October 2008 Archives

I Felt Like A Slouch in Bedlam

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So here is how I feel about Slouching Towards Bedlam...NOT good.

It is definitely not one of the most frustrating games that I have played but it is probably in my top 10.  Mostly I was frustrated because I was excited when I heard there were five different endings to this game and I wondered which one I would accomplish first.  The answer is none of them.

I started off fine, just moving through the few rooms like the lobby and the courtyard.  I tried to look at things and fine ways to get through the gates but I had no such luck.  Then I realized I had forgotten to find out some information from James.  I tried to ask him questions because he was acting very nervous.  So since he seemed nervous around me, I asked him what was wrong with me and he said I needed to lay down.  Well, then I didn't get any further information because he would just say things like "I don't know sir, I just don't know"

When I went outside to the courtyard I got into the horse cab thing and the driver asked me where I wanted to go.  But I had no idea where to begin to ask him, so I just got out and tried to find some alternative way.  This was not working for me.  I finally decided to travel southeast to apparently where there was "cold" and a "numbing feeling" and there was another person at my service.  He of course could not help me with anything so I just stopped.  I could not find any other way to get out of the hospital and I was frustrated so now I am done with it.

I guess I just am not creative enough to find my way out of there because I just didn't know the right phrases to say or questions to ask.  I am probably still going to try and figure it out later but for now, this ship has sailed.

Back to EL236

The Best Way for me to Learn

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This book could not be more of a savior compared to the other ones we have read thus far in EL236.  Looking at the title Don't Make Me Think! by Steve Krug, I was hoping it would be just that; and it was.

As I was reading the introduction, I got a sense of who this author was.  He is someone that is able to relate to an audience and understands what is going on in people's heads.  It makes me think that he has some sort of background in pshycology because he knows how we, the readers, will interpret a certain book.  I love how he explained almost immediately that this book was going to be short, easy to read, and straight to the point.

In chapter 1 he caught my attention by using pictures! This was great because I am more likely to pay attention when I have something visual to look at.  I could relate to the pictures because they described the process of a person's mind when they are searching a website for jobs (as an example).  Everything he was descibing was very helpful and showed me more clearly what I would have to do if I was conducting my own website.

In chapter 2 it was clear that I was becoming very interested in what Krug was saying.  I especially liked when he said, "We don't read pages.  We scan them" (Krug 22).  He continues to write sections on topics such as, "We don't figure out how things work.  We muddle through" (Krug 26). 

Personally, I agree that we are all just a tad lazy when it come to almost everything and since people are not going to adapt, then websites have to adapt to people.

By chapter 3 the reader gets the point that people searching through websites really do not care or have the time to do anything but quickly scan each site.  So, it is time for you to start thinking about what you can do to make your site visually interesting, clear, and straight to the point.  Then, I understood more about making things obviously clickable.  I am someone who will click on many words or pictures to try and get to another page if I think its a link, but some people won't even try unless they know for certain.  Links are a very important part to making an interesting website/main wepbage and they are more important to the users then I realized.

This book is a good read for me so far, and I am really enjoying the author and his simple views on everything! 

My thoughts on Kilian

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I have not read many books like this.  In fact, I have never read any books like this, which I do not consider a bad thing.  For the class EL 236, we are required to learn as much as we can about the computer and the internet.  I am not used to reading chapters that discuss terms and directions for the internet that I already have known for years.  However, for some people I am sure this is very needed.

I am not one to critisize on other people's work because I see the light in it and can generally understand why they do something that I do not agree with.  In the case of Kilian's work, the only area I was frustrated with was the constant reminders and going over the same information for a couple of chapters.  Maybe I was looking too much into it or maybe the information could have been slightly different.  But my opinion remains that I was a little tired of reading the same text over and over again.

The positives about the book are that it was clear to follow.  Kilian used simple enough words for someone to understand how to work webpages.  For example, "Every page on your site should at least have a link to your front page or display a table of contents" (Kilian 29).  This may seem simple enough but I would probably mess it up if I didn't have that written right infront of me.  I am someone who did not understand the step-by-step process of uploading, content, and everything in between.  In that aspect, I was banking on Kilian not leaving anything out because I knew I would not be able to follow unless I had ALL of the information.  Bottom line: Details are great for people who have no clue.

Here is when I blogged about Blogging from Writing for the Web.

This is another blog from when Kilian talked about Propaganda

 

Blogging...Getting Better?

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Blogs have recently seemed to be a slight burden to me.  I felt myself fall behind once we were being assigned multiple blogs a night but I have done my best to save myself and I am continuing to play a little "catch up."  I have learned how to create more indepth responses for my blogs, probably because I plainly just felt like I have had more to relate to in the topics.  This should get easier as time goes on...I hope.

I have enjoyed the more recent blogging topics because I have had more to say and more to write.  My goal is to manage my time for blogging better then I have been doing.  Then, I will feel at ease with the class.

Now, here is an updated blogging portfolio to show all of you out there what I have been writing about for the past few weeks.

Coverage: This is when I directly quoted Kilian from the book Writing for the Web.

Timliness:  Here is a blog that I have turned in within 24 hours of the due date entitled Gameing? Interesting.

