Monday, December 7, 2009

Web Portfolio Themes.

3 potential web portfolio themes:

1. Color-by-number: Each project is a color/number and by the end of the semester, it is clear what the picture is.

2. Tangled jewelry: Each project is a necklace in the tangled mess of information. With each project, a necklace is taken out and by the end, they have all been untangled and are now usable.

3. Scrapbook: Each project is an added page to the scrapbook and by the end I'll have 5 pages to show for my semesters work.

The first and second ideas can easily be used for the reflective introductions. I'll explain how each project is the next color/number in the painting or how each project is another necklace untangled.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Web Portfolio

A portfolio is basically a collection of works that are reflective, have a purpose, and are presented in some organized and stategic way. Web portfolios are one effective form of presentation as long as all the "artifacts" are in a digital format.  With each artifact should be a reflective essay. This should introduce the artifact, explain it how it was done, and in some way tie it in to other artifacts in the portfolio.

I think the two projects that I'm going to revise are my blog and the web redesign project. For my blog, I'd like to revise and edit the content, taking out where there is too much and adding where there is too little. The web redesign will be a little harder to fix because the issues with it where not my own doing (meeting times/proposal). But this project needs to most revision so I'm going to take a stab at it. I think the meeting times needs the chart back and the proposal needs a better direction and a more unified purpose.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

There Just Aren't Any Events Out There

Overall,this project hasn't had many difficulties as far as finding material and figuring out how to use it. But there has been issues with finding events that are relevent. There just aren't really any events in the areas that pertain to anti-Semitism. We settled on jewish cultural awareness events, and jewish holiday events. After searching website after website, calendar after calender, I finally found an anti-Semitic awareness event: a documentary film viewing about the anti-jew situation in the middle east. Unfortunatley, 2 of out events have already passed since yesterday. I hope we still recieve credit for them because they were submitted before the peer review and there just aren't any other events available.

Teaching is the Best Way to Learn

I feel like the best way to learn and retain knowledge is to do the research yourself and attempt to present it or teach it. I've learned so much about anti-Semitism from doing this project, having to research and then apply what I've found to blog posts, forums, and media sources. I honestly don't think I would have absorbed any of this information if it were just presented to me. The application part of the research kind of forces you to really understand everything your reading and remember it. Thats how this project have been for me. Particularly, reading all the statistics. The statistics I found concerning anti-Semitism were sometimes helpful, sometimes alarming. They left a lot of room for analysis and opened up space for discussion. For example, 19.5% of uneducated Americans are anti-Semitic.I wrote an entire blog on this one statistic because so much can be drawn from it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

An issue I didn't even realize was an issue.

This SNS project has been pretty fun and interesting. It was actuallyeasier to agree on a topic in our group than I thought it was going to be. Different people have different beliefs and are passionate about different things. We decided of anti-Semitism because of the recent events with various anti-Semitic vandalisms present on campus. It wasn't something that I would have initially come up with or chosen, but it ended up being a topic that I took a good amount of interest and concern in. I didn't really realize how much it still exists! I knew that it was in middle eastern countries and Russia, but I didn't know that 30 million americans share anti-Semitic views. So much for the land of freedom and tolerance...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Forum Topics

1. "March 17, 2008: The home of Yossi Knafo, the Jewish Agency for Israel's representative in Providence, Rhode Island, was attacked with two Molotov cocktails.  No one was injured, but the house sustained damage." Is this an example of an anti-Semitic hate crime, or could it be a shenanigan with another intention? There is speculation that this was an act done by foolish hooligans with no intention further than causing chaos.

2. Why do people choose to use graffiti to express hatred towards Jews? Is this just as bad at hate crimes involving sabatoge and molotov cocktail explosions?

3. Have you experienced anti-Semitism in some way, whether serious or in joke form? How did it make you feel?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Potential SNS Blog Ideas

1. Analysis of RI March 17th, 2008 hate crime event

2. "Education remains a strong predictor of anti-Semitic propensities, with the most well-educated Americans largely free of prejudicial views while less educated Americans are more likely to hold anti-Semitic views. 19.5% of Americans with less than a college education hold anti-Semitic views, a significantly higher figure than the overall 12%"...Why is this??

