critical responses

The Age of Live Blogging

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Charlie Chaplin in a Hitler movie said that the sole existence of technology proves the nature of human beings as one yearning to bring one another closer. The technology that is prevailing today is not only indicating that we are getting closer via news, but is proving that we prefer methods of communication in an instantaneous and straight forth manner.

We have relied on news to communicate information around the world. News started off with a platform in newspapers, then expanded to television, then to the internet through online articles, and now it is on a new expansive level like never before through live blogging. The article states that live blogs are getting three hundred percent more readers than conventional online articles. With statistics like these, every news company is hopping on board with live blogging. They work especially well with the coverage of events that rely on constant statistical updates, such as the US Presidential Election and sport events.

One of the reasons that readers are preferring live blogs is because they believe that live blogs are more objective. Perhaps this is because of the concise trait of live blogs. It has the appearance of a short message, long enough only to convey the news, rather than a long dolled up article containing biases or political agendas. Another reason why they prefer live blogs is because they can easily follow along on a story as it unfolds. Now people are constantly getting updated with their news while they are at work and are able to do so because of the “bite-size pieces of information”.

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On top of just reading, people are participating in conversations through commenting on these blogs. The article refers to this as the “Twitter element”. Live bloggers are three times more likely to include reader’s tweets rather than the comments added under the blogs.

There is a downside to live blogging. With the constant updates from live bloggers, thorough factual verification is difficult. The Thurman-Walters research studied how live bloggers work and they realized that they work at a frantic pace. It is not unusual for them to publish updates “every 20 minutes for six hours straight”, and that in this frenzy “there is little time for fact-checking”. Paul Lewis, a reporter for Guardian states that sitting in front of a computer is of less value than being on the spot.

Though live blogging may not be as thorough as other forms of news, it is the fastest growing source of news and it is turning out to be the preferred form of news by the population. Technology has demonstrated that human nature is one yearning to get closer to one another, and live blogging is allowing it to happen in a faster and more interactive way.

Resource: http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2012/nov/20/blogging-cityuniversity

The Cycle of Technology: Comparing the Invention of the Typewriter and the Use of Modern Blogging

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This picture was found on Flickr using Creative Commons. It was added by member, The New Ruffian.

The article we had to read for this week talked about the different impacts of the typewriter on businesses, literature (like memoirs, poetry, and others), and other aspects of life. It got me thinking about how a lot of the initial feelings that people had towards the typewriter first started being used could be comparable to the feelings people have about different blogs.

To start with, the article mentioned something about how the women of the time were able to become typists and became a icon symbol for other women. Basically, these women were held in high esteem, and made other women want to follow their footsteps. Thus, as the article states, many other women followed whatever styles and fashions that the typists initiated. This is similar to how popular bloggers are followed today. There are many different blogging platforms used on the internet for these bloggers to get their messages across to their readers. The posts that bloggers put up are rich in their own ideals, morals, views, experiences, and so on. To be more explicit: their style, their flare, their passions. Think about those bloggers who blog about fashion. They explain what style of clothes and products they wear, when to wear them, how to wear them, how to accessorize, the prices, and so forth. After taking this into account, readers may end up buying whatever was featured on the blog the next time they go shopping for either clothes or shoes. Now think about those bloggers who are social justice bloggers. They spotlight issues that readers have come to take for granted. Readers, once getting educated on a particular issue, may feel compelled to do something about that injustice. They may even start to reshape the way they think about certain things or modify their actions to cause less offense. Therefore, these bloggers- like the typists long before them- have influential power because they are looked up to by people who are reading their work.

Additionally, the articled talked about how the invention of the typewriter made grammar and spelling so important that dictionaries became a valuable tool to have. Just like the dictionary became an important tool once the typewriter was introduced, modern blogging made becoming internet-literate a very important skill. How often is it that we have heard how everything is now on the web, that newspapers and magazines and other forms of print are becoming more and more obsolete? Soon, printed materials will become just as rare as handwritten letters. As the article had said:

The typewriter fuses composition and publication, causing an entirely new attitude to the written and printed word”

Modern blogging is another step in that ladder of fusing different printed works together and presenting it in a new way. Newspaper companies now have blogs that highlight different news bulletins, making it more accessible than watching a broadcast on television or hearing a broadcast on the radio. A lot of magazines- whether they are gossip ones or life style ones- are also following the same path.

In conclusion, after reading the article I could not help but see the similarities between the attitudes towards the typewriter when it first was used and modern blogging today. I like to think of the whole thing as a cycle, a cycle that improves information transmission with every turn it takes. Who knows, maybe some day in our future there will be another method of informational transmission that would take over after blogging. Difficult to picture right now, but can you just imagine it?

