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Blog VII

April 15, 2010

Yeah, so it has been a bit hectic lately. I agree with many of my fellow Bloggers who share the same frustrations I’ve had with the regular postings. The deadlines were compelling and once removed I lost track of time as the semester moved on. I had originally thought that we have the time to keep posting until the end of the semester. Seeing as I have barely started to work on Section 3 (research notwithstanding) I planned on keeping posting as my work progressed until the time came to wrap up the work on the website. So, I know it will be overdue but since I simply don’t have much to say about the process of creating Section 3 yet, I will post it in a few days.
Now as for the particulars I do have regarding the section, I will stick by what I originally said I will. I’ll tackle the issue of how language has been used and modified on the internet. Although the idea of using other languages has also crossed my mind I really don’t see other languages being “afflicted” by the internet-speak syndrome to the extent that English is.

I have an idea of how the layout will look. I think I will juxtapose a Standard English text, with an Elizabethan one, and finally one written with the embellishments of E-talk. Though no real scholarly text or any kind of professional writing is ever written that way it is important to see the distinctions clearly between the varying texts. I myself am not too big on the prospect of using E-talk in day-to-day life. I share the same kind of reluctance that Hannah does with regard to it. In a way it does “retard” the English language and since the younger generation is using it more and more, it can be worrying.

But despite my preconceptions about it, my persuasive part will be dedicated to arguing the pros and cons or it. I will not be judgmental. The idea is to give a fair shake to both sides and to reach a conclusion.  I think it’s important because what we consider today to be “conventional” is usually, more or less, dynamic. The use of language changes as does technology. We covered that in class in it’s an important factor when considering the development of language. The English language has taken different forms during the course of history. The earliest Anglo-Saxon English is as different from Shakespearian English as is The Victorian dialect form modern-day English. Keeping that in mind it’s hard to say with absolute certainty which manifestation is the true embodiment of what English should be like and which is “vulgar.”

So, this is the rough outline I have for Section 3. Missing that workshop on Tuesday really harmed the process but, as I always say, I will catch up.

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Audio

April 15, 2010

Getting to the audio is still a little unsettling for me.  Phil showed me Audacity where I can record my own voice and potentially use it for anything I need. Plus it runs on any standard Windows operating system.  Now it seems straight forward but I do feel a bit weird recording my own voice and putting it on my site. The only thing I could think about doing with it is to record myself reading out loud each poem. Since each one of the authors is of a different nationality I thought I might try to read each one in the adequate accent and post it. But as I said, I’m a little conflicted about the whole notion. I might try to just use already existing audio files and link them to my source. I’m still not too sure about it but I will make a decision soon.
Audacity can be downloaded easily onto any computer but since my PC is still fried, I need to figure out a way to do all the recordings on campus somewhere.
There’s also the option of linking each image to a video in which each respective writer has a specific poem read out loud by a user. 
It’s still a little hazy but I’m getting there. It will be done soon.

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Section 2 woes

April 8, 2010

I think after much contemplation and after taking Dr. Kearney’s feedback into account, I will make some serious changes in Section 2. First, I think that targeting the page to the mainframe was a wrong choice. It would’ve made more sense to do it if I had chosen only two images instead of three. This way they are
compressed and the distance between them is anything but symmetrical.

Second, putting the title of each image beneath the image leaves very little room for the text to actually spread out. In the case with Poe in overlaps with the title and it just looks ridiculous. There are two ways I think I will change it. 1) Either I place the titles above each image or, 2) I get rid of the Poe poem altogether and leave Shakespeare and Yeats alone. The initial idea to begin with was to give small snippets from each of the authors that I felt were indicative of their writing styles. Considering that Poe’s essence finds full expression almost exclusively through his short stories and not through his poems (with the exception of The Raven which is too long to put on the page) I don’t think it’s critical to keep him on.  So, I may consider getting rid of him.

The images, which I have yet to collect entirely, have enough white-space at the bottom of each frame.
In addition I thought of linking key phrases from within the works to scholarly commentaries I found on the net. Since we’re dealing with poetry I thought that bringing forth interpretations of different scholars might be insightful; and above all it’s also collaborative. I have the sources; all I need now is to create the apDivs to each relevant sentence.

So far, these are the main issues I have with the page.

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Section 2

March 23, 2010

Well, I have been playing around with what we’ve learned recently in class, and although my main concern at the beginning was finding an idea for the section, it’s no longer a problem. I have laid the groundwork for the section and now it’s all about putting the finishing touches. The idea was to put three images of my favorite writers( Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, and W.B.Yeats) and, by using the magic of Dreamweaver, show a small poem from each of them. The only problem I’ve had is figuring out how to use the effects, because for some reason (as you will all see if you take a look at my site) they’ve been playing tricks on me. The effect I chose for Poe simply did not work. I cancelled it and now it doesn’t seem to do anything at all.

Apart from the technical aspect, I still need to figure out how to branch it out even more. Stopping at this stage is premature. So I still need some ideas. As Landow says, it’s not enough to just link the texts if one wants to avoid alienating the readers.

As I did in Section 1, each frame has different characteristics embodied in the text or the layout. That’s why I wanted that each separate text has a different effect. But so far, having reached an impasse, I need more ideas–that, and fixing the mess I’ve made already.

Stay tuned.

(Feedback appreciated).

