November 2008 Archives
The project is suitable for Beta testing at this point.
the finished project
comments much appreciated.
1. For some reason, the game wasn't liking the "wait for any key" command, which is strange to me because I used it a bunch previously. I eve cut and pasted from other sections and adapted it to fit that part of the story, but to no avail I kept getting:
2. I tried to code an actual "end the game command", but I found the instructions in the manual a little vague, so I'll fix it on Tuesday after other came help me find out what is wrong.
The game is suitable for Beta testing at this point.
Beta testers: 2 over break
what I've learned:
-bolding directions is more useful for people who just scan paragraphs
-Inform 7 games are very difficult for first-time players
-ahahaha, emo-quote from sister; people like humor as well as intrigue
-I made some typos, including tense and pronouns
-I need to learn how to make Fawks invisible-I had it programmed that he was in the room, but invisible. Yet when the player entered Dumbledore's office, the game said "you can see Fawks here."
-I need to add the "understand ..../..../as...." to the key phrase that opens the glass cabinet. I even had to stop the testing and figure it out-I did, after 9 tries
-add "understand..../.../...as" to the part where the player has to put the vial into the penseive. Chances are many will not know "insert vial into penseive" is the correct phrase.
AND ALSO: WHY DID THE GAME NOT LET ME USE THE "WAIT FOR ANY KEY" COMMAND TOWARDS THE END???I would love to change the paragraph breaks to "wait for" commands so the player has to read the little sections of the story one by one instead of being able to skip ahead to the ending.
I will try to implement some of these changes before tuesday if I can figure them out.
The shell was ready on Monday, and my work this week has concerned the style sheets. In addition, I had my mother priority ship all my pictures of the places I mention in my hypertext memoir. I have some 200+ pictures of Italy, and much of my time not spent backstage or onstage this week has been spent in 3rd Maura scanning the pictures so I can use them. That's the final step after formatting the pages color and font wise. I will be adding pictures like crazy next week.
by the way, it took my 40 minutes to figure out <center></center> would position a picture and caption to the center of the page. Dense much?
Since there are so many pictures, I'm only going to use a select few and perhaps include a link to a Flickr site where the viewer can view the additional pictures. I seriously have 20 pictures of our house-you don't need to see all 20 to get the point of my narratives.
Layout wise, I see nothing to revise at this point. I've made the links convenient-the user does not have to hit the back button, because each page links back to the one that preceeded it. Christina and Alex have both viewed my shell and said the only thing that needs to be improved upon is stylesheet issues-and half of the pages don't have them, having been created in MT. My process is thus-to perfectly craft all pages stylewise, then add the pictures.
I have a lot of tedious, but not difficult, work in store for me this Thanksgiving break.I won't be bored during that 6 hour train ride. And Spanish is over for the year, so that time slots clears some additional worktime.
*update-the stylesheets are done!!!! I finished them on sunday, as well as added links that should have been there, including one from the ending story back to the homepage so the viewer can start over*
The game is almost done. I have one last scene to program, and I should be able to finish the shell command -during Tuesday's class. A lot of the programming so far has dealt with trial and errors, since I've never done this before. To my surprise, I find myself having a pretty good idea of what will and will not work before I press the "run" button. I am getting really sick of this trial-and-error because it is so time consuming. Those two hours really fly by.
I'm almost there. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The shell is complete-content-wise. To add the France section would be masochistic-I don't have the time.
Other than pointing out the few spelling errors the stories contained, Christina said my project needed style-sheet work, and I agree-I just wanted to get the hard part over with. Now the tweaking begins. She also suggested I maybe reformat the family tree page into an actual "tree", but I don't know yet. That's a Beta-Release issue.
Alex thought the linking strategy was great-the documents flowed into each other smoother. My linking strategy is that the first word of every document links back to the previous page. Every word that is a link includes a story related to the meaning of that word. One of them was a stretch-I made "wife beater"link to a story on cigarettes.
Christina also suggested to not overkill each page with pictures-some don't need as many. The stories where I describe the landscape and architecture need to have a visual aid, but the little-vignettes about the dogs and cigarettes do not.
Both suggested changing the font, and I am in the process of doing so.
