September 2008 Archives

On it's own two feet

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First of all, this hypertext story is a wild ride. Walter Sorrels did a great job on creating a story that appears to be only a page long, but with incorporated hyperlinks, was legitimately in depth and lengthy story. I think this idea is original and ingenius. I really enjoyed putting together the pieces of the puzzle and enjoying an interesting tale along the way. There were two things that really intrigued me while reading this story:

  1. That the first page was a story with one meaning, but if the reader read the links, the story unravelled and changed into a different tale.

  2. Each page was able to stand on it's own as an individual idea.

The first page of The Heist isn't more than a few hundred words long. It tells a quick, seemingly pointless story. However, the links that Sorrels provides to other parts of the story place another layer on the original story until it unfolds into an entirely different story. It changes from some guy named Teddy taking out a withdrawal and telling the clerk to keep the change, to an intense bank robbery. This idea is original and a very interesting activity to engage in.

As Kilian says, each page of a website should be able to stand alone on it's own two feet, in case the reader doesn't see the rest of the site. This is a bit of a different situation, seeing as the site is a story, but the principle still applies. In fact, as Aja discusses on her blog, it's a bit confusing to read each link, in no particular order. It makes the story all jumbles up. But I believe this is the point Sorrels is trying to make. It doesn't matter what order you read the links in, the story still comes together because each section can stand on its own. Brilliant idea.

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Does this "legitimately appeal" to you?

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Who is Kilian to tell us what we can and can't appeal to?

Did I get your attention. That sounds a bit angrier than I'd hoped. So far I've enjoyed Kilian's book. It's opened my eyes to things I knew but didn't really understand in full. However, in Chapter 8, section 4 talks about "What's a Legitimate Appeal? What's Not?" I get his point, but at the same time, there isn't a set list of things you can and can't appeal to. The points he discusses are valid in my opinion and should be followed, however, the beauty of the web is that you are able to publish whatever you want. It's you're website, appeal to what you want to.

He said it's never good to appeal to things like anecdotal evidence, celebrities, or outside authorities trading on irrelevant issues. These all make sense. Using a celebrity is a gimick and a kind of crutch that shows the writer is not original or skilled enough to hook the reader with his/her own writing and has to put in a famous name to attract attention.

You can check out the list for yourself but there was one thing I wanted to add to it. He said you can legitimately appeal to:

  • recognized authorities

  • scientific experiment observation

  • logical deduction

  • readers' emotions

What I'd like to add is an appeal to readers' inquisitive nature. Like we did with our web essays that included links to other information, I feel that a webwriter can appeal to a readers' sense of wanting to know more. Provide them with information in an essay, but have links interwoven that lead to even deeper information about it. Alone, the webtext would stand as a complete essay, but with the links, it enters an entire other level of information providing an outlet for the reader to go on his or her own and investigate new matters dealing with the topic.

Can you think of any other legitimate appeals to the reader?

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Blender Blog

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"Of course these categories of blogs often overlap. A news blog may be specialized, like World Cup Blog. It may include personal comments and social observations, and may strongly advocate a particular agenda. Still, the genres tend to stand apart from one another and to appeal to distinct audiences." - 128

It's interesting to hear Kilian's point of view on blogs. I began to think about what categories our blogs for Dr. Jerz would fall into? I first thought about a category called Academic Blogs but what we write isn't always for academics. We have the opportunity to express our freedom and creative abilities. The more I looked into it and thought about it I realized that my blog here at SHU has an aspect of each of the categories that Kilian talks about in this section, thus creating a blend of all of them spawning the name: Blender Blog. It's like taking all of the cateogories and throwing them in a blender. They don't fit perfectly into Kilian's categories, but it sure was fun trying to make them.

