September 2008 Archives

Creative Hypertext? Seriously?

How many times have I heard certain groups of people blasting creative writing thinking that it is never going to get them anywhere. The Heist is a way to use something that is technical and putting it into a creative lens. There was this one time that I tried to put my creative writing story on my blog (the same that Dr. Jerz mentioned in the first day of class). I guarantee that no one read it. I thought it was brilliant for Sorells to use the hypertext as a tool to further the story.

I searched around for other sites and I was surprised how much creative hypertext has hit the web.

Do you think the web is a good medium for creative writing?  


Four Points of the E-Corporate World

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I really love the orgainization of this book. In this chapter, Killian gave us four points of Coporate Webwriting.

I. Climbing the Webwriting Mountain
In the corporate world, it is necessary for the webreader to understand the website. Therefore, it is a necessity for the webwriter to know what they can do and what they can't do on the web. A lot of webwriter should know a little bit about HTML. A webwriter should basically be a jack of all trades. He/she should know strongly about the content, the company, and technology

II. Know Who You Are Talking To

Just like in any other type of writing, a webwriter should know the content they're writing via their audience. In corporate webwriting, Killian states that "a corporate site should reach a wide variety of readers without trying to be all thing to all people." For example, if the corporation is selling green technology (solar panels, windmills, etc) to companies, their websites doesn't have to have products for oil companies. However, they could have content on hove to slowly get of oil. Even though the site should be open to all, but have the interest of some.

III. Everyone Has A Part  

In a corporate world, there is no "i" in team. I know that is the worst cliche to write, but it is true. The corporate heads, the webwriters, and even the readers all have a part to promote a product or service. As webwriters Killian states that we must keep our "ego offstage and engage the reader on terms of equality." If the reading thinks that he/she is being jived, then that company will undoubtely lose a customer.

IV. Two's A Crowd

The business world is all about fighting for the top. When a group of people are writing a web site, just like a school project, they want to stand out from the group. When many webwriters from different expertise come together it get a little crazy. That is why I disagree with Killian about guidelines, without them no one would know where the line is.  

You Think STW Was Bad...


Online writing is indeed something that we should sharpen in order for readers understand our websites. I think that this chapter is just an online version of Seminar in Thinking and Writing. I learned a lot about reading levels and specific styles of web writing. I was interested that Killian had mentioned the Kincaid Reading Level test (I found it funny that I found an Wikipedia article that explains it in Simple English) . It is used as a way to get writer to understand how difficult it may be for people to read their site. 

Since webwriting is just another form of writing, all rules and guidlines apply. I should have brought my AP stylebook from home, because I guarantee you this chapter and that book is very similiar. In Journalism, everything must be simplfied and told quickly. Nevertheless, there are a bunch of websites out there that don't even know about these guidelines. Honestly, I didn't even know that they were these rules to follow.

Depending on which website you go to, there is a clear vision of what professionalism is. The first amendment protects the content of these websites but one shread of unprofessionalism would cause the website to lose its message.

Do you think that styles of writing should be promoted to all of these websites, personal or not?  

The Parting of Latin and Anglo

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After reading this part I understood the reason why the web writer would want to use Anglo-Saxon words. It is used in everyday speech and because the web is used by ordinary people as well as multi-linguist, intellectuals and computer geeks. Killian states that Anglo-Saxon words "are more immediate and understandable than Greco-Latin ones."

Understanding that English is a psychedelic blend of Greco-Latin and Anglo-Saxon words, I felt like I should be in STW class again writing papers. I agree with Andy on his skepticism of our need to use Anglo-Saxon words. I think that because of the language itself, it'll just be a pain making the content for websites.

Organize and Be Merry

There is an extreme necessity for organization when it comes to creating a website. Eyetrack III had taught us about how to use our content and make it practical for reading. Killian made me realize something:

Treat every page like a front page  

We have to understand that each page is a doorway to our site, and even though it may not be the homepage. Reading a website kind of reminded me of how I learned to read acedemic article. Find a specific part a read the parts around it, I would have never gotten through Literary Criticism. In my current topic entry, I debated Aja about how much time that we have about reading the archaic print newspapers. Web readers have no time and need a guidance to get through the webpage. 

I also learned about how I have to make websites adaptable to other media like print. I heard a lot in this class on how web will kill the print stars, yet the Web makes itself available to go backward in technology.  

Democracy Doesn't Work For All

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After listening to Allen Kukovich, I realized something. American voting system is extremely archaic and flawed. He stated that there is "more apathy than anything" and I think I know why. When politicians are elected their flawed humanity get the best of them. From the Federal government to city councils, the stench of corruption leaves no one untouched. And everyone wonders why we can't get anything done.

