A Whole New World

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Image via

My first day on the job in the Marketing Department here on campus, my supervisor told me that our website would be undergoing a drastic change throughout the summer. I logged on to the Furman website for the first time, and immediate panic ensued. Suddenly, I was no longer entering mere words and punctuation marks. Instead, the page overflowed with p tags, breaks, and links, oh my! Website coding opened up an entirely new world I never previously knew to exist, and I was suddenly being swept along the flying carpet of that world amidst the hustle and bustle of the changing website.

In Digital vs. Analog Media, Brian Carroll discusses the basics and the benefits of XHTML coding. He explains how coding does not only format a webpage or blog, but also enhances it creatively. It’s easy to overlook or ignore the millions of details that must be worked out within a website as a casual viewer. We don’t think about the time and effort it takes to achieve the clean, consistent look on a website made possible by strategic choices with headlines, navigational placement, paragraph layouts, etc. Carroll emphasizes that “content should be shaped for scanning” and provides helpful formatting tips to improve the ease of scanning.

He also stresses the difficulty web designers must face when trying to build a site that encourages interaction. Using multiple forms of media can often persuade viewers to interact with and return to the site or blog they are viewing. Below are screenshots of Furman’s admission homepage, which showcases many of the ways we aim to generate web activity.

Furman Admission Homepage

Furman Admission Homepage Images via

Some of the forms of media we choose to use (as shown above) are:

  • Social network modules
  • Visual anchors
  • Scrolling news stories

Jill Rettberg expands upon the history and development of blogging in the reading From Bards to Blogs. While I naturally assumed that blogging was a recent phenomena, Rettberg explains that the concept of blogging has been developing for a long period of history, beginning with the transition from orality to literacy. She describes this ever changing phenomena, saying

Blogs can be seen as belonging to the post-Gutenberg era, a time after the dominance of print and of mass media. They use technologies first imagined by visionaries of hypertext, but are more social than even these visionaries imagined.

If you’re a beginner blogger like me, check out this introduction video to Blogging for Dummies to learn more about the social nature of blogging!

My questions for today’s readings deal with the global history of blogging:

  1. How does Internet technology in the United States compare with the Internet technology of other countries such as China, England, etc?
  2. What is the popularity of global bloggers?

Until next blog,

Evan

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