Re-Mediation Project Progress

After my last post about my Re-Mediation project, I made the official decision to shift over from a PowerPoint presentation and create a Prezi instead.  I had never used Prezi before, so I was somewhat skeptical about the whole thing; however, I had used PowerPoint many times before and wanted to challenge myself to use a new, different medium.  When I first created an account with Prezi, I watched a few tutorial videos and learned what seemed to the basics for creating a cool presentation.  When you elect to create a new presentation, they offer a variety of “popular” templates to chose from, or the option to start from scratch.  As a brand new user, I chose to use a template in order to ease my way into the process and familiarize myself with how to build a presentation.  The template I chose was of fairly simple design and definitely easy to work with.  It looked nice and transitioned very smoothly; however, I began thinking it was too simple and did not have the creativity I had hoped for when I decided to switch to Prezi.  For that reason, I decided not to use this template, and instead to create my very own presentation.

With the help of more videos on sites like Lynda.com, and the advice from my peers also using Prezi, I was able to get a pretty good idea of how to execute my ideas.  There is definitely still much more I have to learn about the process, as well as much more I would like to include in my own presentation, but this one is definitely already superior to the template I had been previously using.  I am now able to transition from section to section in much more creative ways that enhance my presentation.  When I decided to switch from PowerPoint to Prezi, I was nervous, as Prezi was completely new to me.  While I am still no expert, I am definitely more confident about it and about how my final project will turn out

Lev Manovich Article

Before reading the Lev Manovich article, I honestly did not know what to expect.  When first seeing in on the syllabus we had talked about the notion that everything we do had to do with software.  Naomi suggested that an everyday person-person conversation may not, but then retracted that and claimed that Manovich may argue otherwise.  Obviously that did not make me any more prepared for an article I knew nothing about.

While reading the article, I found myself agreeing and disagreeing with what Manovich was arguing.  I understood that people are ignoring the the software and internal design of something in favor obliviousness or the sheer simplicity of operating a machine they operate every day.  As I read on, I realized that I understood what he was saying because I was, in fact, one of those individuals who uses something like the Internet without actually knowing how it works.  Its a very interesting thing to thing about and, honestly, its something I never really thought about until reading Manovich’s article.  That admission right there, though, is exactly what Manovich is writing about.  Not only do I not know about the software that makes the internet work, I never bothered to find out.  Right this second, I am on the internet.  I am tapping away at the keyboard and words are forming in front of me.  Soon, I will click the publish button on the right of this screen and those words will be available for thousands to see, categorized and organized.  I am well aware of what is going to happen, but just as Manovich describes, I have not the slightest idea how.

If his point is unclear at any point, Manovich later breaks it down in a way that any teenager in this day and age should understand.  He describes the simple process of clicking the “Like” button on Facebook as using software.  That button is clicked millions upon millions of times a day by millions of people without a single one of them thinking about the process behind it.  Manovich, however, describes it as participating in the online information ecology by expressing preferences and adding metadata.  I’m glad Mark Zuckerberg and the guys at Facebook decided to go with “Like” instead of Manovich’s mouthful.  All jokes aside, I once again admit that I agree and disagree with Manovich.  He argues that, nowadays, understanding software is absolutely necessary to understand culture.  I can see how this is true with more broader mediums like the Internet or with giant search engines; however, I cannot see the importance when considering things as minute as the “Like” button.  Then again, I am not an expert on this subject, nor am I at all knowledgable when it comes to software; therefore, I don’t know if I can assuredly say whether I agree or disagree with Manovich.  I’m sticking with both!

Re-Mediation Story Board Screen Shots

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 6.13.58 PMScreen Shot 2013-11-06 at 6.14.38 PMScreen Shot 2013-11-06 at 6.14.24 PM

I chose to use a PowerPoint as the format for my story boarding process.  I thought PowerPoint would provide an easy, clear way for me to express my ideas.  I also chose PowerPoint because I originally planned to use the same format for my re-mediation; however, I think I decided that I am going to use Prezi instead.  I made this decision because I have never used Prezi, and I think it would be much more interesting to re-mediate using a program I am completely unfamiliar with, than using one I have worked with countless times throughout the years.

