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Daniel Lafrentz

[40 points] the two blogs that i found through blogger both had to do with film. film is always something that people have a strong feeligns about, so i figured it wouldnt be too difficult to find a couple blogs with polarized opinions that i could write about. and i was right.

both blogs i went to had reviews of movies from the last year, because oscar time is in a couple of months, links to different movie studio pages, links to movie trailers, and plenty of movie posters in the backgrounds. their layouts were remarkably similar, both had links to previous posts on the left, links to other film related blogs on the right, a comments section at the bottom, and a heading/title at the very top above the most recent post.

oddly, the biggest difference between the two was content. while they had a few links to the same places, like the apple websites quicktime section of upcoming movie trailers, what each person wrote about in their blogs were totally different.

in the first blog i went to, all the person did was ream movies that have been released in teh last year, as if they were some sort of educated movie critic. it wasn't a very interesting blog, because all it did was complain and gripe about how horrible 2005's movies were. except that the author really liked the movie "mean girls" which i thought was a little odd. anyway, the blog seemed like a low profile area for someone to vent their feelings, frustrations, etc, anonymously to all of the internet. it was set up through blogger, like mine, and most likey attracted about as many people as my blog too, i.e. visitors in the single digits.

the second blog was a little more elaborate. it had its own domain name, which means someone paid to have and maintain a site with that name. also even though it was a personal blog it had a lot more varied content than the first one i saw. it had links to previous entries about independent films, foreign films, as well as mainstream hollywood releases. there were also movie reviews on this blog but they differed in that they were all much more neutral and judged from a critical point of view on character development, strength of story, etc. these reviews actually looked hard at what the movie was trying to be instead of judging and reviewing based on person al preference like the first blog. the other part about this second blog that i really liked was that it included film news. the "headline" from todays post was that one of the head writers of the curious george series had been found murdered at his home days before the movie was to be released.
over all i found this blog much more appealing simply because it had more variety, access to more information and was completely and utterly clouded with the authors opinion.

both blogs were frequently posted on. there were archives of posts dating back 8 months on the first, and over a year on the second. both blogs most recent posts each happened sometime today.

what i liked about the layouts in the two blogs was that they showed a lot of old movie posters placed strategically around the blog so as to add color and personality to the blog without interfering with the readers ability to read the text. my only qualm was with the second blog because it had so many liks to other areas of film interest it was kind of hard to know where to begin with them. sort of that paradox of having TOO MANY options.

the greatest thing i think these blogs can offer that magazines and books cant is that when they post something on their blogs, especially the second with his daily "headlines", it will spark interest and curiosity in readers, so the authors of both blogs have links ready to make more information than they have on thier blogs immediately available to the reader. if they write about an upcoming movie, they have a link to that movie's official site on hand and ready to be clicked. also in the archives you can look up other posts from way back when to see how a movie's production has developed or changed. you cant do that in with a book or magazine article. the best you can do is store the quesitons you come up with in your head and save them for later and hopefully you wont forget to look into them later, when you make time between school, work, and whatever else to go to the library and look. the blogs were nice because they were almost all-inclusive. [SCOTT: Thanks for the early, thoughtful, extensive response to this assignment, Dan. It was fun to read the blogs "through your eyes...]

JoyceChengYikTung

[40 points] http://www.my-gym.com/weblog/2006/02/mommy-and-me-time.html
This blog has a clear theme: children. I like the layout and design as it is clear, simple, yet very suitable for children. What interests me the most is the title. “Makes a kids’ Birthday Party One to Remember”. The first thing that comes to my mind is my memorable party in childhood, held in a miniature amusement park. I agree to the blog that centering the theme around your kids’ interest will definitely makes the party a memorable one. There are not much images here, but there are definitely frequent postings. Today, many people, even mothers surf through the internet for recipes, or newspapers. My mother even chat with me through MSN Messenger! A little interesting blog like this will definitely give a fresh way to read. It is a casual blog. Its theme is to empower youngsters to acquire skills, confidence and positive self-image to become healthy young adults. Hence, its target readers are children or perhaps, their parents.
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/02/fashion_breaks.html
When I search for a blog, I typed in fashion. However, this blog catches my eyes because it says I-pod is a fashion that is not durable. I don’t really think that this is a blog of fashion, but a blog of opinion and humor. Seth Godin owns this blog. He writes a lot of books, shown on the left hand column and his blog is definitely professional and creative. There are various links, and comments given by people.
http://www.allmarketersareliars.com/
This theme is explained to be inspired by his book “ All Marketers are liars”. As soon as I read this page, I understand why he said “I-pod is a fashion”. We are buying fashion. It is his theme in illustrating that marketers are liars. They might provide very fashionable and edgy products, but there are some defects in it. They may not be durable, they become less popular in short period of time, they are overtaken by other competitors and so forth.
The difference between these two blogs is that the first one gives advice on relationships between parents and kids, while the second one is to tactically criticize marketers, or the present economy.
In the first blog, the format is that there are a lot of related postings and it has a cartoon style. It is simple, short, clear and direct. It tends to appeal children and housewives. It doesn’t have various kinds of links branching off the blog. The theme is simple, and focused on children. This simple format of setting definitely helps people who are not professionals or people who read the blog for interest and for relaxation. However, the second one seems more complicated in format. There are various kinds of pictures and photos shown. There are various kinds of links, photos, and has multi-media in presenting the blogs. Its complicated and professional format will benefits people are more expert on internet searching as well as business and have a brief idea on business and economy so that they will understand the content, and will be inspired by it.

