November 2008 Archives

Almost there

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So this is my final rough draft of my Dads Raising Daughters website. With this website, I tried to inlcude helpful information to those fathers who are raising daughters alone. With my personal experience, I feel that my advice is more helpful than a doctor's.

I want to appeal to both the fathers and the daughters. Even though my sight is small and only 5 pages deep, I think I was able to include enough information.

I have some questions.

Does my site seem appealing to both audiences?

Is the background distracting? Colors?

Does anything seem unnecessary or wordy?

Is the overall format ineffective?

I hope everyone else is having a great time with this term project and if anyone has any questions or needs a tester, email me. Thanks.


BETA RELEASE

I am my own worst critic

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I am my own worst critic. No matter what I do to a website or for any other project, I will always have more criticism to give to myself than others do.

I am passionate about the subject that I'm working with so I will be able to criticize myself more than any other person because I have been through this experience and I know what I want to include on the site but nothing is ever good enough.

While doing the alpha testing, I was able to get ideas from other classmates as well as get tips on how to do something to my own site. While my site right now is very plain and boring, I received tips and feedback on "spicing" up my site with a different background that is family related or father/daughter related.

I asked a question on a previous blog on whether or not I should include a page that describes my personal experience with this subject. Many classmates told me that I should and even proposed ideas that maybe I could get other women's experiences to put on the site that explain their experience with being raised by a daughter.

While my information is good, I was told that I just need to make my site a little more interesting.

Here is what the site looks like now.


Term Project Progess

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For my term project for EL236, I decided to do an informative website. My idea is to create a website specifically designed for single fathers raising daughters. I hope to include other information for other single parents, whether a mother or a father, on tips on how to raise a child. Some of the information provided would be from my own personal experience which would be more beneficial than a psychologist's opinion on a situation they probably never experienced.

There are approximately 13.6 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.2 million children. Single parents face many challenges when raising a child alone. For a single dad, raising a daughter can feel like competing in a never-ending marathon with fifty-pound weights on your legs.

As a woman who grew up only with her father from the age of 2 till I went off to college, I looked towards my father for advice as both a father and a mother. Experiencing a father raising a daughter first hand, I was able to see how hard it was for him to play both the father and mother role. Having your parents divorced is already very difficult to handle, but having only one parent, especially a father, is an obstacle for both the parent and the daughter.

My website will include information on how to:

  • Open lines of communication.
  • Don't overprotect.
  • Teach indenpendency.
  • Don't do it alone.
  • Being involved.
  • And being up front and honest with awkward situations.

If you have any other suggestions or ideas that you think I should include in my site, please feel free to comment.

I also have a question for you:
Do you think it would be a good idea to include a page about my personal life living with a single father? I don't want the site to be based on me.

My progress so far is that I have being working on my homepage and additional pages with the stylesheet and such.


Portfolio 3

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The most recent text we read in Writing of Fiction (EL236), Don't Make Me Think! by Steve Krug, seemed very similar to the previous text we read, Writing for the Web 3.0 by Crawford Kilian.

Krug explained to me that in a website, we need to eliminate the possibilites of questions, realize that the homepage is "waterfront property", usability testing is absolutely necessary in order to have a great site, and don't ask for unnecessary personal information from your users. Krug's book talked a lot about interaction and in our class we were able to use this knowledge and actually see it in action by creating our own usability tests and websites. As a user of the internet, I learned through this text about all aspects of the web like creating sites, usability testing and the do's and dont's of the internet. For the book being published 8 years ago, the ideas and tips are standard and universal as well as extremely helpful with Krug's short sentences, examples, and graphics.

This third portfolio displays my work and thoughts throughout these past couple weeks of the class. We learned about hypertext readings, interactive fiction games, learned about usability testing from Krug and we were able to create inform 7 games in groups and individually.

Coverage: Entries that include a direct quote from the assigned reading, that identify the source of the quote, and that links back to the course web page devoted to that reading.

My hatred of IF games

Krug, Introduction to Chapter 3

Krug and there's no place like home

Krug's Waterfront Property

My experience with the IF game Slouching Towards Bedlam

Usability testing with Krug

Wikipedia, an academic resource?

My contributions to Wikipedia

Timeliness: Entries that were posted on time (24 hours before class).

Wikipedia Edits

Wikipedia Articles (Softball, SHU and  SVC)

The policies and pillars of Wikipedia

Moral responsibility and Wiki?

Krug, Introduction to Chapter 3

I'm allowed to lie on the web

Interaction: Entries that demonstrate my ability to interact with peers.

IF games, Jackie and I

Getting our feet wet. Comment on Jackie's blog.

Wikipedia Comparisons with Shellie

Depth: Links to an entry on my blog that shows my ability to write in depth.

