Thursday, July 29, 2010
This site is for used the dance community. It is a tool to put up choreography, meet other dancers, learn about auditions and basically anything a dancer could ask for.
The title of homepage says Boogiezone.com - YOUR online dance community connection!. The audience for this website is dancers and the content definitely is designed for them. All of the external links work.
There is no author, or contact to author of the website, listed but they have copyrighted the site since 2009. Many dance events and competitions sponsor the site and it is obviously stated. The site is very accurate and there is no way to back track. There is also no non-web version of the site.
The site is very professional looking, but I will say it is also a little cluttered. The grammar, spelling and punctuation is correct, but the site is a little confusing to use. All of the pictures, videos and text support the overall theme of the website. The way I found out about this website is through advertisement and YouTube. There source code isn't anything special.
Overall I like the website because it promotes dancing unity. I still find it hard to use this website if I wanted to become a member of it. I can't imagine how it would be for someone who doesn't dance.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Web Credibility Assignment
RTST, Inc. (Right Start, Inc.)
The website I chose is called The Daily Beast, and this site is a liberally-slanted news and information hub geared toward anyone from Generation X to present. The site is instantly pleasing to the eyes, full of pictures and organized graphics, with thoughtful uses of color and font. The site also uses easy-to-understand language, simple, to-the-point headlines. Here is a deeper look into my synopsis of The Daily Beast.
The site I chose to critique is called The Daily Beast, and it is a site that was linked off of TheDrudgeReport.com. It is a political news site much like the Drudge Report, naturally, and seems to be very professionally made and completed to the fullest. In fact, not much empty space exists at all.
The site was last updated this year sometime, as it does not specify an exact date. Major media site links such as popeater.com, ew.com, TMZ and The Cut are all listed at the bottom of the website. This tells me there may be more fiction than fact on this site, or at least with more information gathered upon “rumor.” News stories take a more serious tone, however.
The site seems to be geared toward the young and hip late twenty-something’s or early thirty-something’s, with high graphic appeal and clear, modern aesthetics and layout.
RTST, Inc. created this website. An acronym for “Right Start,” RTST is part of the IAC family of businesses, which owns over 60 brands, including Citysearch.com, Ask.com, and Excite.com.
The site provides an avenue for responding via e-mail to various departments depending on your area of inquiry. This lets me know my question will be appropriately sent to a person from that department.
Sources are sited in the text if someone quoted something or if contributors were people to be recognized. However, no outside sources as I could see were quoted. Sources have naturally been pulled from news affiliates and the AP, since the site is corporately owned.
As professional as the site looks, I would have my doubts as to total truthfulness, simply because of their affiliation with TMZ. This would be a first impression.
The overall presentation of the site is excellent in my opinion. There are three columns, with two wide columns on the right and left, with one skinny column down the middle, known as the Cheat Sheet. While the site seems slightly cluttered at first glance, when closely observed, each section has a uniform heading and the site is surprisingly easy to navigate.
The site must be well edited, because I could not find any GSP errors, and all alignments of text are uniform. Headings are well contrasted with their associated text, and proportions, color and borders are used appropriately.
Finally, from looking at the source code, I recognized much of the basic tags and format, but also observed the hierarchic method of organization, which branched out from left to right. Much of the code was encrypted and highly complex, however.
The Daily Beast is definitely a unique and aesthetically inviting website, and one that would definitely target the younger more visually oriented crowds. I would recommend this site to anyone looking for humorous but truthful spins on the more important news of the day, ranging from politics to entertainment.
The title of the page is Austin News – Community Impact Newspaper for Northwest Austin. It appears to be complete as well as updated every day. The copyright at the bottom of the page says 2005-2010. I didn’t see any other indication for a date of creation. Most of the articles I looked at had various dates, all from the month of July. I believe the audience is intended to be the community of Northwest Austin, but I’m sure it also includes the general public. There are links to other sections of the site specific to other parts of Austin and Central Texas. There are many, many internal links. I didn’t come across any that didn’t work. All the external links I came across were for advertisements. I would assume that some of this information could be supported by the Austin-American Statesman or other news sites, but I don’t think that either publication always report on exactly the same thing.
