September 2008 Archives

The Propaganda Man

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Whoa! Finally, something interesting to read. After, nearly an hour of sifting through the chapter seven, I found some knowledge that I've actually retained and enjoyed reading. Propaganda.

Now, don't get me wrong. I was slightly interested to learn about the different types of blogs and how to write them, but it was the same bottom line: Appeal to the audience, orientation, information, and action. The resume seems like something cool to do, but I don't have that many credentials now to make it full and promising.

In chapter 8, I was able to reflect on the types of persuasions I use in my writing and see how they will either attract or distract my users. Then, I really digested the types of propaganda. I first learned that word in elementary school and it was flushed out in middle and high school, but until now I had little idea how it was used and that their were different types.

I mean, I knew that it was used by mass media to persuade the public about certain topics, but I didn't know it could be good or that their was black propaganda. Black propaganda is still new to me so I'm not quite sure if I understand what it is.

I also was happy to find that I could identify some of the myths and was interested to find some ideas like Martyr and real woman were propaganda myths. Maybe I should get into the propaganda business since I'm so interested. Only I'm not quite sure what I'd advocate yet.

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Where Am I?

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That's the sort of feeling I got while reading The Heist. The story is told in several different points of views, which interested me, but there are links during the story. If you do not finish the first chapter and click on another link, you may not understand what is happening.

This hypertext tale reminded me of what Kilian said about making each page look like a front-page otherwise readers may get lost. The style of the story was interesting, jumping from point-of-view to point-of-view and from scence to scene. (I may even try to mock this myself because I love trying new styles and twists in my writing.)

But, I could find no clear navigation and I was put off by the amount of links in a chapter. I felt I couldn't understand what order some "chapters" went in and I couldn't figure out (once I had clicked on link after link) how to get back to the original page I was on and finish that chapter.

I think this is because I like to read books that clearly have an order or that are in front of me so I can skip around, but still know where the previous page was. I did, though, like the how the homepage was set up. It gave the user an option to either dive right into the story or read an introduction to hypertext and this choose-your-own-story idea.

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The Effects of Kilian: Chapter 6

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I still do not enjoy this book. I understand that we should know how to write for a business online and the usability info was ok. But, for me, it's just really hard to get through and I don't know if I really retained any knowledge about this chapter. I need to go back into the book and read the subheadings to even remember.

What I did find helpful (probably the only thing) in this chapter was the idea of having too many webwriters. I hadn't thought of that problem before but I can see how it would affect some companies. I imagined the chaos and could even relate. I've been to some sites that clearly don't match each other when you change departments.

I'm glad the quiz tomorrow is on some things that I've already known how to do. That way I won't fail miserably.

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The Kilian 5

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The first part of this chapter gave helpful tips for noobs to writing like check verbiage, make sure international readers will understand, and critiquing your text on paper. But, when I got to subheading 8.5, I started to really disagree with the book. I feel that not using terms that might make someone uncomfortable or making sure all your work is politically correct takes away from the personal voice of the writer. I understand if it is corporate writing or if you are trying to sell something to a group of people. But, if it is just a website for yourself or expressing something you like or dislike, then why be so politically correct.

I'm not saying not to be sensitive to others, but I feel the level of political correctness in America in attempt to not step on someone's toes just comes off as holding back from what they really think or what they want to say. I was in a class recently and we were talking about demographics and education. One girl was in the middle of her statement and paused to look around the room before hesistantly saying "African American." Why couldn't she just say "black" or whatever she wanted to say?

If I hurt someone's feelings because I'm not being politically correct, then that's too bad. I'm not going to censor myself to make someone feel better. But, I'm also not going to be blatantly mean. I'm not going to describe someone a "nappy-headed hoe." That's not nice or right to do.

And why not say "Anyone who rides a bike without a helmet will eventually get his head examined." People know that I wouldn't just be talking about men and if my text was all in the singular and I change it to plural for that one sentence I feel the flow would come out odd.

For corporate webwriting, this may be a great book, but I feel it is telling me to take away from what makes my work original or creative.

I do not like that, Sam I Am. I do not like this Kilian.

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"Killing Unlucky Bystanders"

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Ok, the Greco-Latin versus Anglo-Saxon, I thought I understood. I got the general idea, but it wasn't until this quote that it hit home. "When we "cause collateral damage," it's hard to understand that we are "killing unlucky bystanders." At first, I was like "collateral damage?" What? That could mean anything. But, then I saw the next line. I realized that it really makes a difference in context and who you're speaking with.

