Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Also, I wrote the wrong chapter last week so I will be doing Price chapter 10 this week instead of 17 which I was supposed to do last week.
Price Chapter 10: Idea #6: Write Menus That Mean Something!
Write a Heading as an Object You Will Reuse Many Times
- Plan to use the same heading over and over again
- Reassure your readings by reusing your heading to make sure they know they are on the right page.
- Write longer headings - make sure your reader knows what the page is going to be.
- Your heading explains what a given function does (Copper, 1995)
- Make your heading explain what the user will see... introduction = Introducing the Unified Process
- Make your headings uniform and explain the pages content.
- Straightforward, consistent headings and titles reassure your readers.
- Indicate to your readers that you are going to tell them something.
- Don't be funny about it just tell it how it is, also to reassure your readers.
Write Each Menu So It Offers a Meaningful Structure
- People learn through your structure.
- Presenting a menu structure will offer your guests guidance through your site.
- Try out different organizational methods; move your headings around to see if they make more sense, eliminate duplicate topics, annotate your topics, add in topics and delete ones that are unnecessary. Replace topics with components, divide a topic into different components. Pretty much the key here is to make it as simple and easy to understand as possible. The thing with headers is that they can be difficult to navigate, if they aren't to the point the reader may not be able to understand what you're getting at.
- A menu is meaningful and is like a site map, it lets you know all of the information that you will be presenting.
- If a menu is presented well your reader will be able to tell because you will have topic groupings, and organization.
- Grouping your menu items by purpose ie: how to's and types.
- Create menus with sub menues.
Offer Multiple Routes to the Same Information
- Encourage your guests to take their own way to a certain page but offer them more than one way to get there.
- Offer similar headings in multiple menus.
- Multiple menus that will take you to the same place will offer the same outcome.
Write and Display Several Levels at Once
- Have menus that lead to other menus that will lead you to what you are looking for.
- Don't hide menus, they are important for the navigation of your site.
- Show multiple menus at a time.
- Make a filtering menu that will take it to more specific pages.
When Users Arrive at the Target, Make Success OBVIOUS
- Confirm that the link they clicked worked, change the title, headings, introductory text, and caption under photos.
- Make sure the text from the link and the title match.
Confirm the Location by Showing the Position of This Informative Object in the Hierarchy
- Leave a trail from where they came from to where they are now
- Make sure they can get back to where they came from
- Be sure to let them know where they are in the menu
Menus are possibly the easiest way to navigate through a site, however it is often that I get lost. Let me tell you that I am horrible at creating menus, and making my way to the place I want to be. I tend to google to where I want to go. Or possibly ctrl. F to get the where I am going.
I was searching on the Canada website to find jobs and I had a lot of trouble finding where I wanted to go. There wasn't links to find it so I have to go to the site inventory to find where I wanted to go rather than having it all laid out with links to the jobs/careers site.
I find that Price offers many good suggestions that I wish more sites would use, like multiple ways to get to the same page. Or if you are on a page and want to know where you came from. I find that WebCT does this very well. If you look at the top of the page just above the page that you're on it will tell you how far into that page you've gone, which I always find very helpful.
Needless to say menus are an important part of website development and navigation that I really appreciate.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Where web writers and editors come from:
Price discusses becoming a web writer and editor and the skills that you need to have. The pay is also from $35,000-100,000. To be a web writer there is a wide range of skills that you need to have, and knowledge of the internet and your consumer base is one of the main ingredients to a great website. My FAVORITE website happens to be the National Geographic site. I know that it is maintained by a professional web editing firm, however there are still people who have to decide what is best for the web and what is better to keep for their magazine.
I recently went on a tour of the London Free Press, and got a chance to talk to the sports editor David Langford about how they use the web in their writing. I was told that they use twitter as a place to get stories and post little nibblers of their stories. I was also told that while they do print their articles they often use the web as a place to regurgitate their material, and often write things specifically for the web, just little snippets of their stories. Pretty cool eh!
Basic knowledge of HTML and XML can be important but aren't necessary for writing for the web. I know that this is what Price says however, in this day and age I believe that knowledge of HTML is now essential to the web writer. Like for this course we were going to have to use Dream Weaver but I have never done basic HTML anything. I also talked to the people at ITS at Western and they said that if I don't know anything about HTML that I would totally flop on Dream Weaver because thats what is needed.
Web Editing - The basics:
Word Count = Words that Count! Price says that it is important to be a person who can make the words that count hit the page rather than sending in a whole bunch of words in a story that don't really matter. I am known to have a bit of word vomit as it hits the page and have to constantly go back over my stories to cut them down to size. This is why I don't think I would be a good web editor according to Price.
- Be able to follow a template
- How to create simple web pages
- Be able to take screen shots
- Be able to edit photos
- Be Organized.
Editors must be:
- Sense of Humour
Make your text consistent, think on a global scale but relate it locally. Remember there are many different names for being a web editor.
The Debate: Free Lance Gigs vs. a Staff Job:
On Staff: there are many benefits to working on staff...
- Health benefits
- Workman's Comp
- Pay you can count on
- Office relationships (friends!!)
