Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Personal Portfolio (Website)

To all my fans out there this will be my final blog! The link above connects to my personal website so if you're interested check it out. It's been a fun semester so keep an eye out for my reemergence into the blog world in the future.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Open Sky: In Space

In the last section of Open Sky, Virilio really went deep into his philosophy. It's hard to admit but for a majority of the time I couldn't for the life of me understand the ideas he was trying to get across. By no means am I bashing Virilio for his logic or writing talent but more faulting myself for not being able to keep up with his reasoning. However, I will try and attempt to give a personal interpretation of what he was saying.

From my understanding, Virilio was talking about the connection between time and space. It sounded like there is a strong connection between physical geography and how time and space can be interpreted. If you are judging these things from a country standpoint there is domestic communication that doesn't even exist from a world standpoint. My interpretation of this is that communication between relatively local people means nothing in the context of the world on a general scale. For example my contact with a friend in California when I'm in South Carolina is non-existent when you show that conversation to someone in the Ukraine.

Furthermore, on a general knowledge basis, time is different to people in different areas of the world due to that various time zones. Someone in London may have experienced a moment in the Olympics last summer that someone in the United States wouldn't even be aware of until the next day when they wake up. So, although my analysis may be way off sadly, in terms of time and space affecting the world this is what I believe Virilio was discussing.

Daily Questions to Ponder:
1) How does time and space affect people geographically?

2)How can time and space change meaning when going between domestic and international communication?

Open Sky: With A Clouded Future

In this section of the book Open Sky, Virilio talks about how technology is making everyone lazy and in turn making them want to travel less. The reasoning behind this thought is that he says if a person can just get on their computer and pull up a picture of something, such as Big Ben in London, why would they actually want to travel all the way to London in person. In Virilio's mind people would rather indulge in virtual reality than experience actually reality because it is so much easier in modern times.

However, one of the flaws in this logic is that you are removing the human element from the argument. Virilio doesn't take into account that people would rather experience something in person than virtually and financial restrictions or distance is the reason the don't get the opportunity. I still believe that if people had the choice they wouldn't be satisfied with just looking at a picture of a beautiful site when they could see it with there own eyes.

Additionally, with all the new technology, even when we do travel that technology is affecting our experience. With the distraction of iPhones, iPods, computers and so on people aren't paying the same attention to their surrounding as they used to in a new environment. The experience of traveling is getting somewhat hindered by the distractions we expose ourselves too. Even though technology like cameras and items of the sort that help us to remember a trip a good, the overall experience has become less enriching in many instances with the inclusion of phones, Mp3s and computers.

The final thing I want to talk about in this section of Open Sky is the subject of the disabling of able people mentally and physically.For instance, with the invention of the calculator people no longer have to be able to do basic math that well because they have a device that will do it for them. In the same way, people no longer have to walk across large parts of the airport because they installed moving walkways. Through the new technology we embrace, we are hurting ourselves mentally and physically without even realizing it. Our dependence on things outside ourselves is weakening our ability to perform in society.

Discussions Questions to Ponder:
1) What makes people want to travel rather than viewing a place virtually?

2) How can we become less disabled in society after we've been exposed to all these technologies?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Open Sky

Open Sky, by Virilio, from a media and communications stand point, discusses the speed at which we must process information presented to us. From my interpretation, it seems as if Virilio is saying that through a medium such as the Internet, information is flung at us so rapidly that why we think we are processing is actually just a portion of the overall message. Our minds when absorbing information at such a rapid speed try to focus on a sold object but by the nature of the beast our view is widening or branching out to catch other pieces of information also that weren't in focus mere seconds earlier.

Virilio likes to go back and forth between describing elaborate scenarios in life and applying his knowledge so it is entertaining to try and keep track of his train of thought. However, to help describe the analysis above, Virilio uses the example of skydiving. He states that as you fall closer to ther ground your eyes think they are adjusting to a certain object, however, as you continue to fall you find that object is actually widening to reveal a much bigger picture. His use of worldly occurrnces are often interplaced with his thoughts in Open Sky and Virilio uses many of these instances to put a more exciting and more stimulating spin on his argument.

Daily Questions to Ponder:
1) What is Virilio trying to accomplish through his long examples of life instances?
2) What makes Virilio's point of view appear valid?

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Audience and You

When writing a blog or for an online source what you first may think about is the audience you are trying to reach with the message you want to portray.  When thinking about your audience you have to consider what topics will pull your reader in and what writing style will keep them interested.  Writing is a complex process that may accept some forms and reject others. Although your reasoning may appeal to a reader in one instance doesn't mean it will apply to the reader's opinion in all instances.

There are said to be seven steps that go into understanding your audience.  These steps include, listing your major audience, gathering information about your audience, listing major characteristics for each audience, gathering your audiences' questions, tasks and stories, using your information to create personas, Including the persona's goals and tasks, and using your information to write scenarios for your site.

Every channel has a channel of more interest at the time so with all of Furman tunnels apparently falling down, even Furman and it's other tunnels are more courageous at this moment. Your major audience regardless of size is always what you are trying to appeal to. However, this audience's desires may change over the course of time. It is the web designers job to figure out what the key desires are for that audience and to bring them to the forefront of the website in order to make the audience as happy as possible.

No matter what the case is for an individual audience, it is essential to keep the target audience interested and happy with the information being displayed upon a website. The audience is the key to success for a blog or website so no matter what society deems the best it is up to the main group to decide what their particular audience prefers.

Daily Questions to Ponder?

1) What makes the audience so important for a website?

2) Is the audience a good scale for what is popular?


Monday, November 12, 2012

Evaluating The Web

Chapter 6 in writing for digital media starts off with a description of the Gestalt theory. Basically, this theory states that the whole is different from the sum of its parts. When considering this theory in the context of working online, it's important to remember the complexity that goes into every aspect of a web page. Sometimes when working online it's difficult to make sure the various parts of a website add up to support the entire product. From my personally interpretation of this theory, I see it as even though the web page may appear presentable as a whole, different aspects like hyperlinks, photo credits, spelling and so on may not be up to par or make sense with the rest of the page.

When dealing with the parts of a web page there are a lot of editing and style desitions that need to be made. First off, if you design a website to fit a certain template it's typically best to keep that style consistent through the pages of your website. The reason you would want to do this is because it makes your website look more unified and easier for the viewer to remain invested in what you are trying to show them. When it comes to editing your site, there are a few things you must take into account. For instance, there are obvious things such as spelling and grammar and then there are other aspects tougher to keep consistent with like photo credits, hyperlinks, and page breaks.

Finally, something crucial to the validity of your web page are the correctness of your references, dates, names and professions along with other criteria that may go along with classifying someone or something. Your website can look as professional as possible but if you have incorrect information presented publicly it will immediately discredit the rest of your site. Faulty hyperlinks and misspelled words are problems but they are salvageable situations to have on a web page but it is difficult to recover from incorrect personal or factual information.

Ultimately,  the various parts of a website all need to be checked, maintained and presented properly to insure the overall quality of your website. Even though online sources change and are presented so rapidly it is important to do your best to edit and style your final product properly.

Daily Questions to Ponder:
1) How do you determine the proper words an phrases to hyperlink?

2) How can poor editing effect the credibility of your website?