She’s the First Collaboration Post

The wait is over! I am happy to present our collaboration post from Rose Marques, author of Paint the Town Scarlet. Her video focuses on the fundraising efforts of She’s the First*{Rutgers} that help to put girls in developing countries through school. To learn more, check out their Facebook page or the national organization’s website. Enjoy!

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Collaboration Announcement!

shes the first

Photo courtesy of She’s The First Rutgers’ Chapter

Hey everyone! It’s Christa, creator of Beauty Examined, and I’m excited to announce that for the next couple weeks, I will be joining forces with Rose Marques and Mark D’Agostino to create a collaborative campaign. While this site addresses the issues women and girls go through in regards to self-image, Mark’s and Rose’s sites are geared towards Rutgers students and providing them with interesting things to join and do around campus. Together, we are going to produce a series of podcasts and videos that provide interviews, examples, and information about an on-campus organization called She’s the First. Beauty Examined will be making a podcast that features interviews from members of the organization in order to find out what the organization is about and how it has helped the girls who are part of it. I will also be publishing a video made by one of my partners. Stay tuned for our new content. In the meantime check out She’s the First to learn more.

Using Screencast-O-Matic

The purpose of this video is to compare two ePortfolios in order to demonstrate what an ideal ePortfolio should look like. Both of the examples I chose had some good as well as bad aspects, but combined I think they covered all the bases pretty well. This video also encompasses several different aspects of information technology, including video, audio, and screencaps. Not only does this demonstrate the capabilities of information technologies, but the video itself provides useful information for its target audience in the sense that it explores what a good ePortfolio looks like. This is important in today’s society, especially for younger generations, since it acts as a way to showcase your work and your information technology skills.

Creating a video using Screencast-O-Matic was fairly simple. While this was my second time using the site, it was the first time that I’ve ever had to talk and appear on-screen during the video. I underestimated how difficult this would be since the free version of Screencast-O-Matic doesn’t allow you to make any cuts so you have to perfect everything you say in one shot. However, the pause button did allow me to recollect my thoughts every now and then, but sometimes I would press it too soon or not soon enough leaving awkward breaks in the sound/visuals. Additionally I found myself stumbling a bit or using the word “um” as a filler between thoughts. In retrospect, I probably should have prepared what I was going to say better (and that way maybe the video wouldn’t have been so long), but I found it easier and more comfortable to compare the two ePortfolios without reading from a script. However I did prepare a little outline of the things I wanted to include in case I ever got stuck or forgot. I also wish I had remembered to record an intro and a closing, but maybe I will film more and add it to the end of the video later. Something else that I hadn’t planned for was the noises that can be heard from my room. There were sounds coming from the dumpsters outside and doors slamming in the hallway which took away from the audio at certain points, namely in the very beginning of the video. Other than that, the program was very simple to use and I had little to know complications with the program itself. I think there is potential to use this software in the future either for tutorials or another comparison video.

Creating an Intro on Audacity

Creating the clip on Audacity was surprisingly easy. I have used Audacity in the past to stitch together different voice tracks, but I have never used it to play music under a voice track. In fact, the hardest part of creating this piece was finding two different tracks of music to play that were also free to use under the Creative-Commons license. After searching for a while I found two tracks that I felt fit well with the tone I was trying to portray. I wrote a script of what I wanted to say then recorded it using the “Voice Memo” app on my phone, then uploaded it into Audacity. Since both of the songs I used were significantly longer than what I recorded, I had to cut down the tracks to the duration that I wanted. From there, I applied the “fade in” and “fade out” effects on both songs, making sure to overlap the two songs slightly so that there wasn’t any unnecessary silence. The last thing I did was use the “Autoduck” effect to make the music softer while my voice is playing. I had to mess around a bit to adjust the amount of time I wanted it to take to fade the song back to its original volume in order to make it sound as fluid and natural as possible. I’m fairly pleased with the outcome of my podcast, though I’m not sure how beneficial podcasts would be for my project. Since I’m working with media and self-image, I feel that it is more powerful to show images and video rather than just listening to audio. However, I think that the podcast I created is a good intro for other videos or as an overview to the site as a whole. Also, audio editing is just a useful skill to have in general.

Creating the Header

I enjoyed my experience making the header. I have over five years of experience working with Photoshop, so the skills come naturally to me by now. The hardest part was probably thinking of an idea to create that would properly capture the purpose and message of my blog. After looking through pictures for a while, I decided that I wanted to use images of Barbie since Barbie is the stereotypical example of something that encourages poor self-image. Since my website is called Beauty Examined, I took different pieces of different Barbies’ bodies as if it had been pulled apart and examined individually. My first header that I created had only the pictures of Barbies, but then I realized I hadn’t left any room for the logo. This was my biggest struggle since I had been very happy with the original header I produced. Regardless, I searched for a vector image of a woman’s silhouette and ended up liking the idea of the profile of a woman’s face. I struggled to find a location to put my logo since I hadn’t left any space for it, but after moving a few things around I finally found a way to make it fit. I added two colored circles behind it and faded the opacity in order to make it blend in with the picture better. The editing itself went smoothly for me since I know the program so well, so I actually had a lot of fun creating the header. The skills I’ve learned from Photoshop have already come in handy so many times in my life, whether it be for simple photo touch-ups or creating flyers and media materials. I can continue to foster my skills and hopefully I will use them in my future career.

My Experience Setting Up the Site

Creating this site was a bit difficult for me, mostly because I felt that it was very restrictive in what it allowed me to do. Since I’ve had very limited experience with WordPress, it was difficult to find the tools to make the ideas in my head come to life. I have worked with other content management systems before which I found easier to use while also giving me more to work with. Nonetheless, I think that the more I use the site and the more tools I learn, the easier it will be for me to create the website the way that I want.

 

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Image taken from Zoho.com

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Image taken from digitalpresencea.com