Friday, February 15, 2013

My YouTube Uses

I believe the most prevalent use of YouTube is for entertainment purposes.  I check daily for new videos from the Game Grumps, and every once in a while I watch one of Epicnamebro's many video game lore videos.  Add to Northinlion's "Binding of Isaac" let's plays and several other videos I get the inkling to watch and you know the majority of my background noise while I'm playing my games.  I used to use YouTube for listening to music, but the introduction of grooveshark.com and slacker radio, to at least some extent, eliminated that.

In addition to entertainment, YouTube is an incredibly useful tool for learning.  Several websites make it possible for anyone to publish a set of instructions, but it is difficult to follow text only tutorials (along with the issue of reliable information).  With YouTube, it is far easier to find the instructions you want in video form.  Videos are much easier to follow, and you can see if the instructions actually work before trying it out yourself.

As far as uploading videos, I have in the past, but I deleted most of them.  Lately, I've been collecting the things I need to do a let's play of my own.  I have no idea how good it will turn out, but I might as well give it a shot.  Most of the tools are at my disposal now, I just need a game to play.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My New Twitter

There isn't a lot to say for this one.  I never used Twitter so it just got pushed to the side and wasn't used...at all.  I still have the default profile image and profile settings (which I'll be changing shortly).
I think it really shows off my eyes

I have followed anyone also following @enmdsu.  I'll try to make a habit of tweeting.
It's further than I got on my last account.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Getting Discovered

Second only to content in the blog (and in some cases more important) is the design.  A layout that is simple creates an inviting atmosphere for the reader to dine on the information as they wish.  Nothing gets me to close a webpage faster than a cluttered mess of text, images, and multicolored links.  Unless, that is, the page is black with white text (in some cases it works, but this is rare).

Looking at the Madison Area Arts Council blog, I find that the tattered edges of light gray adds to the ambiance, but stays away from the actual content and doesn't interfere with my ability to read what is there.  The titles of the posts are easy to pick out from the other information that may be a little less relevant.  Information like who wrote it, which is still there in a lighter gray.  We read it, but it does not take away from the bulk of the content.

Once the layout is glued in, the trick is to find a way to get the word out.  Now you need posts that people will find interesting and relevant to them.  Introducing a blog about art to an audience that is more interested in computers or the outdoors may not get as much publicity as introducing it to other artists (who will pass it on to other artists if they like what they see).

The Madville Times displays a number of stories involving gun control details and detrimental use of Facebook because these are popular, controversial topics that pique the readers' interest.  These are also stories that the local paper would likely avoid, which brings the knowledge hungry readers looking for information.  This information gets passed around like desserts on holidays to friends and family of the original readers because it's in short supply.  To put it simply, Madville Times found a niche that could be filled and gained popularity through doing so.

How do you feel about a company or individual buying a blogger's voice to promote a product, and does the inclusion of money eliminate the possibility of an honest product review?  Has your blog allowed you to get in contact with any potential buyers for your own product?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Five Shots or Six?

Hey guys, I just finished my second iteration of my Foundations video (I was less than enthusiastic about how my first video involving a Minecraft contraption turned out.  I wish that I would have had more time for the detail work, but I was limited by time (wasn't able to start shooting until mid afternoon the day before the video was due, and couldn't start editing until late) as well as my lack of experience in video creation.

That being said, I decided to poke some fun at the obsessive consumption of ammunition in action movies, and I also enjoyed playing with the new toy I bought over summer and have only shot 3 or 4 days since.

video

I'm a little upset with myself that I didn't bring other guns along with to play with while making the video, just to add a little spice.  Although, I did finally find a use for the sample music on Windows.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Questions and Comments on Facebook

As stated before, I never really got into Facebook.  This is mostly because I kept to myself in high school, and outside of my group of close friends, had little desire for interaction  on an impersonal scale.  I didn't really see the reason to friend as many people from my school as possible to simply continue ignoring them.  I recently started using it for family contact (my relatives kept asking me why I hadn't accepted their friend requests and I got tired of explaining to them that I hadn't logged in for several months).

When Levinson brought up sending a friend request to someone who shared an interest with him (the one who responded with "Uh, are we like, going to hang out"), I found a parallel between the invited persons views and my own.  Why does the word "friend" attract so much more attention than the more impersonal phrases of "followers" and "subscribe". 

I am also a bit skeptical of the idea that Facebook friends can be used as a knowledge base.  It may work, but if  you're asking an online "friend" for information about a topic, it is likely a good idea to research the subject through other methods (particularly if they don't have much of a name for themselves).  It just seems like more work to find a person's knowledge of something and then research his credentials or the topic further.

Finally, we've all heard the phrase "It's not official until it's Facebook official" or some variation of it.  Why is it that we have the need to have our online persona be our real selves?  Does posting happenings in our lives validate the change in some way?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tools of the Trade

I own a handful of devices that give me the ability to contribute to new new media.  The most recent of which is a Kindle (for anyone wondering, completely worth it).  I haven't had much of a chance to use it yet, but I'm working on making time for it.

My smartphone is probably the most versatile tool, but I really don't use it for as much as I could (I avoid using facebook apps and the like).  I use it fairly often for looking things up in the name of research or listening to music.  It has replaced my old digital camera, which is now so outdated that it is probably more qualified to crush rocks than take pictures. 

The most useful tool I have is obviously my computer (the source of my work and entertainment).  I have Audacity installed for recording audio, a tool that has only come in handy a few times, as well as a trial version of Bandicam (allows me to record videos, lasting up to 10 minutes, of a target window).  The trial version also puts a watermark on the edge of the video.

I also own several game systems (including a SNES, PS2, xbox, xbox 360, and Nintendo DS).  Finally, I own an old SLR camera somewhere (old enough to use film)  that takes excellent pictures.  Because film costs money and there is an extra step to getting the pictures on the computer, I usually only take it out of storage for special occasions and vacations.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My use of new new media (or lack thereof)

I still remember when my friends finally got me to make a Myspace page, only to have them immediately start getting emails inviting me to join the Facebook community.  The Myspace page was quickly ignored, and it took the same friends a significant time to get me to actually move on to Facebook (figuring it would be gone as soon as the last big thing).  After making the page, I rarely checked it (sometimes going months at a time), and to this day I continue that trend.  It isn't really intentional, there's just so many other things to occupy my time.  Facebook has made itself useful on several occasions, such as receiving new phone numbers from people who have lost/broken their phone or finding someone to car pool back to Aberdeen with.  Even being so disconnected from Facebook, it is such a prevalent force that I find it difficult to imagine what life would be like without it.

My recent fascination with the abundance of "lets play" videos on youtube have made me wonder if I have what it takes to run a semi-popular series as well.  I don't see it working out quite as well as some of the more popular shows, but youtube provides me with a medium to at least test the possibility.  Considering our class discussion about making a presence on the web, it could be a way to stand out, at least to some extent.