The copyright at the bottom of the page says JG Media. I don’t know who they are or what relation they have to the online paper. The site is done by a “Web Team” and there’s a link to contact them; each article has a different author. The site is owned by a couple named John and Jennifer Garrett. The “Contact Us” page has lots of links for getting in touch with multiple people on the paper and there are lots of phone numbers and addresses for other means of contact. All their advertisements have something to do with some business or activity in Austin. I’m assuming that St.David’s, Round Rock Express, and AustinHomeSearch.com all sponsor the site. It’s a .com site and you can backtrack to get to main page for more options and information about the rest of the site. There’s not a lot available to verify that all the information is correct. It seems a lot like other news sites, just not as well known. There is a non-Web version of the site.
The site looks very professional looking but has a very busy layout that I think is distracting. It’s organized, but there’s so much information right up front. I don’t read the paper format of this site, so I am curious to know if it is similar to the paper layout. I think the writing style is appropriate for the articles I viewed. I didn’t come across any grammar, spelling, or punctuation problems. The format and navigation all worked fine and seemed helpful. I liked that there were different sections for the news and think the headings are good indicators for what readers might be looking to find. The images on the site were fairly plain, not that much different from what I would expect to see on other news sites. I did not come across any sounds. Most of the images did directly relate to the specific articles they were with. I found the site by googling news in North Austin; it was the first link that came up. Upon first view, I didn’t really feel like the news, editorial, and advertisements had separate presentations because so much appears altogether on the home page. However, the home page is sectioned off so most everything has its own place. The source code looked both familiar and foreign to me.
Overall, I like the site but I would still rather get my news from the Austin-American Statesman site. I think I might feel a little better about that site because I see the print edition of the statesman all the time and am more familiar with it. I don’t really like the layout of this site’s home page.
The content reflects the printed version to which I subscribe, but it also includes blog posts on most articles. It was fun to read what others were saying about the articles. Most of the links were internal links that worked well. I think in the future it would be helpful to include links to external sites. For example, the article about the school board’s bond election could be linked to the school district website or even more specifically to the board report on the website. The reporting, however, is primarily unbiased.
I am not sure who created the page, but I assume the newspaper staff had something to do with it. The paper is owned by Cox Newspapers and affiliated with the Austin American Statesman. As a .com site I know that it is not affiliated with the government or with an educational institution. The pages are set-up logically with the index page titled “Westlake Picayune” and others like “Westlake Picayune – News.”
The overall presentation of the website is professional, but I found several quirky things that need to be tweaked. For example, the navigation worked great from page to page, but there was no link to the home page, forcing the reader to reenter the url or hit the back button to return home. On another page the copy flowed on top of a photo. An email address was used to encourage readers to submit information for publication, but the reader cannot click on the email.
Looking at the code, it looks as if the page started as a WordPress theme, so I was surprised there wasn’t a link to the home page. I specifically like the way the photos rotated as a slideshow on the home page. I would like to learn how to do that on my own page. Overall I think the site is practical and user-friendly.
Overall, the content of the page is pretty good. The page is complete and has a title: BlackListed News. The site was created in 2006 and was updated today. The audience is people seeking news outside of mainstream media. Some of the articles have an anti-government bias, but not in tea-bagger fashion. There are tons of external links, to legitimate news organizations as well as other popular news websites, and they all work properly. Although there is an enormous list of external links, they are well organized, breaking them down to: Alternative news, information and analysis; news wires; community news aggregators; online only; business/economics; military; health & environment; major U.S. Newspapers; science and tech news; and satire & animation. The outside sources do support the information, but some of the articles tend to take an overly-pessimistic view of the facts. The facts are right, and supported by other news sources, however the writers like to add a little bit of anarchist-type pessimistic opinion to some of the articles.