Back to my story board, in order to complete it, I used the research I found on marketing plans, including descriptions of what is valued in the genre, and marketing plans themselves.  Through this research, I learned that while not every marketing plan is identical, they are all generally made up of the same components.  I broke my story board down using these different components.  As you can see in the slides I attached to this blog, I explained the meaning and significance of each component and included what a company would want to see.  The Marketing Mix, and Missions and Goals are just two of the of the sections of my marketing plan.  Others include the Executive Summary, the Company Description, and the Target Market.  Although they are each presented on just one slide in my story board, my final remediation project will obviously have much more detail and information regarding each component.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my re-mediation project, I am coming up with a fictitious small company and developing a marketing plan for them that focuses on a guerilla marketing strategy.  I have had a few ideas for a company and for a product, but I have yet to set my mind on one, which is why I did not go into greater detail in my story board.  I am close to making a decision, but any ideas and/or feedback would be very helpful

Thanks

Repurposing Project Comments

When considering the Repurposing Project, I can definitely say that it is a very interesting task.  Unfortunately, at this point, that is one of the only things I can confidently say about it.  When I handed in my Guerrilla Marketing research paper over a year ago, I thought that I would be finished with it for good.  I never really pondered a way to refocus all my previous research.  I am not saying that I am necessarily having a very hard time coming up with a way to repurpose, but it is definitely not as easy as I had hoped.  I decided to convert my argumentative research paper into a magazine article.  My magazine article is meant to explain guerrilla marketing to to businesses (both small and large), as well as offer them a guide to executing this creative advertising technique.

I think, so far, I have done a good job of converting my research paper into a magazine format.  My research paper served to define guerrilla marketing, and some of its more specific techniques, and explain why it has several advantages over typical types of advertising.  My magazine article is meant to go beyond this by providing a guide to this marketing strategy, and that is where I am struggling.  The research I have already done for this project is quite similar to what I had done for the research paper.  I think that I need to try to expand on my research in some way so that my guide could actually be helpful to readers.  I want my guide to be as accurate and useful as possible, and hopefully I am able to make a breakthrough in my research soon.

Haas and Flower Essay

This essay focuses on the way people, mainly students, read and analyze text. It claims that reading should be what the author’s call a “constructive” process. Instead of reading text and interpreting it with just the words on the page, readers should use previous representations and experiences to go deeper into their analysis. They should consider knowledge about the author, his motive, the audience, but also tie in prior knowledge that may help to analyze more critically. Haas and Flower interestingly likened the process to a complex network made up of many nodes of information. While these nodes include information in the text, they can also include a “personal experience evoked by the text.” This idea helped me to better relate to and understand Haas and Flower’s idea of constructive reading. When I read, more often than not, the text manages to evoke some sort of experience or emotion not related to the text. That is generally because I read text that interests or relates to me, but it definitely helps me to evaluate what I read. The essay provides a great example of how this works when describing a study in which college students were asked to analyze text. In the end, the older, more experienced and knowledgable reader was more successful than the younger, greener student. They realized that not only did the more capable reader read and study the text more carefully, but he drew from whatever prior knowledge he had on the subject, whereas his counterpart did not.

Another important idea discussed in this essay was that of rhetorical reading. Haas and Flower believe that rhetorical reading is a great way to help students read constructively and utilize the cognitive process. Normally, when students read, they are reading for content. They look for the key information in whatever they are reading, and when they find it, they feel their reading process is complete. Rhetorical reading forces students to delve further into the text. They must constantly question and ponder while reading. While reading rhetorically, students must consider the author’s motives, the context of the piece, his audience, his tone, and so on. Identifying the key ideas is not enough. Rhetorical analysis helps readers interpret and understand those key ideas once they are found. I try to employ rhetorical reading whenever I read. It is a method of reading that has been drilled into my head since my sophomore year of high school. While I originally despised the idea of reading and re-reading, underlining and scribbling notes in what was left of the margins, I quickly realized that it helped me become a better reader. Not only does rhetorical reading help improve reading comprehension, but it also improves writing skills. After learning how to read this way, I soon began employing rhetorical strategies in my own writing. It is a challenging, but advantageous way to write more intelligently and to express your ideas.

