Tagged: opinions

watch out, you might end up in someone’s blog!

It’s sad to see how such a great thing as blogging has emerged and everyone interprets it in different ways. Bloggers discuss a wide range of topics such as: recipes, DIYs, reviews, criticisms, vents- internet diaries, etc. It’s sad that this question even popped up! What’s more sad is that people can’t confront the actual person and  have to vent and write horrible things on their blogs.

I personally disagree with this statement. Why? Because everyone is different, and everyone is free to act as they please- as long as it’s not offensive or cruel. If someone has an awkward presence and dress in Christmas Sweaters all the time, it is not a reason to blog nasty things about them. Some people are rude, I agree, because they state all their opinions without any boundaries. But those people are themselves, and they probably should expect that someone will say something about them. We can’t all be on our toes all the time, scared that someone will blog mean things about them.

I believe in the Golden rule: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” People should be nice if they want others to be nice to them. People should act accordingly and like sincere citizens if they want others to treat them with respect and kindness. So many people utilize their blogs as diaries…. they sometimes don’t even look for followers. I personally thing they should write in a physical diary with an actual pen, but everyone is different. Some like using computers more than getting hand cramps furiously writing. I rather furiously write and underline instead of breaking my keyboard. People are able to write about anything they want online, but they should try playing nice. If I end up in someone’s blog in a negative way, I’d say, “Great. That’s one thing I can change about myself!” Of course, after cursing them off, and then realizing that I’m special to be featured in someone’s blog. They took time out of their lives to dedicate a post to me. How. Sweet. But chances are I probably won’t know if an individual blogged about me. Most bloggers change the names when blogging about others. If they are blatant and open, I probably will not mind. My friends and family know how I act on a normal basis and would understand.

People tweet or update Facebook statuses about others and their good/bad experiences. It’s a normal thing. People have been updating their diaries with good/bad things. Crushes. Rude people. Santa Claus. Forever we have been writing about people ‘secretly’. No one should have to worry about whether someone will write about them or not. Bloggers should be able to, however, be more respectful to privacy. They shouldn’t upload pictures or videos or whatever about a person without their permission… At least keep the post on the DL, change up names, or keep it as a private post!

information by bloggers

As a big reader of many blogs, I have seen many bloggers state that they received x and y samples from a company, and they would proceed to write about the product. So far, the products were not all positives. Some had downsides and some had in-between feelings. I feel that companies send free products to bloggers who are well-known. They probably expect these bloggers to write the best things about their products, but sometimes, there will be negatives. Companies probably know that the bloggers will not write all positives- it’s not like the companies are actually paying them to say positive things! It really is not a big deal if bloggers disclose when they receive free products or if they do not because in the end, bloggers just end up stating that they received products from a company…(probably doesn’t make any sense). To clarify, bloggers always post pictures of free products they received because they’re happy or sad…either or. We as readers can see the logo on the brand, and we can easily figure out which company made what. So, bloggers do not really have to disclose that type of info. It will be nice if they did though because it will clarify and make it easier if readers want to test that certain product.

Bloggers are pretty much alike Journalists if bloggers always update their blogs with news. The only difference between these two are journalists have to be neutral while bloggers go on a tantrum sometimes… There should really be no bias opinions, but sometimes, people can’t help it. I read an article stating that Journalists have to be unbiased for basically every article… even sports journalists cannot cheer at an event or they will get fired (is this true?). Journalists’ articles and stories need to get fact checked multiple times before getting published. I feel like bloggers should fact check their own information, too! They should get other credible people who can fact check for them as well. Bloggers are basically journalists, just in a more social and quick way. It’s embarrassing to go back to an already published article and have to make updates about corrections. I see popular, well-known blogs and news sites correcting their already posted articles, and I sometimes wonder why… It’s not easy being correct all the time, but it is a great thing to try being accurate most of the times. No one is perfect, but it doesn’t hurt to recheck your information and backtrack! Bloggers can update their corrections on their blog posts without actually being caught. They can edit their post, and no one will really know that they corrected a little piece of information. They should be less held accountable than journalists because bloggers, in my opinion, do not really portray the news as the whole world will see it. I feel like bloggers are more opinionated.

Blogging Platforms 2, DMHGS

Cho, Sook-Hyun, and Se-Joon Hong. “Social Behavior and Personality.” Blog User Satisfaction: Gender Differences in Preferences and Perception of Visual Design. 41.8 (2013): 1319-1332. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. <http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=5a3d8d01-d6f4-487a-b8ed-294a7ce786f0@sessionmgr111&vid=2&hid=7&gt;

This is an article in which gender differences in blog user satisfaction were investigated. There was no statistical difference according to gender in how information quality and navigation quality influenced the satisfaction of the participants however there was a difference in response to the visual aspect of the blog.