The storm has been weathered. Now its time to clean up the debris and organize. I hope I can get the majority of this over and done with before Thanksgiving. And I hope my mother mails me the pictures, otherwise I'm using placeholders.
This is the *unedited first draft: I have since made changes to the documents on my USB drive. If you have any further suggestions, feel free to post them.
*so I changed the header size to reduce the grain, but the rest is unchanged*
Well, I spent all Saturday, sans the four and a half hours I was at the theater, on this project. The hardest part was typing up all the stories, as well as trying to remember them. Then the linking plan began. I actually printed out the stories, which I created in my blog, and spread them out on the floor and gave them numbers. I then wrote the numbers on the chart which I uploaded to my previous blog. That made it easier for me to keep track of which stories link to each other.
The shell is done
Originally, I was going to include a section on France and have the two intersect at the conclusions, but that really it too ambitious. That would require 20 more stories, pages, stylesheets, and pictures....I have other final projects for other classes.
I have all the pictures for this project. They're sitting in my bedroom in a scrapbook I made about 7 years. Guess what I'm doing over Thanksgiving...and I may have to pull some from the internet, as I don't have many of Portovenere.
Design won't be insanely complicated. I just have to intersperse the pictures now. And They're at home. Maybe I'll have mom ship them up ASAP.
For my term project, I will be creating a hyper-text memoir, called "my europe," loosely borrowing the concept of my body.
I lived in Italy for 6 summers, and spent this past summer in France. There will be two branches-my France and My Italy, which will include linked stories from my childhood (Italy) and a few months ago (France). As the reader goes deeper and deeper, the number of links to other stories will increase by page.
There will be 18 stories per sub-category, plus an introduction and conclusion, which will tie the two branches together, 38 stories total. I do have a complicated branch chart drawn out.
The first word of the page will link to the previous page, so the reader does not have to hit the back button. I don't think I will include a home page link because part of the project's purpose is to have the reader explore. I want them to get lost and try and find their way. I will not provide a map, here or within the project.
This stories consist of my fondest childhood memories. I don't want to forget any of them, and I'm hoping that this project will jog some more memories.
I have decided every specific story that I will include. I will then type them up and decide where the best link locations are. Once I see the words on the screen, I can better observe which words have some kind of relationship to the next.
For instance, my story about Mass at the mountain church will link to an anecdote about the first time I went in it and saw the gruesome bloody Jesus corpse in the glass coffin (bet that got your attention, didn't it) and visiting St Peter's for the first time. All the stories have a similar underlying tone.
1 page-2 links-which have two links of their own-each of those links has three links to other pages, within which will be the link to the conclusion page. Here is the sample chart. hopefully, you can see what I'm getting at. The point at the bottom of the chart is the conclusion.
And we visited my old friend Audacity. Nostalgia for my first media lab-not really. Quite frankly, I didn't really get anything out of that class, or so I thought. As I recall, there was a problem every week that course with the files: they wouldn't play, how to we upload, etc...Some of it must have stuck, because I had virtually no problems creating a useable MP3. But again, it sure was tedious, considering I spliced in 3 sections of myself speaking between interviews.
And now it's over, thank you Jesus. back to the semi-creative writing world of Inform 7.
Technology angers me. I belong back in Victorian times.
This time around I'm offering some constructive criticisms for Steve Krug. first off, congratulations Steve, for making a boring subject exciting to read about. I can say that this was the first non-theater related book I've read during college that I actually liked. It didn't feel like such a chore. The resevoir of goodwill section hit home the most-I swear at at least one web page a day. I still think they secretly hate me.
However, desipte krug's personal and hip writing style, I felt his book got uber-redundant towards the end. He spends about 4 chapters speaking about usability testing, basically saying the same guidelines with different words. I felt a sense of deja-vu. Okay Steve, we get it: usability testing is important. Re-wording is not really teaching your reader anything new. And we understand that amazon.com is a fantastic website-I've mentioned it several times myself. But its not the President of good usability testing results: there are websites out there that are just as well-designed and implemented. Then again, amazon was in its heyday when Krug wrote the book.
