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.
Mike, Jay, and Crysta
We discussed that we wanted our blog to have a white background- we would be a decent amount of white space. On the top we would have the title of the blog on the top center. Underneath that we would have our header with various links directing the reader to the archives and other topics found on the blog. The search bar would be underneath that.
Above the fold, we thought that we would have the trending topic with a large picture and the grabbing headline of the article. Below that we would have a block that contained six stories with smaller pictures and a mini blurb. Between the pictures would be a little more white space. We decided against an infinite scroll- instead we wanted to put two arrows at the bottom that would take you to previous or later pages.
Here is a picture of what we were thinking.
After taking some time to look at Lauren DiCioccio’s paintngs, I think they are really good examples of how bloggers should want to layout their blogs. I have come to this conclusion after reading the “10 Blog Layout Tips” article we had to read for homework. A lot of the tips the article gives can be seen in Lauren DiCioccio’s paintings.
This first tip given in the article is vertical alignment. The point of the tip is to make sure everything in your blog fits in it’s rightful column. This is to make sure nothing looks like it is randomly sticking out and to keep your blog looking neat and organized. If you look through Lauren’s paintings, you can observe that they all contain vertical alignment.
The second tip given is having white space in your layout. You want to have white space, or sections/columns of your blog well spaced, so that it is easy for your readers to read. In Lauren’s paintings, all of her paintings have white space. Her columns are filled with colors and they are also well spaced so you can easily identify separate columns and paragraphs or images.
I am skipping down to tips 6 & 7 because tips 3, 4 and 5 ( uncluttered sidebars, accessible info and short description) are elements we can not necessarily draw an accurate comparison to blogging, since these paintings are made up of dots and not words.
Tip number six is typography. Typography is having a low amount of fonts in your blog. I think Lauren’s paintings are a good representation of consistency with fonts because in all of her paintings, for the most part, the dots are the same size. There are also only dots, so the consistency of shape is also made throughout the paintings. We do not see any squares or triangles mixed in. Sometimes there are bigger dots to represent a title or quote perhaps, but other than that, there is consistency of shape and size with the content that is representative of the words.
Tip number seven is colors. You want to add color to your blog to make it appealing and to draw attention to your readers. Lauren’s paintings are a good example of the addition of color because her paintings are filled with a variety of colors. She places colors in the dots and sometimes the images. This in combination with the white background really makes her paintings stand out. The colors really capture your attention while looking at her paintings. That is what you want to achieve with a blog layout. You really want to be able to capture a reader’s attention and the use of color is a very simple way to do that.
These are just a few of the tips that resonated with me after looking at her paintings. They really do set a good example for how bloggers should look to layout their blogs. If bloggers are having trouble envisioning a nicely executed blog layout, I think they should look at Lauren’s paintings because they are definitely a great representation of what a blog layout should look like.
This is actually a very interesting question…What can Lauren DiCioccio’s paintings teach us about blog style and layout. I think the most obvious thing I’ve gained from viewing her paintings is a greater respect for the placement of information in a space. She forces us to view information in a way that takes away it’s actual meaning. We begin to see the bits of information as colors and shapes rather than ideas and thoughts. This is incredibly interesting and offers a great way to explore what is appealing to a reader subconsciously rather than consciously. Almost like a dream, her paintings bring forward these subconscious views of everyday articles and force us to think on what other factors might motivate us to like, dislike, or pay more or less attention to any given piece of writing and presentation.
The use of so many different colors is an interesting choice. I’ve been looking at these pictures, trying to decide whether the colors ACTUALLY relate to the same specific letters in each of their instances, or whether she has randomized them. I love that the bolder contrasts in color seem to point to areas on the page where an image might appear to be most effective. This of course is just how I see it, and may not be the same for someone else. Something that really jumps out at me is the minimal use of the color white in most of her paintings. There are obviously some dots that are white, and not just areas of no text. However, with so few of them, I wonder if these are areas of the painting she wants to call some sort of attention to.
Again, as far as layout is concerned, I am in awe over the level of thought these images provoke. The painting which brings to mind a sort of braille like quality, also brings about a fantastic contrast between what would normally be black writing on a white background. The resulting pop that comes from the contrast of so many colors against the white background again forces the viewer to remember how important the negative space within a document is, relative to the words on the page. I’m given a much better understanding, even if it wasn’t her intent, on the importance of the negative space, and the placement of the various elements of my work. I must also say that it is slightly off putting to see the pages that are almost completely covered in color. As an individual with ADHD, this perfectly translates the feelings I have when I am trying to read an article or a post and am constantly being inundated with new information which is both distracting and unwanted to me.
I know my thoughts are a little bit messy on this topic, but I am not sure if any of these ideas I have are anywhere near Dicioccio’s intended meaning. Either way, these are excellent, thought provoking paintings no matter how you choose to view them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three Blogs I Love:
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.
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.
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.
Sally. “Sallys Baking Addiction How I Turned My Food Blog into a Career. » Sallys Baking Addiction.” Sallys Baking Addiction RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.
This is actually a woman’s blog that she created herself and turned into a career. She talks about how exactly she did this and what it took in order to accomplish it. She ended up quitting her normal job so that she could devote her full time attention to her blog. Once she did this she was able to make it her career. The money she makes off of the blog is mostly through advertising and she talks you through her struggle of how she accomplished this. This is a great example of someone who was able to take their passion for blogging and turn it into a career and be able to live off of it.