Workshop 1: InDesign integrates with some great life ideas

Ever heard of InDesign? It’s a program from Adobe that is great for making layouts for magazines, books, leaflets or even a business card. Top companies use InDesign and the rest of Adobe’s creative suite to make the polished product we see. So I decided to take a class to understand how it all works.

I started with a basic workshop and discovered a program that takes some of the best things in life. Here’s what I learnt:

  • Customize your workspace. This is something that can be applied to any workspace. But the InDesign workspace makes it easy. You can even save which tools are in your sidebar, so you can have a different setup for different projects in an instant.
  • There are lots of ways to do everything. The functionality of the program makes it easy to find what you are looking for since there are so many ways to do everything. It’s a good reminder that one way is not always the best way.
  • Minalism. Dropping some extra weight can make things run faster. This program good uses this idea when it comes to resolution. By automatically setting things to a lower resolution the program can run faster while you are working.
  • The preflight check. Don’t send your precious work out with unnoticed errors. This program has a feature called the preflight check to point out things you might have missed. Things such as text that is hidden because it is too long for the space.

Think you want to give it a try. InDesign is expensive, but you can get a free trial from Adobe’s website so you can play with it first. If you don’t have any experience a class is definitely a great way to start. Learn the basics or go back to discover some hidden features.

My first Storify

[View the story “Superbowl 2012” on Storify]

“I really need you to read this article, okay?”

Technology seems to rule the world in 2012. Computers, cell phones, tablets, televisions, ipods and for some even the kitchen fridge can give a link to the internet. The internet which can provide access to anything. Instantly. If all our eyes are online who is there to look at the print newspaper, the so called home of real journalism.

The fact is journalism has to and is making the shift to a new home, a big mansion on a main street that no one can miss. Journalism is moving online. What exactly that means to the definition of journalism is something Joel Achenbach discusses in “ I really need you to read this article, okay?”

Is journalism about giving people what they want to see?

Achenbach debates titling future blog entries with flashy headlines like “Britney’s Dog Menaced by Sharks.” That would certainly attract attention. As a journalist though it has to be about creating the right attention. While people might flick through to an article titled above the content is unlikely to be of great substance. It is the job of the journalist to take any subject, and find the right spin. The way they write has to adapt to the online medium. The value of print content can still be the same online if it is done correctly. Without a deep history in online journalism this format will be trial and error.

Briggs Chapter 2- Advanced blogging

Now that you know what is out there you want to be able to make it yourself. It’s time to get a blog.

A blog is a website of frequently updated posts or entries generally on a central topic. To start your own blog head to or Briggs suggests these for those wanting to be journalists as they are two leading platforms used in the industry.

Some tips for your blog are:

  • –       Write simply
  • –       Use headlines
  • –       Let your personality shine through to make your blog unique
  • –       Use RSS feeds to gather topics and sources for your blog
  • –       Interact with other blogs
  • –       Have a comment section so other blogs can interact with you
  • –       Post often
  • –       Don’t forget pictures and video
  • –       Love your blog


Briggs Chapter 1 – We are all web workers now


This chapter is about knowing what you’re working with. The first step is seeing what else is out there and Briggs says RSS – Real Simple Syndication – is the best way to do this. Using readers such as Google Reader or FeedDemon you can subscribe to get all the latest updates from your favorite websites in one place. It’s a great tool for journalists too since you can categorize all the information coming in, making topics easy to follow.

Look for the RSS symbol on websites that you alreadyvisit to add them to a reader.

So what’s CSS?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. Along with html and XML, CSS is one of the common languages used to make what you are reading on the web look exactly the way it does.

“Even though it’s possible to lead a digital life without learning basic code skills, a journalist’s ability to execute ideas and be a better journalist will be limited”.


Briggs Introduction – Journalism is about people, not technology

“you can do this”

“the future is now”

Mark Briggs starts off his book “Journalism Next” with the above two messages.

Everyone is screaming that newspapers are dying. Briggs wants to let new journalists know that journalism isn’t dying, it’s just evolving. If print journalism disappears it will likely mean that online journalism is truly thriving. Therefore, Briggs says new journalists must look to the web.

Online journalism is a different format to be played with and harnessed. Newspapers websites are stale and don’t work when merely placed as is online. The next generation of journalists must use their own ingenuity. Their ideas will hopefully lead a transformation to a bright future for journalism.

“Change is inevitable, but progress is optional.”

My media pyramid

This is my media pyramid. Designed to show you what i consume daily from the media. The base of my diet is email and Facebook. I turn to these first because they are most relevant to me, as they involve the circle of people that I choose and care most about. Next I turn to the news. I use the Washington Post to get a broad idea of major US news, but particularly like the local section for stories that I can feel more linked to. gives me national Australian news and Riotact is a forum based in my hometown of Canberra, ACT. At the top of my pyramid are the outlets that I use often but not everyday. Skype to talk to family back home. Amazon represents online shopping. Finally I turn to Hulu and Netflix to get movies and videos. That way I can watch what I like, when I like.

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