My blog is indeed a personal blog. It's more extrovert than introvert but, you know, every once in a while I like to think about myself. It's personal because I reflect on issues that affect me and how I deal with them. I include my own personal views and ideas and interact with others' personal opinions. My blog is also a job blog. How? You ask. Well, it's easy. Job blogs focus on events at work. My work is "college," and most of my blogs deal with ideas about school, class, textbooks, etc. It's undoubtedly a specialist blog depending on which semester you read it. Right now, it's a specialist blog about Writing for the Internet, but in the Fall of 2005 it was a specialist blog about Drama as Literature. It's a news blog because I address the latest topics, out in the world, and within our class sphere. I link to other sources, point out important information, and discuss ideas that are happening in the world today, like the birthday of the "smiley" or Sarah Palin's e-mail hacker. My blog is also an advocacy blog. The advocacy blog "argues the case for a group, movement, or philosophy." This one was tough, but it workds because I am advocating education. I want my peers to learn from me and I want to learn from them. We are sharing knowledge and are all a part of the "support group" of EL 236 Writing for the Internet. Did I convince you?

The point that I'm making is not all blogs fit into a defined category. That's the freedom we have as bloggers. Our blog can be how and what we want it to be (as long as you post an agenda item for each reading). I like to experiement with mine. I like to write "different" entries and see what kind of feedback I get, if any. What about you?

Other brilliant blogs

Are two heads better than one?

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"Bureaucracies, whether corporate or governmental, can make life hard for the webwriter." - 119

Webwriting seems like more of a participatory activity, however, without leadership, how much good, solid webtext can be written, especially with the qualifications that Kilian illustrates. What I mean is the more people that are on the design project, the more directions they will want the site to go. It's easy when there's one person doing it, it's simple, clean, and clear. But as Kilian points out, there are often multiple branches or other parts of a corporation that each need their own individual webpage. It might cross your might to simply delegate each group to create their own, however, then there isn't uniform and consistent. Also, like Kilian said, it's the old "everyone's a writer" syndrome. Everybody thinks that they know what to write, when in reality some people are more longwinded than others and some may be too short-spoken. Its a struggle to achieve uniformity, especially when someone else always has a better idea.

I personally feel that there should be one webmaster. This will cut out many of the problems that may arise such as constricting others' creative abilities, or being unfair to one group and granting another special priveledges regarding the site. I feel that every department should have some input, however the design will ultimately be decided upon by one, or two webmasters who are hired specifically for the job.

What do you think?

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Don't Respect the Text

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Chapter 5, Editing Webtext, in Kilian's book was basically a "dos and don'ts" chapter including tips about what to use, not use, how to say things, how not to say things, etc. It had a lot of information about the best way to make your webtext unbiased in pretty much every aspect and how to write fairly yet effectively.

"The condensation process demands utmost disrespect for print-source text. A useful guideline is to cut such text by not just 25 percent, but 50 percent, just to see if it's possible." - 80

This quote was taken from the point # 6 of this chapter call "Don't Respect the Text." It's amazing how much marketing goes on when writing webtext. What I mean by marketing is how much we must right for the reader, or try to sell them. We want them to be able to quickly scan our work in order to keep them hooked and make sure they stay on our site. To me, it kind of resonates a sense of cheapness in our work. Do we now have to cut out words and make our writing thinner just to simply appeal to the reader? It seems like we're taking the filling out of the apple pie just so the people looking in the shop window come in for a look. (Don't know if that analogy works but anyway.) I'm not saying that it's taking away a writers freedom, but it seems like it's taking away a writers freedom. It seems like it's constricting the writer in order to simply make a webpage more attractive or appealing to that reader, which isn't necessarily wrong, it's just a specific style I of writing I guess. And the goal is to have the reader scan our webtext, not read it?

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Don't read the play!

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This chapter does a great job of looking into the underlying reasons that webtext must be focused toward the reader. I found it very helpful to learn a few things that readers don't know we know about them... know what I mean? Kilian makes it seem like we have the insider scoop to writing webtext, and I think we are getting it.

I thought the part about Understanding how visitors scan webpages (1.1) was brilliant. I hate to keep making these comparisons but this concept kind of reminds me of back in the day when I played quarterback for my football team. I was third string so I rarely played offense, but I started on defense playing corner. So when I'd be on defense, ready for the offense to run the play, I kind of knew what was coming so I "read it" and went and stood where the ball was going to be thrown, or ran to where I knew the offense was going to run the ball. Cheating? Maybe? Or being smart? Perhaps? Either way, I hit a kid from the side who never saw me coming, and got yelled at: "Don't read the play Lonigro!" Probably with more profanity.

