Blog Post #10

I posted my digital viral text onto twitter, so my intended audience was any of my personal followers, OR any followers of my friends if they were to retweet my post. I ended up getting one retweet and four “likes” or favorites.

My digital-viral text did not spread very much. As I said, it was retweeted (which is the equivalent to someone sharing something on their timeline on Facebook) by one individual which means that not only did my followers see the post, but the followers of the individual who retweeted my post also saw it. My post was not remixed or changed at all, however if someone were to “remix” it, I think the most likely way they would have done that would have been through taking the picture (girl having mental breakdown cutting her hair) and adding their own caption to it.

I think a large reason for why my digital-viral text didn’t spread is because the picture I used is from a show I love called Girls on HBO, and not very many people I know watch that show. If I had taken a reference from a more well known/frequently watched show like Friends or the Office, it would have been more relatable for a wider array or people and therefore they would have been more likely to retweet or like it. Twitter, I find, is a hit or miss platform. Sometimes my tweets get 20+ likes, sometimes they only get one or two. Content and the time of the post is very important. People really only favorite or retweet things they can relate to, and most commonly on this platform that is depressing things. Twitter is known as the platform that people complain about their love life on. Content relating to that subject is the most circulated material. Not only is content important, but the time of tweet is too. Tweets get the most attention when they are late at night (but not too late), or in the morning. Unfortunately, I posted mine “too late”.

While I think this was an interesting thing to explore, I actually believe that peoples need or extreme desire to make things “go viral” or get a lot of likes on their social media is a big problem in our society, specifically in the younger generations. I believe this expectation ends in many people feeling inadequate or bad about themselves.


Blog Post #9: Digital-Viral Assignment

My favorite types of memes are when there is a funny picture, sometimes including a funny caption already on it, and then it is posted with a different, relatable caption. That is why I created a meme of the same genre. I posted a photo from a show I like with the caption “visual representation of my current stress level:”. The photo depicts a girl, clearly in a bad mental state, cutting her hair in a horrific looking way.

I thought this subject matter was relatable and relevant as we all approach finals season. I feel like the best way to make something go viral is to imagine what your audience is thinking or feeling and  make it something that they can relate to. I personally know that a lot of my friends are currently stressed out as the end of the semester approaches, so I predict that some of them will see my meme, relate to it, and find it funny enough that they will share it around.

I chose to post my meme on twitter. The reason I did this is because I see and share a lot of memes with the same subject matter as mine on the same platform. I do not necessarily want people to spread my text because I feel like it’s important, I just want to be a source of comedic relief for people during this stressful time and hopefully that translates into them retweeting my post so that more people see it. I only posted my meme to twitter, but I’m considering posting it to facebook in a day or two if it does not get spread on twitter at all to see how it does on a different platform. Then, I would be able to compare the reactions to it on two different popular social media site to see where that time of genre flourishes the best.


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In Class Writing Nov. 28th

One affordance of maps is their ability to visually communicate something about the space around us. It allows viewers to see spatial relationships between different places or between themselves and a given location. Maps take a 3D world and convert it into a 2D space. Most genres do not have the ability to either help you get somewhere or help you find something.

A map’s purpose is to show the location of a space, but not necessarily what that space is like. It may show you how big a location is, or in some cases, the terrain of it, but it does not give information about what it is like to actually be in that space. A map is supposed to represent specific attributes of a space, but does not give a wholistic view of it.

When designing a map after gathering data on a certain area, the map maker has to make many compositional decisions on how to show space. When making my map, I realized that how I decided to show certain things depended largely on who my viewer was and what my overall goals were. This is very similar to the other projects we’ve done in class in that how I display/articulate my message is dependent on who I’m trying to share it with. This seems to be a pattern for all things literacy or rhetoric.

Blog Post #8: Rhetorical Map Project Proposal

For this assignment, we have decided to create a map that will show different green spaces available for outdoor activity in the surrounding area. We are not sure exactly how far outside campus we will show, but it will be at least 60 or more miles because there are not too many places closer than that. We picked this subject matter to show students that there are more options than they think for hiking/biking in the surrounding areas! Illinois gets a negativity on this subject, and while we’re no Colorado, there are still some beautiful places for people to get out and be outdoorsy.

