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What is Global Communication

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Honestly, I can’t say that my definition of Global Communication has changed over the course of the semester. It is still the method of expressing oneself to others across cultures and boundaries through various methodologies, including speech, text, video, pictures, marketing, products, companies, etc.

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Reflection post on Writing for New Media

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I couldn’t think of what to research. Very few topics have been left unturned, and the only thing on my mind currently is the video project I just completed and the Concept in 60 that I have to complete in the next week. So then I asked myself, what is it that I could reflect upon. The last articles we looked at discussed social media, and while it was riveting with interesting topics (such as the amount of FaceBook friends children have are related to the friends they say they have in outside life), I don’t feel as if it held my attention enough to devote a blog post too. Now I am sitting here wondering what I could possibly write about to get credit for the last few posts we have to complete. I don’t know if this idea counts, but I want to reflect on my experience of the class as a whole, from the first day coming in hopeful and realizing that this class was going to be a struggle for me, to one of the last few days looking back at all I’ve done still wondering how on earth I’m going to make my Concept in 60. I’m a Junior in college, but I think that this is the only class where I can honestly say that I can look from start to finish and say that I not only learned something, but grew as a person better able to interact in the changing world around me. I learned something I never knew before. I am more confident, and while I still have a long way to go before I can say I am adequate in any of the programs I’ve used in the class, I feel as if I have the necessary tools to move forward. This is the type of class that I have been searching for my entire school career. And while I love 99% of my classes because I am interested in both of my majors, I believe that this will be one of the few classes I will look back and reflect on at graduation and probably many years later.

At the beginning of the semester, I walked into a classroom with no hope of knowing anyone and feeling a sense of inadequacy because I was well aware of not knowing anything about technology. My use of a computer was limited to basic internet skills and Microsoft Word/PowerPoint. I still remember sitting in the class listening to what we’ll be doing the rest of the semester and feeling panic-stricken because I felt I would never be able to learn enough in the meantime to be able to complete the final project.

As the weeks went on, I completed my blog posts. Researching was easy and the reflection posts sparked interest in what we were reading. The discussions in class expanded on the readings adding understanding and clarity. I walked out of the classroom every day with a better knowledge on history and opinions on technology and how they reflected on our lives today. Readings from years ago, when technology was still in infancy contained arguments and warnings that were still relevant today when technology is in its teenaged years.

I remember at certain points wondering why we were reading book in a New Media class. I remember going into class some days wondering what I was going to say because I did not understand what I had read a few days before. Looking back on the experience, however, made me realize that reading the articles benefited me. We slowly transitioned from known to unknown throughout the semester. The articles may have been in a book, but the content and discussion was what mattered. They made me contemplate how technology affects the world around me and my daily life. I started noticing how important technology was in our generation. I started noticing how it’s changing how we interact and our social values and standards. Technology is literally shaping society around it. Some may argue that it is the other way around. I particularly liked the readings simply because they have opened my eyes, and they gave me a background knowledge of media. I think the latter has helped me the most in this class.

Reading for class is second nature, but I particularly liked how the readings weren’t just readings. I was able to contemplate how the messages relate to me and to what I am doing in the class. This is the hope for all classes, but unlike most we actually applied what we read in our discussions and projects.

Speaking of the projects, I remember struggling with most of them. The autobiography helped me get into the mindset of thinking about how technology has influenced me and my life. The first video project was difficult for personal reasons. I found it oddly too personal to discuss  literature and my literary habits. I never realized how important it was to me, and I felt as I made my first video as if I was revealing my inner self to the world. Having to post it in the Narrative Archive didn’t help that feeling. I ended up making some other video that was less revealing, but I still felt odd putting out there for the world to see (which is why only people who run across my blog and click on the link can see it). Besides the personal conflict with the project, I felt as if it was my first date with the technology I would be getting to know intimately well throughout the semester. Looking back, I realize that it was the start of having confidence to not only produce, but share work with the world. Everything I have created in this class is a part of me and a reflection of who I am as a person. My blogs are my words; my videos are my perceptions. I am not just developing my technology and writing skills, but I am developing my relationship to the internet and all of its users. I now have a voice.

