Online Journalism: Fridays 2009


the class blog for Columbia College Chicago’s Online Journalism class: Friday edition

Your pitches go here

Hey folks,

Pitch day is Friday! Please write up your pitch (following the format listed in the below post), and paste it into a comment on this thread.

Additionally YOU MUST HAVE A SLIDE to accompany your pitch. It should be an 800×600 pixel 72dpi image saved as a JPG file. You can e-mail it to:

Filed under: presentations

7 Responses

  1. Nicole Way says:

    1) GreenCity
    2) A resource for environmentally friendly Chicagoans.
    a. Name: Stumble-upon
    Genders: Male/Female
    Incomes/Jobs: Professional in creative industry
    Education: College educated
    Attitudes towards technology: Use technology mainly for job, emailing friends
    A reason for coming to site: Looking for something specific, such as where to buy organic/ eco-friendly clothing in Chicago.
    b. Name: Bookmarker
    Genders: Male/Female
    Incomes/Jobs: Student/young professional
    Education: College
    Interests/Hobbies: Movies, Music and drinking
    Attitudes towards technology: Use social networking sites to keep in touch with friends, can post links, understands the appeal of twitter, and spends a few hours a day online for leisure.
    A reason for coming to site: Checks it periodically to browse for interesting content surrounding Chicago events, shopping, and DIY tips.
    c. Name: Commenter
    Genders: Male/Female
    Incomes/Jobs: Has a degree, works at Starbucks or in some kind of low paying agency for social change
    Education: College educated
    Interests/Hobbies: Crafts, reading, writing, movie-going, bicycling
    Attitudes towards technology: Uses the internet for information/news as well as social networking features
    A reason for coming to site: To contribute tips, comments, read the latest Chicago news, correct wrong information on site, check for events, shopping.

    4) The Stumble-Upon archetype will stumble upon the website while searching for something specific on the internet. These users will have only limited interest in the blog, and mainly look at it to find the information they need. When finished, the user will most likely not linger on the site to read other blog posts unless it pertains to them specifically.
    A Bookmarker is more familiar with what is going on in Chicago and has an interest in “greening” their life. These people will use the blog as a resource that will provide them with useful tips for sustainable living as well as find information for things such as The Green City Market. These people are most likely to post links to the blog on other social media sites, if they find the content compelling. Returns to the site often for updates when they are surfing the internet.
    Commenters have an understanding of sustainable living and use the site more as a sounding board and community piece than a place for information. This small group of people likes to help fill content by providing links and their opinions on blog posts and welcome a dialog between themselves and the writers. Commenters are the backbone of the blog and elevate it to a community resource by making it their resource.

  2. Sara Harvey says:

    Chicago Freesource

    How and where to get things for free and cheap in the city, spotlighting people who help make it possible.

    5 topics a week, archived. Each day is a different topic. (ex: Habitat Mondays, Food Fridays)
    Items. Food. Events. Strategies. Community. People helping people.
    Capability to submit tips/request a topic
    Link out to Craigslist free/barter sections, the Reader’s “Free Shit” section.


    Trial user
    – Is a college student with limited resources and money, only supports self
    – May have heard about the site through a friend from social networking (Facebook, MySpace)
    – Wants to be as frugal as possible, and hopes the site will offer good tips
    – Makes return visits when notified of a topic that interests him/her, most likely related to free/cheap stuff.
    – Doesn’t contribute to the site and spends more time being entertained online rather than learning new information
    – Still lives on student loans and a part-time job, so not totally consumed with saving money yet

    Casual user
    – Found the site as a college student, continues to live a frugal lifestyle after graduating, and holds an entry-level job, possibly supports pet/significant other
    – Is occasionally interested in profiles, but usually only when of people in their own community or who give back in the user’s spectrum of interests
    – Returns once a week and scans everything, reading past the headline only for something that affects them personally
    – Uses more advanced social networking like Twitter and blogs occasionally
    – Has a heightened awareness of his/her budget and hopes to live more comfortably by using the site’s resources

    Super user
    – Working professional, could be in graduate school, probably supports a family
    – Returns to the site several times a week to absorb all its content
    – Comments and makes suggestions, and is deeply interested in profiles of volunteers and community do-gooders.
    – Blogs and uses several forms of social networking on a regular basis on something they are passionate about, likely DIY- or charity-related
    – Doesn’t need the site to get by financially, but gets a sense of fulfillment from saving money.

  3. Jon DePaolis says:

    After the Buzzer

    A feature story-based site that examines issues of Chicago high school athletes and teams beyond simple game scores.

    female, University of Cincinnati college student, sports fan, computer-savvy, wants to read about high school sports stories that “focus more on the athletes as people, and stories that would allow people to be aware of the hardships that many of these players face everyday in their lives.” “It may even draw more political attention to these issues and light a fire under Chicago politics to make a change for the community.

    Casual User
    female, mother of high school athletes, college-educated, husband works at AOL, wants to read more about high school athletes than just blurbs in local newspapers.