Blogging and Art: Lauren DiCioccio

Lauren DiCioccio’s paintings replicate random pages in magazines and other publications of work; the words are replaced with small blocks of color so that an ordinary page becomes art. An entire page is replicated so that depending on the original article or image, Lauren’s pieces become dramatically different. They all display the different layout of a publication and it is somewhat easy to distinguish between the types of articles Lauren painted.  As we said in class, one looked like the credits from a movie or the front page of a magazine where the editors’ names go. Another looks like a magazine article, possibly with an interview (as evidenced by the highlighted block quote).

I think Lauren’s art can actually teach a lot about blogging. Despite Lauren using eye catching colors, the use of the colors is so prevalent that the eye is no longer attracted to certain words. Everything has color so that what catches your eye is the white space and the shape that the words (blocks of color) take in the paintings. It is no longer readable so what truly catches the attention is the format and the layout. Certain pieces are just massive blocks of colored dots. There is one piece in particular, called Vanity Fair MAY08 pg 269, that shows what was originally three columns of text. Nothing stands out, there are no pictures, no quotes, and the first letters of the paragraphs don’t stand out too much. There is no pause or break in the colored dots so it just becomes one big image and your eye isn’t drawn to any specific place. This becomes more clear when compared to another piece of hers (the eighth one shown in the slideshow). The format of this piece is much more attention-grabbing because it utilizes its white space and its layout in a pleasing way; a picture begins the article, there are three small columns of text, a giant quote in the middle of the page and three more small columns of text underneath. When a new part in the article begins, the first letter of that paragraph is big and immediately discernible.

By studying Lauren’s paintings, it would be much easier to find the kind of blog layout that you want for a blog. You could study each one and see where your eye is immediately drawn and then you could try to replicate that on your blog layout. Obviously, layout depends on what kind of blog you are running but her paintings are still rather useful if you are going to be using mostly words or if you will occasionally post pictures to accompany your words.

Nude Media; Origins and Context

Nude media, the articles explains, is when something is stripped of all it’s context, all the original information it was first published with. This refers to pictures, captions, quotes, and formatting. The article shows just how different things can be stripped of their original meaning. It showed the difference between printed/published works and works that may appear online. If someone cuts and pastes something online, a certain quote might be spread around to represent something completely different from what it was originally meant for.

I never actually gave any thought to the way information is spread across the internet. It never occurred to me that information could be so butchered and I never thought that articles might have context. The example was really excellent; the newspaper article on Tony Curtis seems more legitimate and holds a certain credibility that the online source loses when it attempts to go for a simpler/easier read. The article further loses credibility when it is e-mailed to another person. It loses it’s original font and formatting and it becomes increasingly easier to take out of context. People could easily mess up the original message by only sending a portion of the article or  and the writer of Nude Media makes a great point when he states that it’s essentially like a big game of Telephone. It gives new meaning to the common saying that you can’t believe anything on the internet.

It certainly makes me think more on the “facts” and stories I see on various websites. The article also makes me aware that I’ve probably seen many nude media sources of information. Tumblr is a great example of Nude media. Everyday, there are pictures or comics that have meanings and lessons to them but they will never be interpreted correctly because the original poster’s comments get deleted. Other times, a fact or piece of information is posted with a sometimes irrelevant opinion which ends up changing the context of the fact. This information is reblogged countless times and the false. assumed information is spread to others.

Overall, after learning about Nude Media, I think Creative Commons is even more important and useful now. With Creative Commons, people who posted something that wasn’t theirs, they would be required to put a link or an acknowledgement back to the original poster. This wouldn’t get rid of Nude Media but it would at least help combat the issue and it would provide a reliable source for context.

Creative Commons

It’s important to use Creative Commons so that you don’t get sued. It’s also important for the original contributors/makers/artists; if they put their art up and other people are reposting it, it gets hard to know who it actually belongs to and in this way, the original source may lose their rights to whatever they posted. People could change it or just blatantly take it and make a profit off of it and that’s not fair to the person who actually made it in the first place.

I think that as a creator, using Creative Commons is great; your work is monitored and respected (ideally) and you hold the rights to whatever you created.

As a user, however, I don’t think its very useful. I mean, the website is useful because it helps people avoid being sued or having to pay compensation to someone for using something without permission. But I don’t think the concept of Creative Commons laws are very useful because they aren’t enforced and they aren’t well known to the general public. I think that if you are putting it on the internet, you know that people are going to see it and share it because that’s the whole purpose of the internet in the first place. If no one ever shared anything, nothing on the internet would even be as popular as it is.

