your work for next week

Your teams have been assembled. Now you need to get together and start making plans on how to move forward. You have a very important document due next week, an editorial plan for your site. This plan needs to include the following and must be signed by every member of your team:

  1. A detailed description of your site, the audience/community you hope to engage with, and a walkthrough of three personas interacting with the site (these should be further refined from the initial pitch and include the input of all team members).
  2. Interviews with three actual members of the audience/community you’re targeting, about the space your site is operating in, not the site itself.
  3. Informed by these interviews, a discussion of the types of stories you would like to do and at least five specific story ideas.
  4. A plan for the integration of tools and media beyond simple text and blogging.
  5. A basic plan for marketing your site: How will people find out about it?
  6. An overall plan for the equal distribution of labor: How will you share the reporting work? The data entry? The coding? The images/video/audio? The marketing?
  7. Please post your reports here, but also bring in a hard copy that–everybody now–has been signed by every member of your group

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3 responses to “your work for next week

  1. Exposing Baking

    Site:
    Exposing baking is a site for bakers who don’t own a business and are in need of more clients. We welcome professionals, those who work from home, and those who are looking forward to joining the baking world and gaining a profit.

    The site includes portfolios and pictures featuring their cakes, desserts, etc. A bio page of who they are, their specialties and contact information. A message board with how to’s and a feedback section where people can make comments about the bakers and their pastries.

    The three personas who would visit the site are the bakers, the customer, and the party planner.

    The bakers could either be a professional who hasn’t opened a business, i.e. a teacher, it could be a stay-at-home mom or dad who works from home but needs more clients, the last baker persona would be the student who is still studying baking but does it as a side job.

    Our second persona would be the potential customer. This would be anyone interested in buying a cake whether it be for a wedding, birthday, or any other special occasion. The customer would visit the site looking for good deals and perhaps local bakers.

    The third persona is a party planner who doesn’t have time to visit bakeries around the city to meet her customer’s demand. The site would save them a lot of time.

    Interviews:
    Rosa Escobedo a stay-at-home mom looking to gain more customers.
    Edith Casales a Graduate of Art Institute of Chicago Associates Degree
    Gladys Diaz; daughter of baker
    Kathleen Derbus, baker
    Mary Gordon retired nurse baking from home since April

    Story Ideas:
    -Equipment safety: information on certain precautions bakers should be aware of
    -Graduating student’s that can’t find work in the world of baking
    -Learning more from an internship at a bakery than from Culinary School
    -How bakeries hire immigrants with low pay rather than those with degrees
    -The world of desserts through different cultures
    -Baking transition from summer to fall, new trends, new ideas
    -“50 unique and one-of-a-kind wedding cakes,” complete with photo illustration; or “organic/vegan/low fat desserts that don’t sacrifice the taste”
    -Best baking/pastry schools in the Chicago(or we can highlight our favorite cooking programs in those schools and profile students or teachers there that are doing something different that makes them stand out)
    -Award winning Chicago bakers/cakes of 2008.
    -“fancy desserts that take only 30 minutes to make” could be useful.
    -Alternative desserts for diabetics
    -financing a small home business (how to price items and how to turn over a profit while paying for the rising cost of supplies)

    Plan for integration of tools

    How to video’s
    Video’s of the bakers
    Pictures of their work
    Feedback (reviews)
    Search toolbar

    Marketing plan
    1. Post up information sheets at Michael’s, craft stores, and baking good stores.
    2. Sponsor a giveaway at a radio station. For example sweetest day is coming up, we can have one our bakers bake up some sort of sweetest day arrangement and have the radio station give it away in our name, making sure that our website name is heard on the radio.
    3. Along with the sweetest day theme, we can have one of our bakers host a cooking segment on one the 5 morning news channels here in Chicago, again making sure that our website is mentioned. For example ” Here we have Mary Sue from BakingChicago.com to show us a unique way to make your own sweetest day cookie arrangement” something like that.
    4. We can pitch to the newspapers here in Chicago. This could be done in many different ways. In their tech section, we can be highlighted as the news myspace or facebook for bakers. In the good eating section we can be highlighted for some of our bakers. In the Red Eye we can be highlighted as the new website for underground bakers, something fresh and new.
    5. We can also sponsor and event at local bakery, and have cooking demonstrations where guest can do it themselves, and as always make sure that our name is mentioned.
    6. We can go to cooking schools in and around Chicago and give an informational panel discussion on the how to start up your own business, and of course sponsored by our website.

