Term Projects Showcase

Participatory Media and Social Practice In Action

Graduate students curate, design and create multimedia journalism projects
Building awareness of certain issues
Spreading them far and wide

How is the next generation of users harnessing the power of transmedia to investigate a range of urgent topics? This showcase features the final collaborative group projects from the Fall 2013 SOJC (J611) course Participatory Media and Social Practice.

For this ten-week term project, six teams of graduate students from Multimedia Journalism and Strategic Communications worked together to design, curate and create website projects that would also engage users, participants and interested audiences in highly abbreviated, (yet intensely focused) outreach and awareness building campaigns around their particular topic or issue.


Northwest Nutria

Website Editors: Adam King and Allyson Woodard
Outreach Coordinators: Grace Roxas Morrissey and Emily Priebe

Northwest Nutria aims to foster conversations that will help address the Pacific Northwest’s nutria infestation. With no comprehensive eradication plan on the horizon for our region, it is imperative that a wide citizenry take action to help control this invasive species—whether that be trapping them out of a particular location, supporting nutria meat as a culinary option, or (and most importantly) simply not feeding the creatures.

The website offers information and resources regarding nutria, with the intent of both educating the general public and sparking dialogue around how best to manage this invasive species in the Pacific Northwest. We also organized a community forum to help inform and connect those with existing interest in nutria control. The event attendees included a mix of concerned citizens and professionals within the field of invasive species management, included three speakers, and focused on public education and communication a crucial aspect of nutria control. The attendees also had the opportunity to brainstorm with each other as community influencers who might spread the word on best practices in invasive species management to their professional and personal circles.



Site Design: Amanda Eckerson and Brett Harmon
Site Content: Amanda Eckerson and Brett Harmon
Media Plan & Content: Joel Arellano and Jamie Schaub
Project Strategy: Joel Arellano, Amanda Eckerson, Brett Harmon, and Jamie Schaub
Offsite Outreach: Amanda Eckerson and Brett Harmon

The goal for PDX Divest is to combat the private prison industry, which incentivizes incarceration, by encouraging our city government to cease investing with institutions who provide the financing necessary to support the industry. We also aim to provide a model for effective activism that other cities can duplicate.

We partnered with the Portland Prison Divestment legislative initiative to promote awareness, education, and support of the issue via a week-long social media campaign. This effort was designed to drive folks to our website (awareness, education) and encourage them to sign a petition to the City Council urging divestment (support).


Heart Yourself

Content Curators & Researchers: Summer Hatfield, Kevin Gaboury, Derek Yoshikane
Copy Writer: Summer Hatfield
Site designer: Katherine Pokrass
Outreach Coordinators: Kevin Gaboury & Derek Yoshikane
Social Media Coordinators: Kevin Gaboury & Katherine Pokrass
Social Media Content Contributors: Summer Hatfield, Derek Yoshikane

Heart Yourself is a collaborative transmedia project developed to create a sense of empowerment in girls and young women through inspirational videos, pictures and blogs on the web, and foster serious conversation about the issues they face in today’s society. We encourage girls to upload their own content to the site in the hope that it will gain a “life of its own” though user-generated content.

Our outreach effort focused on engaging with Derek Yoshikane’s photography class students as well as the general public on Facebook and Twitter. By choosing social media, it allowed us to reach a broader audience and provide a platform for people to easily engage with our project. The goal was to have young women show support for the Heart Yourself movement by posting photos of them making hearts with their hands on our Facebook page. We also used Twitter as a tool to engage with the inspirational women whose stories are featured on our site.


Survive Grad School

Project coordinator: Lindsey Newkirk
Site creator: Katelyn Black; Jarratt Taylor
Site design: Katelyn Black, Jarratt Taylor, Melissa De Lyser
Site content: Katelyn Black, Jarratt Taylor, Melissa De Lyser, Lindsey Newkirk
Outreach coordination: Lindsey Newkirk
Outreach efforts: Lindsey Newkirk, Melissa De Lyser

Survive Grad School is a compilation of grad school hints and original writings designed to help graduate students succeed in all aspects of their grad school careers. The project team curated content from around the web for this one-stop shop for grad students everywhere.

For our outreach we:

1. Utilized our personal social media channels to spread the word about the site.

2. Contacted UO Graduate School Admissions, requested to be featured on the UO Blog homepage, posted in the PDX Student Action Council email, posted in the UO School of Journalism newsletter, posted to the UO graduate student newsletter.

3. Hosted a Happy Hour on Dec. 3 at Fox & Hound, inviting all to come and post.

The results included:

• 537 unique visitors (716% above goal)

• 53 comments (132% above goal, 9% of visitors)


Portland Picks

Concept inspiration, site design, category research, site formatting, season itineraries, and social media outreach @Portland_Picks:
Omar Aldakheel
Category research, website photographs, Instagram(Portland_picks) and Twitter account(@Portland_Picks), and social media outreach:
Lauren Marie Paterson
Category research, in-person community outreach and promotion: Natalie Bennon
Category research, logo design, poster design, in-person community outreach and promotion: Mike Plett

Portland Picks is a free tour guide to one of Oregon’s liveliest cities. Developed from user data on tourist sites such as Yelp! and Trip Advisor, Portland Picks takes the highest ranked restaurants, night life, breweries and more into a compilation of itineraries by season for the weekend traveler on the go. Targeting students, traveling visitors, or those new to Portland or even locals, Portland Picks provides the Internet’s highest rated locations for hot spot exploration of the city for those on a budget.

The cornerstone of our outreach effort was a press release and flyer that we used in approaching the owners of the Northwest Portland and Hawthorne hostels. The owners graciously allowed us to post flyers and talk to travelers about the site. In addition, we distributed the flyer widely in and around Portland State University. Concurrently, we also ran a social media campaign featuring daily tweets.


Complete Head Case

Webmaster and project kickstarter: Scott Anderson
Website design and sourcing: Gerald Makare
Concept creator and outreach coordinator: Steven Wheeler

Complete Head Case’s aim is to promote the use of bicycle helmets by transforming the way cyclists view them. We believe that solving this problem requires a three dimensional approach of education, selection, and customization. Education will provide information on what helmets will and will not do for their wearer, from exploding pervasive myths to discussing the limits of protective headgear. Selection will present a range of helmets, from the most expensive, cutting edge headgear to the cheapest models available. Finally, as Portlanders we recognize that cycling is a lifestyle, not just a means of transportation, so through customization we offer tips and tricks on how cyclists can make helmets their own, as well as a gallery of images to give them further material for inspiration.

Our outreach has been mostly virtual, as we each communicated the details of the project and our goals to our family and friends through Facebook and e-mail. We supplemented this by appealing to local bicycle shops, community centers, and even Momentum Magazine to feature our project. The result was a website that to-date (December 2013) garnered 45 visitors and 5 followers, a Facebook page that totaled over thirty likes, and a twitter feed that counted Nutcase helmets among its followers.



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