November 2008 Archives

Alpha Test Results

| | Comments (0)
Having classmates test my website in class was intimidating at first, but beneficial for helping me figure out what to do next. So thank you to Jessie and Aja for looking at my site.

After looking at my site, Aja and Jessie provided mostly the same comments:

  • Don't underline the word "Navigation." It leads users to believe it might be a link. I was trying to set apart the word so it did not blend it. I didn't even think about it looking like a link. So I'm going to italicize it, make it bold, or change the font size for that word.

  • My front page explains everything that I plan to do within the inside pages. These goals are shown in a list. Jessie said she would like the list to be links on the main page, instead of having to go to the side navigation.

  • Aja and Jessie both wondered where to find out what a Click to Give site is. I have a page for that, but my link is not working. They pointed this out for me.

  • Jessie said she liked the background and overall style of my page.

  • Besides these changes, I know I need to add more information to each page.

  • While the pages have style, I wanted to add more color. Everything I have is in black and white, so I wanted to add some color somewhere, probably to the background.

  • I also want to add more interest to the titles. Because the title is in a separate table cell in my coding, I will be able to change things such as borders on the heading.
The alpha testing was very helpful and I've already made some changes to my coding. This is  my page in it's alpha form. Any other suggestions or comments are welcome.

Classmates' Alpha Testing

Clickable!

| | Comments (2)

One of my guilty pleasures (it's helpful!) is click-to-give sites. These sites are dedicated to a cause and by clicking a certain button, you help to donate to that cause. The donations come from other sponsor sites. For my term project, I plan on making a website that explores these websites, informs more people about them, and explores the real use of the sites.

I've started to design a basic plan for my site. I know that it will include:

  • an introduction page.
  • a page explaining what click-to-give sites are and how they work.
  • a page that explains how much good the sites do.
  • a page to link to the various sites.
  • a page crediting my sources.

My target audience is every single person that uses the web. If they already use the web almost daily, it won't take much of out their schedule to visit a website to click a button.

The sites I'm looking at are:

  • The Hunger Site which includes The Breast Cancer Site, The Child Health Site, The Literacy Site, The Rainforest Site, and The Animal Rescue Site.
  • FreeRice.com
  • Care2

Any ideas and feedback are great!!

 

assignmentpost...go!

Concentrate and Keep Moving Along

| | Comments (0)

Third portfolio! Well ... not really. This happens to be my second and third portfolio for the class Writing for the Internet taught by Dr. Jerz at Seton Hill University. I'm combining them for certain reasons. Moving on...

I really feel that, all things considered, I'm learning a lot in this class. This section of class, I learned a lot about websites and what is useful and what is not. Creative hypertext and interactive fiction games are both things I have never encountered before. It was interesting to interact with these types of internet writing and learn more about them.

Want to know more about what I've been doing? Read on. Because of the large amount of blogs that will have to be covered in this portfolio, I will try not to reference each of them more than once.

Books

There were two different books that we took a look at in this section of the class. These are my overall reviews for each book.

Coverage

These blogs demonstrate my ability to include quotes from the reading, the source of the reading, and a post back to the assignment page.

Timeliness

These blogs were posted on time! Being sick, my timeliness slipped around a bit, but there is certainly some work that was submitted on time! YAY!

Interaction

These blogs prove my ability to interact with the others in the classroom by attracting comments from them.

Depth

Want me to write in depth? Go a little bit further than I had to? Since I missed a bit of the blogging on time, I chose to make up for that by writing some more indepth blogs!

Discussion

These are blog entries belonging to my classmates where I added to their blog by making a comment. Enjoy!

Others

Blogs that were written during this time period but really didn't fit into a category.

 

Assignment Post

 

Hypertext Fiction is Possible.

| | Comments (0)

Furthermore, Aristotle concludes, "a well-constructed Plot, therefore, cannot either begin or end at any point one likes; beginning and end in it must be of the forms just described. Again: to be beautiful, a living creature, and every whole made up of parts, must not only present a certain order in its arrangement of parts, but also be of a certain definite magnitude" (1462).
Hypertext and the Aristotelian Conception of Plot

Within "Is Hypertext Fiction Possible?" by George P. Landow, this page about Hypertext, Aristotle, and plot can be found. Because Aristotle says that a plot must have a beginning, middle, and end that are all well-formed, what happens to hypertext? Most hypertexts do not have a definitive beginning, middle, or end. Do they not have a plot?

