Digital Communications: Lets Reflect

The Digital Age

In the digital age there is no reason to be left behind. Some complain that technology moves and changes at a rapid pace, making it hard to keep up the pace. I say: “Welcome to the digital world that is no different from the one we live in everyday.” Digital literacy is the key to success in navigating the digital age. What exactly is digital literacy, you may ask? Digital literacy “is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” After this course of Digital Communications, I found myself asking what kind of digital literacy have I mastered and in what ways do I need to improve?

Show off those Strengths

I believe the strengths I have developed from this class include the ability to construct a multi-layer blog that engages the reader with catchy headers, picture credibility, and useful links that better the user experience. My blog flows with the correct white space amount for the user to scan content more efficiently. From what I have learned about navigating in the digital world, it is all about movement. Hyperlinking and hypertext offer the possibility of movement and mobility to another source with relevant information. With my blog, I tried to offer an interesting topic that I was passionate about, such as fashion trends around college campuses. It is important to create a voice for yourself in the digital world. Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.57.34 PMIn my fashion blog, I truly think my voice captured the audience’s attention better than any other element. I tried to make my voice reflect not only my personality, but also display my content and information with a upbeat, and humorous tone.

I Think I’m Funny

From my Fall Fashion to Winter Wardrobes: “Now that the cold weather is FINALLY approaching South Carolina, ’tis the season for boots and sweaters and maybe a little vest to add another layer to the chilly morning walk to the dining hall. Pull out the winter clothes from under your lofted beds, and switch out your sandals for your leather boots — it’s time for Furman fashionistas to bring in the new vogue winter styles. The Furman ladies are ready for the cooler and anxious to retire the summer wardrobe.”

Headline Extraordinaire

When learning how to navigate through Web sites and blogs and understanding the importance of user experience, I became insistent on creating simple but catchy headers for my users on my blog and Web site. I know when I am browsing through a site, one of the first things I look at is the header, but if header is boring and does not engage my interest I will not go any further. These are all headers I created to engage and reel in my users:

Everyone Has A Weakness

My digital literacy weakness would be my struggle to backup my strong voice with relevant hyperlinks throughout my content that add credibility to my subject. A voice and opinion is important but not without sources to support one’s argument. Although I did include hyperlinks in FU Fashion Trending blog posts, I was limited to resources about college fashions which vary from school to school. Many of my resources were limited to pictures and not as much content about fashion.

Need More Time

I would have loved to have spent more time learning photoshop because it is such an essential skill in the digital world. The power of a photograph can trump words any day. We learned the different photographic genres such as,

  • Untitled-1_edited-1Creative
  • Retail
  • Personal
  • Editorial

These genres explain how photographs can be used for different meanings or can misconstrue/organize a message. I used photoshop to construct an informative collage to my users on my blog. Photoshop is a tool I plan to improve on even after Digital Communications.



Thank You Digital Communications

This class has not only taught me valuable information, but it has also altered the way I view any social media or digital technology. In my opinion, all online users would benefit from gaining knowledge about the foundation of the digital world they use daily.

Western Technologies: Impacts Home and Abroad

Not All Western Ideas Are Universal

Did you ever think that your convenient, portable laptop that you take everywhere is not used in other countries, or that the fundamental ideas behind a laptop stems from Western technology that is often not supported or used in other countries? We think of laptops and computers as universal tools, but in many cases, in developing countries, computers and the Internet are a foreign thought.

English Does Not Always Translate

Computers were designed for the English speaking world. If you think about the layout of the keyboard and the icon display on the screen, each is designed with a Western influence. But in developing countries, many people do not understand the Western culture, so hence, they would not be able to understand how to operate a laptop.

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)

Nicholas Negroponte founded the One Laptop per Child organization. The organization had good intentions for helping children in developing countries become better educated with new technology such as a laptop. This organization was not a success, and the results failed to accomplish the intended plan of meeting the needs of children in developing countries. OLPC was blinded by its influence of Western ways and did not factor the idea that laptops need to adapt to the appropriate needs of the children using them in developing countries. Another factor that OLPC needed to understand was that the importance of education is not always valued in these developing countries. For example in Africa, the AIDS virus is a more pressing matter than computers for children’s education. One study concluded that one computer per child could be one laptop per clinic that could serve many more people in a more beneficial way. Some of the OLPC computers were never used or distributed by the goverment.

48 Hour Of Peril

Have you ever lost your cell phone and had that gut feeling that it is gone and never will return? Doesn’t it feel like someone just turned off your lifeline, and you have lost your only identity? I know that when I lost my cell phone, I found it impossible to live for those 48 hours until I could replace it. I hunted high and low and called it from my mother’s cell phone at least 93 times. Even though it was replaced, I lost many memories, such as pictures, videos, messages, and my all time highest score on Temple Run.

