My Passion

December 15, 2006

Here is one of my many dance performances with one of Quinnipiac’s Dance Team.  Since entering Quinnipiac University, I have been a member of the University’s Dance Mode, and have been a captain/choreographer for the past 3 years.  Although I’ve graduated, I continue to manage and oversee the team.  As stated in one of my earlier blogs, dancing and doing choreography is my passion.  I am working on running a dance studio in the near future.  Hope you all enjoy our performance. 

Happy Holiday, Until next time…..Blessings!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hv5BC9d5cQ

Ethics and the media

November 14, 2006

     This review talked a great deal about ethics and journalism online. After reading this work I began to think about many of the unethical behaviors that have been occurring in the media over the past few years.  More and more very few journalist sticks to or follows ethical behavior when reporting.  According to the review “On the Wild, Wooly Internet, Old Ethic Rules Do Apply” by Mark Glaser, he refers to his panel when he states, “Our panel agrees that online or offline, all media should pay attention to ethics and standards of accuracy in a time of media concentration and sensationalism.”

            Online journalism takes journalism to a whole other level.  There is such power behind online journalism because work can reach such large audiences without considering its ethical or unethical content.  Glaser goes on to state, “But the ability of one person to publish their thoughts to a global audience remains a unique online activity, difficult or impossible in broadcasting and print.  There are many things journalist can get away with when reporting online.

            The First Amendment is very important when concerning any type of journalism.  Freedom of expression is our God given right, but some journalist tend to take this right too far.   For many years the media has be bashed for their thoughts and behaviors.  Even though the First Amendment grants freedom of speech and expression, the media is often silenced when it comes to the freedom of expression.  Online journalism is a way they get around being silenced.  When people in the mass media make decisions, they have to use their moral judgment.  Sad to say, in many of the high profile cases we tend to see journalist letting the fame and controversy get the best of their moral judgment.  This article did a great job in tying in the internet and the ethical behaviors of journalist online.

Endless possibilities with the Internet

November 6, 2006

      Edward Felten, from the University of Princeton gave a very interesting lecture about the internet and how it affects society.  The lecture was discussed “How the internet, affected the use of media, legal and political struggle?”  I focused in on the ease of accessing music on the internet.  The chapter talked Sean Manning who “created a client program and internet service.”  Manning was the creator of napster.com according to Felten.  He went into further details as he discussed the ease of accessing and downloading music for free.  What he found immoral about Manning’s site was not the fact that he allowed people to download artist music for free, but he did not have a place where people could pay for the music even if they wanted to.  The music industry was not happy about this, as I am sure none of us would be if we were artists as well.  This bought about a whole legal issue, where artists were trying to stop their music from illegally being obtained. 

            I found this section of the lecture to be very interesting because downloading music on the internet has become something so popular and widely accepted.  Society is in fact stealing from these artists.  I, myself, personally do not download music simply because it is illegal and I do not have the time to search for, download and burn cd’s, it’s time consuming in my opinion.  Today anything is accessible with the click of a button.  The internet provides ways to access music, news, clothes, homes, cars, jobs, pets, spouses, and so much more.   The internet is very helpful, but it can also be a hindrance on one’s life depending on how it is used. 

            After listening to the lecture on how the internet affects the music industry, I then read the work “Warship out the Altar of Convergence” by H. Jenkins.  This article proved how any material placed on the internet is no long safe or private.   The “Bert is Evil” section was very interesting.  Dino Ignacio created mayhem without even knowing.  Although his collage was created out of fun, he should have been careful when placing this material on the internet.  People fail to realize that once content hits the internet, it is no longer private.  Representatives from the Children’s Television Workshop were outraged by the content, which is totally understandable.  This type of content and negative publicity has a negative affect on their network.  My one question is who they would take legal actions against in a case like this one?  Would it be Ignacio for creating it, terrorist supporters who displayed it or CNN for airing it?  This is one of the major problems that the internet serves.  Information is transferred so quickly and displayed at anyone’s whim that it is hard to establish who would actually be at fault. 

