Archive for January, 2015

Media Literate Review

Posted: January 27, 2015 in SNHU COM 510

I believe writers influence readers all the time, which is why it’s important to do the research to find out if the author is a credible source or not. It’s absolutely important for writers to act in an ethical manner because it affects everyone. The readers with the wrong information can share that information and instances like the Boston Marathon Bombings that will jeopardize police searches. What if those individuals got away with it because there were too many false reporting’s and that shared information crippled the case. Writers are in danger as well because if they are unethical they risk their credibility, which can ultimately get the fired or lose there following. In the blogging world your following is the only means for success, without it you are just a writer without listeners. I believe it is the writers role to tell the truth and as much information as they have at that time, with the understanding that information has been fact checked prior to sharing it with the world. I believe the race to get the information out first should be reviewed because often times getting the information out first before the facts are confirmed leads to mistakes. I understand that even the reporters and editors are human and human beings make mistakes but stupid mistakes are costly and we as the public hold journalists to a higher standard. Getting the facts wrong can be extremely painful for individuals involved in the story as well. It’s important to take time and not get caught up in the deadlines that come from a time crutching industry.

I definitely believe being media literate reduces, but does not eliminate the potential for content consumers to be influenced. Just because someone is media literate doesn’t not mean they can be completely free of influence. I do not believe my views have changed much from my original post as I have always looked at situations from both sides however I do believe I have become even more analytical, especially towards the source/author. Researching the background of authors has almost become second nature to me now because I can’t just believe anyone on the web. I truly believe and have stated this over and over again in my posts that a journalist needs to be properly trained through education and experience. This doesn’t mean I don’t value what bloggers have to write but I take their articles with a grain of salt and consider them very opinionated/bias. Do I still feel very influenced by media absolutely because it’s my major source of news, absolutely. However, I am a bit more skeptical on the author and want to examine their work to see if they are bias or not. If they are bias then look at articles from the opposite side of the story to compare and contrast.


Multimedia Tools

Posted: January 13, 2015 in SNHU COM 510

How does multimedia enhance our messaging?

Multimedia enhances our messaging because it allows readers to not only read the text content but to visually connect as well. There is also the usage of audio tools such as Podcasts and the conversion of text to MP3 files. There are a number of certain multimedia techniques that are more effective then others such as slide shows compared to multiple photos displayed. A slideshow presentation can combine multiple photos without taking the interest away from the reader due to constantly scrolling down to see the next picture. That simple motion could be enough for the reader to turn away from a site. Matt Smith explains using audio tools such as podcasts to help keep the readers focus by stating:

Podcasts can be another medium that you can add to your posts to make them more engaging. Instead of just reading your posts word for word, perhaps you record a weekly Podcast for your site talking about related subjects and adding it your articles where appropriate. You could conduct interviews with people, get people to send in questions that you could answer, run competitions, etc. Encourage people to subscribe to next week’s Podcast and it will help you to get return visitors to your site (Smith, 2013).

The idea here is to not have a website that is only text posts but to incorporate different multimedia tools to keep readers interested and coming back for more. Bloggers overall goal is to have a following and in order to do so, one must use these multimedia tools to enhance the message being told.

In last week’s module we read about best practices for writing for the web and something that stood out to me was, “usability researchers have found that web users rarely read entire pages, word for word” (Dotmarketing, n.d.). Personally I do not read web pages word for word and a prime example of that was when reviewing the websites for this week’s modules. In reviewing the website Snow Fall Avalanche I found myself skimming the story and listening to the audio police recordings conversations along with the videos of the survivors/loved ones. I thought this site was incredibly captivating as it was depicted in six parts starting from the history of Tunnel Creek, to the devastating avalanche and how it impacted others. The usage of audio and video in this website was truly amazing and much more effective that simply reading the text. Visually seeing the survivors and their reactions, with their tears was incredibly hard to watch. It’s understandable why this site has become a critically acclaimed website for it’s use of multimedia storytelling.

