Archive by Author

Margin, Padding, Border

17 Oct

So my mind was blown when Travis showed me this trick in class this week. 

(Side note: sorry if we already talked about this in class Rob and I missed this).

I was having lots of problems getting my horizontal navigation to match my some sidebar navigation I was building.

Basically the navigation looks the the one we “borrowed” from the W3C:

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.27.38 AM


I basically wanted my side navigation to look like that, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. It was looking like this. Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.21.36 AM 

This doesn’t look great. 

BUT in the developer tools in Chrome, you can play around with the margin/border/padding tool. (I know you’ve shown us this in class, Rob). But what I didn’t realize is that you can click on the dash marks or numbers in this image and enter numbers to change the pixel count. My mind was blown. You can see instantly how big things will be and how they will change.

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.22.59 AM Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.23.06 AM

I was able to use this to hack around with the sizes to fix my navigation.


Brainstorm ideas combining wifi, devices and independent eateries

6 Mar

These ideas are from Alon Gibloa, Katie Artemas and Laura Davison:

We talked about implementing a loyalty program on the site. When users log onto the wifi, they could get a point, functioning kind of like a virtual punch card. After a set number of points are acquired, the customer could be rewarded with a discount or a free item.

We also discussed implementing the use of technology that would allow customers to scan QR codes to win. Near the register would be a QR code for customers to scan that works like a scratch-off ticket. After scanning, the customer gets a message telling them they won a free item/coupon or a message encouraging them to try again next time.

Our reddit idea would be taking a similar approach to reddit and placing it in the context of a coffee shop. Therefore, when people log on to the wifi they are met with a board that they can post thoughts, recommendations or other musings. Then other people that visit ‘upvote’ or ‘downvote’ the postings. This is a good way to get user reactions and engagement while filtering interesting things people want to read.

Another possible execution for the landing page would be a page that supported recreational browsing, by presenting external links to commonly used video, social or news sites that someone would go to a coffeeshop to use. We developed idea with the understanding that not everyone using free WiFi is a student with exams and a continuous load of homework to complete. The target audience is individuals who use WiFi recreationally outside of their house.

Tactically, partnerships would be obtained with properties such as Hulu, Buzzfeed, Amazon and other sites where viewers explore or shop. This idea encourages use of the Internet as the user already behaves, making it easier for them to go straight to their destination or remind them of a site they enjoy browsing but haven’t remembered to lately. One example of a site that displayed similar links is the Denver Airport, supported through Boingo. Links are categorized by travel, entertainment and retail. Our site could negotiate deals with third-party sites and execute something similar.

Resembling the colored, tiled look of the Microsoft tiles, the page itself would be visually simplistic with categories of external links. With a rich, integrated marketing sphere, there is opportunity to include paid content within the tiles of links, since this is no longer as disruptive to the user experience. This site idea enforces that the business with the landing page comprehends what visitors want to see online, and encourages them to stay there and do so.

Kris Peterson shares advice on corporate careers

11 Feb

Kris Peterson’s impressive career presented an alternative to the career path that many journalism students think about. She, like many people when they start journalism school, envisions being reporters or foreign correspondents. Of course, dream doesn’t come to fruition for most of us.

There are many opportunities working on the client/corporate side to work at the intersection of technology, media and communication. Kris, for example, works with e-readers. Many journalism organizations, and even a convergence capstone class this semester, are looking at this technology to determine how they can best disseminate the news.

Listening to her made me realize that I’m not limited to looking for job opportunities solely in media companies. Rather, there are opportunities with graduates with journalism skills in many corporations.

-Laura Davison

MSN News creates its own new identity

11 Feb

MSN News isn’t playing around when it comes to their updated news site. The look, navigation and feel are updated, easy-to-read and connects the site to its Microsoft brand.

What’s most impressive is how they internally understand what they are—and aren’t—as a publication. Even though this project began in July, they quickly rolled it out and established their brand and role in the marketplace. It seems like many media organizations, especially newspapers, are so slow to move, so it was refreshing to see this project be streamlined and efficient. They saw a problem and an opportunity and MSN News quickly came up with a solution to fix it.

We spent some time talking about the rumors section and the possible libel and/or ethical implications it might have. To me, I see this as a good resource for their target audience. They aren’t trying to be the New York Times or the Boston Globe. Instead, in this rumors section they are reporting on entertainment-ish news, but in a more responsible way than a tabloid. They can report on things before places like the New York Times or the AP would. They are trying to determine whether the rumor is true or false, rather than just perpetuating a rumor to try to sell more copies or troll for clicks.

-Laura Davison

GeekWire engages audiences online and in real life

11 Feb

GeekWire gets it. Although they are still young, they have successfully built an online and physical audience to consume their online content and attend its events several times a year.

I see niche publications, like GeekWire, having success moving forward. The cliché in the magazine, “A magazine for everybody is a magazine for nobody,” applies here. GeekWire has content, a community and activities for those interested in the tech-related world, and it is able to monetize that. As more journalism and media organizations charge for content, people are going to want to pay for the content that is most relevant and helpful to them.  GeekWire understands this. GeekWire’s founders have structured their events to make events valuable for anybody breaking into the tech startup field in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s incredible that 40 percent of GeekWire’s revenue comes from the events it hosts. I see this as a strategy both small and big media organizations will look to emulate in the future.

-Laura Davison implements new strategies

11 Feb

010_6138 was something totally different than I expected, but not in a bad way. Judging by the name, I was thinking they were an agency that did something with aggregation of media from different places.

Like we learned from Stephanie Padgett, agencies are changing their model as well. Aggregate was a great example to see how agency strategies are working with non-profits in an integrated and forward-thinking way.

Having such a small agency, they are able to be relatively nimble and establish a unique relationship with each client. It’s impressive to see that Seattle an environment that fosters startups and places like

I would be very interested to hear from Amy Rainey in a few more months after she has had more experience in the job to see how her perspective and insight on the industry have changed. It was very interesting to see hear about her career path and how her experiences have changed and evolved from position to position.

Seattle Times researches for audience wants and needs

11 Feb


Meeting with the Seattle Times research, insights and circulation department provided a perspective of newspapers those of us on the editorial side don’t get to see too much.

The breadth and the depth of their research impressed me. It was very interesting to get their perspective on all the processes that go into deciding what subscription model will work best for them.

The most beneficial part about this tour was that we were able to hear all about the research because of the partnership with RJI. This gave us a more in-depth view of the audience research and planning that goes into a publication.

The biggest challenge I see for the Times and other publications like it, is that it’s goal is to serve the entire city of Seattle. It is a general interest population and doesn’t serve any specific niche. While this is clearly the purpose and goal of newspapers, it also is its greatest challenge.


Also, they had an awesome free Stairmaster. (Hint: it’s the stairs).

-Laura Davison