Monday, August 6, 2012

Final Project Idea!

My final project is going to be over the San Marcos Farmers Market. I'm interested in getting the story behind the people that are involved in the market and talking about their product/produce. I went to the market on Saturday and got some interviews and pictures!

Fresh peaches! 

Kruse Folk Art and Kruse Art

Final project

I'm going to do my final project on the issues with littering. I'm going to focus on littering in the San Marcos river. I volunteered for a river clean up project last semester and it made me realize how many people don't respect the river. I enjoy kayaking and am bothered when people throw trash into the river.

San Marcos is beautiful and the river is beautiful. If people continue throwing trash wherever they please, the beauty won't last for long.

Final Project Idea

For my final project I am going to visit the San Marcos Nature Center and learn what it has to offer as many people do not know it exists. I want to look around the facility and get background info on the center, what it offers to our community and what it has for future plans.
Hopefully this will spark curiosity to people currently living in San Marcos or to those who are visiting San Marcos to have a stop and look around at our local wildlife and plants.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Final Project- Healthy Students

As a health professional, I decided to focus my final project on something which could contribute to my field. As students, we are in a unique position where we may also be working jobs, raising families, or just trying to live on our own for the first time. It's difficult to maintain a consistent schedule, and often also then difficult to remain healthy and composed. This site will focus on a few people who are students at Texas State, as well as some others, and discuss how they each maintain their health in the mental physical and nutritional aspects.This site will not be, though they may be a resource. This is a more comprehensive look at health for students in all stages of their academic careers.

Idea - final project

For my final project, I want to talk about Autism. Mi dea is to cover how families adapt to this dissorder when they have a kid with this condition. I will cover issues like their everyday challenges, biligualism, information available and therapy.  I'll be working with a specific case.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Final Project

Since I'm huge fan of radio, a former Clear Channel employee, now involved with KTSW here on campus AND aware that finding a job in radio is virtually impossible in the working world, I want to do a piece on aspiring DJ's. Given that the majority of people in radio want to be personalities, I'm interested in the motivation of wanna-be dj's. Why do they love radio, who are their inspirations and why do they pursue a career that is limited, shady and dwindling? That's the goal at this point. I'm sure this will mold into something more substantial.

As always, I will incorporate my hero in this post. A shot of Stern in the studio during his college days!

Final Project- Hispanic: San Marcos Culture

As we all saw today, the example of was a website that described Texas State University being a service to Hispanics. Yesterday I came up with the idea of doing my story on the "San Marcos Mexican." Of course, I will not use that title for possible ethical reasons. Anyhow, I want to cover the Hispanic culture and population in San Marcos. Including demographics, culture, etc. and also see if people experience any cultural barriers between local Hispanics and the large population of college students.  Here's a photo of Hays County, which is where I believe the majority of San Marcos falls into.

Olympic Shenanigans

Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson Break-up

2012 Olympics

Olympics 2012 Partners and Supporters

Final Project: Hay County Political Groups

My final project will cover the local politics and government scene. The Hays County Democrats and Organizing for America are always looking for more volunteers and hosting fundraisers on behalf of democrats, both local and nationwide. I'll take a look at those behind the scenes, what goes into organizing the groups and events, and what leads them to put in all the effort. There is also an event this weekend that should be attended by a few candidates, so I'll be looking to interview them as well.

North Korea in the Olympics

Final Project: Waiting Your Way Through College

Waiting tables is a very common job for college students. Late nights, excessive $1 bills, and grumpy customers are just a part of the gig. I think it would be interesting to hear about the difficulties and the benefits of being a waiter from college students who do/have done it for a living. I would also like to get a managers perspective, possibly a manager who waited tables as a student and worked his or her way up.
 I plan on interviewing several subjects - male, female, white, black, hispanic, etc. - who are currently in school and waiting tables.
I also plan on interviewing a couple of former waiters and asking, in retrospect, if waiting tables was beneficial to their future.
I will also interview at least one manager - to get their story, and to get a comparison of college student waiters to non-student waiters.