Mashable: A blog to follow

 

Unknown

 

Today’s generation is obsessed with up to the minute news.  Teenagers and adults alike want to know what is happening in pop culture, world news, politics,  and just about everything in between.  Mashable is a news website, and social media and technology blog that provides its followers with constant updates on everything from entertainment to business, from the latest technological advancements to the latest memes.  Nowadays, people surf from website to website to find their news and updates.  Mashable stores all of that information in one convenient, easy to navigate location.  By just quickly scrolling down the home page, I can see a story about dental cavities and their relationship to cancer, another about a 3-D printed gun, and one more displaying the ten best spoofs of Miley Cyrus’s latest ridiculous music video.  The range of information offered on Mashable is quite incredible, which is why it is a site I visit just about every day.  Whether I want some noteworthy news  or just a quick laugh, I know that I can turn to this blog for either one.

The reason I think that this blog would be interesting for this class is that we are all so similar and different at the same time.  Most of us a different majors and different interests; therefore it is likely we seek out different news from different outlets.  Mashable’s versatility ensures that every student in this course would find something to read and enjoy, very easily.  Our similarities come into play when thinking about our age and going back to this generation’s need for news at all times.  Mashable articles are tweeted every every minute, which is why it boasts twenty million followers every month.  It is a phenomenal outlet for receiving news as soon as it breaks.  Mashable is not the most complex blog in the world, and that is why I like it so much.  It is easy for anyone to follow, and I think most students in this class would enjoy scrolling through the massive array of articles.

Rosenwasser and Stephen

For this blog post, I chose to analyze a personal statement I wrote for English 229: Professional Writing last semester. This personal statement was written for the purpose of applying to law school. The point of a personal statement is to sell yourself to an admissions board in a unique way that does not appear on the resume or in a GPA. It provides an opportunity to distinguish one’s self from the rest of the pack and to provide exceptional reasons for why you are different. My personal statement focused on an anecdote about witnessing my own mother’s law school graduation when I was very young. I discussed the profound effect it had on me as well as how it motivated me; therefore, my “go to” sentence shape involved compound sentences that described my experiences and reactions. For example, “I vividly remember watching the procession of graduate students walk down the isle, trying to spot my mother during her graduation.” Also, “I had always wanted to match my mother’s success, and when I realized how daunting the task of earning a law degree was, I knew I had to create the right opportunity for myself and take full advantage of it.” There are multiple sentences like this scattered throughout this personal statement. In this piece, I am supposed to highlight my experience and elaborate on it affected me. This “go to” sentence shape allows me to do just that.

The diction of this piece quite powerful, as I am trying to use Pathos to evoke emotion from the admissions board. For example, instead of writing, “my mother cried tears of joy,” I wrote, “tears dripped from her eyes to a more fitting smile, it was not until years later that I realized they were tears of joy.” This is a great way to make my audience sympathize with me and truly understand my perspective as best as possible. Pathos is not the only rhetorical appeal used in this personal statement. While the statement is mostly emotional, I also talk about how it motivated me to work extremely hard in all my academics, including here at U of M, which is a subtle appeal to Ethos. Finally, my whole argument, from beginning to end, shows why I have such a strong connection with law school and the law profession, and it appears evident that I truly desire this more than anything. This appeal to Logos begins with the recounting of my story and ends with my explicit statement, saying that I wish to attend whichever Law School the statement is meant for.

“Why I Write” Response

Before I sat down to read these essays, I was unsure of what to expect. I had obviously heard of both Orwell and Didion, so I was intrigued to find out some insight into their respective creative processes; however I was unsure of how much detail and actual information they would offer their readers. I was surprised to see that the biggest similarity between the two pieces was the honesty with which each author discussed his or her past and path to becoming a writer. I really enjoyed Orwell’s notion that it takes a certain kind of person to be a writer, describing a writer as almost a completely different bread of human. Similarly, Didion describes herself as someone that could do nothing else but write. She claims, “Grammar is a piano I play by ear.” Didion explains that she didn’t study to become a writer, and therefore does not follow the typical rules of the trade. Instead she was born to be one, and so she uses a style that is uniquely her own.

I feel like I can truly relate to the way Orwell and Didion describe themselves as inherent writers. I am not saying I believe my innate desire to write is as extreme as there’s were, but as I described in my application letter to the writing minor, it is something I have always enjoyed and has always been a subject at which I have excelled. Even when I thought about pursuing a degree from Michigan’s business school I end up majoring in History, a subject that requires a great deal of writing, and of course, minoring in writing. I like to think “aesthetic enthusiasm” is of higher proportion than my “sheer egoism” on Orwell’s list on motives for writing.