The New Media Parlour


“The Design of Everyday Things” Donald Norman

Norman, D, Design of Everyday Things, 2002, Preface and Ch 1

mp-technologyNorman focuses his writing on designs that have failed the user. His motivating factor for exploring how people use objects is the common misconception that if a user cannot correctly use an object, it is the fault of the user instead of the design. “Most accidents are attributed to human error, but in almost all cases the human error was the direct result of poor design.” Where Feenberg explored the philosophy of design, Norman researches the psychology of function. Both men looked at how users interact with a technology, but Feenberg focused on how users manipulate technology for their benefit while Norman looks at how users are misinterpreting the intended use of technology.

One of the most useful parts of the reading was the vocabulary and outlined principles that Norman give us as designers to use when discussing and analyzing user-centric design. In the introduction he highlights three important topics that are discussed in the book:

1. It’s not your fault – Objects should be designed for easy use by a person. A user should not have to change their mind-frame in order to use a object.

2. Design principles – Norman gives some important principles to follow when designing a product for users:

  • Conceptual model – “You form a conceptual model of the device and mentally simulate its operations. You can do the simulation because the arts are visible and the implications clear.” If we have a clear visual of the basic physics of an object we can quickly work through what different actions will do to the object. When you can see the hinges of a door, you know that you must push/pull the door on the side that is not bolted to the frame.
  • Feedback – “Without feedback, one is always wondering whether anything has happened.” This principle is very important for design of websites, because you are limited to the digital display of the monitor to help people navigate and function within your site. I know I am not the only person who is guilty of clicking a button 3, 4, 5 times when it does not respond instantly. The message that sometimes appears during online transactions “Do not click the back button during this process” would be unnecessary if the site gave a simple indication that your information has been sent/received/processed.
  • Constraints – “The surest way to make something easy to use, with few errors, is to make it impossible to do otherwise – to constrain the choices.” I never considered that warnings were a fail on the part of the design to even give people the option of working an object incorrectly.
  • Affordances – “A good designer makes sure that appropriate actions are perceptible and inappropriate ones invisible.”  I think affordances go hand in hand with constraints. When the affordance of an object is clear, there must be considerable constraints in place in order to prevent the user from straying from the primary role of the object.

3. The power of observation – This book is full of examples of good and bad design. The combination of relatable examples and simple principles to follow makes it easy to shift your perception of design all around you.

There were other keywords and principles that were addressed in the first chapter, such as:

Visibility – Norman stresses at the beginning of the book that this is the most important principle of design; “the correct parts must be visible, and they must convey the correct message.” This is the easiest way to help people create that mental model of the object and its proper function. If you lay out all the potential options for use that an object has, there is no question about what can and cannot be done with it. If there are some functions that are hidden, the user may never realize the object’s full potential unless they read the user manual.

Mapping – “The relationship between two things.” Mapping may be laid out in instructions with pictures or manuals, but the most useful mapping systems that we as humans can understand and process are ones that utilize connections that we already understand from previous experiences. “Natural mapping, by which I mean taking advantage of physical analogies and cultural standards, leads to immediate understanding.”

This reading has helped me look more critically at objects that seem second nature, an unassuming part of my life. But I have also noticed that I don’t criticize design in objects enough because I have become so used to adapting myself to optimize the design of a product, instead of the other way around.


“An Interview with Andrew Feenberg” Mark Zachry

Zachry, Mark. An Interview with Andrew Feenberg. Technical Communication Quarterly 2007

This interview with Feenberg touches on quite a few areas of his research and gives some very interesting theories on the design of technology. Feenberg’s main focus is on human agency and its effects on technology. He believes that the true development of technology is done by users as they turn the given technology into something useful for them, regardless of whether that was the primary function of the technology at its inception. He calls this democratic rationalization, “Agency is exhibited in the unique hacks people develop to repurpose technologies to address their idiosyncratic needs, but also in the participatory design processes through which technologies can be developed with others. When agency is exercised to affect technologies in such a way that they counteract power structures that are undemocratic, Feenberg associates it with democratic rationalization.” In June, I was interested in following the use of Twitter by Iranians during the protests against the compromised presidential election. This was a prime example of democratic rationalization as the Iranian protesters used Twitter to publicize the events and protests when there was a press crackdown by the Iranian government that limited US media outlets from broadcasting updates. The protesters were able to spread the news to the rest of the world about the corruption of the government and lose of democratic freedom of the people that they were experiencing.

