September 2008 Archives

Too Much Hypertext

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Wow, well I easily became very disinterested in the story The Heist.  I did not realize at first that all of those original hypertext links would take me to pages that had additional hypertext links.  After reading other classmate blogs and then going to the page with the story I thought to myself, "this doesn't seem like too much hypertext." Then I understood the frustration.

After reading some of Killian, I understand what he meant by straight to the facts being the most important part of a story.  Readers do not have time to sit through 50 links that just lead to more links and it just gets confusing to read.  Honestly, I felt like I was wasting so much time by reading that story, and I had so much more I could have been doing.  Because where am I right now?  I am writing a blog about a story that I do not even remember the point of.  I am sure it would not have been a bad story if it just had simple explanations and a few (by few I mean a lot) less hypertext.

This was helpful though because it showed me what not to do.  Even if I want to fill my readers with as much information as possible, there can be a point when it is too much.  I do not enjoy hypertexting that much anyway and although I know it is important to use when readers need more information, I am glad to know that too many is a bad thing.

Back to EL236.

This This Called Propaganda

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The first half of this chapter I thought was very repetitive from other chapters.  The reason I think this is because I read about setting up websites and how it should look to users for what feels like the hundreth time.  Although, once the chapter talked abot propaganda is when I became interested.

Reading about all of the common types of true or false propaganda, I realized how much of them I believed too.  For example, the theory about the underdog: whoever is smaller or weaker in a dispute is probably in the right.  I believe this generally based on movies and tv shows, plus I really just want it to be true.  Another theory I believe is progress: everything's getting better; tomorrow will be better than today; yesterday was awful.  I can't even begin to explain how much I always believe that tomorrow will be better than today.  However, I believe this because most of the time it is true.  Unless I have a great day that will be hard to top.

I never realized all of those theories deal with propaganda.  I hope it never manipulates me into doing what the propagandists want.  After reading this I think I should look more into this whole propaganda thing...so we are just going to go back to class.

Blog Blog Blog

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I enjoy the fact that this part of the book is about blogging.  It definitely held my interest more than in the other chapters. 

Reading about how to present your blog was most interesting to me.  I followed along to see if I contain any of that information in my blogs.  For instance, I believe that I have the most trouble when it comes to making catchphrases.  Sometimes when one hits me it works out but most of the time I draw a blank as to creating something that stands out from everybody else's.  However, you can't teach someone to be creative so that is something I will have to work on myself.  The book did say that simple, straight to the point catchphrases are the most helpful.

I also understand that bogs can set the scene for self-marketing so it worries me that I am not blogging to my standards? I did just start out so I do think that with much more blogging practice I will get better.  Also, I will probably be able to make more creative catchphrases to pull in people to read my blogs.

My main concern is that I do not have enough interesting things to talk about.  If I eventually have great catchphrases than that would be helpful but what about the actual content of my blogs?  This is about my opinions and thoughts and sometimes I just can't think of a whole lot to say! This is all me being completely honest.  I hope I can be more relaxed with blogging in the future and let my creative juices spin.

Back to the class.

This Time, I'm not so Sure

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After reading chapter 2 of Writing for the Web I discovered something...I am not really that interested.

When I was finished reading chapter 1, I immediately began chapter 2 thinking it would be just as interesting.  However, I was bored from the beginning and it took me a while to finish it.  It is not that I didn't pay attention to what I read because I did.  I understood about creating easily navagated websites.  The paragraphs just contained information that I thought I already knew.  Again, it is not that I thought I knew absolutely everything, but there was something about the chapter that just didn't tell me anything interesting.

I hope the next few chapters will be informative and helpful like the first one was.  I did try to gain insight to the chapter and creating webpages but I don't think it stuck with me.  Maybe by reading more I will be able to further my excitement on the subject.

Back to that lovely place I like to call class.

I Didn't Know That!

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There were some parts of the Intro and Chapter 1 of Writing for the Web 3.0 that I was very interested in reading.

The first part I enjoyed dealt with users of the internet being frustrated when the web page takes a long time to load.  For some reason I like that this fact is actually written in text.  I know I am not the only one who gets frustrated but it is interesting to see how far patience has fallen.  I cannot imagine having to wait as long as people did back when computers were knew...but they were used to that.  Somedays I do not mind but it always seems like the day I need it to be fast is when it is the slowest.

I was also interested in the part of the text that talked about having trouble reading the computer screen.  I never realized, or thought about how much slower it takes people to read text on a computer as opposed to on paper.  It makes sense that the words or clearer on paper and fuzzier on the computer.  I also learned that reading something in your lap is more comfortable for your body and mind rather then reading something directly infront of you.

