Opinions

Replay Web

 

22-BITS-popupIn her article, Jenna Wortham discusses the phenomenon of  “replay web”.  There is no set definition of replay Web, but Wortham describes it as the manner in which the internet is able to replay events/moments that have occurred at different times and with different significance and sometimes even with commentary. Replay Web allows people to relive moments and share their opinions and commentary with everyone else.  Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook along with blog sites such as Tumblr are the perfect go-to example when speaking about replay Web.  Whenever a big story breaks, you can definitely expect it to be covered on every one of those sites with different opinions and meanings to each user.

Throughout Twitter and Tumblr you will immediately find witty tweets, pictures, and memes of any big event that has occurred despite the time period it happened. A huge favorite of the replay Web has to be everyone’s obsession with the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to win an Oscar. You can immediately find witty memes and commentary from people throughout the country and perhaps all over the world giving their input and poking fun at the significant amount of years in which DiCaprio has been nominated, but has never won. Another perfect example of replay Web is the social app called “Vine”. Vine has been around for almost a year and a half now and is still keeping up with the success amount that Instagram and Twitter has kept.  Within the Vine app users are able to record short six second looping videos onto their Vine account and connect their account with any other social network sites in order to allow more people to see it. Vine allows users to share any skits they have created, tricks, or anything else that comes to mind at any given moment with other people.  These social networks have been vital to the installment and creation of replay Web in society.  They give ease to being able to access prior events whether its social, political, personal, and etc.

Wortham continues to explaining how this phenomenon defines the direction in which society is headed in regards to digital media.  She says that our obsession with staying up to date with social media.  As a college student, it is extremely apparent to me that we are all glued to our cell phones and laptops.  The majority of students keep up to date with blogs, social media, and digital prints of magazines/newspapers in order to keep our daily lives moving along while still being in touch with whats going on and what everyone thinks about the big event that happened.  Many people enjoy reading op-ed pieces written by others and being able to agree or disagree with them through comments.  As Wortham stated in her article, “Perhaps the replay Web, by allowing us to constantly revisit and reconsider the recent past, can help us find new meaning in it. While we change its contours with new interpretations, visual signatures and instant analysis, there is always a new present to step into” by commenting and sharing our thoughts and ideas about virtually everything through the web we are constantly creating new ideas or adding onto already existing ideas.

In conclusion, it is really clear that replay Web is an interesting phenomenon that is utilized by people in order to spread their ideas and opinions with others about social, political, and worldwide events.

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Critique of RU Admissions Blog

The RU Admissions blog has to be one of the best places for prospective Rutgers students to read blog posts about campus life, New Brunswick, academics, and Rutgers in general all written by Rutgers University students.  This blog allows people to get a little sense of what it feels like to be a Rutgers student by exposing the good and the bad that each individual RU student experiences in their time at the university.  Rutgers University is extremely big and it is comforting for prospective students, as I was just a year ago, to be able to see the distinct aspects of life at Rutgers. The RU admissions blog provides an insider look to many different parts of what being a Rutgers University student actually is. The layout of the RU Admissions blog is fitting to what the content is about.  It is not extremely overwhelming or overdone, in fact it is simple and easy to navigate. One of the biggest unneeded distractions on the blog happens to be the Tag Cloud.  The tag cloud is filled with a million different, sometimes unneeded, words that may take away or frustrate people who are visiting the site. Also, the tag cloud drags down the page and messes with the layout creating a bunch of empty space since only five posts are seen in every page.  The tag cloud should be organized in a better way and only necessary words that would help a reader easily navigate to what they’re looking for when visiting the blog.  A great part of the blog also happens to be the archive. The archive is done simply and categorized by topic which is really helpful for people who visit the blog and are looking for posts about a specific topic.  Personally, I think this topic section should be incorporated within the homepage of the blog somewhere on the side before the tag cloud.  If the tag cloud is minimized to only contain important tagged words, then then specific topic section would fit perfectly within the layout chosen for the blog.  By having the topic section on the homepage, it would create an easier method for readers to navigate the blog. Also, i’m not 100% sure if this is only on my computer, but when clicking on a post it takes a while to load the entire layout. In all, the Rutgers admission blog is very useful for any prospective Rutgers students and the entire idea behind the blog and the individuals experience at Rutgers will definitely grab the attention of high school seniors/transfer students and let the see what Rutgers is really about through the eyes of past/current RU students.

Blog Layout

Mahd, Kristen, Emma.

Blog Content: Entertainment; movies, actors, television shows, music, books, etc.

Layout:

As soon as you open up the website, the title big enough to catch eye. Navigation bar above the fold, located near the main headline. Main article heading would be big, and then an excerpt would follow. For the rest of the articles, there would be a title, a thumbnail picture, and then a snippet of the article with a read more. Use of infinite scroll, where all the stories and images are on one page. However, static navigation bar. A “back to top” button on the bottom of the page with other important information.

Banner of some sort on the top, like some type of logo on the left. Wrapper of the webpage would be a color, but where the pictures and text are would be white. Individual archive for each category for each page (ie. one for movies, one for actors, etc.).