Living in a Foreign Country

Travelling abroad sounds like fun to most of us. However, once you end up in a foreign country for good, it may be the end of fun and a beginning of a slow and somtimes painful process of adjusting and assimilating into a different culture at the often expense of sacrificing your own.
I am planning on interviewing some people from Central Europe (first generation), who permanently live in Austin. I will focus on people from small countries, like Czechs and Slovaks, who do not have big communities around Austin, but culturally are an important part of Texas history.
I may be able to interview someone from the second generation, but I am not sure yet if they will be willing to participate. I would like to focus on topics like:
  •  keeping up with their own culture
  • living with a foreign accents
  • maintainig the knowledge of their mother tongue

Final Project

My topic is the campus ministries such as Chi Alpha. There are several campus ministries which are not only national organizations but also local ones. They do missionary work and various activities inside and outside of campus, and they also focus on supporting the international students in the campus. Especially, in Texas State University, campus ministries are offering many supports to international students. Many international students of Texas State University get help from them regardless their religions. I would like to interview some people of campus ministries about these topics. In addition, I will search about their previous activities, difficulties in doing their job, and plans for following future. The sub-topic of my final project would be history of campus ministries in Texas State University, activities outside and inside of campus, supporting international students, and connection with national organizations.

Final Project: San Marcos food trailers

For my final project I would like to create a web page centered around the food trailer industry, how to get started in this business, the vast and original types of foods created, and the history of the two standing food trailer parks in San Marcos, TX. I'd like to interview vendors, investors and customers and primarily focus on these small but flourishing businesses in San Marcos. I'll ask about future plans for the businesses, how they handle each others competition, what these companies do to stay afloat (promotional offers, activities, special events) and touch on any upcoming events if possible.

I'd like the idea of this page to be a complete informational page on the food trailer industry but focused from Mimi's Trailer Park and The Hitch's Mobile Eatery perspective. This page can also be very useful for potential vendors.

2012 Olympic Milestones and Firsts

London 2012: Badminton

Final Project

For my final project I want to interview the producer for the Bobby Bones Show, Alayna Messer.  I think it would be cool to film what she does around the studio.  People who aren't familiar with the way radio works wouldn't know the magnitude of her job, she really keeps the whole show together.  I think it would be a good way to educate people, plus give them an inside peak of the show.  As far as my video goes, I'd like to just capture what the day to day tasks are of being a producer for a highly successful morning show.  I'm real excited for this and can't wait to see what everyone else is thinking of doing!  Good luck!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


My Final Project Idea

The idea I am developing for my final project is to do a feature on the University of Texas at Austin Department of Computer Science Virtual Reality (VR) Lab.  In other words, show different perspectives of one of the many labs at UT Austin that does really incredible things in computer science research.  The lab is known for its specialized research in computer vision as an aspect of virtual reality

A number of the students in the VR Lab are doctorate students working on cutting edge research using extremely high-dollar technology equipment.  This is not the kind of tech equipment you'll find on the shelf at Best Buy... However, it is pretty amazing when you see it and notice it resembles a video game or something from an arcade, yet some of it costs as much as a small house! 

I would like to do interviews with one or two of the professors who direct the lab, and hopefully interview some of the PhD students.  I would like to present an overall perspective of the VR Lab that an everyday "layperson" would understand, including information about their research equipment and photos, interviews with the professors and what they most want the public to know about their research.  I may also include information about the various places these doctorate students have presented their research in the U.S.A. and around the world.  I have met a number of the students in this lab personally and I am amazed at the research they are conducting. 

Controversial Competitions

Empty Seats st the 2012 Olympics

Misty and Kerri

The Fab Five

For my storify, I wanted to create one over the U.S.'s Women's Olympic team because of all the news coverage and fan support they have been seeing. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, July 30, 2012

How To - Tricks for your iPhone 4!

I know that a lot of you have moved on to the iPhone 4s already, but I'm still using the iPhone 4 and I found this tutorial very helpful! Most of these also apply to the iPhone 4s anyway.

I enjoyed this video tutorial because I am always down to learn some new short cuts! I think everyone can appreciate that the guy is showing us how to get things done faster - who wants to waste time messing with that silly scroll bar?!? It's also fascinating to me that I've owned my iPhone 4 for about 6 months now and I'm STILL learning new things about it. Exciting. Gotta love Apple!

You can do that?

Throughout the history of mankind, fewer things have frustrated people more than trying to fold a fitted sheet. Many people have tried only to fail miserably, and usually end up bunching it into a ball and shoving it in the back of the closet. I myself have fallen victim to the 'Venus fly trap' of linens, sucks you in only to discard you after it has sucked the life out of you. 