All in all, the first few chapters of this book definitely kept my attention...

Writing for the Internet... 

Let's Take A Good Look At These Blogs...

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Well, it is time to report on the blogs that I have successfully written in the past few weeks.  I suppose this is kind of exciting, though I feel like there is not much to "show and tell".  This semester is the first semester that I have started my blog.  After the first few entries I was able to work the entries a lot smoother.  Even though I have so few entries, I plan on showing all of you most of them so we can get a good look at what I have been up to.  All I can say is I am hoping to grow and learn from these early blogging experiences so that I may one day be much better at it!

Coverage:

This articles was about those pesky "Gossip" news sections.

I had another article which dealt with knowing how to cope with a diverse audience.

Timeliness:

This was an article that I submitted on-time for the class and it was about the use of smiley faces and I disagreed with the fact that they took over the internet.

Interaction:

I was having some trouble in the beginning of the Castro Workshop, and was helped by fellow students telling me to just stick to the book because it works.

Here we have an article that was about ten tips for writing an effective e-mail.  I received feedback on my response to the article when I talked about making sure that you assume everyone is of high importance when writing an e-mail.

Depth:

This is a recent article on Wikipedia and I attempted to investigate the amount of students that use Wikipedia as a quick find for information.

Discussion:

This is a comment I left on a peer's blog when she talked about people dressing up in costume to possibly help sell more student newspapers.

Thanks for your time!!

One Way to Fail A Class...

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Wikipedia seems to be an ongoing internet resource for finding information on literally anything you could possibly want.  The basics can be helpful when looking up certain words ot terms but one should be careful when looking up more serious issues on this search.

One of the issues dealing with this online search engine is the plagiarism that most likely occurs when getting Wikipedia information.  Wikipedia is a user oriented website so most of the information it gives makes sense to users and could easily be passed as an ordinary students work.

Plagiarism, which strikes Wikipedia users, also has had issues with blog users.  Students may not realize that professors and other students read blogs as well and they can't easily hide stealing someone else's blog entries.  This is an ongoing issue with almost any kind of research that is online.  Wikipedia is one website that deals with the most plagiarism problems.

Because this website is user oriented, so much of the information is unreliable.  There can be people that write on the online encyclopedia just to forward there "opinions" on subject matters but it is not neccessarily the facts.  It seems that teachers can not stress enough the dangers of using this website.  This becomes the reason why teachers know that a student plagiarized, because the information is not accurate.  Students need to be given a helpful list of reliable online resources they can use to research certain topics.  Because it seems all they know is the use of Wikipedia and other unreliable search engines like it.

Even though students know that they should not use Wikipedia for reliable information they still conduct research in it for fast facts.  According to a blog survey,"90% of students have used Wikipedia to complete an assignment, a surprising 73% of students have been explicitly told by their professor not to use Wikipedia."  On the other hand, I have had teachers that say it is okay to use Wikipedia because they just want the "basic" facts on a subject.  I would hope in the future that Wikipedia is plainly banned from use for research projects because no one can prove it to be 100% true facts.

There is one example of a student who blogged some information he found on Pope John Paul II from Wikipedia and you can tell from the information and the comments posted by other students that this is false information.  It is especially recognized as false if you are like me, and know a lot of information on Pope John Paul.  It just once again shows that this is a website to be taken lightly...and thats it.

It is always good for fast facts, but one should be careful not to take certain information too seriously.  Back to Writing for the Internet.

Let The Love Take Over

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Looking at this article, I would have to disagree when saying that smiley faces are cluttering the internet.  In my opinion, this world can be too serious.  I know that there is a time and place to be funny, but I do not understand the problem with marking a long e-mail with a happy smiley face at the bottom of the page.  I would seriously love anyone who would do that for me.

I wish I had the courage to put smiley face's at the bottom (or top) of most of the e-mails and messages that I send.  Even if the e-mail is a professional one, I can't imagine the person on the receiving end of the message getting angry because someone put a smiley face on that e-mail.  Ultimately, I believe most people want a smiley face hidden somewhere in an e-mail or a message.  The people sending them just want to brighten up the day of others...There should not be anything wrong with that.

I get the vibe from some people that the last thing they want in the world is to receive a smiley face in a message.  It is almost like they want smiley faces erased from the world.  I guess being someone who smiles all of the time, I would only want others to know that I am thinking about them in a good way and I do not want them to think I was being stern or harsh with them.  Smiley faces may not be able to fix everything but they can add a little something extra for somebody that needs one.  And you can never tell who actually needs a smiley so I say it's better to just add one in. :)

AND it's back to class.