Coverage/Timeliness-They were all in on time. it seems me and Jed are closely tied in the "who can post first" race :). I was shocked I actually missed a blog entry, but that was for another class. soooo many blogs-it was bound to happen sometime.
Oh God, here we go
You Shouldn't Have to Think
Driving Around and Never Getting Anywhere
I Finished This Book
Grazie a Dio, sono libera finalmente
Slouching Towards Bedlam
Now It really is over
World Wide Web of Wikipedia
History, discussion, comparison
Editing Les Miserables
Reflections on the Whole
Interaction: people reacted back to interesting things I said. I wasn't as long winded this time around-I got more comments, and the blogs that weren't heavily commented on still had thoughtful response(s). I guess its true what Krug wrote: "visitors will not want to read through endless blocks of text".
I Finished This Book Today
Grazia a Dio
Slouching Towards Bedlam
Now It's really over
Interaction: I left comments on people's entries...I think this time around, there were more interesting entries
Wikipedia'(s Lack of) Rules
Creating a Welcoming Environment
I Loathe Interactive Fiction-so do I...but for some reason, I have little problem creating it
Story Or Game
Usability, testing, Writing, and Hatred
What's good is bad and what's bad is good
Joe the Web user
Not a Novel-it's a website
Bad Page, Naughty Homepage
Depth: I wrote a lot, but didn't blab as much as I have in the past -although it was relevant and coherent blabbing
Driving Around and Never Getting Anywhere
You Shouldn't Have to Think
Grazia a Dio, Sono Libera Finalmente
Slouching Towards Bedlam
World Wide Web of Wikipedia
Editing Les Miserables
*I love that I finally got to work Spongebob Squarepants into a class assignment*
**I am registered as Javertlover on Wikipedia**
Well, it seems that this Wikipedia exploration assignment has paid off for our school's article. Users have edited the page within the past two days to include information on our centers and added a complete list of undergraduate programs. Now, our site is even better than SVC's because it includes substantial information, and not just a traditional background. Universities and Colleges exist to educate, and I was kind of shocked that as of two days ago, neither site had much info in academic fields of study. Traditions and historical backgrounds are interesting bits of trivia, but what really matters is what the schools offer in terms of degrees. Thank you, whoever Chels337 and Dexter52 are.
Someone named Beemer69 has removed all the information I added to the Squidward section under "list of spongebob squarepants characters". Someone named Bill evidently didn't like me encroaching on his authority concerning spongebob-dom. Reading Bill's profile, I see that he spends a lot of time editing his favorite wikipedia articles. Well Bill, I love spongebob and all, but I'm not going to constantly remove everything that is not written by me(he has removed 3 edits done by users in the pat two days, even though the entries were informative). I care, but not that much. So you may go ahead and remove my Squidward paragraph, even though it was entirely factual. I have a life outside of wikipedia.
No one edited the section I added to the Les Miserables (musical) page. I just visited the history page, and recognize two of the names: they are some of the same people who edited the spongebob characters page. I think Beemer69 may have seen my name on the edit history page and went to check out what other pages I edited.
So what have I learned? There are people out there so passionate about a subject that they polce the wikipedia article concerning it, making sure the information stays pure. And sometimes they don't wany anyone else adding to what they wrote, because its "their work". I guess I might feel like that if I was a person who spent hours just roaming Wikpedia. But I'm not that person. So I'll check back in a week with squidward and Les Miserables and see of anything has changed. Unless something is obviously, deliberately false, I'll leave the pages as they are, because I know there are hundreds of wiki vigilantes.
That was an interesting assignment, but very tedious. Oh well, 3 more weeks.
There are two things on which I can consider myself an authority on: Les Miserables and Spongebob Squarepants. I felt that there is not enough character description under the spongebob entry, so I decided that I was going to add some. Unfortunately, the wikipedia policy have cracked down upon the spongebob articles, which seem to have a very high vandalism rate. They are semi-protected, and since I just signed up for a wiki account yesterday, I cannot edit the spongebob page.
I can, however, edit the 'list of spongebob squarepants characters" page.
I added the following to the "Squidward Tentacles" character description:
"While Squidward is annoyed by the two, he ends up missing the excitement Spongebob and Patrick bring to his life (whether he wants to admit it or not. Squidward once moved to a community of squids to get away from his bothersome neighbors, only to find life quickly boring and mundane. Squidward ends up reverting to Spongebob-esque antics("Tentacle Acres").
