Monday, September 28, 2009

Fiendishly complex

I've been following the discussion on this thread at The Punch, about university student media, and I couldn't help noticing how conversation turned to the complexities of web publication. Students are having difficulty getting their print publications online - which is odd, because the difficulties they have aren't all that difficult. 


STEP ONE: Get an account with Blogger or Wordpress. 

Aaaaaand that's about it, really. I wonder which step the students are having trouble with? 


Dan the VespaMan said...

It almost seems too easy, doesn't it Tim. If I can set up and run a blog then uni students can without a problem.

Something else is going on here and it's got nothing to do with getting punters to read the uni rag. It seems to be more a grumble about VSU.

TimT said...

Probably so, but the point of the article was student journalism and I wasn't the first person to discuss internet publishing and the problems with student media online, on that thread.

There was actually someone else on the thread who was saying that students needed more funding - to get an online presence! Funding, basically, to get a blog! The mind boggles.

Martin Kingsley said...

Weed's expensive, Tim. We students need all the help we can get.

TimT said...

I see: to slightly reword an old government reading campaign targeted at kids, 'feed the need for weed'!

Epskee said...

One comment was that they didnt have access to the fuinding and infrastructure necessary for an online presence.

So are they telling me that students no longer belong to their local library and cant get free access to a computer to utilise the free access to the internet?

Perhaps their $4.95 they are spending on student coffee might be better spent on bus fare to the local civic centre to get themselves a library card and aquaint themselves with this new-fangled idea called a book?

So uni is all about handouts now? Wow.

Learning. Your doing it wrong.

TimT said...

Well library computers are generally pretty crap, but I think even when I was at uni over half a decade ago computers had been supplied to student editors at Sydney Uni.

The most likely explanation I heard for lack of an online presence was the influence of student unions - they want some say/control in what students say online so they don't get in legal trouble.

Couple that with the fact that student newspapers/magazines get a new bunch of editors each year who usually don't give a shit about what the previous year's bunch have done, and you've got a recipe for absolute anarchy.

Epskee said...

I understand the bit about them being crap, however they do still work. Beggars cant be choosers and all that.

As someone who started my own company, I can tell you my first IT setup was no better than a library, yet I still got the work done on them.

As to having control over whats said (as is an editors job) is that not what passwords were invented for?

TimT said...

Here's how I think it works. Editors meet union:

EDITOR: We'd like to get an online presence for our magazine, as we discussed before.

UNION REP: Sure, sounds like a good idea, we do have a couple of concerns though... we'll put that on the minutes for the next AGM...

Next AGM rolls around. Union gets involved in petty squabble about something or other. Online presence for student magazine never gets mentioned.

"Whoops, how silly of us! We'll be sure to get it finalised next meeting!"

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