A Social Revolution

Cells phones have created a social revolution in our society. They have created new means of communication and entertainment. Cell phones have also altered social patterns, not only with young adolescents, but with people of all ages. Lines are blurry between what is private and what is public communication. Not only are cell phones essential for communication and for maintaining social relationships, but they also can have a negative impact on family relationships, peer relationships, identity, socialization, and other norms. Some people feel the use of cell phones has taken away face to face interaction and other interpersonal skills.


Texting has become an easy way to communicate with others, but it has taken its toll on students’ grammar skills. The letter abbreviations are handy at times for quick responses; however, young students often lose practice in writing correct sentence structure. For example, a student might text: “lol b4 u go to class can you grab my binder 4 me and drop it off at the lib? Thx ttyl! ” Most teenagers can translate this symbolic language; professors, on the other hand, refuse to acknowledge this new system of language.

Here To Stay

This new method of socialization is here to stay. Teenagers transform their identity through their cell phones. Cell phones may have some negative impact, but they are just a new way of life for this generation and the future ones to come .

Everything comes from a Idea

Take that IDEA to the next leave

Have you ever had an idea? A idea that you are so excited about that you drop everything and daze off into the hundreds of different directions you could take that idea? Do you ever not execute that idea because you have no clue how to develop it? If you have done this plenty of times, please don’t worry because everyone does. In this blog post I will give some great methods to help develop that fabulous idea.tumblr_n8m8pwwLar1sjzq6wo1_1280

Sticky Notes, 3×5 Cards, Lists, Outlines, Napkins

When that great idea pops into your head, write anything and everything about the idea on a sticky note. The best part about the sticky note is that you can move it around and stick it on a wall or computer screen you’re working with. If you don’t have access to a sticky note, how about an 3×5 index card? They’re similar to a sticky note, but a little bit more mobile and will last longer. They are also easy to slide into the back pocket when you’re out and about. Lists work well too. They’re not just for your grocery shopping, they can repeat your ideas to many other ones. You can also use the classic outline to help develop. Another option is the good old napkin! If you can’t find paper, sticky notes, or a index card, napkins can do the job just as well. Its also fun to say that such a great idea was developed on a napkin.

Taking that Idea to the next step, (Media Step)

You need to develop a great story that goes along with your idea. Sell that idea, make everyone believe that they either need it or have to care about it. Video and animation is a great way to show your story. The structure is key to any animation, the setting of the action along with the narration all need to work together to represent your story well. You need to be thoughtful in determining what multimedia element would work best for your idea and story. Your idea could be best represented by a film, Motion graphics, Software simulation, Games, Photo slide show.


If you’re having trouble with your story and idea, think through what process and methods you’re using. A storyboard is a great design tool to keep your story on track. It keeps all the media for each scene listed and describes how they work together. A storyboard keeps all ideas listed on paper with a timeline. If you’re working with a team on your story, a storyboard is a great way to keep people on track for what is due and as well as who is responsible for what. If you’re working for a client or boss, the storyboard can educate them and helps to keep the project moving smoothly. Finally, it helps to remind the boss or client when they give another instruction that you are just following the storyboard directions and that any additional changes will take more time.

The Audio World

 The Audio World

Do you ever find yourself driving in your car listening to music on the radio which switches to a morning talk show, but you decide not to change the channel quite yet because something they said sparked your interest? I typically don’t like talk shows, but I do have one radio station that I actually enjoy listening to their talk show. It is called Sirius Hits 1 with The Morning Mash Up.Their humor and energy each morning makes me laugh on my dreadful drive to school or work. This talk show is no NPR, but that is what I enjoy most about it. I can relate to the hosts as they engage my thoughts about daily events, possible weekend plans, and the latest celebrity gossip. I believe if this talk show can somehow engage my attention, it can engage yours too!

Selective Hearing?

The Morning Mash Up

People believe that our attention span is getting shorter, but has anyone thought that the content we take in is getting bigger and more complex? Who has time to listen and read everything that is published, tweeted, facebooked, blogged and aired on TV or the Radio. I know I sure don’t as a college student who typically reads a hundred pages for just one class. The beautiful thing about audio is that its timeless. If the audio work is at its best, the listener wont even notice the passing time going by.

Show Don’t Tell

The best kind of Audio is the one that touches our hearts, it digs deep into our emotions and opens our imagination. Your audio has the potential to impact listeners lives and can make a difference, but it all has to do with the way you construct your conversation, interview, or story. You often can’t use visual aids with audio, so the only option is to explain it as if the listener is blind. This is done when the speaker captures feeling and emotion with sound, and paints the picture with words. If you wish to do this you must use all your senses to make the listener feel as if he or she is there. radio-interviewIf you are not excited about your story or interview, why should your listeners be? Study each layer of your topic. If it is an interview, be prepared with thoughtful questions that the listener can ponder about. However, always remember that there are ethics in the audio world and words can be taken and cut of of context.