            Media content becomes very controversial as it travels around the globe.  The article goes on to state, “The circulation of media content across different media systems, competing media economics, and national borders- depends heavily on consumers’ active participation” (3).  The author argues that “Convergence should be understood primarily as a technological process bringing together multiple media functions within the same devices” (3).   He goes on to say, “Convergence represents a cultural shift as consumers are encouraged to seek out new information and make connections among dispersed media content” (3).  When discussing the internet, it has an affect on everything in life.  The internet is a technology that will forever have an impact on the media, legal actions, and politics.  If we want to take a look at how the internet has an affect on politics, sign online and take a look at all of the top headlines on any search engine or news site.

The best of both worlds

October 31, 2006

   I want the best of both worlds, as I am sure everyone else does as well.  Being new to the working world, I am becoming more and more confused each day.  Just finishing up my undergraduate years, and currently working on my graduate degree, I am finding that I am becoming more drawn in to my passion, which is dancing.  I have been dancing for many many years.  For the past five years, I have been a choreographer and I love it.  I want to open a dance studio at home in the Bronx, but I know it will take up all my time but I love doing what I do. I also enjoy web design, but it does not give me nearly as much pleasure as dancing.  I kind of fell into being an E-media major, but got to like it, and even grew to love it as the years passed.  At this point, I am not certain what my future holds. I want the best of both worlds, but can I achieve it?  I think so, rather I know so…stay tuned for more, until next time….Blessings! 

Information Architects

October 31, 2006

     There are many different factors that contribute to web design.  There are coders and designers who deal more with the look and layout of a site, and then there is information architects who deal with navigation of the site.  Both play vital role in a websites development.  The article “Information Architecture” by Allan Hoffman goes into details about the importance of information architects or IA’s as they are otherwise known.  According to the article, “The Information Architecture Institute, a professional organization formerly known as The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture, defines teh field as “the structural design of shared information environments.”  It goes to talk about the duties of Information Architects when it states they “often work closely with software and web teams but typically focus on navigation schemes and usability rather than pure design or hard-core coding.”

       I found this article to be very interesting, because when analyzing a webpage, I never really thought about who was behind the creation of websites until I started coding sites myself.  Coders, programmers, architects, and designers all play a major role in building a site.  IAs have a very important job as well because they have to make sure all the content within the pages flows and is properly linked.  Sites have to be user-friendly and easy to navigate.  All sites would be purposely if users could not navigate no matter how pretty the layout or how important the information is.  Navigation and usability is key when dealing with web design. 

     As I began to code sites, I soon came to realize how important all the other departments contributions to the development of a site was.  From this article, it seems as though IA’s have never really been considered when it came to the field, but are now emerging and becoming more known.  I find this to be a great thing because each field gets to learn and feed off of one another.  In more ways then one, all of the fields are related and work hand-in hand with one another.  There are many different factors that contribute to web design, and as seen in this article there will be many more that emerge.

Ikea

October 23, 2006

This weekend I went shopping at Ikea for the first time in about 6 months.  Upon arriving there I realized why I have not been there in so long.  As I shopped around and filled up my cart with all of my items, I then proceeded to the higher levels.  I shortly found out that I could not take my cart up to the showroom which was completely fine, I just wish I was informed about that before I filled my cart to the top. I left my cart behind a register as I was instructed and would come back for it before checkout. After reaching the showroom I could not find the table I was looking for and found myself walking forever following the signs on the floor trying to get to the candle and picture frame section of the room.  I finally had what I had came there for and much much more, only to find out that I had to follow the arrows on the same path back down the hall, to the left, the right, the left again and down the broken escalator.  There is like one way in and one way out to each floor.  After reaching the main floor, I went to retrieve my cart that was still sitting there with only one of my hundreds of items.  I then turned around and proceeded to the cash registers with my candles and picture frames only to find three registers out of about ten open and the lines were forever!

After doing this weeks reading about the importance of “user-centered” design and user-friendly layout, I wish the designers at Ikea would have also done this reading.  Just here sharing my weekend frustrations…until next time, Blessings!