    Rare User
    male, high school teacher, college-educated, computer-savvy, would like a site that is dedicated to covering high school athletics, but doesn’t want it to intrude on student-athletes lives too much, as so it would be a distraction. Thinks opinion pieces or projection ratings might be damaging to student-athletes.

    Super User would access whenever new stories or videos were posted. If there were spaces for users to comment, she would voice her strong opinions on the problems in Chicago Public Schools, and how it affects after-school programs including athletics. Rare User would send complaints in if he felt any piece or video was too focused on athletes needing to get better. Casual User would most likely only logging on if the material was relevant to her children, the school she is near, or a topic that affects her life.

  4. Kristina Wells says:

    Site Name: Columbia College Sports Network
    Description: This is a site for all of Columbia College’s athletes and their supporters to gather and give information regarding the school’s teams.
    Persona One: Jim, male, single and looking to date – casual or serious, student with a part time job to support his weekend habits, he’s a student athlete and enjoys most sports, he’s pretty technologically savvy, goes to the site to get information on his team’s practice and game schedule and to find out information on other teams
    Persona Two: Karen, female, dating, journalism student interested in sports, interns with a local newspaper, she enjoys most sports, she enjoys blogging and using the internet frequently, covers as many games as possible for practice and to build her resume then posts her stories of the game, profiles of teams, players and opposing teams onto the site
    Persona Three: Rose, female, married, works full time to supplement the family income, never went to college, enjoys reading and gardening and of course following her child’s sporting events – aka “soccer mom,” knows how to type and a few things about the internet, she’s slowing getting better, she wants to read how her child did in the game or get to know the players because she lives in another state – this is her way to stay on top of her child’s college athletic career
    Site interaction: The three personas check the site because they are interested in learning more about the college’s sports. Jim uses it to his advantage to double check schedules and learn about opposing teams. Karen writes for the site to gain experience and exposure into her upcoming job field. Rose likes to keep up with her child’s stats and games. This site puts it all together, like a one-stop site for everyone. In addition, opposing teams could use the site to learn more about the players as well.

  5. Mandy Treccia says:

    Site Name: South Loop Student Savings

    Description: A site to help college students find money-saving deals in the South Loop.


    Female, age 20, single, lives in a dorm building and works at a local bookstore for income while going to school at DePaul. Her interests include music, playing the guitar and seeing movies. She spends a lot of time on her computer and uses the Internet to find information on anything she needs. She would be a casual user for the site. Since she lives in the dorms, she wouldn’t be overly concerned with parking issues and since she is underage, she doesn’t need the information about bars. She would be more interested in local events and places where students get discounts on food.

    Female, age 24, in a relationship, lives in a condo and commutes to the city for her two jobs and her classes at Columbia. Her interests include current events, science, music, writing and computers. She would be a super user and spent a lot of time checking the site for deals. Since she has to work two jobs, she is careful to look for deals before spending money. She would use the site to research the different parking areas and find out where she can get the best deal at certain times of the day. She would also be interested in finding local events, food and drink discounts and the fastest places to get something to eat in between classes.

    Male, age 22, single, lives in the suburbs and commutes into the city either by train or car. His interests include music, going to bars, reading and baseball. He works as a waiter and goes to school at Roosevelt University. He would be a casual user. He would use the site to find places to park on days when he drives to the city. He would also be interested in the local bars and which days they have specials.

  6. Kaylee says:

    Site Name: CUT-RATE
    Description: CUT-RATE provides users with free and inexpensive food deals, concerts and drinks under the heading of alternative. This is a pubs not clubs site where users can interact with each other, submit events or deals and pick favorites all $19 or less.



    * Will be able to easily find listings on front page of what I think are the best deals of that week
    * Will be able to easily identify which events are FREE and which are INEXPENSIVE
    * Will be able to easily see what kind of events they are (i.e. dinner deals, drink deals, music deals – and what kind of cuisine/music/drinks are on special)
    * Will be able to click on what neighborhood they want to search within.
    * Will be able to get the feel of the site in a sense that it will have an alternative twist to it. Not necessarily hipster, but definitely not poppy.


    * Will be able to read music reviews linked from Pitchfork, The Reader, Q Mag, Rolling Stone, PASTE etc.
    * Will be able to go through ratings and read comments of other users
    * Will be able to search through cuisines and choose what kind they want to see the deals for
    * Will be able to browse roundups (besides the weeks best stuff to do on the cheap).


    * Will be able to submit free – inexpensive, things/events/places to eat
    * Will be able to login-in and make a favorites list of places to eat/see music/drink
    * Will be able to send me e-mails and comment about things on the site
    * Will be able to follow my site on Twitter
    * Will be able to see my Twitter updates via a widget on the site
    * Will receive update e-newsletter weekly
    * Can rate/comment on events

  7. Nicki Walliser says:

    On our plan for marketing the site, it would be cool to have something posted up in the places that we refer to on our site or just spots around the area. We would get our word out there on Twitter and try to be-friend as many people as possible and update throughout the day.

    We would like to work with the local media outlets such as the links we will be referring readers to so they can check out the reviews of the places we talk about.

    I would be willing to be in charge of the data entry and some reporting as well. I think all of us should do some reporting just to get our names out there.

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