That's what Kilian is talking about. He's saying that these studies have been done about how readers read so why not take advantage of some of this info and set up the webpage to the format that will make it most entertaining, or interesting. For example, people tend to start in the upper left-hand corner and move from left to right down to the bottom of the page. Also, short paragraphs received twice the number of "eye fixations" that long paragraphs did. But my favorite was:

"larger type encouraged scanning; smaller type encouraged careful reading."

I would have never thought of that, but it's true. If I come across a small set of text, I tend to learn forward, maybe squint a little, and dig into it. But if I see large text I am more likely to scan it quickly for key words and move on. I really enjoy this reading between the lines stuff that Kilian does, it makes me feel smart!

And did anyone else think that the exformation he was talking about seemed a lot like an inside joke? I did. It was like cool connection between you and your readers. (Yeah, I sounded like a dad and said "cool.")

Back to reality.

The 10 "Webtext-ments"

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Kilian presents a colorful display of rules for writing webtext in Chapter 4. I found this chapter to be very understandable and to the point. I liked it a lot. It seemed to me like a list of the "10 Commandments" to follow in order to be an effective writer. However, I'm not sure that I totally agree with all of them.

1. Thou shalt activate the passive:
This I could understand. In most styles of writing, active is usually better than passive. Even though I don't know why passive makes you sound more professional?

2. Thou shalt choose concrete Anglo-Saxon Words:
This I'm a little more skeptical of. Who is to say that using an Anglo-Saxon word is better than a Greco-Latin word? And where is this dictionary to tell us which is which. In honesty, I'd rather use "people" (Latin) than "folks" (Anglo) anyday, whether writing online or in another form.

3. Thou shalt only use simple sentences:
Agreed. The less there is to think about, the easier to understand.

4. Thou shalt avoid cliches:
Please! I know, I've used them too. But cliches are such a turn-off to me now that I've been writing in college for four years. This was a great tip. We've got to be original and not rely on cliches to help us be creative. Maybe every once in a while, but only if the situation lends itself.

5. Thou shalt choose strong verbs over weak ones:
I agree with Kilian; there is nothing like choosing a strong verb over a weak one. I feel like this goes along with the rule of using simple sentences becuase the basic idea to make things less wordy and more to-the-point. In these examples it's a lot clearer for the reader if the unecessary words are cut out.

Decide instead of "Make a decision"
Use instead of "Make use of"

6. Thou shalt be aware of dialect variations:
Being from such a "dialectically distinct" place like southwest PA, I have to agree with this one. There must be NO use of "yins" or "youns." We've got use universal language in our webtext.

7. Thou shalt be precise:
I agree, and this one may be tricky. I think the key is to look over what you've written a couple days later. That's when you might catch something like using the word "weather" instead of "climate."

8. There shall be no use of extended metaphors:
I kind of have a problem with this one. Why not use extended metaphors? I mean I'm doing it right now in this blog entry with the "10 Commandments" theme. Maybe there's a good reason not to use them, but I don't feel like Kilian supplied it. Though it may be a little confusing for the reader who is just glancing at your site, I feel that it brings a level of creativity to your work that would make it more interesting and lively.

9, Thou shalt use clear antecedants:
This is a big one, and probably one of my pet-peeves. I hate when I don't know who "he" is or why "he" is doing what "he's" doing. Isn't that frustrating?

10. Thou shalt use proper grammar:
Of course! We always have to make sure our grammar makes it easy for our readers to follow along. Anything that distracts them, or makes them stop and re-read something gives them a better chance to click that back button right away.

So there you have it: the "10 Webtext-ments." Follow them and you will succeed.
Do you agree or disagree?

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Is not voting making a statement?

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Is not voting making a statement?