3. Anti-Semitic graffiti: what type of people do this and why do they use this approach to hate crimes? Is it just as bad as the molotov cocktail and sabatoge incidences?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Response to Boyd and Bennett

      Boyd and Bennett both agreed that there is a problem in the way younger generations view politics and social change. They don't really care and if they are involved, it is for personal, selfish reasons to make themselve feel and look good to other people and/or build popularity.

     Where Boyd and Bennett disagree is the method of using SNS's and other digital technology to promote political action and social change involvement. Bennett believes that this is a useful method because it is relevent to the time and would make more sense to young people, come across as more interesting, and maybe even be compelling. Boyd thinks that this would be an ineffective method because of what young people use SNS's and digital technology for. According to Boyd, they are used primarily for social and comedial use. People want to connect with friends, gossip, and watch embarassing videos. Because of the mindset and tone associated with this kind of technology, young people are less likely to use these same sources for serious matters.

Friday, November 13, 2009


The definition and factors of Social Networking Sites isn't really anything new for me. I joined my first SNS when I was 12 on KiddoNet, which was a site for kids only. I then got a Myspace in the beginning of High School, and by my senior year, I had replaced Myspace with Facebook.

What was new whats the history. I have never heard of SixDegrees and wasn't aware that it was the first offical SNS. I would agree with the author that it was ahead of its time. It failed rather quickly, but not because the idea and technology behind it was a flop; it just was present in a time before social networking had entered into the spectrum on technological evolution. If SixDegree had come out right before Myspace and Facebook, it would've probably been just as sucessful as these top networking sites today.

It doesn't really surprise me that SNS have become such a global phenomenon. Theres really something for everyone. Its good for work, expanding your social life, finding a date, sharing information, growing popularity, selling, media, etc... the list goes on. The fact that its gone global has in some way connected the world. Its a big step for mankind.

5 Causes

Pro-life, Human Traffiking, Retouching of photos leading to self-esteem issues with girls, Healthcare, Hormones in meat/genetically modifications in produce.

Monday, November 9, 2009


The project is done. I'm overall satisfied with the finished project, considering the limits we had with google sites. The only things that needed revision was the project memo and more clearification with the meeting times. The homepage/layout and sitemaps were good to go. It's weird, but for some reason, this didn't feel like a group project. I feel like my group just split up the work and did our part as if it were separate. There wasn't much discussion, disagreements, or suggested revisions.I'm not realyl sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It's good because we didn't have any issues and everyone did what they were supposed to. But this could be potentially bad because we communicated less and just did our own thing. It didn't feel like a real group experience.

Google Sites. Not a Creativity-friendly Program.

I found google sites to be easy to use, however, very frustrating. While redesigning a webpage, a lot of creativity is required. You get an idea and vision in your mind of what you would like to achieve. Using google sites, I could not do everything I wanted because the program was limited and sometimes had formating issues. I would've liked to have a background image on the sidebar, but that option was not available. Also, I woul've liked to use more creative and subject-appropraite fonts, but that option was not available, either. The html that could be edited was also very limited, which I found frustrating. I feel like I could do more with html with my blog than with this website. I would've liked to take to time to figure out a more complex and creativity-friendly program, such as dreamweaver, but I just didn't have the time and had to keep up to speed with my group and what they were doing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tech Creativity

I unfortunately missed one class and fell a little behind on the first real group work day. Thanks to Zachary, though, I was able catch up. He agreed to meet up with me and explain everything I missed. I was then assigned to do the homepage. I was kind of excited to do this because it meant that I also got to pick out and design the template and overall look of the sight. I enjoy this sort of thing. I also got the idea of creating a totally new logo because I wasn't too keen on the pre-existing one. Luckily, I had a ton of pictures from a concert I went to recently that I could use with the logo and also the page background. Can't say that I was really all that nervous about the project. Computer technology, though it can be confusing, irratating, or tedious, I find to be enjoyable when I'm allowed to get creative with it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Response to Palmquist

There are many specific things to consider while setting up a website, aside from considering your purpose, audience, design, and style. Theres decisions to make involving what methods are best to present certain information, such as whether to use a pop-out window and when to use digital illustrations. Theres also the organizational structure to consider: linear, heirarchical, or interlinked? Its also very important to consider the aesthetics of the page. Its should be consistent and simple, not using too many graphics, audio, video, or flash objects. Having too much can be distracting and annoying to viewers.