A Linear View

In my mind, linearity is perfectly described by the standard novel. An index is included to help organize the author’s writing, but it is mostly a single stream of information. Everything is presented in a single way; there is no other way to interact with the text. It is there for the user to read. You would not read a story out of order, and the same goes for linearity. It has to be in order. Lupton mentions Microsoft Power Point as an example. While each slide offers room to present information in an attractive and creative way, ultimately everything must happen in the order that the presenter set things up. That is what linearity is. It is a control over media and writing that commands the user or reader to experience something in a certain way. It is in that regard that the internet and typography has freed humans from the reigns of linearity. Not everyone has to experience something the same way as someone else. When browsing through a webpage, the user has the choice to view exactly what they want to. Their experience will be different from the next person, and it makes creative works far more flexible. I do not think that blogs are completely free of linearity. It is a stepping stone to non-linearity, but it still has several key characteristics that roots it in the common written work. For one, a blog is written in a way that is usually organized by date. It is a stream of information coming from the writer, and in that sense, the user can experience everything in a linear way. However, a blog also has options that allow users to read only the posts that they find interesting. These options create a new experience each time someone views the blog, whereas a book never changes. You read a book, and the experience will always be the same. I think that is essentially what Lupton is getting at with typography; it changes how we look at things.

PCGamer: Good or Bad Writing

One website I frequent is called PCGamer. I go there daily for all of my pc gaming news, and I usually end up reading all of the posts published that day. One thing that I’ve never actually done is analyze the writing of the articles. For me, I think it’s a mix between serious writing and humorous writing. Some articles I find very interesting because the writer includes things like pictures with funny captions. Other times, the writing can be very long, drawn out, and overly expressive. It really depends on the writer in my opinion. These websites all have multiple writers that each bring their own set of skills and styles to the table. I know for a fact that there is one horrendous writer on PCGamer. He writes not to entertain the reader, but to entertain himself. His prose is long, overly complicated, and defiant of grammatical law. It’s good to vary vocabulary, but he does it so frequently that the original message takes multiple google searches to decrypt what is actually there. That is a bad thing. Is it good writing? Perhaps, but not the type of writing suited for the website. I believe diversity is important for a blog or website because otherwise, we would end up reading basically the same writing over and over and over again. Having a variety of voices all bringing you fascinating information is much more entertaining. However, there should be a fine line between varied and just flat out unnatural.

A good writer for a blog should be unique enough to have their own style and voice, but still constrained to the overall style of the blog as a whole. That means if a blog is exceptionally clean and devoid of swears or curse words, one particular writer should not go out of their way to add profanities just to make their writing a little more different. In the case of PCGamer, I feel as though that particular writer should lessen his use of large words and intricate sentence structure. I go there to read about the next big game coming out; I don’t go there to watch a writer bask in his self-indulgent word porn. Overall, I would say PCGamer has exceptionally good writing (for the most part). It’s snappy, informative, varied, and very entertaining to read. The skill level of the writer will vary from article to article, but I definitely feel it is one of the better websites out there.

The Deterioration of Physical Media

Everything is going online now, especially the news. Information is easily thrown around on the internet because it gets as simple as copying and pasting sections of a webpage. Taking things out of context happens in articles, videos, movies, really any media that is commonly used on the internet. What’s wrong with this? The source becomes nonexistent, almost a myth to the common web surfer. This is just with digital media too. The physical world of media is deteriorating faster by the second. Why go out to grab a newspaper when a digital version is published on a website? Articles and newspapers are being stripped of their old “clothing” and dressed up in newer, more accessible garments. Some view this as a catastrophic blow to the old ways of media, but in truth, I find it more of an evolution.

Reading has never been easier. Anything you could possibly want to read about is out there on the internet. Archives are easy to access, making research a breeze. No longer is it necessary for people to do hours upon hours of searching in a library for a single article that would help their case. The digitization of media is great in so many different aspects. What people really miss is the nostalgia of past media. Reading a newspaper on a lazy Sunday afternoon was an American dream. It’s something that is romanticized by the older generation. To go and touch the texture of the newspaper; to the older generation, that is what it was all about. It was about feeling the physical object right there in your hands. Lauren DiCioccio expresses this nostalgia in her various paintings. She mimics the layouts and designs of newspaper and magazine articles, except she replaces words with colorful dots. It’s a reminder of what media used to be, and how everything changes over time. That is what evolution does. It changes people, animals, even media. Newspapers used to be a center for information, but now, even artists can go and turn the layout into a painting. It goes to show how easy it is for the media to transform, especially in such a relatively short amount of time.

The Importance of Creative Commons

The internet is a huge place, the worst part being that enforcing rules is extremely hard. The second something is taken down, whether it be a picture, video, etc., it is most likely put back up again. Copyrighted material is just very difficult to handle on the internet. That’s why Creative Commons is such a brilliant ideas. The old saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” CC takes the annoyance out of illegally taking copyrighted material by making it legal to go and use the media freely while also giving credit to the source. Creative Commons takes the fuzzy legal issues on the internet and tries to clear them up. It’s an effective system that makes the internet a much friendlier place. I always see content on youtube getting taken down because of a copyright issue. Those videos should watchable by everyone, but it still gets taken down because of legal issues. Creative Commons fixes this issue by making it legal, as long as the source is accredited. I believe that it really opens up the creative potential of the internet by making content less restrictive. This is very useful for blogs because a blog is essentially a form of media that borrows from many other types of media. A blog can incorporate pictures and video that might be copyrighted. Should the owner of that property find their work illegally published on a blog, there could be serious legal consequences. Creative Commons avoids this entirely by giving users the power to do what they please while also giving the owner credit for their work. A blogger who uses CC benefits from the fact that their name/blog is getting around since people have to accredit the source. It’s basically free publicity that will increase the popularity of the blog.

