Category Archives: Reading Notes

Chapter 10/11 What does your font choice say about you?

I actually found these chapters to be very interesting when they were describing the different tones portrayed by the different fonts.

When it comes to fonts that describe me both personally and professionally I would end up choosing the same fonts.  I tend to choose fonts from the Sans Serif family mainly because they have a clean look to them.  With other fonts there are often cupped serifs on some letters.  Whereas with Sans Serif, which literally means “without serifs” there are no serifs just “squared off terminals”. Another reason I often choose Sans Serif is due to the spacing.  I like the fact that the spacing of letters is close enough not to have a bunch of whitespace.

While looking at some different fonts on the Internet I came across an interesting article which talks about spacing at the end of sentences.  This relates to fonts because if a font has more spacing between letters it may require that extra space be left between sentences so the reader knows when they have reached the end of a sentence.

Your Online Identity and Why it Matters


Ever since the explosion of the social media online people have been concerned about what they were posting online and how it may effect them later on in life.  For many people, especially people in college, they are concerned that what they post on their ‘private’ online social media site may determine if a company hires them for a position or not.  In fact sometimes people should worry because a quick Google search can reveal a lot about a person, but in all honesty the search engines companies use are not looking to destroy any future career plans.  According to Honan in his article on privacy these search engines are only looking for evidence that may cause legal problems for companies and tend to ignore drunken late night photos.  In the end companies are looking to eliminate possible risks by conducting online searches, but there are ways to find these red flags and eliminate them yourself before your potential employer may find them.

key terms:

Social Intelligence – outside source used by companies to search social media content and evaluate the content based on predetermined criteria

Social Media – websites and applications used for social networking


Managing Your Reputation Through Search Results

I Flunked My Social Media Background Check. Will You?

“A picture is worth a thousand words” | Images


When working on a page it is important not to bombard your reader with walls of text, but to be sure to include images.  Photographs can be extremely useful when used correctly.  They can help to establish a tone and help communicate information that you may not be able to do through text.  Photographs may also be edited to point to a certain area of text or to lead the reader to the next section.  When it’s come to credibility photographs carry more than illustrations or clipart because people assume that a camera can not lie.  Although not as credible illustrations can benefit a page as well.  Illustrations such as diagrams, maps, charts, or drawings helpful when displaying detailed or complex information.  Another form of images that can convey a meaning are clipart which can be a timesaver if you’re in a crunch.  The last type of images is text.  Text can be modified or special fonts can be used which can help enhance the page.  No matter what you choose to use, photographs, illustrations, clipart, or special fonts images help enhance the page and get the message across to the reader.

key terms

Cropping – removal of some of the horizontal or vertical edges of a photo.  Cropping can help the photo fit into a certain space, or by cropping a photo it draws attention to the remaining amount of photo

Flopping – changes the direction of the image in a photo from side to side.  Flopping allows you to use the photo to point to a certain piece of text that may relate to the photo.

Silhouetting – when portions of an image are selectively removed.  Another option when silhouetting is a vignette, which changes the shape of the original photo.

Photo-imaging programs – programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel PhotoPaint are programs which can aid with photo editing.  Some special effects that these programs offer are:

  • Distorting images
  • Colorizing parts of an image
  • Outlining edges
  • Adding a drop shadow
  • Posterizing an image
  • Lightening an image
  • Applying a filter
  • Inverting a positive picture to a negative
  • Collaging many images
  • Adding a border

Illustrations – include diagrams, maps, charts, cartoons, or drawing.  They are used to reinforce a point mentioned in the text.

Clipart – are predrawn artwork that is sold in books, on a disk, CD, or found online.  Many clipart pieces are free to use, but some hold certain licenses which do not allow them to be displayed in some places.

Dingbats – are small ornamental pictures.  They can be used as bullets or icons instead of letters.


This chapter was very beneficial in many ways and I feel that I benefited greatly from it.  The idea of learning when and where to use images, also what images are appropriate where will be something that I can use in many of my other courses.  This chapter may also come in handy when analyzing advertisements for the Rhetoric on the town assignment because now I’ll be able to understand a little more why they choose to put that image or use that font there.  In the end having a good understanding of appropriate image use is something everyone needs.