A good website I found is:
Its follows the checklist Palmquist provided to the tee. The organizational structure seems to be interlinked and the aesthetics of the page are fantastic. Just the right amount.

A bad website I found is:
Its obvious why this is horrible. Theres seems to be no organizational structure; its just a mesh of things lumped together using overwhelming colors and images.The individual articles are squished together and hard to read. Its terrible!

Monday, October 19, 2009


I have to say, I'm feeling a little frustrated right now. I'm not sure how this happened, but for some reason no one in my peer review group did peer reviews! I took the time to review all of theirs but didn't have the favor returned. This was frustrating to me because I didn't get any sufficient feedback. I wasn't really sure if there was anything I needed to fix. Judging by my own standard, the work I've done looks good-to-go, but someone may have had a different opinion; I'll never know. I don't always trust my own eyes because I don't know everything and since its my own work, its easy for me to miss mistakes. It's important to get second opinions in order for my work to be at its best. I hope this isn't going to affect my grade.

Not Too Bad

At the start of the project, I predicted that it was going to be difficult. I had never used any sort of wikimedia tool other than just for reading. Inexperience always adds some element of intimidation. However, it turned out to be easier than I thought. I chose my hometown, North Kingstown, where I've lived for over 12 years. I know the area pretty well so while I was reading through the pre-existing material on the wikitravel article, I was able to picture most of the places listed. I was also able to pick out wrong information and a bar mentioned that was recently closed down. I was able to think of a few new pieces of information that I could add, just off the top of my head. So I just did some research online, followed the mark-up and voila!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Potential Entries

 '''Hamilton Village Inn'''

"642 Boston Neck Road
North Kingstown
Rhode Island 02852"

Enjoy a quaint and scenic stay at the Hamilton Village Inn. This award winning Inn is located only minutes from key areas such as beaches, Newport, and the University of Rhode Island. Guestrooms and suites are available at affordable prices and include cable tevlvision, wi-fi, telephones, and private bathrooms. For more information visit the Hamilton Inn Village Website [].  

'''Juntion Trattoria and Bistro"'

"1051 Ten Rod Road, Suite 7
North Kingstown, RI 02852"

Enjoy an authentic Italian meal or dessert in you choice of a restaurant table or bistro setting in a warm, low-light atmosphere. Curbside service and take-out is also available if you're on the go. Menu [] is available online. Visit for further information.

'''Rolling Greens Golf Course'''

"1625 Ten Rod Rd
North Kingstown, RI 02852

Relax and have some fun at this 9-hole public golf course. This is a well established green founded in 1969 and includes a driving range for those who want to brush up on their swing. Costs range between 28 and 30 dollars. For further information, visit

2 Important Tips

  1. Articles should be relatively self-sufficient so that travellers can print them out, put in their back pocket, and use for travelling around. At the same time, articles should not be so long that they're impossible to read, print, or use. This is an important thing to consider throughout the whole article writing process. Articles should be long enough that they provide the necessary information, but can't be so long to the point where they are impractical for users.
  2. The "How to" for listings. Categorizing is crucial for these kinds of articles. They make it easier for readers to find specific information instead of just trying to scan and sift through stuff. This "How to" section teachers writers how to make listings to organize information.
  3. Avoid 1st person pronouns. These are articles, not editorials or customer reviews. Its important to avoid personal pronouns to not make the article about you and devote it to unbiased, as-true-as-possible information.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wikitravel Potential Articles

1. North Kingstown: This is where I grew up; where I've spent the last 12 years of my life.There is already an existing article, but it looks like it hasn't been updated in a while because some of the places listed are closed down. Also, I might add a few spots where recent movies have been filmed that people might be interested in seeing.

2. Hope Valley: This is where I used to live.I lived here for seven years and its a quaint old country town, which some people like. I didn't find any articles on Hope Valley so I can start from scratch on this one.

