Throughout the semester thus far, my Digital Communications class with Professor Price has covered a variety of different topics in regards to blogging. I am going to focus on just a few of the topics that I had the opportunity to read and discuss about with my classmates due to the fact that we have covered such a vast amount of information. These topics include:
- Credibility in digital media
- Headlines and subheads
- Bloggers as Journalists
- Using Hyperlinks
Chapter 2, “Digital Media Versus Analog Media talks about the roles of Communicator, Organizer, and Interpreter. Each of these roles are reliant upon the writer’s credibility. When searching for or using a resource for work/research, it is necessary to use credible sources, that way people can be sure of whether or not the information gathered is useful. Credibility is ever so changing online in comparison to traditional media, especially considering how many different websites and users we have in today’s societies. The two dimensions for credibility are through “believability” and “community affiliation”. These include whether or not the information presented is credible, unbiased, or whether or not they serve to present information that a community believes as a whole. Due to the fact that we have so many web users worldwide, credibility is constantly being questioned and analyzed, making it much more difficult to become a credible source.
In chapter 4, “Headlines and Hypertext”, using effective writing skills and formatting to grab the attention of the reader are a necessity. The “headlines, headings, and headers are essential, therefore, because they stand a better chance as a set of being read than does body copy”. People read books, as well as using the internet, but more specifically, blogs. When reading blogs, people tend to skim throughout the page. What is it that really stands out to the reader? What is going to grab their attention? Headings. Most people do not have the attention span to read word for word what is in the text. If they are looking for something specific, they will look for a potential bolded heading or subheading directs their interest’s. The tones of headings and subheadings are also mentioned in this reading. Cute, clever, and sexual innuendos are hard to pull off in headings/subheadings, so in order to grab the attention of the reader, it is useful to include more descriptive words in tone and look to convey useful information about the text.
BLOGGERS AS JOURNALISTS
Chapter 7, “Blogito, Ergo Sum: Trends in Personal Publishing” mentions bloggers as journalists, which I found to be an interesting viewpoint. All major news media corporations have blogs in todays world because not only can they present information, but people also have the ability to comment and share their opinions on them as well. The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, WSJ, among others are considered credible sources that have millions of readers/subscribers worldwide. Their blogs are used to cover some of the most controversial issues and important topics of society on a daily basis. People reference these blogs as a source of information. Rather than post one article, these corporations use blogging as a journalistic standpoint to present live blogging. They can make their viewers feel like they have a sense of community and a place where they can congregate to speak on topics of similar interests. Bloggers are able to use tags so that readers/subscribers can quickly find particular posts that they are in search of. This also gives bloggers/journalists the opportunity to keep their content organized in their attempts to exercise their freedom of expression to the masses.
Hyperlinks are about “clarity and consistency”, mentioned in chapter 4 of “Headlines and Hypertext”. I agree that if a website does a good job of sending people away, they are going to want to come back for more. Hyperlinks are a great way of incorporating credibility into not only one site, but the sites that it sends people to through the hyperlinks. People do not want to have to search through links in order to find the information that they desire, rather the content should be provided in one simple link or maybe a few where the reader can gather any information they are looking for. I really appreciate hyperlinks because they allow me the fasted possible route to the most relevant information that I am interested in. Another thing that stands out about hyperlinks are that they tend to be a different color, many times in blue. This makes it much easier for the reader to point out and might direct them to a specific topic they’re in search of. It is definitely very important to make sure that there is consistency within the color scheme of the hyperlinks though. People can use embedded links, inline links, and anchors as hyperlinks. These all have different purposes such as determining where a reader goes when clicking on the link, whether to direct you to a certain point on the same page or to bring the reader to a completely separate page.