Well, I’ve had a great time being a part of the Gator Nation so far, but an even greater experience being a part of Weimer college and the CJC. I came here not really knowing as much as I thought I did, and wound up learning more than I can imagine. Between the long hours in the radio station with Donna Green-Townsend, working behind the scenes with the WUFT Morning Production Crew and ESPN-U camera crew units, and recently transforming into a one-man band field reporter with Bridget Grogan, I truly feel like I can go anywhere and be a positive contribution in a newsroom.

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I’m very grateful for the resources and equipment made available to me by the University of Florida. Having a place like the Center for Media Innovation and Research helps so much because the technology we’re able to use now is the same thing we’ll be dealing with in the “real world” and it ultimately makes me feel more assured when thinking about my future career.Image

Aside from cooking, I’ve always liked to read in my spare time too (I guess that goes hand in hand with my passion to write). I’ve normally been the type to enjoy a good fiction story or mystery novel, but never really cared for the get-rich-quick, self-help books, which is why Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” was surprisingly enjoyable to read. Instead of giving off his own personal advice from his experiences, he actually broke down the facts and science behind trendsetting and exponential consumerism, which I saw as a refreshment in comparison to the millions of books out there by “successful” businessmen and women that essentially just detail their entire life story.

Gladwell gave his advice in a simple structure, outlining three main principles that pertain to the majority of trends most of us have ever heard of. He starts by defining the Law of The Few, which categorizes three different marketing heads, that each use their own special influence to attract the masses to a certain product or style or idea. These three points of influence are Mavens (experts on a product who share with friends and family), Connectors (these are your Kanye Wests and your Angelina Jolies- people who have enough of a following to be able to influence others easily) and Salesmen (exactly what it sounds like: people who are professional persuaders). I think he started with this rule because who is marketing and campaigning for a product has a huge stake (food pun!) in how wide spread its epidemic will be. And while we’re on the subject of epidemics, I thought that Gladwell used that as an excellent metaphor in relation to how you should anticipate a new product spreading within the sales market. Diseases can spread quickly from person to person, the same way word of mouth can affect a trending fashion statement.

Another big part of this book was the Stickiness Factor Gladwell introduces, which pretty much rehashes the main concepts of perception when selling a product. Although this section lost my interest due to its focus on a “common sense” issue (seems to be an obvious point), it is a crucial one in the efforts of making something catch on. Simple and plain, this chapter was about having a good first impression in my eyes. The first time people see your product or vision, they have to be amazed: it needs to be aesthetically appealing, financially worthy, physically impressive and have an individual, unique character that brings people back, among other points that Gladwell points out.

 

His last main point was The Power of Context, and what I got from that was couple of pointers, basically, on how to remain appealing to your target audience, including maintaining an authoritative approach, staying consistent with your product, and being actively involved in the community in order to reciprocate favors. Overall the book was a lot more informative than what I expected it would be, and as an aspiring chef, I found it helpful on my way to establishing my brand in the culinary arts.

 

Check out what some of my other classmates had to say about the same book, “The Tipping Point”:

Courtney Allen

Jason Spain

Lauren Rautenkrantz

Hey guys! Apart from food, us UF Telecommunications students also know a thing or two about, well, telecommunications! And some of the best examples are my classmates here at Florida, who have been working with me in and out of the newsroom for the past 4 years. Check out some of the experience these girls have:

Tori Petry has been getting out in the field a lot, and I know she loves sports almost as much as me. Check out her website for cool facts and sports stories!

Dana Lewin is another great reporter and definitely a name you’ve heard of if you’ve been in the INC here. She gives alot of good information in her blog, including some tips on good sports reporting.

Then there’s Brittany Bassler, whose resume puts mine to shame! She’s a phenomenal reporter and really does a great job on TV with her packages. Make sure you get to know all of these cool Gators, and lets see where they are in 5 years.

Till the next meal, enjoy!