Our map’s tentative claim, as I already touched on, is to show students and/or the Champaign Urbana community at large that they do have numerous options close by to engage in outdoor activity. Jeff and I are very outdoorsy ourselves and were rather stressed when we got to campus that we would no longer be able to hike as much as we wanted. But, over the past two and a half years we have found many great forest preserves and parks within an hour or two of campus. We want to inform the community of this to encourage people to get outside and be active. We’re arguing that no matter where you are in the country, regardless of if you’re near mountains or in a community with a very active outdoor lifestyle, there are still opportunities to be in nature.

We plan on creating this map digitally in Adobe Illustrator. One affordance of this program is that we already know it very well. Another affordance is that we have the ability to bring an actual map into Illustrator and trace over it the areas we want. It also allows us to be very artistic by nature of the program. There’s many different ways to utilize Illustrator, therefore we will not be hindered by what we can do. As of now, our intention is to make the map slightly abstract. There will be repeating circles surrounding the “green space” we selected that will gradually get bigger and lighter the farther away it is (circle will start small around area, get bigger and bigger). We plan on putting lines for all the major highways and roads. It’s going to look more like an art piece than a traditional map.

Our intended audience is students on campus or people in the Champaign Urbana community that might want to get outside more, but feel they don’t have anywhere they can go. They will benefit by now being more aware of local green spaces and forest preserves. I think the biggest challenge we might face is establishing the balance between making our map artistic but also still informational. We are going to have to choose, at some point, which is more important to us.

In Class Writing Nov. 2nd

Unfortunately, I was not able to finish the mid semester portfolio by today. However, I was able to complete a lot of and can reflect on what I did.

My general impression was that it was very tedious. In my case, I really try to do a good job on every blog post, in class writing, and project from the start. I actually struggled to find things I would want to change initially. I will say that after spending some time with all my previous writing, I was able to improve upon them. The biggest thing I noticed was that I had issues initially understanding some of the readings we did, therefore my blog posts were not the best they could be. After all of our in class discussions, I felt like I more clearly understand every reading we did and was able to improve my in class writings and blog posts.

A benefit of this style of portfolio was that it forced me to understand the content of the class better. The drawback was that, like I said, I felt like I did a decent job on  everything so far from the beginning. I disliked this style of grading especially when it came to redoing the projects. I was really proud of both my graffiti and audio project and didn’t really want to change them. Jeff and I chose to redo the audio project, and while I really like the original, I think that our planned changes might accomplish our initial goals for the project.

The portfolio work made me realize that writing is never finished. There is always something that could be improved upon or made better. Taking some time away from my work and coming back to it later allowed me to realize this.

In Class Writing 10/24/2017

One of the main affordances of sound as a mode is the ability to more seamlessly mash things together. In a video format, it’s pretty obvious when clips are different because they look completely different (for example, the clothes people are wearing, the backgrounds, etc). In audio, this is not really a problem, so long as you blend clips well. Another affordances is the emotion one can evoke. When you hear emotion in someones voice, it’s easy to feel emotion yourself. That would be impossible in any mode but audio, or video. But with audio, you don’t have the distraction of visuals.

Recording, editing, and recombining audio reinforces the fact that meaning can be made by taking lots of different things that already have meaning, to make a new, possible more powerful meaning. It tells me that when it comes to writing, literacy, and rhetoric at large, a piece might never be “done”. Because even if an author has finished his book, or a musician has finished their song, someone else might take their work and make it something different. The life of a the piece will keep on living, so long as people continue to re record or mess with it. This also shows that meaning is never permanent, because someone could change the meaning of one piece by combining it with another.

There is definitely a relationship between audio and space. Audio has a way of making a space have more meaning. For example if you are standing at a WW2 memorial, and the national anthem starts playing, you may feel more emotional than if it were purely silent. On a different note, I also believe we associate certain sounds with certain spaces. For example, if you’re in Chicago and hear the L, that would be expected and wouldn’t stick out to you. When you hear a sound that is unexpected, for example, a gunshot on the Quad, that would startle us. Not only that, but it would change the meaning and how we think about the space after hearing something that provoked a negative emotion.

