Making a Website

So many options, So much to consider—users, strategy, scope, and platform

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I am creating a website to showcase all of my work in this Digital Communications class along with outside work that I have produced. First, I must consider who the users of this site will realistically be.

  • potential employers
  • admissions people
  • me

Hence, I prompted to consider the probing questions? (this is my strategy)

  • What brand do I wish to portray?
  • What message do I wish to convey?
  • What is so important about me that my website users should easily gather by browsing my site?

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Story Board—What are you looking at?

the infiltration of cellphone apps into our lives 

What are you looking at?

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To build upon my slideshow of pictures demonstrating cellphone applications as they manifest in our lives I will be creating a video. I hope to integrate the opinions of many different people and how are lives are affected. As opposed to the slideshow, however, I hope to convey hope how apps can negatively affect people as the serve to disconnect us from others.

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Step 1

These pictures above portray what I hope to be the first part of my project. This first part hopefully would be a bunch of snap individual interviews. This methodology would harness the technique of spatial jump cuts and psychological closure.

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We Choose What we See

Chapter 2 of Sturken and Cartwright’s book— Viewers Make Meaning

Images are all viewed through paradigms of the viewer and the context

An image can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. This is interpretation is dependent upon many relative factors.

  • images interpellate viewers
  • critical thinking
  • intervisuality—interaction of modes of visuality
  • aesthetics based on taste
  • cultural capital, habitus
  • ideology
  • cultural appropriation

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Images—always tell the truth?

Ch 1 of Sturken & Cartwright’s book— Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture

We are inundated with images. Images that we take at face value. Images that manipulate.

Cliches integral to our society—

  • A picture is worth 1000 words
  • What you see is what you get

In our society we consider an image to be synonymous with the truth. A picture captures the actual situation right? What could be better proof of the actual events that transpired than an image?

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Money Corrupting Blogging?

Chapter 6 of Rettberg’s book— Blogging Brands

Blogging for profit—impurity or purity?

Some may argue that blogging has become tainted because of micropatronage, sponsored posts, and advertising on blogs. Others may argue that a mere hobby has been enhanced and revitalized into a legitimate profession. Personally—I agree with both.

When I google popular blogging books. Many of the books are fully focused on blogging for profit.

The two books below are just a few examples.

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Are Bloggers also Journalists?

Rettberg Chapter 4— “Citizen Journalists?”

Blogging as a person—titled a journalist

Blogging has given everyone a voice and this is amazing. However, how do we distinguish between blogging and journalism? This line has been blurred and maybe is even nonexistent.  Some studies show that readers view blogs as more credible but many bloggers even dispute the notion that a blogger is a journalist.

Blogs seem to tug at emotions and this is emotional appeal is how I believe blogs gain authenticity and credibility. Journalism is enshrouded in a stigma of negative biases. One might consider Fox overly conservative or MSNBC overly liberal. However, a blogger can stand on their own—apart from the overall reputation of an organization.

Readers, in my opinion, can better relate to bloggers because a blogger is just another person with an opinion, not some organization. Bloggers also seem to gain credibility by acknowledging their writing as their personal opinions—but these opinions are free to be adopted by their readers. A blogger often writes an emotional appeal—which is fine since the blogger is just another person.

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Simplicity is the Secret

Chapter 3 of Brian Carroll’s book— Writing for Digital Media

Simplicity in writing, simplicity in visual perspective, simplicity in general online style.

I have always struggled with simplicity in writing. I have an inclination to be verbose. However, I do not believe that verbosity denotes any writing, including physical literature, as being written by a more intelligent author. Old English is a great example. Many would argue that this and other writings of the past are more well written or written by a smarter author. Regardless, I believe evolution caused this transition and simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing. Simpler writing allows us to read faster and to take in more information and thus to be more intelligent.

A good visual style is also based in simplicity. In my last post, A Brave New Media, I discussed how time was of the essence on the Web. We want everything as quickly as possible and if one site isn’t delivering what we seek in a timely manner then there is no hesitation in moving on to a different site. A good visual style must lend itself to a quick comprehension of the webpage. The message of the webpage must be clear and navigation to other pages must be easy to locate. Continue reading

Digital Media in the Digital Age

Chapter 2 of Brian Carroll’s book— Writing for Digital Media

Analog media is the past; digital media is the present, and more importantly the future.

Carroll persuasively argues that the Web can be an effective medium for writers. However, the context of writing on the web is a whole new set of rules. Reading becomes interacting. Instantaneous everything is now the expectation for the Web. Credibility is a must—in a medium where gossip and rumor are the norm and not the exception. Reading becomes scanning or maybe just a long glance. 

In an effective piece of online writing, digital media— audio, video, links, imaging, etc. must be utilized. In turn this creates more of a hierarchical “space” for interaction, quite different than a traditional page of writing  one may find in a book. Hypertext allows for an endless flow of information so that a Web user may be able to continuously interact with the space they are viewing on the Internet.

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