The project to evaluate heuristics and to create our own was also difficult. I remember sitting and staring at the screen wondering what was acceptable and what wasn’t. I liked this project because it enhanced the relationship between scholarly analysis and the internet, which is a largely social world. The debate and collaboration in class was one of the best experiences I have ever had in a class. I DO have a voice. We were able to draw our minds together to come up with a product that we were all happy with. Everyone’s voice was heard that day. It is the manifestation of what the internet allows us to do. A group of people added their input to create a product that they liked. The internet is a collaboration of ideas that shapes our culture.

The experiment of non-print design was a further step in the process of pushing our abilities. Slowly, we have become acquainted with the social rules and expectations that govern the internet. I have never made a video before. I was lost as I was making it, and I may not know how it turned out, but I feel like I have a better understanding of how to go about making  something that is good and effective. I was surprised at how different it was to making a paper. I wish that there had been something to help me understand this, but I am eternally grateful that I did this so that I have a better understanding for my Concept in 60. I must say that I was disappointed with the photostory projects. They were well done, but I feel as if they did not fully encompass all that we have learned thus far in the class, at least in the video portion.I look forward to see what people present in their Concept in 60.

This may seem personal, but I have grown as a person, just as I have grown from this class throughout the semester. I have never been able to say that I can look back and see how all of the assignments fit into the course and how it has helped me understand and apply the material. It really is a class that I will take with me forever. I now see the benefits of technology and I understand how effective it could be in our world to be proficient in the language of the internet.

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Just to make sure that this post counts…..

I was really interested in the results of the study on social media. It made me think of my topic for my CI60, which considers the perceptions on the effects of technology on relationships. Maybe it’s true that the number of facebook friends reflects the number of actual friends. It’s difficult for us, the transition generations, to see because we were raised without the importance of technology. A few generations ago, people were growing up as technology came out. I can see the usefulness of technology, how it helps us keep in contact and break borders we were unable to break before. But I wonder what the older generations think, those who did not have what we have today. And I wonder what the younger generations think. Do they feel as we do or they as oblivious to how technology is influencing their lives as other generations were oblivious to how important it was to have face to face contact. The only reason people are reflecting on this now is because things are changing and aspects are being lost. People rarely just stop by; they call to make sure you’re home because they don’t know if you drove, flew, etc halfway across the world as some people are apt to do. The question for reflection is: is this change really a bad thing? Children are just as happy, if not more than we were. Change isn’t always bad. Sometime  it’s best to go with the flow.

What is up with Copyright?

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I was once explained why we have copyright. Someone told me that copyright was created so that one person cannot steal and profit from someone else’s work. Perhaps someone has more money than the original creator and can create a fancier product; they can advertise more and distribute more. Copyright is intended to prevent this from happening, so that the original designers can create and expand their own idea, and that eventually, because there is a time limit on copyright and patents, other companies can create their own version and thus competition goes to work. This is my knowledge of copyright, whether it is entirely true or not or whether this is simply the watered down version. But the articles on copyright that I read for class painted another picture for me that, frankly, left me rather disgusted with the whole process.

I can understand and appreciate what copyright is intended to do, but I believe that the “me” mentality has warped it into something different. I agree that someone else’s work should not be stolen and reproduced without permission and at will. But where does ownership come into play? I know they discussed this and that this is one of the main arguments about copyright. I think that something that was found, like the religious texts, cannot be claimed. I understand where the argument might come from, but if it’s something ancient, like a text or bones, it should be relatively “public” property and not owned and profited from one individual or company.

Just writing this article I can see how copyright has some sticky situations. The other main argument that they presented that I had a lot of back and forth arguments over was what happens when something is online. They said, “how can someone claim ownership if they still own it, and also willingly put it somewhere the entire world can see and have access to it?” I guess I can understand where the desire to claim ownership and the need to spread our accomplishments conflict. I think that what I had an issue with the most is that it’s clearly inhibiting development. Studies that could potentially have valuable information are being abandoned because they’re afraid of copyright infringement.

I guess my main issue is with human nature as I see it and the values that the people around me have. Why is it that sharing what we have is so difficult? Why is money and the claim to ownership overpowering everything else? I don’t know if this is a problem anywhere else. I am thinking about this in the context that I know: the United States.