The Beauty of Texas State

The Future of Education... And Cue Point Juggling

Few would argue against the fact that the internet is the single greatest collection of information ever invented by man (the distinction being made for all of you who would contend that the universe itself is the greatest source of information, being that that's all anything is). The implications of a connected planet range from easy access to music, to ensuring that all can be educated regardless of location or finances. I believe the transitions education systems all over the world are making to the digital sphere are essential to progress and equality. Despite the idealistic (and distinctly American) notion that you can always rise above your current situation and educate yourself, access to higher learning concepts are either actively being barred (I'm looking at you, Texas GOP) or are simply far too expensive to attain without driving yourself into tremendous debt. The only way to continually educate the masses in a fair manner is to move the lessons and content to a free space where anyone can reach it. MIT caught on long ago that the web is the perfect way to take educational content straight from the classroom and put it into people's homes; many more universities have followed suit. The idea is that everyone benefits from an educated society- why wouldn't we all do our part to ensure that comes to fruition?

All of that aside (I could go on for days and really should cut myself off), I'm a big fan of online learning, whether it be from a hobbyist standpoint or an educational one. The instructional videos I usually end up watching mainly center around musical techniques that I'd like to learn. My favorite resource for instructional videos is DJ TechTools, a digital DJ blog. Their videos are always extremely informative and offer great tips and step-by-step guides on how to do just about anything related to electronic music performance and recording (something not too common in the sometimes pretentious and secretive world of DJing). The video above is a great example of the intuitive and laid-back style with which Ean Golden always handles his tutorials, showing what's going on with both the equipment and onscreen. It couldn't be simpler to learn the basics of cue point juggling with this video, an awesome little trick for your next DJ set (which I'm sure is coming up soon).

Lost Passport?

I went on a trip to Florida back in October...I stupidly brought along my passport and when I returned from Florida it was nowhere to be found. My hope was that as I began to clean out/move out of my current apartment, I would find it hidden somewhere. But alas, it is gone. So I used the idea for this blog post and found a very helpful video on YouTube:

The video tells you exactly what you will need and the steps to take when you have lost your passport. Watching the video led me to this link, which has the form I need and the questions I must answer to receive a new passport. I feel learning online is something that is second nature to a lot of people. If someone wants to know how to do something, I'm almost positive there is a video on YouTube instructing you how to do so. I refreshed my memory on how to sew this past halloween as I was making me and my boyfriends halloween costumes. With help from YouTube, people can learn just about anything.

How to Make a Monkey Fist Knot

Not to long ago, during the spring semester, I discovered the knot of the monkey fist. Interested in making my own monkey fist key chain, I searched YouTube to find an instructional video to assist me. The video that I found was most helpful was the one I embedded above.
Seeing that I didn't have para-cord or a ball bearing, I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased some polyester decorative trim, normally used when making your own rugs, and a bag of marbles to use a glass marble as a substitute for the ball bearing, all together costing about $4. It took me about two hours to complete the entire thing, starting and stopping and starting all over again, seeing that I'm a perfectionist. The instructional video was very helpful, explaining step-by-step how to make your very own. If you want to make a new key chain that is cool then you should definitely give this a go.

How to Pipe a Rose with Frosting

On my lazier days, I love to watch Cupcake Wars on the Food Network and other baking shows. When I'm bored enough, I'll Google different recipes and videos of people making desserts or cakes. Over the weekend I saw a wedding cake on TV with buttercream roses on it. I was fascinated and knew there would be at least one video of someone making a demonstration on YouTube. I found this video of a baker carefully demonstrating the making of a buttercream rose. The video is extremely detailed and is over 10 minutes long because the baker is so precise  and detailed in her explanation of how to make these types of roses.

Although this video is a great how-to video, I believe this baker's instruction uses words and phrases only a baker would know and this particular DIY is not fit for those without the proper knowledge or previous instruction. It can get a little boring to watch this process go so slowly but I understand the care the baker is taking in this video. Overall, the details and information in this video are quite helpful, making it one of the better how-to videos I've seen on YouTube. 

The Fishtail Braid

 This past year or so, I noticed people talking about the "fishtail braid" in magazines, such as Lucky and Shape, and I had seen celebrities wearing it on TV. I thought this look might be fun to learn; since I don't usually care about what my hair looks like, I wanted something easy to do that could look good messy as well as neat. Blake Lively wears it well, below.
I sought a You Tube tutorial for the first time, literally ever. I was pleasantly surprised to find a tutorial by one of my style icons, Lauren Conrad. I felt this 'do was meant to be, and thoroughly enjoyed the tutorial. It's quick, with mostly music playing as you watch Conrad's hands moving through her hair. I like the clean, simple look of the video. It was obviously done by a professional, though there were other vloggers with tutorials on the same subject.