The website has no information on who was the original creator, however there are currently many submissions from many different authors, some with notable credentials and some opinion pieces from readers, as well as other stories derived directly from major news organizations. The website administrators’ email is available on the site, and well written articles from readers are always welcome. The site doesn’t seem to have or need associations/affiliations. They generate revenue through advertising (mostly technology companies) and don’t need much money to keep up the site, as most of their stories are derived from other news sources. The domain name is simply blacklistednews.com, which doesn’t say much except that it is not news and opinion that gets the same coverage in mainstream media. The site is accurate; however some of the articles from black listed news contributors are laced with strong anti-establishment opinion. They like to use words like new world order and global governance in a tone assuming that any global authority is evil. However, there are tons of stories from legitimate, unbiased news sources from around the world. Within most of the stories, facts and opinions are usually in close range to the external links that support them.
The site is not as professional looking as other news websites; however its appearance is sufficient for an independent news site. The writing is free of grammar, spelling and punctuation problems and the style is appropriate for the news as well as their brand image. The format is simple and easy to use, with their list of sources and external links in one column and internal links to their stories in the other column. However, the advertisements are a little off-putting and make you scroll down a little to get to their excellent list of external links. The navigation is helpful, with a search option if you can’t find what you are looking for. The logo and flash at the top of the page reflect the brand image of blacklisted news well. The advertisements take up space on the wrong column, pushing the external news links down a little. However it is easy to differentiate them from each other. In the list of links, there is an editorial/analysis section, but in the main news column opinion is mixed with hard news. However, editorial pieces are clearly designated as such in the first line of reading. I looked at the source code first thing, trying to find a name of somebody in the style sheet link, but BLN is the only name used. The source has the meta tag: “The best in uncensored news information and analysis”. I had googled uncensored news to find the site. Other than that, there is nothing significant about the source code.
The website was complete, all the pages worked as well as their internal links. The website has a title: Advertising, Balloons, Inflatables, RC Blimps, Searchlights – Above&Beyond. It’s a long title, but at least they have one. Above & Beyond Balloon’s key audiences are companies who need an advertising gimmick or are planning an event.
There wasn’t much on the authority of the website. I’m pretty sure one of the company’s employees constructed the website, it doesn’t look professionally done. So I would have to say the creator would be Above & Beyond Balloons and their credibility is as a company. There is a contact tab which includes the company’s phone number, email address and physical address. They also have an online order/interest form to give them and idea of what a prospective customer wants. The sites domain is good for the company, it is an explanation of what they do.
The presentation of the website is not professional looking. It looks like something a child would create. It has a lot of cheesy aspects such as the flashing clipart and text. It is also very busy which makes it a little difficult to navigate. The navigation bar itself was also strange, it worked but looked like you were dropping down a tab in word. There were a lot of relevant pictures but there were a lot of unnecessary ones as well. Although the presentation is lacking, the grammar and content is good.
I think the site might be older because of the source code. The creator didn’t use a style sheet and used some old tags, no divs, which is another reason I figured it was an amateur. I found this website through a link Google brought up when I searched “ugly websites”. It was a link for an ugly website contest, so I lucked out!
Above & Beyond’s website needs a little makeover but the content fits perfectly with what they are trying to do, sell their stuff. If I were to give them one piece of advice it would definitely be to de-clutter the site.
In the summer of 1947, alleged alien material was found in Roswell, New Mexico. Since the 1970s, the controversial subject has been an interesting topic of conversation. The United States military denies the recovered material to be that of an extra-terrestrial but a destroyed technological device from a classified program. However, not a lot of information is known about the classified project. Supporters of the UFO phenomenon believe the U.S. military is trying to cover up evidence supporting other extra-terrestrial life forms.
I found the website, www.theroswellfiles.com, through a search on Google. The searched “Roswell UFO facts.” Even though the idea came to me randomly, I thought this would be an interesting topic to research because of the skepticism surrounding the subject. The site is under construction and a date is not listed for when it was last updated. The information used to create the website is historical dating back to the late 1940s and the site uses the information from that time. The site has several internal links leading to different pages: The Story, The Storytellers, The Government, The Witnesses, and The FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). Given the complexity of the subject, outside evidence supporting the incident in Roswell is questionable. The creators, The Aerial Anomalies Research Exchange, used a scientific approach when creating the website but outside information regarding the subject is two sided. There are proponents who support the idea of another life outside of Earth, and those who believe it is a hoax. The creators listed references on their “Credits” page. In it, they base their content on the knowledge acquired from witnesses and storytellers, as well as government agencies.