Sometimes we lose our priorities when we engage into politics. Kukovich of course mentioned the status of the economy, transportation, education, labor, and health (especially in Pennsylvania). However, we deal with other issues like the democracy of others (Iraq), same-sex marriage, stem cells, etc that really we shouldn't be worried about right now. As the comedian Lewis Black said that they "should be on page six under are we eating too much garlic as a people" in the book of things we should be worried about. But those issue are the ones that matter and not the ones the former state senator stated and the people worried about.

The people most likely hate all of these politicians that hide away from the true problems of this country unless they have to. They can't vote them out for several reasons and it all has to do with the voting system:

  • Voting is on a Tuesday between 7 am and 8 pm (hard for shift workers to get out of work to vote)
  • There are only two major political parties (in order for your voice to really be heard, you have to register as a Republican or Democrat)
  • Cultural strife are intensified (not just the obvious differences either)
  • Politcal parties basically take over an entire state.

Do you think America would be forced to change the voting policies if we held the systems feet to the fire?

Jolting It Up


Computers condition us for "high joltage." A jolt is an emotional reaward that follows a prescribed action. Turn on the TV at the right time for your favorite program, and it delivers jolts. Watch a movie and it delivers jolts. Log on to your favorite forum or chat room, and you get jolts of praise or blame.

As I begin to venture into the gist of internet writing, I should understand that I have to make surfers to stay at my sight. I think it is a good way to sharpen my skills as a writer. It is just another form of writing that we have to get used to like journalistis, creative, or technical. Educators are already finding out that web-writing is a strong skill to take advantage. Minneapolis-St. Paul schools are started these programs in middle school and it allowed them to pass a test. Web writing also allows students from Korea to learn English. "Jolting" afflicts us but at the same time it allows the internet to become fast paced and easily accessible.

I have to admit that I did not think I had it in me. To make websites and design them from scratch. Wow. Here I think I could show you all what I have been up to.


Do We Measure Our Lives in Sound Bites?

How is the print world adapting to the new and scary world. Aja and I have an exchange, while Daniella came to my rescue (Thank you and good points, Aja).

I Saw The Best Minds

Here I explain how technology could be affecting education.


Don't Confuse Me, Please

I posted this on a Saturday and people responded well. I really enjoyed Jed's response to this. I should comment on his blog more often.

Doesn't Dr. Jerz Have Facebook?

Social networks= online problems


 Do We Measure Our Lives in Sound Bites?

Aja and Denemarie pick an intellectual standoff with me


Why People Hate Newbies

I go into detail about the SHU blogs and the class of 2009. I also make comparison to that situation and Eternal September.


Aja Hannah

I gave Aja an example of Wikipedia's "sources". I also try to keep the conversation going in my blog.

Denamarie Ercolani

I shared with Denamarie about how all aspects of writing work.

Jackie Johns

With new technology comes a new set of problems. 


In August of this year, a Chicago Sun-Times writer thought that he need to keep up with the times. Jay Mariotti's two word e-mail (I quit!) have send a fury of criticism from the realm of print. One of the criticism's came from a Chicago Sun-Times veteran, Roger Ebert, who made sure that Mariotti departure was definetly lacking class. In his letter to Mariotti, Ebert had stated things that I was a little confused about. Ebert stated:

Times are hard in the newspaper business, and for the economy as a whole. Did you only sign on for the luxury cruise?

Do newpaper reporters really have that much of a budget, to send them anywhere on the globe? Let's look at the salary itself.  It would be presumptuous of me to know how much Mariotti made from writing at the Sun-Times.  However, let's say that I had been writing for a Chicago newspaper for 17 years, I could make around $49,000 annually.
Prior agreement may change that figure so it may not be that way in the end. A news report on television makes about $10,000 more.

So maybe the newspapers allow their reporters to go around the world. Yes and No. Yes, we see newspaper reporter travel the globe, but you won't see a Sun-Times reporter leave Chicago very often. Most newspaper and online outlets get there news from the Associated Press. Newspaper usually get the information, especially on world events, from them.

Mariotti noticed how newspapers did not get enough coverage into the Beijing Olympics. He convinced himself that it was a dying medium. But is it, really? At the Unversity of Hartford in 1991, there will be a lot of factors that lead to the decline of readership. One of the major factor is competion from other media due to technology. However, technology also saved the newspaper the same fate as the VHS.

If the death of the newspaper was eminent, then why did so many people reacted to the thing that Mariotti wrote. As a sport writer, he was always trading jabs with local sports figures like Ozzie Guillen. The fact that Guillen loved Mariotti's downfall made him enjoy every last second of this situation. The problem between these two became so bad that he used a homosexual slur to describe him. Marriotti had put gas in the flames by basically enciting his collegues to rip into Guillen.

Is this what we become? We rather watch a 7 sec sound bite than study a well-written article. I think that Mariotti had quit for personal reasons and not to wake everyone up from the depths of print extinction. In the world of sports, politics, and national news the print world could be a viable medium. National newspapers like the New York Times, are going online, but tradition is still strong by printing it on paper.

