And… it’s up

Today, after approving Melinda’s comment on the post about the Merril College of Journalism’s failure to put up an online giving form as promised, I checked the site. Still not up – a month after I first checked and saw that it would be there “this week.”

So, being the engaged alum and development professional that I am, I wrote an e-mail to the college’s development director. I tried to be kind – “I hate to be a pest, but I want to make a gift to get my name on the wall, and with this being my line of work, too, and my heart being vested in the success of the College, I find the situation troubling.” – but the truth is, if I was working like that here, I would be in hot water.  Like, scarringly hot water (Maybe that’s why we raise three-quarters of a billion dollars a year, easy). One of the basic tenets of this sort of development is that you never, ever put up any roadblock that could stop someone from making a gift, and you spend a lot of time guessing what could possibly be a roadblock. This one, however, was pretty basic. If I can’t access the online form, I’m not going to give.

She responded right away, quite kindly, promising to have the site up by the end of the day. In about three hours, there it was. So, of course, I had to make my gift, and I did.

For my class this semester, Internet Strategies, we are tasked with building a campaign to raise money online using a real organization as an example. Maybe I will use the Knight Hall campaign for the project.


Back to basics

My four years at the University of Maryland were rich, and, now that I find myself in a personal and professional place that is rewarding in so many ways, what isn’t credited to my family and friends goes to my college education. The list is long, but one of the treasures I took away was a degree in journalism that landed me one of the industry’s most sought-after jobs, the first stop on a path that took me on a wild adventure.

So when the Philip Merrill College of Journalism came knocking with a glossy and gorgeous -if flawed – pitch for the college’s new home, Knight Hall, I was ready to open my wallet. Continue Reading »

A few months or two ago, I heard about a new blog launched by an old acquaintence from The Philly Years with a keen sense for the ironic. I ignored it because I was drowning in Media Theory, and while I was thinking about agenda-setting, everyone else was reading Postcards From Yo Momma.

So funny. A great commentary on how women grapple with their evolving role as children grow into adults, and wise insight into how people adapt to technology and changes in communication habits.

My mom hasn’t yet picked up on e-mail except for sending forwards about “Christian Ways to Reduce Stress,” but I do have some great material for Postcards From Yo Pop, such as this gem sent right about when I was deciding to purchase real estate:


Good to hear from you. I’m in Eastern Europe, still in the Communist empire. Does JHU have any positions overseas? It is a big world out there where the U.S. plays an insignificant role despite the insular attitudes rendered within its borders. You ought to see some of it before you become trapped by posessions and obligations.


Thanks, Dad – er, I mean, Steve! By the way, I think he’s right, it’s just a funny e-mail.

We all know journalism is changing, and top-of-mind for many journalists or, uh, students of communication is the widening mediascape and emergence of public journalism.

Reading about it is one thing, but today we witness a prime example. Continue Reading »

Talking Web 3.0

One day soon, norakoch.com will be reborn as an expert source for calculating emotrics and creating facehooks. Check out this (humorous) list of Web 3.0 buzzwords.


Bred on AIM conversations and cell-phone obsession, the digital generation stands on a social constitution of independence – yet interdependence, collaboration – yet personal responsibility, and participation – yet privacy. As Tapscott and Williams establish early in their book, “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything,” this new approach to communicating, socializing, and working is based on openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally – the tenets of the new wikinomics.

And as this generation matures into leaders of community and industry, this constitution follows. The principles of wikinomics are integrating into the new business world. Continue Reading »

Check out Johns Hopkins’ new commerical, airing for the first time on ESPNU this weekend during the JHU-Duke matchup at 6:00 p.m.  

The message is clever and the design first-rate, but what I’m most excited about is the university’s first steps into the digital age and full integration. Along with the commercial, the project includes a Web site that mimics film sites with links to Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube, as well as a radio spot and a blog. Way to go, JHU!