The Aerial Anomalies Research Exchange (A.A.R.E.) is the creator consisting of a group of authors: Matthew Graeber, Wim Van Utrecht and Bruce Hutchinson. Their mission statement is to provide as much information to followers in a scientific manner. I performed an additional search on Google of A.A.R.E. and there was not any information on the group. This made me think their credentials are not as significant as another groups. You can contact the group via e-mail but the site does not have a discussion forum for web engagement. The .com website does not have a sponsor. There are several references to outside sources but that does not make the information credible. The internal links lead to governmental data within their own site and the external links lead to other .com websites. The information is not factual nor presented by a government entity. Reports filed by the CIA and Air Force are located under “The Government” tab and the documents are shown to be written by the officials of that time in 1947.
The site is professional looking and easy for the viewer to use. The writing style is appropriate for the subject, scientific in nature but in some areas the creators show bias by questioning the historical documents presented to the public. It is free of any grammar, spelling or punctuation problems. The images used on the site are appropriate in relation to the content. The main image behind the title is a UFO and the type looks like the style of typewriter allowing the viewer to envision a government agency typing a classified report.
I find the site’s credentials questionable at best. I am unsure of my views of other life forms. However, I am fascinated by the subject but I would not use this website to base for more facts. The group is forthcoming in presenting their resources used to build the site but the links do not lead to .gov websites. They are presented within the website and it could be likely the resources are false and were used to create more influence on the material. Also, because I could not find any other information about the group, it made it difficult for me to take them seriously.
For project 3, I will make a hobby page surrounding my passion for art. In it I will outline my art preferences and favorite artists.
Perezhilton.com is a completely finished blog site, it is being constantly updated and the layout changes day to day with different themes. So say if Perez Hilton, the creator of the site, is wanting to advertise a show, he will make the background of the site a picture of the show’s cast and what time and date it will premiere. The audience of the site is the general public, it's just an informative site of celebrities and other issues. And there is some bias information on there, although Hilton does generally give the right information, he does slant it for his opinion. For example, the Miss America contestant from California , Carrie Prejean, he didn’t like at all, so he would give information and news about her, he would call her names and bash her. He has internal links on the site, so say if one of the titles is “Wacky but true” you can click that link and it will take you to all the other posts under, “wacky but true.” Outside sources do support his information because he generally is right and if it's not, he will correct himself. Hilton’s site is not scholarly supported because it's simply a celebrity gossip blog site.
Perez Hilton is the creator of this page. He has no credentials because he simply just made a blog page of celebrity gossip that has become very popular for his information. There are a few ways to reach Hilton, he has his e-mail address listed on the page to reach him and you can comment on this blogs too. There are no associations or affiliations on his page because again, it is a celebrity blog site. It is not clearly stated on who sponsors his site but it is a .com site. You can't back track the url because the site is www.perezhilton.com so that is the home page. But if you click through other categories it can take you to different parts of the site and you can always back track to the home page. The site is predominately accurate, he does use outside sources but always keeps them confidential. If he gets information from another place he does credit them in his posts. However, if he is ever wrong with information, he does state the he was wrong and puts the correct information up. And there is no non-web version of this site.
The site isn’t very, professional looking, but it doesn’t look unprofessional either. There is a lot of advertisements making the page look busy. I haven’t seen any grammar problems but he does purposely misspell words just for the style of the articles. The page is easy to navigate you can find your away around it easily. If there is a certain topic you are wanting to find, you can just type in the name and it will pull up all the information on that person or event up for you in an archive. Hilton does have image and sound bites for the different stories and they all function properly. However some of the images can be a bit inappropriate but it's just Hilton adding his own “touch” to his stories by drawing on faces and what not. You can google “Perez Hilton” and his site is the first one to pop up on google search. All the advertisements are on the side and bottom of the site and the stories are always in the middle. It's a busy site with all the advertisements, but it's clear and easy to read and find information. He uses meta tags and divs for his page construction.