User-centered design

October 23, 2006

The book “Don’t Make Me Think,” by Steve Krug goes into details about the importance of usability of a website. The title of the book answers the many questions people have when trying to figure out the best way to set up a website. When viewers visit a website the purpose and content of the site should be clear from the start. Krug feels a web page should be “self-evident. Obvious. Self-Explanatory” (1). Krug considers the title of his work to be the first law of usability (1). Usability of all websites is very important. Web pages in one way or another is set up to educate viewers while getting out its company’s message. Viewers should in no way be confused by the content, Krug feels a designers “job is to get rid of the question marks” (3). While searching through sites viewers should only stop at things that are important, not things that make them think harder about the sites purpose or worse off things that confuse them.

I find Krug’s work to be very beneficial for readers and most importantly web designers. He lays everything out for his readers. He work is short, simple and to the point. What make his work better are the images that he gives to help assist his thoughts. Working at a marketing firm, designing website, I find a lot of Krug’s views to be very helpful. I had to figure out the layout of pages making sure it properly represented the site. Every site must have a target audience and an obvious function. Clients would tell us their intentions for the site and the many different departments helped build out the client’s vision. Consistency and accuracy is very important when concerning usability. Everything within a site should flow and serve a purpose, they must also be user-friendly.

The reading on the case study “Usability Testing of an Academic Library Web Site” by Brenda Battleson, Austin Booth, and Jane Weintrop gave me an outlook on something I had never thought about before. I found this reading to be very interesting when they talk about the tons of information on academic library site. The work states, “Although intended to ease the process of information access, the staggering amount of information available via these sites can produce a kind of “information overload” that can bewilder, confuse, and even discourage users” (1). There are certain things we take for granted. The way in which these academic sites are set up is critical. The work goes on to state there is a “fundamental need for usability in library websites and usability testing…” (1). Everything has to be in the right place, properly linked while being accurate and clear for its viewers.

The relationship between Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is very important as well. The work talks about how sites should provide task support which enables users to achieve their goals or the company’s goals or needs while on the site. It should first and foremost be usable or user-friendly as I stated earlier which users can work “easily, efficiently and with few errors” (1). And lastly, user-centered design should have some type of clear interface design. Everything should be clear, concise and to the point making it easy for viewers to navigate through with full understanding of the site.

Wikipedia

October 18, 2006

I hardly ever use wikipedia, although it is the first thing to pop-up when I use the search engine, but after searching through the site I was a bit amazed.  I seem to have a greater interest then I intially thought I would have.  I am somewhat puzzled about the hundreds of “edit” buttons throughout the site.  If anyone could go in and edit the existing information, then what purpose does the site really serve?  Just a little curious, does anyone who uses the site on a daily basis have an answer?

October 16, 2006

            Technology has yet again prove its capabilities and advancements in society when dealing with online education and learning.  A few years ago, the only way to take a course was to sit in a classroom as the day’s lesson was being conducted by a professor or teacher.  Today, all of this has changed.  You can take a course, and not even know what your professor sounds like, let alone look like.  Starr Roxanne Hiltz and Murray Turoff talk about the digitalization of education in their work “Education Goes Digital: The Evolution of Online Learning and the Revolution in Higher Education.”  The article states, “Online learning is the latest in a long list of social technologies that have been introduced to improve distance learning by adding various augmentations, substitutions, or blending of new pedagogical approaches and technologies” (1).  Online education is quickly adapting to many higher learning institutes around the world.  About a year or so ago, I thought online education was the worse form of education ever.  I could not understand how or why students were expected to advance in courses without the physical presence of a professor.  After taking an online course my last year as an undergraduate, I soon was proven otherwise.  Online education gives students a sense of independence and more importantly, responsibility. 

            The article goes on to state, “Online learning is a new social process that is beginning to act as a complete substitute for both distance learning and the traditional face-to-face class” (2).  I found this statement to be very interesting because distance learning is or has become a more common form of learning.  There are more and more sections and courses being offered online and there are more and more students becoming enrolled in these courses.  Technology is making a huge change in every aspect of life.  A few years ago, online learning would have been like a foreign language to many, but today is so widely accepted.  My one worry with online education is the future of “face-to face education” as Hiltz and Turoff call it.  There is and will forever be changes in life and society has to learn how to cope with and adapt to those changes.  We either have the choice of adapting to changes or getting left behind because time and advancements waits for no one.  These authors quote Charles Darwin when he says, “Its not the strongest of species that survives, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” (Origin of Species, 1859).  This quote can be directly applied to technology and the many affects it has on society because we have to adapt in order to survive.

