So, How Have I Improved?

Section 1

Best Post: http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/05/485/

Best Comment: http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/28/hit-oldies/

Second-Best Comment: http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/29/our-class-is-all-of-it-useful/

Section 2

I have to say, it was interesting to look back on my best comments from the midterm portfolio. They were good but I know I have improved since I posted those comments. My newer comments are more in-depth and draw a lot from outside sources, bringing in someone else’s opinion on the matter.

The comments are also longer which, in itself, doesn’t mean anything. But the reason they’re longer is because I commented on posts on which I had a lot to say, not just the ones that were interesting.

Picking a best post wasn’t hard as I only had one to choose from. My second post was supposed to be on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I made plans in my head for picking a topic and writing it a few days before so I could just hit the “Post” button on that Sunday. Obviously, that didn’t happen and the post never got written. Despite that, the one post I had is still a bit of an improvement over the last one I had in the midterm portfolio.

I talked about a current event, Guy Fawkes Day, and presented both its history and what people are doing now on that day. I brought in a couple articles to support the fact that hacking on November 5th has happened before. However, I don’t think I have as much improvement in this post as I did with the comments. My main problem there (and one that I’ve mentioned many times) is that I didn’t go into much depth. I read over this post for the portfolio and it feels like I’m reporting news and then just tack a question on there. There doesn’t seem to be much analysis going on. I think if I wrote the post a few days in advance I might’ve been able to think over the information, giving me time to really analyze what the day means for our security.

From the midterm portfolio the difference from my posts to comments hasn’t changed but I still think they’ve improved in quality overall.

Switching to the blog as a whole, I can definitely say this blog will influence my writing on other blogs. Truthfully, I don’t think I’ll write exactly the same insightful comments on the ones I frequent but I have a feeling they’ll be more informed. By that I mean I won’t post a kneejerk reaction to a post I don’t agree with but rather consider their point and acknowledge it in my comment. I’ll also go a bit more in-depth and see if I can incorporate other articles as well (where applicable, obviously). So, overall, I’m glad we were required to post and comment on here!

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Vulcanized!

Part the First. Showcase of Best Blog Post and Comment

Post:
http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/01/turning-it-to-eleven/

Comment:
http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/21/pirates/
Part the Second. Reflection on blog-post and performance.

In short: I’ve posted… less than I should have. My writing has returned to a level of proficience similar to what it was at the end of my senior year of high-school, though it’s not where I’d like it to be; I’m not as skilled — as far as formal writing is concerned — as I need to be. I tend to be sarcastic, humorous — I tend to incorporate emotion, as I write in a style I find familiar and interesting.

I wrote more blog-comments and posts than I submitted; a few times, I’d write things, then forget to submit them. That’s happened four times, and I’m still disappointed in myself (I remembered their existence a few hours prior to beginning this work) for neglecting those assignments.
I think I’ve done a decent job sharing that belief; I’ve expressed the basic tenet of my morality (“Nothing that cannot choose for itself how it acts can be good or evil”), and done my best to argue points, playing off points I felt were inconsistent or incorrect. I’ll admit I didn’t add as much as the majority of my peers, but I still added a bit.

The posts were strong, as far as argument is concerned, and coherent; every part fit together, and made sense. They were utilitarian works.

Stylistically, they lacked fluff or polish, which is something I need to work on (and was an issue present in my site). I prefer more minimal designs, which tends to correlate with what I present to others; however, I’m not going to try to say that I wasn’t a bit less than fully involved in what I posted.

Long story short, they weren’t bad posts; they had a decent level of quality, but the quantity was not there. I didn’t post what I should have, which is something that’ll infringe upon my ability to perform (in university and beyond) unless I correct that.

I’m also having trouble with length, which is something that has plagued me since the beginning of the semester (and though it’s improved since the midterm, I still had difficulty getting this beyond three hundred).

That, of course, is something I need to work on. If thousand-word essays, five-hundred word blog posts, that sort of thing proves difficult, then I don’t know how I’m going to do on ten-page papers and whatnot.
But that aside, improvement has been made; I’ve completed the semester with more skill than I started, and the ability to gather more.

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FINALLY DONE: John’s Final Blog Portfolio

1. Posts and comments

Post-

http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/25/its-a-

great-say-for-skiing/#comments

Comment-

http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/29/its-  a-bird-its-a-plane-no-wait-its-just-my-country-spying-on-me/#comments

Comment-

http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/25/sky-city/#comments

 

2. Reflection

I will be the first to admit it; I dropped the ball with the blog this second half of the semester.  I was very busy with my other work and working on my website took priority in this class. Either way there is no excuse.