I found this video very helpful, especially since the cameras and lighting really helped me see what she was doing. Now I just need to get hair extensions to achieve the full effect of this braid. Lauren Conrad has a ridiculous amount of hair, of which I'm extremely jealous. Maybe next I can seek a video on installing fake hair.

YouTube Tutorials

I am constantly learning new things from YouTube.  If I'm ever curious as to how to do something (and it's always girly things like hair, make up and nails) Youtube is my go to site.  It's kind of one of my favorite past times. Seriously, the majority of things I know how to do is because of how to videos.  They're great resources, and they're free!  Why not take advantage of it?  The very first thing I looked up on YouTube was a tutorial video on how to do a certain hairstyle.  Ever since then, I was hooked!

Since the majority of our class is girls (sorry guys!) I decided to share this video.  It teaches you how to french braid your bangs.  It's super cute and really easy!  This is actually the exact video that I watched and learned how to french braid--so obviously it's really helpful too! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

How to Ink & Color on Adobe Illustrator

I love YouTube when it comes to learning new things. You really can learn almost anything if you just look it up on either Google or YouTube. I mainly look up 'how-to' videos that help me draw or do digital work. Thanks to YouTube I've taught myself a lot of cool Adobe skills before even taking a class that teaches it to me. It just shows anyone can learn if they try hard enough.

The video above is showing people how to quickly 'ink' and 'color' their drawings using Adobe Illustrator in a timely manner. I like learning things fast so watching videos is much more preferred than reading, and it's great that I get to watch and pause the video when I try to copy what the person is performing.

I really enjoy this video and recommend it to anyone that is new to Illustrator and wants to try digitizatizing something they sketched up. He speaks clearly and uses a program that lets you watch what tool he uses and where he goes to achieve certain effects. This is a great video to have open and playing while doing your own drawing in the background, you'll learn quickly by matching what he does and you can restart the video endless times until you finally understand.

YouTube is a great source for learning all sorts of things. If you ever are curious about something or want to try something new look it up on YouTube. I'm happy there are so many people willing to help and post these videos for people learning like me!

Learning Online & How-To Videos

Using online how-to videos to learn how to do something can be as easy or difficult as you make it.  Sometimes it is as simple as just watching the first few minutes of a video to see if it is explained well and easy to follow and sometimes you need to "search smarter" with your key words.

This video is one I've used many times.  It shows how to embed a YouTube video into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.  I've referenced it from my YouTube favorites multiple times to remember how to correctly embed a video in my school presentations.  (Anything to make PowerPoint more interesting right? I'm sure we've all dreaded it at some point.)

I found it to be easy to follow with clear instructions.  With the convenience of technology at our fingertips, we really have become an impatient society with regards to some things.  I'm definitely guilty of not wanting to watch a 19 minute video when a different one teaches the same thing in less than five minutes.  I'm also guilty of looking at how long the video is before I take the time to start watching it.

Just as we have been learning to "figure things out for ourselves" in this course on Web Design, I've been known to go hunting online to figure out how to do something with software I may not have advanced skills in.  Videos that have a narrator explaining what they're doing over filming of their computer screen are helpful versus videos that only have a music soundtrack in the background while the person demonstrating moves quickly through the tutorial without saying anything.   That is one of the primary reasons I like this video.  The YouTube video selected to demonstrate embedding may be a bit silly, but the instructions are clear and I can pause it while I go to the next step.

The only difficulty I have found (even with the ubiquitous presence of Microsoft Office products) is that after I test the links at home, play the entire presentation, and then test it on another computer, it will still manage to malfunction and not work right in the middle of a presentation.  So, in the case of PowerPoint and YouTube videos, I just make sure I add the regular link below the embedded video so I can click on it if necessary. 

How to grip the baseball

As a big fan of baseball games, I have interest in gripping the baseball. When I watch baseball games on television, casters always say about grips of pitchers. I think that knowing about the grips might make baseball fans can get more fun. Therefore, I would like to search how to make the grips baseball on YouTube. There are many videos for it, and I want to introduce some awesome videos.