    Members duties:
    Cristina- photography/ reporting
    Bertha – reporting/ coding
    Juan- marketing
    Meha- reporter/copy editor/food critic
    Melody- reporter

  2. DIY Incubator Site Plan

    1.A detailed description of the site, audience/community you hope to engage with, and a walkthrough of three personas interacting with the site.

    Description of site: DIY Incubator purpose is to showcase the growing DIY scene in Chicago through multi-media features that would allow crafters to learn about events, craft projects, and fellow crafters throughout the city. The site would (hopefully) be a resource for those who want to partake in DIY projects and would be centered around three basic areas of interest: clothing, objects, and design.

    Updated Blog Personas:

    The Newbie – Someone who is new to the whole DIY scene and would like to find out the basics.

    The Dabbler – Someone who is beyond the level of a complete novice, but is still their developing skills.

    The Enthusiast – Someone who considers crafting to be a serious hobby and would like to find out about various craft organizations and events that they can participate in.

    2. Interviews with three actual members of audience/community.

    Jessica interviewed:

    Justina Blakeney

    DIY editor for Venus Zine

    Author of DIY series: 99 Ways to … (several books)

    Justina is a major expert in her field. She has managed to make a living out of being DIY, producing DIY, writing about DIY, and everything in between. Here are some concerns she has about the resources available in the DIY community:

    I think there are a lot of resources. You have to kind of know where to go and it depends on what you’re looking for, as you probably realize I tend to the subject of DIY is so varied and there are so many different things you can do. In that sense … the problem is sort of what to look for and where to look for it. MAKE is a great resource for people who are into the tech aspects of DIY. Craft has a great website … the problem is knowing where to look. There isn’t comprehensive website that sort of encompasses all of those things in sort of a directory, so that is something I would say is lacking.

    What she says about communities:

    My experience is there are several communities and Etsy in general here in Brooklyn is an obvious go-to place. That’s definitely one community that is huge and growing but it is a headquarters in New York. There are quite a few other communal spaces where people get together and work together in a shared work environment. I think one of the biggest communities is created around certain events…in my opinion. I think the craft fairs in general are almost sort of mobile communities.

    If you didn’t catch that, Justina mentioned that many crafters are getting together to share work spaces to create their crafts, instead of spending the extra money to rent their own spaces. We could definitely look into the issue of workspaces, or maybe even to how turn your home into a workspace without losing your home’s identity.

    On use of multimedia for DIY projects:

    I think we could definitely use more of that. Me for example I use video tutorials in my own life extensively and it might be that’s how I learn well. If I want to learn a new computer program or if I want to figure out a plumbing problem I’ll go to YouTube. I’ve had great success with the video tutorials that I’ve worked on. They reach a lot more people or maybe it’s just easier to track how many people they reach. I posted a tutorial on how to make a Barack Obama t-shirt on YouTube. I put a note on my blog and sent a blast to people who are signed up for my newsletter. And within a few days … maybe it’s because it’s easier to track, but it seems to be a really good way to show people how to make stuff. Another great resource … Threadbanger.

    It’s become so easy to do DIY videos. I did the Obama video with just my computer. Just with my computer I was able to make a video tutorial.

    I think because when you’re a DIYer trying to make a living doing what you do, it’s so important to reach a wide audience and it’s also important that what you’re producing has an entertainment value.

    I love this advice. She brings up a great point that you can make all of the video tutorials you want, but it doesn’t matter unless your video has some entertainment value to it. You have to really have some flair and engage people—and this goes for writing as well as multimedia.

