Kiley Dorton, a New Media Institute Alum and previous NMI grad assistant had a lot of wonderful things to say about the NMI. He credits the program for making him realize he could “make something work,” and that he didn’t need to be a mastermind programmer to do it.
Chosen to be a Mobile Media Scholar in 2006, Kiley and his team were tasked by Dr. Shamp to create a cloud-based photo frame from scratch. At the time these picture frames were relatively new and very pricey. On creating the frame Kiley explains that, “there was a computer set up in a closet that was pretending to be a server in the cloud that just kept looking for new pictures to send to the amazing photo frame. It was a beautiful mess.” The final project was a success and resulted in a personalized frame that could be used by elderly in nursing homes to see photos of their families with a simple swipe a bracelet in front of the frame.
These days Kiley has been instrumental in the start up a new company out of Atlanta, ACTBridge. Through the process of establishing this business he has faced numerous new media challenges. Kiley has found that there are many technologies crucial to his company and would be very valuable for us soon to be grads to familiarize ourselves with. His top 5 suggestions include:
Google Apps for Business
Amazon Web Services
Salesforce.com or the 37Signals Suite
Others that made the list include WordPress, Google Analytics, Dropbox, Fuzemeeting, Xcode along with many others. Learning how to use these different technologies inside and out and how they all work together has been vital to the success of the startup. Kiley claims not to have been an expert at any of these things, but that the NMI instilled him with the courage to know that he could make it work, and ultimately make it work better.
The highlight of my interview with Kiley was his 7 step guide on how to GET A JOB. That’s right, only 7 steps and 2 weeks. The first step is to contact your favorite local organization, band etc. that could use a website, or a site revamp and ask if you can build them a new website for $100 paid in advanced. Secondly, ask them to write 500 words for specific pages for their site (home, about us, get involved etc.), 10 of their favorite pictures, and to organize this all into neat folders. Ask that they have this information for you in 2 weeks. For step 3 use the $100 they paid you to register for Lynda.com, an online video training library that Kiley calls, “Google for new media people.” It’s only $25 a month. Then add the following classes to your queue:
Up and Running with Illustrator
Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals
Google Analytics Essential Training
Social Media Marketing with Facebook and Twitter
Up and Running with InDesign
Up and Running with Java Applications
Project Management Fundamentals
For Step four Kylie recommends you dedicate a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to the Library. “Find yourself a desk that looks out towards Sanford Stadium. Plug in your laptop. Order Jimmy John’s for lunch. Don’t you dare leave that library until you’ve completed 4 out of the 8 courses in your queue. I would recommend the first four on the list, but it’s up to you. That’s it. Stop working. Go out on Saturday night, and tip your bartenders. You’re halfway there.” After taking a few days off, for step 5 take the following Thursday, Friday and Saturday to finish the last 4 classes. “You’re now one of the most marketable graduates from your entire graduating class. I guarantee you that. And all you had to do was sit there, nom on some Jimmy John’s, and watch videos.”
Now you actually have to make that website. Call up the people who you offered to make a site for and pick up the folders of content they should have organized for you. Kiley promises that after watching these videos you’ll know exactly what to do. With all the knowledge and skills you acquired over the last two weeks you’ll be able to make the site in 30 minutes, “maybe an hour, if you take a Facebook break.”
Step 7 allows you to update your resume with the following skills and abilities:
Experienced graphic designer (Adobe Creative Suite)
Experienced web developer (WordPress & other CMS tools)
Experience with modern SEO techniques and high-level website analytics
Corporate social media marketing knowledge and training, experienced community manager, etc.
Functional knowledge of programming (Java and Objective-C)
What are you waiting for? Do the steps! And then Kiley asks that you kindly send him your resume.
Interview conducted by Ellyn Dupuis.