I guess that has always been an issue I see around me. I don’t think materialism and selfishness get the world anywhere, in fact, as we’re seeing now, it can cause a lot of harm. (aka: the group fighting against how the top 1% of america has more wealth than the bottom 50%). I digress.

I like the idea of copyright. I just don’t like how some people are using it. End.

Reflection on “The Art of ALT”

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When I was reading section two in Yahoo, I remember being amazed by the chapter  talking about the accessibility of webpages. I never knew about half of the technology that was out there in order to help people with disabilities access and navigate the web.  For some reason, it also never crossed my mind that there could be government actions and groups out there advocating the internet becoming easier to use by everyone. I suppose, and from what we have talked about in class, this is partly because we see everyone using the internet. It seems so simple to use, and the section and this article made me think about what sorts or problems other people could run into. I thought about some sites I have run into where I left soon after because everything was so complicated. Millions of tabs leading to millions of links and I still never found the information I was looking for in the first place. I thought about what it would be like for other people who had a more difficult time. Once I understood, I wondered HOW to go about making it easier and more access  friendly.

One reason I liked this article is because it helped answer my questions and put it into a situation that I could understand. They discussed the guidelines that make sites more accessible and they talked about it in terms of the Texas project. I started to understand why some of the guidelines were in place. I never would have thought to make the graphics read in a sensible and coherent manner for those people who would use the text accompanying and explaining the graphics. It made me think of Spanish language exercises I finished in high school when trying to learn the language. I remember how the disconnected pictures didn’t really help, and instead they actually made me less interested and more confused. It was more difficult to connect the pictures and the Spanish and English language, which could be why I’m STILL not fluent…

One thing that also caught my attention the most was just how difficult it would be to follow the guidelines. I was thinking about that as I was reading the article, and then they mentioned exactly what I was thinking. What I appreciated the most was that they talked about why it was worth all of the frustration and hard work that goes into it. There is a high percentage of people who are disabled in some way and there is a high possibility that someone could become disabled in their lifetime. It’s amazing if you think about it how many people you could be excluding if you don’t make the site accessible to everyone. I liked how they mentioned that if the format from the start is accessible friendly, then future websites will be easy to use and put into an accessible manner.

I think that applying the separate, but not equal statement was a little much though. I agree that the alternative should not simply be an essay, but I think their message was a little too strong.

Overall, I think that making it more accessible will benefit everyone in the future as the internet expands.

 

 

How Structure Changes Readability: reflection on “Monitering Order”

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When I was reading, I was thinking about what the Yahoo! Style guide brought up about how web pages should be. I caught myself analyzing the structure of the pages and the way each page was formatted more than the actual content of what she was saying, although I did pay attention to that as well.

The first page was easily readable and made me want to read the rest. The dark background made it easy on the eyes and also made it more intriguing because you don’t see that often. The picture of the feather in the corner was an interesting touch. I wondered if it had anything to what she was writing about. The boxes on the top, which leads you through her paper, correspond to the colors in the feather. I ended up liking this page the best because the differences in color and style made me want to see more. It made me thoughtful and it was easier for me to read in-depth because the color wasn’t difficult on the eyes.

In contrast, the next page almost blinded me by going from the dark color of the first, to the bright white in the second. I noticed how the text went all the way to the edge of the screen. I had not noticed the first time how it does this in the first as well. The length of the lines made it more difficult to read. But there was still color in the title and the length of the paragraph was still relatively short.

The third page made me think of the use of bold words. There was no color in the text, just one bold phrase in the paragraph. It made me feel bored, as if I was reading something from a scholarly journal, which wasn’t the impression I got from the first slide. Of course this isn’t some random site, but it didn’t seem boring or dry, which is how I felt while reading this page. It helped me see the effectiveness of both color and the bolded word. My eye was drawn immediately to that phrase and I ended up basing my reading off of that phrase.

The fourth had a completely different style, and to be honest I couldn’t tell you what I thought of it. I loved the use of short text and scans of other texts to emphasize her point. It made the material more interesting and seemed more credible because she was flawlessly integrating others’s words into her own, making it fit into her paper. It was the direct quote in a fun fashion.

The fifth page seemed to do what the fourth did, but in the traditional sense using the “…”. It made me bored again. I had a hard time reading this page compared to the fourth because it seemed less interesting, even though it was doing the same thing. Perhaps this supports the notion that web media is and should be different from traditional print. Though it also supports that images don’t have to be non-print, since her scans were of texts.