I believe that they do. Hypertext is not written in the same way that published books and poetry are. It is allowable, normal, acceptable for a reader to start anywhere within the text and finish anywhere. Unlike in a book, one reader's concept of the plot within the hypertext may be completely different from the plot found by another reader.

Hypertext is interesting because of it's ability to be a completely different experience for every reader. It can even be a different experience for the same reader. The same path does not have to be chosen everytime. It is new, exciting, different... and definitely possible.

Hypertext therefore calls into question qualities associated with all these other concepts.

  • fixed sequence
  • definite beginning and ending
  • a story's "certain definite magnitude" and
  • the conception of unity or wholeness

Hypertext and the Aristotelian Conception of Plot 

The article brings up the point that hypertext calls certain qualities of plot "into question." I examined these qualities within the context of the hypertext I spent the most time with.

I examined a creative hypertext called Stir Fry Texts which is talked about more in depth in my blog I, You, We Stir Fry! The authors of the different Stir Fry Texts defy all of what Aristotle says while still creating effective hypertext that is also fiction.

There is no fixed sequence. By rolling the mouse over the text, anything can happen. The words do not change in a certain order. A slight movement of the mouse can change a word, a phrase. Moving the mouse over everything can change almost everything within the paragraph. Changes can happen in any order possible. While there is no specific order for the text to be experienced, a fixed sequence still occurs for the reader. One page is text is viewed, changes are made with the mouse, and then a whole new page can be viewed. The reader still experiences text within an order, just not a predetermined one. 

There may be a definite beginning to Stir Fry Texts, but there is certainly no definite ending. The reader is provided with a place to start reading but after anything can happen within the text. The reader is free to stop at any point without feeling like he or she is missing any of the story. But isn't that the definite end for the reader? When the reader decided that he or she is done with the story, they walk away. And it's finished. 

There is no "certain definite magnitude." It seems that the story can be as big or as small as the reader wishes. The reader could spend hours with this hypertext, just as one could spend hours with a book. The reader could also choose to be done with the hypertext after just a minute or two, all the time it takes to read some poems. 

The concept of unity or wholeness is left up to the reader. The text can be seen as a whole story or not.

Despite the hypertext's ability to live up to what Aristotle says constitutes a good piece of fiction with a solid plot, the readers can still walk away from Stir Fry Texts with the sense that a story happened. They can feel connected with the characters and also feel that something was resolved within the 'story' being told on screen. I did.

After all this investigation on hypertexts themselves and reading about hypertext, I have a new respect for this writing form. The first creative hypertext I read was The Heist by Walter Sorrells. My reaction to the piece was not altogether pleasant. I was confused by the constant jumping around from one section to another within the writing. After exploring many other hypertexts, which include different forms of hypertext besides pure writing, I found different sites that I really enjoyed. While not all hold to Aristotle's conventions of what constitutes good plot, I found that some of them could still hold the form of a story. Others, such as Stud Poetry, were not similar to a story.

In the end, I really do not think that hypertext can be compared to books because it is an entirely different way of storytelling. I believe it holds true, though, that it is a form of storytelling, no matter what Aristotle said thousands of years ago.

Assignment Post

I, You, We Stir Fry!

| | Comments (0)

Now that I had perused five different texts for at least 5 minutes each, I chose two to look at in more depth.

The first one I investigated was Stir Fy Text. Because there were five different sections within this game. There was a lot to explore.

The first, Log, was interesting because it had a strong connection to self. It starts with five different times. Under each time is a short description, five sentences each, about what is happening to the person. These short descriptions do not reveal big details, but instead are able in invoke emotion within the reader. The writer seems to be searching for something, possibly finds it, and loses. He seems to be in a perpetual state of waiting, no matter what is happening. Running my mouse over the text, some of the original writing is preserved, and new things are added. Each time, different words seem to convey the same emotions, despair and waiting.

