Virilo’s A Nasty Fellow

Virilo talks about the use of technology as a way to express and satisfy our sexual needs with the intimate connection of humans. This was an interesting read but also a one that I felt today’s modern society reflected already. In today’s world, it is not common for people to visit porn sites online or satisfy their sexual needs over some internet chat or phone sex. I could see where Virilo was coming from in a sense that technology is robbing the need for human to human interaction and replacing that with a computer screen. You could make an argument that doing these activities online are not the same as sharing them with somebody. If someone were to thing that getting what they need from their computer is a simple replacement for getting it through someone else is missing the human element in it. In today’s society we constantly are bombarded with twitter followers and Facebook friends and think that satisfies are need to be wanted. But these social networks are based on distant connections and text based conversations. Does that really fill that void of not interacting with another human by conversing? I think this is the path that Virilo saw society going in the future because we are basing out human interactions on the ability for technology to allow us to have them. Phones and computer screens can’t replace human nature. In the topic of sexual perversion, people have been using porn for years to satisfy their needs but I don’t think this is suitable to take away the need to be with a real person. We human need something physical and real in order to feel at ease. A computer can’t replace that.

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A Double-Edged Sword

The second part of the reading to Open Sky discussed a very realistic yet troubling reality we could be facing soon. One of the first things that came to mind when reading this was the book 1984 by George Orwell. The evolution of technology and the degrading of society are both talking points from both readings. The reading discussed how we will become one with technology and how microchips will be planted into us and be able to track us where ever we go or monitor organs. This idea is troubling to me because this seems like a ploy to control our movements and ultimately control us. But that idea is very real though. We carry our phones everywhere we go or we are always watching or listening to something. Technology is very present in all our lives, everywhere we go. I think this takes away from the realism of living. And even he said we would someday have to receive eye training to one day decide what is real and what isn’t.

One thing that I think he took for granted in this reading was human nature. I agree with him that technology is very much a part of our lives and will continually be integrated into our lives. He wrote about how humans would stop traveling because we could see different areas on our planet through a lens or through our computer and phones. This seems to describe us as becoming lazier and stationary as we progress on this trend toward technological dependence, if we are not already there. But I wouldn’t count out humanity’s ability to resist control. I think there is some breaking point that will be reached in this new Information age.  We will continue down this path until we reach an apocalyptic stage in our society where the technology we have depended on for so long now turns on us (Terminator). At some point, human evolution doesn’t go hand in hand with the evolution of technology because technology will always be ahead of us and soon will not need us.

Know Your Audience

The Reddish reading was very informational because it helped layout the specific details we need to create an effective webpage.  One theme that was present throughout the whole article was the focus on the audience and how their views and expectations affect what you website should have. He listed sever steps to understanding your audience:

  1. List major audiences.
  2. Gather info about your audiences
  3. List major characteristics for each audience
  4. Gather audience questions, tasks and stories
  5. Use info to create personas
  6. Include the persona’s goals and tasks
  7. Use your info to write scenarios for your site

As you can see, the audience plays a major role in how your website looks and the purpose of your site. You must know who will be interested in your site and tailor the site to the specific group. If you develop your website only by thinking about your audiences, you are working from your assumptions. If your assumptions are wrong, your content won’t work. You should learn about the different demographics, values, goals, emotions, and terminology your audiences use in order to create a more effective website for them. You also want to focus on scenarios and how to form them for your website. You will base your scenarios off the personas you have created. They should tell you the conversations you want people to start on your website. You also want everything on your website to fulfill a scenario. These can help you write good web content.

Another topic he discussed was the importance of home pages and the layout they should follow. The one thing he said that is important for a home page is that it must be content rich but shouldn’t have a lot of words. This means lots of images, videos or other multi-media to introduce you and your website. There should be too much information but no to little either. Don’t expect people to read too much on the home page. Make sure you have your brief mission statement on there and utilize forms as much as you can. An effective home page has an effective visual style with colors, graphics, typography, writing style and words. All these things must be tailored to the audience you are trying to attract.  You can be very effective by making your style and brand known with very few words. If you follow all these things, you can make a successful home page.

Online Editing

Online Editing is a specialized technique and is very important in today’s world. Modern society expects things instantly and accurately and that’s why the internet has taken off so well because it provides this for many people. The ability to get you news in such a quick fashion from news sites and blogs is very convenient for most people and the preferred way. But to make sure that all this information is portrayed accurately there is a specialized editing process that takes place that must be followed. With such quick avenue to put up a story or create a website, there are certain details that must be remembered in order to accurately portray the information and get it to the right audiences. There are 7 steps discussed in the reading that helps describe the editing process.

  • First, Identify the audience
    • You must first think about the readers’ needs and what kind of demographic will be interested in your site. You can have a general approach to finding the perfect audience. You must know who you want to target and how to get them to your site. Even knowing the hardware and software capabilities will help.
  • Define Document structure and links
    • Know the organization and flow of your document or website. Everything must be easily found and readable. If you have a website, it has to be easily navigated and have constant tab bar on top to keep the reader from getting lost.
  • Define the Style
    • Find a specific template you like for your website and adjust to your needs. It should be nothing to distracting to the reader
  • Edit
    • Review everything on the webpage from site navigation to paragraph lengths and graphic headlines. Everything should be spelled right and nothing should be out of order. Editing random chunks of text to make it flow better are also done here.
  • Copy edit I & II
    • Here is when you check individual pages and enduring accurate readings. Check your website on different modems and different connections speeds. Make sure there are no misspelled words because it takes away from credibility. Also check read content for readability. Is the information complete? Does it make sense? These are all questions you should be asking and answering.
  • Test Usability
    • Test to see if all the functions of your website are working properly like the links and tabs. Also make sure all the activities and events you wanted the website to do are effective and functioning. And also make sure your website creates the message you wanted it and serves the purposes you created it for.