Despite his many claims to hate Spongebob, Squidward actually has a soft spot for the young boy. It appeared once that Squidward had given a pie to Spongebob that was a bomb. During what he perceived as Spongebob's last day on earth, Squidward spent the entire day with him as they did everything on his wish list. ("Dying for Pie"). During an attempt at an April Fool's Day prank that goes awry, Squidward, after unintentionally making Spongebob cry, confesses that he actually likes him ("Fools in April")."
The spongebob lexicon is so large that it has its own version of wikipedia
I've got a soft spot for the only being I know of that has failed the driver's test more times than I have (1,970,578).
I never could figure out how the heck my uncle could afford to live in the house he does: beachfron property in Daytona. He is a web marketer (and one of the founders of the dreaded pop-up). Just clicking on a banner pays off for the host website, because it is assumed that clicking translates into buying. The host site directed customers toward a product, and based on the "turn-over", or # of clicks, the designer gets paid.
Print alone does not draw in readers. Photos capture frozen moments, and real reactions. Matching a facial expression with a quote makes the story resonate even more with the public. In order to obtain these jewel moments, use the utmost sensativity when approaching an irate/hurt/upset person.
There is a difference between censoring and using editorial judgement. One of the functions of an editor is to protect the paper's reputation, and judge whether printing a potentially offensive story is worth the possible backlash. A school paper should adhere to the school's code of conduct. Private schools, being a smaller community, tend to have more conservative views.Large state schools are more liberal and must take into consideration the views of their large population. Diversity=less homogenization. The point is, editors and advisors exists to help prevent you, the student, from making a mistake that could get you in trouble. They're not here to silence you. No one cal really be silenced anymore, thanks to the "blogosphere". It's just that people are more likely to find the information you want them to in a school paper
"as a student myself, I can view the past through the lens of The Miscellany's coverage and see national events on a more recognizable scale than ever before"
"student editors must consider both uses of their papers: the present-day and the historical"
National newspapers tend to generalize large events. Local and school newspapers are less lofty, closer to the people. They are more likely to contain humanizing feature content. Plus, I'd like to be able to look back and review years from now what my generation thought about what was going on in our country. We've had a lot of great political articles written these past two years: it would be interesting to compare what was written now 20 years from now when our children are living through a campaign. How much would be similar/different? How much would the world have changed by then?
"all of these flaws are shocking when one realizes that Generation Y, the most tech-savvy ever born, maintains and codes these sights"
"reporters can contribute live blogs, attach videos and other multimedia to their articles"
Well, I can understand why, after taking New Media Projects. The amount of time one has to put into creating multi-media is sickening. Thank god we don't have heavy blogging in addition-I'd pull my hair out. But I've never been what they call "computer/tech-savvy"-I'll say it: I hate computers. I use them because I pretty much have to. AIM, and youtube are great convenience tools, and there is no longer a need for me to purchase cable when all the news shows are posted online within a few days of airing. But do I want to create electronic presentations, slideshows, and all that jazz?
No. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to journalism. I just want to write. I didn't pick this program because of the new media tag. But the world is changing, so we have to accomodate. And think about it: if we only did what we wanted, the world would never evolve. So this electronic stuff, this "new media", is necessary (as much as I hate to admit it).
But I will reiterate: heavy blogging may, quite frankly, suck at times, but it is a much more effective tool for learning than quizzes and tests. Instead of spitting back facts, we can discuss, and learn from our peers. It's just so tedious at times (can you tell I'm burnt out?)
The Setonian online should have a citizen reporter section where people can post additional photos and content to add to the story. We can't get all the viewpoints into an under 500 word article.
"alternative newspapers specialize in things that mainstream papers do poorly" 141
My question is: Is Eye Contact our alternative newspaper? The Setonian is more of a general newspaper, whereas Contact focuses only on types of art. But it doesn't cover news, it just showcases student artwork, sort of like a gallery showing on paper.