McAllen News-Topix seems like a kind of social newspaper that is continuously updated. It all seems pretty well established and current (the last post was 3 hours ago) so it's not under construction. The site was launched in 2004 (but another site said it was founded in 2002), edited and the reopened in 2007 to "give anyone the power to discuss, edit and share the news that matters to them" (kind of sounds like Wikipedia...?) The audience is YOU, basically. Anyone who is interested in news or looking for news. There are both inside and outside links, and I did not find one that did not work. There is, I think, some slant or bias of information but not given the from the site creators themselves. Recent "McAllen Discussions" include such tops as "Border patrol guys can't be trusted-they cheat!" and "How do I hack into someone's myspace?" But other articles on the site are picked up from actual valley news sources, such as KRGV and the Valley Morning Star. So really, content credibility is up to the judgment of the reader.
Topix is based in Palo Alto, Calif., and was created by Topix LLC, a privately held company with investment from Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) and Tribune Company. Chris Tolles is CEO and orginially worked for Spoke Software, a business social networking company, where he was a co-founder and VP of marketing. Before Spoke, Chris was a Director of Marketing at AOL/Netscape for AOL Music, Netscape Search and Directory Products. You can contact him, but only through various outlets of the site itself. There is no direct email address, phone number, etc. You can leave a comment in the Feedback System, Press Room, Partners Page, etc.
Topix is a .com site and has advertising. You can backtrack the url, but only to the main site. I think the site is both accurate and inaccurate. It has links to news articles of other legitimate news entities, but it's also filled with opinion forums that seem to run unchecked and it claims that its content can be created as well as edited by anyone who wants to. I don't think there is a non-Web version.
This site is professional looking. The public posts and forums have some punctuation and spelling issues. The site is easy to use and the navigation is useful. Photos and visuals identify with news content and are not inappropriate. I found the site through Google.com, under McAllen tx news. It was #3 on the list. I feel like advertising is pretty blatant and easy to distinguish from news content. There was nothing in the source code that really grabbed my attention, but it could be because I'm still learning about all of this.
So overall impression, very interesting! However, I think I'll stick to the Monitor for my valley news.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
My Navigation would be as follows:
- Mine Familie
- Salzburger Festspiel
My layout would include native flag colors, festive pictures on each page relevant to the topic, and small buttons that include a rollover emblem of the Austrian flag.
Hope you think it will be great!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
When watching this video, I am reminded of the UPS commercials. I like it because it is a simplified video describing social media. I think it would be a good video to show in a classroom, educating youth on the progression from and toward social networking. They would be accepting of this learning tool because children today are more technologically advanced than our generation.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
While searching for this video, I also found a mock iPhone advertisement about what we've mentioned in class:
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
It is part of a series of tech-related cartoon shorts called Current, that each humorously describes different aspects of Web 2.0 culture, and as you can see, this video alone has over 2 million views.
Twitter in my opinion is much more than what this video depicts, however it is very interesting nonetheless because it shows how people have viewed Twitter for a long time, and it shows why many people had stayed away from and continue to avoid this vastly growing social media.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Today is my BIRTHDAY. I am 49-years old, and I just spent the past four days celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my husband, Kerry. He had planned a vacation to Florida before he found out I was going to be able to take courses this second summer session.
We have four children – four teenagers, actually. Two sets of twins. The oldest two, both boys, graduated from high school in 2009. Ryan attends the University of Arizona, and Sean is currently serving a year in AmeriCcorps NCCC. His last assignment is in the San Bernardino Mountains, preventing forest fires. In August, he will attend Texas State as a freshman.
My youngest children, age 14, will be sophomores in high school. Megan and Brendan are currently in El Salvador on a mission trip with our church and will be home on Friday. Normally, they keep me busy.
I received my Bachelor of Journalism from UT Austin in 1983. I have 23 years experience teaching journalism and advising student publications. I started my career teaching high school but after 10 years switched to middle school. I spent 12 years teaching at Hill Country Middle School in the Eanes School District in Austin before I took four year leave of absence. Last year was my first year back and I was fortunate to return to the same school, where journalism is valued and use of technology is encouraged.