The second text, Spastext, starts with a description of writing. It does not matter who does the work, who gets credit for the work. It matters that extraordinary writing is done and made available to everyone. As I ran the mouse over the text and read other sections, it seemed that this ever changing paragraph really deals with individuality. While it may not matter who did that wonderful piece of writing, the writer wants credit. A part of the writer is in that work. We each, just as writers and artists, have the ability to 'create' part of our own individuality.

The third text, Blue Hyacinth, seems to deal with a woman. This woman is dealing with the pain of not meaning to the man she wants/has what he means to her. I truly did not understand this one at all. I spent a bit of time with it, but the descriptions of music recording, nightclubs, and fire alarms did not fit together for me.

The fourth text, Correspondence, was interesting because there was more than one text to change within this individual site. By clicking the icon at the bottom, I rotated through out five different 'e-mail letters' sent by different individuals. By rolling over these e-mails, the sender would change, as would the content.

The fifth text, Divine Mind Fragment Theater, was really interesting because, just like Correspondence, there were different texts to start with that could be rotated through. It was really interesting because the text started as a paragraph from a published work. There were three different paragraphs. By rolling over the text and changing it, what happened was that different parts of each paragraph were merged into the one. You could start with any of the three paragraphs you liked, but soon, you would be looking at parts of all three, merged into one.

I really like the idea of Stir Fry Text. I was able to create many different stories and paragraphs just by moving my mouse.

The second game I looked at with more depth was I, You, We. This game rotated around the word, or letter if you prefer, I. The words you and we were thrown throughout the space along with a mish mash of many other words. I spent a lot of time looking at all the different words. I actually tried to write a lot of them down:

impair, nobble, contrive, consult, drool, flake, rejuvinate, turnover, splice, employ, glimpse, bedeck, purify, suggest, sponge, reoffend, pontificate, elope, remind, adjourn, permeate, psych, squish, unfasten, bargain, vent, rumble, cripple, picket, dismantle, reunify, stomach, reject, tempt, slag, manufacture, fudge, gatecrash, waft, pilot, rationalize, benchmark, evangelize, prick, farm, reconvene, befoul, rehearse, edit, dispossess, juxtapose, evaporate, prevent, deviate, engender, reinterpret, limber, spoon, replicate, propound, outwit, backtrack, censor, spurn, expend, amuse, torpedo, rage, boot, riffle, dominate, flash, rescind, suffice, overdose, superimpose, preside, devalue, gloss, disown, gush, promote, pillage, resubmit, claw, chuck, misbehave, photocopy, paralyse, lip, seal, revert, excavate

There were a lot more words within this site than I even realized. What I liked best were the emotions that can be invoked by words. Just by looking at all of these words on the screen, I could feel many different things. Memories were brought up, feelings I have past experienced. I loved the simplicity, but intensity, of this site.

Assignment Post

HyperText ... Not all what I thought.

| | Comments (0)

Because the creative hypertext we have been dealing with in class is all similar to story form, that is what I was expecting within the sites I chose from the Electronic Literature Collection Volume One site. That was not at all the case. The different creative sites I visited were all very different. They all involved different sorts of creative ideas using text and the web.

Stud Poetry
Stud Poetry, by Marko Niemi, is an interesting take on poker. Words take the place of numbers on the cards. Words such as nature, infinite, and balsam can now be found on the cards. You play just as you would play poke, betting, calling, raising, and folding, hoping to win the hand. The people you play with can include Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Verlaine.

I found this game really interesting because it emphasizes the importance of words. Words hold the power that numbers often do.

Carving in Possibilities
This site focuses on the face of Michaelangelo's David. The interaction starts with the introduction "Mouse slowly to carve out your existence ... and remember where you put your ghosts." The player is to slowly move the mouse over the blurry face of David to find new phrases and to slowly reveal David's sculpted face.

I liked this creative hypertext because of the phrasing used: 
"Did they keep you company in polyphonic harmony?"
"ancient bodies compressed in calcite structures"
"How do you know this David did not lie?"

The wording seemed so poetic and striking.

Inanimate Alice, Episode 1: China
This site was a pretty straight-forward story. After a few sentences, a button would appear to click through to the next part of the story. It told the story of a little girl who lived with her parents in China. She and her mother go to look for the father when he gets lost.

