Usage of Blogs

Why do people write blogs? Some write to share technological information on the ever expounding digital world while others write about fashion and what they like to wear on a daily basis.

One of the blogs I follow is Pretty Shiny Sparkly. The writer is a med student in Austin, Texas. She blogs about what she wears and her life. One of her blogs shared a personal message about her brother that moved me. Her brother died about a year ago. She writes about him and how much he meant to her. She talks about her brother’s disorder, “Maniac Depressive” disorder. It is a form of bipolar disorder. Some of the symptoms of this disorder are shifts from manic behavior to depression. “Maniac Depressive” disorder cannot be treated. She describes her life growing up with a brother who was different. She describes a time where she found her brother being bullied and how she stood up for him. While reading the post, I couldn’t help but tear up.

Blogs are also used as ways to release emotions. Everyone wants someone to listen to their thoughts and problems. Holding them inside one’s self causes more problems than good. Blogs give readers the ability to comment back. The comments can be negative, but the positive ones are helpful. It’s always good to know that someone out there, even in the digital world, cares.

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Group blog post – Section D2 (Jessica, Megna, Tiffany, Fole, Wilson): Books and print media; the advantages and problems of digitization

When it comes to books and print media, print isn’t dead. Over 90% of American consumers still read magazines and books sales rose 11% last year. It isn’t dead, yet, but it is on the decline compared to the boom in digitized print media. There was a 204% increase in e-book sales and 60% of consumers in the US plan to purchase an e-book reader in the next three years. American consumers have chosen their side on the digitization debate. Likewise, in our opinion, the advantages of digitization make it a clear choice over print media.

The advantages are numerous, but the main ones are portability, accessibility, and interactivity. E-readers, such as the iPad, Kindle, and Nook, are portable and allow you to carry as many books as they can hold and some even allow you to access the internet which houses even more reading material. The “books” on e-readers can incorporate different forms of media, making the learning experience much more interactive with videos and pictures. The availability of books is also increased due to the nature of the e-bookstore, which has no geographical limitations. So, as long as you have internet access, there is no need to drive to bookstore and pick up a physical book, just download new releases or classics immediately.

E-readers also benefit specific groups of people- authors, researchers, and the visually impaired. Independent authors benefit greatly from the shift to digitizing literature, because they are now able to get their work seen, without having a publisher or a book on the shelves of a bookstore. Researchers also benefit greatly due to the ability to search through text using a computer, rather than flip through pages of text looking for relevant information. Those who are blind, or have trouble reading standard sized print benefit from audio versions of the books available with e-readers and the ability to increase the font size of any book on their reader with one touch.

With so many advantages, the only disadvantages stem from the inability to access this technology, e-readers, or the internet. The cost and the need for some technical knowledge can exclude some people who have the ability to access physical books, but not digital versions. Also, given the nature of the e-reader, battery life does affect its use.

We have to wonder though, when we digitize books and print media, is anything lost? Is the information the same no matter what context? Can the feeling associated with print material, the ability to pick up a book off a shelf or at a bookstore and flip its pages be fully recreated digitally with an e-bookstore, a virtual bookshelf, and a page flip animation? In this transitory stage between print and digital media, we may not know the answers to these questions, but the answers may come to define digital natives as a populous who may become as comfortable curling up with a good e-book as their parents were with a book.

1. Can you imagine a world in which print doesn’t exist?
2. Is anything lost when you digitize print?
3. What is gained when you digitize print?
4. Do you feel this trend (digital outpacing print) will continue?
5. If this trend does continue, will it increase the technology gap between those who use technology and those who don’t?

“Is print dead? (Is it really?)[INFOGRAPHIC]” Penn Olson. 1 Sept. 2010.
Penn Olson. 3 Oct. 2010..

