Author: alexcolem21

Jenkins and YouTube

This was definitely one of the more interesting articles we have read. I really enjoy the modern touch Jenkins has within the piece, one of the main reasons articles like these attract me. His examples of modern media also makes the article much easier to read and enjoy. Jenkins’ brings up topics relating to YouTube as it relates to new media. The fact that people can make parody videos and other types of videos to give their opinion is one of the main features of Jenkins’ writing.

One of the main points of the article focuses on the fact that amateurs have this ability in our day and age to give their own opinions on, well, whatever they want. Things like politics, celebrities, news and everything else. But to me, this could be a bad or good thing. The good being reasons like, it gives us more freedom, we can be much more creative than before and gives reasons for normal  people like you and me to become famous just by making videos. But the bad, I feel, puts much more pressure on topics than need be.

I was recently listening to a podcast where the host had invited an actual geologist to come on the show and chat about certain topics. One of the major discussions that took place was the topic of all these people that would make false videos. By false videos, I mean videos of people around the world believing topics like the world is flat or that the moon landing was fake. During the podcast, the two watched a 20 minute video on why this guy believed the world was flat. The geologist would get furious at the statements the video would make because they were just straight up, not true and the geologist would debunk the statements. After the video the two talked and said this statement, “with all the new technology, like YouTube, we get dumb, ignorant people who are making these videos and trying to convince others of stupid statements. The fact these videos are so popular is because the makers of the video can rant and state ‘facts’ and sound professional because they don’t have someone in their face disproving them as they go.” When I heard that statement, it made me realize that around half the videos going around on the internet are more than likely not true.

For example, there is a YouTuber named Joey Salads and he is known for making controversial videos because he “experiments” with touchy subjects, like black lives matter or the political scene. He recently uploaded a video of leaving a car in a black community with a bunch of Trump stickers on it, of course the video shows a few black kids coming up and destroying the car. Well someone saw the video being made, took a picture of Joey making the video and lo and behold the black kids where standing right behind the camera getting ready to beat up the car.

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(Joey actually deleted the video, but this person reposted it for such occasions :))So it is reasons like this that make the freedom of things like YouTube questionable. My question for this post is, do you think the freedom of new media, such as YouTube, is a good or bad media?

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Ding and SARs

This article is one of the more interesting pieces to read than previous articles. Ding makes many good points throughout the article. Topics such as if there is a public problem, such as a health problem like SARs, should the media either keep quite or let the public know. In my opinion, I do think it is a major importance to let the public know of such tragedies because if not you could get lies and other false information.

In the example the article gives, the Chinese government were trying to censor and hide the fact that so many people were coming down with SARs. Some sources of media obviously thought this was wrong and began the distribution of unauthorized information. This type of silent media was refereed to as “Guerrilla Media.” The media sent out information via cellphones and barely regulated websites.

It is crazy to read this article and then think about the recent political drama that is happening within in our own country. Seeing all the accusations about how Hillary Clinton’s campaign is funding multiple media outlets and giving out false information. It is in a time like this where I wish we could get some “Guerrilla Media” and find out what the actual truth is. Instead we have to rely on our own typical emotional, political opinions.

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I would like to know how the rest of class felt on guerrilla media and if they believe it is worth to have at a time like now for our own country?

Segel and Heer-Barry Bonds

After reading through this article and analyzing  the case studies, I found that the one that attracted me the most was the Barry Bonds graphic.

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Now growing up, Barry Bonds was my favorite baseball player ever. Naturally, I was interested in the graphic. Nowadays, I am not near as a baseball fan as I once was, so the whole steroids stuff with Barry doesn’t really affect me. To me, I feel like there have been so many players that used steroids throughout the years that who actually knows how accurate baseball statistics are. So one thing that I really thought was interesting about this graphic is that it is showing the numbers regardless if the player used steroids or not. I feel that Segel and Heer hit the nail on the head when talking about the flow of the visual. Your eye starts at the picture of Barry and kind of rolls up the lines. Then hits Alex Rodriguez and strolls down the right side of the visual.

The graphic does have some major flaws though, the first being the color scheme. The graphic has a ton of information, which is also a flaw to me, but the colors don’t really help bring out the information that much. I feel if you really want to know about what is going on, you really have to focus on the image. The text is very small and difficult to read. I literally can’t read 75% of the information from the picture above. I honestly just like the fact it is about sports and Barry Bonds. I also do not understand the purpose of the multiple graphs on the bottom and can’t really tell how that would fit into the overall flow of the visual.

My question for this post would be, what color scheme do you think could make this image pop out more?

Data Visualization

These articles are kind of hard to write about because how can I criticize articles about having empathy for sick children and deaths without sounding heartless? But I’ll do my best! I did enjoy reading the articles because they are not wordy or boring to read. The authors write in that tone where it is like they are actually talking to you, so it is much more enjoyable to read than previous readings. The one article I did have a problem with, however, is the first one written by Sarah Slobin. First, she baited me in by giving examples of how data visualization starts as a kid asking, “are we there yet?” I liked this because I could totally relate! My parents used to say, “we are only two Spongebob episodes away,” if our drive was only an hour long. “But Alex, Spongebob episodes technically have two, 13 minute episodes per 30 minutes,” yeah well shut up, I was like ten! I then soon find out that Sarah Slobin is tricking me and telling me, “IT’S A TRAP!”

