Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thursday class

Some quick notes:

Ellen's super fast but rather ancient down-and-dirty HTML class

Good places to find free pictures: Wiki Commons

Good place for fairy tales: DL Ashliman

Good place for Aesop fables: Aesop.com

The suggested hyperfiction read last semester:

253 "The visual metaphors of a map of the London Underground, and of seating in train carriages, structure the story immediately before, during and after a train crash"

Inside: A Journal of Dreams "The visual metaphor of a journal to structure the story of an old man's waking and dreaming life in a council flat"

Dreaming Methods "Dreaming Methods is a fusion of writing and atmospheric new media that explores digital storytelling, imaginary memories and dream-inspired states. All our work requires Flash Player 8 or higher."

A critique discussing hyperfiction and one story specifically: to be read after class.

Stories that are simple but show how interactive elements work at a basic level:

Nab the Aquatic Invader! "is a fun way to learn about aquatic invaders. By using this site you can check out lots of unusual species that create real problems in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf, and Great Lakes regions."

Big page of interactive stories for kids

Choose your own adventure books overview (by Wikipedia)

The Critique section is the equivalent of The Big Sell. It is the sort of information you would include in a sales presentation to your boss. The sale works on the principle that you create a product that people want, and that you sell it by telling them about all the sexiest features.

Tip: it is easier to sell something if you "mirror" the potential buyer's vocabulary.

Read the critique point for point. As each critique requires 200 words in total, each point must be answered in 50 words.

Analyse your notes to see what your lecturer wants:

She says, "Reading a fiction story on a computer screen is not fun"
SO we have to make our story "fun"

She says "Reading is sequential AND non-linear/Reading is filled with choices"
SO we give her sequential, non-linear AND boast about our choices.

She mentions visual quality
SO we need to sell our pictures

She mentions functionality "Forward/back buttons, menus, maps, visual signposting"
SO we need to make ours stuffed with these elements and say how they work

She says "Messy, confusing interface, Cluttered layout, Awkward navigation, Confusing nested frames"
SO we must avoid this, and say so!

She says "Links are idiosyncratic;Not recognisable as links"
SO we must make sure ours are, and say how!

She says "The print reader expects an ending - a fiction story runs along orderly lines to a satisfying end"
SO we mention our ending or endings.

Assignment Two Critique Notes

Remember to echo your lecture notes wherever possible.

She says, "A news story tells the story of a recent sequence of events. The events are retold in a way which captures the most newsworthy or sensational aspect of the story first. Background is provided in the story, but the story will always return to a chronological retelling of the events." Keep this in mind.

She says,

"2. Hierarchical organisation of story importance - headline size.

3. The information ‘slice’ on the front screen of the publication - a teaser enticing the reader to click to read more.

4. Chunking - the story is fragmented or segmented into different sections.

5. Cross-heads - the different sections of the story are signalled by cross-heads"

All things you might echo back in a critique.

She says, "appropriate photographs, other graphics, and (if appropriate) video and sound," suggest these from Youtube and Wiki Commons and remember to add in citations for each one: title, URL, last accessed.

She says, "You should explain why your online sources are credible information sources" so mention what satisfactions your sources have (first hand experience, how many years experience, professional standing etc) and also this should be mentioned in the text as readers like to know this too. Think: "says Dr Peam, a vet with 30 years experience," rather than "says veterinary surgeoun Dr Peam."

She says, "You should explain why your writing style is appropriate for the written pieces in your feature package"

Mention your audience, mention angle and slant. If you use them, mention buzz words or popularity of topic.

Mention architecture: internal and external links, layout for easy navigation, and mention the non-print media you might use like video and audio clips.

You might add in a blog with three or four posts and discuss how this can help improve reader participation - and why this matters!

For the last point, put in file name, the URL, and date accessed. Don't forget to talk about copyright and how you would need permission to publish if you were to put these pieces of work into the world rather than use them as an assignment. AND mention why the pictures you chose work for your pieces.

Assignment Three

See The Office for examples of bios here and teh NBC site which is interesting and corporate here, and for the much more innovative Dunder Mifflin site.

Check Heroes official site for examples of how to interact with audiences here. Check the novels for inspiration.

For the Critique, there are 4 points each of which must be dealt with in 50 words. It's straightforward stuff. But for point 1, remember to mention where you got the pictures you have used, their URLs, date accessed and don't forget to talk about copyright and how you would need permission to publish if you were to put these pieces of work into the world rather than use them as an assignment. AND mention why the pictures you chose work for your pieces.

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