Readings, and Related Inspirations



I remember once, when I got a call from a really close friend, extremely upset because her ex-girlfriend had removed her from her top 8 (sorry for the pronoun confusion). I said “M – does it really matter?” My friend said, “Yes it matters, because now it’s really over!” And while this story may sound a little hilarious, a lot of us have felt that way at some point during our interactions with social media.

In the days of Web 2.0, we now have jokes like “as soon as I friend you on Facebook, we’re real friends,” and “If her relationship status says she’s single, she must not feel it’s important enough to mention. I’m totally going for it.” Jokes like this would have been extremely confusing when Mary Hocks published her article “Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments,” or when Diana George published her article “From Analysis to Design,” but not by the time Kristin Arola published “The Design of Web 2.0,” which features both Facebook and Myspace in her discussion about design.

What all of these articles, and Craig Stroupe‘s “Visualizing English,” have in common is that they all discuss the use of visuals in composition – fitting, since computer use includes visuals more often than not these days. Like this one:

This is Grumpy Kitty, and he is an internet sensation. People have been juxtaposing his image with writing and other links all over the internets in the last couple of weeks. Grumpy Kitty is so prolific, my seldom-internet using brother even sent me a text with Grumpy Kitty’s image in it.

A few minutes ago, when I started this post, I had no idea I was going to put Grumpy Kitty into it. I simply thought computer + text + visual = Grumpy Kitty! And why wouldn’t I think that? Have you SEEN that guy??

Anyway, in her paper, Mary Hocks argues that “new technologies … require new definitions of what we consider writing” (630), and she is very correct. Our students create on the web all the time now, and as Kristin Arola suggests, they do it is a WYSIWYG. All of us that are using wordpress do it. I’m doing it RIGHT NOW!

When my friend called upset by her demotion from her ex-girlfriend’s Top 8 on Myspace, she was reacting to the interface imposed upon users of myspace. This “top 8” problem became such an issue even, that Myspace changed it so users could select as many ‘top’ friends as they wanted. Or so the ‘top 8’ were random. But don’t quote me on that. I can’t find a source for it anywhere on the world wide web.

I could go on and on on this topic, and since I probably will in class, and because a lot of this material directly relates to the midterm post I’m cooking up, I’ll just leave you with a video I haven’t seen in about a thousand years. But with all this multimodal design and myspace talk, how could I not?