Opinions

Blog I follow

http://www.chicgalleria.com/

Chic Galleria is a blog I have chosen to follow. I really like it because it covers many topics. The pages include arts & entertainment, body & mind, food, giveaways, shop, style, and travel. This blog has a little bit of everything, which is why I like it. There is a lot of variety for viewers! The pages are placed in a navigation bar. They are listed in the right top hand corner which is great because it is then made easy to see what the blog offers. This would be included in the “above the fold” portion of the blog. Also in that portion is the title. The title is also big and clear. It is also bright, with highlights of red. A cool feature of the pages is that most of them are different colors. I enjoyed seeing that. It brings a little creative customization to the blog! Although this blog adds different colors to some of the pages, I think one thing this blog could improve on is it’s overall design. The background of the pages is plain. The content of each page takes up a lot of space, but I still think something could be done with the background to make it a little more exciting. I also think the font choice is a little plain. I think that could be changed also to make the blog a little more exciting or exotic, appearance wise. Another feature to note about this blog is that it is a collaborative blog. There are multiple authors that contribute to the posts showcased on this blog. When you click on the “about the author” on the homepage, it lists the editor along with the writers that write posts for this blog. Another cool feature of this blog is the “Latest Readers Comments” feed on the top, right below the title. I like this feature of the blog because you can see what people are saying about certain posts. You are introduced to popular posts right then and there! There is a sidebar on this blog as well. The sidebar contains the social media links for the blog, photos, ads, latest articles, a search bar, and a subscribe section. Also included in the sidebar is the archives section. This section has a drop down feature that lets you look up articles as far back as 2008. They are listed by month and year. I think it is very well organized! On the footer of the blog, all the categories are listed. There are a lot of them listed! When it comes to posts, the most recent ones are listed on the home page. New posts are constantly posted, this is a very active blog. Overall, I throughly enjoy this blog. There is a lot of variety, content wise. There is also consistency when it comes to recent and updated posts. The articles also always include photos and are very well written. This is a blog I will read on a daily basis!

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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.

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.

Three blogs to look at

Three blogs I really like are Spoiler Tv, Buzzfeed and Thats What She Read. Spoiler TV provides spoilers for popular TV shows and networks as well as up-to-date news on movies and celebrities. Buzzfeed is a general blog but you can follow specific parts of it such as the Entertainment blog or the Celebrity blog. Thats What She Read is a personal blog where a girl discusses what she read and what she likes and recommends, etc.

Spoiler TV is my favorite blog so far. I think it’s really useful and it will aid my blog tremendously. However, I don’t really like it personally for the kind of blog that I would want. Spoiler TV will be a good resource but I wouldn’t necessarily want to emulate it. In my previous post, I mentioned that it looks cluttered despite it being organized. Unfortunately, the cluttered, busy look it has can be a turnoff. I wouldn’t want my blog to look like Spoiler TV because it just seems like there’s a lot going on. And that’s fine for the kind of blog that it is but I know that it wouldn’t work with the kind of blog that I want. Another problem is that though they are very informative on their subject, they lack emotion and opinion. Things regarding opinion tend to be polls so Spoiler TV isn’t really something I would read to be primarily entertained. Overall, while Spoiler TV is a good counterpart/resource to my blog, it isn’t really the direction that I am trying to take with Rated E.

Buzzfeed is more like Spoiler TV in that it updates objectively. It differs however, in that it updates on what is important or already relevant. It is biased because it is concerned with pop culture. Spoiler TV updates on a schedule about the shows that are airing- they can’t change a week and only blog about Elementary or Game of Thrones. They have to maintain every show. Buzzfeed does not necessarily have to follow this formula. They have a “What’s Hot” page and a “lol” page as well as a “wtf” page which all reflects how concerned with popular culture they are. The posts are a bit more opinionated and personal but even that is skewed to reflect assumed “popular” thought.

Thats What She Read is really the kind of blog I’m aiming for; it’s a simple blog and it doesn’t boast anything. It’s simply her and her honest opinions and reactions on a subject that matters to her. I am going to attempt to do the same. I’m really going to try to be honest (even if it’s negative) about the shows and movies I’m watching and the writing that goes into both. Her layout is very simple and very reflective of a personal blog unlike Buzzfeed and Spoiler Tv. It’s a more personal feel which is what I’m going for. I really like her overall layout and her voice. However, she tends to talk about her personal life a lot. I understand it’s a personal blog but her name and her About page don’t really reflect it accurately; I expected it to be nothing but book reviews but instead, she occasionally writes about her family and what’s going on in her life.

Blogs I Love

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

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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.

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/

The Londoner

I used bloglovin to find three blogs to follow. I was a bit confused as to how to use the RSS and which of the many blogs featured on the site to subscribe to. At the end, through some trial and error, I was able to follow three blogs that seemed interesting to me.

