In the spring of 2009, NewsCloud participated in the classroom with University of Washington journalism students to help them launch an arts and culture zine in Facebook called In:Site (see also related media coverage below).
Harry Hayward, the Director of Electronic Communications at University of Washington and a student in the Master's in Communications and Digital Media (MCDM) program was asked to assess the course and the involvement of NewsCloud and its Facebook application technology.
Here's a brief excerpt of his analysis - full pdf download below:
The charge in Professor Hanson Hosein’s invitation to engage in Independent Study states “I’m looking for a couple of MCDM’ers to act as consultants for us to document the process of creating the site, and evaluate its effectiveness. Upon your recommendation, the MCDM and MediaSpace may elect to “adopt” the Facebook site at the end of the quarter, and keep it going as a UW Property (and as an example of a new business model).” In this paper on my Independent Study, I will attempt to analyze the creation, Spring Quarter execution, and potential of in:site from a business perspective. I also want to make a clear distinction up front. In my review with the students, Florangela Davila, and Jeff Reifman, on June 2, 2009, it was very clear that the educational mission was at the forefront. One student commented, “Remember, this was a class to develop us as modern journalists – we weren’t trying to run a business.”
In:site is, however, an excellent training ground for the use of multimedia in journalism, and arts & entertainment is a productive subject matter area for multimedia. I think it would be worthwhile to explore the possibility of adding the in:site application to the UW Daily as a new channel of distribution. The Daily is not yet on Facebook, it already has part of the staff dedicated to Arts & Entertainment, and this would provide a new multimedia outlet for UW related content. In addition, the Daily can use this social media application as a way of expanding beyond the traditional print and online models of student newspapers. Facebook presents the Daily with new opportunities for advertising revenue as well. I would be glad to work with you and the management of the Daily to entertain this idea.
Student testimonials About In:Site Curriculum
"In:site was one of the most successful classes I have taken at the University of Washington. It is well known that the best learning is done through experience, and this class was filled with experiential learning. As journalism is continuing to find a growing niche online and popularity with multimedia content, this course tapped into the changing face of media. It gave a journalism student insight to not only writing on a deadline, but formatting their stories using html, marketing them through twitter or facebook, and implementing mixed media components directly into the site. In this sense, it broke down the traditional roles in a newsroom, as copy editor, layout design, marketing, technical help, reporter and photojournalist and allowed the students to develop skill sets in all of these areas of knowledge. Understanding every angle of producing an online publication trained them as true entrepreneurial journalists. I feel confident walking into my summer internship as an online reporter for a local paper, that I have gained all of the necessary skills to accurately report a story, have well produced multimedia content, and put it on the internet myself.
"Newscloud on Facebook is an excellent tool for students to learn about building online news communities." - LauraM
Related media coverage:
- April 30, 2009: Plugged in: UW is tweeting its way into a new social media ecosystem (University Week, University of Washington)
- April 22, 2009: UW journalists unveil In:Site (TechFlash.com)
- April 21, 2009: UW class launches news app on Facebook (Seattle P-I)