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Probably the Best Blog You've Ever Seen

Yeah, it's pretty much in the title.

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Website Design

Navigating the web is like going through a city. There are many paths you can take, but only certain ones will lead you to the where you want to go. That is why it is important to make directions as clear as possible. The way that a clear and visible road sign helps drivers is the same way that clear heading guides a user. However, unlike a city, the internet has a countless number of roads to navigate. The internet also can change roads or have roads disguised as other roads making it a much more daunting task to travel through. One big way to help users to get through this chaotic city is to use links. Link are great at allowing a user to get to a subsection of a website quickly, however you need to have links that return them to the home page, or they might get lost in subsections. A big no-no in web design is dead links. You have to make sure all your links are up to date and still work otherwise it might lead people to believe that the website is not well maintained.

Gestalt theory states that we do not look at the small details all the time rather we try to focus on the overall message. The way that this applies to visual rhetoric is that you need to make your most important information the most prominent. People will see that and then make assumptions about the whole site. Some practices for creating an effective website include consistency and contrast. By keeping with a similar theme, you are able to relate different things together with their looks. Contrast provides a way for users to distinguish between what is important and what is not.

Some people finding reading on the computer uncomfortable because of the light that the screen emits, the low resolution of the text and the awkwardness of scrolling. In order to help users, some journalists will use the inverted pyramid. The inverted pyramid is a way of organizing information so that is the most effective it can be on a web page. This method places the most important information at the top and goes in order of descending importance. This way users can skim through the first part of a page and already see the main points that the page is trying to get across. Through this chapter, the authors discuss how to help users to get the most out of a webpage and they do what they say fairly well. By organizing the information in understandable chunks, using pictures to clarify, and presenting important information first, they are following their own advice on creating a good webpage.

Iterative Design

Drinking alcohol mixed with energy drinks lead to alters brain activity similar to cocaine use according to Fox news. http://fxn.ws/2ffBtqM

P:    To the point, gets main point across

C:    Uses all characters

Mixed drinks with high caffeine content and alcohol leave same effect as cocaine on brain. http://fxn.ws/2ffBtqM

P:    Shorter

C:   A bit vague, not as impactful

Cocaine shows the same effects as drinking alcohol with energy drinks http://fxn.ws/2ffBtqM

P:      Shorter still, more startling

C:      Loses some clarity

Energy drinks mixed with alcohol mimic cocaine in the brain. http://fxn.ws/2ffBtqM

P:        Shorter, more clear

C:        None

The Science of Social Media

In the article, “Twitter Postings” by Mr. Nielson is about designing the best possible tweet for his company. The overarching concern for him in this challenge was getting his point across quickly and with the least amount of characters possible.

He continues to cut down on unnecessary words that don’t add anything to the message as well as changing the capitalization and length of the words to be more eye catching. One of the revisions that was a huge change was when he added the date of the conferences. This date allows the reader to know how soon the event is and it also gives more of a news feel to the message. One revision that he didn’t do that I would have was shorten the URL. He mentions that he could, but said that some people like to see where a link is going to take them. I disagree because it is very easy to disguise a link. It might say http://www.youtube.com/ but it will take you somewhere else. So I would have cut the URL down or even used some of the message in the text to be the URL.

If a business wants to communicate with clients, then there are some guidelines that they should follow. One of the guidelines that a business is to follow is to post only semi frequently as you don’t want to annoy users, but you also want to reach less active users. A big no-no of social media for a business is letting their page sit dormant. It gives people a sense of a poorly run business.

Mr. Nielson practices these principles by sending his tweet at 7:51, trying to get as many people as possible without posting multiple tweets throughout the day. This shows that he is not annoying clients with multiple posts, but at the same time he is still active showing that his business is functioning.