Feenberg encourages hacking technology and manipulating it to better serve your individual purpose. We hear constantly the importance of considering the user when designing technology. The spotlight shines on usability testing, from simple (as outlined by Steve Krug in Don’t Make Me Think) to complex. But Feenberg criticizes the design process that does not include usability testing until  after a prototype of a technology is created. He sees this more as “debugging” instead of user-participation in the design process. I agree and disagree with this point. I think that there needs to be a starting point for every design, and most design begins with an idea to improve something that already exists. Even if the designer initially only considers how he or she might use the product, that is the beginning considerations of user-centric design. And if there is one think I will always remember from Don’t Make Me Think, it is that you should test your site design early and often, therefore the user is constantly being considered, even if they are not sitting at the computer next to you.

He embraces the subculture of hacks and remixes, but uses the much-more technical term “creative appropriation”. Instead of believing that technology is not designed for the user, I think this quote gives a better sense of what he means when you have to consider how the user will use the given technology. “You can think of people as having many dimensions, and each technology represent as some of those dimensions. When people hack or redesign or reinvent technology, they are asking it to represent them better or represent more aspects of their lives.” He notes that most technology is initially created in the military or corporate industries, which some can argue are more out of touch with the everyday user of technology. I don’t think the fact is that the technology is wrong when it is first created, but it was created with a specific task in mind, a task that may not be important or may not even exist outside a military base. So hacks and redesigns help morph these technologies into something more useful for others. Vannevar Bush used the knowledge that he had about military technology that was in production for WWII and used that working knowledge to theorize on some of the uses that these technologies could have for the general public.

This was one of the most interesting readings for me that we have reviewed in this class so far. There were quite a few parts that resonated with me and also ideas that I have discussed in other classes as well. In Computers and Writing we discussed quite a bit about the difference between giving people access to technology and people truly understanding how the technology can improve their experiences. Feenberg mentions that he encountered that attitude that if we present people with the tools of technology they will just  know how to use it. “But finally as he was leaving I buttonholed him, and I said, you know, I understand you’re going to wire up all our campuses and classrooms. Has any thought been given to how we are going to teach on these systems? And he said, we’re putting in the equipment; it is up to you guys to figure out what to do with it.”

As a writer, I embraced his role for technical writers to become a liaison between users and designers, to understand the mechanics of a technology as well as how a user may interpret this. “And you have to cross that gap in your technical writing in order to give people access to the marvels of the device you are trying to document. It would be good if that could feed back to the designers so that they would modify the design in accordance with what they can learn from the technical writer about how users think and what they need. Technical writing could be made into more than a writing profession. It could become a point of translation between professional and lay mentalities, cultures.”


“Digital Footprints” Madden, Fox, Smith, and Vitak

Madden, Mary; Fox, Susanna; Smith, Aaron; & Vitak, Jessica. Digital Footprints, Report: Identity, Search, Social Networking Dec 16, 2007

The research on digital footprints by Madden, Fox, Smith, and Vitak gave an eye-opening profile of how the general population views their online identity. It is very easy as a student of new media to forget that not everyone is as embracing of new technology and even fewer understand how to utilize the technology effectively. The statistics in this article gave a much better picture of how most people, not just us early-adopters, understand and maintain (or don’t maintain) their online identity. Some surprising statistics for me were:

–       60% of Internet users say they are not worried about how much information is available about them online. This worries me because of the news reports that are regularly published about people that do not get hired for a job because of information available online about them.

–       61% do not feel compelled to limit the amount of information that can be found about them online. If people maintained their online identity, the benefits could outweigh the risk of having non-censored information available. For the most part, having some online identity is a positive tool for people (we’re not all sexual predators or binge drinkers) that may want a potential employer to see some of their interests and hobbies, a more well rounded image of them beyond a resume. But it may be a good idea to find ways to steer searchers towards to good links (your Linkedin account, your blog, photos of your dog) to avoid them getting to page 10 of the search results and finding that op-ed piece you wrote in college in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.).