I didn't much like this because there was not much interaction. The user clicks to go on to the next page and that is pretty much it. At one point, the user cannot move on until he or she "takes a picture" of each flower that Alice wants to. After images of the four flowers are captured on Alice's little communication device/game player, the user is able to click to the next part of the story. 

I, You, We
I loved this site. While very simple, this page could be explore for a long time. The user of the site seems to be in an infinite cube in which there are many, many words. The words I, you, and we randomly fill the space. The rest of the space is filled with other words. All of these words are striking because they seem to be able to describe the user.

Stir Fry Texts
The idea of this site is very interesting. As you move the mouse over the words, the words seem to spasm, and then they change. A new piece of writing is created with each move of the mouse. There are five different stir fry texts, Log, Spastext, Blue Hyacinth, Correspondence, and Divine Mind Fragment Theater. Each seperate page contains the same idea with different writings.

I really liked this page and I'd like to spend more time with it. It was fun to roll my mouse quickly over the entire text, read what appeared, and repeat.

 

Overall, I found some of these to be really interesting. Of the five I looked at, only two were interesting enough to play for more than a few minutes. More on that in my next blog =]

Back to the original assignment. 

Krug Final Analysis

| | Comments (0)

After finishing Steve Krug's book, Don't Make Me Think, I have come to one strong conclusion: I certainly, without a doubt, loved this book. Krug's book is geared towards users who need help making their site as usable as possible... preferably without spending much of anything. I found that a very useful angle to take.

Krug stresses how important it is to avoid making your users think. Users should be able to wiz right through a website without having to ponder the meanings of links and words. The setup should be clear and concise, no extra clutter. Links should be clear so that a user is confident in the fact that they are clicking through to where they want to be. More clicks are allowable, as long as those clicks are getting the user to the correct place.

Krug does talk a lot about how useful usability testing is. It should be done no matter what. Don't have a large budget? Hey, that's ok! Do it for free! Use your friends! ... or people willing to do it for free. The main point is that a designer can do usability testing no matter how much or how little money he or she has to spare.

The one thing I didn't like about Krug is that for all the paper he uses talking about how great usability testing is, there is not much information about how to conduct usability testing. Sure, there are a few tips along the way, but not much information is given on how to actually do it.

Overall, Krug's book was great. It was simple and fast to read, easy to understand, and enjoyable too. Krug uses wit and quotes to keep his readers entertained.

Assignment Page ... yeah! 

The Body... Her Body

| | Comments (0)

It seemed my body could do anything I wanted it to. How much I dared was the only question.
The Body by Shelley Jackson

Shelley Jackson takes her readers on a journey through her view of her body. At times I felt the reading to be a bit uncomfortable, like I was reading someone's diary. Whether this was all pure fiction or not, I still felt that I was invading her space.

I liked reading The Body because it was easy to follow. Because each page dealt with a seperate part of the body, one did not have to read previous "chapters" to understand the current one. I was not lost. I took the time to make sure I had read every entry, every description that Jackson had posted of her body.

I think The Body is very interesting because Jackson views the body through an artist's point of view. She describes her struggles with drawing the body. Her struggles with learning how to draw something with correct perspective are explored. She views the body as more than a functional piece of hardware. She can see the body, her body, as a piece of art that can inspire the creation of more art.

This work of writing works extraordinarily well as a hypertext because the body and hypertext are very similar. Each can be viewed as a whole. The parts make up the whole but do not have to be reviewed in any particular order. The hands can be looked at before the ears. The ears do not have to be comprehended in order for the hands to be understood. I think the same should be true with creative hypertext. Each entry, each page, should be able to stand on it's own. The different pages should add to each other, should compliment each other. Alone they don't make complete sense, just as the feet don't make complete sense when not attached to the body. But readers should be able to read each page out of order and still sense what is being conveyed.

Other's view points of The Body.

University of Emotion

| | Comments (0)
Here is my soul made of layered language.
You smashed it against the wall that night of hallucinations.
And when I pry open my eyes, a long-beaked mask in the vague darkness nibbles at my clenching hands.