I have taught Yearbook, Newspaper, Computer Technology, English and Photojournalism. I love technology and I love learning, so I decided to pursue a Masters in Educational Technology at Texas State University. Having earned 20+ graduate credits in the eighties, I had hoped I could do it quicker; however, I had to start over completely. Then when I went to enroll this summer, I found out that most of the courses that I had wanted to take are not offered in the summer. Yikes…so I changed directions and am now working on a Masters in Secondary Education, which frees me to take courses in other departments. I am excited to be working with Dr. Royal to learn all I can about web-publishing, so I can start an online newspaper at my middle school this fall. I feel fortunate to have met her by chance this summer.
I think that movie was a great way to start off the course because it really sparked my interest in the internet itself and how we'll be using it. I didn't know, for instance, that the first commercially available computer was made in the 1950s. A quote from the movie that I wrote down was that creation of the internet meant "Instant access to everything that's going on in the world." I think that sums it up perfectly. Combined with Ray Tomlinson's creation of what we now call e-mail, telecommunication and information accessibility will never be the same again as it continues to morph and evolve with the times.
And then there's me...My name is Lauren Marshall and I have so many hobbies that it would take me an hour to complete this blog since I only have 3o minutes before class I will sum it up. I love my photography and anything that has to do with creativity, I enjoy writing, singing, and dancing (IE in my apt alone because I am terrible). I like to work on cars, and I have a 69 Mustang Fastback. I have a VW GTI daily driver that is a lemon, and it breaks down every week. I love music and I am addicted to Third Eye Blind Pandora, and basically Pandora Radio in general. I dispise Justin Bieber for popping up on my Pandora Radio and really wish that he would go through puberty, so I could maybe take him seriously. I am not conventional and can be overwhelming at first, but most people grow to like me or at least stand my extrovertedness (I think I made that word up). I like to have a good time and am always down for a great party!
Insight about me: I love all GOOD music.... from single frame to t-bone walker; from gogol bordello to cab calloway to violent femmes to the pinebox boys. If they're doing their own thing and they're good at it, then I will listen. My only other passion is living in the austin-hill country area, where I can wake up and go wakeboarding and then tube the river and hike the greenbelt and still go downtown for monday night blues and drunken russian foot-stomping gypsy music all in the same day. Also, I like people who can shoot laser beams out of their eyes.
Monday, July 12, 2010
On to the documentary...
I think that the internet and the sharing of files across an endless network of intersecting electric signals makes the invention of the internet the most influential idea of this millenium. It expands endlessly and will change the world as we know it as information availability continues to set records every day.
And I agree with the saying that the internet is on par with the invention of the wheel, fire, and the printing press. In fact, I'd go to say in a short amount of time we will see just how much further the impact of the internet will have on humankind than even those aforementioned!
Good evening and goodnight.
Something in the video that I found interesting was that nobody was really intrigued by the idea of the ARPA-net in the beginning. I bet IBM and AT&T were kicking themselves after it took off, becoming one of the most successful technical advances.
I found the video we watched really interesting. I was somewhat surprised when, at the beginning, they said the internet could be compared to the wheel and fire. Although, the more I thought about it, the more I agreed. Had I been born before way before the Internet came along, I wonder if I would be more amazed by it than I actually am. I feel as though I was introduced to computers at a young age and by the time the Internet was really successful, it was something that kids were expected to know about. I remember long ago, when my friend John sent me my first email and I am fairly certain that this took place while I was in middle school. I feel silly now remembering how excited I was to receive my first ever email, even if it was only one sentence long! The video listed a few things that the Internet is: email, chat rooms, a shopping mall. What will it amount to in the next 10 years? Is there anything that is absolutely forbidden from being on the Internet? I think it's interesting how they said that they were still working on the... packets, I think it was, when they were sent off. I found it more interesting that they said they were still working on things and they could have KEPT working on things in regards to that project. I wonder what would've happened had they not sent it? There must be constant changes to the system we call the Internet. I imagine that if they had kept working on it, they may never have gotten around to perfecting it to their absolute satisfaction. I enjoyed learning about Ray Tomlinson. The @ symbol is so universal now, it's hard to imagine a time when it did not exist.