roxy

Naked Media

I think naked media is important in that we should be aware that whatever we are sending out into the world may not be read or perceived how we want it to be. On a number of levels this is true for any form or anything we put out there–even when speaking out loud. Everyone has a different experience, perspective, opinion, and view-point which makes it just about 100% impossible to control the reaction of your audience. Things that are very important to you within the text may be a passing footnote for someone else that finds something else in the text very note-worthy. For this reason, it is not strange to think that whatever is being put out there will be up for grabs and interpretation depending on the person.

What is distinctly more difficult is when you cannot even control visually how your work is being taken in. In the case of naked media, there is a n enormous leap from print, to electronic, to even the e-mailed copy. I receive dozens of forwarded articles and pictures or posts from friends daily. I never stop to think in what browser they might have opening this up, or even in what context. This is especially true when things get arbitrarily posted on Facebook, or I’ll read a tweet from Twitter that completely disregards the original person who said that–whether it be a funny line or even a movie quote. I think its worth thinking about, when we stress out over form and fonts and layout, that we may not necessarily have the final say in where that final product may end up and whose eyes will be around to see the re-mixed edition. Whether though harmless sharing, or a slower browser.

For that reason its important to focus on content as telling the story and getting the fact, you cannot solely rely on media, though it does provide for excellent back-up. Your words need to be able to get the point across and explain what is happening. Chances are if someone is really invested in your work, they will do the necessary research to find your original posting or the original way in which something was shared. These are things that are not truly that hard to find unless absolutely all source material has been erased–even your name.

So while it is prudent to take a step back and think about what can get omitted in the process of sharing, I don’t think it should take away from the work you already put into the original publication. There is no way to completely control how someone will experience something, short of strapping them down to a chair and peeling open their eyelids. But that’s creepy and completely un-kosher. Who is that seriously desperate to broadcast the original in that sense? As long as the work is being read in a context that still gives sense to it, then it should be okay. But, still keeping in mind that media does matter–whether its included or not.

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Annotated Bibliography

Ruth Mei Fen, Wong, and Hew Khe Foon. “The Impact Of Blogging And Scaffolding On Primary School Pupils’ Narrative Writing: A Case Study.” International Journal Of Web-Based Learning & Teaching Technologies 5.2 (2010): 1. Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

This article focuses on a case study administered to children at the elementary level that discusses the impact of blogging in how students read, respond, and write in the narrative form. This study finds that the blogging form allows the kids to experiment and find their own voices while they study the narrative form. It is a way of expressing creativity in terms of form while learning to control content. In some cases, students who had done worse in prior years now found themselves with an increased ability to use the narrative form simply because of the change of form. Being able to incorporate technology into the classroom not only provided a pick-up to the workload but also encouraged the students to look at each other’s work. This basis of comparison both inspired and pushed the students to continue working on their own blogs. This way of collaboration and editing also helped children whose grammar and spelling techniques were at lower levels. The study even included cases where the computers would simply underline the misspelled word but not auto-correct or show the correct spelling without the student first looking it up. For the purposes of my paper I would like to incorporate that the blogging form actually increased the ability for kids to find a narrative voice rather than stunted them.

Rewriting Rules of Copyright…?

Image from Creative Commons website

Image from Creative Commons website

So what I find really great about this article is that its talking about all the new possibilities made accessible to people who wanted to innovate certain types of art. The article starts off by mentioning, of course, that music is such a prevalent area in which mixing occurs–which makes sense with the amount of remixes we have circulating the internet. However, like with anything else, the problem boils itself down to making sure everyone’s intellectual and creative property is protected. But how could we do this and still continue to create mixed versions of art? How can we give credit where credit is due but also acknowledge our own contributions?

The answer to this came in the genius form of Creative Commons, which we obviously observed in our class the previous Monday. What I find so interesting however, is that no one really had a way to do this prior to Creative Commons in a way that was both comprehensive and easy to manage. Directly from the article Ariana Cha writes, “[Lawrence] Lessig argues that the current system of copyright laws provides little flexibility — either you give up all permissions for use of your work or you withhold everything. He proposed a solution: a set of copyright licenses that would allow artists to choose to keep ‘some rights reserved’ rather than ‘all rights reserved.'” This is such a brilliant method of encouraging collaboration, especially in an age where everyone is concerned about the exact amount of rights they have once they release something into the beast that is the internet.

