through various social media platform isHumans of New York, a photo blog by Brandon Stanton. The photo blog introduces viewers to various stories that explore issues such a sexism, freedom and loss just to name a few and in doing so has vastly changed storytelling. The photo blog shares unique stories via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their site which affords viewers and user of those online communities a chance to connect and engage. Often times many of these stories receive over 1,000,000 views and were broadcast on local news station. In an effort to understand how the stories mediated through Humans of New York become successful and afford users a chance to engage, I will analyze how the stories become successful and assess their best practices.

By determining their best practices, I will use their best practices to produce three images on the subject matter loss and populate these images via my personal pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and personal blog Black Attire Aficionado and monitor user engagements with the subject. The quantification of user engagement will entail monitoring the sites and record and analyze the different ways users interacted with the image. Essentially, by using their best practices, I believe I can produce user engagement to Humans of New York but on a smaller magnitude. Finally, by understanding user engagement on different social media sites, one can tailor the message for a specific audience which can contribute to a more successful story delivery.

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Revised Abstract

Abstract

Over the past few decades, new media technologies such as smartphones, tablets and other devices have changed storytelling and the ways stories were once delivered.¬†Due to the shift in new media, there are new ways stories are shared through social media sites such as Facebook (an online social networking), Twitter (an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”), Instagram (is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking¬†service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms)¬†and blogs (a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order).¬†A popular site that uses storytelling and visual rhetoric through various social media platform is Humans of New York, a photo blog by Brandon Stanton.¬†The photoblog introduces viewers to various stories that explore issues such a sexism, freedom and loss just to name a few and in doing so has vastly changed storytelling.¬†The photo blog shares unique stories via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their site¬†which affords viewers and user of those online communities a chance to connect and engage. Often times many of these stories receive over 1,000,000 views and are broadcasted on local news station. In an effort to understand how the stories mediated through Humans of New York become successful and afford users a chance to engage, I will analyze¬†how the stories become successful and assess their best practices.¬†By determining their best practices, I will use their best practices to produce three images on the subject matter loss and populate these images via my personal pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and personal blog Black Attire Aficionado and monitor user engagements with the subject. The quantification of user engagement will entail monitoring the sites and record and analyze the different ways users interacted with the image. Essentially, by using their best practices, I believe I can produce user engagement to Humans of New York but on a smaller magnitude. Finally, by understanding user engagement on different social media sites, one can tailor the message for a specific audience which can contribute to a more successful story delivery.¬†

 

 

 

Final Draft for ‘Signed Off’ Project

As we near the final turn for this project I have been able to tackle the write up component. Linked below is where it can be found. I hope you find it interesting. Feedback is always welcomed.


 

Abstract

Signed off is a final project experiment which subjugates Mariah Rajah to undergo the task of completely disconnecting herself from all social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc. This experiment hopes to track through daily blog posts how the disconnect affects attention, participation, and psychological structures. With the support of research material Mariah Rajah hopes to prove how that  social networking sites are a large contributor to the decline in generation Z’s cognitive ability to process and find information, to part take in face-to-face contact, as well as their need for instant gratification in all aspects of life.

 

‚Äʬ†Signed off Project Page¬†‚Äʬ†Project Proposal¬†‚ÄĘ Signed off Digital Diary¬†¬†‚ÄĘ Project Presentation¬†‚ÄĘ Project Reflection

Project Progress Reflection

I must admit, I was hesitant about creating a LinkedIn account after I was more than encouraged to do so by everyone in the class. Once I finally created my account, I was a bit surprised¬†and pleased to see its resemblance to a Facebook newsfeed. I didn’t know what to expect after I created my account but it wasn’t how I imagined it at all.

Screenshot_2015-11-24-12-03-44[1]

My current profile

Like any other social media platform, the first order of business was to make connections and unfortunately, I only had two that the database could automatically find. Once inside the realm of the platform, I found a number of interesting things that were purposely pointed out to me. These things include:

  1. A link that said “Are you sure nothing is hiding about you online? Search yourself before they start digging”, which I found to be quite interesting because it reiterates the notion of self-presentation and practicing honesty online which I fully intend to do.
  2. Just like Facebook, conversations can take place on the platform.
  3. My profile strength is at the beginners stage as it should be. I am fairly new to the social platform and I have lots to learn to get it to at least an intermediate level by the time my project comes to a close.
  4. I can view my profile in the eyes of my viewers. Essentially, LinkedIn encourages me to look my best which then will generate an increasing number of people who have stopped to view my profile. Currently I have zero viewers but again, I am fairly new and need to strategize if I intend to increase my number of viewers.
  5. While in the process of getting my profile up and running, it said, ” Folayemi, profile views matter”. If it was any other social media platform such as my Facebook and Pinterest account, I¬† could care less about my following because I own those platforms for my own personal enjoyment. However, LinkedIn differs in that it is used to build an individuals professional identity. Therefore, it is important if an individual wishes to seek employment or gain entrepreneurship in their industry or field.

