Studio Tours

Here’s my attempt at the studio tours, you guys are doing a great job, can’t wait to see presentations of everyone’s projects later in the year. (On¬†a side note I have a horrible cold but will fight through it to get this assignment done.)

1.) Jake Ford

First up is Jake Ford and his Hockey Blog.

Something I noticed right away, the links off of the proposal didn’t work. But I found the blog by finding a past weekly summary and those links worked.

I noticed that the word “hockey’ wasn’t a tag, I think that would be a very appropriate tag to use. ūüėČ

Then I realized I know nothing about hockey so I looked under the About page.

I liked what I read. It gave me a sense of his experience and authority over hockey and sports in general. He has lots of experience in this area and I found that highly reassuring¬†to my extremely limited¬†knowledge revolving around¬†middle school¬†girls hockey where I attended games/practises of my¬†best friend but that was…oh jeez…9 years ago?¬†(Which is kind of funny¬†because growing up in northern MN you’d¬†think I’d have some instinctual fondness¬†for hockey so I apologize for my personal¬†limitations here)

For widgets he utilizes recent posts, tweets, archives, categories, and tags in that order.

This is helpful because a dedicated follower will want to see the most recent posts first to catch up on anything they miss.

I really like that he uses tweets, that is something I haven’t done yet¬†but think would be beneficial¬†in helping¬†generate traffic.

Looking at his archives he has a total of three posts from March and five from April.

He breaks down his posts into either college or nhl hockey.

Then back to what I noticed first, the tag cloud.

We start off at the beginning with three predication posts on the ncaa tournament. These posts he does a great job linking to the teams and to individual players. He mixes in team history and analyzes wins vs losses to make predictions. I appreciate his unbiased approach giving his opinion but based off of facts. He uses images of real players and rinks to accompany his posts, along with grids to highlight information.

2.) Jordon Malm

Next is Jordon and Study Tool Wiki.

Jordon¬†finds effectiveness partially in his classmates responses to the idea of using Wiki’s and most seem receptive. His progress is mostly content related. Classmates like the idea of having an online study guide. Making sure there aren’t any dead ends in the Wiki.

On the left hand side of his Wiki he has his welcome center with an about, contact, home, links, and syllabus tabs. Each is helpful for a newcomer to learn more about the site, but also important information is easily to find such as the syllabus right away.

Then he has an assignments tab, I didn’t understand any of those but would make sense to anyone else in his class. Then he has notes, and lastly terminology. The terminology was most interesting for me to read through, I like how they link back to each other such as “abstract class” also links to class, and abstract method.

Everything seems to have it’s purpose¬†for the site. I like the use of wiki’s as a study tool idea, I think it would be more effective if there were more contributes¬†to it as most wiki’s utilize, but for a one-man show this has depth and usefulness in it’s subject matter and looks professional.

I wonder if there’s a way to use images on wiki? Even if so what ones could be useful for this project?

3.) Devan Bierbrauer

And finally it’s¬†Devan with a Runescape Adventure Blog.

I’ve never heard of Runescape before this but would like to try it out. Devan has an easy to read writing style, she explains things in a way that I can understand but also entertaining enough to keep me wanting more. The very first post was most helpful when starting out, I highly suggest adding a link to it from your “About Page” since that is where I looked first to find out what the blog is about then figured it must be in the first post so a link at the about page would be nice a shortcut for new comers.

Devan uses images throughout her posts to illustrate them but also screen shots so as she is explaining an aspect about the game a follower can easily understand what she’s talking about. She also uses links throughout her posts that utilize helpful information as well.

I like how she explains her Runescape lingo and abbreviations for what they stand for. She takes us through the game without restating what the tutorial says but by giving basic plot points and discussing aspects of the game.

On the side of the blog she has her recent posts, then recent comments, then archives, then categories. It was easy to navigate the archives to find the order of the posts and to read through them and learn about the game.

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The 4 Roundup Links

Jordon Malms post on the future of blogging first sumarizes the last chapter in the book and Brun’s take on the future of blogging. I like how Malms linked to outside resources and at the end notes the dates on the blog posts he finds. That is also something I noticed during my research on the topic, half the posts I read were dated several years ago. Good point to bring attention to.

This post by Jake Ford focused on different paths blogs could go in the future. With work in live chat, live blogging, notebook blogs, and social media, it could transform into something new and better to use. He lays out the the gaps that other medias falter in and how blogs could pick up thelasso slack.

This post by Joe S. was able to connect the past with the present to make guesses at where blogging could go in the future. Lots of links to outside resources shows the amount of research put into this post. I like how Joe connects the future of blogs with technology and it depends on where technology goes to see how it shapes the uses of blogs. Along with humorous gifs that keep the reader reading.

Devan’s post¬†does a good job at using images to create a timeline. She uses the humorous pictures to grab attention but also shows the amount of research she put into the topic by looking closely at the content. It is a creative use of blogging, connects what you can do with paper for purposes online.

