October 2006 Archives
After reviewing my own website, I think I need to incorporate what I learned about bullets in my Pancakes around the World section. Cherie Menser recommended that I bold the name of the countries so that they stand out and make skimming easier. Another piece of advice was to change the misleading link about recipes. "I expected to find cooking recipes on the other end. Adding an adjective or changing the words a little might match the history you give," she recommended.
Also, I think the paragraphs on all the pages need to be indented.
John Fish recommended that I include "more pictures or more varied formatting" but pictures make websites take longer to load and as far as formatting goes, I'm trying keep a "consistent design scheme for each page".
• Myspace: Lehre, ''MySpace: The Movie''; Stafford, ''Why parents must mind MySpace''; Haddock, ''Online Danger Zone''; Boyd, ''Friendster lost steam. Is MySpace just a fad?' [Coverage, Depth, Interaction]
• Ex 2: Personal Biography of Writing Technology [Coverage, Depth, Discussion, Interaction, Timeliness]
• Golub, ''Passion for Paper'' [Coverage, Depth, Discussion, Interaction]
• Haddock, ''Online Danger Zone'' [Coverage]
• Young, ''The 24-Hour Professor'' [Coverage, Interaction]
• Bush, ''As We May Think'' [Coverage, Interaction]
• Project 1 Proposal [Coverage]
• Combination: Price and Price, Hot Text, Chapters 9 and 10; Jerz, ''Navigation: an often neglected component of web authorship'' [Coverage, Depth, Discussion, Interaction]
• Price and Price, Hot Text, Chapters 11, 12, and 13 [Coverage, Interaction]
• Price and Price, Hot Text, Chapters 14, 15, and 16 [Coverage]
• Ex 5: Richly Linked Blog Entry [Coverage, Richly Linked Blog Entry, Timeliness]
• Cherie Menser, “Scare Tactics”
• Erin Waite, "Castro: A big help"
• Michael Poiarkoff, "websites shouldn't give you seizures"
• Kathleen Walker, "To: Professor@University.edu..."
Chapter eleven talks about the importance of knowing your audience and how it’s especially important in genre writing because, like Tiffany Gilbert said, the audience created the genre. It defines a genre and gives the advantages of writing within a genre. Erin Waite recommends that you have a helpful website and use the appropriate terminology when talking to your audience.
“But to make all this assembling, searching, reusing, customizing, and personalizing go smoothly, you, as the writer, must work within the confines of a genre.” Genre writing sounds very… organized. I can get on board with that.
“Each genre comes with a few standard personas, a cast list of potential roles for you to play,” says Price and Price's Hot Text. “Generally, we consider creating a writing persona as a little dishonest, almost like putting on a mask,” says WebWritingThatWorks.com. It also sounds false. Organized, yet deceitful.
Rachel Prichard mentions her confusion with being told to be professional as well as “gonzo.” She also says that “twisting” a genre convention doesn’t make much sense. By “twisting” genre, I think they mean that it’s okay to throw in something unexpected sometimes. They say to follow the conventions, but to not be afraid of being unconventional?
“Yes, you must invent some kind of persona on your own side, to figure out how to talk to the individuals in your audience, whom you may have caricatured in a set of fictional personas,” WebWritingThatWorks.com. This is a lot like what is required of students and professors in proper e-mail etiquette. Moving effortlessly between roles of formality and informality in e-mail etiquette is similar to the difference between how you talk to your audience and how you would talk to your family or friends.
Picking up different personas, playing different parts, morphing into what it required of you: sounds a lot like life. The only thing that really kills my interest (and buries it and gives it a really nice funeral) is all the emphasis on conventional structure. “If you were creating a diagram of a generic procedure, you might draw a nested hierarchy, indicating which elements were optional, and which were required and in what order…” Wow. Thanks Hot Text, I’ve just hurled myself out the window. You really know how to kill anyone’s desire to write anything ever, you evil SOB.
The only thing worse than reading about the mechanics of writing, is writing about the mechanics of writing. Lists are one thing, but diagrams and procedures are just suffocating. Lori Rupert breaks it down much clearer: "Wouldn't a genre then be simply writing for your audience? Which Price has taught us how to do for several chapters now."
Chapter 14: "Guests skim your headlines, glance at the lead phrase or sentence, and, if you are lucky, skim the first paragraph or two."
Chapter 15: "Webzines act faster. Users expect comment on current events within 12-24 hours."
Chapter 16: "Looks dense, thick, hard-to-read right off."
Chapter 11: “Each genre comes with a few standard personas, a cast list of potential roles for you to play.”
Chapter 12: “The writers are standing in for the guests, speaking for them, phrasing the questions as if they were really coming from the guests.”
Chapter 13: “With that awareness of your role as spokesperson for your Internet-enabled company, with its train of suppliers and partners, and its conflicting internal groups, you have to tap dance even more adroitly when you write marketing copy on the Web thank copywriters used to when they put the same kind of pitch on paper.”
Bulleted lists are great, and navigation bars are lovely.
Okay. Now what’s the code for these super tools?
We read about linking and blurbing and then we got to practice. But what about everything else?
I want to mess around and give them a try. I can make a banner, but I’ve never tried a navigational bar before. To me, navigational bars seem like banners with links. I just can’t figure out how to code it.
The same can be said for a side bar. However, I do have one example at my fingertips for that particular tool: the SHU blogs. They have side bars, and the Main Index template shows how they’re coded.
For those who are dying of curiosity (as I am), they seem to start with:
< div id="right" >
< div class="sidebar" >
and continue from there.
As for bullets, I noticed that Cherie Menser had bullets in her entry, "Putting Price to Good Use". Either she knows a fancy code, or she managed to get them in another way. So I did a little experiment and found out that…
The same is true when pasting your bullets into Notepad. They even show up after saving it .html.
Excellent. Another mystery solved.
I can only read about how great all these tools are for so long, before wanting to try them for myself.