Online Journalism: Thursdays 2009


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

for your pitches next week

Next week is a big week: It’s when we pitch our final site idea to the class, the class votes, and the four left standing move forward through the next stages as team-driven sites.

Here’s how it will work:

1) Have a name for your site
2) Give a clear and precise one-sentence description of the site
3) Give a description of a three personas—analogues for some of the real users you have talked with—following the guidelines set out in the class blog (below).
4) Write a brief narrative of how these personas interact with your site. They may do so in different ways (a “super user” for instance, may access and work with your site in a different way than a “casual user”).
5) Post all this to the class blog. Also be prepared to give a similar presentation live and in person in class.

Accompanying this information will be ONE slide, sized 800px x 600px saved as a JPG file, that includes the name of your site, the same brief description, and any graphics or other information you’d want (don’t cram it full of text, as it won’t be legible). This will be projected as you present in class. E-MAIL YOUR SLIDE AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE CLASS TO:


Filed under: class stuff

5 Responses

  1. […] day is tomorrow! Please write up your pitch (following the format listed in the below post), and paste it into a comment on this […]

  2. Lauren Wille says:

    Site Name:

    This site is a guide for Chicago students looking to eat healthy while on a budget. College students because frankly, many of their diets aren’t great. They live off dorm food, Ramen, frozen pizzas, and things of the sort. Its main outlet will be recipes, posted by both the creator as well as reader send-ins. Restaurants will be featured weekly.


    College students that I have talked to agree that they have poor diets, and have low budgets. It’s easy to eat pizza or fast food, but sometimes they would like to be healthier and eat out less often.

    1. Avid User: The avid user would be someone who uses the site somewhere between daily and weekly. This person would be someone who abides to what the site is all about and uses everything it has to offer: has very little money, wants to eat well, and likes to cook their own meals. They would check the site for new recipes and restaurants often and be willing to concoct their own dishes.

    2. Casual User: The casual user is someone who checks occasionally when they are feeling a “every now and then” need to be healthy or make something in their own kitchen. They know how the site works and use most of its features. They might even suggest it to friends.

    3. The User Who Knows About it but Doesn’t use it Often: This user is someone who one night wants to eat healthy but has no idea how and they think “OH YEAH. That one website!” and proceed to use this website. They have used it before, but not too often.

  3. Jennifer Nunez says:

    Jennifer Nunez
    Online Journalism
    D. Sinker/ Thur. 9am.


    Title for Site: Cuisine for the Collegiate

    Description: The place to go to for cheap and easy recipes as well as information on where to go out for food on a tight budget for college kids in Chicago.

    Jack is a sophomore at Roosevelt University. He lives in an efficiency studio downtown and works part-time at Jamba Juice for $8 an hour. He doesn’t have enough money to be eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, but his job allows him to pay for his cell phone and dinner out once in a while. Jack goes to the web site to find easy and cheap recipes he can make for himself in a hurry and once a week he checks in to see where the good deals are for dinner in the city. He visits the site about four times a week.
    Lindsay goes to Columbia College where she studies music business. She lives in the University center where a kitchen is not designed into the dorm rooms. She has to live off snack food and fast food like McDonalds and Wendy’s; but she wants real food from a real restaurant. She goes to the web site daily to find out where the best deals are.
    Michael is a senior at DePaul University where he studies marketing while working a full-time job at a bank. He is paying his own way through school and cannot afford to use too much money on going out. He gives himself one night a week to go out and enjoy himself on $20. He is trying to figure out a way to stretch the $20 into two separate nights on the town. He visits the site every few weeks when he has time off to enjoy himself to find where all the best deals are in town.

  4. Kate Spethmann says:

    MODERN (gentle)MAN:
    A comprehensive, up-to-date guide of chivalry and all things well-mannered, for men in their twenties.

    Casual User, Phil: “I’ve got a date tonight with a girl I could introduce to my mom. How do I not f*** this up?”
    Serial dater, looking for “the one”
    2nd year at job right out of college $32,000/yr
    College Graduate (semi-recent)
    Happy hour, guys night, mama’s boy, closet hopeless romantic
    Somewhat tech savvy, avid Facebook user, networker…

    Super User, Mark: “Dude, how do I become a contributor to this site??”
    “Long term relationship guy”
    College Student
    Movies, concerts, video games, graphic design
    Blogger, tech literate
    Friends poke fun at his overly courteous ways, romantic and virtuous… sees marriage and a family in his future, talks to his mom once every week.