3. East Greenwich: I never lived here,but I have spent a whole lot of time here since its the town right next to mine. There is an existing article for this, but I feel like the person who wrote it left out some awesome things about East Greenwich. And they only listed one place to stay.I wonder if there are more...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Response to Wikitravel

I hope its not weird that I've never heard of Wikitravel. However, I think its a fantastic idea! For so many people, travelling is an interest and something that a lot of people spend a lot of money and time on. Because going places that you've never been can be somewhat risky and you don't usually know 100% about what you're getting into, most, if not all, travellers like to research places they want to go and get as much information about it as possible. Wikitravel is great because instead of spending money or travel books, or sifting through thousands of google search pages, you can get the information and opinions you need from people that have been there conviently all on one site!
I thought the policies section was vague and not very helpful. You can't really made set rules in this kind of online community because it's a little hard to control. I liked the goals and non-goals better because it really explained what the site is all about and what wikitravel wants to see in reader articles.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Never Assume...

In coming up with the description for my blog ("Your source for 'word fails'") I assumed that people would know what the blog entailed. I assumed the they were familar with the common lingo term "fail" and would know what a word fail was. But I had a lot of people ask me what my description meant and didn't think it was a clear what my blog was about. I was shocked by how many people had never heard the term and weren't familar with sites like FML or FailBlog. I guess I shouldn't assume, just because my circle of friends is familar with something, that it is common knowledge. "Fail" is a word that is used daily among my friends and we've all spent endless hours on FML and FailBlog. But the truth is, that's not everyone.
I fixed this problem on my blog by adding a definition of the term "word fail" on the sidebar on the top just below the title and description. I didn't want to change my description because I liked how it was a quick, catchy, one-liner. I hope the definition suffices to clear things up.

Discovering One Thing in the Process of Another

In the process of producing this blog, I've discovered something that I like to do. Writing the blogs is enjoyable, but I already knew that I like to write. But what i didn't know is that I like to design layouts. I didn't like the idea of keeping a premade layout because it just didn't feel like the blog was my own. So I found a layout generator online, fiddled around with it and designed my own layout. I learned a little about HTML in the process. It took me a while to design a layout that I was satisfied with, but even though it was time consuming, I still really enjoyed it. I'm thinking about taking some web design and programming classes. Who would of thought that I would discover a love for web design in a writing class?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scavenger Hunts and Adopted Personas

I've realized that this blog is harder than I thought. My subject is to post failures within written word and that requires actually finding original material. It's stuff that I have to look for and wait till it comes to me. It's become somewhat of a scavenger hunt. I find that I'm always on the lookout for word fails, any and every where. I even have friends and family on the lookout, asking them to take pictures if they come across anything. It's caused me to really examine the world around me; notice things that I normally wouldn't. I find myself actually becoming the persona that I've created for myself on my blog as "editor of the world". I've become rather critical of written word, both in things other people have written and things I have written. I'll probably go back and read this later and find various mistakes that I couldn't believe that I had missed. I'm not entirely sure if this is a good thing...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why Follow My Blog?

Generally, people like to be amused. So many people I know follow sites like FML or FailBlog, which essentially capture humor in unintentionally funny situations. My blog is along the same lines, except finding humor in mistakes made in written language.

I don't think people are going to question my credibility because it's not really something that requires it. But if, by chance, they were to question "How can I trust that you're picking out true errors?", I do have it in my About Me that I'm attending URI for a Writing & Rhetoric degree. This can maybe coax the reader into excepting my role as an "editor" in the blog since I am being educated on the subject of written language.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Enthusiast Blog Idea

I wanted to do something along the lines of finding humor in and focusing on the small things in life, with the saying "small things amuse small minds" as inspiration. I then narrowed it down to only the humor found in things that aren't meant to be humorous. I further narrowed it by focusing on humorous mistakes found in written language. This could be anything from typos in books, bad word choices in advertisement, really stupid facebook statuses, or even a light bulb going out on a store sign causing it to look like it spells out something that it doesn't.

My audience is really anyone with a sense of humor. People who take life too seriously are not going to be my target. I'm not planning on worrying about offending people with my posts. I think mistakes are funny; a lot of people think mistakes are funny. I find that when I laugh at my own mistakes, its easier to get past them.

