My Final Reflection-Digital Communications

Before Digital Communications:

Digital Literacy was something I didn’t think twice about before August.

Usability was how easy for me to work technology compared to when I taught grandparents to text.

Interacting was joking, laughing, and hanging out with my friends.

Team Work was my cheerleading stunt group when we threw a flyer up in the air in sync and then all caught her when she came down.

My voice was what people heard when I answered the phone.

Now that I have experienced Digital Communications:

My views have transformed. It has opened my eyes to the digital world. digital_world_with_laptops_0 To me, digital literacy consists of usability, interaction, voice, visuals, and teamwork, but with different meanings.

Usability and Interaction:

I have learned that the location of information, search tools and navigation, as well as contact information on a site is not random. Everything is strategically placed and studies go behind website design to place the most important information where the eyes look first. Everything online attempts to be accessible to people of all ages and capabilities, and if it isn’t, they aren’t doing it right. There are rules to follow when it comes to making a post online and a lot more goes behind it than one would think. One of the things I did on my website to increase usability was link the same things in multiple places. My resume had options to print at the top and bottom. I also linked to my work in my information paragraphs as well as in my pictures, so that no matter what kind of a viewer is looking through my site, they get to where I want them to go. Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 12.31.21 AM This leads me to interactivity. It’s all about clicking. I used to click mindlessly around the Internet, but now I see that it has a purpose, a bigger picture. On my blog I linked to many credible sources so the reader could learn as much as they wanted to learn. I even linked to books about the topic if they wanted to go more in-depth in the subject. Linking was something I struggled to incorporate at the beginning, but as the course went on I believe it improved and it gave me more credibility.

Teamwork:

Another big part of my fScreen Shot 2014-12-14 at 12.32.47 AMinal project was teamwork. I have worked with many teams, but never a digital one. Who knew how much time and effort goes into making a simple podcast or just a few minute movie? I learned that many different ideas and visions come up while working and you really have to have a clear path and leadership abilities to work through them. One great thing to do is to create a storyboard.

My Voice:

I never thought I would have trouble finding my voice , but attempting to express my personality, self, and skills thorough just words on a page rather than in person was hard for me. Once I found it thScreen Shot 2014-12-14 at 12.33.36 AMough, my favorite expression of it was my website. I got to have fun with color and a logo. When I couldn’t decide what color to make my logo, because I actually like them all, I asked my best friend and she responded, “pink, that color basically sums up your life”. My voice has definitely grown throughout the course and I hope to continue to develop it throughout the years.

In the Future:

I would like to continue to improve my skills in photoshop as well as premiere because I think having the capability to use them really sets you apart. I am very appreciative of this class and will never be able to watch a movie again without thinking about how much time, editing, and thought went into it. Social Media

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Furman CLP Podcast

Furman University requires students to attend a total of 32 Cultural Life Programs throughout their four years at Furman. CLP’s are a big campus topic and my group including Sam Kristen and Gar Tate will keep you updated on various opinions of them. To begin we interviewed professors as well as a member of the registrar office. See what they have to say in our podcast and say tuned for our upcoming video on students opinions!

 

Designs and Trends of the Web

Webdesign, Layout, Website

New Trends:

As you may have noticed, the world is changing in the aspect of the web. Most sites are updated frequently and follow certain trends. A big one that we have talked about already with the inverted pyramid is that less text is appearing. If you look at SnapChat’s website, the homepage has six words, but the message is still portrayed in a fun and catchy way.

Other trends pointed out by Chris Lake are:

  • Video/ Moving backgrounds
  • Richer content with less words
  • Varied typography
  • Bigger images

These a just a few, but all are similar in the way that they are new. New ideas and creative ways to spark a readers interest. People read less and faster online so it is important to catch their attention and fill them in one the necessary information while you have it.

color_6Color is Key:

Another thing to focus on when creating content for the web and Brian Carroll points out is color choice. While red in America symbolizes passion, blood, life and grabs attention, in the Ivory Coast is symbolizes mourning. So, as little as color choice may seem, the devil is in the details as they say. Not only will you determine color by deciding who your target audience is, but you will also determine frequency. How demanding is your audience and how often do they want fresh content?