No place like home

Wikipedia Edits

I don't want to have questions

IF games and my true feelings

Discussion: Links to a page on a classmate's blog where I left a significant comment that was part of a fruitful discussion.

My interactive fiction blog received some love.

Anne and Krug's Last Stand


Wikipedia Edits

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My first contributions to Wikipedia have finally happened. I decided to edit my high school alumni, Pennsbury High School and the town of Ercolano.

On the Pennsbury page, I added a little section about the softball team. I was apart of the 2005 PIAA AAAA State Championship team. This athletic program has won more state titles than any other sport at the school. I then added more information about the district area. I added very detailed information. Within an hour, Alphageekpa, another contributor to this Wikipedia entry deleted my contribution:

Pennsbury is located in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania, along the great bend of the Delaware River, lies Bucks County. In the extreme southeastern corner of Bucks County lie the four political subdivisions whose jointure for school purposes led to the formation of the Pennsbury School District. Yardley Borough is a typical small Bucks County municipality that has retained much of its early American charm and beauty. Lower Makefield Township is a predominately suburban residential area. The site of the major early expansion in the district was Falls Township. The Keystone Industrial Port Complex, all of the homes in Fairless Hills, and some of the homes in Levittown are in this township. The last of the four sections that make up the district is Tullytown Borough. This small borough was part of the Penn Manor Tract in the early 1700's.

I thought that this information was helpful to those about what boroughs and townships attend this high school; however, Alphageekpa didn't delete my information about softball. (I put this information back up on the page just to see if Alphageekpa would undo it again.)

My second Wikipedia edit was on my family's hometown in Italy, Ercolano. On this page, I added more geographical information about the town that my father and aunt helped me with.

It lies at the western foot of Mount Vesuvius, on the Gulf of Naples, just southeast of the city of Naples. The medieval town of Resina was built on the lava stream left by the eruption of Vesuvius (ad 79) that destroyed the ancient city of Herculaneum, from which the present name is derived. Ercolano is a resort and the starting point for excursions to the excavations of Herculaneum and for the ascent of Vesuvius by bus. The town also manufactures leather goods, buttons, glass, and the wine known as Lacrima Christi (Tears of Christ).

So far, no one has decided to undo my contribution. If someone decides that what I added isn't important or relevant and deletes it, I will let you know. 

I think professors and high school teachers shouldn't try avoiding Wikipedia. If anything doing an activity like this will prove to the students and their teachers how easy it is to change and edit information on Wikipedia. An activitiy like this will help emphasize the difference between what is a reliable source and what is an unreliable source. I am not saying that Wikipedia is completey unreliable, I am just saying that it is easy to change the information given. 

One of my previous articles about Wikipedia really emphasizes my feelings and views of this encyclopeida.

Wikipedia Articles

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I, of course, looked at the article about softball being that I am a softball player here at SHU. Go Griffins!

SOFTBALL ARTICLE

Caution: You are not currently logged in. Editing this way will cause your IP address to be recorded publicly in this page's edit history. If you create an account, 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.

What is better? Creating an account or editing without an account and have then record my IP address?

The page informed me that the page is 54 kilobytes long. Scrolling a little further down, I see a large text box that includes source codes, text and CSS codes that we were introduced to earlier in the semester.

I clicked on the discussion tab and was shown that "Softball was a good article nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these are addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake."

In the good article criteria, it explains that it must be well-written, factually accurate and verifiable, broad, neutral, stable, and illustrated. (A softball is not white but lime-green.) So this article is satisfactory.

The history tab showed me the most recent edits to this particular article. The last one was October 29, 2008 at 6:58. This page describes the edit the user did to the article at the time. Quite interesting.

When comparing the Wikipedia entries for SHU and SVC, I noticed that SVC had more information than SHU. SVC included history and traditions while SHU had the basic information. Both entries were richly-linked to information that a person wouldn't know if they didn't attend the institution. Seton Hill's article talks a little about the athletic programs while Saint Vincent has no reference to their athletics at all. Saint Vincent's entry also includes tuition costs, number of undergraduates and graduates, and faculty. Seton Hill's entry doesn't include any of that information.

Both entries were last edited in 2007.With this information, it is understandable why SHU's entry lacks some needed information.

Getting Down To It

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Wikipedia strives to build a consensus and explains that it is not a democracy and the governance can be inconsistent. Sounds like the USA government.

The policies and guidelines clearly explain that a user who acts against the spirit of our written policies may be reprimanded, even if technically no rule has been violated.

Contributors come from many different countries and cultures and have different views, we must treat others with respect to effectively build an encyclopedia. Articles contributed should be neutral and represent views fairly, proportionately and without bias. it seems as if contributors decide to overlook this policy and believe slandering people through Wikipedia is okay. Well, it's not.

