Week 2 – Mini Assignment # 1
–Create a meme that reflects you or your blog–
Week 3 – Mini Assignment #2
–Pick a Marvel, DC (or other) superhero to embody in a “guest post” for your blog–
Barry Allen here, also most commonly known around town as “The Flash.” You may have seen me running around here and there. When it comes to running, I know everything there is to know about the sport. I mean, I can beat Superman for god-sakes; and that guy is considered to be a literal god. I always like to choose to take it easy on Clark when we race, but when the stakes are high, I can outrun Superman any day of the week. Just read one of my comic books and see for yourself. It’s true… but don’t tell him I said that, though.
Nick Bauernschmitt seems to enjoy his fair share of running as well. I mean, it’s all this guy ever seems to talk about, apart from music and guitar every once in a while. I am confident that you can understand why I guy, as I would sincerely appreciate that. My superpower does revolve around the sport of running. Without it, I’d be a regular guy just like the rest of you. Nick does seem to have a passion for running, and I’d love to challenge him one day in a good old fashion foot race. I am sure I can give him a run for his money (pun intended). It would be great, although I think I might need to provide him with a bit of a head start just to even out the odds! He is only human, after all.
Week 5 – Essay #1: Cognitive Biases on News and Information We Find Online
-Essay number one should deal with some aspect of the issue of social media platforms as sources of news. With the recent US election, the ideas of “false news” stories and the role social media news feeds play in shaping public opinion came to the forefront-
Consider a man; we’ll name him John. John is worried about contracting COVID. Of course, John cannot read all the articles he sees on it; he relies on trusted friends for what to do. When John is scrolling on Facebook, or perhaps Instagram, he reads a post by a trusted friend that the pandemic fears are overblown; John is somewhat reasonable and therefore dismisses the idea first. The restaurant where John works is then forced to close its doors for business, and now with his job at risk, John begins to wonder how serious the threat from the new virus is. No one he knows has passed away, after all. A friend posts an article about the COVID “scare” created by China’s “totalitarian” government in collaboration with corrupt politicians, which squares with John’s distrust of the government. His Google search quickly takes him to articles claiming that COVID is no worse than the common flu. John proceeds to decide to join an online group on social media with people who have been or fear being fired. This now makes John, like many of them, question themselves, “What pandemic?” John learns that several of his new friends plan to attend a rally demanding an end to lockdowns, appealing not to wear a mask in public, demanding “their constitutional right,” he decides to take part and join them. No one at this massive protest, including John, wears a mask. When someone asks John about the rally, John shares the conviction that has become part of his identity: COVID is a hoax.
The fact of the matter is, this example outlines a minefield of cognitive biases. The main issue I have with social media, online media, any form of present-day content is that we favor the information we receive from individuals we trust. We focus on and are bound to share things about dangers—for John, the threat of losing his position at his restaurant. We look for and recall things that fit well with what we feel we know and comprehend. These inclinations are results of our past, and for a considerable number of years, they served us well.
Present-day technologies are intensifying these inclinations in destructive ways. Search engines directed John to websites that aggravate his doubts, and social media interfaces him with similarly invested individuals, taking care of his feelings of dread. Search engines and social media platforms give customized suggestions dependent on the immense information about persons’ past inclinations and searches. It is even dependent on our current geographic location as well. They focus on data in our feeds that we are destined to concur with— regardless of how fringe— and shield us from data that may alter our perspectives. This makes us extremely vulnerable to polarization.
Social media has power over what news and data we see. Our online media friends/followers or following have become the ones who oversee what we see on these platforms; like John. An article should be “liked” and shared on numerous occasions before numerous individuals see it in their feed. This way, web-based media and your social group control what news you see and what you don’t. Many “fake news” sites seek consideration with shocking features and absurd storylines that will, in general, get shared all the more frequently because of the absence of readers fact-checking or perusing to read more than the headline. That implies that factual content is becoming rarer to come by at this point. Fake news is bound to spread faster than the truth. Misrepresentation diffused nearly farther, quicker, more profound, and more comprehensively than the facts.
Intensifying the issue is the continuous extreme growth of online information and data. Viewing and producing blogs, videos, tweets have become so modest and straightforward that the available information at your disposal is immersed. Incapable of handling this material, we let our inclinations choose what we should focus on. These mental shortcuts impact which data we look for, comprehend, remember and share or present to others to a harmful degree. By all accounts, we live in the period of “fake news,” and gone are the times of hanging tight for the morning news for breaking stories or perusing gossip magazines for the most recent celebrity dirt. We currently have all the information we require at a touch of a small screen on an application, and a great many people presently get their news on the web, explicitly from social media.