The University of Yellow Wallpaper by c. e. white

I found The University of Yellow Wallpaper to be a really interesting interactive fiction. The language used within the writing, as shown by the above excerpt, is very rich. I really liked reading each page individually. Together, I'm not sure how the different pages fit together. The only connections I saw between the pages were a strong reference to the emotion the writer was feeling.

I like that the links to the pages I had already visited were shown as pink instead of the original yellow. This helped me to discover more of the story in a shorter amount of time. I did not have to waste time exploring the pages I had already been at.

E. B. White definitely uses hypertext to acheive a new effect that could not be found on paper. The links emphasize certain descriptions. Those few words seem more important. They jump out at the reader. Because the writing has a feeling of insanity to it, the hyperlink medium helps to convey that feeling to the reader. Each click takes the reader further and further into the maze that is this person's mind. The writing backtracks to reference ideas presented before. This makes even more connection to the feeling of insanity, of running in circles.

Because there was no real storyline to follow, it was ok to jump from one section to the next. There was no specific timeline running through the story so it made it ok to access the story sections in any random order.

I think this story was very effective as a hypertext. The lack of a firm story line made jumping around possible. The many links within the text made the feeling of insanity much more readily accessible to the reader. That effect could not have been achieved the same way in a print novel.

Other's reactions?

Changing History Wikipedia Style

| | Comments (0)
I chose to edit two separate Wikipedia pages. The one page I edited was Bishop Carroll High School (Ebensburg, Pennsylvania). This is my high school. There was very little information included on the site. What I did was add a section about the athletics at the school:

Athletics
Bishop Carroll offers many different athletic teams including:
-Baseball
-Basketball
-Cheerleading
-Football
-Golf
-Softball
-Soccer
-Track and Field
-Volleyball
-Wrestling


The second article I edited was The Hunger Site. This article concerns The Hunger Site, which I am a frequent visitor of. The Hunger Site is also linked with five similar sites, so I added a Related/Affiliated Pages section:

Related/Affiliated Pages
The Breast Cancer Site

The Child Health Site
The Literacy Site
The Rainforest Site
The Animal Rescue Site

I left these two revisions sit for a night. After checking back in the morning, I found something exciting. I had changed Wikipedia! While it had only been one night, no one has removed or altered my additions yet. I think because I added very basic information that no one was out to quickly change it. Also, The Hunger Site's article had not been edited in two months and Bishop Carroll's had not been changed in one month. Because these pages are not frequently edited, my changed may not, if ever, be altered.

Reading over my classmate's blogs, I found their experiences to be really interesting as well.
Jessie edited two different pages. She found one entry to be completely erased and her other addition was not changed at all, even though she had made spelling errors. Dani found the same results: a complete erasure of her one addition and nothing done to her second addition. Maddie added to a Wikipedia page and found that the information she added was not changed. Jed felt wrong about making large alterations to the pages. He added small bits of information and saw that no one changed his changes.

Overall, I think this was a great learning experience about Wikipedia. I felt like I held a higher power when editing the Wikipedia pages. I could change an encyclopedia! That being said, the fact that I, a college freshman, can change an encyclopedia entry certainly makes me realize that this encyclopedia is definitely not always reliable.

So my final word is the same word I started out with concerning Wikipedia: It's a great starting point. Users can find links to follow and base information on Wikipedia, but they should always quote other, more academic sources.

Assignment Post

SHU vs SVC

| | Comments (0)
Seton Hill University versus Saint Vincent College.
No. We're not here to debate the academics, food, dorm rooms, or sports teams of these two colleges. This is where we examine the strengths and weaknesses of the Wikipedia pages of each college... a much more interesting topic.

After reviewing each page, I could tell that the Wikipedia articles for Seton Hill University and Saint Vincent College were very different. Seton Hill's entry focused on the degree programs and the clubs available at the university. St. Vincent's article had a heavy focus on the history and traditions of the college.

Because each article had a strong focus in one general area, there was information lacking from each. Seton Hill's page has a bit of history, but not as much as St. Vincent's article. St. Vincent's Wikipedia article has a good bit of information about the history and traditions of the school, but it fails to mention what the school has to offer.