The alternative newspaper is meant to bring a different perspective to campus issues. However, I think that considering the size of our campus, there would be a lot of redundant material. if we were a bigger school, there would obviously be a lot more content and more oppourtunities for different spins on issues.
My sister's college has a newspaper for several different departments. She writes for the theater newspaper, contributing occasionally to the A &E section of the principal paper. But she goes to a state school, so tens of thousands of students attend it.
Personally, I would love to see an Onion-esque humor publication on campus.
I don't have that much to say about advertising, except this: why don't we have a classified section where students could take out low-cost ads to sell books and find potential off-campus roomates? I bet students would be interested.
"When Senator Obama's campaign sought to make one last push with a 30-minute infomercial, it bought time on three major networks, using money harvested on one platform-the Web-to buy time on another-broadcast television"
And what an infomercial it was. That spot was the most fantastic campagning I've seen throughout this entire election. It was a moment where the whole country stopped and watched, with their entire families. Picture a family of 4 huddled and straining around a computer screen-not so idealistic. The type of message that Obama was trying to get across to America did not suit the streaming video medium-but that's okay. Think about how much less of an effect a speech would be if you were reading only the transcript?
But thank god for youtube, because I never would have been able to see it otherwise. It was a great commerical, and it would have been even greater if I were relaxing in my living room in front of the TV instead of hunched over my computer at 2 a.m. Many college students may not be able to afford TV-$50 a month is riduculous-so we get our news mainly from online sources. The Obama campaign made excellent use of this relatively new medium, which has a very large and diverse audience.
"had the kind of access that journalists would kill for, including the cndidate working over his acceptance speech with a staff member and showing the family backstage making ready for their moment in the spotlight"
What we really want to get from a campaign is the feeling that we really know the candidate. TV makes superstars out of the candidates, putting them on a pedestal. Promotion, promotion, promotion. By making that video, the campaign humanized Obama. And I know that's what I want to see-the real person, not the person constructed by the media.
Thanks to online communties like Youtube, the internet has now become a user-constructed medium. The denver video was effective due to the fact that the campaign constructed it and published it on their own. There was no third party, so they could feel confident that no one would edit it before it aired.
"I think this time around, campaigns got used to the fact that anything they put out there could be pirated, remixed, mashed-up, and recirculated"
Beause of the freedom that the internet now gives the user, there were thousands of misconstrued videos. But that was to be expected-what would an election be without satire and manipulation. Instead of accepting the MASS media's promoted image of the candidate, users could now create the candidates as they perceived them to be.
Also, users could now campaign freely for the candidate of their choosing, not having to settle for canvassing flyers, calling people, and knocking on doors. Youtube's audience may not typically be interested in politics, but when you visit the homepage and see what video is popular that day, you're more likely to be intrigued and click on it.
"major companies had to change how they produced their coverage. Before almost every big interview-the networks released excerpts on their Web sites."
I think that people use the internet now more than they do TV. Computers are more readily accessible, so why not advertise on the most used medium?
Sure, you could wait until the next day when the video appeared on the internet, but part of the draw of a major interview is that everyone in the country is porbably watching it at the same time? Who wants to feel left out?
Say you want to watch it again-just visit Youtube or the news site. The two mediums support each other: the internet promotes TV, and TV provides the internet with archivable content for repeated viewings.
So I signed up for an account. It turns out you do not have to provide an email address. I could be anybody I wanted to-but I wonder, can the site still track your IP address and find out who you are.
Anyway, the musical site does not say anything about the differences between the book and the musical, which are quite substantial. So I am going to add the section on the differences.
2:08 Saturday morning: I added the following information:
Several discrepancies between the book and musical exist, probably due to time issues. The Bishop had a much bigger role in the novel, taking up several hundred pages of discussion in the beginning. He only appears in one scene at the start of the show. There is also more time granted in the novel describing Valjean's time in Toulon and what it did to his spirit.
Javert's background is described quite a bit as well-the only hint to his back story in the show is during "Confrontation" where he sings "I was born inside a jail, I was born with scum like you, I am from the gutter too." Javert's mother was a gypsy prostitute, and his father a thief. Javert faced discrimination as a child, and saw a life's devotion to justice and the law as the only means by which to redeem himself in God's eyes.
