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Archive for February 22nd, 2007

QOTD: One needs something to believe in…

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

“One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have whole-hearted enthusiasm. One needs to feel that one’s life has meaning, that one is needed in this world.”
— Hannah Senesh

StaterOnline add-ons

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

I just noticed some additions to the right sidebar on StaterOnline. Ryan and crew have been busy trying to add content and features.

Not sure when they added this (a simple call could answer it, but I’m feeling lazy)… But down the side they now have a Featured Photos, Featured Video and Search Kent function. I’d probably throw up the latest post in each of the blogs there, to promote them, and call it a day for now. They really need to advertise those blogs online. One link in the sidebar isn’t going to cut it, especially as you try to grow the audience.

I like the ideas, if not the presentation.

My only gripe is… The featured photos have no cutlines or credits. I clicked on one of them to see if I could get some context and instead it just brought up the static .jpg as its own page. Sad, because I was really curious why a posed group picture would be one of the featured photos. Who are those people? Granted, we had issues with the college publisher slide show feature all along — how weird is it that it will put your cutlines and credit so they block half your photo?! — so maybe this is a kink being worked out. Instead of linking me to the photo url, put me through to the story so I can read about what’s going on in the photo.

I do like that they seemed to have dropped the college publisher video function (which was not working well for us) in favor of YouTube. In addition to expanding the audience beyond Stater readers (and potentially bringing in other non-readers to the site), it is also a platform students are very familiar with. It also opens up the possibility they could respond directly to the videos, and who knows maybe even add their own video responses?

And finally, what’s up with the “Intramural Sports” section being above everything else on the front page including News? I’m thinking it’s a glitch. But maybe they’re trying something new?

Students download music illegaly, what else is new?

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

A few years back, when I wrote my “The price of downloading” story, I learned very quickly that most students were pretty much unwilling to pay to download music.

In attempting to find one single student who actually ponied up the money for music, I talked to more than 100 students who said they didn’t — the majority went so far as to say they wouldn’t.

So yesterday, when I was asked to essentially repeat some of the reporting I did on that story on a new crop of students at a different university, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I found mostly the same, only this time, kids weren’t so willing to give their name for publication. But they were still quick to admit, “Yeah, I do it. Doesn’t everybody?”

And, it only took me until the fourth student, to find someone who paid. One out of four is significantly better odds than one out of 100 as I found in the past. Granted, both situations were highly unscientific and can’t really be generalized to the entire student population. But having been a student, living with students and hanging out with students for the past four years let me tell you, the only news in the RIAA’s announcement about increased complaints to universities yesterday was the list of schools.

And guess what? West Lafayette’s pride, Purdue University, was second on the list. And my alma mater, Kent State, was 17th.

What’s interesting is the very different responses the universities gave.

Purdue seemed almost flippant. “We are a leading technology school with thousands and thousands of curious and talented technology students,” their spokesman said.

Kent State seemed apologetic. Their response was, “This is one of the biggest thorns in our side.”

It’s worth mentioning, if only because of the OU/KSU semi-rivalry (the j-schools and Halloween celebrations being the items of rivalry that come to mind), that Ohio University ranked number one in the nation for schools with complaints filed against students. What was it all the Dems were saying during the midterm campaign last year? “Ohio is number one in too many of the wrong things.” Well, hehe, this is one title Ohio University can totally have.