Some People

In the graphic comic by Luke Pearson, there is a dynamic relationship between verbal and visual elements in a graphic story. The visual elements provide most of the setting and action while the verbal elements provide inner thoughts and explanations for when a scene is too congested. This story in particular relies heavily on visuals to show passage of time and move the story from character to character. The visuals do most of the story telling as it is more dynamic to show the passage of time but drawing a person as progressively older than it is to just say that time has passed. The visuals also introduce each new character as a character in the background in a previous image. Specific visuals that really contributed to the story were all the images that showed a character growing older or younger. I thought that this was an interesting concept as we usually view a story in a small portion of time whereas this one takes place over many decades. Another thing that this story does that is unique is the story doesn’t flow chronologically. Instead it follows the relation of one character to the next. This is what the visuals excel at. It would be extremely difficult to tell this story without pictures as the transitions rely on many of the background setting and relations between people who sometimes didn’t even know each other. An example where the story went from two characters that didn’t even interact was the bus scene. Joanne thinks about how selfish a man at the front of the bus is being. The story then flips to his perspective even though there wasn’t any interaction. One verbal element that stood out was near the end Keith leaves the bar and says, “What the **** are you looking…”. This ties the story back to the beginning because you immediately find out that Keith was the man from the first part of the story. Overall a very interesting story that drives home the point that you don’t know who someone is from only a brief encounter with them.

The Falls of Academic Writing

Pinker names six obnoxious attributes of the “self-conscious style”. These six attributes are metadiscourse, professional narcissism, apologizing, shudder quotes, hedging, met concepts, and nominalizations. Metadiscourse is described as “like directions for a shortcut that take longer to figure out than the time the shortcut would save.” A good way to get away from looping back to earlier in the paper with phrases like ‘in the preceding paragraph’ is to try and take part in the paper with pronouns like we. Professional narcissism talks about what the researchers are doing rather than what they are researching. Apologizing is when a writer explains that something that they are about to do is so terribly difficult that it won’t come across well. Shudder quotes is when a writer puts quotes around a phrase to as a way to say that they wouldn’t actually use that phrase, but they couldn’t think of a better one. Hedging is using words that cover the writer in case the writer is wrong. It is a way for writers to not stand behind what they said. Meta concepts, are concepts about concepts that add no real value to the sentence or paper that they are in. Nominalizations is when the writer uses a word as a noun even though it’s not.

Of the described traits in the paper, I think that I am particularly prone to hedging. I rarely use words that would make me stand behind what I say. I think this is because I am generally afraid to be wrong or more specifically to be called out on being wrong. One of the qualities that Pinker mentioned that I think is redeemable is apologizing. I think apologizing is a good way to show that the concepts they are describing are difficult and that they themselves have a hard time explaining it. I think this shows the writer’s integrity. The writer is admitting that they might not be able to explain the concept well enough for the reader to understand.

Growing Genres

Genre is one of those terms that we apply to many different forms of expressions. There are art genres, music genres, movie genre, book genre, and more. I would have to define genre as a category in which all the things have a similar mindset or viewpoint. All horror movies aim to scare the viewer and all comedy movies aim to make the viewer laugh because it is their respective genre. But what happens when a horror movie is made to make the audience laugh? Well then it is a comedy movie. An example if this is the “Scary Movie” franchise. They take parts of well-known horror movies and put them together in a comical way. Even though the movie consists of scenes almost entirely from horror movies, it is a comedy. Many things can have parts of different genres in them, but they are usually labeled as the genre that is most prevalent. An example is a pop song that has a rap section in it. The song is still labeled as a pop song even though there is clearly rap in it. With this in mind, genre loses some of its purpose. Genre are usually used to categorized things, but in today’s world there are many genres with only minor differences. Examples of this are found in rock music. The genre is rock, but then there is classic rock, Christian rock, comedy rock, country rock, dance rock, metal, heavy metal, death metal, and thousands more. A song could go into any number of these genres making defining them difficult and using them practically impossible. Genre nowadays is less of a category and more of guidelines. A country song doesn’t need to be only country. It could use synthesizers and trumpets and still be country as long as it resembled country. Of course it would probably be put into some weird sub-genre that no one has ever heard about, but the over-arching genre would still provide an idea of what type of song it is.