I attended a nonpartisan lecture by former Sate Senator Allen Kukovich today. Kukovich, who is now the Democratic Chairman of the Aging and Youth Committee and also a member of five other committees, spoke at SHU dealing with issues about voter registration. President Boyle, who had known Kukovich for a very long time, introduced him.

What intrigued me most about Kukiovich's talk was that he addressed the reasons why voters often don't vote. In all honesty I've thought about those reasons myself. He addressed the idea that many people share: "I'm not going to vote because I don't agree with any of the candidates." OR "I'm not voting because none of the candidates please my interests." So in order to "get back" at the politicians that so thoughtlessly forgot to calculate YOUR opinions into their campaign and their fight to make America better, you simply pull the oldest trick in the book: a boycott. The only problem is, the other half of the country isn't participating which makes it really hard to be effective. But good job! You're really sticking it to the man! Or are you?

After hearing much of what he had to say, I don't understand how people can be so clueless, inconsiderate, and self-obsorbed to not pay attention to the country that they live in, and how their future might be affected. Not voting does not change the country. And if you think the country doesn't need changed, not voting doesn't help it stay the same either. It does no good, and actually proves that you are a follower and not a leader. To have a great class, it takes participation from everyone. The same holds true for our nation, it takes participation. I'm not saying that every American HAS to vote, that's the beauty of our freedom, you don't have to. But I believe that if someone thinks by not voting they are proving a point, they're wrong. It's simply not true. Democrat or Republican, white or black, male or female, we all have the right to vote and should take advantage of every right we can, because you may not be able to somewhere else.

Recoiling Eyes?

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Discussion of text: Kilian - Chapter 2

"This is sure to drive your readers away: the eye recoils from unbroken masses of text whether on a printed page or a computer screen." - 14

I had to include this passage. It deals more specifically with the topic of my last blog entry, I Want It Now, but would feel ashamed if I wouldn't have included it on this one as well. It's the truth. I know, because I've experienced it. Perhaps that's why Kilian often write in short paragraphs in the book? Anyway, I think it's a great tip because no one wants to do the work for what they want to read, they want it given to them, preferably in small, interesting-looking paragraphs.

"If you're tempted to begin an orienting statement with, 'As you probably know,' you can probably drop the statement altogether." - 21

This statement is part of the Orientation step of the Three Principles of Webtext. It deals with minimalism, which I think is an extremely important tip to utilize. I had a flashback to the Spring of '06 when I was in a class called Introduction to Literary Study. I had a certain professor who helped me learn how to cut out "wordiness" in my papers. In areas that I thought I was being creative, witty, or even just trying to be more clear, I found that at time I could cut out entire phrases and words that weren't necessary. In fact, by taking out those words it enhanced the clarity of what I was trying to say or as Kilian would put it, the Information of my webtext.

So far, I find Kilian really understandable and relatable. I'm enjoying this text very much.

I Want It Now

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"We used to call it the World Wide Wait, because the primitive dial-up systems of the 1990s were so slow to load pages. Many users in those days would set their browsers to ignore the graphics, since these are always the slowest items to load."
Kilian, 7

Kilian hit the nail on the head. This was the thing that jumped out at me most about this chapter. I think it's because I related to it the most. I realize that I'm not a very impatient person, but that little impatience only seems to be magnified when I am sitting, staring at my computer screen, waiting, praying for that little sand glass to stop turning over and for the page to refresh already, or for that graphic to download. Sometimes I want to violently rip the plug from the was and hurl my laptop out the window, smashing it to tiny pieces at the bottom. But then I'd be mad at myself for doing so. Anyway, the point is that the public and I have something in commong, we don't like to wait. That's why it's important, as Kilian is saying, to create our websites and webwriting so that it appeals to the viewers: not a lot of text, not too many graphics, easy on the color schemes. We must make our websites catching, attractive, and easy to access/manage. After all we don't want our viewers to push the back button right that instant.

Don't push the back button, push this.