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I guess the one thing that really gets under my skin about a good majority of these articles is that all the authors just think and study way too deep about a topic. Sarah for instance does all this research on the Severity Index for children with fatal diseases. But by the end she realizes all you need to do is look at pictures to understand these diseases. Which is nice and sweet and understandable, congrats Sarah, you’re a good person. But for someone like me, I’m an analytical and visual person. I get the best understanding of something if I can see the numbers and how they effect each other. So the fact she kind of just dropped the visuals because all you need to see are pictures of the children to understand, got to me.

I am in more of an agreement with Jacob Harris because not only does he feel the sympathy toward the deaths of all these people, but he wants to make a graphic that shows the same feelings he has. He wants to show the devastation and also the magnitude through his graphic.

Question: Do you feel it is better to have graphics to show empathy or not?

Tversky – animations

People like Barbara Tversky make me wonder why some people think like they do. Like I do not understand why someone would wake up one morning and think, “today I am going to try and prove that animation are ineffective.” So the whole topic of this article just does not sit right with my in the first place. I am also not a fan of really wordy articles, this is probably because I suck at English and just do not understand half of what is going on, but still. For example, in her summary where she is saying she doesn’t believe animations are as effective as statistical  graphics she writes, “Animations may be more effective than comparable static graphics in situations other than conveying complex systems, for example, for real time reorientations in time and space.” She is actually giving credit to animation but making it sound like animations can only be used for incredibly complicated topics, where all she actually has to say is, “how the planets move and align around the sun,” or something like that. I like my articles relatable and easy to understand. I don’t think that’s a huge thing to ask for, but ohh well.

I believe animations are just as effective as a statistical graphic. I would give an advantage to a stats graphic for the fact, if it’s a confusing topic, you can stare at that graphic until you figure out what it is saying. But even at that, an animation can not only give you the same information but also explain how that information is relevant without you trying to deduce your own reasoning.

One example of how I think an animation is better than a stats graphic is how deep the ocean really is. I can’t actually post a video without being a premium member but this is what the beginning clip looks like if you want to watch. Just google, “animation of how deep the ocean is.” The video is easy to understand and watch, you get an actual feel of how deep the ocean is because of the “camera” movement. Where with a  graphic you don’t get that sense of depth, instead you get a ton of information that I just don’t want to read through.

Question: Can anyone else think of a situation where an animation is a better representation of a topic than a statistical graphic?

Lengler and Moere

I found this article to be a little more interesting than most. I do like how Lengler and Moere kind of relate their topic to more actual events instead of figurative scenarios. This article is mainly about the techniques used to affect infographics by using information visualization and visual rhetoric together.

One of the major key elements that Lengler and Moere mention in making the infographics more persuasive, is using the ability of a metaphor. Using a metaphor lets the viewer connect to the information on a deeper level than just a simple, plan graphic. It allows the viewer to not only understand what the graphic is trying to say, but also connect the viewer into a deeper thought process. In return, this gives a better effect of persuasion and understanding of the graphic.

The first thing that I thought of when I read this concept of using the metaphor was the movie, The Fault in our Stars. In the movie and the book, the character of Gus Waters is known for carrying around a cigarette, but never smoking it. When people ask Gus why he is carrying it, he response with, “It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.” Although this metaphor gets him in trouble on a plane, because flying scares him, it is still a very strong message and also metaphor.

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My question for this post is, what the strongest metaphor that comes to your mind? Whether it be about smoking, the environment or anything else.

Blog Post #8 – Manovich, Velvet Revolution

When it comes to Manovich, in my opinion, he has good topics that are normally pretty interesting. There is just something about his writing style that makes me lose interest and I find myself dropping in and out of reading the article. It’s the things like when he announces what he is about to talk about in the next part of the paper and little things like that, which I was always taught to avoid doing in previous English classes, that kind of drives me nuts. With that being said I think the topic of how a program like After Effect was developed and used when it was first created and also how the program has changed in the later years.

Manovich first goes into detail about many different types of software came out, but the changes from the early 1990s to the late 1990s showed a huge improvement in software, with After Effect being one of those pieces of software. Manovich then introduces the idea of the Velvet Revolution in moving image culture, which is a new hybrid visual language of moving images in general. He also talks about being able to use different kinds of techniques and combine them with one another, which is called the idea of media remixability. This concept really grabbed my attention because I think it is interesting to think about bringing all the fundamental techniques and methods together and simulating all the media. The example Manovich gives is the technology of motion blur and how it can affect other types of programs.

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An example that I can relate to that use things such as motion blur are video games. Different video games use different concepts of remixability. The picture above is of Grand Theft Auto 5 and the effect of driving in a fast car causes the screen to use motion blur to make it seem like you’re going fast.

My question for this post is, what other concepts are there that involve the use of remixability?