Tag Archives: WVU

Words of Web Wisdom

As a reporter, I spend a large portion of my days looking up information online — background information, names, addresses, etc. You name it, I’ve probably looked it up. That said, I am constantly amazed by the lack of consideration a lot of companies, organizations and institutions have for Web design. It’s critical for attracting and keeping customers, but the vast majority of small businesses and non-profits have outdated, poorly designed Web sites that contain inaccurate information.

For example, I looked up the Web site for WVU’s Sierra Student Coalition the other day to ask a few questions about eco-friendly transportation initiatives. Good idea, right? WRONG. The site hasn’t been updated since 2006! What if someone who was new to Morgantown and WVU wanted to get involved? I realize they advertise upcoming meetings and host other activities on campus, but an organization’s Web site is its link to the world. It’s critical to keep it up-to-date.

Before it launched a new, overhauled site a few months ago, the San Lucas Mission — which I visited and worked with during my recent trip to Guatemala — had used the same elementary Web site since 2004. The design was terrible, the photos were terrible and the information failed to capture the wondrous work of the mission. The new site is modern, sleek and innovative. Even more important, it contains a wealth of accurate information that will likely entice new volunteers to pitch in to help out the people of Guatemala.

mission

Another important component of Web design is ease of use and access to information. When I do manage to find up-to-date Web sites, it’s often difficult to find the information I’m looking for. I’ve noticed that this a particularly common problem with content-heavy government Web sites. You can have the most creatively-designed, data-rich Web site in the world, but if people can’t find the information they need, it’s useless. An example? The search engine on WVU’s main page. WVU’s Web site contains a wealth of information dating back to the 1990s, but the search tool is TERRIBLE. There’s no easy way to sift through the results, they’re poorly organized and you can’t sort through them by date.  I usually end up using Google to access information at WVU’s Web site because it’s far more effective.

WVU_Homepage_feature

I could provide dozens of other tips and suggestions, but those are just a few of the Web issues that make my life more difficult. I’ll keep the rest to myself for now.

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Greetings from Guatemala

Hello, I´m a student in IMC 619 at West Virginia University, a course on emerging media and marketing. Though I´m located in Guatemala at the present time, I typically live in West Virginia and work as a reporter. It´s an interesting job, and I get to do a lot of cool things — like go to Guatemala, for instance — but I´ve always been interested in marketing and PR, too. For that reason, I decided to educate myself further at my alma mater by enrolling in the Integrated Marketing Communications program. It´s been an eye-opening experience so far, and I look forward to learning more in class and on this blog this term. Specifically, I hope to eventually parlay my IMC education into something health-related. In the past two and a half years, I´ve lost about 60 pounds and become a health nut. It´s a passion that I´ve become dedicated to in my personal life, and I´d like to transfer that to my professional life, too, if possible. But we´ll see.

Other facts about me:

  • I’m a 26-year-old female, originally from southeastern Ohio.
  • I graduated summa cum laude from WVU in December 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
  • I live in sin with my boyfriend of more than 3 years — an arrangement I’m quite content with, I might add — and we have a Rottweiler/German Shepherd/Lab mix named Zeke. He’s our baby.
Zeke, who was named for Jerry West. When West came to WVU for college, his nickname was "Zeke from Cabin Creek."

Zeke, who was named for Jerry West. When West came to WVU for college, his nickname was "Zeke from Cabin Creek."

  • I may be the worst driver ever, and I’m terribly accident-prone — whether I’m in a vehicle or simply walking down the street. Case in point: I managed to fall down some steps at a recent assignment, and my knees are still covered in bruises.
  • I love the color purple — not the book or the movie, just the color. Given a selection of colors to choose from — for anything — I’ll usually pick some shade of violet or the closest thing to it.
  • I enjoy watching sports and working out, probably too much. I’m a WVU fan, of course, but I like to watch MLB games and UFC fights, too. The first thing I do when I turn on the TV is flip to ESPN.
  • I love to read — anything and everything. My favorite thing to do is curl up on the couch with a good book or a the latest issue of Rolling Stone. And I would choose that over the TV any day.

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