–       Just 4% of all online adults say they have had bad experiences because embarrassing or inaccurate information was posted about them online. I think quite a bit of “warning” is given to people’s online identities. But this statistic shows that perhaps we are more worried about burying bad characteristics that may not even exist. The focus of managing a digital footprint should be to highlight your ideas, interests, activities, and views in a positive and professional way. We should not be afraid of what could be found but help searchers find positive and useful information about us.

The research did a good job of classifying the four general attitudes of internet-users towards their digital footprints:

1. Confident Creatives – They do not worry about the availability of their online data and actively upload content, but still take steps to limit their personal information

digital-footprint1

2. Concerned and Careful – fret about the personal information available and take steps to proactively limit their own online data.

3. Worried by the Wayside – They are anxious about how much information is available about them yet they do not actively limit their online information

4. Unfazed and Inactive – they neither worry about their personal information nor take steps to limit the amount of information that can be found about them online.

This article opened my eyes to how important it is to have a solid and confident digital footprint, especially when I will be trying to find a job in an industry that will most likely be googling me. I want potential employers to see how I utilize various mediums. It’s almost an extension of my resume and portfolio. I signed up for a Google Profile, since I have a fairly common name and there are domain names for other “Jennifer Waters” and “Jen Waters”. I wanted a place where I could give a quick rundown of myself and make it easy for searchers to find my blog, my linkin profile, my twitter account, and my Google Reader shared items.

When I was interviewing for my current internship, I google the person (who is now my supervisor) who interviewed me. I found his twitter account and his marketing blog (as well as his wedding pictures, which was weird…). I was able to talk about an article that he had posted on his blog during the interview. This not only showed my interest in the marketing trends he is interested in but also shows him how I stay connected with others online. He in turn made a comment on a post I had made on my blog. By the time I started my first day at the internship, my supervisor and I had already established some points of interest based on what we had learned about one another from googling each other. We also both admitted that we had googled the other, which shows the trend away from the “stalker” status of googling someone to a useful tool in understanding them better.

This article started to get me thinking about how I can improve my google-ability. One problem (which seemed like a precaution at the time) is that when I first started developing a digital footprint by starting my blog, I thought it was “unsafe” to use my real name (I put unsafe in quotes because I’m not sure what it was I was afraid of). So I used “MyJeneration”. It is somewhat unique and comes up in searches, which is good marketability for my blog, but not for me because my real name is not associated with the site in any way. But now that I want employers and interested parties to find my blog, I find it frustrating that my blog has better search results than my name. I’m hoping that using Google Profile will help this issue as well as perhaps investing in my own domain name as Shaun suggested to use as a storefront of sorts for my various outlets and projects.


“What Value Do Users Derive from Social Networking Applications?” Larry Neale & Rebekah Russell-Bennett

Neale, Larry & Russell-Bennett, Rebekah. What value do users derive from social networking applications? First Monday, Volume 14, Number 9. 7 September 2009

major-doushebagI had a difficult time relating this research on Facebook applications to personal experience since I do not actively use applications (apart from the occasional “Which Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia Character Are You?” quiz). But there were some useful, although elementary, results that could be useful if a company is trying to develop a successful (or “cool”) application for users.

There were two questions that Neale and Russell-Bennett wished to answer:

  1. What value do users derive from cool Facebook applications?
  2. What features of an application encourage or discourage users to recommend applications to their friends?

After Neale and Russell-Bennett conducted the survey of Facebook application users, they discovered the following results:

  1. What value do users derive from cool Facebook applications? “The ability of the application to facilitate self-expression of interests, value, or personality” (more common for female users) and “the ability to facilitate competition/comparison with others” (more common for male users). In order for an application to be considered “cool” it should include a combination of emotional or social value in addition to having functional value. Some other key characteristics are high level of interactivity, level of creativity, linked with popular TV shows (such as “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), considered a time-waster (yet not a waste of time), or access to uncommon information.
  2. What features of an application encourage or discourage users to recommend applications to their friends? This question was answered with three categories which application characteristics were put into:
  • Symmetrical – “Some features can both encourage or discourage recommendations, depending on the user.” Examples: time, notification, competition, sharing, personality
  • Polar – “Different levels of the same feature either encouraged or discouraged.” Examples: Social Influence, social, novelty, positive or negative emotions, other or self focused, knowledge, interactivity, usability.
  • Uni-directional – “They either encourage or discourage but not both.” Examples: gifts, intrusive, rewards, cost, reminders, no relevance, immature, source credibility, commerciality, immortality.