As for the use active voice, I applaud. I hate passive voice (most of the time). I feel, when trying to persuade or inform people, it's useless and takes up space. When I see a lot of it in writing, I get so frustrated that I want to mark-up the paper. I think it's because my journalism teacher taught me to look for, and get rid of, passive voice in articles, yet still so many writers wrote in the passive voice and it was a lot of extra work for me, as an editor, to fix. I also felt the same thing with people using weak verbs over strong ones.

In the cliche section, I must say I did not recognize any of his examples as cliches. Maybe some have been out of writing for so long that we can start using (and overusing) them again.

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There's a Deck on My HomePage...

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In chapter three, I agree with the ideas of making every page look like an organzied, front page and to provide specific, organized navigational cues. I had wanted to make some of my navigation buttons pictures, but the book reminded me that not everyone may know that it is a navigation. I should find a picture that is specific. I also write Back for the Trackbacks to Jerz's page and for now that if fine. But, for my homepage it doesn't make much sense. If Google brings your readers straight to your Puebla page, a navigation link that says "Back to HomePage" doesn't make much sense.

"Deck" doesn't make much sense to me. I read it, reviewed it, and continued reading. I think I'll stick with the word blurb until I really get into print. Speaking of print, because of some newspaper experience last year, I understand the idea of hooks and headlines. Then, again, there was "keep your audience in mind."

I did, though, like the idea of clustering as a way to start organization. As many people will see I do a form of that with every website or blog I make, but I publish them before organizing and when (if) I have the time to go back and edit I will.

I think this book could use some "jolts." I'm tired of reading long pages of text with no bullets or sparse subheadings. It makes it feel so much longer.

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Senator or Former?

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About the presentation today, I couldn't tell if Allen Kukovich was a former senator or a senator because the handout said former, but he was introduced as Senator Kukovich. Then , on the inside of the pamphlet he's referred to as Senator...(just wanted to point this out)

As for what he spoke about I actually didn't find it boring. At least not too boring. I'm not into politics or politicians and I have this idea of them as low-life liars out to get only for themselves. When he was introduced and all of his "accomplishments" were spoken about, I saw a smug smile on his face. (It increased my idea that I would hate what he was talking about.)

I'm not going to say he swayed my opinions about politicians, but as he spoke I didn't get the feeling that he was a politic. (We've all heard that poli means many and tic is a bloodsucking creature.) His speech stayed very much to the point and I even liked what he said about PA trying to go green and exploring renewable sources of energy. I also understand why he wants us to vote, but his idea that everyone should just get a voting card when they turn 18 is absurd to me. There are some uneducated people who, if given the chance, will ruin the purpose of voting. They won't know anything about the candidates or their postions. They will vote because of biases or predjudices. Or maybe they wont even be able to read and they'll check off the prettiest name.

I took some other notes too. I don't know what infrastructure is and why I should invest in it. It seemed like something really important. He talked about healthcare, education, and public transportation. All things I think should be invested in. Is that infrastructure? Does anyone know?

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Why Not Me? Oh, the Reader...

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Oh, Chapter Two... In this chapter, I didn't learn much at all. What I got from it is to keep my reader in mind and to make sure my sites are understandable, professional, and actually do something. I'm not saying I could do this perfectly off the bat, but I just already that I should.

The only part I can say I learned from was the chunking or scrolling (and that is still part to keep your reader in mind). I enjoy chunking better and perhaps the full document as a link elsewhere if I want to read the whole thing or cite it as a source.

The "egophilia" part will also be hard for me. I have a very big ego and it may be hard not writing about myself and to talk to my imaginary reader.

Unless...

The purpose of my page is an about me and what I think or what I want page! Awesome.

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Jolt Me, Baby!

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So I've seen some differences in web writing and print text because I did an intership last year on my manuscript. I put it on the Internet for reviews as I was editing it and I saw it in print text. I learned from that and as an frequent internet user that a lot of text can get boring and to keep my reader in mind. But, I never thought about the differences in types of websites depending on their purpose and who made them. 

The concept of a jolt is also new to me. I knew we lived in a fast-paced world where everything is at our fingertips "like an addiction", but I never thought of the satisfaction we get from it as a jolt. It kind of makes sense though. When someone comments on my blog, I get a little ping of happiness.