Google Map of My Hometown

Peachtree City is where I’ve spent most of my life. It’s where I call home. Atlanta is new and exciting, but I miss home. I miss riding by my high school in my car with the windows rolled down singing to the songs on the radio. So many memories reside in Peachtree City. The rocks at McIntosh remind me of prom, driving up to school at 11 pm and shaking spray paint cans, graduation, rites of passage. Rita’s Italian Ice reminds me of hot Georgia summers. The golf cart paths remind me of adventures with friends while the golf courses remind me of my lack of golf skills. Peachtree City will always be my home.

More negative effects of the internet…

For my chemistry lab, I have to log onto a website and create 3D models of compounds. This would be an easy lab if the servers of the website did not crash every time I tried to log on. It’s been about 3 days since going to lab, and I have yet to start my lab because I cannot log on to the website. The lab has become a pain because the technology that is required to do it does not work. Every one in 1211-K is having troubles with the lab. Luckily, we have two weeks to do it, but I would think that a technology school would be able to solve this issue quickly.

Are there negative effects of the internet?

The internet is an open domain where anyone can say anything basically and have a slim chance of any consequences, right? I know from personal experience that you need to be careful when posting things to the internet for others to see. If you know that people read your blog, then you should censor what you say especially if it’s going to hurt one of the readers. Blog wars can cause so much trouble and nonsense. It’s childish. One person writes something mean and the other person fires back. It’s a back and forth fury of words that leads to nothing. If you have a problem with someone, you should just talk to them face to face rather than posting hurtful words for everyone to see.

Even though the internet gives you free reign of what you do and what you say, it doesn’t give you the right to be hurtful towards others especially if you know the other person is going to see it.

This weekend, my roommate, a friend and I trekked over to Emory to see the Rushdie exhibit. We woke up early to eat breakfast and walk to the North Avenue Marta station. Walking over to the station, I became cranky from the heat and the amount of walking we had to do. I was not excited to go see the exhibit.  We eventually got on the Southbound train to Five Points and then the Eastbound to Inman Park. We eventually made it to the library at Emory and walked into the exhibit. My mood immediately changed after stepping foot through the rotunda. It was much different than I expected it to be. I was interested to go to the different parts of the exhibit. My favorite part of the exhibit was the interview section of Rushdie. In the Proust questionnaire, Rushdie was asked where we would like to live. He response was “I would like to live on bookshelves–forever.” He is interested in sports and music also. I thought it was cool that he helped write a song with U2.  Salman Rushdie is a very interesting man. Emory did an excellent job in archiving Rushdie’s digital collections and putting them on display. It was cool that there are interactive parts of the exhibit, where you get on a computer and see the different drafts of three of his books. It was also cool to see the sketches of his book covers. Emory put up an exhibit that showcased Rushdie and made him interesting to people who have never heard of him like me.

Death of Books?

While watching Live with Regis and Kelly last week, Kelly featured a book, It’s A Book by Lane Smith. The book focuses on a monkey who is reading a book. The donkey sitting across from him asks if it can Tweet or connect to the WiFi. The monkey’s response is always “it’s a book.” Lane Smith addresses an issue brought about by the new technologies of the Kindle, Nook and iPad. An individual can download a book off the internet and upload it on their book reader. There are many advantages to the book readers like size, and accessibility. The readers are about the size of a medium size book and are about a centimeter thick. They have the capacity to hold more than one book on them, and a person can download whatever book he wants off the internet. A trip to the book store is not necessary. There are disadvantages to the book readers also. How are you supposed to annotate a book when you can’t put pen to paper? Some of my best ideas come from annotating books. You write down a thought and then more thoughts come from your initial idea. What about that new book smell? You don’t get that anymore with the book readers. You get that smell of plastic or burning when it overheats.

Actual books with pages will remain my choice of how I want to read. I don’t mind that they are heavy at times. I love looking at my bookshelf and seeing that it’s filled with books that I’ve read in the past. Each book has a memory attached to it. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse reminds me of my month long journey throughout Vietnam. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares reminds me of middle school summers. Let’s try to keep the books alive and continue the memories attached to them.

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