I went on to browse the Discussion page for each article. I could not figure them out. I could not figure out where the talking and discussing took place. Because I could not find where the talking was happening, I could not determine what was being talked about. I thought that these pages might be interesting, but because I had no luck in figuring out how to work the pages, I'm left wondering.

I then went on to the History page for each college's Wikipedia entry. This was very interesting. On this page, I could see that revisions are made to the pages at least once a month. Sometimes there were multiple revisions made within a month, a week, or even a day.

Overall, this showed me that Wikipedia doesn't have everything. What SHU's article had, SVC's didn't and vice versa. The information there was helpful, but not enough depending on what the user is looking for.

Assignment Post

The First Step: The Editing Page

| | Comments (0)
Editing Wikipedia. This is a new domain for me. Really, working with Wikipedia at all is slightly new because I never really used Wikipedia for anything before. Now, the class Writing for the Internet has me immersed in Wikipedia.

Before actually editing an article on Wikipedia, I perused the editing page. I chose to look at the page for editing Rudolf Nureyev's Wikipedia page. I know a lot about Nureyev, a famous male ballet danseur, because of my love for ballet and his work in particular. As I looked over the page, I found the details to be interesting. The first thing this page cautions editors about is the fact that if they are not logged in, their IP address will be recorded publicly in the page's edit history. The user's IP address can be hidden by creating an account.

Instead of editing the page without first viewing the changes, Wikipedia provides Sandbox. This is a page that allows the user to carry out experiments on editing pages. Content on this page is wiped clean every 12 hours so the user can experiment with how to edit a Wikipedia entry. I thought the title of Sandbox is really witty and appropriate. Just like a sandbox at the playground, anyone can 'play' on this page and the marks that one leaves will easily be wiped away by the next person's marks.

Towards the end of the page, Wikipedia makes a note:
If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed for profit by others, do not submit it.
While this statement is obvious, it is a good reminder to those people that want to edit Wikipedia articles. Once that information is posted, it is no longer the original user's information. It becomes property of the entire Wikipedia community.

It seems to me that Wikipedia's editing page is set up well. Reminders of how to act on the site are strewn throughout the page. Help is left in certain places.
I can't wait to get my hands dirty and try it out.

Assignment Post

Wikipedia Rules! ...Well, they have rules.

| | Comments (0)
Wikipedia's Key Policies and Guidelines article gives very intersting insight into the workings of Wikipedia. It was interesting that Wikipedia clearly stated:
You don't need to read any Wikipedia policies before you contribute. However, the following policies are particularly important to the project, and the sooner you understand and use them, the better.
Wikipedia has the policies there to be guidelines but the site does not find it necessary for a contributer to red the policies before diving in to add information.

So. Wikipedia has guidelines and policies. But the policies don't need to be looked at? The guidelines don't need to be perused before adding to an entry? Granted, even if Wikipedia required that the guidelines be read, many people would not read them anyway. There is no way to enforce that. But Wikipedia blatantly says that it is not necessary for a contributer to read the policies. It is helpful to read the policies, but that is mentioned in the second sentence which most users probably don't even get to after reading that they are not required to read Wikipedia's guidelines.

Wikipedia's policies have been summarized into basic points which Wikipedia calls the Five Pillars.
  • Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. References for all information must be provided. There is to be no original research included.
  • Wikipedia has a neutral point of view. Articles must present all view points accurately or none at all.
  • Wikipedia is free content. Anyone may edit the information. No individual controls any particular articles.
  • Wikipedia has a code of conduct. A degree of respect should be held for all other Wikipedia users. Edit wars and personal attacks should be avoided.
  • Wikipedia does not have firm rules. Perfection is not required. All previous versions of an article are saved, so there is no need to worry about permanently altering an article.
Overall, I found Wikipedia's rules to be helpful since I'm rushing off to edit articles. Wish me luck!

Assignment Post

Terror. Fear. Wikipedia!

| | Comments (1)

Wikipedia. The mention of the word is enough to strike terror in the minds of many academic teachers. Wikipedia is not reliable and should not be used for research ever. Correct? That's what students have been told for a while. But now? Things are changing. Is Wikipedia changing? Or our views of the source?