Blogging and Technology

In this day and age, people have shorter and shorter attention spans. Keeping a reader on one page for longer than 10 seconds is a challenge in itself. Should a writer decide to create a blog with no knowledge or technical skills with computers, he might find himself in a tough position. A good writer doesn’t need to know any programming to write a good story on paper, but bloggers need to customize their blogs with attractive visuals just to hold the reader’s attention. Aesthetics aren’t everything, but the chances of someone reading an entire blog post filled with nothing but words and white space are not very high.

To increase one’s blogging ability, I believe it is necessary to have a firm grasp on how to navigate and understand websites. This means adding tags and categories to help readers traverse the blog. Nothing is more painful than going through months and months of blogging content, only to realize the post was either deleted or moved. Keeping a blog clean and simple is extremely important. It is also a skill that comes with learning how to use a computer. A blogger needs to know where to keep things, when to update, how to reduce clutter, etc. A normal writer doesn’t necessarily know how to do these things on a webpage. Blogs both limit and unlock the potential of every writer because it adds a visual component that just isn’t available through standard black and white lettering on paper. At the same time, a blog’s host website can also confuse a newbie to both the world of technology and the world of blogging. I am personally fairly familiar with computers, but websites like WordPress still manage to boggle my mind. The dashboard setup is cluttered and confusing; customizing blog posts and blogs can be a nightmare at times; even the widget system can be frustrating. These are problems that technologically savvy people have. Imagine how hard it is for someone barely knows how to check their email.

Blogs in my mind are like paintings. One person might be able to put together a nicely drawn stick figure, while the person next him might make the next Mona Lisa. Having experience with technology might not improve the blogger’s writing ability, but it definitely makes reading a blog easier. Going to blogs that look professional and clean cause me to stay longer. I want to explore the blog because it is easy to do and the information is all there. People who have never touched a computer before will probably have issues organizing everything. Hell, even websites for colleges and universities are a pain to navigate. A strong sense of design and a little bit of coding can easily fix this. Still, I find that the computer skills only help me make everything look pretty, but mediocre writing will still be mediocre. To say a good blogger is a good writer would be wrong. While a good layout always improves the reading experience, I would still rather read a messy blog than a pretty one run by a four year old.

Anonymity is Power on the Internet

It is the strongest voice that allows anyone to voice their opinion without the social consequences that would normally follow a public statement. Freedom of speech is indeed a right that everyone should be entitled to, however that does not imply that the speaker should be free of the responsibilities that come with speaking freely. Censorship in moderation should be put in place in the absence of social pressures that are normally associated with freedom of speech. This censorship is especially needed in blogging, where comment sections run rampant with anonymous replies.  These comments can be not only offensive, but harmful to others as well. It is for this reason that anonymous users should be forced to reveal themselves online; people should be responsible for what they say on the internet.

What Is a Blog?

“A blog is a form of self expression although it is done over the internet as opposed to in person.” – Teddy R.

“…a blog is a website in which a user can create posts for a certain topic to share with a certain audience.” – Hirsh G.

“A blog is an internet format for displaying and providing information on a chosen topic.” – Michael D.

“A blog is an online medium which has gained popularity in recent years as one of the main ways in which information is presented on the web.” – Wilson C.

“A blog is a way to freely express yourself on the Internet.” – Evan H.

“A blog is a place for people to share their words and thoughts with an interested audience.” – Monique G.

“…a simple space where you can contribute information or your opinion on a certain topic.” – Donna G.

“…a blog is like a magazine. It’s a tool where the editor can share their interests and expand them anytime.” – Jordanna O.

“Blogs can also convey information with illustrations, videos, and almost any other alternative to writing the author can conjure up.” – Ellie

“People can also use blogs to read about things they are interested in.” – Lauren C.

“A blog is a place where everyone who loves keeping tabs with everything they love come together.” – Lisa K.

“…a digital recreation of the blogger’s mind, one that is easily accessible on the web at all times.” – Matthew L.

“…a way to express anything to an unlimited userbase and audience.” – Brian M.

“Blogs are a more casual form of writing and encourage readers to take part through comments.” – Megan M.

“…like the newest edition of a newspaper. It takes the old idea of journalism and flips it on its head.” – Skylar A.

“…a website where an author posts stories or personal statements about a specific subject.” – Hillary E.

“A blog is an area where a person is able to write about a topic on the Internet; others are able to read the writer’s blog, and it can be about anything.” – Yadybel A.

“…a person or group of persons, or even a company, who share information and ideas via the web.” – Karen C.

“They [blogs] are better when they have a focus.” – Kat T.