To the Final Destination

Killer Opening

Once upon a time. No, that sounds cheesy. Years ago in a faraway land, lived.… That sounds a little better, but still a little cliché. Running fast and furious down a interstate highway, Goerge saw his one and only escape; it was all or nothing as he leaped over the rusty crushed metal median barrier, barely clearing it by an inch. Are you hooked yet? Do you want to read more about why George is running? If you don’t, I’m sorry this story doesn’t interest you.  But if you are interested in the mystery and action of this story, then you are a fan of a plot-driven story. I know I am a fan.

The Right Key

What key elements should I add to my story about George? Well, for starters, I need some conflict, and George must have some reason why he’s jumping over a rusty, broken metal barrier. George clearly did something; if he didn’t, then my story would be pointless and boring, and he would be running down a highway just for fun. I could start off with explaining who is George is, what is he like, and where is he going? I also could direct my reader to where this is taking place. But I think it’s only fair that I give the reader some backstory about George. George has a interesting past; he’s traveled around the world for his job as a artist displaying different cultures and customs in his work. When George was displaying his art at the National Roman Museum, he left one evening after a exhausting day of packing up his masterpieces to be shipped to his next destination in London. Walking down the street of Via Massimo d’Azeglio, George witnessed what seemed to be a Mafia hit that targeted a local politician who was running for the upcoming election. Poor George is in a dilemma, trapped by what he has seen and wondering if he should report what he knows to the authorities. To add complexity to the plot, not only did he see the murderers in action, but they saw him as well.

Jump Right In

At this point, George’s story has started in the middle of the action and later has added the reasons for his running for his life. To add some extra suspense, we follow George through his attempted escape to London, his next destination. What else do I need to add to this thrilling, life-threatening encounter with the Roman Mafia? How about a little smell, sound, taste, and touch to enhance reader’s experience? It happens to be the coldest, bone- chilling winter in Europe, with the smell of wooden stoves and the brewing of cafes on the street corner. In the distance George can hear the faint whistles of trains rolling into the Roman Termini Train station. Will he make it there on time?

I hope you have soft spot for George, struggling with a moral decision and knowing his life may be in danger because of it. The Mafia is watching his every move and tracking his whereabouts. As the story proceeds, George has barely escaped capture in Rome and has made it as far as Paris, France by using disguise and diversion as well as different modes of transportation.


Does George solve his problem in this one post? Or do readers have to wait till next week to find out what is beyond that metal barrier George has jumped? I always like a good cliff- hanger in my stories.

“To be or not to be” the great Digital Editor

Our homework covered the general aspects of constructing digital space context. Three main topics that I believe to have been important were editors and the art to editing, the importance of a great headline, and the theory of hypertext.

This reading covered a variety of tools that any good editor should know. Since I am not an editor, I learned a lot about the construction and upkeep of various social media accounts. I originally believed an editor was someone who proofread drafts and cut out unnecessary information. I had no idea that a digital editor does far more. A digital editor has to be organized, self-directed, versatile,  and ethical. They also have to have a good sense of humor along with a thick skin. The eye of an editor has to catch every detail to make sure nothing is misspelled or falsely informed. Editing is about making choices and lots of them. There are many different strategies to help editors publish a final product.  First, it is important to create a checklist for proofing. The list must include fact checking which is extremely important to a website’s credibility. When it comes to proofreading, editors print out the drafts and read each sentence backward; this forces them to read each word alone to check the spelling. One strategy that is stressed to be very important is reading out loud. This helps catch fragments and confusing word choices that could be disruptive to the reader. Media editors and writers have never been as important as they are now, and their job description keeps changing has the digital age develops. The key to staying alongside the digital world is for tumblr_inline_navl6lfEg51rkg7lyemployees to be flexible and adaptable.


Headlines are a crucial part of any website. They help the reader navigate to information that they want to read. Subheads are also another way to guide the reader through the story. A headline and a subhead should be brief and straight to the point. It is a sneak peak of information that is stated somewhere else. One method of keeping a headline brief is the the KISS method, Keep it simple, stupid! The headline should have key words that summarize the content. Or another method is to think about key words that one would type into Google on the topic he or she is writing about. When a reader reads a headline, he or she should know the context of the story in those key words.



Hyperlink is the most common form of hypertext that digital writers use to link another layer of information to support their text or content. Hypertext is a computer code text that takes the reader to another website with just a click of the mouse. Hyper is a Greek word that means “beyond”. There is far more information beyond one webpage that the reader can access. Hyperlinks give the context credibility and trust to the reader that the information is correct. Hyperlinks are the fastest way the reader can get to other information about their topic of interest. Wikipedia is the best example of a hypertext and hyperlink website. All information on wikipedia has links on the bottom of the page and within the text that take the reader to other sites with more information. The Hyperlinks on the bottom help the reader to find more sources and also reassure that the general information he or she reads  is trustworthy.