The first point for a good instructional video is that the video should make viewers focus on contents for simple backgrounds. Messy background might interrupt viewers with concentration on contents of videos.

The second point is that the explanations should be easy to understand because most of viewers might be the beginners just like me. For example, in the second video above, the instructor explains grips very slowly.

Also the length might be important in making instructional videos. If a video would be so long for watching, it might bore viewers. Of course, if we can make captions to help people's understanding, it would be a better way for videos.

Learning something on YouTube has many advantages. For example, we can learn whatever when I want to do, and it is free, of course. If I want to learn advanced level, maybe I would be better learn it at offline academy, but before that, I can have a chance to learn the basic level online.

How to make a textured painting

The good news about making textured painting is that you don't need to draw perfectly. As you can see in the following picture, the texture of the painting isn't perfect:

About textured techniques, I found this video very useful. Even though it is in Spanish, you can easily learn about textured painting step by step. You may need to look for the right materials on the interntet, but everything else is shown on the video.

Also, I found this video well done. The music, the author's logo, the transition between each step and the performance of the zoom in and out helped to reach the purpose of the video: teaching.

How to interview someone

In preparation for our final project, I wanted to get some ideas and tips on how to interview someone and make it a good experience for the person being interviewed. The first video I came across was quite a disappointment--just a slide show with a handful of tips:


However, a few of the tips were helpful and made sense like having a conversation, not sticking strictly to the list of questions, and having fun.

The second video on the same topic was a little better, however, Chris Pirillo was getting off topic a lot, he was too informal, and "all over the place". It seemed to me that what took him about nine minutes to describe could be said in five.

Finally, I found exactly what I was looking for: an interview with a professional journalist with a lot of experience in interviewing people. In five minutes, Katie Couric delivered just what I was expecting: basic information on how to make interviewing a good experience for the person interviewed and get the best material for the audience.

This is what I took from the video:
  • be warm and welcoming and try to get the other person relaxed
  • don't just read the questions, have a conversation
  • be a good listener and explore additional topics if the opportunity comes up
  • do your research and learn as much as you can about the topic
  • be empathetic
  • don't use "yes" or no "questions"
  • remember who you are serving--your audience
I also looked up a few more tips about how to conduct a good interview on the web.

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to via YouTube

I have never been able to get on the band wagon of YouTube. I never have the spare time to spend looking up information or videos on the internet. The only reason I may have seen a funny video is because my little brother insists I look it up. Being assigned to look up some how to videos was a first for me. I found this task to be hilarious! You can learn to do anything from videos! The first one I watches was this man making "towel heart swans." I couldn't take him seriously because he's just an awkward person! If you watch it, you'll know exactly what I mean!

This second video I found insane! I would never think to do this, and this girl has some talent! I find it a little creepy to be honest! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Website design I like

Three websites I like the design of are mainly because they are easy to ready and also easy to navigate. If I can't find what I'm looking for, I will usually browse elsewhere.  (I like reading news sites a lot.)

I really like CNN, News 8 Austin and Belly Dance by Stacey Lizette because they are neatly arranged, not cluttered, and organized appealing to the eye.   

1.  CNN

2. News 8 Austin / YNN Austin

3. Belly dance by Stacey Lizette (Since I am a belly dancer I browse dance information online a lot.)

Download: True Story of the Internet

Commentary by Liz

I totally agree with one of the comments made by the host John Heilemann:  communication is the number one thing in hot demand by people around the world, and the internet is increasing how fast we communicate at lightening speed on a daily basis.  The is of course zero question that companies like Google and Yahoo changed the world, but a hot topic question that persists today is individual privacy rights amidst all that communication.  I think the public is still playing catch up to technology and will continue to do so for a very long time. 

Another theme I'm reminded of by this documentary and others like it is the astonishing pattern that a number of millionaires and billionaires created by these amazing technological inventions were college dropouts.  I agree with what Vera mentioned in her blog post:  a substantial amount of middle class privilege contributed to their ability to create these amazing inventions.

However, I am also reminded of a comment by Bob Metcalfe in his Texas State presentation last year: these pioneers, including him, didn't create these things just because it was interesting.  It was purely out of necessity. What they needed did not exist yet.  The same goes for the founders of Yahoo when they were trying to beat a basketball betting pool.  And as for regulations on the internet, this is a hot topic that will not fade away soon.  Napster certainly had an example made out of it and bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act have led to related pieces of legislation floating around Congress.  Creativity should not be stifled and these bills are often far too over reaching, but who decides that? This is a question future generations will be deciding.

