30 Minutes of Writing

Since we were looking to see how many different kinds of writing we can find in 30 minutes, I decided to keep a running log of what I found: 

-11:02 am: I figure this is as good a time as any to start this blog assignment. I log on to Grantland.com, and greeted by a picture of Steve Buscemi’s face. Absolutely terrifying. No longer sure if this blog assignment is worth it. 

-11:03 am: Power through my initial set back, find a post “CBS Week Viewing Diary, Day 4: Watching ‘Criminal Minds,’ ‘Stalker,’ and ‘The Mentalist’ at the Same Time, Like a Crazy Person,” from one of my favorite writers Rembert Browne. (This was written in a narrative style, which featured a pretty informal tone, first person voice, and use of links/pictures/GIFs to give the reader more evidence of what they were saying, very similar to a blog)
-11:05 am: Scroll to the bottom of the page and find “The Week in Gossip: Jay and Bey’s Move to L.A., Kanye and Kim’s Double Date, and Johnny and Amber’s Secret Wedding” in the related links. Big win. (This was somewhat of a news genre, although the subject wasn’t particularly important/newsworthy. But it did link to a lot of news articles and generally tried to back up its claims. Very little modal aspects other than just the text)
-11:08 am: Linked within the article is a podcast featuring Grassland senior writer Andy Greenwald (he’s cool) and Nick Kroll (no idea who that is). (The podcast used aural mode basically the whole time, since it was just a recording of their talking. But there was definitely some writing in that many of the questions were scripted and there was a written intro)
-11:09 am: I’m getting a little Grantland-ed out, and don’t know how much more random clicking I can do. Luckily I get saved by my phone showing me a CNN alert about the Jordan-ISIS conflict. I just became the first person saved by ISIS. (This is definitely news writing, although the CNN site also incorporated strong visual mode in that there was easy to navigate layout and a lot of prominent color)
-11:14 am: I find a link to a story about Brian Williams and his apparently made-up story about having his helicopter shot down in Iraq. I like Brian Williams. So sad 🙁 (More news genre, more of the same stuff)
-11:16 am: I get distracted by a text message. I’m sorry.
-11:19 am: After my short break, I decide to switch things up and scroll through Twitter for some inspiration. I find a story written by someone at the Michigan Daily, “University professors talk U.S., Cuban diplomatic relationship,” with a picture of one of my old professors looking important. That was pretty cool. (This news story utilized less of the visual mode with basically just straight black and white text, although the picture actually lent itself to good use of the gestural mode for a still, since her pointed-pose was powerful)
-11:21 am: Back to Twitter, and one of my friends posted a Buzzfeed quiz “Are You The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air?” I can’t not take it, right? (This counts as writing! Their intended audience is probably college-aged kids, and they succeeded in lopping me into their site)
-11:22 am: I am not. I am Carlton. Ugh. 
-11:23 am: At the bottom of the page I find a link to a Jimmy Fallon video-remake of the original “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song. Man, people are talented. (This was all strong writing, since it took the theme song and incorporated numerous aspects of visual, aural, and spatial modes. Also the intended audience was probably young people/any who has seen “Fresh Prince”/anyone who likes funny things.)
-11:25 am: I got an email from the Pew Research Center in their Journalism project, so I read that for a while. (This was geared more towards researchers or professionals/academics, but their graphics were definitely big on the visual mode. And the writing was very professional and academic-styled, so that lent it to more that genre). 
So, in short, 9 different pieces of writing, 6 different genres covered, and 1 terribly inefficient person trying to capture it all. 

One thought to “30 Minutes of Writing”

  1. Hi Eli,
    Wow, I really like the approach you took to this. The running log makes it much more engaging and I think that the interruptions (text message, email, quiz) really add a lot to your post because they show just how much is accessible on a computer in such a short amount of time. Plus, as you point out, they’re all writing, so they still fit the assignment and show just how broad the concept of “writing” can be. And then the line at the end is gold, it captures everything nicely and gets a laugh.

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