The Digital Media Club: Where Problems Become Solutions

Looking to learn more about digital and interactive media, a group of students founded the Boston University Digital Media Club (BUDCM) (http://budigital.org) in the spring of 2012. Through this club, these BU students hoped to learn how to use digital technology as problem solving tool in the media world.

“BU does a great job teaching the fundamentals of the advertising and technology industries, but the curriculum doesn’t include enough training in digital media,” BUDCM President Ryan Whitten said. “Just about everything has some kind of a digital component these days, and the Digital Media Club hopes to provide students with opportunities to learn about new media and technologies in more depth than they might experience in the classroom.”

Whitten is a COM student studying advertising, but it was his passion for digital media and branded content that helped him become the president of the club this spring semester. Previous president and founder of the club, Maurice Rahmey, graduated last semester, leaving a major hole to be filled in the fledgling club.

“It was really a case of dedication and networking [that led me to the] position,” Whitten said. “I spent lots of time working with Maurice and showed that I was interested in helping the club succeed.”

BUDMC is currently broken into two sections. The first one, called Terrier Labs, focuses on web and app development. This group consists mainly of coders and developers. Currently, the group have a couple apps in the works and the team is in the midst of building a new website for the club.

The other section is focused on digital publication. This section is comprised of creative advertisers, writers and filmmakers. The students in this group are focused on using their expertise to rebrand and promote the club using content marketing. Their goal is to produce great content, such as blogs, info graphics and videos, which will hopefully gain an audience, helping to get more students involved in the club.

“It’s an effort to market the club,” Whitten said Online Pokies. “[But] more importantly, it’s a chance for students to start marketing themselves to employers by creating content and showing that they’re going above and beyond the classroom to learn more about the industry.”

The first project to emerge from Terrier Labs is BU Room Swap. Noticing a problem with room swapping at BU, BUDMC stepped in and tried to solve it. The website meant for BU students who want to directly swap their room with others who have advertised their room. It cuts the hassle of filling out direct swap forms in every residence, creating a centralized gateway instead. The project has turned out to be popular, gaining popularity among many BU students.

Additionally, the club has worked organize guest panels to learn more about the digital media work. Once or twice every month, BUDCM invites professional to BU as guest speakers. The most recent guest speaker, Ben Malbon, managing director of Google’s Creative Lab, spoke about industry trends and showed students a prototype of Google’s latest technology Google Glasses.

Whitten takes satisfaction when he sees how his leadership and assistance are helping ideas from students come to fruition.

“It’s a great feeling to see other students believe in and support the goals I’m trying to accomplish with the club, and really great to imagine how our projects will take form once they’re finished,” he said. “It’s incredible to think that a somewhat small group of dedicated students has the power to create something great, whether it’s a fully developed mobile app or engaging digital content.”

The immediate, tangible results are important, but Whitten sees the club’s potential to help students realize their dreams well past graduation day.

“By essentially launching businesses while still in college, we hope to prepare students for careers in several different industries by actually doing or creating something, and not just learning about it from a textbook,” Whitten said.

BUDMC meets every Thursdays at COM 215. For more information, visit the club’s website. (budigital.org)

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