In addition, Thenardier and his wife were not the humorous, curmudgeony husband-and-wife they appear to be in "Master of the House." In the book, they are portrayed as vile, scum of the earth, selfish people-Madame Thenardier is referred to as the "Thenardiess", a term more suitable for a hideous giant. In addition, Eponine has a sister named Azelma, who is not mentioned in the show. Gavroche is Eponine and Azelma's much ignored brother, though this storyline is omitted in the musical. In the epilogue, Azelma travels with Thenardier to the new world where he becomes a slave owner/trader.
Thenardier did fight in the battle of Waterloo. He was picking gold and bullets off bodies when a still barely conscious man believed Thenardier had saved his life-this man was General Pontmercy, Marius' father. He always spoke of the great man Thenardier who saved his life.
Marius lived with his grandfather, Mr. Gillenormand, who has a small role in the French concept version but was later removed. Gillenormand, in the novel, was Marius' surrogate father.
The Les Amis were an intellectual society, as in the musical. However, some of the boys had love, admiration, and attraction for each other as well as Socratic feelings for their leader Enjolras, most notably Grantaire. Grantaire really only attended their meetings because of Enjolras, and ends up surrendering himself at the end of the novel alongside his hero.
Let's see if anyone corrects what I wrote. I don't have the book in front of me, so that was all from memory, I am 99.9% sure my information is accurate.
Right away I noticed the similarities between Moveable Type and the edit page. It looks like a blog entry would if we highlighted the text and clicked on the Rich Text button. But what I noticed most of all is the following set of instructions:
"Editing this way will cause your IP address to be recorded publicly in . If you , you can conceal your IP address and be provided with many other benefits. Messages sent to your IP can be viewed on your talk page."
I do not currently have a Wikipedia account. I guess I will have to sign up for the purpose of this assignment. the preceeding instructions made a though pop into my head: many people may not even bother reading the instructions and go ahead and edit without logging in. This, however, would record their IP address-if they wrote something that was deemed inappropriate, the "Wikipedia police" would be able to catch them-this is how my old chorus teacher got caught writing those Xanga entries about students. But...if you create an account, do you have to provide a valid email address, or can you create another identity? We'll see later on...
Despite the inherent similarity between the editing page and Moveable Type, there are an insane amount of formatting/font buttons. I don't even know where to begin with formatting-Is there any way to type in regular form and not Rich Text? Or can I just type regularly and hit the buttons to format the page
Well, according to Wikipedia, St Vincent college is a college in Gosport, Hampshire, England.There is not much information about this school. There are a couple of sentences about the sports teams, which include netball and something called "ultimate"-British terms I suppose.
So basically, all I can find on St Vincent College is that it's in England, it may be merging with Fareham College, and it has 4 sports teams. There is no information about their programs of study-which is odd.
Do you know what the difference between this school and the other in Latrobe? Saint. I typed Saint Vincent College instead of St Vincent College. Here is the correct page
Once again, I am shocked that there is no information on the fields of study offered at Saint Vincent's. Frankly, I find that more important than who has spoken there, that it used to be an all men's college, the Thanksgiving feast, and the sports traditions/fight song. There is a severe lack of substance. St Vincent's is a very trivial entry. We're supposed to discuss the strengths of the article, but I don't see any.
There has not been much discussed on the Sait Vincent site. It's part of 3 wiki projects: WikiProject Pittsburgh, WikiProject Universities, and WikiProject Pennsylvania. The site has also been rated B-class on the quality scale. Nothing special going on here.
There has not been much activity on the history page either. It appears that people stumbled across the page and added a sentence or two, but not much. Most of the activity deals with the wiki projects and not content
I'm going to be honest-I half expected Wikipedia to lead me to Seton Hall's article. This article is much more informative content wise. There's information on the history, fottball team, campus clubs, merging of men and women, the LECOM expansion, and our new theater (woot!).
In addition, the article lists our Master's programs, centers, and links to Seton Hill related sites, including our NMJ blogs and the Setonian
Seton Hill's article is much stronger than saint Vincent's, but it does not include a list of undergraduate majors either. Granted, it does link to the school website, but Wikipedia is usually known for its convenience. I'd like to see a quick-click list and not have to meander through our course catalog.