 

Moving forward with my project, I intend to update my resume so that I can add it to my profile as well as use other individuals’ profiles as an example/guide to perfect my profile and present myself in a manner that LinkedIn encourages. Screenshot_2015-11-24-12-04-30[1]For instance, I happened to find Jake Counselbaum¬†LinkedIn profile and it was as professional and up to date as it could get. I thought to myself, this is what my profile should look like but then I remembered I am only an unemployed 21 year old college student and that should reflect in my profile. Jake Counselbaum without a doubt has more experience than I do but that doesn’t mean I am less professional, I am merely professional in the experiences I’ve had and currently have. So looking toward the future, my profile can definitely look like his one day if I choose to continue to participate in the platform after my project.

Something else I noticed when beginning my profile was profile pictures. Most of them were not selfie-oriented profile pictures, but clean, crisp headshots. I immediately thought to myself that I could not just put up any photo I like from my gallery of photos but, my profile photo needs to:

  1. Look like me: up-to-date, that reflects how I look on a daily basis.
  2. Depict my face (not the scenery in the background or my chest to distract people from what I look like if they were to meet me face-to-face).
  3. Have at least a smile, not a serious face that depicts to a potential employer that I cannot have a pleasant conversation with them.

I am slowly taking in my new found social platform and all it has to offer. With time and knowledge, it will definitely look different from how it began. I intend to take notes over the course of managing, and editing my profile. I also want to utilize the news feed of topics that I’ve followed such as Social Impact, Professional Women, and Healthcare to see where they will take me in my journey of using my new social platform.

Are You Creating the Right Image for Yourself Online?

We live in a society with very public platforms for the distribution and preservation of our personal image online. Social media affords us the opportunity to be front and center in our very own curated editorial spread. The way we interact with our families, our work persona and the various discourse communities we are associated with, all contribute different aspects of our personalities. However, we may question whether we should project our real personality online.

“Perhaps the most important digital literacy associated with social networking sites is being able to engage in effective practices of self presentation and impression management in different situations and with different people” (Jones & Hafner 152). Impression management refers to the act of facilitating the information one reveals about oneself in order to illustrate a particular social identity. Someone like me who sees a person with multiple social media accounts, would generally think that the content the user decides to share may be putting on a facade or trying to save face by acting differently on multiple social media platforms but that just may not be the case.Reading Cohen and Kenny, I’ve come to a realization that, many social media platforms on the web, ¬†each has its own method for participation and communication with other users.

The purpose of my project is to show how effectively or ineffectively users of social media present themselves online and what exactly drives an individual to portray themselves the way they do. My project will address the following questions:

  • What roles do people adopt in different social media platforms?
  • Why people may or may not present themselves honestly on their social media accounts
  • What is the driving force behind having more than one social ¬†media account? Why not stick to only one?
  • To what extent do individuals regard their self presentation using their social media account to be authentic and honest reflecting themselves in their daily lives?
  • To what extent do individuals participate in exaggerating, idealizing, or completely lying on their accounts?
  • How many social networks are people on? ¬†How many are they active on?
  • How to properly present yourself online with detailed instructions and reasoning for the method of procedure
  • The demographics of social media users

In order to get the project off the ground, I intend to interview as many people as possible asking questions such as:

  1. How do you think you present yourself on your social media platform? (With the intent of viewing it for myself to compare/contrast to the answer they’ve given me)
  2. What made you present yourself this particular way on your social platform?
  3. If you could change the way you present yourself online, would you take that opportunity? Why or why not?

In interviewing multiple people, ¬†I hope to deliver in my project an e-book/e-magazine that provides a “How to” guide of properly presenting oneself on social media with all the research and information I’ve gathered.

Sources so far include:

Is Your Social Media Presence an Accurate Portrayal of Who You Are?

