Friday, November 30, 2012

Notes from 11-29-12: Sarah Pachter

Class Agenda
·      Storify presentations
·      Practice press release and broadcast
·      Guest speaker – Mike Edson - Smithsonian

·      We have 2 more classes until our final on December 13th!
·      Professor Piacente is offering two last rounds of feedback on anyone’s work for whoever wants it before the final
·      The Final Exam will consist of 2 parts: one long broadcast story and one press release (both from fact sheets and we will have the whole class period to complete it)

Storify Presentations and Critiques
1.     WWII Memorial Storify
            Critique – make sure the materials we use in our stories follow the headlines
2.     Washington Monument
            -had trouble finding social media on site but lots of images
            Suggestion: research on web and not on Storify for more information and      then copy/paste link into Storify account
3.     The National Mall 
      As we prepare to watch a YouTube clip about the National Mall Professor      Piacente wonders why people put play buttons over people’s faces on    YouTube, to which a student answers that you CAN format it on YouTube. So            yes, you can avoid covering people’s faces.
4.     Library of Congress
      We learn Haley loves Disney
      Critique – be careful of WIDOWS  (headlines that have one word running     onto the next line)
      e.g. Plane Ordered to Land on Quiet Suburban
              Lane << widow
5.     Mt. Vernon
·      Critique – too much text loaded into the beginning of story. Professor advises to space out story with more photos and other media between the text.
·      We learn that Whiskey was made on Mt. Vernon’s plantation after the Revolution since tea was boycotted and Americans were feeling pretty anti-British after the Revolution. Since rum was a British product, George Washington claimed Whiskey for all.
6.     Lincoln Memorial
·      We learn the Obamas screened Lincoln in the Big WH
7.     Botanical Gardens
·      Critique – again, there should be more media (photos and links etc.) between text. Inclusion of googlemap good
8.     Vietnamn Veteran Memorial
9.     Jefferson Memorial

What other uses are there for storify?
·      Time capsule of important events to have for later-on sharing
·      a simple way to make a coherent story
·      a public narrative of a subject
·      a time line (ex. Benghazi story – we can track the story’s progression and audience response
·      term paper uses – create a storify not for publishing but for personal research

10. Naval Observatory
·      We learn the Vice President lives on the Observatory’s grounds
·      In 2012 the observatory announced it was the year 2000 instead of 2012.

Next Week’s Homework
·      We will be talking about going out on a job interview
o   come up with 3 talking points about self to help get job
o   take your bio/resume and rewrite it as an engaging one page story (Professor will send us a link with more details)
o   Do NOT e-mail the story, bring a hard copy to class and be prepared to share.
o   The class will be acting as the interviewer

       Mike Edson – Guest speaker
·      He is the Director of Web and New Media Strategies
·      Twenty- two years old
·      Was a liberal arts major
·      At first he cleaned Plexiglas at Smithsonian
·      He grew up in the decade when technology started happening in humanities
·      In 2003 AMA worked on its installation and new media strategy implementation
·      In 2009 he and others crafted a New Media Strategy for Smithsonian
·      Edson talks about “Walmart’s Music Store” – audio producers need hits because they sell however people figured out with introduction of online retail that you could have virtual inventories in which companies found the sum of the onesies/twosies items all sold and were a greater profit than the “hits.”
·      In the old days (broadcast era) people could only think about one audience but with digital technology, organizations can have niche audiences like the Smithsonian, which has different facebook, twitter, Flickr etc. accounts for the different Smithsonian institutions. Ex. a person who is interested in Asian art may not want to hear about cheetahs.
·      Edson talks about organizations’ struggles with targeting an audience or even knowing who their audience is.
·      Edson heatedly responds to JV’s question about big PR scandals by talking about their silent reaction to a viewer’s response to an AIDS exhibit at AMA. – Edson is bitter about how the Smithsonian Institutions chose not to respond when their mission is to provoke and engage in discussion of worldly matters.
·      Edson also touches upon how older directors of organizations from the broadcast era rarely see their model or way of doing things as “old” until its too late – e.g. Sears
·      He says 70% of organizations lack urgency to keep up with times and fail, while 30% are urgent organizations who change with the times and usually succeed.
·      Edson concluded his visit saying that if an institution doesn’t have new ideas they’re going to die and that every organization needs a little bohemianism.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah - - it was a great pleasure to meet you all last week. A couple of follow-up thoughts on your post.

    1) Regarding my age - - I'm *way* older than 22. You may have been thinking about the fact that I've been working at the Smithsonian for over 22 years.

    2) Regarding Wallmart's music store - - the reference was an illustration of The Long Tail concept. See Chris Anderson's Wired article, , and his book as well.

    3) Regarding urgency, those figures were from John P. Kotter's "A Sense of Urgency" . A very good podcast overview of the book is on the Harvard Business Review blog, featured here:

    4) Regarding "older directors" of businesses and change models, the reference was to Clayton M. Christensen's "Innovator's Dilemma" (overview here:

    5) Regarding "bohemianism" within organizations/society as a generative force, I was riffing on a theme of "The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson.

    6) Regarding PR challenges, I was referring to this episode at the National Portrait Gallery in 2010: The follow-up symposium I referred to is discussed by Lee Rosenbaum here: I wouldn't categorize my own feelings about our conduct during this episode as bitterness ;) - - but there was definitely a strong feeling among the social media practitioners around the institution that we lost an opportunity to use social media to convene a public dialogue around challenging, and important, ideas.