I initially chose the blog “The Londoner” to be one of the three blogs I follow on bloglovin. That is because  I have come to  really like London.  Hearing the experiences of people who live there has become a hobby of mine since living there one day is a dream of mine. However, as I really started to read the blogger’s posts, it became quite apparent how quirky and interesting she is. I am quite glad that I chose her blogs to be one that I follow for the semester. Her online personality just seems to jump out of her posts, and she makes her everyday life experiences that seem so mundane more exciting and extremely vibrant.

Additionally, the template and theme of her blog makes it very easy to navigate, especially for someone like myself who is not all that experienced with the way the blogosphere works. The theme is simple in that it shows the titles of her blog posts, a cover photo, a few photos along the edge, and all the important information on the top of the page. To me, it seems that having a simple template and theme seems to be the best route to go if you want more people to appreciate your blog. “The Londoner” seems to work really well because not only is it simple and user friendly, but it goes really well with the type of blog it is.

One thing to note that is good about her blog is how her above the fold has all the important information any of her blog visitors may need to utilize. The header has the title of her blog neatly in the center, and all her links (such as “home”, “categories”, “London”, “shop”, “about”, and “search”) as well as the way to share via social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, etc are easily accessible in the navigation bar. Moreover, the most recent blog post is the first blog post shown above the fold. The rest of posts are shown as title, picture, and small text to explain what their post will be about.

Her blog also has an archive at the bottom, on the right-hand side. This is very beneficial for people that read her blog because they can go to any month they want and read the posts she had posted in the month chosen. Additionally, she separates her blog into categories which are accessible by clicking on the links in the navigation bar. Having an archive and categorizing the posts made on her blog, the blog overall is very user friendly and accessible.

I cannot wait to see what other posts “The Londoner” has in store as the year goes on.

Mayhem in the Kitchen

mayhem-in-the-kitchen_logoOne of the blogs I decided to follow is Mayhem in the Kitchen. I chose this blog initially because above the fold I saw a picture of a pug with cupcakes. Immediately, I knew this would be up my alley as I am both a dog and cupcake-lover. I should specify that I am more so a complete push-over for anything dog or food related. So sue me, I have major weaknesses. Could be worse. Anyway! The header was simple but still descriptive and contained the title “Mayhem in the Kitchen.” Initially I read this as a sort of commentary of the characteristic of who it was that was working in this kitchen and creating a mess. Going on to read the about me, however, I soon realized that Mayhem was in fact the blogger’s dog. A 4-year old adopted pug, too cute for words. The blog doesn’t seem to be hosted by anyone as it ends in the more traditional .com without another server or rather, platform, attached to it. The navigation bar was pretty straight-forward and definitely featured above the fold so it was easy to click through and see the options. Her tags were more towards her footer and I had some trouble finding her archive, I think there was overall much more of a focus on her tags.

The blog is so easy to navigate and the gist of the posts are comprised of a photo detailing the recipe that Leesha will be undertaking that day. She’s a vegetarian so all of her foods cater to that lifestyle and she tends to use organic ingredients for mostly everything she makes. In her about me she details the blog as a site where she will post about super healthy and clean eating but also really delicious not-so-healthy for you treats. Any place that can combine an amazing dessert with a nutritious meal is fine by me and so it was really fun to scroll through and see her different attempts.

What I liked about the recipes is that they’re very straight forward. You can scroll down her blog to see pretty much every recipe she’s tried but you actually click on the picture to jump to the permalink for the recipe. So for example you can pretty much bypass all of her healthy food choices to get right into the desserts. The posts themselves are pretty simple. She will showcase the picture of what the food should look like when its done and then give you a brief synopsis of her own experience making it. Then to replicate it yourself, she has the actual directions and ingredients. That way if you’re feeling particularly creative you’re welcome to try them out or even improvise based on her own mistakes or successes.

Overall, its a very cute little blog. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of regularly scheduled postings but so far all of the recipes have looked great, and easy enough to manage. An archive would definitely be an easier way of navigating, I think, than having to scroll past every month. Though, the tags do help in specifying what you are looking for.

A Beautiful Mess

gummy cookies

After browsing through bloglovin’, one of the blogs that I have chosen to follow is titled, “A Beautiful Mess”.  What caught my attention was the “above the fold” picture of cookies with gummies melted into the shape of a heart for Valentine’s Day.  I love cookies and I love gummies, so what a brilliant idea!  “A Beautiful Mess” is a self-hosted lifestyle blog.

Located in the header of the blog, there is a “About” link.  I learned that the blog actually started out as a “just-for-fun” blog by a young lady named Elsie. “A Beautiful Mess” started during the summer of 2007.  Now, the blog is considered small company managed by four people; therefore it is considered a group blog.  I was surprised to learn this because I usually think of a blog being written by a sole author.