The Social Media Effect: Are You Really Who You Portray Online

The Presentation of Self in the Age Social Media

Self-presentation and belonging on Facebook

Understanding Digital Literacies: A Practical Introduction- Jones & Hafner

Producing New and Digital Media: Your Guide to Savvy Use of the Web- Cohen & Kenny

 

[Previous version: recovered / copied & pasted by Professor Belli, from post Revision history: some formatting may be off]

“Perhaps the most important digital literacy associated with social networking sites is being able to engage in effective practices of self presentation and impression management in different situations and with different people” (Jones & Hafner 152). Impression management refers to the act of facilitating the information one reveals about oneself in order to illustrate a particular social identity. Someone like me who sees a person with multiple social media accounts, would generally think that a user is putting on a facade or trying to save face by acting differently on multiple social media platforms but that just may not be the case.

Reading Cohen and Kenny, I’ve come to a realization that, many suicidal media platforms on the web,¬† each has its own method for participation and communication with other users. Therefore,¬† the practice of presenting yourself online within various platforms may be necessary and generates discourse communities within these social media sites.

The purpose of my project is to show how effectively or ineffectively users of social media present themselves online and what exactly drives an individual to portray themselves the way they do. My project will address the following questions:

What roles do people adopt in different social media platforms?

Why people may or may not present themselves honestly on their social media accounts

What is the driving force behind having more than one social  media account? Why not stick to only one?

To what extent do individuals regard their self presentation using their social media account to be authentic and honest reflecting themselves in their daily lives?

To what extent do individuals participate in exaggerating, idealizing, or completely lying on their accounts?

How many social networks are people on?  How many are they active on?</li>

Because of the technological and digital world we live in, “maintaining a public presence on an online social network is some extent becoming part of being a ‘normal’ and legitimate person in some societies and social groups” (Jones &amp; Hafner 156). With that being said,¬† the goal of the project is to inform others on the greater advantages of using social media whether they chose to participate in the platform or not. This project is also for myself in understanding why people are always encouraging me to make an Instagram account even though they can’t explain to me why I should. Hopefully I will gain insight on the purposes of social media other than what I think its purpose is for.

Sources so far include:

Understanding Digital Literacies: A Practical Introduction- Jones & Hafner

Producing New and Digital Media: Your Guide to Savvy Use of the Web- Cohen & Kenny

Becoming Unavailable

Vision:

To successfully and adequately capture through daily vlogging reflection and blog posts how ‚Äėunavailability‚Äô from social media networking sites such as Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram strongly affect a person’s‚Äô attention and participatory structures, along with the effects it has our wants,needs, and interpretations of people, persons, and things. All of which will be justified and supported through research of willing individuals and attestable written resources. The end-result will be presented in the form of short short film/video of some sort which will be posted to Mariah Rajah‚Äôs e-portfolio site.

Introduction:

Throughout the semester we have covered a wide range of topics but in all of them we always seemed to return the topic of availability. We question time and time again that in this day in age is it possible to be unavailable? And what does it actually mean to be unavailable in a world where not being able to reach someone is a sign of tardiness and carelessness.When thinking of a possible project idea the focus was drawn on three main topics that are of interest:

  1. Availability
  2. Attention structures
  3. Participation

After focusing in on these three topics the realization came that they each play a part in tackling the question of, “Do we have the ability to ever become completely unavailable? ” First of all, availability is by far one of the biggest affordances and constraints of the internet. Social media has allowed us to constantly be in touch. We can tag, track, and see when we’ve read each other’s messages. All of these affordances have in a way lead us to always be online even when we aren’t. Being available online means you are expected to participate in conversation both personal and global.

As an individual of an online community you have the responsibility to share, comment and create and if you do not you are therefore doing that community a disservice. Your participation is always needed and wanted on both your and your audiences’ end. This want and need to participate ultimately allows us to choose whether we are or are not available. ¬†It also means that you are aware of what is going on around you and you are in a way forced to take part or else you are “creeping”. Being available has also had an impact in the way we divide our attention. What we focus on and how we focus on these things ultimately affects our participation and our availability. These three concepts all interact and interfere with our ability to actually disconnect and become unavailable in a world that demands availability.

Objective:

This project proposes an experiment in which I will purposely disconnect myself from all social media networking sites (such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr)  which I participate in for two weeks.

In those two weeks I will vlog, blog, and capture photographs daily about how I am dealing with not being available online. Since a large portion of the project will be reflections I plan to capture this by doing daily vlogs that give detailed descriptions as to how I am dealing with the disconnect.

