For the past two weeks, as part of the online aspect of the Multimedia Journalism module, I have taken part in the creation and running of a group blog with four other girls – Debbie Burley, Sabon Hare, Emine Houssein and Sajel Karena. Together we came up with the idea to create a blog which informs all students in London, particularly those aged 18-25,  where they can go for day and nights out and where they can eat some good food for a affordable price. We called this Students LDN. We hoped that students would have found our blog interesting and helpful to them, however with no real feedback of this, I do not know if this was achieved.

Before we started posting our individual posts we needed to allocate each member a role to take on and decided who will be posting when. I took on the role as blog designer. This meant I would control the layout of the page such as what background would we have, what would appear in the side bar – this includes recent posts, categories the posts would go in, a calender – and the overall appearance of the posts. This would include the colour the posts were written in and what colour the links would be. My aim was to make things look as neat as possible. The other members took on the following roles:

  • Debbie – Sites and Servicer – She had the role of linking our blog to other websites in order to get attention
  • Emine – Multimedia – She would upload videos, pictures and audio pieces to the blog
  • Sabon – Community – She had the job of getting attention via social networks such as Facebook
  • Sajel – Editor – She had the job to oversee what the rest of us were doing and make sure we were on track

Although I feel that we all met our role requirements, I do not think Debbie and Sabon did the best they can. Whilst Sabon created a Facebook group for our blog, I found myself being the one to add people to it and start a discussion. I didn’t see any evidence of Sabon advertising the group in any way possible such as sending a message to her contacts to join the group or tell them about what’s new on the blog. In the case of Debbie, only one of her posts contained a link and the links found within the side bar on the blog were added by myself and not Debbie, also on Friday 27th March – the end to the group blog task, I was informed that Debbie started a Twitter page for our blog. I tried searching for this group but failed to find it. As I didn’t know about the Twitter page until the end of the project, I get the feeling no one else did and therefore unable to draw attention to the group blog via the Twitter page. When it comes to overall group performance, I feel we generally worked well when we knew what we were going to be doing, my one criticism, however, is that I don’t feel mine or Emine’s ideas were really taken on board.

When music journalist Ben Gilbert came to talk about his job, we were told to that we had to create a group entry for our blog about what we have learned from him. Before we were given the opportunity to interview Ben, we got together and decided exactly what we were going to ask. As I wish to become a music journalist and go to gigs for a living, I felt that it was important to ask him for some advice about where to get started. I voiced my opinion to the other members of the group but felt like they threw my ideas to one side as this was not important and that we only really needed to know about some of the top events to look out for. We ended up going with this and filming his answer. This only led us to problems. When we uploaded what we filmed to the Mac, the recording was crackly, not only this we had trouble uploading it to YouTube. This resulted in our post being multimedia free.

Even though setting up the blog was simple, and the objective to post three times a day for two weeks was straight forward, actually finding something to post about wasn’t as easy. I can’t speak for the other group members but for me personally I didn’t have the time to go out to different events to see what they were actually like so I spent my time looking online for different places or talking about places I’ve been to in the past. This meant that most of my posts lacked multimedia. I believe my posts would have been better if this was a task to do during a holiday as I would have been able to go out and give proper reviews for any readers of the blog.

Overall, I believe that if I was to do this task again then working with different people or doing it on a different topic such as entertainment would be the best option. I feel that this way I may have been given more of a say on what we could do and would have had more to talk about when it came to the task of posting stuff.