The Big Four:

Last but not least, you want to focus on The BIG Four.

They are:

  • Balance
  • Contrast
  • Unity
  • Symmetry

Balance:Poise

  • Elements should be in the right place.
  • There should be no competition for attention.
  • Mix heavy (pictures, graphics, headlines) and light (subheads, body, white space)

Contrast:

  • Should create: variety, interest, drama, a layout needs emphasis
  • Enemies are: dullness, boredom, sameness
  • Tools are: color, headlines, size, typeface, elements (photos)
  • Don’t make every picture the same size (mix it up)

Unity:

  • Make sure the layout belongs, that it works
  • Gestalt- hallmark of unity: the wholeness is greater than the parts

Symmetry:

  • Have proper proportionssymmetry
  • Show traditional presentations
  • Make sure it fits on a vertical axis

If you want more:

These were just a few of my favorite suggestions, but for more upcoming trends visit:

goo.gl/wQxtnO

TV’s Provocative Nature: Harming Children’s Innocent Minds

Sex Yeah

“Nothing is provocative anymore
Even for kids
No room for imagining
‘Cause everyone’s seen everything”

Cover for the song 'Sex Yeah' by Marina and the Diamonds.

Cover for the song ‘Sex Yeah’ by Marina and the Diamonds.

Sex Yeah is a song by Marina and the Diamonds and portrays EXACTLY what I am getting at in this blog. We no longer see media as provocative because we are becoming accustomed to seeing half dressed women, hearing dirty songs, and watching inappropriate scenes on TV.

“Nothing is provocative anymore” is true. We are beginning to see it as normal because a provocative culture surrounds us. Shows nowadays can also be deceiving, because what may look kid- friendly may actually be inappropriate. Take South Park and Family Guy (which has an ironic theme song for the content on the show) for example. Both are cartoons, which in my mind correlate with children, but neither of the shows are family friendly.

South_Park_Season_14

South Park is rated MA for mature, although it appears to be a decent show with friendly cartoon characters.

 

 

 

 

family-guy-11545-400x250

Family Guy is rated for ages 14 and up, but again the name and appearance do not portray how vulgar the show actually is.

TV Trouble:

Another problem with the increasing difficulty in finding family shows to watch, is finding family music to listen to. Not only are the lyrics far beyond what a child needs to hear now days, but the music videos are also, very inappropriate. A known example is Miley Cyrus’s video Wrecking Ball.

A UK news source called Mirror reported, “Children are copying the provocative dance moves and sexual song lyrics of pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, with some understanding their meanings by the age of just FIVE.” This is a huge problem we need to address, because not only are the kids getting information that is beyond their age, they are also copying it. These girls are who they look up to and that can be very dangerous at such a young age.

“Research by University of South Australia academic Lesley-Anne Ey found direct links between what children watch on television and how they dress and behave.” Kids are surrounded by media, and being a tech savvy generation, they are going far beyond what their parents know they are doing. Many kids copy what they see and allow the hyper sexuality of media to influence their daily decisions. This is resulting in an unnfortunate End of Innocence, which is an article describing the cost of sexualizing kids with a focus in Salt Lake City.

For more information check out The University of Michigan’s article on  on the the effects of Television on Children.

My Input:

To get a better understanding of how much really has changed in the past few decades, I interviewed employees at Georgia Cancer Specialist, one being a Pastor, to see the variety of opinions. What I found in everyone I interviewed was the same. Most had parental blocks on their TV, they were upset at how much media has changed, and also some believed that TV needed to be better regulated to keep children from seeing things they should not see.

Watch for yourself and see if you agree:

 

 

 

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

Social Media is EVERYWHERE! But how do you use it the right way?

social-media-overwhelm2

Help from David:

David Dubois explains it like a coffee shop. Everyone has a favorite coffee shop, if they drink the stuff. But, why is this particular place your favorite? Is it the people, scene, coffee? Think about it and then compare it to a social network site.

coffeeYou want your site to be yours viewers favorite place it. Make it their  virtual hangout with fresh, hot content, just like you like your coffee!