The conclusion did give some useful ways in which businesses could use applications to engage potential customers, such as encouraging users to participate in the creation of the application and give feedback, ensure there is source credibility but without making it overly commercial, and ensure the application is easy to use and non-intrusive.


“Social Media Revolution” Video by TheAnthonyMink

 

I will be honest, this video got my heart beating a little faster in excitement. Maybe it was the Fatboy Slim background music or maybe it was the term “revolution” in the title, or maybe it was seeing all the statistics flying by that solidify why I am following this career path. Whatever rhetoric behind the design of the video, it worked. It really showed the possibilities that social media has to evolve our economy, our interactions, and our culture.

An important area of change that I have seen that was touched on in the video was how the web is changing the concept of “word of mouth”. My roommate works for an advertising agency and we discuss all the time the importance of having a Facebook fan page for your business because when someone “fans” you, it shows up on their news feed. A friend of theirs is going to be more likely to use your business when they know that a friend of theirs has done the same and has had a positive experience. Sites like Amazon.com or Verizonwireless.com include an area on their product pages for customer feedback. As long as the business is not monitoring the comments to conservatively (taking down any negative reviews), it is a very useful tool for users to make their decision. I’ve found also in my personal experience that before I try any new business in Chicago I will look up the reviews they have gotten on Yelp.com before going there. User-generated content makes it more difficult for businesses to control their image. Theoretically it should force businesses to work on their customer service and product quality in order to improve users reviews, but such is not usually the case.

A second important area is how online content is replacing tradition outlets such as newspapers and books. The newspaper and book publication industries have been two of the hardest hit industries since the recession began. This is due in part to people not spending their money on unnecessary products but also because the sacrifice is not great since they can access news online for free anytime. Newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal have started charging for online content, but most newspapers would lose most readership (and thus advertisers) if they created a pay-for-content plan.

I think the statistics in this video are a powerful way to show how social media is changing the landscape of most industries. It gives the warning signs for companies that resist adopting these new ideas and shows how people who do accept social media can use these tools to advance their business.


Professional Investigation: Academic Disciplines, Courses, & Tech Training

Because I transferred into the New Media Studies program from Writing, Rhetoric, & Discourse, I feel like I’m doing my degree progress backwards. I have taken all of my elective courses in the WRD program and am now working to satisfy my NMS requirements. When I started in the WRD program, my intention was to become a technical writer and perhaps do some freelance writing on the side. Because NMS works so closely with WRD, I learned quite a bit about NMS from my professors. After looking into NMS a little more closely, I realized that the technical courses and study of technology and culture could be a very good fit with my writing background. I transferred to NMS so that I could learn more about how I can use technology and media to highlight my writing and expand my skill base. I feel that understanding new media is an asset I can bring to an employer more so than simply writing. So most of my electives have been in WRD courses. I have taken:

            Modern Rhetoric

            Computers and Writing

            Writing for the Web

            Writing Workshop: The Short Urban Essay

            Strategic Communication

            WRD Proseminar

Now that I have a solid basis of writing, I would like to focus my second year in the program on learning more technical skills that I can use to turn my writing into something that I can distribute digitally as well as use to help with marketing and communication at a company. The classes I plan on taking are

            Principles of Graphic Design

            Usability Engineering

            Text and Images

            Portfolio

Because I focused so many of my electives on writing, I was very excited to see the links for technical training outside of DePaul that I can take in order to continue to gain skills after graduation. Lynda.com had some online courses on Information Architecture and Content Management Systems that could be helpful in working with company websites with high content levels. I have also learned from courses as well as in my internship that most copy on websites and in emails are not original but taken from various other publications that the company has produced. These training classes could help me use CMS such as Drupal to organize information and Information Architecture to organize the information on the site itself. Because I did not have room in my schedule for Web Design I and II, I think it would also be helpful to take more advanced Web Design training online to learn more about the tools for design.


