Sunday, November 09, 2008 0 comments

Web sites use multimedia/audio techniques to spark attention

Many Web sites take on creative multimedia strategies to increase the viewership of their content and make a much more pleasent experience while visiting the site.  

In this time in society, the avergage audience is no longer content simply reading words on a screen but are looking for anything interactive that they can hear, watch and click on. This makes them feel as if they are a part of the story or involved in the Web site. 
Many great examples of these sites float across the World Wide Web as they recieve a tremendous amount of traffic. One that I found is dedicated to a specific plane crash that occured, commonly known as Flight 401. 

It is an amzing story of tragedy and survival and the Web site has decided to preservec the story and give an accurate depiction of the event to the viewer. 

Screenshot of Web site:

The site offers a number of videos that tell the story from different perspectives, has a streaming song to play that was composed after the event took place, and even a simulation to watch with sounds to see and experience the crash first hand.

One thing that I would've certainly tried to add to the site as far as audio enhancements would be to have streaming clips of short interviews with different survivors. I would even maybe include the clips with short photo slideshows of each of them.

Other than that, this is an overall very well formed Web site.

Sunday, November 09, 2008 0 comments

"The Amazing Race: Towson"

By Towson University journalism student Daniel Gross


On Friday night, instead of staying in or having a night out around town, about 56 students chose to race around Towson’s campus in an effort to win $500, $200 or $100 to a store of their choice. Sixteen teams gathered in Paws in the University Union to begin the Campus Activities Board's Friday Night Live event, "The Amazing Race: Towson."

Among these 16 teams, two freshman and two sophomore resident students decided to form a team earlier that day to compete for a chance to win a cash prize. Some of the teammates had little knowledge of "The Amazing Race," the television show, but felt that they had a fair chance of winning.

“We have a good team and everybody has their own individual skills,” sophomore English major Jasmine Pitts said. “We have a good shot at winning.”

While waiting in Paws, the team received their first clue and began to brainstorm ideas.

“The clue says, ‘go to the residence hall that rhymes with the word hen.’ Now at first we thought the Den but we realized that’s not a residence hall, it’s an eatery,” freshman and education major Jim Grandfield said. “Then we thought Prettyman because it’s technically a residence hall but it’s “m-a-n,' not 'm-e-n.' The only one that rhymes with 'hen' is the Glen, those are the Glen Towers, the Complex."

The determined group got off to a slow start at the Glen Towers, the race’s first stop. Teams had the task of arranging ten residence halls listed in order from earliest built to newest built. The team’s first attempt at this was not a great advancement, having only one residence hall correct.

 After completing their first stop, the team continued to go to each station around campus, jogging to some, walking to others. Residence Tower, 7800 York Road, the beach volleyball court at Burdick Hall, Towsontown Garage and Towson Center were all designated locations the clues told the students to locate.

“I didn’t realize that it would be this much physical activity. I haven’t worked out in a while,” Grandfield said.

At each location, CAB staff members were present to distribute the next clue for each team.University Residence Government members were also present as the event's cosponsors.

“It’s really exciting watching how frustrated everybody is and excited and running up and down the stairs,” URG president Alex Newman said who was stationed at the Towsontown Garage activity. “Then when they finally get [the answer] they bolt off in a direction when they haven’t even read the clue yet and don’t know where they’re going.”

While racing around campus, freshman electronic media and film major Latia Blake constantly gave words of encouragement to her fellow teammates. “Brian, this is your idea, you better put a pep in that step,” she said to her teammate, sophomore Brian Wright.

The group of four was able to complete each task, find each location and make it to the finish line in Paws, but not before about six or seven of the 16 teams had already finished.

“It was definitely hard. I wasn’t expecting this much running but you know, I met some new people, new friends, had fun,” Grandfield said. “It was a good way to spend a Friday night and I’m just going to sleep in tomorrow.”

Two groups ended up tying for first place, getting $400 for each team. A group of five Student Government Association members were one of those teams.

“Overall it was a lot of fun. It really showed the meaning of teamwork and I think we can take whatever we learned today about teamwork into the real world,” SGA senator Ryan Lodge said.

The other first place team was also pleased with their success.

“We saw that there was $500 up for grabs and we were just like, ‘oh that’s ours,’ and it was,”junior and theatre production major Jeremy Garnes said. “I thought it was rough because we had to run all the way around campus but you know, we worked cooperatively as a group.”

CAB and URG staff worked hand in hand with making preparations for the event. From the feedback that staff members were given, students enjoyed certain activities like the piggy-back ride challenge at 7800 York Road.

“I’m glad that everybody came back with smiling faces,” URG director of special projects Chelsea Harris said. “Everybody was heated about who was going to win what and that just shows how passionate they were about winning the race.”

According to Ryan Grasso, the CAB programming chair, many students mentioned that they would like to see this program again next semester. “Everybody was out of breath when they came to the finish,” he said.