Since it is aimed to be a humorous blog, I plan to make the layout pretty light. I may have a little bit of graphics but since I'll be having photos in my posts, it'll be kept pretty simple mostly so it won't be overwhelming to look at. It's going to be mostly pictures and commentary.

Some title ideas: WordSearch, Typo-ology, The Red Pen...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Idea's for Enthusiast Blog

Just some ideas...

1. Finding beauty in the seemingly ugly
2. Living at home (trust me, its more interesting than you'd think)
3. "What it means to be human" - observations about human nature
4. "Small things amuse small minds" - a focus on the little things that make up life
5. "You learn something new everyday" -facts and lessons acquired form everyday life

Response to Stefanac

I found Stefanac's chapter on "Blogs as Clubhouses" to be very helpful. His introduction about the origins of words that were used to insult blogs was a little of a stretch, but his advise and insight about what it means to be an enthusiast blogger and how to do it well to be very helpful seeing as I'll be writing an enthusiast blog of my own soon.

Reading some of "Mr. Jalopy's" posts was helpful, too. Though I don't have much interest in his topic of automobiles, I still enjoyed his posts for the simple fact that its just good writing. He gave a good tip about building fans and getting your blog out there:
"If I were to sell a Nikon D70 camera, I would never get a search hit because there are many sites that mention (and sell) the D70. Now, If I were to sell something more obscure, I would get a fair share of search traffic and Hooptyrides would appear on the front page."
That's a brilliant point. I'll keep that in mind when I'm setting up and writing my blog.

I also found it interesting how people blog about pretty much anything and can gain popularity. I can't believe that theirs a well-know blog devoted to secular Jewish music. I'd be interested in finding out how the author managed to pick up fans.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Response to Rebecca Blood

In response to Rebecca Blood's blog post about the history of weblogs, I would first like to point out that I learned the origin of the term "blog" and find it interesting that it stemmed from blogger's coined term "wee-blog" and was then shortened to "blog", probably due to the "telephone"effect where words evolve as they are pasted from one person to the next.

I can't say that I'm very surprised by how quickly the concept and use of blogs spread. Editorials have existed , whether verbal or in print, since the idea of local, national, or global news was intoduced and people always have opinions. The internet and use of blogs allow people to write editorials, express their opinions, or just express their individuality to a wider audience in such a creative and convient way.

Its interesting how the definition of what a blog is has changed recently, mainly because of its increase in popularity and evolution. Blood said, "the influx of blogs has changed the definition of weblog from 'a list of links with commentary and personal asides' to 'a website that is updated frequently, with new material posted at the top of the page'." I was not even aware of the first definition. By the time blogs reached my awareness, they had already taken on the reputation of the second definition. Though I have seen blogs that list links with commentary, I do not consider that to be the only kind of blog. In fact, when I think of blogs, I think of people's online journals where they tell stories and express their thoughts and opinions about pretty much anything.

I personally, don't have all too much experience with blogging, though I do have a little. When I was in 9th grade, I started a creative writing blog where I posted poetry or short stories, but only made a couple posts and wasn't able to aquire an audience. On facebook, before the outburst of survey's through the use of the "note" application, I posted a few in-depth editorial about certain issues and did recieve a lot of responses from different people which trailed to in-personal discussions. That was pretty awesome. After reading Rebecca's blog, and reading about her experience and what shes learned and the skills shes obtained, I feel inspired to start a blog of my own. I even feel compelled to read other people's blogs for further inspiration and to expand my knowledge about people.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What is Writing?

What is Writing?

Writing, in the most general sense, is language in the form of letters that make up words that make up sentences, etc... It's verbal communication in a visual form.
Writing can come in many ways and serve many purposes. It can be a book, or a journal, or a letter, or article. Its can be personal or impersonal; formal or informal. It can be informative or persuasive. Artistic and abstract or scientific and realistic. It can be fact or fiction; broad or specific. Writing, in every sense of the word, is expressive. It's a way in which mankind communicates the way they individualistically choose to.

What's great about writing is that it can be done anywhere at anytime. For me, its usually in my room, cozied up on my bed with a laptop, or outside on the deck under a canopy if its a nice enough day...(to be continued?)