critiques

RU Admissions Blog

Overall I love the idea for this blog! I think it can be very helpful for the new incoming students and I wish I had known about it when I was entering RU. It is an easy way for new students to get answers to some of their questions in a very informal, not intimidating way. Many incoming students are nervous about a lot of things coming into college and this is a bridge to helping them adjust. They are able to ask questions or may not even have to because they are probably already answered somewhere in the blog. Not only is it beneficial to the incoming students but also current students. It is a way to share experiences they feel fellow classmates should hear about. It also provides a way to keep students involved and make them feel like part of a community. It is also nice it was chosen to be a blog vs. a different type of writing because blogging is informal and students do not have to worry so much about what or how they are saying things. Instead of speaking to professors they are speaking to each other, which makes it easier to understand each other. Something else that is very helpful about the blog is its set-up. The page is easy to navigate and if a student has a specific concern they want to learn more about all they have to do is look under the tag cloud and click what they are interested in. Once they do, they are brought right to the page where those concerns or questions were addressed. Something that could be changed would be that along with the tag cloud they were provide better categories on topics. The cloud is helpful but categories would be even more helpful.

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

3291257308_8b9e570534_o

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?

Paintings

In my critical response to the articles from last week I mention how important the use of color is in blogging. Color is all about where you want the eye to be directed when someone is viewing your blog. The same goes for paintings and Lauren definitely knew this while composing her paintings. She uses a lot of color in all her very abstract work. Her use of the dots allows the reader to make what they want out of her work. Since none of her work can be made out for sure what it is, it leaves it up to the viewer’s discretion and that can be appreciated by them because they get to view how they want to. I think this is a good tip for our blogs because maybe we should be posting certain things where the viewer gets to decide since giving the reader power is important. Although this could maybe work against your blog if you are not running an art blog since some people, like me, prefer a definite an answer or knowledge. I like to know what I am looking at and so if it is not art, I feel like I should be able to perceive it for what it is. I often get frustrated when I am unsure of what something is. Then again I am not very big into art and so you can see why I feel this way. Something I did find interesting about her work is the fact that some of her paintings have complete pictures in them such as watches and a reoccurring lady. It has me curious as to why most of her work is dots but then there are the occasional pictures. Something else I noticed is that she uses the same lady in all her pictures. What I take from that is that that lady is very significant and so she always uses her. She symbolizes something in her work I just do not know what that is. Overall I think she bases a lot of her work off of color, which is very smart considering color is one of the biggest components of any type of work.

Blog Layout

I was very informed after reading these two articles. They represent how to make the perfect blog and they give you information on both the more and less obvious aspects as to how to layout your blog. Some of these tips may be common knowledge which is what more of the first article, “Tips for laying out Blog Posts” focused on. Then there are more technical tips most do not know and this knowledge came more from the second article “10 blog Layout Tips.” Both present great tips in order to have an eye-catching blog!

In the first article, “Tips for laying out Blog Posts,” it is all about how to catch a person’s attention through visual concepts. These concepts consist of things such as colors, images, fonts, all the things that draw a viewer’s eye to something. I figured this was a very important aspect to blogging but I did not realize actually how much until reading these two pieces. The tip that interested me the most from this article would be number three, which was collages. I would not have guessed that collages caught the eye more than a single picture. My reasoning would be because there is a lot to focus on rather than just one picture. Turns out I was wrong! Not only are they attractive to the eye, they help speed up the loading time of a page from the consolidation of the photo. Everyone can agree that they are much happier with a page that loads quicker rather than having to wait! So this tip actually serves two purposes, the practical purpose and the fun purpose!

Then on the opposite side we have the second article, which basically gives tips on things that most people would not already know about. These are more technical things that many people would not realize that it actually does make a difference such as, white space, vertical alignment, typography and so on. These things focus more on how to set up your blog so that your viewer has an easy read while also being able to easily navigate through your page. You might think things such as a cluttered page may not matter but you would be wrong! Small things like this do make a difference even if it may be a sub-conscience one. I wanted to point out that there was a reoccurring tip I came across and that was colors. Using vibrant colors in order to direct the reader’s eye to where you want it to go has come up in both articles making it one of the most, if not the most, important aspects to a blog in my personal opinion. It makes sense when you think about it, in order for a reader to stay on your blog and actually get to the point of them reading your posts, they have to be interested enough so that they do not click out of it first. In order to do that your layout must be eye-catching so the little things such as colors matter just as much as the actual information that is being provided and so it is worth it to really contribute to all parts.

