Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Week 11 (March 14-20) - Late

Price Chapter 8/9

Build Chunky Paragraphs! 
Design Each Paragraph around One Main Idea
- Make each paragraph distinct
- Write each paragraph as a different object.
- Each paragraph should serve a different purpose.
- Each paragraph should answer a different question.
- Have one sentence to sum up the entire paragraph.
- Make each paragraph organized.
- Keep familiar terms when moving into unexplored territory.
- Structure your paragraph in a coherent manner.
- Two ideas = two paragraphs.
- for e-mail, web pages, and discussions small single idea paragraphs are ideal.

Put the Idea of the Paragraph First
- On the internet the main point is first and in a book it is at the end of a sentence.
- Put your main point at the beginning of the paragraph.
- You can reiterate your point but make sure the main idea is first.
- Your paragraph could be recalled better if the main point is at the beginning.

If You Must Include the Context, Put That First
- Be sure to connect your paragraphs and ideas with words like Also, Next, Therefore.
- Make sure your word use connects ideas together.
- Reiterate previous ideas to set a context for your next idea.
- Avoid generalizations.
- Follow up thoughts to make sure your reader understood.

Put Your Conclusion or News Lead in the First Paragraph of the Article
- Most important at the top of your paragraph, then put it key important facts, and your least important information at the bottom of the paragraph.
- Writing for the web is more conclusion at the beginning.
- The first sentence needs to be BAM straight to the fact.

Chapter 9 Reduce Cognitive Burdens! 
Make a Positive Statement, so People Understand Right Away
- Remove - That, Who, Which, from your sentences because they make you put ideas inside of ideas.
- Don't shorten a sentence with that, which , and who it will confuse your reader.
- Readers understand one idea at a time.

Blow Up Nominalization and Noun Trains
-  Don't transform actions into things... suggest into suggestions = NO.
- Don't make a verb act like a noun "May register improvement" to "may improve"
- Don't clump up nouns it causes the sentence to be ambiguous.

Watch Out For Ambiguous Phrases a Reader Must Puzzle Over
- Don't use a word that could be taken two ways.
- Don't add words into a sentence that causes uncertainty. Be straight forward and to the point.
- Don't suggest a page if you don't know where your readers have come from.
- Describe something the way it is, don't use flowery language.
- Don't use your thesaurus button  (please watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUAThApzhCw) 

Surface the Agent and Action, so Users Don’t Have to Guess Who Does What
-      - - Write in an active voice
-    - When constructing a sentence structure it as subject, verb and then direct object.
-    - Write your sentence in a way that your reader feels like they are doing the actions.
-    - You have to define terms.

Make a Positive Statement, so People Understand Right Away – without Having to Unpack a Nest of Negative.
-       - Write in a positive way.
-    -  Readers wont understand if you tell them to not do something. Tell them to put the remote on the table, instead of, do not put the remote on the floor.
-     - If you do have to use a negative use one negative rather than many. Don’t, shouldn’t, doubt, deny, fail, and lack.
-     - If you say no, then say why…
-     - Positives always out weigh the negatives, be more positive!

Reduce Scrolling
-       - It is hard enough for readers to situate themselves on a page on the Internet, don’t make them continually scroll up and down making them get even more lost.
-     - Put your information at the top of the page, some people don’t scroll at all and if they don’t you want them to get their information right away.
-     - When you make a menu be sure to make it so you can see the entire thing at one time. If you have a scrolling menu your readers may not see all that you have to offer, they can get lost, or just frustrated.

Let Users Print or Save the Entire Document at Once, to Avoid Reading Any More On-Screen
-       - Archive the printer-friendly version.
-       - Allow your readers to print your material. Reading from the screen can be difficult.

Bolter Chapter 10
Writing Culture – The Network Culture

         We live in a network culture, and as a culture we use the Internet as a way to connect through various networks of social media, e-mail and chat rooms.
         Today’s North American is one that is aware of their surroundings and is constantly joining new groups, leaving old groups, and have groups carry over into areas of their life both on and off the Internet. Through the Internet we have the ability to make stronger connections and more connections. We use computers to enhance the notion of community and our ancestral survival roots.
I the virtual environments that we so clearly need in our life we are taking the means of technology and creating more and more groups that are more empowering and democratic. Middle and upper class are settled in at the top of the Internet communication chain.
Our relationships through the online communities however, are not the same nor will they ever be the same as the community that existed on purely a connective face-to-face group of communities.

My thoughts
Price brings up many good points in chapters 8/9. When it comes to writing a paragraph for the Internet it reminds me of writing a hard news story. It’s the inverted pyramid style that I find I have an easier time writing.
For my site, it is more of a bullet point style of writing but the most important information, or so I feel, is at the top of the paragraph rather than the bottom.
I try to rarely use negatives in my writing as well. A while ago I was reading a study as well that related to this. Children learned how to listen to their parents it they didn’t say no. So a parent would tell a child to go play with their toys instead of don’t draw on the wall (not word for word) but still along the same type of idea. I am not good with my speech and staying positive, but I do try really hard!

I find that as a community based on the Internet we use the Internet for our communicative capabilities rather than our own means of face-to-face communication. There is something however, to be said about the Internet and its means of building a community. Using Facebook as my example again, there is a way that they have been able to become a platform for many companies to create fans. They also use their Facebook page as a mean of connecting to their clientele. The Internet also allows for friends from other countries to stay in touch in the community that Facebook provides. Internet chat rooms however, since I have never been on them, don’t offer the same type of community that Facebook does in respect to my specific community of friends.

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