The sixth combined pictures and bold words, but this page also had the longest text. I had a difficult time trying to get to the last paragraph because it was separated by pictures. It seemed to me that the pictures made me stop and changed how my mind was processing what I was doing. It was like I had to start reading all over again after the picture, but I also had to remember what was said previously. I have to say it was difficult. Usually I just skip over pictures as if they are empty space not relevant to the material I’m reading. I can see why, though, younger kids who look solely at the pictures don’t want to read the text afterwards.

By the seventh page, I had originally thought that the background went from stark white to a duller beige, but it seems that it was a trick of the lighting and or my eyes. Though once again I thought of how the duller colors were easier to read than the white and black is.

The next one was a nice surprise because of the integration of color and a picture at the top. It made me interested in what the text has to say and it gave flavor to the page. It was also a nice transition because the picture, once again, made me pause and my mind essentially restarted over, so I was ready to take in the next topic.

The ninth page was another one that was extremely difficult to get through. It incorporated all of the elements that had previously made me bored. I could hardly concentrate on the words because I just wished for it to end, yet it seemed to keep going and going and going and going and goin…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The 10th and 11th pages were short sweet and to the point. They didn’t have any pizzazz, but they were short so it was tolerable.

The last page before the credits is interesting. Before, the pictures disrupted the reading; this time it was essential. She used the pictures to make the text flow and easily understood. I think the first and last slides were the perfect examples to how people should use digital media to present information. Even though the last slide was mostly pictures, it still held a significant message. There are ways to combine old with new : )

Tips for making a 2 D Animation

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I’m still wondering what concept to use in my final project, and because of that I’m also clueless about what what I want to use to make my concept in sixty. I figured for this research post I would look up some hints about how to use some technology. For this reason, this research post isn’t reflective, though I suppose I can add tidbits I learned along the way. I thought that perhaps I might use this in case anyone else was curious.

One of the first points she makes in her blog is that animation elicits a stronger emotional response from the viewer. Based on the research I’ve done in my earlier posts, and personal experience I’d have to agree. It definitely adds another dimension to the message. “Thought of You” is a 2d video and because of this there is a clear message that might be completely different if it was in another form. 2d animations also help people understand concepts like science and math better.

As she starts her description on how animation works, she explains that animation is a time based medium. Width, depth, and height are not the only dimensions that you need to pay attention to. Time is important because it the animation is off beat then confusion, overlap, and an overall lack of quality results. I’m sure at some point everyone has seen a bad animation. If “Though of You” wasn’t timed perfectly, then the combination of the song and dance wouldn’t be as effective as it is. The result would make the song seem separate from the overall message and so people may dismiss it and focus solely on the dancers, which of course would diminish the impact of the video as a whole.

She explains how to make a good animation in steps. The longest step in any project is coming up with an idea and way to get across the idea to others. The same is true for animations. So, her first step is to create a story board. She suggests to identify ten main images and then make transition images. This way making the video will be easier because you know exactly where you are and where you need to go and how you’re going to get there. She also suggests to consider sound. For example, what song are you going to need to match the pictures to. As in “Thought of You”, the song adds to teh overall mood of the work. Consider an animation with no sound. It would be boring don’t you think?

Step 2: All things for the project should be kept in one folder with an organized set of sub-folders, usually for the different elements in the project and quality for both. Of course this step is simple organization, but when creating a complex project it helps to be organized. She says to name the folders specifically in case something becomes misplace. You should put the folders in the right sequence, and number them so it makes life easier in the long run. To number them you should use a three or four digit numbering systems (ex: image_001.jpg).  vectorand bitmap graphics should be in 72 DPI and RGB. Now, if you’re like me then you have no idea what those are or what the numbers mean. I still don’t know what the numbers are, but I did research what the different types of graphics mean. Vector graphics are good because you can scale them as big or little as you want without lose of quality in the image. Basically, from what I understand, vector graphics use vectors (as in math), which is why they can be scaled. But, they are bad because most vector graphics are not universal, meaning only one program can use the specific graphic you have. Bitmap graphics are probably the ones you are familiar with. These are the ones that use the pixels, which is why when you try to rescale them they tend to lose shape and become pixelated. On the other hand, they are relatively universal. Think of images you get off the internet, that’s what I did. So basically, it’s best to start off as a vector graphic so you can re-size it as needed, but to save it as a bitmap.