I don't like how they state that you don't need to read any Wikipedia policies before contributing. i think that all users should click on an agreement before having the chance to better the encyclopedia.

In the five pillars, they explain that Wikipedia is not the place to insert personal opinions, experiences, or arguments. This is because Wikipedia has a neutral point of view in which they strive for articles that advocate no single point of view. Even though anyone can edit, anything you write can we edited and redistributed by the community.

They shouldn't even have a code of conduct because it seems that no one reads and abides by it. They state that they have no firm rules besides the pillars, but whatever you write will be preserved for posterity and to be bold with edits and contributions to the articles.

I think the Wiki creators need to rethink their policies and pillars.

Where does the blame go?

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There's no Wikipedia entry for 'moral responsibility'

By Andrew Orlowski

"So we come to the question of responsibility. We've promised to deal with the ethics of Wikipedia before, and it's no longer possible to ignore the elephant in the room, so we must."


Wikipedia is a phenomenal source of pop culture trivia it seems like with the amount of "trolls" lurking among the articles and biographies. "The blame goes here, the blame goes there- the blame goes anywhere, except Wikipedia itself."

I'm not trying to side with Wiki, but the blame should go to the ignorant people in the world who have nothing else to do with their lives but destroy others. Maybe instead of destroying other peoples lives, you should build your own damn life.

Okay, sorry. I got a little heated. Yes, Wikipedia should be constantly monitoring and editing pages, but they shouldn't have to worry about rude idiots editing and contributing to articles. Maybe I'm being a little too optimistic about the citizens of the world.

I feel Wikipedia has been responsible so far and able to catch some false information, but Wiki relies on the word of the world and it seems as if they trust the people of the world way too much.


A Way to Teach Research Skills

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Is Wikipedia Becoming a Respectable Academic Source?

By Lisa Spiro

"Just because more researchers-including some prominent ones-are citing Wikipedia does not mean it's necessarily a valid source for academic papers. However, you can begin to see academic norms shifting as more scholars find useful information in Wikipedia and begin to cite it" (Spiro).

Scholary documents achieve trustworthiness through a social process to assure readers that the source they cited in their paper or journal satisfies the quality norms of the field. This is a sign that the academic norms are changing in some disciplines and are turning to Wikipedia for useful and trustworthy information.

In my personal experience, many of my professors have told my classes to stay away from Wikipedia because it is to unreliable. Spiro examines these four criticisms of Wikipedia.

They are:

1) Research papers and projects should'nt rely on encyclopedias. This is not the kind of thing you want to reference in an academic paper. Many enccylopedias are constantly changing so the information provided could either be old or invalid.

2) Wikipedia is constantly going through revisions. This is similar to the first one. Wiki is too unstable to cite. What you read today may be gone tomorrow or even in a few minutes.

3) You can't trust Wiki because anyone is able to contribute.

4) These entries lack authority because of the lack of peer review.



Wikipedia can be appropriate in an academic source depending on what is being cited and for what purpose. Wikipedia is instructive for its readers because of its openness. Spiro explains that "Wikipedia can be a legitamate source for student research papers- and furnish a way to teach research skills." If readers use critical judgment in analyzing its reliability and appropriateness for citation, then there should be no shame in citing it.

I know I have turned to Wikipedia to look up helpful information on the subject I am writing about. I won't necessarily cite the information gained from Wiki, but I will use it in a way that I am helping my scholarly research. If you know what I mean.

I'm allowed to lie to you :)

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What is a very bad idea that usability professors call?
ASKING FOR TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

There are two different kinds of usability disasters, as Krug put its. There is the boss asking users for more information than what they really need and having more pizazz on the site.

It seems today that no matter what site you enter, they are always asking your for information or even just asking you to take a survey. How much personal information do the companies need? And are they using this information solely for them or are they selling it?

What once used to be a quick task has become a project. I wanted to subscribe to a Phillies newsletter and was bombarded with questions pertaining to my personal information.

Krug explains there are three downsides to companies asking for more information than what they know what to do with. (I also agree with these as well.)

When I see a site that is asking me for way too much information, I will lie to the site just so I can get what I want. Krug says that "as soon as people realize you're asking for more information than you need, they feel complety justified in lying to you" (182). So in turn, the companies get false information. In a way they sort of deserve. I'm allowed to lie to you then.

Also, the less data sites ask for, the more submissions the company will receive. People just don't have the time to fill out long forms.

And by asking users for too much information makes you not only look bad, but also needy I think. I look at it like if they are asking me for all of this information the company is either doing bad or they just don't know what they are doing.

Basically, when creating a site that requires users to fill out some personal information limit it to their name and e-mail address considering that is the most basic form of communication today.

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