Understanding

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I would have told you that you were insane if you said that I would become tolerant of the internet one day.  But then things came up.  I became a freshman in college this fall, and became enrolled in EL236.  This class teaches us how to write for electronic mediums such as blogs and webpages.  What you are about to read now is a compilation, a clipshow in words if you will, of the things I have blogged about, and how I have learned from them.  I would say that the biggest thing I have learned already is that the internet is now the slow piece of crap that gives me headaches at home.  The internet has some interesting and academic uses, such as this blog, that I never knew about before taking this class.  I am beginning to learn how to put myself in user's shoes to make my own content better.  So let's roll the footage on my first ever clipshow.

I think that it is fitting that we start with my first ever blog; it seems funny now, I never bothered to go back and put the link in.  After getting over my nostalgia, I will move on to the coverage category.

The "How to Write Effective E-Mail" response was probably the first entry that really covered what I was supposed to read, well; until then, I would pick a quote and make the whole quote a link.  The troll article is another example of early blogging with adequate coverage.  I am also choosing to include the first blog I wrote regarding the issue of cycling even though it does not have a trackback to the course website since I wrote it for personal enjoyment, or something like that.  Finally, there is my response to the Stephenson article, which is one of my weaker entries, but it fulfills the criteria for this category.  This is the category that irks me on other people's blogs, because a lot of people do not leave a link back to the course site, so I have to hit the back button four or five times to return to where I was.  I always try to post a link to the course website, because that is where most of my traffic comes from, and it also acts as an anchor for my entries themselves (while allowing me to show my sense of humor).

I think that all of my blogs have been posted on time.  There is one from the Castro text because I posted it two days before the class met.  I have always tried to post my writings before because the internet is a fast medium, and you need to be faster to get results.  I have always tried to be within the first five posts or so to get comments, but that does not always work in my favor.  I guess that this is one area that I could improve on because I was having trouble finding the linking comments that were left early.  I cannot say that I have ever written anything after class, but the above blog is the only time, aside from the Killian blogs, that I blogged with more than twelve hours to spare, and those are better suited for other areas of the portfolio.

I think that the biggest thing that I learned, as far as blogging goes, is to respond to people's comments.  Early on, the blog about teachers and their MySpace pages drew a lot of attention, but the chatter quickly died away.  Then, thanks to some witty statements (at the expense of small canines everywhere), I received something like thirteen comments on my last three blogs.  Two of them are designed for the Kilian text, which is pretty good since ther hasn't been what I would call a wealth of information to talk about.  I have responded to the comments, so I will see if the conversation continues, or if I was a little slow in getting back to the people.  I do not think I was, because, as I was copying the URL for my links, I received another comment.

There are several entries that stand out (such as this one itself) because of the amount of though and work that went into them.  Obviously, the blog about spamming and comment filters appears in this category because of the amount of research and sheer number of links embedded in it.  I also think that another cycling entry deserves mention here; it does not have any links in it, but I think it says a lot about the style and philosophy I try to bring to my arguments.  I also think this one, on the negativity a lot of people (myself included) bring to their blogging, is a decent piece of writing considering it was the beginning of the year and I did not know what I was doing.  Finally, I have chosen to include my opinions on the use of texting abbreviations in formal papers because I think I draw two or three intelligent analogies to support my argument.  As a whole, I try to write with the same level of content that I would for a regular paper, without such a high tone that comes across as prudish on the internet.

Finally, there are my comments.  I try to leave comments that are critical, in the sense that I am trying to look at what the person is saying, and judging how my opinions fit in with those statements.  I think this one, from pretty early in the year on Kevin Hinton's blog, is where I received ideas on what good commenting should be.  I also think that during the Castro text, I tried to use my proficiency in the first two readings to help other people.  Here is one final comment that I chose to post because I had trouble writing about this issue on my own blog, but when I looked at other people's it gave me some ideas.

Here is some of my other work that I did not feel was strong enough to include in any particular category:

There are a few more blogs, but these ones are the best representatives of the work that I do.

I was a little leery of this course right before school was about to begin.  I was not sure that I would like working with the internet, and I had the vague premonition that it would involve programming of some sort.  I went around saying that Dr. Jerz talked me into doing this course at summer orientation, since he was my advisor.  A funny thing happened on the way from there to here; I actually started understanding the internet.  I discovered that all of my frustration with it was due to the fact that I really did not understand how to do more than click on a link and send an e-mail.  Now I have a general idea for how to send professional e-mail, upload a personal website, and express my ideas on the internet in gradually better ways.  Though the title is supposed to emphasize what I feel I have accomplished, I believe that it is a great injustice to make my title more specific than that.  I have learned a wide variety of skill for the electronic world.  I realize that this is just one of four portfolios that we must complete, so I do not want to use up all of my ideas, but I think that it should be explained why I feel my accomplishments are so broad.

It is after midnight, so the course website is out partying on the internet.  It has earned its amnesty for today. 

3 Comments

Aja Hannah said:

This is very well written. Long, but interesting. It's the only portfolio that I actually read the whole way through.

Aja Hannah said:

I also left responded to the comment you left on my blog.

Jed Fetterman said:

Thanks. It took a long time to write, but I think the class discussion today showed that it was well worth the effort.

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