    On the state of the economy and how DIYers are affected:

    Take this as you will, but given the state of the economy one of the things I’ve noticed is this sort of repellent of general American commercial culture. And at the same time in order for us to survive and as people who believe in the handmade and attention to detail, to not be afraid to reach out to the big guys as well and give them an opportunity to be a part of the movement. I really fear that that’s the only way that the movement can carry on. You just saw what happened last week…the big fish are eating the little fish. So I think it’s great when the little fish band together, but I think including the big fish … make alliances with your local home depot big stores. You’ll find that they are great resources.

    We could look into how big box retailers, like Home Depot, in the area are fairing in this economic crisis, and see how/if DIYers ARE reaching out to them or how they COULD reach out to them.

    “Clusters”:

    There are so many resources out there, and I don’t know exactly how you are hoping to kind of stand out from the things that are already out there but it would just kind of depend on the angle you’re taking. I spent the afternoon going through all of my magazines I have and … one of the things I kept looking at was clusters of things … I think Etsy as a site does a really good job of making things approachable in different ways. You can search for products that are local, by color, by recommendations of friends. So there’s all of these different ways you can search… make sure there are different themes or clusters of things. It’s interesting both visually and it’s user-friendly.

    * * * * * *

    I interviewed a few local crafters to get some insight on what kind of features they would like to see on the site and what would keep them interested (and coming back) to the site:

    Katie Johansson of dollybirddesign.com – a local crafter who makes and sells jewelry, she is also a regular on the craft fair circuit.

    Katie’s thoughts on incorporating multimedia aspects such as video and podcasts into our site:

    “I think this is a great idea for people just beginning to get into the DIY culture. Interviews are always good because you can learn so much from people who have been there and done that. There’s a lot to learn from people who are willing to share and are regulars to the scene.”

    Katie’s thoughts on giving advice for other crafters that are just starting to make their work available to the public and teaching them the ins and outs of promotion, marketing, etc.

    “ I do think that something interesting would be an area to post “tips and tricks” when it comes to running the business side of things. For example, I do a lot of outdoor shows in the summer and when it rains there are ways to secure a tent so that it doesn’t break. This year at Renegade I was out early in monsoon weather trying to save people’s tents.”

    Her main point is that a helpful aspect would be to teach crafters who are ready to take the next step into starting to do this for profit the ins and outs of the business side of crafting.

    Her thoughts on how to benefit serious crafter enthusiasts and make this site useful for them as well:

    “ Post announcements of upcoming shows, marketing (featuring) interesting websites, and interviews or profiles to help spread the word about businesses.”

    Jodi (jodikg@gmail.com) a knitter in a local knitting group Kelly Girls which up around Lincoln Park also weighed in on some of possible features of the site:

    In terms of multimedia components she mentioned:

    “There are so many great basic how-to videos already out there, especially at the site knittinghelp.com, so I don’t think that feature would be all that useful. Now if it involved a unique technique, that might be different. Podcasts with interviews of crafters, esp. those in Chicago or the Midwest, would be neat, though!”

    Her thoughts on finding ways get the word out about what other crafters in the city are doing:

    “Hmmm… I do crafts as a hobby, mainly as stress relief and as a creative outlet. I don’t really feel the need to get the word out too much! I am the leader of a local knitting circle, so that’s one thing that I would like to get the word out — where/when we meet, what our group is like, what trips we take, etc. It would be nice to have a central point to learn about crafty events — things like Yarn Con, Renegade Craft Fair, shops that sell handcrafted items, shops that sell supplies. Also, learning about local sales is very important. Many of us turn to the internet to order supplies to cut down on costs, but like to check out local shops when they have sales. Seriously, that 10.25% sales tax really stinks.”

    Abi Stokes, a Columbia student that also crafts:

    Her thoughts on including simple how to videos of projects that would take 5-10 minutes to make:

    “I like that idea because when I start a complex project, it usually does not get finished. Big projects take time, energy and money…not always useful. With something that is simple people who are just getting into crafting could be interested but people that are more advanced would also make stuff that is quick and easy because there is that sense of instant gratification. You make a simple pair of earrings and you could wear them that night.”

    Her thoughts on ‘open source’ crafting:

    “This would be a way of letting people who want to share give project ideas.”

    3. 5 Types of article ideas.