Don’t Copy That Floppy

My friend and I were having a blast from the past and talking about the “Don’t Copy That Floppy” public service announcement from 1992. Turns out the same rapper made a new video in August of 2009 as a follow up. It’s amazing how out of touch the authority still is about copyright culture.

 


“Multimodal Discourse” Kress & Leeuwen

Kress & Leeuwen, Multimodal Discourse, Introduction

Kress and Leeuwen identify a potential problem that may come with the increasing multimodality of media today; the “desire for crossing boundaries” in semiotic arenas that is encouraging in multimodality could lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings, non-standard practices, as domains which have standard practices merge and play within each other. Kress and Leeuwen “aimed at a common terminology for all semiotic modes, and stressed that, within a given domain, the ‘same’ meanings can often be expressed in different semiotic modes.”

They introduce four strata, or domains, where meaning is primarily made and give us definitions and examples of each so we can better understand how each have distinct principles and yet they work together in many instances. They are discourse, design, production, and distribution. I am going to use the example of a photograph of the Grand Canyon to explain each strata.

  1. Discourse – The discourse of photography calls into question if the photo should be considered art or simply a snapshot to preserve a moment in ones life. This may be judged by who took the photo, or by the guiding principles of photography that define what makes a photograph high quality or not. It has prestige because there are very few famous photographers, yet it is something that nearly anyone with access to a camera can participate in. The discourse may be realized in a photography course or when your parents buy you your first Polaroid camera.181393998_tp
  2. Design – The design of a photo of the Grand Canyon includes the camera that was used, the angle, lighting, shadows, time of day, if there are other people in the shot, the sharpness of the quality. Depending on the photographer, these characteristics vary in importance. If there is a person that came to the Grand Canyon and took the picture to remember the scene, they may not consider most of these design decisions. Yet they may decide they want someone else in the picture or not.grand_canyon_colorado_river
  3. Production – Production of a photograph depends on what type of camera you are using, but is becoming increasingly instant. Polaroids and digital cameras instantly allow you to view the photo. But does production mean holding a physical photo in your hands? More often, photos may never turn into physical prints, but can be uploaded onto the computer to stay. If you are a more advanced photographer, you may use a dark room to develop your own photo. Although I am not a photographer and know nothing about developing photos, I have heard that this process engages you with the photo in a new way. You see the photo come to life, you can destroy it or change it if you like. You could distort the image so much that a viewer may not be able to tell it is the Grand Canyon anymore. This also brings into question the power of photo editing software. Could we be distorting our viewers’ perception of reality? The constant controversy of airbrushing and photoshopping model’s bodies in magazines brings up discourse beyond basic photography principles.5580_616093506711_20001516_36010628_6306290_n
  4. Distribution – Distribution of a photograph could be in an art gallery, in a picture frame in a person’s home, or online. Sharing photos has become much easier with the advent of sites like Flickr and Shutterfly. People can publish photos of themselves at the Grand Canyon for their family and friends to see. But the access of millions of people to photos done by professional has caused copyright infringement to become more prevalent. Creative Commons has worked closely with Flickr to ensure that their users understand the laws and protect themselves as much or as little as they wish. Also, Google Image Search now lets users narrow their search to only images licensed under Creative Commons.

“Remediation” Bolter & Grusin

Bolter & Grusin, Remediation, Introduction & Chapter 1

This reading explores the interlacing qualities of old media, new media, and evolving media and how these types of media affect the way we experience reality. They explore three types of media, which fall into different points on the spectrum of how we experience technology.

1. Immediacy –The immediacy quality takes form when a medium is transparent, when the user doesn’t notice the medium at work. Some examples of technology that is working towards immediacy in culture today are the Wii, Bluetooth phones, Dance Dance Revolution, or surround sound stereos. I read an article last week in Fast Company about a tabletop touchscreen monitor. The reviewer states that one of the reasons that this device is so well designed is that it uses inspiration from real desktop clutter and paper-shuffling in the interface. It mocks actions and forms of organization that people use in reality to help people better utilize a piece of technology. “The tool seems to recreate the experience of shuffling all the junk that litters your real-life desk”.

