Archive for January, 2013

Blogging on Blogging

Posted: January 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

I have never been one to post every detail of my life in a blog or even on Twitter. To me, blogging should have a purpose and something worthy to share with readers. The whole point of writing, other than for the writer’s own joy and entertainment, is to inspire others as well as entertain. Writing creates discussions, which can lead to major discoveries about life, writing, society, or connections.

The first blog I created was a few years ago on Blogger. The purpose was to pour my heart out through writing and art. I was hoping to receive feedback, a writer’s mini Christmas, and maybe inspire others. Maybe these inspirations would lead to revelations. After a while, I ended up only posting one piece of writing that I composed during my free time. The rest were projects and papers I had written for classes. I have not posted to that blog for some time and have considered extracting my writing and placing it elsewhere and deleting the blog entirely.

The next “blog” I utilized was my online portfolio on WordPress. This was beneficial for me on my current journey to employment in the “real world.” I enjoyed WordPress more as it created a more professional design and presented my work the way I intended.

For my Foundations of New Media class, I used WordPress again. I am pleased with the overall design and enjoy using the Blogroll to read my peers’ posts. Reading about blogging in the text for this class made me realize that blogging is just another, more convenient way of writing news, narratives, poetry, or merely thoughts meant to inspire and entertain. Blogging has made it easy to receive feedback in a timely manner, as well as editing posts with ease. That’s about all I have on blogging for today! Tune in later for even more thoughts!

freelanceblogger-meme

Facebook Feelings

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

Facebook has been graced by my presence since November of 2006. As I mentioned before, it seems that I scroll through the lives of my “friends” every day at least once. The “news feed” provides me with the much anticipated news of politics, film, television, music, and actors. It also keeps me updated on what my friends and relatives are up to.  As much as I hate to admit it, for the most part, Facebook is like my gossip fix for the day (not that I go spreading gossip around or anything. That wasn’t sarcastic, I actually don’t!)

Besides staying in contact with friends and family, I use Facebook for other purposes such as school. Some of my professors create groups on Facebook for class related purposes. That way, a professor can remind students about assignments, students can ask their professor or their peers questions, post links for others to view and discuss, and I have even asked if one of my peers would be willing to take notes for me while I was absent from class.

I generally try to keep my Facebook profile clean enough for my family and future employers to view. Photos, language, and posts are all carefully monitored and kept clean by me. I believe that Facebook is an expression of one’s self and should remain so, but this concept has its limits. I would not want something as minor as my Facebook profile to prevent me from achieving a job. On the other hand, the controversy of employers asking for potential employees’ Facebook passwords, I believe, is a complete invasion of privacy. It’s not that I have anything to hide, but I would not want anyone, even my closest friends, to read my private messages. It’s also an invasion of privacy to my friends on Facebook.

All in all, Facebook is an expression of one’s self and is a great way to connect with friends and family. News and interest articles are available as well as excellent discussion opportunities. When handled responsibly, whether its monitoring photos and posts, or keeping phone numbers and addresses private, I see Facebook as a fairly harmless social network. That’s all for now!  Here’s a little something on how I feel about Facebook Timeline below! Enjoy!

meme-comics-facebook-timeline

History of Hardware

Posted: January 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

Graveyard

I did not grow up in a technical world. Living in the country with our beagle and many, many farm cats was all my three siblings and I needed. We spent most of our time outdoors riding bike, playing with our pets, or exploring the fields and small groves of trees. Indoors, we either watched the three channels we received or Disney films. The toy room was our often quite messy sanctuary. When we finally did obtain a computer, our Windows XP desktop, we did not have Internet. It was strictly for typing papers for school or playing games in spare time. When we finally did enter the social word by receiving Internet, we did not update our computer for a few more years yet. When listening to music, I borrowed my parents’ country cassettes and played them in my portable cassette player while riding the bus to school. The next “new” music playing device was my portable CD player, which received quite a beating after a while as the only way to get it play correctly at times was to smash it on my knee. During my senior year of high school, we received Gateway laptops, which had incredible battery life, but were huge. Still, it was a luxury since it was the first year Britton-Hecla School used laptops. I also received my first cell phone, an Alltel Motorola RAZR. Although it worked well, I was roaming in my own home most of the time. When we switched to Verizon, I chose an LG Cosmos, which was the first time I ever used a keyboard on a cell phone.

Sleeping Beauties?

With the emergence of CD players, was, of course, CD’s. I used CD’s quite often to the point where some of them can no longer be used on account of scratches. I still possess some CD’s that are only used when my iPod connection in my car is poor. I finally purchased my first iPod my senior year of high school, which was a purple 8 GB Nano. I now only use it as a backup. As I mentioned previously, movies were a large part of my childhood. My family still possess oodles and oodles of VHS tapes. I decided to purchase a VCR/DVD player for my television as I still enjoy viewing these classic films at home. In order to watch movies at my family’s home, I purchased an HDMI cable to connect my computer to the television as well. Another update at home is our Windows Vista desktop computer. I only use it to teach my parents how to use some features and how to keep viruses at bay. My senior year of high school must have been the “get with the program” type of year since I also bought my first digital camera then, a Canon PowerShot with 7.1 megapixels and a 3.4x optical zoom. Many photographs and videos were taken on this device. This is used as a backup camera today. As for gaming, I am an odd duck. I choose not to play video and computer games as I would rather be outdoors, reading, or actually spending time with friends, and yes in person, and we even make eye contact now and then! *Gasps, horrified screams, fainting.* My younger brothers own both a PlayStation 2 and an XBox 360, but I merely observe now and then as sounds of despair and death explode from the television.