Welcome back to “You Are What You Eat”! So I know you guys didn’t think I was the only food lover out there with a little “know-how” in the kitchen, right? Actually, chances are if you stay up to date with YAWYE then you probably tune in to Food Network and other culinary authorities yourself. Well whether you want to eat out on the town (in Gainesville), or just enjoy a meal in the comforts of your own home, I have a few classmates who can definitely help you find what you’re looking for. Check them out:

Shane Chernoff takes you all around Gainesville to some of the best restaurants the city has to offer. I had no idea there were so many options here until I went through his blog, and they seem to be light on your pocket too.

Ashlyn Robinson does us one even better, and takes us places all over the map with her culturally diverse foods. 

Amanda Di Lella shows us how to remain healthy AND satisfied with some dishes that you can cook at home by yourself!

Till the next meal, enjoy!

My name is Nick Swain and I’m originally from Atlanta, GA. With both parents enlisted in the US Navy, my early childhood was spent moving around the country until 2001 when my family relocated to Honolulu. Upon my father retiring from the military, we all moved to Tampa, where I went through high school. It was at that point in my life where I picked up a nose for journalism, and started getting involved in writing for different publications. After winning a few awards and being selected editor-in-chief of my school’s newspaper, I decided that journalism was what I would pursue in college, and I attended the University of Florida with hopes of pursuing a journalism degree. After working for WUFT-FM radio and gaining experience in production by working with WUFT morning crews, I decided to switch to a Telecommunications-News major where I would be able to address multiple mediums, whether it be web, radio or TV. I had hopes of being a TV anchor, much like my classmate Lisa Greenberg. It also helped doing an internship with an online music-news publication, which I touched on in my resume in the previous post. College is also where I developed my passion for food (when I wasn’t playing Call Of Duty or watching Sons Of Anarchy), picking up a job in a kitchen on campus and resorting to cooking my own meals throughout the week. Actually, one of the first meals I learned how to make was chicken alfredo pasta, which you saw in earlier weeks paired with Davis Harper. And that’s a little bit about how I got to where I am.

Till the next meal, enjoy!

So this week on “You Are What You Eat” I’m just going to take ya’ll into the Nick Swain [Resume] vault and go over some of my personal favorite dishes. First and foremost, any girl who can get down on some southern baked mac & cheese is a winner in my world; that’s my all-time fav thing to eat, no matter what time of day. Next, I love seafood! Sometimes more than BBQ. Shrimp, crab, crawfish- you name it, I’m bout it. And lastly, what self-respecting black man doesn’t know how to kill plate of fried chicken? Not to be stereotypical or nothing, but the truth is the truth: black folk love chicken. And I accept that.

Till the next meal, enjoy!

The homie Miles Godwin is here on “YAWYE” matched up with a pulled pork sandwich. The best kind of pulled pork sandwich in both of our opinions is with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. Nothing beats it. Except OS X Mavericks of course, but thats a whole ‘nother story. This would go great with that butter pecan pie from last week…

Till the next meal, enjoy!

So this week on “YAYWE” I decided to share a little bit of family with you, so I’m hanging with my little sister Bri. Little does she know she actually looks pretty similar to mom’s sweet potato casserole. I don’t have the recipe but its really good like TLC. But what’s NOT really good is this stupid Pretty Little Liars show…bye Bri 🙂

Till the next meal, enjoy!

This week on “You Are What You Eat” we’re keeping it sweet with Xandra Morales and a butter pecan pie. Notice the resemblance? Golden brown and bursting with flavor! Now Ms. Morales likes to use raisins in her version of the dish, but I normally use the trusted Betty Crocker recipe! Those who have health concerns should know that alternatives without butter or corn syrup can lower the calorie intake per slice by 50 calories! Good deal, and still has that tasty appeal. Takes a little while to bake but the wait, much like for the new Nexus 5, is worth it.

Well, till the next meal, enjoy!

This week we got a fresh video with the homie Davis Harper and bowls on bowls on bowls of chicken alfredo pasta. Freshly prepared by yours truly, so I’m a little biased, but even Davis couldn’t stop eating as we recorded! Simple to make, easy to please- pasta wins this week’s “YAWYE”.

Till the next meal, enjoy!