5 courses for the digital age



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1 Sick of hawking your wares on a foldout table—or worse, eBay? With 3rd Ward's "Set Up an E-Commerce Site" (Sept 18 6--9pm, Nov 21 7--10pm; $65, members $50; 718-715-4961, 3rdward.com), new-media veteran Jaki Levy (jakilevy.com) uses the Brooklyn institution's Mac-based media lab to walk budding entrepreneurs through every step of building an online empire, from site aesthetics to the ideal shipping method for your product.

2 Phenomena like Bejeweled and Angry Birds have made big bucks for their developers, and few markets are growing faster than smartphone applications. Baruch College's "Mobile Application Development" (five weekly sessions, Oct 17--Nov 14 6:15--9:15pm; $369; 646-312-5000, baruched.com) helps students devise their own Flash application blueprint for Android or iPhone, workshops the viability of proposed apps and provides instruction for each step along the way. You'll design an icon, write action-scripting code, create scrolling pages and register your program with the Apple App Store or Android Market. Some prior knowledge of Flash is required.

3 The New York Academy of Art's "Portrait and Figure Painting with the iPad" (five sessions, Aug 8--12, Jan 9--Jan 13; $500; 212-966-0300, nyaa.edu), taught by David Kassan, a classically trained artist and longtime technophile, takes a traditional approach to working in a modern medium. Students learn to use the App Store's ArtRage, as well as the pros and cons of other programs, and how iPad painting can change the artist's process.

4 Businesses new and old require strategists with fluency in social media and its applications. Pratt Institute's one-day "Social Media Marketing: A Complete Overview" (Sept 18, Oct 13 9am--5pm; $295; 212-657-7199, pratt.edu) promises a comprehensive primer on social media's role in current marketing tactics, as well as ways to equip your start-up with cost-effective ways to get the word out. Jason Miletsky, who has created social-media campaigns for Hershey's, the NBA and others, explains the evolution of marketing platforms, provides a business perspective on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and demonstrates how to use streaming video to engage potential customers. Half-length courses ($169) are available: Those in a hurry to turn a profit can opt for "Social Media Marketing: A Practical Understanding" (Dec 11 1:30--5:30pm), while more conceptual learners might be interested in "Social Media Marketing: A Theoretical Understanding" (Dec 11 9am--1pm).

5 Ensure your voice isn't lost in the din of the blogosphere—Mediabistro.com's "Blogging" (Sept 14--Oct 12, Wednesday group chats 9--10pm; $350; 212-389-2000, mediabistro.com), helmed by veteran journalist Melanie Nayer (melanienayer.com), helps participants with a wide variety of goals to perfect and promote their platform and writing. Students won't finish the course without a workshopped mission statement, a working knowledge of HTML and eight to ten new posts to get their blog off the ground or back in action.

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