As for chapter one, I'm still kind of blurry as to what micro-film is. I know we have some in the basement of Reeves library so if I can't figure it out I guess I'll go look there for information.

Standard culture and interactive culture also provokes thought. I think that the web should be interactive and be a two-way message space. I hate simple advertisments and when I get on the web it's for instant access, answers to my questions, and interaction with others that have questions or information. I thought that was what the web was created for, right? To share information?

And, reading from a monitor takes longer? I'm not sure. We are almost in 2009 and I feel most of us have high-resolution computers (except for the ones the school uses). Many of us seem to have adapted to reading so much online. I also think that with any work that is your own it is harder to spot errors because you know what it is supposed to say so you skip over it. I do it all the time on and off computers. I think it' just that we use computers for so many assignments now. But, I do agree with limiting the amount of words to make it easier for your audience to read. It makes the eyes happier.

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Wow. I Didn't Know I Did That Much

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In Writing for the Internet, I'm learning to write for the Internet, of course! That's what I thought when I first started anyway, but there is a lot more to it. I've learned how to write basic html and create a website (people.setonhill.edu/AjaHannah). I've also learned how to write a proper email to professors, employers, and basically adults. In and out of class, we've discussed articles on blogging, trolling, usenet, and the permanence of the Internet. In this blog, I'll be posting a portfolio of some of my good blogs and work as an assignment for class. I will  show my best works of coverage, timeliness, interaction, depth, and discussion.

In What Happens Online Stays Online? I quoted and linked back to an article where Erin Webster explained why his social life shouldn't be connected to his career life.

As for posting blogs online in a timely fashion, I'm proud to say a lot of mine are timely. But, if I have to choose, it would be Usenet What? and Castro's Assignment. Not to be Confused with Cuba. They are short and sweet, but they are posted a day (if not more) in advance and they prompted some first real comments.

For interacting with my peers, I'd like to link to Smile :) Or Frown :( because I had the most comments so far with that one even though the article wasn't that long. I must have said something interesting. Or maybe my title just rocked.

I'm going to use Everyone else is using it. Why aren't you? for my depth requirement. It was an essay-like article about a current event. I chose to write on the Wikipedia being taken an a real acedemic source.

Against my prior thoughts, I have been enjoying comments on other people's blogs. Recently, I left a lengthy comment on Alex Hull's Death to netiquette abusers! ...nah. blog and I sparked a conversation with classmates by commenting on Kevin's Do We Measure Our Lives in Sound Bites? blog.

I feel this may accuratly show my work in the last couple of weeks and this didn't take long at all.

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Everyone else is using it. Why aren't you?

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Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It defines itself as a "free, multilingual, open content encyclopedia project..." and in early 2008 reached over 10 million articles with 2.3 million in English. But, how reliable is this online encyclopedia when people without even a GED can post information alongside those with PHDs? And how can it even be taken seriously when people like Brian Chase use it play jokes?

Brian Chase posted a false article that linked a journalist to the assassination of a US president. He said he didn't know Wikipedia was considered a serious reference. (Do you think it is?) As a result of the false article, USA Today discredited Wikipedia and Wikipedia, trying to gain back credibility, stopped allowing anonymous users to post and/or edit articles.

That was in 2005. Is it even relevant now? Has Wikipedia changed? One thing I found interesting is that instead of hiding the fact that they lost credibility with some newspapers, they have a whole article on the event that includes the reactions of The New York Times. It's called the Seigenthaler incident.

Still there is the question of who wrote this article? At the bottom of most entries, are Notes and External Links, where the creator and editors of the article can show the reader where they got their information. But, no author. To edit, these entries all one has to do is create an account. And to get an account, one just has to make a username and password that follows the guidlines. Verifying an email address is optional.

Now I won't lie. I use Wikipedia. Often. When I want to look something up quick or to get background information in language that an elementary schooler can understand, I search Wikipedias files. But, when I am writing a paper, I do not cite Wikipedia.

Directly.

I do go there first though. After I scan the article, I scroll down to the links section and find articles that are good sources like BBC News or USA Today. From there, I read fully those articles and cite them as my work. I've had too many teachers tell me they won't give me credit for using Wikipedia in my source list.

How many years will it take for Wikipedia to become a respected academic source?

The world may never know.

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Smile :) Or Frown :(

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I agree with Falhman about smilies or emoticons helping people to understand what is serious and what is not on the internet because we can't see people's expressions or hear their tones, but only for internet use. For something that can be seen and responded to immeditly, they can and should use smilies to show the degree of seriousness. But, they shouldn't be used in works of literature.