    1. Holiday Guide to buying DIY gifts which would feature shops and upcoming craft shows (that would be posted in October)

    2. Profile of The Enterprising Kitchen, a non-profit organization that teaches underemployed women how to make hand-made soaps and learn entrepreneurial skills. This would make a good video piece.

    3. (Rikki)How to Gold Plate – feature a piece on Rikki’s roommate who is gold plating letter presses to make necklaces.

    4. (Rikki) How to: Turn Flea Market Into Fabulous – taking furniture and items from flea markets and turning them into art pieces. Alex expanded on this idea by also incorporating finds from the alley.

    5. (Alex) A profile on her roommates who are in the process of completely overhauling their wardrobes DIY style.

    6. (Jessica) DIY Trunk Show

    This is the DIY Trunk Show’s fifth year, and it keeps getting bigger. So what’s new this year? Nothing? Why don’t we go to the trunk show and pick out a few things to talk about. For example, Justina Blakeney suggested that we write about things in clusters. That is, we pick some kind of theme like “Ruffles and Lace,” and compare DIY finds to department store/chain store finds that all fit that certain theme. Blakeney said she likes clusters, as it’s really attractive to both her and the reader.

    7. (Jessica) DIY crisis?

    The economy is obviously in terrible shape right now. What does this mean for the DIY scene and the crafters who are trying to make a living from it? We could talk with local shop owners (Paper Doll [stationary store], Renegade Handmade, etc.) to see if sales are increasing/decreasing, if vendors aren’t bringing in as much product, or if the cost of supplies is hurting DIY-ers. Justina Blakeney said the economy is, of course, a concern for everyone right now, but that crafters are incredibly clever and crafty—pardon the pun—at making use of what they have. So we could also look at how local crafters are shifting gears to use more recyclables instead of new materials in the wake of the economic situation.

    8. (Jessica) Recurring piece: Cool jobs

    Sure, anyone can be a crafter. But how do you successfully make a living out of being a crafty person? Profile of someone who has landed a sweet job doing DIY crafts. For example: Wonderful Grafitti is this awesome company that creates sticker decals for your walls that say basically anything you want and look however you want. Mary McPhail, the founder, was a copywriter for 25 years and suddenly decided she wanted to start getting crafty. She’s not from the Chicago area, which could be an issue, but she probably has an interesting story.

    9. (Jessica) How to be a little fish in a big pond—successfully:

    Justina Blakeney talked about how DIY crafters are now working to collaborate with bigger companies to help them become more “DIY friendly.” She explained it as “exploiting them before they exploit us.” Who’s doing this and how? What are the benefits for both sides of the spectrum? Let’s profile a crafter or two and talk to corporations who are working together with DIY-ers. Blakeney said she actually loves this part of her job—DIY is her life, seriously—because she’s able to teach these big guys how to scale back and become DIY, and at the same time, they’re able to carve out this niche of “Look at us, we’re unique! We’re not down with corporate America!” So the story could look out how collaboration can benefit both sides—the DIYers and the corporations.

    10. (Jessica) Make Your Own Political Art

    Sure the election is inching closer, but there’s still time to start donning some of your favorite candidate’s schwag! But instead of purchasing a factory-made T-shirt or bag, we can show readers how to make their own via video tutorial. I actually saw something on Gaper’s Block (?I think?) where a guy made an etch-a-sketch picture of Obama. It could even be neat to do a fast-motion video of him making that (if he can create it again, that is). If not, let’s show readers how to screenprint their own T-shirt, or make their own tote bag out of an Obama T-shirt they like, just to make it their own. And hey, if their candidate doesn’t win, at least they have a T-shirt or a bag to remember and think later about how good things could have been…

    4. A plan for the integration of tools and media beyond simple text and blogging.

    This would be pretty straight forward in that the site would integrate features like How To videos, video based feature / profile stories and podcast interviews in addition to the written content that would be on the site.

    5. Basic marketing plan.

    Some ideas that I have so far would be to integrate a combination of online marketing with more traditional methods of putting the word out.

    When it comes to online marketing I’m thinking it would be a good idea to spread the word through other crafters and craft forums, some of the people that I have spoken to so far are really interested in this idea and seem very supportive. So I’m thinking if we build a pretty solid base among crafters in Chicago, they will help spread the word to their friends about our site.

