CMIR Post

To say the Center for Media Innovation is my second home isn’t really a hyperbole. It seems like everyday I find myself wandering the halls of Weimer for class, volunteer work, and extracurricular. I’m even one of the lovely students that happens to be on the student models on a picture on the website ( they strolled into the sports bullpen looking for willing models and I’m not one to be camera shy.

The University of Florida Telecommunications program has helped me develop many skills that will translate into future success in whatever job field I find myself into. The University has really ramped up all of the areas in the CMIR as well. There are plenty of study rooms throughout the building that has smart technology and white boards that allow easy access to whatever a J school student needs to study.

The CMIR also provides a lot of other opportunities besides classes. For example, I work for ESPN 850 WRUF and it counts as credit for a class that I am taking. It provides me an opportunity to work in an area that I love as a student. The CMIR has helped shape me in multiple ways which is what makes our college so important to me.

The Tipping Point Review

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is a book that elaborates on the simple concept of its title. A tipping point is when small changes become significant enough to evoke major change. In Gladwell’s book, he dives into the three main ways this point of major change can be reached. The three rules of epidemics (Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of context) are the three things needed to reach that attained goal.

The Law of the Few is more or less referencing the few people that get an act started. Its almost like they’re the hipsters of the tipping point process. In the book, Gladwell compared them as the first people who started spreading sexually transmitted diseases ( maybe another reference would have sounded nicer), but it got the point across that these people were the ones who got the ball rolling on an idea or action. The Few would then begin to use their resources such as Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen to get the product out to the general public. These avenues provided the few a way show their product off to the world.

The book then began to talk about the importance of the Stickiness Factor. The Stickiness Factor is all about what kind of impact something has left on you. The reason this step is so important is because while you can get information out to people if you try hard enough. The product or idea itself needs to leave an imprint on the eventual consumer or else it will just be another item that fades away in the mind of the public. The book uses the example of children’s shows like Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues as its major examples. These shows were trailblazers in that they showed new generations of  children television shows how to interact and teach children.

The last of the three rules of epidemics is the Power of Context. This one doesn’t really need as much explaining. The Power of Context suggests that the tipping point might not be reached if the environment isn’t right. To emphasize how important context is in a situation, Gladwell gave the example of how fixing small visual issues in New York City helped lead to the decline of violence. While Gladwell admits that the minor changes weren’t the only reason that the violence issues decreased, he does believe the influence of the new environment was very important in creating change. The Power of Context also has another meaning. According to Gladwell, groups that are unique to certain niches and have a large enough number of followers can help an idea reach its tipping point. He also mentions that the magic number of a group is 150. Studies have shown that an organization that has under 150 members can maintain its uniqueness and not feel over saturated.

The rest of the book goes into different case studies that showed how the three rules of epidemics really has an influence on modern day life. Whether it was the rise of Airwalk shoes or even the sudden rise of suicide rates in Micronesia, the Three Rules of Epidemics were the  things needed that helped those products or ideas reach that final goal.

 

 

Classmates Link Post 2

Did you think I was done? Nope, there are even more blogs that are worth your time than the three I already showed you. Another one of my partners at ESPN 850 WRUF, Ben Bornstein, does a great job at covering the NBA in his blog. While Ben is a Spurs fan, he is able to make sense of what is going on in the Association and does a great job in putting it into common man terms. The only way I could praise Ben’s blog even more is if he had Ray Allen’s game saving three pointer as his background, but knowing him that would never happen.

As much as I love sports, sometimes I have to do other things like eat and sleep. Luckily one of my good buddies, Clint, has a blog on food. Whenever I go onto his site, my stomach begins to do talk more than I do and as a telecom major that’s quite a lot ( I’m looking at you, Filet Mignon with balsamic glaze). Give his blog a read through if you, like me, love food and really who doesn’t like food?!

Hmmmmm my last shameless blog bump. Missy Perez you are the winner. Even if Missy doesn’t win dance marathon fundraising by herself ( she very well might), her blog gives great insight on what it’s like to be involved with such a great organization that wants to make a difference. All I can say is that I’m excited to see her blog take off with Dance Marathon posts once the event comes along!

Classmates Link Post One

In this post, I’ll be straying away from the usual sports banter and try to build up my colleagues and their blogs in my Interactive Media 2 class.

The first blog that I’d like to reference is my partner in crime for my TV 2 class Taylor Nones. Her blog is all about the adventures we end up going on and how we somehow manage to get a package together for a news cast prepared for later that night (usually a pretty good one I may add). She also has a lot of insight on what its like on the opposite side of the camera and how a reporter can successfully do their job.

Now this next blog really speaks to me because its all about sports. Amanda Wood is one of my fellow sports reporters at ESPN 850 WRUF.She writes for FightinGators.com and has insider access on all of the goings on with Florida Athletics. If you want to get the inside scoop on everything Gators her blog is the one you need to go too.