In tracking this I want to highlight the shift in myself and the transition from an avid online user to someone who has become “unavailable”:

  1. In order for this project to be executed properly test subject  will research how other people have dealt with taking breaks from social networking sites (via online resources: Videos, articles, etc.)  and interview colleagues; then compare this to self-assessed criteria in order to accurately record whether or not it is an internal or an external issue that has had the same effects across the board.
  2. By conducting research that almost entirely embarks on the premise of availability and the affordances and constraints it entails, student will try to also highlight the psychological effects this disconnect has upon an individual such as anxiety, worry, detachment etc. Also with the hopes that this project demonstrates that availability has changed our wants,needs, and interpretations of people, persons, and things.
  3. Lastly, in this project student wishes to prove that there is a way by which we can become unavailable in a world that desires for everyone to constantly be online and involved.

Deliverables:

As the nature of this project is to produce multimodal aspects I hope to:

  1. Capture daily videos reflection that track my changes in behavior (participation & attention), needs, wants, interpretations, and emotions. (which will be posted on openlab e-portfolio by the end of each day for the 2 weeks)
  2. Photographs that highlight how I spend my time in being ‚Äėunavailable‚Äô. Which will be accompanied with short captions/posts as to explain the thoughts and noticed changes. **all which will include hyperlinks to sources that either support or argue against points** (which will be posted on openlab e-portfolio by the end of the day)
  3. PowerPoint presentation at the end of experiment to showcase learnt experiences, changes, and understandings of how unavailability effects more than what we think it does.
  4. In its entirety, answer what I have found the answer to be for the question: ‚ÄúWhat does it mean to be unavailable?‚ÄĚ

Target Questions for Daily Vlogs:

  1. How are you feeling today without your online presence?
  2. Have you noticed a change in yourself?
  3. How has your relationship with your smart device changed?
  4. What other activities have you been participating in?
  5. How has your attention shifted? Has it shifted?
  6. Do you appreciate the new found freedom that comes along with not participating in online social media networking sites?
  7. What is the biggest and hardest part of this transition?

Projected Timeline:

Initial starting date- TBA

  • First two weeks – document and capture the ‚Äėunavailable‚Äô time period. Keep detailed records in reflections that will allow myself to compile an archive as to which draw information from for film.
  • After initial steps are taken next step will be to begin the editing process as to allow enough time to properly capture essence of project.
  • Further capture video, composite adequate research which adds to an archive that will support short film and answers the question of unavailability.

Research Materials:

  1. What Does Profile Unavailable Mean on Facebook?
  2. 7 Important Reasons to Unplug and Find Space
  3. Get Off The Internet: A Challenge to Reconnect With Yourself
  4. Facebook effects on social distress: Priming with online social networking thoughts can alter the perceived distress due to social exclusion
  5. When Your Smartphone Is Too Smart for Your Own Good: How Social Media Alters Human Relationships
  6. Measuring Emotional Contagion in Social Media
  7. Generation Z: Technology and Social Interest

Resources to be Used: TBA

Controlling our Digital Presence and Identity

It was very easy for me to review all my social media accounts and determine what my digital presence and identity is. The fact is that I only have a couple: Facebook and Twitter. Although Facebook is my most prominent of the two, I do have a small digital presence on Twitter. I would say what I don’t post on Facebook tell more about me than what I do post. By that, I mean that I rarely post.  So for me, it’s more about creating a digital identity that I would want to be known for.

But the fact, it is easy to forget that what we post online can remain online even if we delete it and this can potentially hurt our career and relationships. Anything we choose to upload, tweet, reblog, favorite, “like”, can be endless and very hard to erase. Whether our information is shared intentionally or unintentionally, our digital footprint is being gathered by various companies and employers and often used to obtain personal information about us. According to Cohen and Kenny ‚Äúfrom the moment you turned on your first computer and double-clicked on the icon for the web browser of your choice, you have created an abundance of personal information, available through search engines such as Google or Yahoo!‚ÄĚ (207). That is why it is far better to be in control of our digital identity than to allow something to take control. But whether we are branding, as in my case, or re-branding, it is important to be aware of the information that is out there about us. Even if we didn’t post the information, it may be attached to someone else’s post.

But how do we control our digital identity? Understanding the significance of our digital footprint is an important step in protecting our online identity. Cohen and Kenny (pp. 205-206) ask readers to consider what their online identity is and then take charge of it. To answer this question takes some thought, not because it is a hard question but because it is an important one and starts with knowing what we do everyday that is recorded. That doesn’t mean that we should be afraid to go online and visit sites. The best thing to do is not to stay offline but to be conscious of what we post.