She even offers fun tips on how best to use picture. She says that if you’re going to use the program Illustrator, then you should put the images in layers rather than a sequence, and if you plan on using a picture and you’re going to zoom in on it, then make sure that it is larger than the frame you plan on using so that it won’t become pixelated. I don’t know about you, but I thought of images from the internet when I was reading this, but as was explained to me this is for pictures you’re going to be taking yourself and saving to add into your project. If the image is going to be small, then re-size it smaller so that it loads faster. The reason for this is simple: large files take longer to load, so if you know it’s going to be small, then it’s easier to make it small in the first place rather than having to go back and fix it. Another simple rule is that you should make sure that the size is just right so that it is not too small nor too big. If it’s too small or big for the web, then your image isn’t going to have the effect you want it to have. Also, make sure you’re using color correctly. It should be used to guide the viewers eye. She suggests using grey scale to make sure that what you want to pop does.

The next step is to make sure that the format is compatible for the web: widescreen ratio (16:9 aspect ratio) and square pixels. When using text it is best to use Illustrator, though Flash and AfterEffects work too, though they don’t show you when text runs off the screen. Illustrator lets you focus on the design of the text.

She says to make different “proxies” or layers before hand because with an alpha channel, a part of the pixel that defines what happens when objects are layered, you can make many layers into one. Now, I have a feeling I’m explaining all of the technological jargon as it actually should be explained. I’m not an expert, I’m just saying what I think is right. For instance, I have no idea what she means by “proxies”.  From what I understood of her blog, as well as googling it, the alpha channel lets you blend layers into one by making a smooth transition. That’s the reason you can make a background come through another image you put on top of it. Layers makes sense in general. It is easier to combine many layers than it is any other method.

She says that it takes a long time to put a filter on each frame, which makes sense. As far as programs to use the top three she mentions are Flash, AfterEffects, and Illustrator.  Flash and AfterEffects allow you to compact complex animations into one layer, while Illustrator allows you to work with texts and layers.

One of the last steps is to organize your future self by numbering the different versions you make so that you or anyone else can easily go back to your process. Clearly organization is key.

Most importantly, she says to have fun and experiment. “Only by trying something you’ve never done before will you find out what you’re truly capable of.” I think this quote defines the class perfectly. I came in knowing nothing, and I’m leaving with some knowledge of the world of computers. I never thought I’d be looking up how to create a 2d animation, let alone considering actually making one. I hope this helped! Please feel free to correct or add anything I missed or made a mistake on, as I said I’m no expert on anything technological.

online dating statistics

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I found and chose this video because I’m interested in online dating, but also because of what we’re discussing in class. This video is an interesting way to get a message across. It’s in the style of a late night talk show with an animated host and guest speaker. I think that it enhanced the intended message rather than having someone talk. It seemed more official and even supported the idea that people prefer using technology to get their ideas across rather than talking.  I was thinking about our heuristic when I was watching it, and it supported my opinion that it can be used for non scholarly work too.

On another note I liked some of the statistics they presented in the video. It came out in march 2011, so they must be fairly accurate, though they didn’t cite where the information came from besides their own website. They said that one in five relationships start online. I believe this is partly because the internet opens up the world of possible mates so that it’s easier to meet someone. I think it’s also because of how technologically dependent people have come. If people are more comfortable texting than talking, then people perhaps might be more comfortable meeting someone in a chat than in a bar.

They also mention the top three ways to meet people: work/school, friends/family, and then online dating. The club scene has lost its touch. It makes sense that it’s in the top three simply because these are the top three things people interact with on a daily basis. The more people use/are around it, the more likely they’ll meet someone. I don’t see it moving any higher than three though, unless people let technology take over their lives.

The third statistic they bring up is that 280k marriages a year are from couples who met online. This shows that it is of course possible to find that person online. I think comparison information is necessary though. We need to know how many other marriages there are per year, and out of the 280k, how many get divorced. Both pieces could either enhance the meaning of the number or diminish it to irrelevance.