    I came up with a couple of quirky ideas that I think would be fun: making little buttons to hand out at craft fairs and events and making fliers that can be turned into origami figures. The logic behind this being if people had a tangible thing that they might actually hang on to they might be more inclined to check out the site initially.

    6. Distribution of Labor:

    I think that at this point it would be wise to play up our individual strengths but still be able to make contributions to all aspects of running the site. This is a possible break-down of tasks and I’m totally open to suggestions.

    Megan – Website Design, Coding: 40% Writing/Reporting 20%, Video/Photo 20%,

    Promotions: 20%%

    Rikki – Video Shooting / Editing: 40% Writing/Reporting 20%,

    Learning Code 20%,

    Promotions : 20%

    Alex – Photography / Writing: 40% Learning Code 20%, Video 20%,

    Promoting: 20%

    Katie – Reporting / Writing: 40% Learning Code 20%, Video/Photo 20%,

    Promotions: 20%

    Jessica – Reporting / Writing: 40% Learning Code 20%, Video/Photo 20%

    Promotions: 20%

  3. Our site devotes itself to a community of under agers (15-20) throughout the Chicago land area, including the suburbs. It incorporates weekend and nighttime activities for those who can’t drive away from their parents, and fun activities for those who can. It’s also a social medium that users can write up their own opinions and experiences related to the material posted.

    “Social Networking Pro”
    This is a female who is 15-17 who is still in high school and utilizes social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace to find out about after school or weekend activities. This girl is a planner and saves her money because she doesn’ t necessarily work an after school job. Because she doesn’t get out much, she usually has an idea of where she wants to go before she looks for it. Most of her information comes from her friends and from checking websites like Ticketmaster.

    “Almost there”
    This is a male ages 18-20 who has maybe just moved out from his parent’s house and goes to school or still lives with his parents, but ever sees them because he is now allowed to stay up and out without needing their permission. he holds a job and can save money for more expensive activities, but prefers to save overall. This guy prefers to be busy and is rarely alone, he eats out as much as he eats in. He has a wide social network of friends and hears most everything by word of mouth and uses but does not depend on sites like Facebook and Myspace.

    “What do I do with my younger nephew or cousin?”
    This user is a woman of over 21 and lives in Chicago or relatively close by, but is having a relative come to stay and visit that is underage and needs to find fun stuff to do to keep them entertained. The relative is not new to Chicago becuase of family and doesn’t need to go sightsee at all the typical Chicago locations and also wants to do something with kids relatively their age. She doesn’t keep up to date on what the “kids” are doing, so she looks online for fun stuff that she’d enjoy and also what she assumes “kids” will enjoy. She has enough money from her full-time job to pay for both of them to get into an event for the night.

    2. Paige Smith – Would like to see an actual list of upcoming shows in Chicago that are all ages only.
    Adam Lasher – Wants to see a listing or story about where to go after hours for all ages aside from restaurants, he’s specifically interested in hookah.
    Evan Porter – Wants to know if he can make a profile on the site and share news about upcoming house shows and local bands.

    3. -Feature on spots for teens under $20
    -Do stories or make lists of things to do in different neighborhoods and suburbs- geographically – ex. Naperville, Wrigleyville, CTA train lines
    -Profiles of under agers that get treated like 21+
    -24 Hour Places that are All Ages
    -Coffee Shops with Game nights, Poetry slams, etc.

    4. We’d like to put up an RSS feed from Craigslist or Yelp about all ages activities. We’ll include listings under the headings of different stops on the CTA and Metra trains. We would like to add music and photos to the site to accompany reviews or notices of upcoming events. There should also be a way to upload videos and pictures in the same story once people have attended that event.

    5. People will find out about our site by word of mouth and by their own social networking sites. We’ll advertise where colleges and universities are, many people ages 15-20 are looking at schools and are starting to become affiliated with them.

    6. We all plan on sharing the duties as we come to them, but this is a rough list of what we expect to accomplish.
    John – coding/reporting
    Lea – research/reporting
    Steve – reporting
    Eliot – copy editing/reporting
    Colin – marketing/reporting

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