Clearly A Genius...

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:):):):):):):):):)

Well, I guess my first thought is if this is even true.  It sounds like there has been a lot of research to find out when the "first" smiley face was typed up on the computer screen so I guess it is plausible.  If this man did infact type the first smiley face, I can't imagine that somebody else wouldn't have figured it out a few days later.  Not to say that it wasn't a good thought because I use those smiley faces all of the time...probably even if they are unneccessary.

However, I don't understand the big fuss as to creating the smiley face.  It's like a puzzle, you see something that looks like eyes and something that looks like a mouth and you put them together...I do not understand the big significance.

I can't even recall when I first saw a smiley typed up on the screen.  I feel as if I just knew that if I put those 2 symbols together, I would have achieved a smiley face.  Then again this is just my opion.  It is obviously a very popular thing to be credited for so I would be proud to...I guess.

Well it's back to class again :):):):):):):)

The Inverted Pyramid

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"The goal of newswriting is to convey a lot of information efficiently"(The Student Newspaper Survival Guide).

I know this quote seems quite short but it goes along with my thoughts on the Inverted Pyramid shown in this chapter.  Obviously I think that this quote is common sense.  You would want to find as much information as possible if you were a newspaper, and of course you would want that information to be accurate.  However, I think that the Pyramid is a good way to set up an article that you might want to write.    \

I know that most people would say that that is common sense too, but as for me, I take thise information and try to gain something from it.  Being one of the people in the class who is most inexperienced with writing for the school paper, I am hoping that the information this book gives is accurate for me to learn by.  I think it is. 

The "Who/ What/ Where/ When/ Why/ How" senerio makes sense to me because that is the biggest part of a news story, but I did not necessarily know that it should be first in a news article.  "Supporting details for lead" should always be an important part of a story otherwise people might question if it is accurate or not.  The lead quote, I learned, should be at the center of an article (Sometimes I would assume that it should be the first thing you write).

I know that the pyramid is just a guideline for writing an article and it is not set in stone but it helps to remember the details I must put in the pages that I write. Back to this again.

Clueless Usenet Newbies

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Excuse me for the lousy title, but nothing struck me as an interesting reference that I could name this blog entry.

All I know is that this semester, I have felt less priveleged then those students who have been blogging for a while...I know that everyone has felt this way when they first started out but I just wanted to confirm it.  This article about the clueless usenet newbie did not strike me as shocking.  I am sure fellow bloggers get the same sense that new users are taking over blogs with their intense personal ideas (I do not think that I am one of them).

As for me feeling any effects of this, I think over the past few years that Facebook has gone downhill as it has tried to let in as many new users as possible.  I feel that too many "new" users is a bad thing when it comes to this intense online chat room.  Too many applications, and too much nonsense a lot of which I do not even understand anymore.  I would bet my left arm that my friends who are Freshmen in highschool could navagate Facebook better than me.

Sometimes all of those applications can be very messy and over-the-top but I'd be lying if I said that I did not like some of them.  I just think websites should be a little more simple for users who are not experienced with it.  I think thats all I can muster for the moment....back to class.

Wow...This is Difficult

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I have spent many an hour trying to figure out this Castro p.1-30 and it has not been going so well.

I have not made it too far.  My problem is that I made it to page 13 and I could not figure out how to open the web page and the browser? It is probably one of those really simple instructions that I just cannot get but I don't see any way to retrieve the web page that I made.  I know that I made those other two files (the CSS and the HTML) but I do not know how that made a web page, or where I am supposed to look to find it.

I don't know if any of that made sense but what's in my head sure does not make any sense to me right now...

I am definitely going to need some help with this...

 

A Diverse World

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"Diversity is part of what makes college so interesting.  But it can also make covering a college campus challenging" (The Student Newspaper Survival Guide, page 23).

I chose this quote because I think we can all relate to knowing how difficult it is to acknowledge diversity.  It is hard for young adults not only on a college campus but also in high schools and middle schools.

For a student newspaper, the writers and editors must be careful to create stories that can relate to all types of students.  The events that occur on campus cannot only be directed to one type of person.

This is the challenge of a reporter.  It is there job to find more about an event by asking a large group of people.  You do not see reporters only asking a certain category of human beings about what happened or what they are interested in.  To get the full opinion of everyone, the reporters must branch out to get information from every angle.  The circumstance of diversity should always be in the back of the minds of the newspaper staff or else the staff may have a situation on their hands.

Back to you EL200...

