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Posts Tagged ‘blog’

On tags and trends

October 2nd, 2009 No comments

Collin Gifford Brooke uses his fourth chapter of Lingua Fracta: Towards a rhetoric of new media to explain his observed connection between patterns and arrangement. At the chapter’s end, he discusses the importance of the “tagcloud” as a new media device. Blogs contain tags, words that considered relevant to either theme or the blog’s contents, that help readers find what they are interested in. The tagcloud collects these tags, displaying for the reader the frequency at which certain terms are identified in posts. By viewing the collection as a whole, readers are able to identify trends, whether changing or constant, that show patterns of interest. Some tags may only remain visible in the cloud for a short period time, signifying the writer’s shift in interest.

Our blog’s tagcloud shows “literacy,” “blogs,” and “technolgy” as some of the more common themes and topics of our blog posts – not surprising, as most of our comments are reading responses to texts on these very subjects. While more terms and topics will be tagged as the semester progresses, it is likely that the patterns of leading tags will not shift.

Using Lev Manovich’s definition of a database as a collection of items on which a user can perform various operations, Brooke idenifies our tagcloud as a database. Readers are able to click terms they find relevant to their topics of interest in the tagcloud. Brooke also analyzes the development of “interactive databases” on sites such as del.icio.us, allowing the readers to tag photos and create tagclouds. In comparing the canons of print and hypertext, he says that “[tagclouds] open up a number of possibilities that take the canon of arrangement beyond the sequentiality of print texts” (112). Developed hypertext has empowered readers with the abilities of arrangement and invention – abilities limited to only the author in printed texts.

Some Possible Blog Themes

September 20th, 2009 No comments

Possible Blog Themes

The graphic near the top of this theme looked to be somewhat technology inspired.  Also, I thought that it maintained a less cluttered appearance while perhaps still showcasing the focus of the blog.

Blog Theme ExamplesThe image on the top of this one reminds me of the Windows graphic which I thought might be interesting.

Blog Theme ExamplesPossible Blog Theme

Possible Blog Themes

These last three I found to be relatively easy to read because of the white background.  In addition, they seemed sleek and professional looking.  I did not think that they would distract the reader from the message put forth in the text.

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Blogging; Digital Media and Society Series

September 9th, 2009 No comments

Blogging; Digital Media and Society Series by Jill Walker Rettberg successfully attempts to provide readers with an understanding of blogs and bloggers and how this medium, and/or genre, has and continues to change and impact the way meaningful communication is viewed in forms beyond traditional media.  Rettberg offers a brief but comprehensive overview of the history, meaning, styles, exploitations, adaptations, and future of blogging.  As the line between journalists and bloggers blurred yet legal implications did not, defining the term “blog”, which was coined in 1999 by Peter Merholz, and “blogger” has become a more pressing issue. None the less, it is a daunting task because of their ever adapting nature and various participants opinions.

Through Rettberg’s work we gain a greater understanding of the purpose of blogs; as participatory forms of media that can function as a social network, a forum for self exploration, a type of journalism that may give firsthand experience, insight, or opinions, or a means of advertising and marketing, to name a few.  Blogs are created to be read by others even if those others are just a small group, fifteen perhaps, of family, friends, and acquaintances.   However, unlike diaries that can be burned or shredded blogs may leave a more lasting trace which can be problematic when usually separate networks, such as conservative in-laws and a wild social life, collide.

Unlike traditional media, blogs encourage direct participation by viewers through comments made to the page creating a sort of dialogue between producer and consumer and perhaps skewing the definition of each.  The blog’s creator can respond to the comments depending on their whim. The information covered on the blog is also entirely up to the creator there are no fact checkers or editors as in traditional media. Interestingly, many people say that they read blogs because they think that they are more credible perhaps this is due to the blogger’s obviously stated opinion or because most blogs are not meant to provide journalistic style information but a subjective personal view of that information.  However reader’s supposed acceptance of little “t” truth does not extend to fake blogs that attempt to trick the reader into becoming emotionally invested in an online personae only to find out that they were not real.  Rettberg concludes with a look at the future of blogging which she states will continue to evolve and change our understanding of media participation and communication.