readings

Annotated Bib 5

Kadmar, Adi. “2013 in Review: CDA 230 and Recurring Threats to Strong Online Speech Protections | Electronic Frontier Foundation.” Electronic Frontier Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

 This article highlights the issues in freedom of speech and the threats that Section 230 has been undergoing within the past year.  In 2013, 47 state attorneys appealed to Congress to amend Section 230 by adding an amendment for state criminal laws.  This amendment would shift the “power” and regulation of the internet to all 50 states government and would most likely cause contradictory practices on how each state is able to utilize the internet as a vehicle for free speech.  These rulings are very controversial because they focus mostly on explicit content containing minors; the government along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation are trying to find ways to tackle situations like these. Many believe that the content of Section 230 needs to be amended to take into consideration these kinds of federal offenses without having host sites claim “free speech.”

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.

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.

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.

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 Blogging

The article Nude Media opened my eyes to something that’s been happening in front of me for ages, but I had yet to really notice. Nude media is when a file is stripped of it’s context and attribution through distribution throughout the internet. This process of media becoming “nude”, as pointed out in this article, more often than not serves to strip away much of the meaning and original power and authority that a written work possesses.

After having read this, I’ve certainly began to notice the effects of nude media in every direction I turn. After pondering how this might effect me and my writing, the need for a system like Creative Commons appears so much more important than it already had. Through the use of creative commons, which as we remember is a form of digital attribution that forgoes the need to constantly be contacting the owners of digital information, we are able to keep a continued line of attribution to the original source, thus keeping some sort of credibility.

I had often, in the past, given little thought to font, style and structure within online writing. It was interesting to have the contrast in difference between a printed article, blogged version of the same article, and then on to a emailed version of that article, pointed out. It’s easy to see how the importance and in some cases even the message and content of an article is distorted through the methods of digital translation. How exactly you combat this aside from the aforementioned use of Creative Commons, remains somewhat of a mystery to me. If it is your own work that you are transferring across different forms on the internet, I suppose you could try to keep as much of the original identifying information present as well as font styles etc, however, that becomes difficult in forms such as email because you have to worry about file size and offering a presentability that is considered somewhat of a norm for that forum.

Perhaps, a way of combating the blatant changes inherent in the re-usage of your content would be to present it all in a digital form such as .jpeg or another image type that does not allow for the direct copy and paste of words, and brings along with it the overall aesthetic look of the piece. Unfortunately, even this method does not work well in practice because it comes out looking sloppy, and in no way fits with the formatting and layout of any process we use for publishing written text.

In the end, I don’t see that nude media poses a major problem for the majority of bloggers and internet content providers. Sure, now and then our work will get ripped off, poorly attributed (if at all) and this might lose us a little credit, however, I think in the long run, the Creative Commons process will provide us the best possible avenue for digital content sharing and attribution.

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.

Using Creative Commons

As Roni Loren points out in her post about the dangers of using someone elses media without a proper understanding of it’s licensing and or attribution criteria, you quickly leave yourself open to legal action and I’m sure a sense of shame. Because of this, Creative Commons proves to be an incredible tool for bloggers looking to use different forms of media that they have not themselves created. It’s important to keep in mind that photos, music and writing do not just appear out of thin air. Someone took the time to frame those shots, set up the lighting and create all the little details that eye catching photo entails. When you find that picture you want or that song you just have to have because it embodies everything you’re trying to express, it’s only fair that you give credit where credit is due! The fact that people go through all this trouble to produce something amazing and turn right around with a willingness to share and allow it to be distributed is a testament to the good nature of our fellow humans and should never be taken advantage of. Creative Commons gives them the perfect way to give you permission without having to go through the long and sometimes migraine-filled process of seeking permission that used to be the norm. The simple and easy to understand criteria that Creative Commons work use, provides us with a singular system in an near fool-proof manner. Through the use of Creative Commons material, you, the author, can avoid the risk of being sued, continue to share amazing works of art, and feel good that you’ve given attribution to those that made it all possible. The use of Creative Commons is also fantastic for the contributor. So you spent all day, in the cold, lining up a shot and waiting for the sun to be at just the right angle for that once in a lifetime photo that you just needed to have. You get home, dump it on the internet and wait for the compliments to start pouring in. A few weeks later, as you’ve gained followers on your Flickr account, a friend informs you that they’ve seen your picture somewhere else AND IT DIDN’T GIVE YOU CREDIT. What a devastating feeling that must be. Someone else, even if it’s unintentional, is now getting the credit for your sweat and tears! Creative Commons give you solid ground to stand on for issuing cease and desist type orders; a way to protect yourself! Another great benefit is the exposure that one can receive for sharing their work. Just imagine that same image being used in so many amazing places, and it’s got your name tagged underneath! The traffic and notoriety that can generate can be priceless for you and your blog or career. I think the most important reason to use Creative Commons, aside from the somewhat selfish idea of being sued for not doing the right thing, is that you are promoting people to keep things shared, and continue contributing these wonderful things for the whole world to enjoy! The content that is shared by Creative Commons license, allows for the majority of internet connected peoples to be party to amazing things that may never have been dreamt up, or presented in the way they finally were, without that push from something that inspired them and that they were given the opportunity to use themselves. For instance, my blog would be just a bleh place of bland text and a boring white background if it were not for the fantastic people on Flickr who decide that they are willing to share with me the fruits of their labor. I thank them for allowing me to spice up my work and provide that visual appeal to go along with my typewritten ideas.