I think there needs to be some kind of differentiation between something that is created for commercial purposes or perhaps, that is intended to make a profit and something that is created strictly for attention/entertainment. I honestly don’t see the purpose of even putting something on the internet if you don’t want people to share it. If you told them not to put it on the internet, most people would reply “but the internet will reach a higher number of potential customers.” And it’s absolutely true. But the REASON isn’t that everyone on the internet is flocking to one store/person’s website. It’s because a small percentage of people saw something they liked and decided to share it, garnering a bigger audience. And maybe some didn’t attribute what they shared- they can be reprimanded. But people who let viewers know where to find something shouldn’t be penalized because in my opinion, that’s exactly what the original poster wanted in the first place.

I just think that the internet is an entity all it’s own and I don’t think it’s possible or even logical to try to restrict the sharing of information. As previously stated, if you are trying to make a living off of something you created or if you created something with the hopes of making some kind of profit, it is understandable. But things like this that are copyrighted should have something attached to them (?? I don’t really know how the internet works lol) that does not allow them to be copied or shared or reposted in the first place if it is that important.

Creative Commons Media

It is important to use Creative Commons Media because it allows bloggers to be sure that they will not encounter with any copyright infringement issues.  CC Media has allowed bloggers to be able to share with their readers whatever they want while also protecting themselves as they share.  The importance that comes with the founding of CCM is that as a digitally-obsessed society, we are always encountering issues with pirating and infringement.  CCM takes away some of the “need” bloggers sometimes may have to pirate certain parts of media that they need for a certain post and it also gives them a wider range of media to work with.  The guidelines of CCM also allow the creator of the media to be prompt to more exposure due to the fact that there is definitely a higher chance for bloggers to use their material and share it with their follower base.  As a creator, a blogger will be able to set up their own guidelines to their original material while still not completely putting hard regulations on it in order for them to receive more exposure from other media sources.

Creative Commons

I think its significantly important to use Creative Commons, especially if you are in a situation where you aren’t in a position to run a blog and also be creating your own media. It definitely is much more of a time-consumign endeavor to have to sit down and take perfect shots for whatever it is you’re trying to use on your blog. Therefore, having other options can be a great way to still keep your blog interesting and relative, without just depending on your words. I think its a great thing to use because you’re attributing to a web of people who, for better or worse, worked really hard to create that media. It’s always a good thing to give them credit, but also help share that work in a responsible way. I would hate it if my writing was tossed, or passed around without my knowledge and with no one knowing it was originally my work. That would absolutely crush me, so I can see the importance of giving the right attribution, even if photography or other forms of media don’t mean all that much to us. Also, if you think a particular work of media is great enough to use on your own blog, that person is probably really proud of their work as well. Give them the exposure that they deserve, and the little pat on the back that says: Hey this person did an amazing job. Go check out his/her stuff. I think that’s a great way to support each other in our individual modes of expression. I certainly wouldn’t feel opposed if someone was sending people my way based on something good that they saw on my blog. I think its a great way to pay it forward responsibly, and to also cheer each other on.

I try to take all of my own shots, just because it’s really hard to talk about a recipe or a certain wine without showing the steps involved. This also makes it easier on myself when I go back to write my post. I don’t have to worry about properly giving credit to anyone other than myself. But like I said, I can also appreciate that not everyone has the time to do this, or can even remember to snap a picture of everything they are involved in doing. For that reason, I am thinking about contributing my own photos to Creative Commons, that way its more accessible to people who may make use of it. Photos aren’t something that are particularly important to me, and I don’t mind if people are sharing my stuff. I can also appreciate the fact that anyone would even want to use my pictures, amateur that I am. Anyway, at the end of the day just like we are taught not to plagiarize in our academic pursuits, I think this is equally as important. If we can be responsible in all of these different aspects of our lives then maybe people would be more apt to share even more of what they do. I would hate for a great photo, writing sample, piece of music, or any other creative product to be hidden away just because people feared that someone would take it from them. I think its our job to make the internet a little bit more of a safe-worthy place.

How the Internet Created an Age of Rage (Response)

In his article, Tim Adams discusses what trolling involves and what mentality trolls have because of anonymity and a general lack of rules online. Because of a perceived “mask,” people comment and post rude comments or make threatening remarks to individuals. People no longer feel the need to adhere to social normsl; Adam calls it “deindividuation.” Some troll for reactions and others do it because they are angry people. It has become a much bigger issue, however, with the emergence of comment sections on most entertainment news providing sites.

trollI don’t think trolling is as serious as people make it out to be. Yes, trolling is bad; it’s annoying, inconvenient, and generally unhelpful and irrelevant. The last word is important however: irrelevant. At the end of the day, people can ignore trolls and go on with their lives, just like a person walks by strangers every day. There are so many people and so many comments that it is not necessary to give them the time of day. Perhaps that seems a bit lax but this is because I don’t consider people who use explicit/violent language to be trollers. I consider this to be harassment. I think there’s ultimately a huge difference between saying “you suck!” and “I will come to your house and slaughter you and your family.”