Bolter and Gursin use virtual reality as the basis for immediacy in media, making the experience as close to what you actually experience in your life as possible. Yet the pitfalls of virtual reality equipment (large, cover your head and eyes, strapped onto you, etc) makes the remediation of the medium apparent.  “Virtual reality is immersive, which means that it is a medium whose purpose is to disappear. This disappearing act, however, is made difficult by the apparatus that virtual reality requires”.

2. Remediation – When an experience is translated from one type of medium to another, there are characteristics that are lost.  The most basic example is the book-to-movie adaption of a story. Bolter and Gursin bring up this characteristic when discussing virtual reality apparatuses. I was watching the show “Shark Tank” on ABC tonight (people pitch business ideas to investors to get funding). One of the pitches was for a virtual arcade, VirtuSphere, where the player walks in a huge sphere with goggle on carrying a weapon, “shooting” other players in other spheres. The player may be experiencing something similar to reality on the screen in the goggles, but the huge sphere and equipment needed makes it less like experiencing a real chase or attack with another player.

3. Hypermediacy – Hypermediacy does not give the user the experience of being a part of an experience, but gives them information and support on an experience from all angles, from different channels. They give the user more information about an experience than if they were actually participating in it in reality. This experience has become more and more common with the advent of the Internet as well as the popularity of 24 hour news stations like CNN and MSNBC, who are always trying to top each other with how many types of technology and distribution they can bring into a broadcast. I love Jon Stewart’s tracking of the hypermediacy of the presidential primaries election coverage in 2008.

One point that was made in class was that immediacy may not be inherent in the design of a medium, but learned as the medium becomes a more common aspect of our lives. It was probably not natural at first for people to talk on the phone instead of talking face-to-face, but now we see talking on the phone as almost equivalent, or at least a respectable substitute to, talking face-to-face.


Professional Investigation: The Job Search

“Hey Unemployed Media Professionals!” by The Learned Fan Girl

This article gave some good points, if elementary, about a new media job search. I have spent the last year surfing job board to get an idea of what types of new media jobs are out there. Even though my love of blogging was one of the things that drew me to going back to school to pursue a career in media and writing, I learned early on that unless you have a Greek accent and your last name is Huffington you are not going to get paid to blog. I was excited to see that she recommended mediabistro.com because that has been in my RSS feed for a few months now and it really does spit out a TON of media news. There is actually so much new information that shows up on the site that it reminds me just how fast-paced and ever-changing the media industry is.

I do wish I participated a little deeper in the social aspects of new media. I have my blog and my facebook but I don’t tweet or flickr or use any of the more new applications. I’ve realized it’s because my network of friends and family are all connected using facebook, none of them use twitter. (I stored this observation away in my knowledge bank because I think that is an important characteristic of widespread use of new media). So I hope that connecting with more social media eccentrics like my classmates will help me understand and use these emerging technologies more.

I’d like to be involved in user-centric design features (less graphic design, more usability engineering) as well as web-based marketing, and writing and editing content. Many of the positions I found needed some experience with marketing and/or outreach as well as some technical understanding of some/all parts of Adobe Creative Suite. One issue I always come upon is what keyword to search. The field is so new that very few standard terms are used. It varies by industry, company, and person. I am interested in working for a non-profit so I did a search for keywords “web” and “media” on idealist.org and acme across a few very appealing opening:

Creative Services Officer, Institute of International Education – CIES 

Purpose of Position: To provide editorial and creative services to support the organization’s print and multi-media production needs, and social media communications. 

Responsibilities: 

1. Serve as deputy for Director of Outreach and Public Relations on web-related communications and social media tactics. At direction of Director of Outreach and Public Relations, coordinate meetings for cross-functional Web Strategy Working Group and Web Tactics Taskforce. Create and edit publications and Web copy as requested. 

2. Seek new opportunities to ‘tell the program’s story’ and, specifically, the impact of program alumni. This includes interviewing scholars, professionals, institutional administrators, and other stakeholders, as well as managing an editorial calendar, vendors, and prioritizing stories for release through various channels. 

3. Help maintain appropriate tone and style for institutional voice befitting a prestigious, world-renowned educational program with U.S. government sponsorship. 

4. Consult for and work with Senior Program Officer for Outreach and Communications and Program Associate for Outreach and Communications to ensure that established style and format are followed. 