Life of it's Own

This convention caught on quickly around Carnegie Mellon, and soon spread to other universities and research labs via the primitive computer networks of the day. (Some CMU alumni who had moved on to other places continued to read our bboards as a way of keeping in touch with their old community.) -Scott Fahlman (Refering to Smileys)

There was a time where only top of the line computer experts were using smileys to show emotion to the reader. Just like an author writing something shocking because he/she has nothing on earth to say. I could understand the reasoning behind the creating of smileys. Fahlman describes how the smiley became more complex as the internet grew uncontrollably. Just like the internet itself, the smiley has evolved into something complex and also change the world around it.


Stamped with a Smile

The irony is, Net culture was unusually literate. The pioneers of the Net were hackers, people who routinely spend twelve to sixteen hours a day editing text, and whose favorite leisure-time activity is inhaling fantasy and science fiction novels by the pallet load. These people are no strangers to words. - Neal Stephenson


If they are not strangers to words, then why do they see the need for smileys? Communication. We always had a need to improve how we talk and write. Eventually it was taken over by the texting generation and the rest was history. If you look at the history of smileys as a Carnegie Mellon computer whiz started it 25 years ago, one would realize that the history of technological advances is far from recent. In fact, in order to get a good grasp on communication advances, you would have to start at the beginning of langauge itself. Maybe in the future, we would be able to find out a way to communicate without moving (how crazy is that). When I read the Stephenson article, all I could do was think about the article on Usenet and Eternal September. However, as I said in that blog entry, every time there is an introduction of a new technology or method to the public, there is no controlling it. Think about that the next time you see a smiley at the end of a text message ;-}). 


The Downfall of the Pen

Just Another Thought

I think that creative writing has lost a great writer this weekend. When I read this article, it made me think about Dr. Arnzen's Publication Workshop class. We read Forest for the Trees, by Betsy Lerner. We learned that it is hard for writers in and outside of the writing studio. As writers, we should think of our writing as a part of ourselves, but we can't forget ourselves, either.

Why People Hate Newbies


When I see politicians talk about how their opponents are elitist...I think the original Usenet user had one up on them. I have to admit, when I first read the article I was a little confused. So as a started to click on the links and reflect on what those articles meant.

I think that Usenet users thought that they had a Utopia on their hands. A place where they can escape to these forums, talk about the subjects and move on. Dr. Jerz, in a previous class, told us that we (the class of 2009) came in to the SHU blogging scene already having experiences with Myspace and Facebook. I think that the '09 class seemed to waterdown breakthoughs that previous classes has made with blogs. Let me explain that statement.

When I first came to Seton Hill, and jumped headfirst into a blogging course with the blogmaster, my fellow freshman and I began to notice something. Upperclassmen, especially class '07, had actually build relationships on their blogs. Most of them are blogging today after they are long and gone. Personally, I did not have that connection (not at first... it took a while). I thought that it was another chore that we had to get done for our class. In some instances, I've seen some students even gripe online on how much they have to blog.

The class of 2009 and the classes that has succeed it could be considered the "AOLers" in some respects. However, I don't think that we had put to rest all academically sound thought since the SHU blog conception. I could put that same theory to the test for the "AOLers" and the Usenet users. When one introduces something that has been private for a while people tend to enter it is mass numbers. In those mass numbers, it is hard to weed out the psychos from the sane, the intellectuals from the conspiracy theorist.

Maybe some people can't grasp how fast ideas could be spread, become stale, help, or hurt in the online world. I hope that web users could grasp the strength that their presence as they stay online.

Do you think that Usenet was a great example of users changing the internet as we know it?

Doesn't Dr. Jerz Have Facebook?

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EL236--Writing for the Internet
Shapira, When Young Teachers Go Wild on the Web
Schwartz, Malweblolence


When I read Shapira's article, I laughed. One of the examples that I saw was the Richmond Public School art teacher painting a picture with his buttocks. I remember that story as clear as day. It just go to show that everything on the web could literally be translated in reality. Everything that we write and post online defines us. Just think of yourself as a politician for a moment, would you want college students angry at you because you wrote on your blog that college students was lazy. Another voting demographic lost.

This also reminds us that Facebook and MySpace does really help with this unprofessionalism. My first thoughts when Dr. Jerz profile surfaced on Facebook were ones of confusion and glee. I didn't worry that pictures of his wild parties would surface when his friends witnessed a glorious kegstand. But for others, I believe that they will have rude awakening.

Professional punishment isn't the only bad thing that could happen to a person. These "trolls" are out there causing financial and emotional problems. What I don't understand what is the thrill for these guys. I remember the Megan Meier case as some powerful force that the internet could have on people.

Do you think we need to, in some way, control the content of the Internet?