Unfortunately, whatever it’s considered, there’s no real way to stop it without censoring, something that people seem to shy away from as though the rule “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” isn’t still great advice. Anonymity is something that should be permitted. So many things have stigma attached to them that it benefits all to be able to hide behind a username at some point in their lives. Not only that, but not everyone believes it is necessary to have an account for every website just so that they can provide insight. It would be unfair to people who genuinely want to contribute but who feel they can’t because they can’t remain anonymous.

I don’t believe anything needs full censorship. I think the most anyone can hope to do is moderate. I believe people should be able to express themselves and their opinions, whether it be positive or negative. That being said, people can still express themselves and say what they want to say without excessive use of expletives or without the need to threaten bodily harm. And if it can’t be said, it’s because nothing was being said in the first place.

pokemonAn excellent example, if not a bit off-topic would be the game Pokémon. There used to be a time where players could nickname their Pokémon whatever they wanted. And I do mean WHATEVER. If they wanted to name it after a body part or after an expletive, they had full rights and they weren’t censored at all. It’s important to note that no one saw your Pokémon unless you were interacting through use of a (physical) link cable. In the year 2014, it is now possible that I, a 20 year old in New Jersey, can interact with a five year old playing Pokémon in Japan. Players can no longer name their Pokémon anything that they want. Curse words are not allowed, the word “kill” is not allowed, nothing negative or excessively violent is allowed. This is because gamemakers realized that as the internet gets larger and the world gets smaller, it is much easier to be exposed to all kinds of negativity. They have acted accordingly by moderating what can and cannot be said.

WordPress already employs this; in the settings for comments on our personal blogs, we are able to blacklist any words we do not want a commenter to be able to post. This needs to be adopted by more websites so that, for the most part, no one is censored, people can remain anonymous, and people can still contribute and express themselves and their opinions.

Spoiler TV

I chose to follow Spoiler TV because in my personal blog, I decided to liveblog and review different TV shows and movies. I’m not particularly obsessed with TV and I’ve gone completely without it many times. But as I get older, I find that I like watching TV a lot more than I used to or rather, I like watching shows to see how their story and plot will carry out. I pay more attention to the writing that goes into a show; the consistency, the character development, etc. I also notice scene set-ups more and music placement. Recently, I’ve become very interested in what goes into making a TV show and I’ve come to appreciate them a lot more.  Spoiler TV is perfect and will most likely be very useful for my blog; in their info, they state that they bring a “comprehensive spoiler service.”

Their above the fold is impressive and caught my attention right away. Their logo is a banner in which I recognized about ten actors and actresses from popular shows right off the bat and their name is imposed on top in bright blue so that there’s no missing it. Instantly, I knew this website was going to be LEGIT. Above their logo are all the navigation links. Their start tab displays their main features- links to twitters, an episode database (!!!), an image gallery, a highlight of what’s hot, and a highlight of what’s on tonight as well as announcements, a calendar of premiere dates, and a ratings chart. The other tabs separate all their shows into different categories (by networks, cable, or miscellaneous.) I explored Teen Wolf’s link to see how everything is set up. Anything tagged with a show’s title will come up and they post about a lot so some shows overlap on individual posts. I think that’s a good aspect of this website; they keep their posts interesting and more people can be involved. They have fun posts like “best scene of the week,” polls and interviews with actors and actresses but they also have informative posts where they show sneak peaks and they write complete recaps of episodes which is PERFECTION. They even have a link for movies where they post trailers, news about upcoming movies, etc. They also have a Pilot Watch where they update on prospective shows. They have a spreadsheet where they list the pilot’s title and what the show will be about.

At first glance, the blog seems a bit cluttered but that’s only because there’s so many shows they have to keep track of. It’s actually very organized and it’s easily navigated which I appreciate as I hate confusing websites. Their footer is easily recognized and simple and it displays their contact, feedback, and help links clearly. Their tagging system and all their links are very simple and to the point and nothing is too complicated. Basically, I love this blog and I’ll most likely continue to follow it actively after this class. I’m a sucker for organization and I geeked out a little (a lot) at the episode database as well as the complete recaps of episodes. I think this is the perfect website for someone like me in general as I tend to review everything I see in an episode and this just makes everything a lot easier, especially now that I’ve started a blog about TV and movies.

I honestly think anyone would enjoy it so here’s a link!

http://www.spoilertv.com/