Online “journalism” today vs. a few years ago — funny!

Found this via, journalism

Says a lot about the changing landscape of online journalism….smaller news hole, many more ads and A LOT more out of control commenters. That’s of course good and bad — people are reading, but expecting more. I’m all about high expectations from the media, especially with the crap going around out there today (Fox News, dancing weatherman I’m looking at you), but I definitely feel users have gotten more and more just plain ridiculous and cruel online. They call even solid reporters names and question the littlest tidbits.

And at The Poly Post, the college kids don’t even remember to fill in their names and still accuse the editors of, essentially, sucking ass. Too bad we’re better than that, more mature, and smart enough to know that even the best writers and reporters make mistakes. We’re students after all, so we’re still learning. (Full disclosure: just finished up tenure there as editor-in-chief).

And speaking of journalism, I’ll be starting an internship at KPCC 89.3 next week.

What of this week? Revel in some post-graduation laziness and kick it at home in San Francisco with the folks.

Change ain’t so bad…or is it?


Comic by Reza James Farazmand.

Comic by Reza James Farazmand.

It’s the biggest word buzzing about right now, but to some it’s a frightening one.

Whether it’s freeway construction, mall upgrades, identity changes, proposed stadiums or new political agendas; we are always quick to scour at whatever someone else is planning for us.

Why does change make people so uncomfortable?

It seems people get extremely comfortable with the way things are, and when someone wants to offer something different we may go along eventually, but it will be kicking and screaming the whole way.

Yet we always adjust. Why? Because we have to.

People are quick to reject transformations that don’t seem necessary. We also reject anything we don’t like, so it’s no surprise to see companies like Facebook and PepsiCo getting flack for changing their looks.

Users seem to rebel against any Facebook facelift when they should be applauding the social networking site for staying with the times.

The thing is, no one intentionally changes for the worse.

The dictionary defines change as becoming different, modifying, transitioning or converting.

Most of these words are generally positive. We need to stop seeing change as a bad thing.

Now, not everyone is on the right track: there are sparse fans of PepsiCo’s new logo that is either a funky smirk or a guy taking his shirt off.

And Tropicana is reverting back to its classic look because people didn’t need anything different from their orange juice.
Orange juice may not need to change, but we do.

If we don’t, we fear a static culture. A culture that remains unaltered becomes rigid and old, ultimately destined not to last.
Take construction as another example. The swarms of hard hats and orange vests doing work where Temple Ave. turns into Amar can take drivers 30 minutes to move two blocks, but it also generates an otherwise subdued creativity.

Some cars seek alternate routes in the Stater Bros. shopping center to make their way faster.

From an economical standpoint, the creative coping mechanism is a good thing.

It forces fresh thinking out of necessity and this will always bring out something better in the end: perhaps the stores by Stater Bros. have actually gotten more traffic from what they thought would be a obstruction to business.

Without change, creativity would be stifled.

It’s all too easy to remain satisfied with status quo, but refusing to be open to new ideas kills the innovation that America thrives on.

Take Cal Poly.

Officials are working on a campaign to re-brand the university’s image. And that could mean a potential name change.
Considering the confusion between Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona Pitzer and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, this is probably a good idea.
That might mean a little change around this place, so don’t get hot and bothered if you start noticing some differences.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Things do not change, we change.”

A possible interpretation being: we change the things around us because we change.

Things aren’t supposed to remain the same.

Yet, every time an organization tries to do something “out of the box,” people are up in arms at the slightest sign of discomfort to get to the finished product.

One solution is that the change agents need to better communicate their reasons for change and initiate a dialogue for feedback and input from those being affected.

And if no one weighs in, at least they had the chance.

And people, be more willing to accept new things.

It’s your turn, people

In case you missed it, Thursday’s Poly Post Web site Launch Party was a big success with nearly 150 in attendance.dan-in-real-life

Not too shabby for Cal Poly standards – sorry CPP, but I’ve seen many an empty event in my days.

Along with watching free chicken fly out the door, the Poly Post editors had the opportunity to identify ourselves in person and show off a newly redesigned

I had been working all last quarter with my graphic designers, marketing director and editors to find out what we wanted to offer and how we wanted things to look.

My favorite aspect of the new site is the more modern appearance that is immediately noticeable to the viewer. High quality photos show off our lead stories with a headline to link you to the rest, and buttons above provide easy links to advertise, submit a letter to the editor or check out our multimedia page.

You’ll notice the blog button doesn’t direct you anywhere just yet. That’s because the feature is still on its way. The idea here is for each columnist on staff to develop a following through updates in between editions of the newspaper, and allow for more feedback from readers.

In addition to that, the photo editors will be displaying the talents of our photographers and offer some artistic insight in a photo blog.

Even more exciting is the long overdue campus blog that is well on its way.

There is so much that happens on Cal Poly’s campus that goes overlooked, and due to space constraints, not everything can make its way into our weekly newspaper, or any of the other university media outlets.

Expect daily updates here, as the theme is a noticed or observed around campus kind of reporting, that will also include follow-ups on big news like the ASI strategic plan, student government elections, Mr. and Ms. CPP and the university’s identity campaign.

What I hope was made clear in the info session portion of Thursday’s event was that the nine editors at The Poly Post devote a large part of our lives to this job for very little compensation.

We do it because we love it, but we would all like it to take up just a little less time. We sacrifice our weekends and meet three times a week to make sure everything is coming into place and on schedule. And that’s just the surface.

We are all qualified to be paid a lot more for what we are capable of, yet my max stipend earns me about a dollar an hour based upon my calculations.

We’re volunteering hours upon hours while most of you have the day off – from school, at least.

Before the unexpected, but welcome, accusations from the audience during a brief Q&A, we kicked off the event with a photo slideshow and entertaining video asking students what they know about The Poly Post.

The answers in the video – which is available on the home page of the new Web site – were revealing in both good and bad ways.

We discovered from a random polling of 10 to 15 students, that they all knew what The Poly Post was and each had a few favorites.

But they were definitely not very aware of our Web site, which was why we wanted to promote it with the launch party.

What students and campus organizations must realize is that the Post exists to serve you. While we enjoy sharing our opinions, we’re a group of less than 30 people trying to cover a university of around 22,000 students.

So take that into account before you start tearing us a new one.

If you don’t think we’re doing our job well, I encourage…no, I challenge you to do something about it.

Apathy is death, after all.

Feedback fuels our drive to keep doing what we’re doing, so show us some love – or hate (OK, dislike would be preferable) – with a comment, letter or e-mail.

Basically, we’re asking you to utilize us.

E-mail or to promote an event.

E-mail to get your story heard. And check out to see what’s going on around you.

Use your campus newspaper and an online media hub to reach the campus population.

Or join up and take the reigns after I leave.