Annotated Bib 2

Rowse, Darren. “Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging? [7 Things I Know About Making Money from Blogging].” ProBlogger. N.p., 28 Nov. 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

<http://www.problogger.net/archives/2012/11/28/can-you-really-make-money-blogging-7-things-i-know-about-making-money-from-blogging/&gt;.

This website is useful for my thesis because the author really goes into how or if it is possible to make money off of blogging. He does this in a format of 7 points he addresses, which he deems important to know about the process. Since my thesis states that yes it is possible, it was nice to see that his first point stated that it is possible to make money from blogging. He then goes on to describe in the next six points what one must recognize in order to make this happen. He keeps it very realistic and straight forward, which I consider helpful. My favorite part about this site is that the author is really honest in his reasoning.

Nude Media

I think this article was eye-opening. It shows that what you post on the internet can be morphed into something different once you hit submit/publish. What I got from this article would be that although we have free speech and whatnot, the internet is still very controlled. The fact that you can submit something and then have it be changed once it is published is not always something the public recognizes, but what is submitted is a representation of the author. This is unfortunate for the author when they are trying to portray something specific but it comes out in a different way. It is almost like they have control over what exactly we get to see and how we get to view it. I think this goes against our freedoms. I guess this is a sacrifice you have to think about if you are willing to make or not in order to have your articles published publicly. Even something as small as changing a font can affect a reader and their feelings towards your piece. Layout is everything and how you present your work is a matter of what type of audience you are looking to target. Once this is played with and changed, this could affect a works success. You can perceive this as a negative vibe once he compares this process to that of the game telephone. Everyone knows the game of telephone is often viewed as negative once compared to a real life situation since telephone rarely ends up with the right message. So when you compare this to what is being published, it makes it obvious that the original piece is almost always edited. This provides public publishing agencies such as newspapers a lot of power, which is something the author must consider. This also touches on the fact that these editors are trying to make all authors the same instead of originally different. As an author I think they should have full control over their work, including something as little, yet as important as the font. When you strip an author of their individuality you are stripping them of half of their job. Instead of trying to make everyone the same, we should be proud of everyone’s differences.

Annotated Bib 1

Sally. “Sallys Baking Addiction How I Turned My Food Blog into a Career. » Sallys Baking Addiction.” Sallys Baking Addiction RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

<http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/12/how-to-make-money-from-a-food-blog/&gt;.

This is actually a woman’s blog that she created herself and turned into a career. She talks about how exactly she did this and what it took in order to accomplish it. She ended up quitting her normal job so that she could devote her full time attention to her blog. Once she did this she was able to make it her career. The money she makes off of the blog is mostly through advertising and she talks you through her struggle of how she accomplished this. This is a great example of someone who was able to take their passion for blogging and turn it into a career and be able to live off of it.

3 Similar Blogs

From “Bloglovin” I came across a great blog that is similar to the ideas of what I would like my blog to be like named “The Skinny Confidential.” This is a very advanced blog to the point where the blog title has been copyrighted! The first enticing thing about her blog is that the name is big and pink laying horizontally across the page. Right above that she has a navbar that separates the categories of what she blogs about. These categories are actually links that bring you to posts specifically about that specific category. I like how it is very organized, making it simple to navigate. This is a very likeable feature for someone who is new to blogging such as myself. The overall tone of her blog is very girly so it appeals to girls right away which is what I hope to accomplish with my blog. Her title is simple yet catchy  to a girls ear. Basically anything to do with skinny grabs a ladies attention. She makes it easy to read by keeping her posts short and sweet sentences separated by spaces in order to grasp an easy read. It is not set up in a paragraph format which I like. I also like that she posts frequently because that is how you know she truly enjoys blogging and so she instills time and effort into it. The only thing I do not love about the blog is that in her profile picture shes hiding her face. I think that seeing the whole person behind a project of theirs is important and helps you better connect with the author and their ideas. Overall, I love this blog and I aspire to create something similar!

I also followed a blog named “Fashion Squad” on “bloglovin.” This blog is also comparable to the likes of my blog in the sense that it has to do with fashion! My blog will cover more than just fashion but I followed this blog in order to get a sense of what just a fashion blog would look like. There are some big issues with this blog in the sense of its layout. It has a very plain, boring layout that is not eye- catching at all. There is no color or pictures which makes it very boring. They do not post everyday, they post about every 3 days which is not terrible, but also not a great amount for a blog in my opinion. When they do post, I like they way it is set up. She has a blurb describing the item she is posting about and then always puts a picture. I think pictures are great to use in blogs because pictures tell their own story! It is nice to have a visual to go along with a description. My favorite part about this blog actually would have to be the pictures. They also make for an easier readability. The title is catchy because that is what drew me in but unfortunately I was a little disappointed once I clicked onto the site. With a little revamping this site has tremendous potential!