But an encyclopedia can be a valid starting point for research.
Lisa Spiro

Lisa Spiro's article, "Is Wikipedia Becoming a Respectable Academic Source?", investigates the changing status of Wikipedia. The point I liked best is the same point Dr. Jerz bought up in our class, Writing for the Internet. Wikipedia may not be a good source to quote in a paper but it can certainly be a good point to start when looking for research. Not everything from Wikipedia can be trusted as reliable but it's certainly a good place to start looking.

Even though Spiro mentions that citing Wikipedia could be ok in some instances, I don't agree. I think sticking with using Wikipedia as a starting point is a good idea. There's no reason to cite Wikipedia when a more reliable source can be found.

Wikipedia is a project whose failure is genetically programmed into its mechanisms[...]
Andrew Orlowski

Andrew Orlowski's article, "There's no Wikipedia entry for 'moral responsibility'", views Wikipedia in the entirely opposite way. He does not agree that Wikipedia is a trusted source. He uses the example of John Seigenthaler, whose Wikipedia biography was altered to contain incorrect information. This false information was not corrected for months. When the perpetrator was found, Brain Chase, he claimed that he thought Wikipedia was a joke site. He made the change to the entry just as a jest.

(There is a site, Uncyclopedia, that is a spoof of Wikipedia. It is made of up stories that are entirely fake. The main point of the site is entertainment and to poke fun at Wikipedia. Apparently, some people are confusing the two sites.)

Orlowski states that there are two general defenses for Wikipedia. One defense for Wikipedia is that NO source can be completely trusted. So why is Wikipedia made out to be the bad guy? The other defense states that anyone can edit the information found on the site. When information is found to be incorrect, Wikipedia can then blame the user for not finding the correct information and making the necessary change.

Orlowski shoots down both of these ideas. In response to the first statement, he says, "only a paranoiac, or a mad person, can sustain this level of defensiveness for any length of time [...]." He claims that only a mad person could truly go through life questioning the validity of every single source. In response to the other defense, that users have the ability to change incorrect information, Orlowski says that this is only a way to take the blame off Wikipedia. 

After reading these two articles, I still stick with my original idea. Use Wikipedia as a starting point, if you must. Don't quote the Wikipedia article itself. There is not enough evidence that Wikipedia is a reliable source at all.

Go here for reliable sources? Well... student opinions.

That's just too dang personal!

| | Comments (3)
"As soon as people realize you're asking for more than you need, they feel completely justified in lying to you."
Don't Make Me Think, Steve Krug

It's an interesting concept to be sure and a very plausible one. If website designers ask for too much information, users filling out the forms will not feel wrong in fudging the information. They very well might fill in complete bogus information. People don't like offering up more personal things than they have to. Krug reminds us to not fall into it.

Ask for fewer information. If you don't really really need it, don't ask for it. The more fields a user has to fill out, the worse. The less likely they will fill any of it out.

Another reminder not to make your page too flashy: Don't make your page too flashy!! I know Krug has mentioned this more than once in the book, but it's worth a few mentions. People don't like too much flash. Give them the information they are looking for, straight up.

I like the letters Krug included in this chapter. While I don't think they are for actual use, I think a lot of head honchos could benefit from a letter like this. For the purpose of the book, it was an interesting way to present the information Krug was trying to get across.

I liked this book. For purposes of a book for class, I loved this book. It was entertaining, informative, and quite different. Thank you Krug. Thank you.

Others final comments...

Recent Comments

Jessie Krehlik on Click to Give Update: I just thought I would give yo
Aja Hannah on Click to Give Update: You may have already noticed t
Jed Fetterman on Click to Give Update: Your website is good, all of t
Aero Windwalker on Click to Give Update: I think your website is outsta
Aja Hannah on Clickable!: I love helping others! That's
Maddie Gillespie on Clickable!: Quite the undertaking. I like
Taran Rampersad on Terror. Fear. Wikipedia!: Another thing to consider is h
Jed Fetterman on That's just too dang personal!: The first thing I thought of i
Aja Hannah on That's just too dang personal!: I think Krug uses this writing
Daniella Choynowski on That's just too dang personal!: The fact that Krug wrote like
Powered by Movable Type