5. Maintain up-to-date press and media distribution lists. 

6. Oversee production of video clips and podcasts, as needed. 

7. Work on special creative and communications projects, as requested. 

8. Create and edit publications and Web copy as requested. 

Qualifications: Education/Experience/Skills 

• Bachelor’s degree in journalism, advertising, marketing, communications or a related field. 
• Outstanding team player, with demonstrated ability to listen to expertise of other colleagues, present new ideas, and lead them through new processes. 
• Two to four years of demonstrated marketing communications experience, ideally in the education sector or with a public relations agency 
• High-level of comfort with – and ability to quickly grasp – new technology is essential. Social media experience required. 
• Exceptional writing and editorial skills, with superb sense of grammar and appropriate tone for highly educated audiences (PhDs and policymakers). 
• Highly detail-oriented person sought. 
• Creative problem solver with ability to work independently required. 
• Strong planning skills and ability to multi-task several projects simultaneously. 
• Fast learner, resourceful, and possessing of excellent computer skills, including experience with or, at minimum, capacity to quickly learn video and podcast editing software 
* Ability to work with tight deadlines and deliver exceptional results. 
• Experience with the Internet and Web-based publications and outreach 
• PR agency or higher-education experience a plus 
• International experience desired but not necessary 
• Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office products

Manager of New Media, The Education Trust — Washington, DC 

The Education Trust seeks a Manager of New Media to join the organization’s Division of Government Affairs and Communications. As a key member of this team, reporting to the Director of Communications, the Manager of New Media is a strategic thinker who can lead The Education Trust’s efforts in the Web 2.0 realm to increase commitment to our mission of closing the gaps in achievement and opportunity. The Manager of New Media is firmly entrenched in the new media space and responsible for creating and implementing comprehensive and effective online strategies to inform and activate a variety of target audiences. 

Major Responsibilities 

The Manager of New Media’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

· Developing and implementing strategies to build relationships with and mobilize target audiences. 
· Translating and repackaging traditional content for the new media/Web 2.0 space. 
· Responding to and disseminating information to key online and social media constituencies in a timely, effective manner. 
· Managing and coordinating the organization’s website and new media assets. 
· Exploring new and promising ways to communicate effectively and influence change via the online environment. 

Qualifications and Experience 

The ideal candidate will possess the following: 

* Strong knowledge of, and fluency in new media/Web 2.0 technology trends, tools, techniques, and what works. 
* Proven track record in the implementation of strategic online communications campaigns and online media outreach, preferably in an advocacy or campaign-related setting. 
* Ongoing interest and engagement with evolving technologies. 
* The ability to prioritize and multi-task in a creative, results-driven environment. 
* High degree of energy and enthusiasm. 
* Deep interest in applying the use of new technologies to create social change.

Interactive Producer / Experience Architect, KCTS 9 Seattle Public Television

KCTS 9 seeks a full-time Interactive Producer/Experience Architect to join our team to coordinate the information design and creation of dynamic, content-driven interactive media. This position supports KCTS 9’s mission to reach more people, build a strong organization and have a positive impact on the community through interactive mechanisms on the web site and emerging platforms. Working with other Interactive team members, the position is responsible for quality, accuracy, timeliness, consistency and style of interactive features and content. 

This position manages the information and creative design of KCTS 9’s sites, including navigational rules, organization of information, site maps, and planning; guides front-end coding standards; creates visual design, including typography, visual concept, and icon design for the Web; conceives, develops, aggregates and maintains content for Web and new media properties; and evaluates the effectiveness of the current Web presence by interpreting site-use statistics. This position also works with the Technology Director and others to explore the development of new Interactive features. 

If you have a passion for our mission, are flexible and adaptable, enjoy taking the initiative on projects, have good time management skills, and have a desire to learn and keep current with new technologies and languages please consider KCTS 9. 

A Bachelor’s Degree in a related field; at least 3 years of work experience with web design and web production; expert command of the latest semantic XHTML, the DOM and CSS; strong design skills including designing for usability and user experience; demonstrated fluency with design tools including Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash; knowledge of scripting languages such as JavaScript, style sheets, embedded object codes; and knowledge of audio and video capture, editing and production for the Web required.