The Magic of Editing

The magic of editing is something that must be refined and worked on for years. This reading by Osgood explained the different techniques and ways a good editor can add complexities and substance behind raw footage and sounds. It is important for an editor to also be a great storyteller. He has to be able to take a bunch of random scenes and sometimes unrelated footage and put them together to create a cohesive story that has pace and flow. Editing techniques have changed over the years through TV shows and through film. The article talked about the show M.A.S.H that used a new camera technique that used wide shots and a tracking camera. This allowed for multiple scenes to be played out in when camera shot as the camera scanned through. Also the introduction of music videos on MTV allowed for editing to included timing music with voices and creating a story while also continuously playing music.

When you have audio that is separate from the footage on the film, this is called b-roll. This is used to help enhance the meaning of the audio being played. The editor uses different scenes to help explain or go into detail more about what audio is talking about. This technique is very popular when playing during an interview. There are also several techniques that an editor must understand and utilize in order to have a successful job.

  • Image and Sound-keeping a smooth connection between your scene and the sounds playing
  • Shot order-created a flowing story with your scenes that make sense
  • Shot relationship—keep a connection between each scene that doesn’t confuse the audience
  • Time-know you allotted time for your project
  • Shot/scene length-keep your scenes at a reasonable time and make them fit into the whole project
  • Maintain screen direction-keep the characters on the screen, if someone looks off the screen, the audience needs to know what they are looking at.

And others.

A montage is also a useful technique because this requires using unrelated images and putting them together to form a whole new message. That is why transitions are important because the editor needs to have smooth entrances and exits for every scene. The scenes can’t run into each other and lose flow or pace. The connection between each scene in your project is essential to creating the right story.

What is your Point of View?

The Art of Technique reading discussed the different point of views a director can make in his film. POV is very important in reading a book and it is also just as important when making a video or film. The POV can describe where the story is being told from and convey the story from that angle. There are three different ways a director can convey POV; from the first person, second person, and third person.  The first person in a book is when the main character is speaking as the narrator of the story. We know that characters inner thoughts and feelings while he plays the story out. In video this works the same way. The camera is seen through the characters eyes as if the audience was the character. The character might do some voice over just to clarify or narrate certain situations. This POV is very common among videos along with the third person. The audience can formulate their own idea of the movie with help from the character’s thoughts and actions within the videos.  It is basically seeing the story from the eyes of the storyteller.

The second person is less common than the other two but can be used just as effectively. When the second person in video is being used, this creates the idea that the audience is present in the video. Mist of the time, the camera is an invisible force that moves along with the characters without any interruption. But in the second person, the camera is suddenly apart of the dialogue and even addressed at from the characters. This happens usually in “call to actions” videos or advertising campaigns.  They want to directly address the audience in order to connect with them. In a common video, the director wants the audience to be a close observer, maybe occasionally having the character glance at the camera for comedic purposes. The second person addresses the “You” which is always the audience.

The third person is another very common POV to use because this is when the camera acts as more of an observer in the story and plays no part in the attention of the characters. This POV is very effective at showing a third party angle of the story and action without being influenced by the thoughts of the main characters. This helps the audience built their own feelings about the story line and use that to create a visual image of their own. This typical POV is very effective in horror movies. This builds suspense and action and creates excitement. You are watching the character the whole time as if you are the monster yourself.

First Person

Second Person

Third Person

Experience Design.

Experience Design was an interesting reading because it more of a creative reading than an informational reading. This reading was focused on experiences and the meaning behind them. Every experience is important to a person and each one builds on the other. But the reading discussed how experiences can be hard to come by these days because of the advancement of technology and society‘s shortened attention span. It says that not all experiences are created equal. The complexion and attraction of an experience can lead to a person being more involved in it and learn from it. If an experience or an event doesn’t grab your attention, you will lose interest in it. Some events suffer from extension, which means to prolong the experience, which can help it or hurt the meaning and pace of it. One thing that is important is that all experiences must compete for the attention of the audience.  With the attention span of the average person getting ever so shorter, the need for an action or event to immediately have an impact on the person in the quickest fashion is important.

One important argument that was discussed in the reading was the difference between wisdom and knowledge. Most people would put these two together instinctively, but there are very different. Wisdom comes from the accumulation of many experiences and with these experiences; you are able to apply them to your daily life. Wisdom is the ultimate goal. Knowledge is more fact based. Facts are basically data. According to the reading, data is not part of the experience process. Data is not personal and doesn’t mean anything beyond what it tells you.  That’s why it is said we suffer from information anxiety. This means there are too much data and not enough information.  Our lives are not enhanced by all this data.

Another idea discussed was the interaction between experience and the audience. Like we discussed above, the experience must create an attraction between the person and it meaning. There is a very thin line between creativity in an experience and how the audience perceives it. Sometimes the audience wants to change the meaning of an event and make it their own. They are usually the participant or user in this relationship. Sometimes the director doesn’t want the audience to remake their experience while other enjoys the input from the audience so they can improve on their product. The reading states that all human are creative creatures and feel the need to express themselves. This is important in life because making something our own can help us understand it better, thus creating a better experience.