What new media skills should I learn?

January 24, 2009 § 2 Comments


I’ll answer that. I think I should gain some web programming skills. But what?

Flash/Action-script? That would come in handy to produce some slick multilmedia packages like this one.

Drupal/Django/Joomla/Ruby on Rails? This would help in developing a custom CMS or a slick community calendar app. But it looks like that is time and programming intensive. Maybe a bit over my head. Definitely intimidating.

PHP? That would help us customize and tweak WordPress plus if I add some XML in there we could do some database driven stuff.

I hate being in the position where I see a great web app and not being able to duplicate it or tweak it or customize it. For instance all the great APIs out there made available by Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. As a news organization we do not have the personnel to do much of any of this. And we mostly likely will never have the staff to do it. So I feel like it’s up to me and in addition I develop a bigger skill set that will make me a more valuable employee/freelancer/entrepreneur.

Or should I just stick to content creation via video. Maybe I need to just expand my FCP skills. I admit my FCP skills are pretty limited – color correction is a big weakness. What to do? What to learn. My time is so very limited between work and family. I need to be prudent with what I pursue. What would you suggest?

I mean, what skills do I need to build something like this video player that lets you navigate to a part of a video by picking a spot on a transcript?

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§ 2 Responses to What new media skills should I learn?

  • goblinbox says:

    First of all, what are you trying to do? Redesign the U-B site itself? Do you have a webmaster?

    Secondly, you don’t need to write a CMS. They’re already out there and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. (It takes big teams of programmers to develop them, anyway.)

    Choose a CMS. I suggest Drupal or Joomla. (I have both installed on my server; email me and I’ll give you admin so you can play with them.)

    You will want to learn or brush up on your HTML, though. You will want to get used to looking at PHP code, too, but you don’t need to learn the entire language.

    Basically, beyond installation, you only need to be a superuser to run a hot site these days – not a coder.

    • Carlos says:

      Hey thanks for the feedback and for the offer. I’ll probably take you up on it soon. We currently have an enterprise CMS package through a company called TownNews. They are in the process of rolling out a new CMS which we are going to be beta testing. In the past we considered building a site on Drupal but with our limited personnel decided it would be too difficult to do it right. I’m just trying to figure out how to expand my limited technical/programming skills. I know HTML/CSS fairly well and have fiddled about with PHP as part of setting up and tweaking our WordPress-powered blogs. I have access to online courses on Lynda.com which I want to take advantage of. I started a PHP w/ MySQL course which hopefully I’ll complete in the next couple of weeks.

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