The Thesis Project

Well, it has been a difficult last few months.

But now I can say my thesis project is nearly complete and been launched on the web. http://cyclorado.us/

Weeks of collecting content, be it video, audio, photos or information, to editing said content to then constructing a complete interactive multiple-media website – all of it very time consuming and stressful. But I feel like I have learned a great deal about how to go about the process of building a unique project. One of the greatest lessons being that doing this as a one-man-band is not ideal. It takes a village. Thankfully I was able to benefit from the help of several very kind folks to complete this proof of concept.

That has been a rather difficult notion to get a grip on as well. Knowing that I intended to build a very interactive portal that was complete enough to support my argument yet maintain a manageable level of expectation. There were so many potential distractions or tangents pulling the project away from the main theme of siloed presentations of content impairs the storytelling, I was struggling to keep the train on the tracks. When a publication or organization proposes to generate a similar concept, there would be much more planning and many more resources implemented over a longer period of time to create a polished piece. I had no such luxury. I knew of several issues going into the development of the portal that would be better served using a few different technologies, but I had already invested hundreds of dollars and dozens of hours into understanding Flash and ActionScript 3 more effectively. I know that if I were to run with the idea and continue with the project I would have to learn some new tools and invest an enormous amount of time creating a much more sustainable portal.

After using several weeks up trying to focus on an entirely different topic for my project and then resetting on the topic of cycling, there was very little room for error or fine tuning, regrettably. Having to learn on the fly with my hair on fire was a challenge in and of itself. Doing constant searches for tutorials online on how to fix or do something while peppering people willing to help with emails at all hours of the day just to squish one little bug - only to inflict another bug in another area of the project. All of this while attempting to maintain classwork in a full class load and adapting to a challenging schedule in my personal life as well as fiance's long distance work schedule. The entire project and process has been a big learning experience...but a very difficult one.

I'm nearly done with my program at DU. Assuming my thesis is approved and I pass my last two classes, graduation is June 4. It's kind of odd to think it's been nearly two years since I started and left the newspaper. I left the paper to learn how to be a better storyteller using new ways of storytelling. I won't say I got exactly what I intended to get out of my program. But I will not say that I have not benefited from it either.

I feel that my video editing skills have truly grown and developed more in the last year. Shooting has always been fairly easy, be it stills or video. Assembling them in a structure or sequence of effectiveness has taken some time. I can develop standard to simple websites and design, but some of the higher level syntax still is very challenging. I will admit that I wish I had learned much more through my classes on a technical front, but I am also realizing that the technology changes so rapidly I wouldn't necessarily benefit from being an expert at one programming language. My perception and understanding of media literacy is vastly different from when I entered the program. That is a fact. In many ways it makes me worry about the future of media-for-profit. How technology is developed and how we adopt new technology has a great impact on what the future of media holds.

As for what my future holds, I honestly haven't the slightest idea. My background and skill set is so wide and varied, there have been but three job postings that really match up with what I can do and what I would like to do as a media creator. I may have to just go out there and make people aware of my abilities in an effort to basically create a position for me. But first I think I should see what I can do about finishing the written component of my thesis. Considering it's due tomorrow.

So have a look at the site and feel free to let me know what you think about it. Be sure to read the About page to get a better understanding of what the general argument is, as I'm sure I haven't been very clear here.

Until next time - which hopefully will be something visual rather than a ramble on the random thoughts of a post thesis stress fest.


It's Hip to be Square

No Flag to Fly


Springing up

Just been trying to make at least one photo a day considering I stare at a computer nearly 10 hours a day. So I've been using my phone to capture aspects of creative freedom. The phone is limiting but it is also great being forced to make the best of the situation. Don't know why, but the square crop has really been a new way of thinking. Shooting and editing so much 16x9 video, it takes a minute to compose in a different aspect. Besides, it's fun.

Trying to get all of the content done for my thesis project. It's close, then I have to start building the portal. It may just wear me out. T-minus three weeks and counting....