What in the world is C.R.A.P


If the website developer follows the idea of C.R.A.P they will have an easier time guiding their user’s eyes throughout the website.  Using the idea of C.R.A.P allows the website developer to guide the user through items on the webpage without having to use boxes or arrows to point to the next element.  Contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity is also visibly appealing to the user.  Pages seem to flow and are easier to understand when buttons are the same size.

key terms:

Contrast – Use separation for unlike elements or elements that need emphasis

Examples of contrast:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Color of font
  • Size

Repetition – Repeating aspects of design, keeping the same customization for elements that are alike

  • Creates unity throughout the website

Alignment – Justifying to emphasize key points

  • Creates a visual flow for the user
  • Easier to connect elements visually

Proximity – Elements that are alike should be close together

  • Easier for user to spot unrelated elements


After going through a few of the resources dealing with C.R.A.P I’ve realized that it could potentially be very beneficial in the long run and can also be related to other things outside of website development.  Being an English major I can directly relate this to the same process that I go through when writing a paper.  My introduction paragraph acts as the alignment because it emphasizes main points and shows the reader the direction I’m going.  The body paragraphs are developed around the proximity feature because each paragraph only deals with one or two related elements.  Contrast is not as obvious but it is used when citing a source, quoting, and also to distinguish the title from the rest of the paper.  Repetition is not as easy to relate to, but it can be seen in the layout because each paragraph will start with an idea and then be followed by supporting details.



A CRAP way to improve usability

The Language of New Media


The article tries to establish and explain what new media is and how it differs from old media.  According to Manovich, new media is any media that is distributed and displayed using a computer.  This includes, but is not limited to, DVD, online articles, photographs, and books.  Manovich suggests that there are five main principles of new media; numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and cultural transcoding.  Along with going into greater detail with the five main principles he also talks about how new media got to where it is, and how it has evolved over the years.

key terms:

Numerical representation – new media objects are all created from digital code which consists of numbers

Modularity – the idea that new media objects have the same modular structure and are all made up of discrete samples such as pixels, polygons, or characters

Automation – numerical representation and modularity allow for the media creation, manipulation and access

Variability – the idea that new media is not fixed but can actually exist in different versions

Transcoding – translate something into another format

old media/new media:

After reading Manovich’s article it seems to me that without old media new media would have never made it’s way.  According to the five principles; numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and transcoding old media develops into new media.  These five principles seem to relate to the way that new media can be created from old media.

other information:

While I was working with the material I came across the YouTube video below which explains Manovich’s five principles in lamer terms.

The Medium is the Message


McLuhan keeps repeating and demonstrating throughout the article that “the medium is the message,” but what does that phrase actually mean.  What he’s trying to say is that the medium used to deliver a message may actually be stronger than the message it’s self.  Well now that we’ve got the main point what does it actually mean?  Basically McLuhan is trying to say that the way a person chooses to deliver a message may be more important than the message.  Or in even simpler terms he’s saying that the way we receive information could be more important than the information being received.

 connections to course outcome:

This article relates in a few ways to the course outcomes we hope to achieve in Digital Writing.  One outcome is the ability to network which means we have to be able to search for and pick out information that we are presented.  Another outcome is appropriation which is achieved when one knows how to remix content in order to develop new content.  These two outcomes relate to McLuhan because they deal with the way something is presented and being able to decipher the message being presented.

connections to other readings:

After a couple Google searches I came across an interesting article about Twitter. The article gives ten examples of Twitters that are perfect examples of McLuhan’s main message which is the medium is the message.  In order to understand this article you first need to understand that Twitter actually has two definitions.  The first definition of Twitter is that it is an application, or website, which is used to post tweets.  The second definition is that a Twitter is a collection of posts by one person.  For example Russell Brand’s Twitter is @rustyrocket.  The article’s main point is that Twitter, being used as an application, is a medium but is also a message when referring to a collection of a person’s post.  So in this case the medium is exact same thing as the message.  Even though the article was short it really brought up a good point.

works cited:



Twitter, the Medium is the Message


Wow! Bolter really knows how to take a potentially interesting subject and bore you to death with a trillion examples, but really the article could have been shorter and gotten the same point across.

key terms:

Remediation – The idea of taking old media and “remixing” it to produce new media for the audience

Webcam Jukebox – According to the article a webcam jukebox allows the user to take a photo with different backgrounds which can include, but are not limited to, world wonders, nature, or different types of weather

Immediacy – The idea of presenting/sharing something with someone instantly

Borrow – When different types of media borrow other broadcasts/stories from


websites, newscasts, or newspapers

Hypermediated Events – An event that has been over mediated possibly due to other medias borrow or due to the event being seen on different types of media

new media/old media

“Old Media”

The article draws a connection between new media and old media by saying that through a cycle old media is “refashioned” in order to develop the new media.  “New digital media are not external agents that come to disrupt an unsuspecting culture.  They emerge from within cultural contexts, and they refashion other media, which are embedded in the same or similar contexts.”  This statement found in the article states that new media is not really “new” media, instead it is just old media which has been remixed/changed in order to revisited.  A perfect example of this is when a news site takes photos, interviews, or pieces of an older article and then includes the “old” information in the new article to be reposted.  The new article may contain new information, but it may also contain “remixed” information from an old article which is now being presented to the target audience.