The first site that I’m going to cover is Mother Jones a site dedicated to new gun laws and how they are contributing to more mass shootings. There are a number of reasons why this site is effective, however I think the one that stands out immediately is the graph of mass shootings from 1982-2012 that shows a higher injury/fatality rate verses that of 1982. This data is very visually appealing and hooks the reader in right away. There are videos along with a number of photos and other maps to go along with the different multimedia tools used as well. However, I do feel that the photos are a bit overwhelming and think that the infographics are much more effective. This site is also very cluttered and difficult to navigate, I almost didn’t know where to start.

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 11.11.08 AMScreen Shot 2015-01-13 at 11.11.16 AMScreen Shot 2015-01-13 at 11.11.24 AM

There was a very effective slide show as well called “Stand your ground, explained,” which discusses “three legal concepts that turned a reasonable self-defense law into a recipe for vigilante justice” (Mother Jones, 2015). In this slide show it portrays a car accident between two drivers one in which has a gun for self-defense. When approached by the other person involved in the accident the driver with the gun uses it to shoot and kill, which is then described as justified. The last picture has the shooter with the guns in the air laughing and stating, “ha-ha, you can’t sue me” (Mother Jones, 2015). Going back to the beginning in which this slide show stated “vigilante justice” it’s clear that by having a gun people feel that they can defend themselves by any measure and acts as vigilantes, which isn’t the case. I thought this was a very effective use of multimedia techniques and while on a very cluttered website I was drawn to this post. Overall, I think this site incorporates a lot of multimedia tools, however I think simplifying it might be more effective as it was hard to follow.

The second site that I’m going to cover is in the same category of firearms called Firearms in the Family. The main focus of this site is the role guns play in American lives. First off, this site is way more manageable and less cluttered than that of the first site I discussed. The usage of videos is extremely appealing but what I thought was great is the section that has six different individual’s images;

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 11.03.08 AM these images are links to their story and beliefs in regards to guns in America. There is also a really calming audio track that runs on a loop that draws the reader into this story. The really interesting part is that the six photos are in motion so in reality they are actually looped videos and not pictures. The six stories are open carry, a mother’s plea, the rodeo queen, the hunters, a father’s gentle revenge and channeling grief (Prieto, 2013). When you click on the looped video such as “open carry” it takes you to the video along with the story listed below it, which is extremely easy to navigate. I believe that is what makes this site so effective. Another aspect that I noticed was the ability to share this site amongst social medias such as Facebook and twitter. The first site I covered did not have this available only a subscribe function, which then perhaps you could share; however I did not see this option. In my opinion the use of video is way more effective then that of infographics and slide shows. I believe seeing the raw emotion of people involved in the story is extremely effective. This site also contained infographics such as the picture of open carry that stated, “45 states have some open carry gun rights” (Prieto, 2013). While this picture is nice it’s not as effective as the infographic on the first site because it lacks data however, that data can be found in the text. Remembering that people do tend to skim through sites, so you want the info to be there and visible, I think this site does that much better then that of the first one. It also discusses multiple opinions on the topic and that is seen in the in the dialogue and text. This site isn’t focused on changing anyone’s belief but explaining just how guns change our lives and it leaves it up to the viewer after hearing these different stories to decided where they stand.


Dotmarketing. (n.d.) DM best practices writing for the web. Dotmarketing, inc. Retrieved from

Mother Jones. (2015). America under the gun. Retrieved from

Prieto, B. (2013). Firearms in the family. The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved from

Smith, M. (2013). Why multimedia blog content is good for your site. Retrieved from

Best Practices for Bloggers

Posted: January 9, 2015 in SNHU COM 510
  1. In your opinion, what are the “best practices” when creating a blog to ensure appropriate form, function, and substance?

In my opinion best practices are guidelines to creating a good blog. Best practices are ways to improve a blog by following the do’s and don’ts. Best practices follow simple guidelines for example, do not over crowd a website with advertisement, always include who, what, where, when, why, and how in regards to the stories/posts, along with the writing style from pyramid to inverted pyramid (Dotmarketing, n.d.). Overall best practices are helpful tools to formatting a website for bloggers in regards to his subject. Best practices can be guidelines for any topic for example my work has a best practices meeting every quarter to teach office managers how to improve the quality of work at their office.

