ENTREPRENEURSHIP
THE NEW HARBINGER ONLINE

Once I was selected as Online Editor-in-Chief, I knew the first step would be a redesign of the website. Every editor has their own priorities — and I wanted the new website to match my priorities of interactability, robust design and easy navigability.

That involved switching the website's font families to the new ones we chose, implementing the new "h" logo to our series' logos, changing the color scheme and re-formatting the home page (the most time consuming step). 

Below are looks at my redesigned Harbinger home page and category page structure. Hover over the red icons to see why I chose to include the feature and what all was new with the latest design of The Harbinger's website.

Scroll down within the white box to see my changes to The Harbinger's home page.

Scroll down within the white box to see my changes to The Harbinger's category and author pages.

REVAMPING BROADCAST

In my first semester of running The Harbinger's broadcast program, we broadcasted 14 school sports games — all 14 had technical problems. One game, the signal would send to the wrong server so nothing would show up for the viewer. In the next game, a cord would stop working. Then the Tricaster would overheat. 

 

We needed an overhaul. So after phoning assistance from a professional broadcaster who was willing to help us — and has extensively helped us ever since — we streamlined the process, little by little, making the broadcasting process easier than ever. 

 

Here's a bit of what went into those decisions.  

ORGANIZING

The process began in the summer of 2018. 

 

Although much of it was ancient, we were able to organize a huge volume of equipment in storage that could've proven useful later. 

We divided everything into sections to improve efficiency during games and in transporting the equipment. 

APPROVING 

PURCHASES

For the new equipment we needed — which included a new laptop, soundboard and sideline reporting equipment — I obtained district payment approval so we could integrate the new items into our process.

After organizing those new pieces of equipment, we set up checklists on how to set up game broadcasts and were ready to go on air...almost. 

HOSTING 

After suggestions from our professional broadcast associate, we turned to Dacast — a company that provides hosting abilities for livestreaming. I gained district approval and we digitally connected our equipment to the designated server.

Part of the decision process on which hosting service we went with was digital recording capablity. Now, with our service, we're able to record our livestreams and put the live coverage on YouTube for postgame viewing. 

IMPLEMENTATION

Much of the equipment — such as a high-resolution camera behind the backboard in the main gym basketball goals — needed to be stationed at East with approved location and storage.

This involved stringing Scorelink hardware at the scores table to have direct access to the clock and scores, designating an area for our production team during games and using prongs to place cords on adjacent walls. 

NEW FEATURES

Our broadcast capabilities expanded greatly after we had approved payments, purhcased the equipment and implemented it — from instant replay features, to anchor cameras, to sideline reporting. 

Check out some of the new features we gained during the revamp below.

Instant Replay analysis
Backboard camera angles
CREATING THE HARBINGER PODCAST

Considering The Harbinger had made podcasts several years before I officially launched The Harbinger Podcast, the idea wasn't new. But the process and streamlined publication process I implemented allows staffers to now record, produce and publish podcasts with a few easy steps. 

Through RSS.com, The Harbinger Podcast is made available on Spotify and Apple Music, allowing staffers to promote their work and listen to it on the two most socially frequented music streaming services at Shawnee Mision East. 

I used an old audio interface and cables to use new podcast microphones (approved purchase by the SMSD), which then connects into an iPhone for easy recording through Voice Memos. 

The recording process is usually done in our makeshift studio (a.k.a. the school conference room) and the audio file is then ready for editing. 

Editing for a podcast can be done on nearly any mp-splicing software, but usually we use Garage Band as all of our school MacBooks supply it. 

I most frequently use editing to add background or introductory music and to piece together different recordings, especially when there are multiple for each episode.

It takes about 15 minutes for the podcast to integrate onto Spotify and Apple Music — but once it does, it's available publicly on The Harbinger Podcast's author page. 

I also customized a feature that allows for multiple authors to be added in the credits for each podcast, which automatically transition into the episode's caption. 

The RSS.com profile I created allows staffers to easily upload their podcast by uploading the edited audio file, filling out episode details and adding author names. 

From there, RSS integrates the episode onto The Harbinger Podcast's page on Spotify and Apple Music. 

Considering the emphasis I place on social media along with one of The Harbinger's design editors, each piece of content produced by the publication isn't complete without a social media post.

For Viral — a lifestyle podcast series helmed by three staffers — I write all promotional captions, and a design editor helps to create themed promotion on Adobe After Effects. Here's an example.

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©2019 by Benjamin A. Henschel.