The last blog I follow is named “Zoella” Again this is another beauty based blog. A big problem with this blog is the same as above. There is not much life or tone to the blog other than the posts. The life of the blog lies within the pictures she post to compliment her blurbs. The format is an easy read which is enjoyable but there is no theme or back ground but this did not stop her from gaining a ton of followers! Having so many followers is something that is enticing about her blog because even though it is plain and boring she was still able to interest so many people which means she has quality posts. This is definitely surprising though considering she only posts once a month which I think is terrible in the web world. The title is somewhat interesting because it is different, which you later on figure out is the authors name once you go to her bog. Her blog is definitely easy to navigate since she does not provide anything else on her blog other than her posts. I like more open-minded blogs with links to stores and such like “The Skinny Confidential” so that is something I will do differently than this blog. All three blogs have great ideas and posts but only the first blog impressed me with her overall site!

Blogs I Love

The blogs I have chosen to focus on today are MoscatoMom, HoseMaster of Wine, and Call Me Cupcake!

Yum

mm_logo

 

 

 

 

Yummy

header

 

 

 

Yummiest

The reason I chose these blogs is because they incorporate some of the different aspects of the things I’m going to be talking about in my blog. For example, MoscatoMom tackles easy recipes and happy hour–two of my most favorite things! Her blog is more geared towards a a lifestyle approach. She talks about fitness, eating, crafting, entertainment, and traveling. So while her blog can seem a little bit overwhelming to navigate all at once, she definitely has tabs for everything you’re looking for. One thing I will say is that her above the fold is a bit cluttered, there almost seems to be way too many selections and way too many to get connected on social media. A solution to this might have been to move all her social media icons more towards her footer so that the reader can actually get a feel for her blog before being bombarded by the ever present Facebook button. Shudder. Other than that her blog is really neatly organized and you get to know a lot about Lynsey and her family, who are always prevalent in her posts. She has a search button for her posts, which is great! But sadly, no archive. You have to actually go through page by page to get to a specific month or day which can be a bit tedious is maybe you’re just looking for some fun fall treats. Then again, hopefully the search bar tackles that issue straight on even if you’re not sure what you’re typing for. That would be my only downside to that.

The other blog I took a look at was Call Me Cupcake! Also blog dedicated to food but more specifically desserts. Linda’s blog is really more antique-y looking as compared to MoscatoMom who is all pink and Cosmopolitans. However, it goes along with her personality and writing style. Linda has a strong love for photography and baking which makes the pictures on her blog look absolutely drool-worthy. Seriously, every shot you can practically taste the glaze on the cupcake. Even better though, Linda did have a super easy to navigate archive which made it a pleasure to go back and see exactly how long she’d been running her blog. Unlike MoscatoMom, Linda puts her links to social media at the bottom of the post and instead of linking to a million different sites she simply has a small Facebook button down next to her comments so if one should feel so inclined, they can share. I do wish her font was a little bit bigger in her posts however, her pictures are marvelous and take up the entirety of the screen (which, thank you jesus, means more icing ogling for me) but then her actual posts are severely overshadowed by this itty bitty font. I just wish it was a bit more substantial so I wouldn’t have to zoom in my screen and distort the picture in order to read her post. Her actual formatting is really cute and demure, which doesn’t overshadow the works she’s doing in her actual posts and she even has these little cute cupcakes next to the comment section. Overall, a really pleasing blog to visit and learn from.

The last blog I took a swing at was HoseMaster of Wine which stems from Ron who has quite a few decades of wine-knowledge from which to contribute to this blog. I chose this one because it focuses mostly on wine but in a way that is less about simply taste-testing and more about story-making. For example, Ron talks about his experiences at vineyards and wineries and also talks about some of the literature of wine. Since I talk about literature that incorporates wine, I knew I had to get the details on this site. What I love about Ron’s blog is its straightforwardness. However, his blog is completely dominated by words. Aesthetically its a little overwhelming because there’s nothing being broken up. Its text after text after text. Even in his side bar, which features his prominent about me. I think I would prefer a little bit more of a break up in between his posts so it doesn’t feel like I literally have to read an entire screen to get anywhere.