Well-Designed Websites

Uncrate is a shopping blog centered around manly man items for men. Its clean, simple design lends well to the upscale feel of the website, also bolstered by its mostly luxury items. It only takes a quick glance to glean that this is a website for the modern man with money, everything coalesces nicely to exude a distinctly rich and modern feel (even when they're just featuring bacon-flavored something-or-other).
Reddit is a social news hub where the content is all user-contributed (ideally; I'm looking at you, marketing teams trying to figure us out). The best thing about the design and layout of Reddit is its absurd simplicity. It's essentially just a list of links, sometimes accompanied by a small thumbnail. That's it. But really, what else does one need?

eBay is the world's most famous auction site, one I'm sure you're all beyond familiar with. My favorite thing about eBay's design is that it's constantly evolving. The design team is always gathering information on how users use the site and what the site is lacking. Feedback is not only welcomed at eBay, it's begged for; they want to know how to make your experience better in every way possible, rolling out new features and site-wide revamps often, based on their user's suggestions. There is no site more in-tune with the needs of their user base and that is something to be admired and respected in a company.

I'd like to use these sites to influence Project 3 by incorporating an extremely simple interface focused on visuals and interactivity (as any good site should). I'll also concentrate on user feedback, asking friends and classmates what they feel they need from a site like mine to be not only useful, but intuitive and fun (for lack of a better word). I'm thinking I'll make the site reflect either local politics or philosophy, but I still haven't decided for sure. Perhaps a bit of both? The two topics do share a lot of important focuses, so joining them together somehow wouldn't be too much of a task.

Nice websites

1. Wellington

This is a light, colorful and easy to navigate site. Even though, it is about tourism, the concept can be applied to any field. It has a lot of information but it is well organized; the layout and colors also help to organize and find the information you are looking for.

2. Beyond the Rack

What I like about this website is the easy way to buy and how the new brands and products are posted every day.  The design is very simple, maybe too simple, but it makes the product to be the protagonists of the site.

3. Hulu

This site has a light, simple and friendly user design. They have a good use of the white as a background that makes a light home page while having many elements at the same time. Also, the combination of color is great.

The History of Search and Future of Internet Regulation

The monetization of the internet, lead by the efforts of companies like Yahoo! and Excite in the late nineties, was simply a manifestation of its true nature. The internet is a product of the people, all-inclusive and non-discriminate. The idea that someone would eventually find a way to make money off of this wide open platform is far from surprising. Although few might've predicted the ubiquitous nature of the internet, any media professional can tell you that anything with a large enough audience will eventually be used for marketing purposes. Google obviously ended up winning this advertising war (hindsight is always 20/20, especially for Excite), but the beginning battles were really up for grabs. The discovery of the monetization possibilities of keywords changed the game, AdWords essentially ended the competition (stolen or otherwise). The origins of search online are extremely similar to many other facets of media, filled with trial and error, vicious competition, a dose of corporate theft, and a hefty amount of foresight and luck. The proliferation of Google online has only increased since they staked their claim as overlords of the internet.

The internet is the ultimate social tool. Whether it's the sharing of news or information, friends' photos, or music, its power is both extremely important and nigh-impossible to stifle (for every Napster taken down, two more will always pop up). The implications of this form of expression are far-reaching and essential to the evolution of human interaction. The sudden rise of P2P with the onset of Napster truly showed how drastic and quickly a good idea can take off online. The legal system is now constantly trying to keep up with the internet, usually two or three steps behind. Piracy is a hot-button issue in today's political environment, one that won't be going away anytime soon. The DMCA is constantly being challenged and hidden from all over the world, giving the United States what might seem like (to those paying attention) too much power over international matters. The issue is only spreading, with physical items finally being able to be downloaded in the form of 3D printing schematics ("You wouldn't download a car, would you?"), undoubtedly bringing with it new laws and regulations.
One car, please.