    Curious user, Brendon: “modern what?! Is this serious?…” interested is peaked by shocking or negative reaction to initial concept.
    Jokster, Smart a**
    Has found “the one” …at least 19 times.
    College student, undecided major
    Laughing, practical jokes, visiting with friends, watching bad horror movies and good comedies
    Secretly looking to improve himself but passing it off as a joke

    Hopeful dreamer user, Lilli: “See? I knew I wasn’t crazy…’they’ still exist.”
    Falls “in love” 2-3 times a year, in love with love
    Works in retail while paying her way through college
    Shopping, cherishes her tight “sex and the city” group of tightly bonded
    girlfriends, Perez Hilton, secretly sneaks onto ever once and again

    “I can fix him” user, Joanna: “I’ve devoted 5 years to this guy. I’m not giving up now, there has to be a class or something. I can ‘fix’ him.”
    Over functioning caregiver, long-term relationship (that isn’t ‘perfect’)
    mid-late 20s, ready to settle down… Kindergarten teacher
    Girls night out with her married friends, margaritas and gossip, women’s
    interest magazine’s, school and kids, her boyfriend.

    Persona narrative:
    Phil sheepishly Googles “courtesy on a date” the morning before the Big Date. He has somehow convinced a real winner to join him for dinner and drinks. “Do people still bring flowers? Do I try to kiss her? What shouldn’t I talk about? “ So many questions bounced around Phil’s head as he stumbles across, clicks on the link entitled “First date? Take a deep breath and…”
    While Phil is busy brushing up on his dating etiquette, his roommate Brendon pops his head into Phil’s room asking to borrow a clean pair of underwear. Brendon ends up reading and skimming over Phil’s shoulder at first thinking it was a joke. “No, dude,” Phil insisted, “this is good stuff, man. Chicks dig it.” Brendon laughed it off, walked out and twenty minutes later sat at his own computer down the hall browsing “how to: ‘pick up’ a girl properly” listings.
    Across town, in a seemingly different universe, Mark is speeding through his daily routine of Blogs and correlating “you may like this, too” RSS feeds. While typing very slowly and softly as to not wake up his girlfriend across the room, he stumbles across Intrigued, he reads on and gets a plethora of ideas as to how to rejuvenate the relationship with said “bed girlfriend.” He is also quite impressed by his existing knowledge on the topics listed on the site and immediately calls his mom to thank her for raising him correctly.
    Mark’s mom has made today an early shopping day and strolled through Macy’s as she spoke to her proud son on her cell. She greets a young woman standing behind the cash wrap with a faint smile as she passes. The sales girl, Lilli, smiles back and then continues to search the web on her register computer. After starting on, she has somehow meandered through site after site of “success stories” and women bragging about Mr. Right only to end up searching for articles on why men have no manners anymore (she was a little upset after her blind date last night spanked her as she walked to the bathroom). Queue “There’s hope yet!” she screams in her head as she clicks on the “for women” tab and follows a link to an article entitled: “how to spot the good ones…you know the ones who know this site exists.”
    Impressed and enlightened, Lilli calls her cousin Joanna to direct her to the site. She specifically wants Joanna to explore the “Chivalry school: at home” how-to guide for her long-term boyfriend. Joanna thanks her but in a more progressive and instant gratification mindset finds herself attracted to the local etiquette school listings for Chicago. An early anniversary gift? Six years IS coming up…


    A place for all members of the Chicago-land Japanese-car-enthusiast community to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the region, and easily buy/sell new/used aftermarket parts.


    Casual User A – Someone who doesn’t own a car that benefits from browsing other users’ for sale ads, but who is from Chicago, shows interest in Japanese-cars/motor sports and wants to find information about an upcoming event. Or reads and comments on a feature about a local-area driver’s car he/she’s never seen before from which they draw inspiration.

    Casual User B – Someone who doesn’t care about the local community very much, but wishes to find a quality set of coilovers for the ‘94 Nissan 240sx he/she just bought. This person will easily guide themselves to a variety of choices under Nissan/Suspension and might find some posted from local Nissan specialists, Touge Factory, who would be approached about participation on Casual B could also potentially be someone who knows nothing about motor sports or modding cars, but is interested in finding parts to restore a daily driver back to usable condition.

    Super User A – A member of the site, a privateer, who posts for sale ads to sell parts from project cars gone array. Also actively contributes comments to features on the front page, continually triggering positive debate amongst users. Also tips an editor of the site to an upcoming event a Subaru-related forum is hosting, yet has previously been unmentioned.

    Super User B – Also a member to the site selling items, but sells both new and used parts connected with the shop he/she owns/works at. In turn, each entity benefits from added traffic towards both sites, from the other. As well as free self promotion. This user also gives opinions and tips on upcoming events, some of which would otherwise be kept from the public.

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