From E-mail to HTML

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It's that time. Taking a look back at the first third of the semester, I find it hard to believe how far our class has come in four-and-a-half short weeks. From learning how to write professional e-mails, to creating my own website, I've encountered many bumps along the road of EL 236. But with the help of Dr. Jerz and especially my classmates, I was able to iron out the wrinkles and find myself on track, hopefully, with where I should be at this point in the semester. I'm not saying I have everything I need to know, but I've definitely learned many new things. Together, my classmates and I have discussed our reactions to the use of new technolgical jargon, the pros and cons of using emoticons, the professionalism or lack thereof found in social networking, and many more topics. Here is a compiled list that expresses the strides I've made so far this semester:






Email Hacking 101

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Is it a matter of politics, legality, morality, loyalty, or ease of access when the E-mail account of a U.S. governer running for Vice President is hacked and open to the public?
Sarah Palin's E-mail Hacked

Found at Social Engineering Cracked Palin's Email Account

With the election nearing, it obvious that both parties begin to feel stress and pressure, reaching for anything that may launch them ahead in the race. It never fails. From Watergate till now, there are always illegal attempts to recover information that may prove harmful to the opposing side. Technology has changed and granted access to important information to a larger mass of people (the public). Thus is the case for Sarah Palin's e-mail being hacked. However, this incident is a much larger issue than simply the 2008 election. This event, just one example of thousands, projects the bigger picture of the lack of privacy for any information put online. It is a wake up call to the world that although technology is great and makes our lives easier, one must have the greatest caution when deciding what material to send through the air.

The first question that entered my mind when I heard this story was, "How?" How did information (regardless of importance) end up in the hands of someone with bad intentions? Myself, being a bit of an invalid when it comes to computer and Internet technology, questioned how the incident happened and at what lengths the anonymous (illeged David Kernell, son of a Democratic Representative of Tennessee) went to in order to find this information.

How easy was it to hack into Palin's e-mail? But more importantly (though selfish) how easy could someone hack into my e-mail? Not that I have anything really important in there... or do I? I found that the hacker basically posted a play-by-play of how he/she did the job and what information was found. Apparently, the hacker found Palin's basic information with simple research, like name, etc. He then was able to change her password by using information such as her birthdate and her zip code (still not incredibly challenging. I could have done that). He found the password by answering the security question about where her and her spouse met. The answer to which was "Wasilla High." The hacker went in and changed the password to "popcorn," in order to let everyone else in the world enter the account. So, it's obvious this guy/girl isn't necessarily Bill Gates. He is an ordinary, 20 year-old, who has a basic knowledge of the internet and understands how it works. This was all on Yahoo! e-mail by the way. Scary?

I don't like to think that at any moment, just by doing some research and finding out the (unbelievable and amazing) information about me, someone could hack into my e-mail and delete the latest message from a friend telling me about the plans on Friday, or send the picture of me hugging Piglet at Disney World out to everyone in the universe. It's scary to think about, and as Dr. Jerz has pointed out before, it's even scarier to think about all of the other information that students, teens, and other people put up on the internet every day, information that shouldn't necessarily be viewed by others, information that may prove to be embarassing or in some cases harmful in the future. Do I really want people to know that my favorite song is "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie? No. Because it's not true!... or is it? And do I want people to view me as a child or an immature teen when I someday grow to be an adult? No. So this all comes back down to the idea to be careful what you put online.

However, in Palin's case, there wasn't any "useable" information retrieved. This was learned by the anonymous hacker's blog post (wish I could've found a link to that). So, is everything just A-ok then? As I said before I was curious on how easy of a time the hacker had breaking into Palin's account. So I decided to do it myself. After some research I realized that I didn't have the skills needed, or the time to learn them but I found out how to do it. There are multiple ways to hack into a users e-mail account, but I found that a good resource to use is Hacking an EMail Account. These directions tell the hacker to how to go about breaching a users email if he/she has access to the victim's computer and other way in case there is no access. Are you serious? The steps for hacking are laid out in plain text, ready for you to go ahead and conduct illegal actions. Thanks for the help! There is another site for specifically hacking into Gmail accounts. And various others available, however most are placed there to inform email users, not give the information to stock others. The information supplied by most sites when you search "how to hack email" on google is simply placed there as a trap, or to help users better understand how email works and how to keep things safe.