- Good computer
- Lots of schmooze time
- Compensation package if laid off
- Job title for your resume
Boo working on staff...
- Work long hours
- Sharing a printer
- Lunch rooms
- You don't have privacy
- Horrible office coffee
- Less freedom
- Spending all day in your housecoat
- You can take as long as you need to wake up
- You can write for as many people at a time as you want
- If you want to stop writing you can
Freelance = bad
- No paid sick leave
- Work isn't constant
- No health benefits
- No options
- Not a constant cash flow
- Miss out on breaking news
- No close office friends
Freelance Markets for Web Writers and Editors:
Every writing class that I've been in has pitched for the students to write freelance. There is nothing different from Price. There are so many markets for free lance writers out there. Almost every magazine allows for free lance, and are looking for ideas and stories. And for us Western Students, writing for he Gazette is the perfect place to start writing to get clips. Clips will help a person get hired for a writing job, everyone will always ask for clippings of your work, and its great to offer more than just something you've handed in to class.
My Personal Site: BAKING
My site is informative.
There are a lot of people who turn to the internet to learn new recipes, and tricks that will help them if they aren't a real baker. It has always been said that baking is a science. I am going to have several pages on my site:
1. Welcome (home)
2. Tools (pots, bowls, pans, utensils)
3. My recipes
4. Terms of interest
5. Links to other pages that may be of interest (products, other baking sites, bakeware)
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
This chapter discusses the connection between reading, writing, and the intelligent mind. In order to produce some sort of intelligent thought it had to be shared. Through writing has been the way of great philosophers to express their thought. This connection isn’t far from the truth, today in a world of people producing thought it is judged on a mass scale by the READER.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Bolter Chapter 7
Sunday, February 13, 2011
In order for me to deconstruct the text from P&P this week I am going to use the article below and the Toronto Star website as an example. P&P first say that when writing on the web you have to make the subject line mean something. There is no clearer way to announce an article than to tell the reader exactly what is going on "York bus strike possible at midnight" clearly states that there could be a bus strike in the York region at midnight. On page 360 they say to put the subject into the title, which is exactly what the Toronto Star writer did.
On page 346 P&P state that you should provide more information not less. While, in this article there isn't much extensive information in this article the way it is set up is to give less more direct information. All of the information however, is still in the article.
There is also a hypertext link to the York Region Transit website for people who want more information about the pending strike.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Finding a website that has the ability to catch you're attention is definitely a difficult task. As Price and Price say on page 81 "Simplicity saves attention" and this couldn't be more true. Yes, while flashy websites tend to be more eye catching there is no flow through the website that readers are able to follow. I find that I tend to get lost in the flashiness of websites if there are too many distractions. But when a website offers a flow to it I can certainly navigate it better. Take this site for example. It is cleanly organized with the posts coming through the middle of the screen and if someone needs to find a post there is an index on the side. There is the ability for the site to get more complicated with more photos. However, the melding of photos and textual contend is a fine art.
The Mix of Text and Photos - Writing Space
Integrating text and visuals has a way of emphasizing a piece of written text. Hypertext can also link photos to other sites or the text to other photos. Having photos in text breaks up the text and offers an increase in visual appeal. The most important thing is to make the text and visual, pictorial, or audio/visual content have a common theme and not vary in content. The linking of text and picture content needs to offer a stronger argument than what you are making the picture and the text has to compliment each other and make the argument increasingly stronger.
I am in sports writing class and recently had to do a story about the men's volleyball team winning against Windsor on Friday night. The content of the story discussed the abilities of the team member and which ones excelled over the other players. I feel that having photographical content would greatly enhance and honor the players who did exceptionally well. This is why I enjoy reading bio's about players at Western who have had outstanding performances and actually know who they are.
When I write anything for the web I feel that adding photos or videos will grab the attention of the readers.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
So far I have read up to chapter two in both texts.
Writing Space talks about the development of writing and the changes that it has endured over its existence from the beginning of time.
Writing is truly one of the most changing elements of human existence. Every few hundred years, and even more so now, we are experiencing a change in how people communicate. Almost every form of communication has to do with written text. Cave drawings, written words in books, carved in stone, or today's digital writing on computers, the internet and phone texting.
Remediation is what Bolter would refer to in these changes. I would have to say that my FAVORITE remediation of writing in the western world would have to be the move from paper writing to online writing or even just the ability to type rather than print on paper.
I have troubles writing with a pen because I could never figure out how to hold the pen properly, but with typing on a keyboard I am able to type much faster than a lot of people can write.
I feel this is remediation because it is a whole new form offered to me dealing with textual communication. Yes it is still text that we read and write but it just offers a new form of writing (typing) and reading (off a screen rather than a paper page).
Digital technology according to Bolter is "one of the more traumatic remediations in the history of Western writing," because it is such a dramatic move. Let me explain further, writing for the past 2000 recorded years has been in pictographs on cave walls, or writing on papyrus, or in libraries and done by monks. But writing digitally opens up a world of possibilities, so many more people have the opportunities to express themselves.
Writing has changed as time has changed. I wonder where writing will move next?