Reinvent one thing at a time

I’ve had an exciting week.

Talking to profs and students at the AEJMC convention really lit the proverbial fire under my ass, and I’ve been able to get started on a database (Okay, so it’s just a spreadsheet at the moment.) that will be the kernel of my thesis data.

Meanwhile, I put together a pair of stories at my internship, and things are going well there.

The whole time, this post by Bryan Murley at Reinventing College Media keeps popping up in my mind:

“But in the midst of these moments of panic, I re-learned something that would serve us all as we plot our courses into the future of news: If you can just do one thing … do one thing, and do it well.”

He’s talking about how to reinvent your student newspaper, one element at a time, but the same holds true for a 300,000 circulation metropolitan daily, or an aspiring online journalist.

Or me.

So with so much out there that I want to learn and do and practice — Flash, CSS, PHP, Django, podcasting, video editing, maps mashups, hyperlocal community site management, etc. — I’ve decided to stop trying to figure it all out at once and concentrate on one thing at a time.

For now, that thing is Web design.

So I’m practicing. I’ve got a complete redesign (and a re-branding of sorts) in the works here. Here’s a taste:

And when that’s done, I’m going to try my hand at putting together a healthy little blog template for one of my employers, hoping to weasel my way into the online department there. ;)

And of course, none of this will get my full attention until I hand in my thesis proposal on August 30th.

What’s the one thing you want to learn, do, or reinvent this fall?

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