February 2010 Archives

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The visual has taken off since the introduction of digital writing, mainly because of the convenience and added interest given to whatever it is being written about. There are many sites and genres that consist nearly completely of images, using words as no more than a compliment or definition of what it is being seen on the screen. It is easier to appeal to a larger audience through images as well, since there is no language barrier and usually little cultural barrier. As with any other image, they also have the ability to pull emotion and attention very quickly. Seeing a beautiful mountain in an article could bring back a pleasant (or any other type) memory and cause you to read into the article a bit.
Hence the direction of this small brainstorming is that many (read: extremely noticeable but unquantifiable) images are simply advertisements, whether as a hyperlink for another site as a typical advertisement or one to draw attention to the site already being displayed, as I have mentioned above. We have already seen the possibilities for profit through advertisement on the internet with companies like Google and Yahoo. Sites such as ESPN, Facebook, and nearly any other you can think of use some form of advertisement in their designs because of the nature of images. We have also seen the creation of GIF (moving images) and, recently, the full adoption of video as a form of advertisement. Video occurred long before the internet but it is only recently we really have enough people with broadband access to make it convenient and plausible. Youtube is far from old and is sure to spawn even more media-centric sites as we move forward.



Sitting in class with my good friend Nick last semester I was texting another friend of ours. We were trying to plan an event for our fraternity and I decided texting wasn't nearly powerful enough to say what I wanted. I quickly snagged the Macbook and began facebook messaging him. He turned to me and commented, "It's so cool that you can do that." I quizzically replied, "What?" I had changed from one means of digital writing to another so seamlessly and subconsciously that not even I realized that I had completely changed my method of input. The reason why is that the most important aspect of the conversation has remained: the audience. The other person was able to switch just as seamlessly and because of it we were able to more efficiently use our time. This is the move to technology Sherry Turkle speaks of in her article "Can You Hear Me Now?" We are moving to the point of unified digital communication through our mobile devices that is adding to the creation of our global network. Its fairly obvious if you're willing to pay attention, as I suggest you may. The most unified client I have yet to come across is an email based application named Google Wave I recommend applying for notification of a public release as it is only in testing right now.


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While reading through Writing Space by Jay David Bolter its hard not to notice how many of his observations are more or less simple ideas and observations. He goes through the great time and effort to organize them, but much of what he says can be seen very easily and accurately today. Due to the copyright of the book its also very possible that many things we are reading weren't as true then as they are now, giving him credit for his insight. The progression of text and really just the visual representation of words in general have changed at an incredibly slow pace (by today's standards).
I couldn't help but keep bringing to mind the recently introduced iPad and the excellent presentations given by Will Wright and Cory Hertog on the Barnes and Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle, respectively. They are again a new representation of text that offer something previous iterations have not. There is the ability to hold an incredibly large amount of books within the single device. The iPad really takes it the step further by having full color screen and video, something not really seen in a tablet style device. We see this on our computers when reading all the time but to take even the most traditional works of literature and digitize them for mass distribution is an idea yet to completely catch on. Daily news articles and blogs are perfectly fine to read online but a novel requires more emotion from the reader, something that people may think will be lost on an lcd. The book loses its tangible value creating an issue for the reader. It will be much time before we are a society that wholly prefers digital content over books.
Digital technology has the obvious advantages though, hyperlinking being one of the greatest. The ability to instantly reference and be able to read the reference is a huge advantage when trying to understand content. It has taken the idea of a bibliography and completely re-envisioned it for the benefit of the reader. Hyperlink also provides the option of extra content, a "back of the book" type link that isn't truly necessary but is useful for the more curious reader. I see every form of text to take advantage of digitization with the exception of the novel (although I'm sure we could find some others). It is a form of writing that relies more heavily on nostalgia and could benefit less from digitization in terms of content. The advantage comes in being able to hold an incredible amount of books at once, something many don't have a real need for yet.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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