Even though our article is more content rich and informative, it was still rated below B-class=stub class. And there doesn't seem to be much talk (if at all). Someone edited a mistake concerning the College Democrats, but that's all I see.
There have been even fewer discussions than the saint Vincent site. Evan Reynolds corrected a mistakes, and three others added the page to wiki projects.
Wow, I would have thought more than 4 people would have contributed to the article.
"Many employ Wikipedia either as a source for information about contemporary culture or as a reflection of contemporary cultural opinion. "
"But an encyclopedia can be a valid starting point for research"
"Wikipedia covers topics often left out of traditional reference works, such as contemporary culture and technology."
I am this type of Wikipedia user. I think part if it's appeal to our generation is that Wikipedia has all the pop culture references that a regular encyclopedia does not. We have the best of both worlds in one database: I can find Barack Obama's background in the same place I can find what episode of Frasier my favorite quote came from.
Even better are the sources under the references section-real and factual. I wouldn't say that Wikipedia is a resource to site, but it can lead you to those sources.
The fact that it is user-editable is both a blessing and a curse. Mistakes can be corrected almost instantaneously, but there are people out there that feel joy in spreading lies. Similar to trolls, these users find joy in providing Wikipedia with false information. Yes, there are people who spend a lot of time correcting false entries, but Wikipedia is so vast that theirs is a useless labor. As soon as something is corrected, it can be un-corrected.
I've never clicked on the history tab. I never thought to look at the stages of the article-there might have been an an entirely false page at one point. It never occured to me that I could tell what kind of people have been editing the article based on past records. I suppose we can use the history to judge how reliable the current is.
"an edit to his Wikipedia biography implicated in him in the Kennedy assassination, and claimed he'd lived in Russia for twelve years. Both claims were false, and lay uncorrected for months."
"Chase thought Wikipedia was a joke site and he made the edit to amuse a colleague."
Yet another reason why too much power in the hands of the user can be dangerous. People think putting this kind of stuff on the internet is funny, never thinking about the ramifications. I guess the freedom of being able to write anything you feel and know that the site is being used by millions must be exhilarating.
Wikipedia, to me, is a gigantic search engine, only much more stablized and streamlined.
Instead of having to sift through hundreds of web sites, a general overview of the entire subject is in one place.
"this defense firmly puts the blame on the reader, for being so stupid as to take the words at face value"
I don't think anything on the internet, or in books for that matter, should be believed as absolute truth. But then again, you can't live not trusting anything you read.
How sure can we really be about the validity of information, anyhow? Did you witness the original Pearl Harbor? We can never be absolutely sure what information is true, but some sources are more reliable than others. Printed information in books and newspapers has gone through many editors and correctors. But there isn't a filter on Wikipedia. The only editor is the user who just happens to be paying attention. But god knows how many people just take evrything at face value.
Key Policies and Guidelines:
"Wikipedia is not a democracy, and its governance can be inconsistent"
"Articles should be written from a neutral point of view, representing views fairly, proportionately and without bias."
Yes, entries should be written from a neutral point of view, but many are not. Case in point: a couple of weeks ago, I was doing some research for my Inform game in EL 405. At one point, a character in the game was to scream "Just because I_________ does not mean I"m emo". I wikipedia'd the entry on emo culture, looking for general characteristics. I found them, and also discovered that the entry was pretty much a hate site. There were so many negative things written about emo people, comments which were curse filled-similar to youtube trolls. I just visitied the site again. The entire entry on emo culture has been edited to reflect a neutral point of view. I can't even describe the change in the entry-the old one was disgusting.
"This page was last modified on 4 November 2008, at 23:16."
"Wikipedia is not the place to insert personal opinions, experiences, or arguments. " (1)
"therefore, any writing you contribute can be mercilessly edited and redistributed at will by the community."
"Be civil. Avoid conflicts of interest, personal attacks or sweeping generalizations."
(1)Yet that is exactly what the emo entry was about a month and a half ago. The characteristics of emo were described in a mocking, disrespectful, belittling tone. But enough people must have typed the term into the search engine and been angered enough to give the entry an complete overhaul. At least some people are adhering to the pillars-these are the guardians. I highly doubt people are being paid to correct Wikipedia entries-that would be a thankless job.