  1. How has your chosen blog met or not met these “best practices”?

The blog that I chose to review is called The Movie Blog. I chose this blog because I love movies and came across it while researching blogs for our class discussion. I’m always looking for upcoming movies and interested to hear what people have to say about them before going myself so I thought this was a very interesting topic to cover. From looking at the website it is well put together, there isn’t too many advertisements/clutter that prevent navigation. The site is broken down into sections, news chat, reviews, trailers, posters, interviews, which is clearly listed under their feature heading. There are tabs at the top to bring you back to the home page along with the “about” and “contact” tabs as well. When looking in the “review” section all posts are dated with the most recent post first, which would be the film Inherent Vice. The headline reads, “Paul Thomas’s Zany Inherent Vice is a Densely Constructed Masterpiece” which gives the reader the most important fact first in which they think this film is dense. In comparison to the second review Selma, which the title reads, “Ava DuVernay’s Masterful Selma is the Timely Movie America Needs” (Campea, 2015). This style of writing is inverted pyramid in which the most important information is listed at the beginning. Clearly the reader knows the authors opinion of the film before even having to read the review. Giving this opinion of the film in an inverted pyramid style gives grabs the reader’s attention and acts as a best practice for good web writing (Dotmarketing, n.d.).

  1. Additionally, complete a self-assessment of your own blog. How does your blog compare to the “best practices”? What are some elements you can improve upon? What are you doing well?

When comparing the two sites it clear that my site needs some major work. I actually just went through and restructured it because the template I was using was too distracting.  Initially I had each post listed and able to view on the home page, the problem with that was it showed the actual post with the entire body of work. The format that is listed now has tabs for each post in which if the reader was interested could select and then see article that goes along with it. One thing that I’ve noticed from looking at both sites is that my home tab “R.E.L.A.X” isn’t clear to the reader that it is a home tab. “R.E.L.A.X” is a Green Bay Packer’s reference however for those that don’t know it, it would be very confusing.  It doesn’t really act as a home tab. I’m a superstitious person and since the Packers are in the playoffs don’t want to change it so I’m going to add the word “home” alongside it. I think another element I can improve on is the header to each post.  Looking at the most recent post “New Media Tools” I would wonder why anyone would select that tab because it doesn’t grab attention. Obviously the post was for an assignment in this course, but if I follow the rule within best practices under word count for headings I could use 8-10 words which would give me a better opportunity to elaborate on the topic in hopes of grabbing attention (Dotmarketing, n.d.). What I think I’m doing well with my site is keeping it organized now that the home tab is in place along with the search link at the top. Obviously without advertisements it lacks clutter, I also minimized how many widgets were added because there were duplicates ultimately simplifying the site and making it easer for the reader to navigate.

  1. As a blogger, if there were an official “Blogger’s Code of Conduct,” would you read it, follow it, and find it useful?

I would absolutely read and follow a Blogger’s Code of Conduct. I believe any help is useful and if there were a code to follow it would only benefit the author because bloggers rely on a following and having a code would only give bloggers more credibility. With more credibility there would be more trust and more of a reason for people to follow a blogger, that is how I would look at it and why I would follow it if it were me. The idea being that it would separate me amongst others that don’t follow a code of conduct. In regards to a code of ethics for the blogger of The Movie Blog, I think it would make a big difference in what they could of couldn’t say because if they were to harshly criticize a film it might go against the code of ethics. Would that make a difference to me as a blogger? I’m torn when discussing this because I see the necessity to have a code because it gives credibility but I also believe that blogging isn’t the same as journalism and since anyone can do it each blogger shouldn’t be held accountable for following a code. I think it would only help the blogger but don’t expect bloggers to follow. Personally I would because I would want to be credible and have followers and think this would be the best way of doing so. I do not think it would be restriction on ones freedom of speech because it’s blogger to blogger and not government enforced to have a code of ethics. Simply put they are good guidelines to follow and best practices are just that good ways to improve ones site.


Campea, J. (2015) The Movie Blog. Retrieved from

Dotmarketing. (n.d.) DM best practices writing for the web. Dotmarketing, inc. Retrieved from