News happens quickly at this point. Today’s story will be tomorrow’s forgotten story. It is barely noticeable things now because of how rapidly information can get turned around and shared. While having such a lot of information readily available is extraordinary, it merits checking sources and not accepting headlines as truth. It doesn’t help people seem to have their minds made up without a second thought, or search engines feed us what we want to hear, read, or be told, and nor does it help people can’t seem to overcome their pride. With this idea of cognitive biases and social media as our new news manager, it is vital and dependent upon us to be the new fact-checkers for news and media. With that being said, if there is anything you should take away from this essay, it’s don’t be like John.
Bowd, Kathryn. “Social Media and News Media: Building New Publics or Fragmenting Audiences?” Making Publics, Making Places, edited by Mary Griffiths and Kim Barbour, University of Adelaide Press, South Australia, 2016, pp. 129–144. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.20851/j.ctt1t304qd.13. Accessed 23 Feb. 2021.
“Misinformation and More: Social Media as News Source.” LibGuides, guides.mysapl.org/fake-news/social-media-news-source.
Westerman, David, et al. “Social Media as Information Source: Recency of Updates and Credibility of Information.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 19, no. 2, 2013, pp. 171–183., doi:10.1111/jcc4.12041.
authors, All, and Annika Bergström & Maria Jervelycke Belfrage. “News in Social Media.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21670811.2018.1423625.
Week 12 – Essay #2: My Experience with Online Publishing
This semester I made a site with the expectation of creating a platform that would allow me to speak about things that I love. Not necessarily original, but I decided to make a bit of a lifestyle blog that zeroed in on track and field events and athletes, music, and musicians. I thought this would be a great idea since I had a couple of thoughts and ideas that I thought would be fun to reflect on and share. I knew from the beginning that lifestyle blogs could be complicated as they can be cultivated. Talking about one explicit theme would almost certainly bring about a more characterized persona. This is what I found to be the most challenging part of my experience with the online publishing process, giving my site a sense of identity.
Undoubtedly, at the start of the semester, I was met with a question that required an answer concerning my blog: who is my blog for, and what am I trying to accomplish? Public discourse surrenders the security of its given crowd. It vows and guarantees to address anyone. It submits itself on a fundamental level to the conceivable cooperation of anybody willing to do it. With this in mind, having access to the Internet has permitted me to compose something however I might like and have anybody on the planet get it within instantaneously. This gives you a feeling of the importance of a course such as PUB 101 and how then to approach an online-based blog/publishing-production format.
My experience all through the semester concerning PUB 101 has been described by the way toward writing enthusiastically on subjects I appear to think often about, without essentially taking a stab at gaining an enormous audience. With the semester coming down to a close and fulfilling my blog and online publishing experience so far, I have come to see the value in my own little digital “personal garden” that makes up the substance of my webpage regardless of who may or may not see it. By contributing to a blog, you’re conversing with an enormous crowd. With digital gardening, you’re talking with yourself. I realized that you need to center around what you need to develop over a more extended period.
Even though I have not gotten any remarks or feedback from guests on my site, I discovered the lectures and process posts were accommodating as I executed my ideas. Learning WordPress has been a test, and I figure it will keep on being an expectation to learn and adapt. My site has changed a lot since the beginning. I have countless more plans to add and things to change that I plan on dealing with after this course is done. The main thing I learned in this cycle that even though I felt a feeling of achievement for showing myself a portion of the abilities needed to utilize WordPress.
Week 5 – Mini Assignment #3
Week 8 – Mini Assignment #4
I posted a video of myself performing an acoustic remix the song “Jungle” by Tash Sultana. The original song is strictly electric, using a drum pad for the kick and the snare, and a classic Fender Telecaster as the electric guitar. Like the original song, the whole cover is “layered” using a device called a “loop pedal”.
To remix the song acoustically, I used a slap-strum technique while layering in a light hitting of the top surface of the guitar with closed fist to mimic the drums in the song. I am using a Yamaha LL6 acoustic guitar in this video. The guitar is made with laminate rosewood which gives the song a much cleaner and brighter sound. The guitar which has the “dreadnaught” style which compliments the “bright” tone of the guitar with low drone. Overall I feel this cover gives off a different tone to the original song which can fit nicely as a cover/remix.
Week 9 – Mini Assignment #5
Week 11 – Mini Assignment #6