The best way to control our digital identity is by deciding what communities we want to be a part of and what content we want to post. We should also decide what social media profiles we want to use such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Also important is to use positive aspects to help create our personal branding for example, a personal blog can highlight our strengths and personality. Finally, we should realize that controlling our digital presence and identity is long-term challenge that requires dedication and persistence.

Response 10- Digital presence and identity

Cohen &Kenny (Page 205/06)

For this exercise I looked through my two most used social media sites, Twitter and Facebook. My facebook is completely private only friends are able to view my posts, twitter however is an open door it is totally public. I also used timehop, which is an app that shows you what you posted years back on this date, so one, two or even as far as six years back can be viewed (presuming you’ve had the account that long). I will also add that upon preparing from graduation from my Alma matter my adviser suggested that I clean up my media presence and make a professional accounts and recreational ones. So I did just that, making a twitter handle and facebook page which i could share on my linkedin (I did not make a “professional” instagram I just cleaned up my current one) and then keeping my recreational ones private and free of my real name and email address. For this exercise I will be analyzing the social media pages I created to “brand” myself as an emerging professional.

Does your online identity convey to the audience your future goals and ambitions?

My twitter handle @pezz718 does in some ways convey my goals and ambitions, if you click the link you can see my bio lists that I am a tax preparer, manager, student and mother. So it lists the three main focuses of my life. If you then scroll through my tweets you’ll see that sometimes my activity can be infrequent but the theme is overall the same. I like to share current event articles from various news outlets, sometimes with commentary sometimes without. I will only retweet or post things that are of interest to me or that I have opinions on but I am always careful to word things diplomatically. Last but not least I include tidbits of my personality, my life and what I might be up to at the moment.

My facebook however is somewhat opposite, I post infrequently on facebook and when i do its mainly to update my family or friends in other states on what Ava and I have been up to. In the last year my cluster of posts came around holidays or other milestones, like the first day of school or a personal achievement. Though I don’t post often on my views or beliefs I have posted about going back to school and what i am going for.

Does it tell the audience what you do for a living or hope to do for a career?

On both my twitter and facebook it is fairly easy to tell what I currently do and what I aspire to do. On twitter as I mentioned above my header (right under my profile picture) states what I do, that i’m a student as well as a mother. If you read my tweets going back you can see when I got accepted and signed onto the major here at NYCCT. On facebook it’s easier to see because it lists the school and the major as well as how far along I am. However you have to rely on my status updates to understand where I plan to go with this degree.

What assumptions would someone make about your personality?

I would hope that people would assume that I am, organized, educated, motivated and unique. I share a variety of things on all my pages, current events, entertainment and just my own quirky observations that I would hope there is enough insight into my life to be helpful but not too much where it clouds the line of professionalism.

Journalism & Politics: The Perfect Duo

The topic I will be exploring is the flow of social media in journalism, specifically in regards to politics. With the presidential elections becoming a popular topic in the digital world, it is clearest to track the development of connected discourses. The idea came from the influence of social media in traditional journalism as explored in Week 5 of the semester. With networking platforms allowing further dialogue outside of the tradition confines of journalism and politics there is much to observe and participate. Some of the mediums that would be used are live tweeting during debates and joining discourses surrounding Facebook and political blogs. The goal of the project is to see if there is a breakdown in the makeup of traditional journalism and politics when social media is added. The platforms that will play a major role in my research are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia

With the increase in media based journalism, election based stories are being distributed faster and disregarded with a similar speed. However, when looking at some of the comments included in news reports on different platforms there is a level of discourse that is new to the political world.

Possible questions:

  1. How can I explore this topic in the best way?
  2. How have politics, culture, and media started to blend?
  3. Where is the divide between traditional journalism and how is that boundary becoming less effective?

What’s So Special About a Meme?

This presentation will explore the meme. When tying this into the understanding of memes it all goes back to discourse communities. Memes are single ideas that together, connect entire discourse communities. Regardless of the chosen affinity, a well constructed meme ‚Äúwill be one that triggers the appropriate set of conceptual and emotional associations for a given audience within a given cultural context‚ÄĚ (Wetherbee 2). The topoi, this connector contributes to the interaction across social media platforms. The meme connects users for Facebook to Instagram and Instagram to Twitter. Sites such as Tumblr, Reddit, and individual blogs in WordPress are a part of a larger idea.

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