That being said, I did get something out of my blogging this second half.  I think my online writing has gotten better.  I have learned that you can have your own style and sound conversational while still making a coherent statement.  This has driven my posts and comments to be more personal.  One of the questions on the survey asked if we are comfortable writing behind the protection of a screen.  I think it is important to say things online that you would be comfortable saying in person.  I try to stay true to myself and beliefs whether I have the protection of the screen or not.

Getting better at this style of writing and speaking my mind has made my posts and comments stronger; specifically the comment I felt was my best. This comment was in response to the post about the spy drones over the United States.  I am very passionate about freedom and civil liberties.  This passion along with some allusions to 1984 produced a strong interesting comment that I hope will make people think more critically.  I chose the post I did because I thought it was the most fun and interesting I have had all year.  It is about skiing, my favorite activity.  It was easy to make it a fun post because I already knew the details therefore I could just have a conversation about it.  I also finally figured out how to get a picture in.  What makes it better is the fact that people learned from this post and others joined me in the excitement for the season.

In the first half of the semester I noticed that most of the blogs helped me discover the definition of technology.  Seeing that clothes and sidewalks were technologies helped me to see all aspects of technology in my life.  This second half has opened my eyes to some of the new technologies and applications; as well as the debates over these technologies and applications.  This can be seen with the post about deadly distractions.  It is a good example of new applications for common technology as well as a good discussion over how far it should go.

When writing on a blog or any public space, you need to remember your audience.  It is not just a teacher or maybe a peer reading this.  Anybody can read it.  This means that more people will see mistakes.  I should have kept this in mind writing my “It’s a great Say for skiing”.  It was just a simple typo, but I don’t want typos to influence how people view me as a writer.

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The End is Just the Beginning

Section 1

http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/18/deadly-distraction/

http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/26/why-learn-code/

http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/11/biological-technology/

Section 2

So it’s finally here! Our Final Blog Portfolio, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably happy that you’re not required to post on the blog anymore. But honestly, I have to admit that the class blog has opened my eyes to the world of blogging – a world that I probably would have never experienced if posting on the blog was not a requirement. So thanks Prof. Vee. 🙂

Flashback to August 27th. The day I was told that I would have to compose my own blog posts on the blog. When I first heard this information, I freaked out! I did not think that there were many technology related topics to post about.  But through finding technological topics for my blog post, I had an epiphany! I realized that because technology is such a big part of our world today, there is an endless amount of technology related things to post about. This allowed me to see just how much technology functions in my life. All of the things that I posted about on the blog are currently affecting my life or have the potential to affect my life and the lives of others in the future.

Through posting on the blog, I’ve realized that I have developed a formal blogging style that is straight-forward and clear.  At first I wanted to change this style because I thought that it was hindering me from being an effective blogger. However, I realized that this is just my style of blogging and it doesn’t make me any less of a blogger. My blog posts are still interesting because of their content, pictures, videos, and creative titles.

That being said, I still need to work on incorporating humor and emphasizing key words in my blog posts. Although my posts are interesting, making these additions to them will only enhance them and make them stand out even more.

As far as the style and format of my blog posts and comments, I feel like they have not changed that much from my midterm blog portfolio. Like the posts in the portfolio, I continued to add creative titles and pictures to my blog posts and I continued to shorten the length of my paragraphs to make them more presentable to my readers. However, I think that my posts have improved in the area of their content. In my comments, I present complex yet concise arguments that are straight to the point. I also use more relatable examples and raise further questions to my readers.

The blog gave me a space where I could “anonymously” post my ideas about certain topics. At the same time, my posts are on the web so anybody can read them. This is the importance and beauty of online writing. It has the power to allow me to present my ideas to the world without having the fear of being judged or criticized as a person.

Yes, my time posting on our class blog has come to an end, but the knowledge and experience that I am taking away from it is just the beginning to the establishment of who I am as an online communicator.

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Nick’s Final Blog Portfolio

Best post: http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/29/its-a-bird-its-a-plane-no-wait-its-just-my-country-spying-on-me/
Best comment: http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/26/why-learn-code/
Next-best comment: http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/12/wikipedia-it/

Blog writing is different. We all know that, and we’ve been over it many times. I gave the assertion in my midterm blog portfolio that I was nowhere near a professional blogger’s status, style, and expertise, and that still holds true. I can say, though, that I’m closer. I feel more comfortable writing on the blog than I previously did. I feel like my posts and comments fit in more on the blog, and I’m assuming everyone who reads them feels the same way. I’ve reformed my own writing stylistically and made it much more blog-worthy.