Because I just can’t get enough sports, another one of my favorite blogs has to be Trevor Sikkema’s blog. Like Stephen A. Smith would say, “he is a dear friend of mine.” and he also has an interesting blog on what it’s like to be a sport’s reporter. Trevor’s blog goes more in depth of what makes the athletes human which is really neat because sports generally casts athletes as superhuman. So if you want more insight on what makes an athlete tick, Trevor is your man.

 

 

My Biography

So if you haven’t gotten the hint by now, I fancy myself some Gator athletics, but I haven’t always been a Gators fan. Growing up in South Florida, I followed all four professional sports franchises and by followed I mean mostly suffered. The teams did have their bright spots however as i can vividly remember being at Alex Gonzalez’s Game 4 walkoff against the New Your Yankees that helped the Marlins get one of their two Championships and the Miami Heat have won 3 rings in their short history as well.

Once I came up to the University of Florida, it wasn’t hard to embrace the athletic culture sponsored by winning teams and a prestigious history. I knew I had to get involved in some way in both the academic and athletic avenues the school provided and I believe my involvement in both areas will propel me forward in whatever path I eventually take.

 

Gator Basketball Sweeps SEC Honors

The Florida Gator basketball team not only swept through conference play becoming the first team to go undefeated in the SEC in conference history, but they also swept SEC honors as well.

Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan took the SEC Coach of the Year award for the second year in a row and the seniors made a splash as well.

Defensive minded starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin took SEC Player of the Year honors and his closest competition could have been his teammates. Senior Center Patric Young won SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Senior Forward Casey Prather was First Team All-SEC.

While Florida managed to stockpile all of the awards for the regular season, the Gators will be looking to add an SEC postseason title as well.

Gator Baseball beats Illinois State 13-5

The Florida Gator baseball team extended their winning streak to five games tonight as they handed Illinois State a loss in their only match up for the season. The Gators were able to double their home run totals for the season in one night as right fielder Braden Mattson hit his first home run as a Gator in the fifth and second basemen Casey Turgeon hit a grand slam in the 8th as Turgeon continues his clutch hitting at home.

That would be all the offense Florida would need as the pitching staff combined to give up five runs throughout the game. The Gators, who usually rely upon pitching to win their games, finally got their bats going and can only hope that the bats stay hot against Arkansas this weekend.

The first game in the Arkansas series is set for Friday night with Sophomore Bobby Poyner expected to get the start. First pitch is set for the SEC opener is set for 7 pm.

 

Florida Baseball wins 8-7

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The Gators were able to hold off the Ospreys in a 8-7 battle royale at the Mac tonight. The Florida baseball team came up clutch late scoring three runs in the eighth inning. The Gators were able to hold off the Ospreys in the ninth with Shaun Anderson slamming down the door and getting the save. For the Gator offense, 2nd basemen Casey Turgeon had 2 RBIs on his three hits to lead the Gators to those 8 runs.

Florida has now defeated it’s second in-state opponent in a row and will try to continue the trend when they take on Miami this weekend. Florida will continue to rely upon its youth as pitchers Brett Morales and A.J. Puk will likely take the mound in the upcoming series.

First pitch for Florida-Miami is set for 7 pm.

Don’t Make Me Think Review

Don’t Make Me Think is usability expert Steve Krug’s way of explaining how to make the internet much simpler and of course usable to the common person. Some of the highlights of the book that really pertained to me when reading had to do with designing a web site. As someone who eventually wants to keep an updated blog, his themes made a lot of sense. Most of the things Krug comments on aren’t at the forefront of anyone’s mind. He talks about the things that allow us to have a natural reaction instead of having to think through the motions.

One telling example of this was the way a button looked. Most websites have buttons on their page to either lead to another page or to help expand on certain topics. When the button is made to look like it comes out and pops on your computer screen, the mind easily recognizes the fact that the button is click-able. If it looked like a flat image or even more like an arrow the user has to concern themselves with thinking about whether or not the button can be clicked.

While this may seem like a lot for whether or not clicking a button could be so important, Krug reiterates the fact that when people can move through a website with relative ease it will not only keep the user on your site, but it will also ensure that they will come back ( provided their is good content).

Another good point that Krug brings up is that pages should be designed for the user and that web pages should be acclimated towards their benefit. Another example of this is making sure the content you want to show a potential user or reader is easy to see. Krug states the fact readers usually scan websites and don’t read through the entire thing. As someone who would try to implement that, I would make blog posts the center of attention and make sure that the search bar for my site is somewhere noticeable and easy to use.

While a lot of this has to do with the design of a page, maybe the most interesting thoughts of the book are on how navigation should be used through a website. Krug says that the first thing people usually look for on their first visit to a website is the search bar. The search bar should be very simple, but at the same time in a place that is convenient for the user to consistently find. Along with the search bar, links should be on your site to help categorize certain topics. For example, on my website I talk about a lot of different professional and collegiate sports. To make my site less cluttered I would have links concerning to different topics like Gator Football or Miami Dolphins to help the user easily navigate through certain pages to find information on a topic. There could also be key words to help identify a specific article on a certain player or coach that would help a reader differentiate between articles.

Overall, Don’t Make Me Think really helped me understand how to design and edit a website to help make it more usable to an audience and also really hammered down the importance of usability on the internet.