My First Meme

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

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Missed Opportunity and New Images

I was at first uncomfortable using images in my posts. I had no idea how to approach it. I went back and examined my “Did I mention my Pulitzer” post. In the Pulitzer post I saw a couple of places where an image would enhance my writing.

I really want the text to be the focus of this most so I do not think it would have been appropriate to have a picture at the very top. I was torn about this decision because I believe visuals do help draw readers in. I could have incorporated a picture of the Hudsucker Proxy but that may confuse readers because it is not really the subject of the post.

The main place I saw that should have had a picture was in the section about the of winners of the Investigative Journalism Pulitzer. I spend time talking about them and it would help the audience to see who I am describing. The picture should be medium and at the right of the text discussing them. Like so. This way the reader sees the text first and then looks at the picture second to see who I am discussing.

David Barstow and Alejandra Xanic von Bertrab with Lee C. Bollinger.

David Barstow and Alejandra Xanic von Bertrab with Lee C. Bollinger.

My motivation in writing that post was curiosity. I was curious and I figured maybe other people would like to learn what I have learned, so I put it out there. I am not sure if that is a good enough motivation or not. The Pulitzer is a prestigious award, and anyone who wants to be a journalist should be aware of the top writers in this field.

Banner Image

Exploring the relationship between news media and digital media is the whole purpose of my blog. I found the picture of a hand holding this world of media and though it was perfect. The hand holding the world of information conveyed the message to readers that both they and I hold this world in our hands. Fanpop-all-around-the-world-fanpop-583858_1024_768 Using digital media we can shape our news experience in ways we never could before. The other aspect I liked most was the hand being a glowing, digital looking part of the image. It just serves to reinforce the idea of the reader interacting with this digital world.

Interactivity Scavenger Hunt

While hunting for interactivity, I developed three categories.

  • Usable
  • Instructional
  • Visual

I narrowed it down to these  categories because there was an example of each one on all of the four pages. There is definitely a trend in the interactivity that is offered on the websites.

Usable

The search bar was visible on every one of the websites. This enables users to quickly access specific information.

Cnn Had a search bar in the top right hand corner of the home page. This is important to have because the CNN has been around for a long time and contains a lot of information. Also, CNN covers a wide variety of subjects, and it would take forever to sort through ll of them.
There is also usually a categories bar at the top of a page. To help readers navigate to what they are interested in.
The blog of Alex Autin included a categories bar at the top of the page. This let me pick where I wanted to go but in a less specific way than the search bar.

Instructional

There is nothing ambiguous here. When you see the picture or image it either tells you exactly what to do or what the result will be.

On You Tube there was an ad for Monsters University and the image contained a TV with the instructions click to play. It told you what to do and what to expect.

On Cnn.com the ad at the top for New Day had the message click to expand.

Visual

On all four websites there were pictures everywhere. Some of the pictures were actually links to another page. You do not know for sure it is a link; until you wave the mouse over it and magically it turns into a pointing hand. I noticed myself being drawn to the pictures. Using a picture to draw the reader to another page is very effective.

Cnn advertised the Piers Morgan Show with a picture and basic information. It looked just like a normal advertisement until I put the mouse on it and discovered it was also a link to Piers Morgans blog, which opened in a new window.

The blog of Alex Autin also hid a link with a picture. It was a picture of the sun and moon and when clicked it took you to a page on NASA’s website.

The Chive is a website of picture galleries. Sure they all have titles that also serve as links but the picture is what really convinces readers to visit the gallery. The picture can be clicked on and will act as a link to the page with the gallery.

You Tube really makes use of the visual link. There is not a title or description that does not include a picture.

It makes sense that both of these websites would often use the visual link, since both are composed of videos and pictures. They draw viewers in with visual rhetoric. The picture has the effect of capturing the readers attention. If a webpage had only text it would be harder to highlight specific things. The words would get jumbled together.

Materiality and Writing

We experimented with materiality with an activity that took us back to the childhood days of coloring with crayons. It was an almost instinctual response to have fun during this activity. The writing produced could be described with adjectives such as creative, vivid, entertaining, and silly. This activity proved that different materials equals a different approach.

What stood out to me during this activity was the relationship between the material and the audience. I looked back at Material Metaphors, technotexts, and media-specific analysis by Katherine Hayles and this statement helped me gain a better understanding, “To change the physical form of the artifact is not merely to change the act of reading…but profoundly to transform the metaphoric network structuring the relation of word to world”(23). Wow. What does that mean?

So, we took an advanced and plainly presented writing and jazzed it up with color and pictures. In doing that we changed the perceived audience from older students and other educated readers to young children. It is not traditional to use crayons for adult writings; our cultural conventions tell us that crayons are for children, so that subconsciously became our new audience.

So, if using crayons to write with is similar to drawing or coloring, then what exactly is blogging? I am struggling with this question a little bit. Looking at the materials used to blog may help to discover the answer: Words(of course), graphics, screen, sounds, images, links, and there are many more. I looked back at Hayles and she pointed out that, “The physical attributes constituting any artifact are potentially infinite…Materiality thus emerges from interactions between physical properties and a work’s artistic strategies”(33).

I think after taking time to better process this statement, the answer to the question what is a blog will become more clear. There will be more to come on this topic later.

What do I want out of this class?

I am interested in mass communications and plan to pursue a career in journalism. Newspapers are becoming extinct, and more people are turning to the internet for their news. I look on CNN.com every morning to see what the current stories are, as I’m sure many others do as well. In order to be successful in journalism, one needs to have an understanding about writing and digital media. Hopefully, I will learn how to shape my writing for the internet. Also, I have no previous knowledge about blogs but have always been interested in creating one. I am glad that it is the first assignment because I have always been too lazy to create one myself.