Unique Websites

Screenshot of Reddit's layout
It's interesting to think about how few websites I actually go to on a regular basis, considering there are over 225 million domain names, which can each host one webpage, or hundreds. Reddit is by far my favorite place to go when I separate my laptop screen from my keyboard and press the power button. Links are submitted by users based on relevance and interest, and other users upvote and downvote the links if they found them useful or interesting, making the links toward the top of the page the most sought after and relevant to whats currently going on. There is a "Front Page" which compiles the top links from various "subreddits", or the user can direct themselves to a "subreddit" that is tailored to one specific topic, like gamingtechnology, or news. The beautiful thing about Reddit is the influence the users have not only online but offline as well, and the amount of control and input the users have on the content.
Another current favorite of mine is fftoolbox,
fftoolbox screenshot
which is a fantasy football website with information on teams, players, and other breaking news from around the NFL. The content and usability are the main reasons I find myself on this site a lot. There are other fantasy football websites with very similar content, but this site is easy to use and navigate. The last website I will introduce you to is the nbcnews website, which is my go to source for breaking, or archived news stories from our county and around the world. With different news categories and a very nice website design, this new site is one of the best on the internet. Formally, the new website design and functionality are all major improvements from the former.

Digital revolution

Both documentaries the history of the browser and the people that digitalized the future were interesting and also informative. It is clear that the use of internet made the information more participatory and democratic. Having the point of view of the different developers such as eBay, Yahoo, Amazon, Netscape, Google, Facebook and Napster among others brings us a better understanding of the context in which these online sites and browsers were developed.

Also, it is interesting that after the appereance of the internet, many people were trying to take advantage of it and they started to develop new ideas in order to provide a better use of it. In general, these people were pretty young but with good instincts and vision of the possibility of creating a more friendly and functional use of the internet. Off course, these good ideas weren't enough and they found investor to able to develop better their online projects.

Websites that I LOVE

First of all, I'm a girly girl. So naturally, I love Not just because of the content, but because of the simplistic them and easy-to-navigate layout. I love it. LOVE it. Also, it's ad free (besides the occasional spam "pin"). The idea is genius, and I love to craft, so I can spend hours at a time on this website and still manage to feel productive!!

For shopping purposes, I love It says that it's a "teen fashion" site, but it actually has very cute clothes for all ages and all occasions. I prefer Alloy to other shopping sites because, again, it is very easy to navigate. It also has interesting articles for young women, horoscopes, and lots of sweepstakes if you're into that stuff!

As I said earlier, I'm a bona fide girly girl. So naturally - I love to do pretty things with my pictures for Facebook, Twitter, Instragram - whatever. My all-time favorite photo-editing website is  While most photo-editing websites charge extra for the "premium" effects, Befunky is completely free. I have also found that Befunky is very easy to use - it takes no time to make an ordinary picture into a masterpiece! It also has an awesome app!

For Project 3, I am doing a website dedicated to my hobby - running. I am going to document my progress and my accomplishments, and provide links to related websites. I want my site to be visually stimulating, but simple and easy to navigate.

History of the Internet

It's funny how easily one can almost completely forget how something used to be. For instance when someone gets a new haircut we usually have a hard time remembering what that person used to look like before. Same theory applies to the internet. These documentaries help remind us of the shortcomings and frustrations we all had to deal with on a day-to-day basis when you started your Dial-up connection. Early advertisers drooled over the potential this never ending blank canvas could offer them, but developers were hesitant to allow advertisements for fear of driving the customer away. Can you imagine an internet without advertising? After the Google guys  came along and changed everything with their unique algorithms and brilliant business plan , the internet was no longer an endless "link-to-link" process. One could actually search for something in particular and find it with relative ease. Yahoo, Alta-Vista, and Excite! were all around and established before Googling was a household term, and Google came to the game with a completely different strategy and mindset, one that put the user first and made function ability a paramount. Google not only changed the search engine game, but changed the way we navigate the internet all together. Lucky for Google, they weren't around in 2000 and 2001 when the dotcom bubble burst and trillions of stock exchange dollars that had been invested in start-up companies were lost, a sum of about $3.5 trillion, almost crippling the prospect of successful e-commerce for small and large companies alike. Some companies survived the burst, namely eBay and Amazon, by placing the tools of functionality into the users hands and allowing them to do as they please. Customer satisfaction and good quality interaction became more important than flashy gimmicks or pretty homepages, and that holds true today. When we look back on the invention and early years of the internet, many things will be forgotten and misremembered, and who knows, the internet may be a completely different place than it is today. 


