Reflection

Ultimately, our project was about showing people that because of today’s digital world, they have more power than they might believe. Specifically, we wanted people who have access to such technology to realize their capabilities. The YouTube video is successful in meeting that audience because someone who watches the video must have access to a computer or some other digital device with Internet access, and they can therefore watch the video, see our message, and apply it. In order to convey our message to this audience, we relied most heavily on logos. By directly showing the audience how easy it is to navigate the Internet and actually make comments, use Flickr, edit Wikipedia, etc., the audience should logically realize that they can utilize these opportunities too. We also tried to make our PSA welcoming to our audience by including the scene at the beginning with Maureen beckoning the audience to join her. The video also showcases lots of different ways to have your voice heard through today’s digital age to inspire the audience about the possibilities. We visit websites one by one throughout the video so the audience is not overwhelmed with the possibilities, but at the end of the video we show how many opportunities there really are.

The most difficult part of the project was coming up with a good topic for the PSA. However, once I did think of a good topic, I really got going and wrote the script with the idea fresh in my mind. I was thinking of working individually at first, but my group liked the idea so we worked together. The other challenging part of the project was that I have not used the new version of iMovie before, and I edited the video. It took awhile to figure out how to produce some of the effects and to get the timing just right. Looking back, I am very satisfied with how everything went – I’m glad I worked with Sidd and Maureen, I liked the topic we chose, etc. and would not have done anything differently.

This project was instrumental in helping me understand the importance of rhetoric, analysis, and composition because it taught me that there are important questions that need to be addressed that aren’t always obvious. Creating this video made me consider and answer such questions. For instance, even something as simple as how should the video begin? Usually when writing a paper I have a title and an introduction with an interesting description or story to interest the reader, but in the video, I had to consider whether to even add a title. And, I needed to think about what the introduction should be like to interest viewers. Clearly, flashing a paragraph at the beginning of our video wouldn’t suffice, but having Maureen invite the audience to join her as she explained today’s multimodal writing opportunities would. In other words, what is important is not only the answers but also the questions.

Link to Video:

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Minutes – 12/6

At the beginning of today, our project was uploaded on to YouTube. Today we went over our work with another group; they liked our project. We also saw Daniel’s video and talked about how our projects would fit together. We also discussed the presentation and what questions we would pose to the class. Lastly, we also finished and uploaded the transcript of our video on to YouTube.

Here is the link! (It is unlisted.)

As of right now, we need to finish working on finalizing our presentation.

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Minutes 12/4

Today we fixed some issues with the audio in our movie, which proved to be more challenging than we expected, but it eventually worked out. We also touched base with Daniel about our project and what he is planning on doing. Lastly, we started thinking about how we are going to divide up the presentation among us, and we posted our video on YouTube.

Next time, we need to practice presenting together and work on the transitions between what we present.

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Minutes – 11/29

At the beginning of the session, we had finished filming all of our clips and had arranged them in order. By the end of class, we finished our rough draft PSA keeping us on our schedule. Specifically, we added the narration for all of the screen capture clips (which comprises most of our video) and edited the clips to match the audio. Before editing, some were too long/short. Fortunately, no technology problems occurred,  re-recording and readjusting the clip lengths to make everything match up well is what took up so much time.

Next session, we need to work on integrating Danny’s part of the video. A great way to do this might be to not change our current PSA, but rather to show a clip of Danny watching our video at the end of our video and then include him making a video post in response. This would go along with our theme perfectly and help the audience see how easy multimodal writing really is.

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PSA – Storyboarding

Our project is about how writing and specifically multimodal writing enables the empowerment of everyday people. We want to show how in today’s digital age, there are many opportunities for people to have their voices heard – both through conventional writing and through audio, video, photos, etc. The majority of the video will be captured on a computer screen, but we wanted to also have some live scenes to help engage viewers. (It would become monotonous for someone to watch a whole video of someone on a computer lecturing.) Additionally, I hope that the video ends up having a “fast-paced” feeling with lots of action not only to keep viewers’ attention but also to ensure viewers get excited about the possibilities.

 

 

Image

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Is Texting Writing?

I definitely believe that texting is writing; albeit, it is probably not the kind of writing that one might imagine at the thought of the word. Writing is all about communicating ideas, facts, concepts, knowledge, etc. via words so whether that is done in a scholarly context such as an in an eminent scientific journal or just consists of texting a friend, both constitute writing. A more interesting question is whether texting is a valuable form of writing. For instance, clearly writing for a scientific journal is valuable because it fosters the spread of ideas knowledge, but is finding out “whatsup?” particularly valuable?

While asking a trite question via text such as “whatsup” may not be especially valuable, texting, overall, is still absolutely valuable. Just like not all scientific journals are valuable, not all texting is valuable, but overall both are. For example, texting is extremely valuable in that it enables quick and efficient contact between people. I text people regularly to get quick answers and plan at the spur of the moment: “Dinner tonight?” Texting’s facilitation of rapid communication is one of its greatest strengths, but texting also enables more environmentally-friendly communication as well. Imagine if instead of thousands of letters written on paper, mailed in paper envelopes, and moved via carbon-combusting vehicles, people just texted instead. I do not think texting itself facilitates academic writing given that texts are usually short because long texts are difficult to type and inconvenient to read. However, texting itself brings a raw immediacy to what people say and mean, which would be very useful in academic writing, especially in the social sciences.

Most texting consists of a pre-determined font, but there are interesting ways that texting does enhance communication. People can send pictures and images easily even embedding them in the text itself. Such different capabilities from modern, typical writing enable writers of texts to grab their audience and communicate with the more effectively. So although writing in texts may be similar to conventional writing, a text’s design can end up vastly different, which allows for a greater connection between writer and audience. So although a text will not make it into a scholarly journal anytime soon, there is more use and functionality in texts that conventional writing simply cannot achieve.

Posted from my iPhone (just kidding.)

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Topoi & Commonplaces

While reading through Reinventing the Possibilities, I took a linear route, proceeding from letter to letter on the navigation bar. The really interesting observation about my choice to read through the essay linearly is that I had a choice at all. Most conventional, written texts allow their audience to read them in only one way, from start to finish. By giving the audience a choice (linear versus nonlinear), the audience becomes part of the text itself because the audience controls its presentation along with the text’s author. By reading the text linearly, I was able to see the author’s logic unfolding, which I found comprehensible. It is useful that the text can be read nonlinearly though because some people would find knowing the conclusion first makes the most sense followed by the support of that conclusion; people learn and understand/see/experience even the same things differently so the more options the audience has, the better. Some commonplaces in the essay were the experience of having other professors mock that the author teaches about how to produce digital texts and Bartholomae’s ideas about teaching writing to students. These experiences/ideas are critical to the author’s views in the essay.

The video Resolution in 60 Seconds argues that Americans should write more thoughtful writing. In the video children play absentmindedly with devices that enable writing showing that although people (especially in America) may write a lot (in terms of amount and frequency), we do not necessarily write anything particularly thoughtful or meaningful, just like the children are not writing anything meaningful/important by playing with a typewriter. One topoi is therefore the idea of examining the meaning in what we write: is it actually meaningful? By implying this question, the video’s author wants his audience to consider that question in terms of their own writing (and change their writing if needed). Another topoi is the idea that writing is transitioning to digital writing (at the beginning of the video a typewriter is shown, later an iPhone is shown). Hence, writing in today’s digital age is different than writing before it.

Do you think the author of the video, Resolution in 60 Seconds, actually had any specific topoi in mind when he made the video?

Do you think that if nonlinearity was more prevalent in texts, that the texts would be more or less useful/helpful/interesting?

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