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.

Lauren DiCioccio and Blogging

While there isn’t a direct correlation between blogging and Lauren DiCioccio’s paintings, her artwork can really tell you about layout and its importance.  All of her pieces look like magazine pages in which she uses dots of color to take the place of words.  She indents and ever text wraps white space that contains what would be thought to be a quote.  Being an art history major, I tend to get really analytical with artistic pieces (maybe sometimes too much, oops!) but her portfolio is really representative of modern art and the direction it has taken towards the media.  I was curious about her artist statement, and what she said really struck me.  “My work investigates the physical/tangible beauty of commonplace mass-produced media-objects…this transition is a good thing- faster transmission and distribution of information, streamlined systems, openness to user input, less waste. But a hole is left behind by the disappearance of these everyday objects.” (Read the full statement here)

I think, depending on the blogger, the focus really shifts between content and layout.  I know personally, I’m really anal when it comes to choosing my layouts because I come from a family of graphic designers.  The information on the blog may be really excellent, but it’s the layout that captures and keeps the readers.  I know that isn’t the case for every blogger though. I’ve seen some really awful layouts- especially on food allergy blogs written by mothers or family members that are less tech savvy.  Their intent is to get the content to the audience but they don’t realized that they don’t keep that same audience.

Lauren DiCioccio’s Paintings and Blogging

Lauren DiCioccio’s paintings, though without words, can say a lot about blogging. Most of her paintings seem to be of layouts of different types of media, ranging from books to magazines. Each of the color dots looks like they represent words that could be found in any of those forms of media.

This is important to us because it shows us how layouts are important to the people viewing them. Because we are so used to the way different forms of media works, we were able to make inferences as to what each of her paintings represented. The line of dots on the very top of the pieces are obviously titles, the large mass of dots are most likely images, and so forth.

With DiCioccio’s paintings, we are able to see visually just how catching each different type of layout is for the people looking a particular medium. Without words to guide us, we can still tell if something is visually appealing or not. For people who blog, their goal is to get people to want to visit their site, read their material, and keep coming back. If they do not have a visually appealing blog, no one would ever want to stay on the site longer than they really need to. They would probably just pass over that blog and move on to the next.

DiCioccio also inadvertently shows how color and alignment is important. To start with, it may just be a stylized thing for her, using the color combinations that she does. But another part of being a visually appealing blog deals with what color to use in your blog so that people wouldn’t mind looking at it for a long periods of time. If you have really lurid color combinations in your blog, trust that it will be cancelled out of in a split second.

With the alignment, DiCiorccio shows how if things are aligned properly, the page looks neater and less cluttered. Her entire works are made up of clustered dots. If she hadn’t arranged them in the specific way she did, it would have just looked like a mess. Instead, they took shape to mean something more than just dots. This concept can be used for blogging because by setting up texts in a precise way with proper alignment, the blog page looks neater and more reader friendly. It makes it easier to navigate and accessible. This is also the case with setting up pictures properly too. Adding pictures could be difficult when you want the text to match. Alignment comes into play here. By putting text and pictures where they look the best improves the overall quality of the blog and makes people want to visit and revisit a blog. Her use of white space is also quite telling with blogging as well. It shows just how much white space is needed for certain mediums without taking too much room or giving too less of room.

In conclusion, though it doesn’t seem like it, her works shed a lot of insight into practices that are beneficial to blogging.

What It Means to Strip Media

In his piece titled “Uncreative Writing, Managing Language in the Digital Age ” Kenneth Goldsmith states the following to define nude media: “Once a digital file is downloaded from the context of a site, it’s free or naked, stripped bare of the normative external signifiers that tend to give as much meaning to an artwork as the contents of the artwork itself” (Goldsmith, 72).  Goldsmith gave an example of a New York Times article having small differences from the hard copy to the web version. The web version had a sans serif W in the word Washington instead of a classic black serifed T for Tony (72). The hard copy article was taken and put online and when it appeared online, some of it’s original external signifiers were altered. This online version was a nude form of the hard copy. It is a form of nude media.

Does nude media translate over to Creative Commons media? I personally think that nude media can apply to Creative Commons media. Creative Commons media provides art work that can be shared by anyone. There are certain restrictions depending on the creator of the work, but if it is on Creative Commons it can be shared in some shape or form. So how can a piece of art work on Creative Commons translate into nude media? If someone takes a piece of work from Creative Commons, and takes it out of it’s original element, and puts that piece of artwork into an atmosphere of their own, they are making that piece of media into nude media. If someone takes a photo from Creative Commons and shares it own their own blog, they are stripping that media externally and therefore making it into a piece of nude media. Another example of a piece of art work taken from Creative Commons and being transformed into nude media would be if someone took, for example a photo from Creative Commons, and if the creator put a license on it that people who want to share the photo can alter the photo, and if the person sharing the photo adds small differences to the photo, for example adding an arrow if they want to point something out in particular, that would make this piece of artwork a piece of nude media. If the original piece of work is being altered in some way, it would be considered nude media.  So yes, I do think nude media can come from Creative Commons media and I think the two can be connected.