Topically, too, I’ve improved. Earlier in the year, I read the blog’s posts, presented an idea or two of my own, and exited the blog. I gave almost no thought to the comments, ideas, or positions everyone else was taking on a particular subject or in general, and because of that, my writing tended to be relatively repetitive and boring. More recently I began to really analyze others’ comments on a post before I made my reply, after realizing that almost all of the comments on any one particular blog post are nearly identical. I instead decided to make a habit of replying to a specific commenter or to a specific point in the original post. These targeted replies occasionally tended to be slightly more snarky and pessimistic, but they perpetuated the post’s intended argument much better than the all-too-common fluffed up 300 word “I agree with what you said.”

My participation on the blog has been nowhere near perfect, nor would I ever try to pass it up as such, but I genuinely believe in the most selfless way possible, that I have one of the most unique “voices” on the blog. I don’t want to blow my own horn, but if there’s anything I’m proud of regarding my blogging improvements, it’s the fact that I’ve been able to create a unique, (hopefully) easily distinguishable style of communication, even if that style needs to occasionally be pessimistic, criticizing, or snarky.

Looking past the specifics, however, this blog has helped me form a better sense of the similar but differentiable world of online writing and communication. I’ve been reading and even writing on the internet for just about as long as I’ve used a computer, but I never really gave any thought to how different an online form of communication can be. I’ve definitely seen pieces of writing online that were incredibly better than others, but I never stopped to think why that was the case. Now knowing the difference, I feel more knowledgeable even just reading online forms of writing – a feeling that’s magnified when I produce my own writing online. In short, thanks. I’ll owe a lot in my future to my experience with this blog.

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15 Weeks Later

Best comment: Why Learn Code?

2nd Best Comment: Sky City!

Best Post: Double the Rover, Double the Fun!

What can one person accomplish in 15 weeks? Well for this class, I’ve seen my writing skills improve, I’ve made friends, and I’ve learned what it takes to really write an interesting post. Starting out in this class, I heard we would do blogging and I thought “How hard could it possibly be? All I have to do is post every now and then and just comment generically on posts and I’ll pass this easily” but that was not the case. Professor Vee really challenged us and pushed us to be better than just average.

I read over some of my earlier posts, even from the last portfolio, and it’s safe to say that I have made leaps and bounds in terms of writing on the blog. My first couple posts were awful. They were just bland and looked like a robot wrote them, but since then I noticed my posts becoming more personal and interesting and it made me happy to see a progression in my writing. I chose the Rover post because I thought it was my best one yet. I added pictures, quoted the author in my post, and raised some interesting question. Before, I would find just a top article on a website that didn’t even interest me and would write a very generic article and then be done with it, but the post about the Rovers was easily my best one yet.

In my comments, I think that the code one was my best one yet as well because coding for me is a little bit of a challenge and something that I really struggle with and in that post I think that I express my views on it in a well supported and personal tone that I really liked. I personally liked the correlation between the learning of English in foreign countries to writing code. I thought that was kind of interesting and I’m proud of that comment. The “Sky City” comment was my second best and looking back on it could have used a lot of work, but still it was a solid comment.

Through blogging, it really taught me what it takes to intrigue a reader and I think that it carried over to my papers that I wrote this year. While I have come a long way, I definitely think that my writing, especially on the blog, needed more work. While my posts became better, I still think that they lacked substance. I definitely could have gone more in depth with posts in terms that I could have raised more questions and tried to really get the reader to think more about the issue addressed in the post. In my comments, I should have presented new information as well as my analysis and opinion of the original post. Being able to present new information and go in depth is still my biggest obstacle.

All in all, I’m glad I chose this class over any other seminar. Being able to write on a blog definitely beat writing even more papers. I didn’t really know what this class would be like when I first started and I wasn’t the biggest supporter of posting on a website like this, but it proved beneficial in terms of being able to take criticism and see everyone’s different views on topics that I posted or other people posted on. Everyone was always really supportive and fun to interact with on this website

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Grand Finale

Final Blog Portfolio:

  1. Best Post- http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/21/presidential-elections-take-on-voting-through-smartphones/
  2. Best Comment- http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/21/pirates/
  3. Best Comment/Post- http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/12/an-upgrade-in-credit-card-security/

 

Reflection: My blogging style has come a long way since the beginning of the semester. When we first started this assignment, I wrote boring, simplistic posts about topics even I wasn’t interested in. As my writing improved, I found myself incorporating better topics and more visuals to accompany the progression. As a result, I was able to stimulate better conversation amongst my peers. I noticed more people commenting on my posts and a greater sense of personal contribution on others’.