However, I do like how certain companies have changes the emoticons into something more. I like the actual winking, moving faces. And, these faces can be even more personalized now with different colors and expressions. But, these faces are starting to become over-the-top with too many smilies so much so that some are losing their signifigance. Like how "lol" has become overused.

I also think it is cool that the inventor of the smilie could show proof. Tha's really creative.

As for the next article, I don't have much to say about it. Some of the points I find in his work are valid like hackers and very literate people being the first to start onto the internet, who look down on or don't need emoticons. But, it mentions usenet and a variety of words that I do not understand again so I can't comment much. I am glad that he changed his mind about smilies though and lightened up. 

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Usenet what?

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Alright, I'm not gonna lie. I was tired when I read this article. I hardly understand any of it or the point trying to be made. I cannot comphrehend the simplicity of usenet and blogs from long ago. I still don't understand what Memex is or what primitive email readers are.

I do, however, know about noobs. I remember being a noob to many different websites. But, I would read a lot of the threads and watch how people acted on these sites before I ever did anything visible to the public. And, even though I was a noob, I still get very frustrated with noobs on the sites I like to visit. They load stuff that's not neccesary and crowd the forums with dinky messages and applications.

In the end, I get to be a noob again though. Blogging on an acedemic forum is something I haven't done before and I'm learning the ropes slowly.

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Castro to 92

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The whole experience of the last chapter went well. I made some mistakes, but were able to find where I did that in the html and make the corrections. Still had some trouble with pictures, but that's ok.

I just don't know how I'll be able to remember all of this stuff and do it by myself yet.

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Picture Problems for Castro

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I did well with this next setion with the exception of the pictures. I think there were problems because I saved the final versions to my file instead of actually creating them myself. On page 32, I couldn't get the picture to add padding between it and the words. The same thing happened on page 46 with the other picture. Also, the lines that seperate the pictures kept extending to the picture and past it on the other side.

I suppose I may have messed up some lines somewhere, but I couldn't figure it out.

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Castro's Assignment. Not to be Confused with Cuba

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So this assignment was ok. Really valuble for me and easy in the beginning, but on page 12 I didn't understand where we got the information to link one page to another. The same goes for page 25 with the picture link. I figure that alt in the link information means alternative, but I can't figure out what src means.

I also had trouble opening a photo editor because my computer keeps rejecting any changes I try to make to the pictures. So it was difficult for me to finish the assignment, although I understood the rest of what to do.

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1st Real Quiz of the Year

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Ex. 1-2.txt Whoo! Text Version!

Ex. 1-2.html Whoo! Internet Version!

Whoa, What A Change!

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In this exercise, I learned a lot about renaming files and making them turn into web pages. I hadn't noticed the simple application Notepad could do that. I had always wondered what it was for. It seemed so obsolete.

I also didn't know anything about Web Page Filtered. And, it was good to have a refresher course on the html for bold and italics. I remember trying to make sense of it so long ago in 7th grade.

test.html

Trackback and I didn't really change the test thing...Oops.

What Happens Online Stays Online?

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In reading the article about young teachers having social networking sites like Facebook, I find that people are giving these teachers a hard time. Just a year or so ago those teachers were in college, in sororities, and it was essential for them to have a site like Facebook.

If our country wasn't so pressed about sex, sexuality, and sometimes crude humor than this wouldn't be a problem. Also, if parents of young kids actually watched or blocked their kids from these sites it also wouldn't be a problem.

These young teachers haven't done anything in their young life that parents wouldn't have done in their younger years. I agree with Erin Webster "...my work and social lives are completely separate. I just feel they shouldn't take it seriously. I am young. I just turned 22."

Sometimes it's not the fault of the young teacher's profile. It's their friend who tagged them in a video or picture and they (the teacher) are not aware. But, teachers should seriously consider usuing higher privacy ratings on their sites.

As for the trolls article, it just shows me that everyone should be careful about what they post on the internet, who can see it, and their privacy ratings. If people don't care what is said about them on the Internet and give out all of their information without privacy blocks, those people shouldn't be surprised if a troll comes knocking on their door.

But, I also feel there should be some way to block these trolls and get them psychological help because it's not right to mess with people and be cruel just for the hell of it. It's a terrible thing to go through and the Internet should be a place filled with information and positive social networks.

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