Future for Weblogs

After researching the topic, I have come to several ideas of where weblogs will be going in the future. I think that three possible choices could happen and they are as follows:

  1. Disappear all together
  2. Evolve and grow into something new
  3. Continue popularity for creative/professional works

Diminishing Effect

The first possibility is an obvious one, but it is also one that I don’t find likely to happen. But since it is possible I will look at it from that angle. There are faults in weblogs and the most common one we find is that not all can be deemed creditable. There is always going to be that one crazy person who rants and raves their opinions, with no sources, that makes other bloggers look bad. If weblogs gain a negative reputation and are discredited in social medias the popularity of weblogs could dwindle and die out over time. The health of weblogs depend on professionals pushing their research in a scholarly manner. Weblogs need those people to continue their projects, as soon as we lose those professionals the weblog world looses is strengths and eventually could die out.

Although research shows on this article here¬†that the most fastest growing companies aren’t using blogs as much anymore compared to other social medias, doesn’t mean blogs are being used in other areas for creative and other professional uses. Maybe blogs just aren’t cut out for commercial uses as much as personal?

Transformation

Another possibility is that the weblog world evolves into something entirely new. As new genres emerge weblogs will need to transform into budssupporting the new genres. Such as if video blogs become more popular there will need to be more formats that center around the creative uses that videos may need. If main stream media popularize weblogs and supports them, more people will get into the weblog world and as more people join the more creative ideas and experiments become available. The wider the audience the possibilities explode exponentially and the success of blogs will transform to meet the users needs.

Other social medias lack in ways that blogs can flourish in a lengthy article can be found here on them. This shows how twitter can’t provide any in-depth analysis, Facebook locks in data so a users, for an example, pictures will be lost if signed out…Weblogs allow for a more friendly use of materials and data and complete conversation.

Expanding

The final possibility is that I think it will continue being a place to popularize creative and professional works. Weblogs are a good place for sandwriteraspiring authors to gain a reputation and audience as the begin their careers. They are allowed immediate feedback and can work on ideas in creative and experimental ways to discover what works or not for them. It is also a great place for the skilled professionals to congregate. Professionals in certain fields around the world can read each others posts and research and provide feedback that may lead to entirely new discoveries. These creative and professional topics placed in blogs can gain a wider audience that never was reachable before and will grow as the future leads on.

Other Views

Weblogs is a¬†place where opinions can be shared in news media that in the past were overlooked as we read in the text but also shown in this article as well. On that article I found this one on Dave Winer who writerwomanhas been dubbed the father of blogging and a complete list on things he would like to see in the future can be found here. What I found interesting is that if you are paying for a website to host your blog, and if you pass on…well…all the data is erased forever. Finances run it, advertising has its influences, those are aspects we can’t ignore in the future of blogging. Also according to a survey found on this article¬†shows that the youth aren’t as interested in blogging as in the past and also gives reasons for this decline. If we want a strong blogosphere we might have to push the benefits of blogs to our educators.

Last Chapter

What’s next for blogging?

Blogging can stretch from personal expression to commercial and political uses. The uses are so widespread it’s impossible to make any general claims much like books as Bruns points out. The only way to predict the future is by looking at the historical uses of blogs, the present uses, and then possible guesses can only be made.

pencilThe main attraction to weblogs is for self-publishing purposes without an editor or other gatekeeper in the way to hinder the process. This seems to be the key element into projecting an idea for the future uses. Another key feature blogs use that are unique is the ability to link to other sources, immediate feedback through comments, and user led production.  Anyone is able to use blogs as a place for experimentation so the options are endless in which direction they may end up going in the future.

Another aspect to keep in mind is the fact that as new blogging genres emerge, blogs will transform in order to incorporate aspects the new genres may need. Such as there isn’t much for video or photography blogs, but as they gain an audiance there may be new gallery or voice options easy to incorporate into posts on those genre specific blogs. That is why as Bruns points out, that the evolution of blogs highly depends on emerging genres rather than on technologies.

It directly depends on the people who blog now, and also how main stream media projects blogs for the popular culture. There is a need for individual bloggers to make themselves heard and show their value found in the posts.

Fiction Blogs

Notes:

Fiction Blogs

I have not read any fictional blogs before, actually, didn’t even know they existed until reading this chapter in our text. For a basic definition, a fictional blog is one that is of any narrative form written and publishedpapersedit.jpg¬†through a blog. This genre of writing has become popular mostly among adolescents or emerging writers. It’s a place to be encouraged and appreciated while finding your voice, experimenting¬†with different styles, define skills, and most importantly get immediate feedback from an audience.

A Writer’s Perspective

I can see how this would be a good way to develop yourself as a writer, this is something that I might look more into this summer once I graduate in May. Examples of something I would like to base myself off of is how authors will publish a chapter or part of story on a regular basis. This would be a great way to keep yourself accountable by making yourself write every day. A blog is an easy form of publication and can get a writer started on an idea for a novel by having instant feedback and critiques, hopefully from those that know a thing or two about writing, a story can be fine tuned and polished ready for a submission to a publishing house.

lectureedit.jpgAn Active audience

Also, they dynamic of writing online changes. Instead of writing with an audience¬†in mind, you can write directly to an audience¬†and they will respond to it. I can see how this would be hard, in a way, to turn off an ‘editorial’ voice–meaning that by writing directly to an audience you will shape your writing to fit that niche’. Instead of writing what you really want to write in fears that it might be too raw or experimental you might crush budding ideas that just need more work before an audience judges its value. Which is all something we learn in our workshop classes.