The original entry I discuss was written by a person(s) who was obviously annoyed with the whole emo culture, so he/she/they decided to write a mocking entry. Opinions belong in blogs-not in an information lexicon. That's great, whomever you were/are, that you hate people who are very different from you. But other people are not as annoyed with difference as you are. Maybe other Wikipedians are just curious about a sub-culture and just want to find out more about it. Your opnions are what you feel and think-but that doesn't make them right or factual. Opinions cloud observations-you sir/ma'am, are extremely biased. Go write in your diary-WHICH IS NOT WIKIPEDIA!!!!!!!
"as soon as people realize you're asking for more than you need, they feel completely justified in lying to you" 182
"the less data you ask for, the more submissions you'll get. People tend to be in an enormous hurry on the web" 182
"don't ask for a lot of optional information either" 183
These quotes apply directly to internet forms, and my days in retail. We were required to ask the customer for their phone number and zip code. I could literally have hours taken away from me if I didn't do that-and we all knew that customers hated being asked those questions. They were unnecessary-there was even a button to push on the cash register if the customer refused to give out their info. The transaction would then proceed normally.
Especially on Back Friday, I would deliberately "forget" to ask them for their info and hit the button just because I knew everyone was in a hurry. In asking for the info, we were holding up the registers, which in turn was costing us money because impatient customers would give up and leave. Just as people are in a hurry on the web, so are holiday shoppers.
Sometimes, rather than be rude to the workers, (I'm sure the customers understood that asking them for their info was in our job description), some customers would provide fake numbers to pacify us. I know because I've done that myself.
"most of the time on the web, people don't want to be engaged; they just want to get something done, and attempts to engage them that interfere with their current mission are perceived as annoying, clueless, and the worst kind of hucksterism." 184
If someone has taken time out of their day to visit your site, you might as well make their experience as smooth as possible. That means no flash slide shows that don't really contribute any useful information. No "download the ____" here. Or ads that they have to click through to get to the page they want. I hate those. Ironically, there is usually a "skip this ad" link. If you need to put a link on the page skipping the ad, shouldn't that tell you something about the audience? If you put that link there, you already know most people are going to be annoyed by the ad. So why even install the ad in that form? Make it an optional, clickable banner that requires willful initiation from the site visitor to work.
*Notice why these blogs were longer than most? That's because the material is relevant and applicable. And also, these two chapters were very closely related*
These kinds of risks are really stupid. You have to think about how strongly you feel-did the professor do something that deeply offended you or are you just ranting?
I recall in EL 405 Dr Jerz discussed digital photo editing. Since newspapers are supposed to report the truth, we cannot edit photo content. The color/contrast levels-yes. But we can't even change the color of a person's eyes.
Conflicts on interest-as much as I would love to write the articles on theater productions here, I can't. The articles I would write may be very detailed and well-written, but I could be accused of being biased, and there would be nothing I could do to prove I was not. It's just like we were discussing usability testing in EL 236-the material needs to be viewed (or written, as this case would be) by a non-partial party. With partial writers, there is the chance of editorialism. I've never had a conflict of interest arise in my years on the paper.
Plagiarism is really easy to check nowadays. Google can find the origianal source in minutes. And rest assured, if you steal a person's idea or story, it will come back to bite you. Stealing is not something people will usually tolerate.
As for the obsenity issue, it's okay to write those words full out in an article for Rolling Stone, but not for The Setonian. Print the first letter, then asterisk/dash the rest out-chances are people will be able to deduce what f*** implies. Graphic images-that's a case-by-case basis-you have to really analyze the image's relevance to the article.
Tragedy-I've said it all before in previosu blogs-SENSATIVITY. Do not be up in the victims' faces. They may not want to talk to you, and that's okay. Be respectful and people may be willing to talk with you in the future.
"deciding whether and how to cover a suicide is one of the most common and most poignant ethical dilemmas a student editor may face" 133
um, really? one of the MOST COMMON? This area makes me a little uncomfortable, too much to really write that much.
I haven't seen any major ethics issues within The Setonian-we're doing good.