When it comes down to it, this incident is indeed a subject of political discussion, yet at the same time it falls down to us, the average Joe Shmo. We must protect information that we put online and is important to us in one way or another. It's one thing for a governer's email to be hacked in order to assist a political parties argument against the other, and another thing for someone's email to be hacked by a stalker and followed for months or years only to end in disasterous fashion. The lesson here is to be wise when dealing with issues online. Be cautious everywhere when personal information is a mouse-click away from someone else. Don't be afraid, just be smart.

Original Article Prompt

Back to EL 236

Easy Boy...

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I find it extremely ironic and interesting that as I was studiously reading Stevenson's article like a good college kid, my instant message window popped up with a message from my girlfriend that read nothing but, ;-). "Wow," I said to myself.

I can see Stevenson's point about using smilies as a crutch so that writers don't have to explain themselves correctly, or as he said, because writers are "lazy." But in complete honesty, I've never used a smiley in a professional manner. In fact, aside from an occassional emoticon I send to a close friend online, or a winky face to my girlfriend in a text message, I don't see much of them.

Like in my example above, I never use a smiley except for completely silly purposes, or in some cases, to be cute. If there were a message that I felt was important to the person receiving it I would take my time and explain exactly what I meant, or take the necessary steps to ensure that person's comprehension of what I'm saying. I honestly feel people are taking this smiley thing way to seriously. And as for the smiley going away soon, I really doubt that happening in the near future. The smiley emoticon has stuck and will be around for a good, long, while.

I talk more about the positive aspects of the smiley in my early post located at ;-).

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"Many people have denounced the very idea of the smiley face, pointing out that good writers should have no need to explicitly label their humorous comments. Shakespeare and Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain got along just fine without this. And by labeling the remarks that are not meant to be taken seriously, we spoil the joke. In satirical writing, half the fun is in never being quite sure whether the author is serious or not."
Scott Fahlman (Inventor of the Smiley)

So I guess it's safe to say that the "smiley" icon, or emoticon, has been alive longer than I have. Yes, it is now 25 years old, thanks to Scott Fahlman who invented it at CMU. In his article he raised a few interesting perspectives about the whole idea of the smiley which, in turn, made me take a look at my relationship with it.

In the words of Fahlman, the smiley was invented to ensure that the readers of the message knew that the comment or passage was to be taken lightly, in a joking manner. We've all had these experiences where we come off the wrong way due to the expressionlessness of writing online. So, basically it wasn't invented by some kid messing around. It actually had a purpose. A scientific purpose, if you will.

My relationship with the "smiley" is intimate. At first, I saw it was a crutch, a filler in an e-mail or a text message. However, the more I was exposed to them, the more I felt I could use them for communication. Now, I will find a text message that I send consisting of nothing but a smiley. That's how much I've come to depend on it. Especially in the area of instant messaging (and I know this because I've had many in-depth converstaions on AIM which could have been much easier if I would have made a simple phone call), smiley's are important. Because writing is so impersonal and the listener/reader cannot hear the tone you are saying something with, or the expression on your face, there is therefore no emotion behind a comment. For example;

i've had enough of you

can be taken offensively in a certain context, but if the writer includes a smiley face,

i've had enough of you ;-)

it completely changes the context. Perhaps the person is flirting? In any case, you can see how the addition of an emoticon can change meaning and improve communication.

As for those who say that Shakespeare and Twain didn't need smiley faces to communicate, I feel Fahlman answers those remarks quite sufficiently. And plus, none of us are Shakespeare or Twain... yet anyway.

All in all, I like smilies because they make me happy (or sad depending on the context). They enable us to communicate without using words. Which may or may not be a positive, but I see it as a plus. Personally, my favorite is the winky face ;) because it lets the reader know that you're joking, and not to take anything personally. So I'll end this entry with just that...


Some tips for writing HTML

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Here's a few sources to help us write HTML...

IBD Host

HTML Made Really Easy

HTML Code Tutorial

Hope these help!

Technology, Writing, and Personality.