A website I have started using frequently this summer is I can look for newly posted internships for any city in America with specific internship interests for my major. I really like the colors and textures used on this website; it has an older, rustic look with simple fonts and bold colors that I think appeal well to college students. It also has incorporated links to Twitter and blog posts by interns working through the site as well as posted tips and ideas for excelling in your internship. I believe the site has great navigation, an interesting/memorable logo, excellent content, and is a great site for finding available internships. I recommend it to anyone in pursuit of an interesting internship like me.

IMDb is a website I have been frequenting for years. This is my go-to website for any film knowledge or questions I might have. Here, I can look for ratings, reviews, trivia, years of release,  box office information and so much more. I spend a lot more of my time on the IMDb application on my iPhone than the website, and check it daily for new trailers and information on upcoming films. I love looking up my favorite directors like Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino to see what new projects they are working on for the future. This particular website doesn't draw me in for its design but for its content but I believe IMDb is easily accessible with appropriate navigation strategies and a consistent color/font theme. The content on this site may be too cluttered for some but I think in this case the content of this site is more important than the design.

A third site I visit frequently is Netflix. I do not have a smart TV but what I do have is an HDMI cable! This way, I can use the Netflix website on my laptop to watch any movie or show on the site and then use my cable to plug my laptop to my TV and watch instantly. Netflix has changed their navigation strategies throughout the years to make it easier for customers. I have always liked that Netflix will show the title of a film or TV show with a cover so the customer can get some sort of visual insight on the program before watching. Although it can be annoying at times, I can appreciate their scrolling of film/TV covers because most of the time visual interest will be the deciding factor on what a customer will watch. Definitely a smart navigation strategy to make the website more appealing, visually. I also like the ability to rate what you've watched and that Netflix uses these ratings to find films and TV shows you might be interested in.

As far as Project 3 is concerned I am not sure what I will focus on specifically as of now, but I do know I'd like to relate it to film or music, if possible. Perhaps to an film society in Austin or for an up and coming band who needs better press? Whatever it will be I know I will need an effective navigation strategy, an bold and recognizable style sheet and lots of good content to make my site credible and memorable.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Download: The True Story of the Internet

     This documentary dealt with several topic around the Internet, and among them, I watched 'search' and 'people power' parts. It was interesting for me in some reasons.

     First of all, in 'search' section, the narrator explained and  the competition between search engines as a War. As his expression, many search engines rise and fall or ups and down. The documentary introduced Yahoo site was a kind of pioneer. Yahoo, which made by Jerry Yang and David Flio, was a 'miracle' of web search in that time. I remember the Yahoo logo song in its advertising. These days, we call searching 'Googling'. When I was a junior in the university, Yahoo was a representative search engine. As you can see logos of many search engine, even though there are many kinds of search engine, Google seems the number one position of search engine. Although Google has many advantages such as simple page design and abundant reference, this documentary explained the advertising connected with Google. New search engine representing as Google are supported by advertising, and advertising meet a very attractive medium. Advertisers said that "keywords" are so efficient in their advertising.

     We cannot imagine the world without search engine. I do not try to remember important information even simple address or shop names, because I can search whatever on Google search any time everywhere. I am expecting these search engine will be developed more than now. For example, on Naver, we can search the name of  earworm songs by singing in front of computer. I live very exciting world.    

     Do you use YouTube and Napster? Web 2.0 make us do incredible things such as broadcasting myself and sharing musics. Do you have account o Twitter and Facebook? Do you think you connect with your friends on online social world? The documentary introduced this situations as that communication is changing. Unlike traditional communication era, we can make a movie or music video by ourselves with simple devices, and more important thing is that we can share those with anonymous people. The documentary said the development of search engines is a evolution, and Web 2.0 and the changing is a revolution. 
     Of course, sharing video and music files could be illegal. Law suit between Napster and music industry is a good example. Around 10 years ago, instead of Napster, Korean young people used Soribada website, which means the ocean of music in Korean. Soribada was a website for sharing individual's music files just like Napster. After long controversy, now Soribada was changed into legal site selling sound source like iTunes. As the documentary pointed out, music industry seems winning for now, but I think music industry itself is changing regardless whether those mp3 sharing sites are illegal or not. 

    In addition, Social media such as Facebook and Twitter represent totally new social life. The documentary said that these application are connecting individuals and individual's information. Facebook alarm today is my best friend's birthday, and show that my brother living far away did what activity today. I share my political opinions with Twitter followers and get information from them. This is a  really fast moving society. More exciting thing is that this society is expanded day by day.