Creative Uses

I like the example given in the book of how one person with their creative fictional blog, actually has fictional characters leave comments to help shape the story on another narrative level. As well as using links, images, video…to further the playful storyline. Fan Fiction is such a strange idea to me, but I can see how it would be popular. One point I liked was how they bloggers are incorporating themselves into the fictional worlds that other authors originally made up. They are active responders to a fictional world of their own version.

Blogs in schools

typeingeditEarlier this week I read and researched on scholarly blogs and one question emerged that I wanted to go into more detail. If blogs are scholarly how come they aren’t used in institutions, such as college, more regularly?¬†Before this class I didn’t know a thing about blogs. Here is a Prezi about my vision of a way to incorporate the uses of blogs to help further higher education¬†education. In short, I think that by incorporating a blog format along with D2L alot of the flaws presented could be fixed.

Scholarly blogs are about externalizing thoughts to further ideas through collaboration and commentary. By reading each other’s¬†work, seeing the different sides debated academically, we gain knowledge in discussions that we might not have encountered before without the access that blogs allow us to have.¬†As we enter into a tech savy age we need to use the advantages to stay¬†on top of the game.

This is interesting to view from a teachers perspective. A student is only as good as the teacher, in order for us to be prepared in a competitive world we need to be introduced to emerging technologies. Every situation is different, but I’ve sat in too many classes where the students usually help the teacher set up a video or powerpoint because they are not used to the electronical devices up front even if it’s just a DVD. In the previous link, the writer suggests that students will surpass their teachers in technology since they will have more hands on experience but it also states that it is the teachers responsibility to as well to stay on top of these things as well. A good example is the use of Spark Notes, too many kids jump to that sight instead of reading material themselves, and I’ve been guilty of that before too. In order to have a strong group of students we need emphasis on, for example, the uses of blogs in education instead of being bored to death by the bulletin board that no one really goes on anyways.

After thinking about this information for a while I was curious to see what new technology was being used in our local schools and I was able to interview a 7th grade girl who goes to Bemidji Middle School on this topic.

Q: Do you use any digital textbooks for any of your classes? Do you like using them? Or would you prefer just to have a real book in front of you?

A: Yes, we have our math books all online now so we just usually¬†leave the textbooks at the school. It’s nice to have them online because on the bus ride home if I want I can take out my ipod and do my math homework. It depends for the class I guess.

This sounds like a good way to save on time and money. By keeping the textbooks at the school alot of wear and tear will be saved, less damage preserves the books longer saving the school resources.

Q: Would you like it if you could keep your phones out so you can research topics on hand when ever you want?

A: Yes, but I can see alot of students abusing that, but it would be nice to be able to use them out for Language Arts classes instead of having to use the schools crappy laptops.

I remember those laptops, slow, missing keys, battery has a fifty percent chance of being charged long enough to last all class, conection issues, needs an uprade.

Q: Are there any other times students are allowed to use their phones for school?

A: Some pods allow students to have their phones out on their desks for calculators for math classes.

(Pods: Each grade has three pod. A pod has four classrooms with a science, english, math, and history teacher.)

Q: Have you ever heard of blogs before being used in any of your classes?

A: No.

I wonder if webllogs could be incorporated into the classroom and if so, how it would look. Maybe as part of an elective class…

Q: Anything else about new technologies in the classroom you would like to add?

A: For science the teacher is really good at using the smart board and powerpoints that keep things interesting where as when they just scribble things on the board in like language arts it’s harder to read and¬†pay attention

Research on Scholarly Bloggin’

As Halavaris¬†pointed out before the themes of scholarly blogs, others agree with this benefits that blogs provide as well as provide further insights. Blogs are a¬†place to aggregate ideas as Martin Weller shows on his blog¬†where it has become the heart of his academic life.¬† It was also interesting to read the comments that went along with this post, some were encouraging while a few were negative towards the ideas presented. The comments provided further details into other virtues of blogging that Weller didn’t cover and some drawbacks such as it beingconnectinh an unpublished work that has grammar problems. In that case my posts are bad when it comes to grammar, anything I write is bad in grammar. But I believe in the artistic value where it is the ideas that matter and not the grammatical correctness. Or if its true that blogs are scholarly how do we get our institutions to recognize their worth? Why havent they yet if blogs have been around for over ten years?

At Dr. Mathew Ashton’s blog¬†he came up with a list of five reasons that blogging has its benfits¬†in academics. I particularly liked reason number 2, that is encourages writing and research. As an aspiring¬†writer I agree. Since I’ve started blogging I have been kept on a more regular writing basis. Writers are supposed to write, and this has given me a reason to keep plugging away. I also like the idea that it is a way to gather material for later uses as Dr. Ashton provided an example of rereading through his blog to come up with a new lecture on short notice. Blogging as spiked new ideas for myself and my doing our Sunday weekly review, we are able to look back and connect the dots as we see them across our posts.