Sweat the Small Stuff

Blogging isn’t something I ever thought I would participate in.To be honest, the only people I know who blog are stay at home moms who have usernames like @MakenziesMommy123 and use hashtags like #ProudMama, #LoveMyBaby, and #CouldntBeHappier. So you can probably see why I’ve tried to stay a way from the world of blogging thus far.

What I never realized was how much effort it take to create a cohesive and captivating blog.

One of the articles that we were assigned to read for our next class is titled “From Bards to Blogs” and is from Blogging by Jill Walker Rettberg. As I went through the article I kept coming across new information about blogging and media in general that I already knew, but had never thought about.

For example, in the last ten years or so, mass communication has become something completely different than what it was when my parents were in college. Before, mass communication meant a few media sources sending information and entertainment to a multitude of people. This meant that only a few websites were out there providing information to all the users on the Web, for example. Now, as long as you have a computer and an Internet connection you can supply the information. This makes today’s mass communication more of a masses-to-masses type of situation than the previous few-to-masses.

“From Bards to Blogs” also brought up the idea that the Web is new “interactive.” When I read this I had to really sit down and think, “What does it mean to be interactive?” I mean, you have to actively click where you want to go, scroll down a page, and type in what you are searching for when you’re using the Internet, but does that make it “interactive”?

I think that sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any sort of site that has a “messenger” component should be considered to be “interactive” because it requires you to communicate with another person (or sometimes machine when those little “How can I help you?” boxes pop up on certain sites) though the media site. It’s so interesting to me how something that can be done so mindlessly like Facebook or Instagram can really be quite interactive and engaging.

The second article that we read was focused more closely around how viewers interpret media in general but more specifically, blogs. This is the second article that we have read so far for Digital Communications that brought up the fact that due to the increase in our internet use over the past however many years, our attention spans have changed drastically. We have become extremely impatient, to the point that if a Web page doesn’t load for us within 3 “mississippi”s, we are likely to abandon it and move on to something that will show up on our screen faster.

I am definitely a victim of this phenomenon. Whether it’s the Internet that is acting up or the specific Web page, I want the information that I’m looking for as quickly as possible. That’s also the explanation given in the article for the loss of patience. If someone is using the Internet, they are most likely trying to get the most information about the subject they’re searching for as quickly as possible.

Along the same lines, I was very interested in the section of this reading that focused on the layout of online articles. This was, again, something that I knew but had never realized until I read more about it. Like I said before, chances are that if we’re on the Internet, we aren’t looking to find a seven-page article on whatever subject we happen to be searching. We want to find the most information in the quickest way possible.

The key to this? Using hyperlinks, short paragraphs, and straightforward descriptions.

I know that I personally love when I start to read and article and it’s broken up into small paragraphs instead of one giant page. When it comes to the internet, it really is the small things that make the biggest difference.

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