“New Media”


After reading the article and re-reading sections of the article I have finally come to the conclusion that it was remediation.  Remediation is where old media is taken and transformed into new media which now appeals to the same people once again and hopefully appeals to a newer crowd as well.  By revisiting and revamping old media people are able to transfer their experiences and opinions to others by appealing to different “senses.”


Bolter, J. D., & Grusin, R. (1999). Remediation: Understanding new media. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Oh no! Am I breaking a copyright law?



I’ve always known there were ways to work with copyrights to obtain the information/work you wish to use, but after reading the articles and watching the video it has become obvious that there may be more ways around the vicious copyright laws.

What surprised me?

The one thing that surprised me most was in the YouTube video “A Fair(y) Use Tale” where they took clips from Disney movies in order to get the point across that since the clips were so short and were used for education purposes Disney is unable to get them for copyright infringement.

What empowered me?

One thing that empowered me was after watching the video when I learned that all of the video was movie clips and Disney was unable to come after them legally.  Another empowering moment was when I learned about the fair use part of a copyright and creative commons.  The fair use and creative commons allows people to use pieces of work in order to recreate newer pieces or to teach about a subject.  Fair use and creative commons allows society to grow and continue to improve.  Without them there may not have been another piece of art created, book written, movie developed, or lecture conducted.

what frustrated me?

The most frustrating fact about copyright is the time which it is active.  I knew that a piece of work could be copyright for many years, but I was unaware that come copyrights last much longer than that.  Although the time period in which a copyright is active can be long it is reassuring knowing that once the copyright runs out it goes into the public domain and it can never be taken out of the domain once it has entered.


I was required to write an argument paper for an English course which required me to research and use statistics from articles.  When it came to using the statistics from the articles I had to be sure that I used quotations when needed and cited the source correctly at the end of the paper.

A more recent example is from this class where I was introduced to creative commons.  I recently used Flickr to find photos that had creative commons licenses to use in my blog.  Once I found the photo I just had to be sure to give credit to the publisher/photographer.


“Creative Commons.” If I read another bad paper, I’ll scream. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2012. <>.

Faden, Eric. “A Fair(y) Use Tale.” YouTube. Web. 06 Sept. 2012

Ede, Sharon. “Shareable: Public Domain is the Rule, Copyright the Exception.” Shareable: Sharing by design. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2012. <>.

“Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication | Center for Social Media.” Center for Social Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2012. <>.

Digital World

The basic goal of the article is to discuss the importance of media literacy and the participation of the youth in the participatory culture.  Many people believe that schools are not placing a high enough importance of the participatory culture and that the youth are learning valuable skills in video games, books, and other place completely unrelated to school.  The youth are participating in the contemporary culture through affiliations, expressions, collaborative problem-solving, and circulations.  The stories Richardson, Lawver, Ross, and Meeter show that these skills learned from the sources outside of school are teaching them life skills that will be highly valued in the workplace and will help them succeed throughout life.


Key Terms:

Affiliations – informal or formal memberships in an online community which is centered around various forms of media such as Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, or online forums.

Expressions – when the member participates and produces new creative forms such as, but not limited to, fan video making, digital sampling, and mash-ups

Collaborative Problem-Solving – when people work together in teams to complete a task and work to develop new knowledge

Circulations – consists of podcasts or blogs and shapes the flow of media

Media Creator – someone who creates a blog or webpage and posts original artwork, photos, videos, or stories online

Recycled aluminum can tops which have been modified to resemble a “person.”  The person who created this piece is a media creator because they created the piece and then uploaded the photo online for others to view.




Participatory Culture
– open and supports to all types of artistic expressions, offers advice to people who post for critiques, where all contributions will be seen, and a place where members feel a connection to others


Connections to the Course:

As mentioned in the article learning and developing skills that deal with the participatory culture is important.  This course is taking a step forward compared to many of the other courses offered.  In this course students will be able to use different forms of media, such as blogging, in order to communicate and share ideas with the professor and other students.  This course will also help the student grow as a media creator because all of the work that is submitted follows “loosely” formed guidelines which allow the student to get in touch with their creative side.

Other related materials:

After reading the article I did a search in Google which produced a video made by a student for another course but related to the topic.  The Youtube video shows how participating in online games, such as The Sims, can help a person develop life skills.


Works citied:

Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.