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Blog III

February 2, 2010

Much like the rest of you (or any person that has access to a search engine) I began by using Google to get some pointers. It is a generic way of finding what you’re looking for, and some might even consider it a shortcut in place of real research, but being the computer illiterate that I so evidently am I had no other real choice. I also got pretty much what I was looking for and since I have no experience with editing whatsoever, I found these sites to be helpful. So without further ado, here’s some of what I found:

Video editing:

As far as video editing goes I’m pretty sure every PC that has a standard Windows version is equipped with a Windows Moviemaker that allows basic video editing. Since it’s something almost all computers have I thought I might point it out for the get-go.
For a Mac there’s the iMovie program that comes with any new Mac purchase, and like the Windows version it’s pretty self explanatory.

For a more advanced experience in video editing there is the Zwei-Stein program that goes a step further concerning video editing. It has more features making it a little difficult for beginners to use who are just looking to play around with the content that is featured on their website.

Image editing:

 PhotoPlus9 is the first one I got searching for an image editor. Apparently download is for free making it at least a tangible option. The only exception is if one wants the full operating system it costs 9.99$ which, as mentioned before, is unnecessary for just the basic “stuff” we do on here.

PhotoScape is yet another free and easy option to the image editing programs. It’s somewhat similar to what PhotoPlus9 has to offer, but it’s a viable option as well.

The GIMP as Dr. Kearney pointed out is also a good option. For any computer that runs on Windows it’s a cheap and easy way of editing pictures.

PDF editors:

VeryPDF  is, from what I gather, the most basic PDF editing program. Since I’ve never used it I can’t give a full evaluation of it especially since there’s not much coverage about it around the internet.

Now for more advanced software (that is, again, assuming some of you are at a more advanced stage than I am) I found Bluebeam PDF to arguably be the best performing PDF software program out there. It costs money but there is a 30 days free trial.

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After doing some reading about it I’m still not too sure what Creative Commons is for other than a type of license used to distribute your content legally on the internet without getting involved in copyright issues.

GNU Project and Creative Commons are similar in scope. It’s a mass collaboration project and like the former it’s free software. Its intent and specifics are still pretty obscure to me so I can’t give any in-depth evaluation unfortunately. I hope others might clear it up for me.

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Blog II

January 26, 2010

Even though I found out that all Blogs are different in terms of what they’re trying to achieve, they all follow a certain given pattern. Opinions diverge(even among people who blog on the same topic), topics are different, and the target audience changes from Blog to Blog, but in order to maintain a working environment some type of coherence has to be present on the page. It’s easy to lose your way on the internet and if the Blogger doesn’t organize his page to make it navigable; people will quickly lose interest irrespective of how interesting the topic at hand might be.  From all that I’ve seen there’s an overarching feature that must be present in all Blogs, and as clichéd and trite it might be, it’s too true to ignore: Organization.

So to see how it all fits in, I chose three different Blogs all touching on different issues: One on cooking, the other on science and religion, and the last on politics. The one on cooking which can be seen here: http://www.emerils.com/cooking-blog/ appropriately enough discussed food related topics. The Blogger updates his posts on almost day-to-day basis. Since he’s a free agent and not working for anyone the topics vary from time to time as he sees fit; from new recipes to simple updates on the Bloggers life. It’s all pretty much straight-forward. He divides the topics into categories which can be easily accessed at the right hand corner. Seeing he finds it useful to talk on more than one topic, he realized leaving the reader to search for his/her favorite topic would be time consuming. So by placing all the diverging categories in a single column, at the click of a button everyone can prance on to whatever they wish. No fuss no muss.

The political Blog I was talking about is called The Daily Dish( no, not another cooking blog; however misleading). It belongs to a political analyst by the name of Andrew Sullivan. Although his opinions are his, he is but one Blogger among many others who blog for The Atlantic which is a magazine. He is not a free agent like the former. It’s a profit-run organization and he himself is just an employee. Bearing this in mind one can understand why this Blog looks and feels different than an ordinary Blog anyone can set up by simply having access to the internet. There aren’t any discernable links or categories as there were in the previous Blog, nor is he free to do what he wants. He has the freedom to express his opinions on political issues regardless of what they may be, but the administrative power lies in the hands of his employers. On the right hand side, while everything is organized as it should be, it has more to do with the different sponsors, other sections within the magazine, products that are up for sale, etc.
The Blog can be found here: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/

The third and final Blog is also a part of a larger organization called The BioLogos Foundation; a non-profit organization whose main target is to educate people on matters concerning science and religion. They seek to synthesize, to the best of their ability, religion and science so as to soften the ongoing intellectual tug-of-war that goes on in the public sphere between the two worldviews.
Since it belongs to an organization, not to a single freelancer, they have featured guests who blog, scientists, some from the administrative staff, and so on. No big affiliations or sponsors are present which leaves room for organizing the content material. They have links to every author by name, they have links to every post on varying issues, and it all makes surfing a whole lot easier. They also include some basic information about the organization and its initiators at the top. Here’s a link: http://biologos.org/blog/faith-with-inquiry/

nothing is left unanswered as opposed to the last Blog which is more interested in getting the authors ideas out to the public. Different scopes entirely. And while everyone is driven by different motivations, organization is maintained for the comfort of the viewer. For if it weren’t, nothing else would make a difference.

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Dan’s Blog

January 19, 2010