Also, keep timelines in mind… you don’t want to wait hours for that cappuccino, so don’t make your audience wait for a response either. Interaction is a key in social media and if we maintain a quick response, viewers are likely to come back, satisfied.

Share your content:

Great content is key, but without anyone aware of it, what’s the point? It is very important to get your content out there. Make it widely distributed, BUT be careful that you match the environment you are in. Don’t hand out a hot pink, heart shaped flyer at a football game, save that for Valentine’s day. Adding humor or emotion will also appeal to an audience. Also, give your advertisement practical value and people will be more likely to connect with you.

Use the appropriate type of Social Media:

The Kelley School of Business teaches us that some sites are for connecting existing relationships, like Skype, whereas others are to bond strangers in a social media relationship, like blogs. Make sure you are using the right outlet for your type of message. Building relationships is important for bloggers, which relates back to David when we mentioned replying in a timely manner. By building new relationships, new communities can form that wouldn’t have outside of media because of distance perhaps. Social media is a great outlet to connect will all types of people in all types of places.

social-media-honeycomb

The Honey Comb of Social Media allow you to see the building blocks of social media, not all have to be used, but they are here to allow us to make sense of how different levels of social media functionally can be configured- Kelley School of Business

The 4 C’s:

Lastly, remember the four C’s.

  1. Cognize: recognize and understand your social media landscape
  2. Congruity: develop strategies that are in correlation with the goals of the firm
  3. Curate: Act as the curator of your content and interactions
  4. Chase: Constantly chase information, keep that coffee fresh and hot

Good luck!

Provocativeness: Part of Daily Life

Elvis the Pelvis

When you think of Elvis what do you think?

  • The King of Rock and Role
  • Singer
  • Actor
  • Dancer
  • A hunk of burning love?
Elvis and his provocative dance moves in the 1950s.

Elvis and his provocative dance moves in the 1950s

Yes, all of these things come to mind, but do you think provocative? Mostly no, because compared to today he is not at all, but in the the 1950s he shocked America. He aired on a family friendly show called “The Ed Sullivan Show” three times. After his first two appearances parents were uneasy about the way he moved his hips. They were not happy that their children were exposed to this. So, the people in charge of the show decided only to film him from above the waist to, make the “worried adults feel safer and more secure with “Elvis the Pelvis”, while the kids of America could still enjoy watching even “half” of their sworn idol”.

Parents Now

Parents were not only concerened about what their kids then, but they are now as well. In 2008 Diane E. Levin, Ph.D.and Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. appeared on the today show to discuss their book So Sexy So Soon. It is a guide for parents who don’t know what to do in this day and age when kids are exposed to so much provocativeness through media.

Newsweek also wrote about the rising problem of provocative media for children titled: Sex and the Single Tween. They commented, “Over the past two decades, the rise of the Internet and social media initiated a dramatic shift in popular culture: Almost everything that could be sexualized has been sexualized, producing a new generation of girls racing toward womanhood before even finishing puberty. The result terrifies many adults: American women, age tween”.

This is a rising problem and will only get worse if we allow it to continue. Famous icons are a huge influence on children as well. One that stands out to me is Miley Cyrus. She began her career on Disney Channel being Hannah Montana. She was loved by kids and a huge role model. Since leaving Disney, she has become inappropriate for any child and even too vulgar for some teens. Miley would not have a good impact on children if they were to continue to look up to her as a role model as she twerks and dances inappropriately on stage. CNN also reported on Miley’s change and brought parents into the question of if they would allow their children to see her perform.

Miley Cyrus's transformation from the kid friendly Hannah Montana to provocative everything

Miley Cyrus’s transformation from the kid friendly Hannah Montana to provocative everything

My Point of View and Slide Show:

Media is everywhere and it is a shame that children are exposed to so many sexual and vulgar images in their day to day lives. I put together a slideshow of a few things I noticed as going too far from: video games, movies, music videos, and magazines. The content is X rated in my book and should be way less accesible to children.

More, More, More

Also a relevant YouTube video:

Creating Video Magic: How to Make a Good Video

Do You Believe in Magic?

boy-watching-tv

TV is one source of video that makes us want to watch

Magic is in videos because they contain the power to make us STOP and watch. Videos draw us in, they intrigue our interests, they make us watch them without losing interest. They have a power that other sources of media simply do not. BUT, they only contain this power if they are done right.