I find nude media to be very interesting. I had no idea art work could be classified this way until we learned about this is class. It’s weird to think that if an original piece of work has been altered even in the smallest way or taken out of its original element, it can be considered nude media. There is probably so much nude media out there that we do not even recognize to be nude media.  Just like the New York Times example. That was a public piece of nude media that people probably did not even think to be considered nude media. Very interesting!

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 And The Advantages It Provides

It is important to use Creative Commons media. This is because as a writer or blogger, you want to make sure you are not violating any copyright laws. You do not want to use any image or words that are not yours without the permission of the owner. Many people take media and use it as their own without giving any credit to the creator. Creative Commons helps solve this problem. Creative Commons provides licenses so creators can share their work with people in a legal way. This way, people can use works of art by other people in blog posts etc. without infringing upon anyone’s rights.

A blogger, as a both a user and a creator, could take advantage of Creative Commons.

As a blogger, it is vital to use. If you quote another writer or article, or use a photo that is not yours, you need to give that person credit. We learned in class that just putting a link, or source, is not enough. You need permission from the creator and then you can use writing or a photo, and then source it. Bloggers can really take advantage of Creative Commons and avoid doing anything illegal because Creative Commons provides work that has already been approved by creators. It’s convenient because it is all in one space. On Creative Commons it shows you work and what laws the creator has signed off on so you know exactly what you are allowed to do with it. As a blogger, this is very helpful. Until we learned in class that example of what could happen to someone by violating the copyright laws, I had no idea that just sourcing something is not enough. I feel relief as a blogger to now know that there is a place where you can get work that is already approved by creators to share.

As a creator, Creative Commons should be taken advantage of. I think if creators of work, put their work though Creative Commons, they will be protected from anyone stealing or sharing their work without permission. It is just kind of a no brainer to me. If you do not want someone illegally taking your work, then you should just go through Creative Commons from the start. If someone takes your work, you do not want to have go through the hassle of tracking the person down and going through a lawsuit. All of that stuff is just not worth it when there is an easy and simple way to protect your work right from the beginning. It is also good for the creator because the creator really has total control of how exactly how much they want their work to be shared, through the different types of licenses they can put on it. The creator has complete control when they go through Creative Commons. Any creator would be silly to not take advantage of that.

Overall Creative Commons is a really great resource. It gives advantages to both users and creators of  blogs and art work.

Three Blogs I Love – Check Them Out!

Three Blogs I Love:

http://www.dancebloggers.com/

This blog has a similar theme to the blog I am in the process of making. It has this theme of bringing dancers together, except in this case, it is strictly bringing dance bloggers together. In the “above the fold” part of the blog, there is a lot going on. The title is at the top, which is apart of the header of this blog. In the navigation bar, there is a home button. There are no categories. Below the navigation bar, there is a subscription box. Next to that in the middle of the page, is the most recent post. Then on the right of that is their only social link, which is a link to their Facebook page. There is a box for tags, but there are no tags. There is also a box for popular posts, but that is also empty. There is a list of contributors on the right. It is a very long list with all the dance blogs they link to. The rest of the blog consists of all their posts. I like this blog because I think they have a great idea here and a lot of potential. They also bring all these dance blogs to one place, which is really cool. There is a lot of content, they just need to promote it more, and also the blog is kind of plain. If they promote their posts more through social media and get people commenting, that popular posts box can get filled and they can make their blog bigger. I think a more exciting design will also draw viewers.

http://dailydancenote.blogspot.com/

The first thing I liked about this blog was the background design. It draws you in because of the use of multiple colors and the splatter paint design. In the “above the fold” you see the title in the header, and below that there is no navigation bar, but there is a subscription bar. You also see the most recent post and the beginning of the sidebar. As you go down past the fold of the page, you are able to see more posts, and what the rest of the blog includes. It has a list of people who follow the blog, the blog archive and an “about me” section. I like this blog because the posts are motivational and they teach you stuff if you are someone in the process of learning to dance or trying to achieve a career in dance. I think this blog could improve by updating a little. The last post was in 2012, so they should add some more current posts. I also think they should get social media accounts to promote their blog and add the social links here. I feel like nowadays, social media is a must have for blogs because of how big it is in this current generation.

http://t-h-e-d-a-n-c-e-b-l-o-g.tumblr.com/

This dance blog is probably my favorite. In the “above the fold”, there is a middle section with the most recent posts. There is a sidebar on the left that shows all the blog has to offer. The categories include, Instagram, Me-Dance photos, Dance Blogs List, Dance Tips, Personal/Photography Blog, and How To Dance Videos. The categories show this blog has a lot to offer to dancers and people who like dance. I think the photos this blogger posts are really cool. There are a lot of action shots, which is awesome to see. This blogger also has an archive section, an “ask me” section, a submission section, and links to other blogs. I think those are important sections to have because it allows readers to really interact with the blog and get involved. I really like the content of this blog and the design is also nice and put together well. I did not see anything I thought called for improvement.