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"If anybody wants to learn more about the calendar (no pushing... form
an orderly line... no need to cause a massive rush on the internet
system) I'd be happy to dig out the paper I wrote."

This light, jocuar tone was new for Usenet. In Dr. Jerz's article, "Clueless Usenet Newbie," he uses language and a tone like above. As I look back on my personal introduction to blogging I can see how I took the idea much the same way Dr. Jerz did. I didn't think of blogging to be professional looking and sounding all the time. I looked at it as a chance to goof off a bit, to be myself, maybe crack a few jokes. But, at the same time, I knew the purpose.

As a senior and not blogging for the past 3 years, it's interesting for me to take a glance back at the work I put together on my blog freshmen year. It's interesting to see how my writing has changed, how my voice is distinct to my personality, and how cheezy I sounded. I guess I shared the same experience as Dr. Jerz when I looked back and saw what I wrote. Embarassing? I don't know. But definitely cheezy. Don't believe me, take a look at my blog entry about poetry during freshmen year... (I can't believe I'm doing this.) A Poetic Experience.

I guess the lesson is that technology, writing, and personality are three things that are always changing. We learn to adapt our writing to the atmosphere around us. I feel I am comfortable enough now with the blogging system to use it effectively, write effectively, and in short communicated effectively.

Castro Part 2

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So far so good on Part 2 of our assignment in the Castro book. Though this material is new and challenging, I'm gaining confidence in my abilities to create a web page, but perhaps more realistically, follow directions. Keep on truckin'.

Here's a look at what I've done for this assignment.



Thanks Kev...

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Well, to make a long story short, I did it. I trudged through p. 1-30 of Castro's text and created myself a fully functional web page... I think?

So there I was, distraught and frustrated, sitting in front of my computer uttering profanities. I had nowhere left to turn, nothing else to do and then it hit me like a sack of potatoes: Kevin Hinton. I called him and he came to my rescure. He explained to me how he went about completing the tasks in Castro's text and I began gaining confidence in myself and my computer abilities. And after that I even had him clean my room and do the rest of my homework (not really.) Just wanted to give a shout out to Kev!

I'm going to be honest, I have not one ounce of computer knowledge in me so this was a very difficult struggle. I got hung up on multiple parts including how to open and view the web page in the browser, how to change the font, and how to import and download the pictures. But eventually I made it all the way through. And now am surprisingly proud of myself and feeling very confident about my abilities to survive EL 236.

Quiz 9/5/08

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This is my quiz
Class quiz.txt

Learning HTML

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Well, this is me stumbling through a dark forest of online writing. I'm going to do my best to describe what I've learned in the most recent excercise in class. Basically, by following directions and using none of my own intelligence, I managed to create text in MS word and Notepad and change it into online text by saving it as a web page. I'm not sure I understand all of the intricate details but I believe I have the jist of the excercise. I learned that writing in MS word does not transfer over to "html" text which is it's own language. I'm learning how to create this language and how to save it in the right places to publish it as a web page.

Not sure I understand it all, but I'll keep on truckin!

Check out my uploaded html file...

Subject line or Lead?

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"Upon reading this revised, informative subject line, the recipient immediately starts thinking about the size of the room, not about whether it will be worth it to open the e-mail."

- Writing Effective E-mail: Top 10 Tips

This article helped me see aspects of e-mailing that I never realized or thought about before. The most eye-opening for me was the point about writing a creative and informative subject line. Until I read this article, I honestly never found the importance of trying to create an informative subject line and would usually just tack one on at the end saying whatever I though of at the time. However, having a few classes in journalism and newswriting, this article helped me realize that writing a subject line is almost like writing a lead to a story. The point is to "hook" the reader and draw them in to what the rest of the article/e-mail is about. When looking at writing a subject line through the lense of selling your e-mail to the reader, it unconciously makes you put more time and more thought into what that subject line would be. For example, like the article says, if the e-mail is a quick question, why not write it in the subject line? This way you save time and also, your e-mail has less of a chance of getting lost among the spam and thrown away or deleted.

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