 

            When concerning technologies advancements for entertainment purposes Eeva Kangas and Timo Kinnunen’s article “Applying User-Centered Design to Mobile Application Development” served as a great example.  Today we use our cell phones and mobile devices for just about anything.  Technology has made checking your email, instant messaging, and sending images quite effortless.  We can take picture and send them to others within minutes.  Technology has also allowed us to communicate with others without actually having to converse.  We also have the ability to send messages to many people at one time.  What is more important is the design of this technology that allows us to have such a luxury.  The article talks about the design process as they try to eliminate all errors and flaws.  The article states, “The most important aspect of the design process is to provide the user with the real usage context.”  It goes on to state, “For mobile phones this means users need to be able to touch the buttons and see software that feels like it is actually working” (Kangas/Kinnunen 3).  No matter what the technological advancements are society will forever in one way or another advance from these changes, but we must first adapt to before we can ultimately learn and improve.

The world and blogging

October 10, 2006

Communication has forever been known to man and it continues to grow and affect the world and how we relate to one another.  Blogging is the one form of communication that has emerged with such great force. “Introduction: Of Bloggers and Blacksmiths” written by R. Scoble and S. Israel states, “Mostly, it’s about blogging, the most powerful tool so far in this revolution” (Scoble/Israel 1).  There have been many other forms of technological communications such as the emails, instant messaging, text messaging and so forth, but none can compare.  Blogging has taken off so quickly because of its capabilities to reach large audiences in such a short period of time.  The key word is “audience.”  It is the audience who makes blogs what they are.  Yes, the writers are very important, but the audience are the ones who keep the communication flowing.  C. Anderson’s article “The Long Tail,” does a great deal of emphasis on how important audiences are.  The article states, “The first is the need to find local audiences” (Anderson 1). 

    How a message reaches the audience is very important.  Blogs, unlike the other forms of communications, messages and information are delivered to a large group of people in a short period of time.  Scoble and Israel’s article refers to blogging when it states, “It’s the first technology to enable a simple conversation to go instantly global” (5). Blogs enable people to state their opinions freely, allowing others to immediately respond and express their views on a particular topic.  I found the C. Thompson’s article “Blogs to Riches,” to be very interesting.  The revenue that is taken in by bloggers is amazing.  Bloggers can attract viewers by simply having an interesting title.  When it talks about A-lister’s and the simplest things that happen in their lives, the number of viewers dramatically increases.  Again, I would relate this back to the audience.  There is a particular type of person who enjoys blogging.  I believe all bloggers share a common interest, which I am not quite sure of as of yet.  People are always searching for the latest information or gossip, and blogs are the perfect way to inform the world.  Blogs can be educational and entertaining.  The article states, “By all appearances, the blog boom is the most democratized revolution in media ever.”  I find nothing wrong with people expressing their opinions, but I do find people stating their views as accurate facts a problem.  I am also worried about those who look for all of society’s answer on the web, meaning blogs. 

     The immediate emergence of blogs has blown me away.  I experienced blogging in this course and I would have to say that I am not as interested in it as others are. On the other hand, I am not sure why I took to other forms of communications so quickly.  Blogs tend to remind me of newspapers and books, where people tend to express too much information and thoughts at one time.  I find long blogs to be annoying because the internet is there to have information readily available.  When you have to scroll too long to read it becomes a turn off.  You have to know what you are saying and know how to relate that message to audiences in a proper amount of time.  Bloggers are making millions off of expressing their thoughts, which can only be viewed as a smart thing.  Blogs are beneficial because you do not have to pay for air time in order to make the world aware of your views.  Not only is it inexpensive to set up blogs, but then you’re still making a profit from advertisements in blogs.  Again the educational aspect comes back into play when relating to blogs.  The world is communicating and educating one another through blogs, and this system is constantly growing day by day whether one likes it or not.