Gossip, Gossip, and more Gossip

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"People like stories about people.  It's interesting to read about the blind student who makes her away around campus with a seeing-eye dog or the English major who strips for a living" (The Student Newspaper Survival Guide, page 30).

This section of the chapter talked about recognizing people, places, and events that would be interesting for the readers to read.  I chose this quote because in my opinion, it so subtly means that gossip is a one way ticket to an exciting article.

Many people care about the events that happen where they live or useful information they need for help.  However, if there is a moment where that person catches a glimpse of a recognizable name then they will immediately read that section of the article.  Writers can count on the mentioning of celebrities or hometown names to get readers interested in one of their articles.

I definitely thin this is a great fact for writers to know.  It can never hurt to play the name game and throw a few well-known people into the mix of an article to give it some juiciness.  After all, what people want is gossip, gossip, and oh yes, more gossip.

Sample test

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Test for html

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Shame on The Teachers

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Well, all I have to say is that these teachers should have much more common sense.  There are a few of my teachers from high school that have Facebook and their main purpose for having it is to respond to questions from students.  Sometimes it was very helpful to ask them on Facebook what I should study for a test instead of sending a formal e-mail.  Even now I enjoy keeping in contact with my Art teacher through Facebook.  His wife recently had twins and he had a picture on Facebook.  I really enjoyed being able to see that.

If you are a teacher and you know your students have Facebook, how could you do anything except being careful?  Students are more tempted in this generation to look for excuses to get teachers fired.  It is the time when students are doing more poorly in school so they want an excuse as to why that is happening.  They blame the teachers.

I have heard many stories of false accusations on teachers which is unfortunate because most of the time they get fired over something they did not do.  This situation on Facebook is a perfect excuse for students to get back at the teachers.  Especially when teachers are foolishly acting that way to get attention.

Maybe after so much commotion over this issue, the many adults will realize they are smarter to keep to themselves on "the book".

 

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL236/2008/09/what_happens_online_stays_onli/

 

Words Aren't For Hurting People

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It was rough trying to get through this article.  I stopped numerous times to think about what I had just read and why it was happening.  There were parts that I understood and parts that I did not.

Overall, one part I understood was the urge to "egg" people on.  There are many people who just love to put up a good argument.  Even among friends this happens.  You do not always have to be trying to prove a point, sometimes you just want to see the other person struggle to retaliate.  What I absolutely cannot understand is how people could write something so morbid about someone who had passed away.  Furthermore, I cannot understand how brutal words are aimed at someone to drive them to take their own life.

I have always felt that having the knowledge and ability to write was something special.  Even being able to use a computer and all of its features this day and age is special.  Apparently words are now being used to drive people to such a state of mind that they can't bear to live?  I can't even begin to imagine how cruel those words must have been.

Trolls have the ability to use their words, that is for sure, but before this article I thought this situation never went beyond annoying people on the internet.  Since no one seems to know who these trolls are then it is frightening to wonder if it will ever stop.  I know from now on I will try to be as careful as possible in responding to people that I know and especially those who i don't.

Take it away.

Know Your Audience

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I don't know about you, but I have been lectured many times about the proper way to write an e-mail.  This is not the kind of information that I've known all of my life and I certainly remember sending my first e-mail which was to my father.

 Honestly, I believe everybody is capable of writing a respectable e-mail.  It is not "brain surgery" to figure out that when you are typing an e-mail to the president of the school, that you should probably proofread it for grammar mistakes and mechanical errors.  However, the honest mistake that many people make is remembering you are NOT writing to your friends.

 If someone writes an e-mail to their friend and then immediately after they write one to a professor, their brain is on the track to writing a casual e-mail.  Although, like I've said before, if you are writing to someone of that much importance then the obvious action to take is proofreading the e-mail.

 There may be people that need help differentiating between who is considered worthy of a formal e-mail and who will receive an informal one.  For that and many other issues dealing with writing a proper e-mail, the reader can refer to Ten Tips for Writing an Effective E-mail.  In my opinion, if you are ever unsure of how casual to be, just DO NOT be casual.  The safest way is to assume everybody you e-mail is of high importance.  Unless you are sure your best friend is receiving the e-mail.  Even then, it would be a great idea to practice your punctuation and grammar skills on someone you know and having them send an e-mail back reporting to you if the typing looked appropriate.

 The same goes for blogging.  This is a situation where you are safe to assume that many people of different authority are going to be reading these blogs.  In this case, if you have learned about blogging then you already know your audience and it should not be an issue for someone to write something completely inappropriate on a blog site.

 Time to learn more opinions on writing tips!? Then go here

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