Interaction:There have not been many blogs full of interaction for me (something I need to work on with better "eye-catching" titles I guess?) But anyway here is a comment I have left.

Depth:  Here are a few blogs where I have had some in-depth thinking.  One is titled AND the birds are singing which talked about my interest on a specific hyperlink.  The other one is called My thoughts on Kilian which describes what I thought about his book Writing for the Web.

Discussion:  Discussion is when I have left a significant comment on a peers blog which is what I felt happened when discussing the issue of faith.

Okay, well now it is back to Writing for the Internet.

 

Gameing? Interesting.

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Well, I thought that all of the information at once was a lot to handle.  There wee some points I was trying to make clear in my head that I managed to figure some things out.  Especially after reading Chelsea and Shellie's blogs, I was able to figure out that Dr. Jerz had talked about a gaming class in his introduction speech.

The idea for this seems very interesting to me.  I am a rookie right now when it comes to working with computers in the technical way that I have been doing in Writing for the Internet.  There is so much I still need to learn and so much that I still have to work on.  Right now, I feel like a class dealing with "video games" would provide a better understanding when it comes to creative computer technology.

If I could fit a class like this into my schedule then I would do it.  There is nothing that I would love more right now then to better understand what I am doing in this class and others.  The "Scott Adams Speaks" section did not provide a whole lot of interesting information for me.  I enjoyed that he was able to have interaction with the audience and he encouraged them to try to participate.

The last section, Parser Fun, was a commical section to read and listen to.  There were just some funny stories and I liked hearing the audience laugh at everything which is the most I got out of that last section which is okay because it mostly recapped what had happened earlier.

Overall, this whole idea seems very modern to me which is exciting.  It would not just be another class that dealt with writing and writing online but it would broaden my sense of what is happening in the world today and what is most common.  I hope Dr. Jerz could even discuss it a little further in class because some of what I was listening to I couldn't understand- but I would like to know more about the "gaming class." 

AND The Birds are Singing

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Birds Singing Other Birds' Songs had a lovely introduction to it.

"Each of twelve birds can be cued and combined, appearing graphically and typographically, their songs sung by people. The piece reveals an unusual way in which sounds can be carried through writing into sound again. This process happens in literary and linguistic representation all the time, but Birds Singing Other Birds' Songs heightens our sense of this process" (Maria Mencia).

This was most interesting because when I first looked through this link, I did not pay much attention the introduction.  I went straight to the interaction and although it didn't make sense to me then, I still enjoyed making the birds fly.  It wasn't until the second time around when I read the beginning that it made much more sense to me.  The description of the birds appearing to demonstrate sounds being carried was so beautiful to me that I had to interact with it all over again.

The idea of her poem was to explore kinetic typography which she had gotten very interested in.  The repetitiveness of the letters and what looked like syllables reminded her of sound poems.

Overall, this was an inspiring and creative piece to me, even though it was only possible to interact with it for a short period of time.

Not What I Thought

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After looking at what felt like almost ALL of the hypertext links, I was able to come to the conclusion that none of them were what I thought they were going to be.

The reason I say this is because I thought there would be much more to do in the links.  I was expecting to spend much more time then I actually did on trying to decide which four to concentrate more on.  It turns out that it took me an equally long time to decide which of the extremely none interesting links to choose from.

Maybe I am being a little hasty in saying that I did not like any of them.  There were a couple that held my interest though for just a short period of time.

1.  Birds Singing Other Birds' Songs- This was just plain fun.  I am glad I clicked on it and was able to actually interact.  It was very simple to just click on the play button for the numbers and watch the different interpretations of birds come on the screen.  Atleast I enjoyed watching the creative styles, even though it's all they did.

2.  Strings- I thought this was very creative and I found myself wanted there to be more of the words written in string for me to try and figure out.  It was creative and interesting because of the movement and the confusion.  At one point I was frustrated because I couldn't figure out what he was spelling out!

3.  Storyland- This is unfortunately one of the less interesting ones that I found.  I clicked on this a few times to make sure I wasn't missing something but I guess I wasn't (unless I still can't figure it out).  I like that it had a colorful heading saying "Storyland" because that got my attention, but I was thoroughly dissappointed.

4.  Faith- Another dissappointment which I did not appreciate.  I enjoy my faith very much so when I saw the hyperlink that had the word "Faith" I thought this was going to be a good one.  It turns out that there was absolutley nothing to do.  I clicked on the word "Faith" and nothing happened, but I saw that it was clickable?  Maybe my computer just wasn't working right to load the content...I am going to pretend that was the case.

EL236

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Maddie Gillespie on Progress Report For "Phantom": Yeah, IF games have got (most)
Aja Hannah on I Felt Like A Slouch in Bedlam: That is similar to how I felt
Megan Seigh on The Best Way for me to Learn: I agree, you don't have to sea
Jed Fetterman on The Best Way for me to Learn: I love how Krug says from the
Dennis G. Jerz on Gameing? Interesting.: Yes, in class Friday I'll give
Christina Celona on One Way to Fail A Class...: You do have to question a webs
Jed Fetterman on Clearly A Genius...: I think that the people who ar
Jed Fetterman on Wow...This is Difficult: The book is confusing about wh
Chelsea Oliver on Know Your Audience: I like the idea that you bring
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