Blog Post #7

Our class, WAM, is in some ways “multimodally inhospitable”, as most classes are.  After reading this article I realized that a lot of the projects we do would not be accessible to all students. As well as that, I learned that we could probably do a better job at making our rhetoric more inclusive, though I truly believe that with Logan as an instructor our class does a better job at this than most would. The biggest thing that stuck out to me as a problem was the audio manipulation project we just did. If we had a deaf student in this class, than this project would not only be impossible to complete, but impossible to even participate in.

When it comes to the audio project, I believe a very similar and interesting outcome could be achieved through solely video. This way, the student who is deaf would not be left out in anyway. And while this would be changing the basis of the project, it still would not be “retrofitting” the project because you aren’t changing it after the fact. An example of retrofitting the audio project would be to just put captions up so that the deaf student could read the audio. This solution isn’t just accommodating the student with a disability, but it is starting every student off on an even playing field.

If you had a blind student in the class, the original audio manipulation project would work perfectly. If you had both a blind student and a deaf student in the class, you could allow every student to chose which project they would want to do, audio manipulation or video manipulation. Therefore you are allowing participation, but you are not simply accommodating the students with the disability because they are not being singled out to do a project that no one else is doing.

I think that my solutions would be viable from the readings standings, but I also think that to find inclusive solutions for everyone, it would take a lot of thought and trial + error.

In Class Writing 10/17

Through discussion of the articles last week in class, it became clear that disruption, formatting, and glitch is an important aspect of composition. WAM (writing across media), emphasized composition at it’s core. And as we learned through the readings, glitch is an inevitable part of the composition process. These natural glitches can be important, beautiful, and interesting within our compositions. The unnatural glitches are where the problems lie. We talked about disruption, formatting, and glitch so that we may be able to utilize these things in our own compositions.

Audio as a medium is very flexible. I would argue that there is more you can do with audio that a medium such a writing. As we learned in Sterne’s piece, audio is incredibly important. In terms of an MP3, it can be easily compressed and sent anywhere.


Blog Post 6, Audio Project Proposal

As we did in the local graffiti assignment, it is imperative for Jeff and I that we pick a topic we both care about when approaching this project. We are planning to primarily manipulate and repurpose different speeches from world leaders and influential, widely known people. The theme of our project is to encourage people to come together. We want to primarily use these types of speeches so that our piece becomes a speech itself. Another goal of ours that can be achieved through the use of speeches is to make our piece something that is powerful and evokes emotion. For this reason, we may also include a powerful instrumental composition in the background. While we would like to focus on using speeches (or something like a speech) from world leaders and influencers, we are not against the idea of including musical audio or audio from pop culture if it aids us in our message and overall feeling we are trying to invoke.

We are going to being “mashing up” a large amount of different audio clips, and as articulated in Sinnreich’s article, combining multiple clips can create a new perspective that has an even deeper meaning than the clips do on their own. In most cases, we will consider the cultural context of the original audio clips so that their meaning will aid us in achieving ours. As mentioned, our goal is to create a piece that encourages people to come together, but we will also have an emphasis on social rights and social justice issues, therefore taking audio clips from various social justice leaders (such as MLK or Gloria Steinem) will be beneficial in getting our message across.

Audio provides us chances to create emphasis or evoke emotion through the composition of the piece in some unique ways. By placing dramatic pauses in audio, we can highlight important pieces of audio, or create dramatic tension. Further, employing the use of a dramatic and building background instrumental we can add power to our speech. Our goal is to create a mashup that resembles a very inspiring and powerful speech from a world leader, so these two compositional elements will be critical for us, and they are both unique opportunities provided by audio. In addition to these compositional elements, voices and audio can create meaning all on its own through tone and delivery, so will be sure to utilize this when creating our piece.

We would like this piece to reach a very broad audience. The message we are trying to spread is one of unity, and for that message to work most effectively, everyone would need to hear it. If there was one audience we feel it is most important for our message to reach, it would be anyone who is close minded regarding social justice issues.

One of the biggest challenges we foresee with this project is the technical aspect, seeing as we have never used Audacity before. To overcome this we can look up tutorials on YouTube. This is how we learned a lot of the technical features in the design programs we both use for our major, so we are familiar with learning software. Another issue we will face is finding the specific words or phrases that we need for our mashup speech. A big aid in overcoming this challenge will be the COMMAND+7 feature (find feature) on our browsers. We will open transcripts of the speeches we want to use and then can use this feature to find keywords.