Types of Moving Graphics:

We must first understand the different forms of video:

  • Video– real time, moving objects
  • Animation– think cartoons
  • Motion Graphics– 3D effects, when the title spins or weaves on the screen
  • Software Simulation– Models instructions, for example:  showing a screen with a moving mouse demonstrating a task
  • Games- can entertain and educate
  • Photo Slide Shows- show people best and provide an emotional experience
  • Digital Storytelling– personal stories  or educational purposes

The Next Step- Story Board:

The key to a good video is planning. To plan well, create a story board which creates a specific and detailed timeline.

When creating a story board here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have a beginning, middle, and end
  • Clearly establish responsibilities for your team
  • Make sure the time put in pays off in planning an end result
  • Create an agreement among members so you stay on track

Story boards can be made in simple three-column format, on a powerpoint, or hand-drawn.

Here is a helpful video for more insight on making a story board:

Script Writing:

A script is KEY in videos. Scripts explain setting, theme, action, description… every context that you might need. They also prevent the ums, ahs, or likes that get placed into sentences as fillers. Make sure it sets the scene, describes the setting, and doesn’t sound forced or “written” and you are good to go!

Guidelines for Video:

Here are common mistakes to avoid when making a video:

  • Zooming in and out too fast
  • Not using enough sound
  • Taking more than 3 seconds per slide on a photo slideshow
  • Leaving out transitions
  • Overdoing the number of scenes
  • Don’t have a boring narrator

All in all keep your videos fun! Allow your viewers to get involved and be intrigued by your video by taking the time to in your story board to keep them in mind. Make sure you keep it simple and do not overdo effects or noises just because they are available. But, most of all enjoy the work you do. If it isn’t enjoyable for you chances are it won’t be for your audience either.

remember-to-have-fun

 

Transformation of Television Content over 60 Years

TV Timeline

Drama, action, suspense, humor… all the elements that interest us and are on our favorite TV shows. Television is a part of our daily lives and advertisements are a part of TV. They both catch our attention and draw us in. How could they not though, they are ALWAYS on. Restaurants, the gym, bars, stores, even at hair and nail salons, it’s on. We have become creatures dependent on TV. But, what has TV become?

In my flickr slideshow linked below, you can watch how  TV transforms.

In the 60s until around the 80s TV and advertisements were:

  • Family Friendly
  • Appropriate
  • Characters were modestly dressed
  • Nudity was not an option

From the 2000s to present day, TV and advertisements are:

  • Censored and rated, no longer family friendly
  • Inappropriate
  • Characters are in little to nothing
  • Nudity is allowed

Coexistence of the Two:

Television and Advertisements correlate. TV draws in the viewers and ads pay for the viewing to happen. They  both have the same goal however, to get viewers hooked and wanting more. When one transforms, so will the other.

TV  has strayed from Daisy May in the modest one piece to Naomi Clarke in her show all bikini in a matter of just 50 years. The regulation of TV has changed at a slow pace, but with each decade passing has gotten more and more scandalous and society has become more and more accepting.

On Gilligan’s Island, Mary Ann had to keep her belly button covered, but now we see a lot more than belly buttons on Dating Naked. Times have changed in Television which means they have as well in advertisements.

Lets look at Budweiser Beer:

Just like television the advertisements went from family friendly to vulgar and inappropriate.

Just like television the advertisements went from family friendly to vulgar and inappropriate.

 

My collage here shows the transformation clearly. In the 60s, just like Gilligan’s Island, what is being shown is appropriate for all viewers. As we go to the late 80s, women are in one piece suit, just like Baywatch. Finally, with the last ad, the women resemble Naomi Clarke on 90210, bikinis are the way to go and now accepted.

Advertisements and television will continue to feed off each other in America, but hopefully society will take a stand against these vulgar ones. If nothing is done, we will have a lot more shows like Dating Naked and the Discovery Channel show Naked and Afraid, and a lot less family fun shows like Beverly Hillbillies and Dukes of Hazzard.