 

My writing style has gone from generic and excessive to purposeful and polished. My most noticeable improvement has been the elimination of all the fluff I used to incorporate. Though I have not perfected this technique, my usage of it has resulted in significant enhancement in my blogging style. My posts and comments prior to Oct. 17 were so consumed with meaningless nonsense; it was challenging to pinpoint the direction I had intended. I had a bad habit of including empty, scholarly words to improve the sophistication of my writing and I utilized general statements with little to no evidence reinforcing their purpose. Now my writing is more sophisticated without all of the bs.

 

I also think I’ve improved in challenging fellow readers to think beyond the expected. My comments and posts prior to the midterm blog portfolio were lacking in the sense of thought-provocation. Since then, I think my post and comments have encouraged my classmates to look at things from a new perspective and evaluate every possible angle. For example, my post about voting via smartphones triggered a variety of responses. Some thought it would be a great idea, promoting ease and efficiency. Others were convinced it was too much of a security hazard. And a few agreed with aspects of both arguments. I think when a post triggers an array of responses such as this it is a great demonstration of intrigue and proves the impact it had on other peoples’ thought processes. This was something I greatly lacked in the beginning of the semester.

 

Although I am very proud of how far I’ve come as a writer and blogger, I think I could’ve improved my posts by mixing up the visual aids a little more. My fellow classmates incorporated different topics using different forms of technology such as pictures, articles, videos, and audio, all to enhance the appeal of their individual posts. I think the incorporation of a video would’ve enhanced the appeal of my blog posts. While the pictures helped in grabbing peoples’ attention, I think a video would’ve been even more interesting and stimulated better conversation.

 

My blog posts have not only aided in my writing development but my relationship with technology as well. Through the conversations I’ve engaged in and the unique perspectives brought about by my peers, I’ve been able to define technology in a new way and appreciate more of its capabilities. Though I don’t always agree with its usage and fail to utilize it properly most times, I’ve found that there is always a demand and purpose for technology. People will always desire the things that make their lives simpler and more efficient, and that’s exactly what technology does. It has the power to connect us to distant family members and friends, manage bank accounts from the comfort of our own homes, and even live in sanitary conditions via running water. We have reached the point in society where technology is fully incorporated in everything we do and it is here to stay.

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“Life comes at you fast”

 

1.

Best Post:

(http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/18/has-it-really-been-that-long/)

Best Comment:

(http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/21/pirates/)

2nd Best Comment:

(http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/21/presidential-elections-take-on-voting-through-smartphones/)

2.

My first semester as a college student has brought about many changes and experiences that seemed unimaginable in August.  Blogging was one of the new exciting challenges I was faced with and I have progressed substantially in online communication. Since we had our midterm blog assignment, I have become better adept at formulating answers to my peers’ blog questions as well as providing insight on my personal opinions.

The blogging style I have presented online has changed a bit, as during the first half of the semester I was very spontaneous with my posts, as I did not have any sources.  I relied on my mental memory, but what I found out is that researching information on any topic makes your work stronger.  It enables you to cite real life examples such that was presented when I posted about Nintendo’s Wii U late in the semester.  Also, what I had changed with my approach in these last few weeks was to try to learn new tech related jargon in order to bring more attractiveness to my posts.  This process has enabled me to fully understand what I’m blogging about and has also permitted me to comprehend what my peers are posting about.

My work on the blog website has some strong points associated with it.  I started to insert images into my work so it would not all be boring black text that was found in my posts created in the first half of the semester.  This gives visual learners an opportunity to see an image that connects to the text of the blog post, thus easing the comprehension of my post.  As I gained experienced with online writing and become more accustomed with the process, I started to write more casually than I would normally be inclined to do on an essay.  This allowed me to bring a more personal side to my writing and views on different subjects, which are usually found on blog sites.

Looking back at my posts throughout the semester, the one thing that I could have done better was to have more cumulative knowledge of new technological innovations.  I witnessed some of the information my peers were posting, and wish I could have implemented more advanced ideas into my posts.  While composing my post about the newspaper industry, I should have provided more statistical analysis to provide support in my claim that my generation reads a daily newspaper at an all-time low.

The posts I have presented on my blogging space have not only taught me how to write online, but it has surprisingly enhanced my essay composition tremendously.  I was very doubtful about writing on a public space at first, but after realizing it was a great way to engage with others that have diverse viewpoints on similar issues it was a great overall experience.  Putting stuff online can be dangerous as anyone can see it, but it enhances the overall miscellaneous knowledge for society as a whole.