The overall theme or template of the blog is very pretty, simplistic, and colorful.  Not only does the header show the title of the blog, but also six categories viewers can browse through.  As I mentioned before, “A Beautiful Mess” is a lifestyle blog; therefore the categories include craft, photography, recipe, décor, fashion, and beauty.

Since the gummy cookies caught my attention, I decided to read that particular post and learn how to make it.  The post was very well done.  The title of the post states, “Gummy Bear Cookies” and it was posted on February 3, 2014.  Not only was there a list of ingredients needed to make the cookies, but there was also step-by-step instructions with pictures for each step. I believe that the pictures along with instructions make it easier for me to follow the recipe.  All the pictures used in the blog looks very professional.  At the end of the gummy bear cookie post, readers may leave comments.  Strolling through comments, many people left positive remarks, saying that the gummy cookies is a cute idea.

The permalink to the “Gummy Bear Cookies” post:

http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/02/gummy-bear-cookies.html

Next to the “About” link, I notice a blogroll with other blogs created individually by the same authors. In addition, there are social media tools on the top of the blog, making it easy for me to share this blog or certain posts with my friends through facebook and twitter.  The footer and right side of the blog contains random advertisements.  The advertisements are probably how the authors make money from the site. Furthermore, the sidebar of the blog contains an archive.  This makes it convenient for me to find all the posts made in December for Christmas recipes and crafts I can make to give as gifts! Also, if I do not find what I am looking for in the archive, I can always type in my topic in the search field located in the header of the blog.

Lastly, the contact info for this blog can be found by clicking on the “Job” link in the header. Currently, the authors are looking to hiring an iOS developer and an ABM digital director.

The URL to the blog:

http://www.abeautifulmess.com/

Emma S.D.

My name is Emma Dingle. Hey 🙂 I hate my last name so please do not use it at all. I’m 20, about to be 21 on March 23rd. I am from Burlington County and I live in Westampton. I transferred to Rutgers this fall from my community college. I am a junior and I expect to graduate in the spring of 2015. I live on-campus but I go home frequently where I live with my mom, my sister, and a dog named Rose (which is the dumbest name ever but my sister was 7 at the time so…) or with my dad.

I am an English major; I want to write novels. I am also thinking of minoring in Cinema Studies so that I can learn about screenwriting as well because movies/tv seems interesting. I tend to be very opinionated and I would also like to write critiques of movies, TV shows, music, books, etc. I would like to start a blog eventually exploring this but I am not sure about the angle or what aspect I want to focus on just yet.

This is why I am interested in blogging and I would like to learn more about it. I think blogging is very useful today-almost necessary-because of the way we get our information; it’s always changing and the world is much more fast-paced. In addition to this, books are still selling but a lot of people get their news and share information online. To keep up, I want to know how to blog at least somewhat adequately.

I really love music, movies, books and TV and the way they are all involved with each other. I wanted to be the person who picked soundtracks for films when I was younger, back when I thought that was actually a separate job. I like all types of music; alternative rock, punk rock, pop, hip hop, bollywood, etc etc. I do not really care for R&B or country, however. I love Of Monsters and Men, Coldplay, Passion Pit, Metric, Drake, Arctic Monkeys, Fleetwood Mac, Death Cab for Cutie and tons of others lol I could go on for days honestly. I adore P!nk.

by Wikipedia user Schulu24

by Wikipedia user Schulu24

My favorite books are the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series and a lot more that I don’t remember the titles to, unfortunately. When I was younger, I read constantly and blew through everything so fast, I hardly remember anything I didn’t read more than once. My favorite TV shows are Once Upon a Time, Teen Wolf, Parenthood, American Horror Story: Coven (and only coven because Murder House was terrifying.) I can’t really pick my favorite movies because I have so many. I separate them into categories: favorite Disney, favorite comedy, favorite drama, action, romance, romantic comedy, etc. A few movies that stick out are Pirates of the Caribbean, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Lilo & Stitch, Tangled, Scott Pilgrim, What Happens in Vegas, Pineapple Express and much more that I can’t remember at the moment. I HATE scary movies because I have way too much empathy and end up placing myself and my friends in the people’s positions and it’s just all around a terrible experience.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a lot of things. I wanted to be a spy, I wanted to be a soccer player (I played defense for 3-4 years) I wanted to be a biologist ( only so I could study wolves which are my favorite animals) and I wanted to be something like Indiana Jones. I also wanted to be a pirate. So I decided to take the next best step and become a writer. I am literally always daydreaming so I felt like it was the logical choice.

Thanks for reading! Nice to meet you. 🙂