As a writer, who also follows other aspiring writers, I’ve sat down to read works that have presently been taken down because the original author has been made aware of plagiarizing of that material on another site. Sometimes its harmless, in which another person wants to genuinely share the work because they love it so much and are a fan–or want to spread the word about the work. But other times its very malicious in which another person will masquerade as a different author claiming that it is her/his original work. Then there are sometimes translated version which also forget to give attribution to the proper author. For this reason, many great novels-in-progress have been taken away or deleted or discontinued because of these writers’ fears that their work will be forever plagiarized. This leads to a decrease in postings as well as many disappointed followers. Its definitely a huge impediment in getting your work out there.

A great thing about these networks is that they’re a good way to not only have your work edited for free, more or less, but also a chance to see if your work is in the right place for a specific audience. This can be so important in relation to projects you are just trying to test out versus serious endeavors that you’re trying to make succeed. The article stresses the importance of the ability to keep creating, and not being afraid to share that creation in the space where the most amount of people can see it. You can get exposure in a way that would be just so much harder to do in real life. A hit on your page or a recommendation could lead to as many as 500-1000 different set of eyes looking at your work and helping to either make it substantial or better. These collaborations are so important on so many levels for people who are aspiring to share their work or make themselves a presence. In the case of the writers I follow, some of their blogs or stories have been so successful that they have led to publications and accolades.

Creative Common will give other writers and artists or collaborators the opportunity to further extend that community in a way that will make the owner feel safe or protected. I think its absolutely amazing to have access to art from places like Nevada or California that I could possibly never come into contact with living just inside of a suburb within New Jersey. The ability to become a part of a different cultural movement, be involved in the development of a novel, piece of music, or photography is incredible. We shouldn’t take those opportunities for granted, but at the same time we need to be aware and conscientious of our roles in crediting where its due. The article ends with this great description of a start-up online record company just to underscore the amazing abilities that things like Creative Commons gives us the opportunity to do–in a way that benefits those who use it and those who created it. If Creative Commons could seriously become the common language that we use in the crazy world that is the internet, I believe we’d be creating a much more tight-knit online community.

Creative Commons

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

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

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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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.

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.

Introduction: Roxy

Hi, my name is Roxy Harrison. I am a senior here at Rutgers and am equal parts lamenting and celebrating my last semester. I am an English major, and in the throes of finishing my Women and Gender Studies minor along with a Spanish minor. I am also drowning in the anxiety-ridden waters of serious procrastination in regards to applying to grad school. Maybe if I pretend May isn’t coming, then it won’t right? Logic.

My house got rocked last year from Hurricane Sandy, so a lot of my push-back from growing up and submitting applications is a serious aversion to leaving home again. Coming back to find all of my beloved books and journals stewing in a delicious little swamp of bay water and mud was enough to make me cry on the spot. However, there’s something really therapeutic about having to start over. My life isn’t made up of things but rather memories and moments. I try to stockpile those when I remember the twenty-seven pairs of shoes I had to throw out of my closet because I’m pretty sure they were going to sprout seaweed.

My favorite tree

My favorite tree

None the less, it could have been worse and so I have to make serious moves to make this happen for me by next fall. I am completely obsessed with my dog, unfortunately named Puff, and we have my mother to thank for that. This is him being tortured by my nine year old sister and eleven year old brother. And yes, he is absolutely as ferocious as he looks for the record.

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I’m an avid beach-goer, as if you couldn’t guess by the chaos of my partially destroyed house, and live in a small coastal town that doesn’t even have its own zip code. We share with the neighboring town. My obsession on top of all obsessions is writing, I picked up a pen when I was about fourteen and I never put it down. My aim for the end of this semester is to finish my Creative Writing certification and maybe just maybe finish the stack of novels I have waiting for me in order to take the English Praxis

I’m currently working at this little trendy bracelet store in Red Bank, New Jersey called Alex and Ani. To say it’s gained a bit of a cult following is putting it mildly. I spent my winter break elbowing past middle-aged women and teenagers desperate to get their hands on bangles. We had bouncers for the forty-minute wait it took to actually even get inside the store…well that’s just another nightmare I don’t want to delve back into.

Needless to say, I doubt there was a single woman in the Monmouth County area who didn’t get their hands on a recycled brass bracelet for the holidays. Despite my retail trauma I managed to make it out relatively unscathed from the 2013 holiday season debacle. And this was entirely in spite of the belligerent forty-year old moms who couldn’t understand why we would be sold out of the December birthstone two days before Christmas. It’s definitely not for the weak-hearted.

This is a pie slice of my life. Finish my undergrad, transition to start my post-grad, work part-time in the girliest place imaginable. Add whipped cream, juggle my boyfriend, best friends, parents, workload. Drop my fork on the floor because I can’t even handle all of that and bypass nuking it in the microwave because let’s be real. I don’t have the time or the patience. Serve cold, for sure, and enjoy.