Problem of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the intentional stealing of a work of another. I first started learning about plagiarism in the 5th grade. That was about the time that we were required to write papers that actually required some research. It is bad because it is stealing. While it might not be physical stealing, you are stealing intellectual property. There are many things you can do to avoid plagiarism but the best is probably citing all your sources and writing everything in your own words. Another way to avoid plagiarism is to write the meaning that the author is trying to get across in brief phrases and then later come back and write those meaning in your own words.

The five types of normal plagiarism are; “word by word” plagiarism, paraphrasing plagiarism, plagiarism of secondary sources, plagiarism of the form of a source, and plagiarism of authorship. They are also in the order of increasing difficulty to determine.

Students plagiarism for many different reasons. Some students may plagiarize because they never learned how to cited and summarize sources correctly. Other students may feel like they can’t make their due date, so they plagiarize to get the assignment done on time. Another reason could be that the students feel overwhelmed, and they might not be able to understand the materials so instead of seeking help, they plagiarize.

Institutionalized plagiarism is ghostwriting or plagiarism within government. Competitive plagiarism is when plagiarism occurs in order to get credit or get results published.

Plagiarism should be treated as more of a problem, especially institutionalized plagiarism. Martin says that we need to bring to light all the plagiarism so that we can as a society get past it. He also says that in a Self-managed society, plagiarism wouldn’t be nearly as big of a problem because it would eliminate a lot of the institutionalized plagiarism that is prevalent today.

 

SAVE THE TREE OCTOPUS!

The author of the website is very persuasive. He is very detailed in his report in everything involving the elusive tree octopus. He also uses his own opinions and emotions to really bring the octopodes to our level and help us relate to this little guys. Speaking of the octopi, what is to be done? I believe that we need to fast track this to Congress. They need to know about this issue so that they can some laws and regulations in as soon as possible. Now you may be thinking that I am just one of those fanatics that love tree octopuses, but in reality, I’ve only just now learned about them. I was moved so much by the inspiring story of their struggle that I decided to help. I’ve taken to social media to help protect our friends in the trees. You can too! Every second you don’t post about the tree octopi, another one dies. You may be thinking that one dying per second isn’t that bad, but there aren’t that many of tree octopuses left. The clock is ticking. There are so many of us, so if we all just do a minimal amount, we can change of course of this species’ existence. however, I know that some of you won’t do anything at all, so I’m counting on the few of you that do take action to take the biggest action you can! Don’t just make one post about the tree octopus, make a whole Instagram, twitter, and Facebook for them. Don’t just write your congressman, go to their house and talk to them in person. If the lack of progress is excruciating for you, then you’re not doing enough. You need to sell all your belongings and donate the money to the tree octopus fund. Just remember, when it comes to conservation, enough is never enough.

Research Info

Primary research is where you are the one collecting the data that is used, while secondary research is when you use other people’s research. The act of searching for previous data on a topic is technically secondary research. There are three main methods of primary research are observations, interviews, and surveys. Observations are anything involving measuring the world and people around you. Interviews involve asking participants questions in a one on one or a group setting. Surveys involve asking participants about their opinions through a short questionnaire. I Have not previously used any of these methods in my research.

The difference between inductive inquiry and deductive inquiry is the way that the question is asked. With deductive inquiry, there is a hypothesis that then tested through research while inductive inquiry uses research to make a new theory.

There are factors that can help you decide whether or not to conduct primary research. One of these factors is whether or not your question can be answered through asking others and direct observation. If your question can be answered through direct observation, then you should conduct your own primary research. Another factor could be that your subject doesn’t have a lot of information on it. This could be because it is a recent event or something less known. Primary research can also be used when researching local problems. These factors can narrow your research and get the best information.

Depending on what you are researching, ethical issues might arise. Issues might arise if you don’t ask permission from people to use them in your research or if you are asking personal questions. These issues can be dealt with or even avoided by being conscientious of different considerations. These considerations are voluntary participation, confidentiality, and researcher bias. Voluntary participation and confidentiality are usually needed while you don’t want to have researcher bias.

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