Wide Awake!

Yes, I still use DVD’s today as I am not a Netflix user. I have not had an interest in purchasing Blu-ray films as, first, Blu-ray players are expensive, and second, I grew up watching three channels with no Internet for quite some time. I think I will survive without HD and whatnot. As for computers, upon arriving to Dakota State, I utilize a Fujitsu tablet. May I also add that I have possessed the exact same laptop for all four years of college? In order to save smaller files for transportation or printing photographs, I possess and/or borrow 2 GB flash drives. I also obtained a small external hard drive for larger files and backing up my tablet. To keep in contact with the world, whether they wish it or not, I still sport a basic LG Cosmos 2, now with a purple striped phone cover! I am one of the few that does not have a smartphone as I cannot afford it with my tight college budget and I honestly see no purpose in it as of right now. After graduation, my next upgrade will probably allow me to join the majority. For now, I use an 8GB iPod Touch 4th Generation. I primarily use it for music, but I sometimes make use of the Facebook, FaceTime, and Wells Fargo apps. My latest device is my FujiFilm digital camera with 14 megapixels and 10x optical zoom. Apparently my boyfriend even thought I needed a slight upgrade. What a guy! That’s all for now! Tune in next time for more exciting thoughts!

Media Involvement

Posted: January 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ah the memories of Dial-up Internet. One did not know how to classify that unique, yet slightly disturbing sound it made while trying to connect. Then another sound, softly in the distance, then growing quite shrill, “GET OFF THE DAMN COMPUTER! I’M TRYING TO USE THE PHONE!” Ah yes, the joys of the good old days. Then, the Internet was used mainly for MSN Messenger and MySpace, when its primary use was intended for homework.

My junior year of high school changed my Internet habits. It certainly did not lower the amount of time I spent staring at a screen, but increased it. The existence of Facebook came to my attention and I had been snared into its likable, literally and figuratively, social network. I began using it, at first, to declare to the world every detail of my life, both boring and slightly less boring. I then began to add friends, or in some people’s case, acquaintances, to be able to share humorous quotes and/or images, and live chat with them. I never got into the Farmville craze or any such nonsense besides Words with Friends, which was simply to please my English major personality. Countless photos and videos were soon added and before I knew it, I am to this day, scrolling through the lives of everyone I “friended” on this website. Facebook soon provided other features to me such as chatting with my family and long distance friends more conveniently, and keeping up to date on classes using class Facebook pages.

Another site I would like to recommend is Goodreads.com. As an English major, I obviously adore practically absorbing words off the pages. This website allows me to rate the books, as well as keep track, of the numerous books I have read as well as select books I wish to read. I can provide feedback on each book I have read as I please and favorite books along the way. This site has turned into a social networking site as well as it allows the user to add friends and see what they are reading or wish to read. Recommendations are made for the user either by the site or by users when genres and/or books are selected as one’s favorite. The user can also scroll through countless amounts of quotes to “like,” similar to Facebook. Check it out, if you haven’t already! (Either click the link below or view the Googlereads widget provided on the left.)

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/14717227-vanessa

A more beneficial use of my time spent on the Internet is using WordPress.com for my academic portfolio. Here future employers and/or peers can view my greatest accomplishments over the last fours years at DSU. I provide a link to my resume on the website as well as About and Contact Me pages. Each menu item has subcategories for assignments and projects I have completed. Like all resumes and portfolios, the work is never completed, so please be patient as additions are made!  Check it out by clicking the link below!

http://vlcarlson.com/

Other media websites I utilize are the infamous Pinterest, of course, Google + (mostly used for professional email usage), Twitter (hardly even use it anymore), and Youtube, which is mainly used to either view videos or to post my own videos in order to add videos to Facebook. That’s all for now! Toodles!

I have always been entranced by the words written on paper. Stories of enchanted lands, dangerous adventures, historical fiction, true love, and deep despair all fascinated me. Not only did reading others’ compositions intrigue me, but writing my own narrative did as well. Writing, to me, is a way of expressing one’s self when no alternative method will do. What I couldn’t even whisper, I could scream on paper. Grammar has also come naturally to me throughout my years of schooling. The subject of English is easily defined, but what of this “New Media” aspect?

In today’s society, most have grown accustom to technology being the main source of entertainment, socializing, and information. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Wikipedia, Youtube, and Reddit are all examples of new media. Reading has gone from flipping the pages of a paperback book, to simply scrolling and/or moving one’s index finger. From paper to screens, digital media has taken over the classic aspects of English in today’s world. How do these two different worlds meet?

As mentioned previously, new methods of reading have developed such as the Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Even newspapers and magazines have turned to the web to publish their breaking news. It’s faster, more convenient, and presents even more opportunities for its readers such as sharing stories on Facebook and/or Twitter. The Internet also provides textual analysis tools such as Voyant Tools, where one can plug in a whole text and analyze it based on the frequencies of certain words and the context they’re used in. New Media also includes aspects such as design and video. Publishing and advertising companies call for design abilities to promote their products, so skills in things such as Photoshop, InDesign, and HTML and CSS come in handy. All in all, English for New Media combines the world of classic English aspects such as composition, literature, and analysis, with the new media difference such as digital marketing, web publishing, and social networking.