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Curtain Call

Pt. I

Comment: Youtube.edu

Comment: Want One Million Dollars?

Post: Pirates!

Pt. II

Before we begin, let me say, I can’t believe it’s over. This semester has been great and I must say that I loved taking this class. I found everything we learned very significant to our lives and helpful for the future. But enough buttering you up, let us venture onto my blog portfolio.

 

First, I really enjoyed the blog because I got to see so many different views on technology from perspectives both similar and certainly different than mine. This broadened my thinking and brought me to look at things from different angles. I feel that I will be able to better interact with many people I will meet in the future, remembering the different aspects that could affect a person’s opinion.

Looking back on my blog, comments and posts, I notice a few things. It was painful reading some posts because I could only fixate on the points that I failed to contribute. If we were able to revise our posts, I would indulge on adding great support for topics that I had already expanded on. Another thing I noticed was my organization—or lack thereof. When I read my own posts I see how my thoughts flowed, but I see many holes simply because I forget that not everyone already has that certain idea in their head. Again, if I could revise, I would do a lot of dragging, restructuring and adding to better make the statement flow. I would definitely also edit my pieces. The mistakes stick out like sore thumbs, which also make them painful to re-read.

The comments and post that I chose, I chose for a reason. All three (two being similar topics) are very prevalent in my life—Youtube and media legalities. I am very proud of my post on piracy because it gathered 12 comments from both ends of the spectrum. I try to write about what is relevant in my life as well as the lives of those similar to me, so I was very proud to see the response to that.

I love explaining my critical thoughts about these topics in writing rather than the more common conversational medium. In writing, I am able to gather my thoughts and order them to make my point the strongest, and better yet, I can go back and edit what I already had down to either add more, or omit what did not contribute to my claim. Writing allows time to really gather strong points to support your topic. And because of this class and how I learned about structure, I believe my writing will forever be more interesting than it was before.

I’ll miss this blog, for sure. In this 12-week process, I have learned to become a better writer and communicator of my thoughts in general. I gained insight on how technology is affecting my life through reading other classmates’ comments and similar experiences. I now see technology as a much more prevalent factor in my life, perhaps even being the most prevalent. I look forward to interacting with the new technology I encounter everyday. And considering where the future is headed, I am confident that I will adapt just as humans have since the beginning of time.

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Last Words

Best Post:
http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/11/11/biological-technology/

Best comment:
http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/21/closed-source-how-much-control-is-too-much/

Second best:
http://www.annettevee.com/2012fall_techandculture/2012/10/21/pirates/

 

Reflection:

This blog experience was very influential to me in many ways.  Before blogging I was more than good at the five paragraph essay format.  It was easy and simple and stayed the same.  Blogging is the complete opposite.  Although it can be easy and simple, the format and structure are almost never the same.  That was one of the main changes I had to get used to.  In some cases, one or two sentences could be a in a paragraph by itself.  Another change I had to get used to was the style.  Majority of the writing done in blogging has more of an informal, conversational tone to it because your audience is your peers that you know share the same interest as you.

When blogging, especially for this class, I did not want to repeat the same topics always or already covered.  I don’t want to post saying technology getting better and better or that we use technology so much because that is the obvious.  To be a successful blogger I had to think outside the box.

The mindset I had to be in when blogging is the mindset of an adventurer.  People can always tell through your reading if you’re passionate about your topic or not.  That’s why when I write, I pick something that really interests me so I can share with others hoping they’re interested too.  I also had to explore just like adventurers do.  I didn’t want to read an article and just summarize it for the blog; I wanted to convey my feelings and opinion in my writing.  In a blog, you just have to keep digging deeper and deeper into a subject to get other people’s minds stirring.  One great difference between the high school writing style and blogging is that when I explore, I get to ask questions and sometimes leave them unanswered.  Other bloggers doing the same thing as me get to answer the unanswered, respond to articles with their own opinions and views, and sometimes agreeing or disagreeing.

My main goal was to try my best to keep my peers engaged in my blogs.  In the blogs I asked questions, spewed facts, and tried to relate to them as well.  I think I did a pretty good job.  My goal for the blog was to have my audience, throughout the entire reading, pause to think or answer questions.  One thing I should have done to keep my audience engaged was to use other forms of media like videos or pictures.  Because my time management skills are weak, my blog participation was weak as well.  I wish I could have asked a few more questions, replied to more blogs, and posted some more of my own.

 

 

 

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