Respective format suits their stand and theme respectively. If the first blog is put into other multi-media format, it will be harder for children or housewives to read. They may find the information too overwhelming. For the second one, if it is presented in a simple format, it may not sound too convincing and professional. It will lose its credibility.

Meera Parbhakar

[40 points] I decided to search for “Marc Jacobs” in Google’s blog search, because well, I think that Mr. Jacobs is a genius and I love him oh so very much for all of the clothes that he designs. I got a lot of links back, and eventually decided to pick “The Sartorialist” and “Style Bytes.” Both of these blogs aren’t just about Marc Jacobs; they summarize what different designer’s collections are looking like this season and both have a lot of pictures. Both bloggers are also in New York.

Style Bytes is updated everyday and it is a great site. In recent posts the blogger has posted a ton of pictures from different designer’s spring shows, and discussed what she thinks of each collection in quite some depth. Despite the occasional grammatical error, she is quite witty and very blunt, which keeps me engaged. The overall organization is also very good. It is very easy to navigate, with lots of links on the right hand side to different parts of the site. There is also a little calendar where you can click on specific dates and be able to read the blog from that particular date. I liked this site so much that I bookmarked it :] It has some great links on it for fashion enthusiasts like myself, and it’s a really convenient way to keep up on what’s going on on the runway because the blogger is pretty concise and to the point.

The Sartorialist is written by a man, so the site itself isn’t as pretty as the other one. It is very clean and white and doesn’t have any frills, which is actually sort of nice. The blogger has a lot of beautifully taken photographs on his site, but not a lot of text. I assume he has taken the photos himself, and they are all of regular people just out and about in New York. I think this is pretty cool. I like studying people’s outfits, but it would be nice to have some commentary from the blogger. He has posted some text where he talks about designers, but his writing style is not as active as that in the Style Bytes blog, I found myself skimming over some of what he was saying. But I really have to say that the photographs definitely made up for this. Some of them are really quite stunning.

I think that there are definitely some great advantages that blogs have over newspapers and magazines. The first is that they are so available and easy to access, all you need to do is type in a key word. Even if you don’t have a computer, every single library has internet access. Also, bloggers are generally only writing for themselves. They don’t have a word count or even an assignment, so I find that you can get a lot of random but really interesting information from them, as well as some really blunt opinions about things, which is refreshing. But perhaps the best thing about blogs it that they almost always provide links to other sites which are related in some way, which makes obtaining information very easy. It’s also pretty neat that you can keep track of one writer.

Toni Murphy

[40 points] The first blog I explored was “Bluegrass.tribe.net.” It appears to be for folks in the Bay Area that are interested in Bluegrass Music. However, in perusing other “tribes” on the site, the music genre is probably not exactly the shade of Bluegrass that in which I am interested. But that’s neither here nor there, I guess. . . . Absolutely loved the format! And you know by now that I’m a newbie at all this stuff. I could easily select topics, read entries, find out about the authors. I particularly liked the photos of the authors, and the additional photos an author could post if they so chose to do so. Many also posted photos of their “friends.” (with permission, I hope!) So, the graphics were photo-based, nothing flashy, but added a nice personal dimension to the text/content. Under the section about the author, I could see where they lived, their interests, and other “tribes” to which they belonged. Clicking through some of the other tribes for an author was revealing. I’m always amazed at how much personal information people are willing to share on the internet. There were a few recent postings, but primarily by the same people, so I don’t think this particular blog has widespread appeal or interest as of yet. What I really liked was that several bloggers had posted a heads-up message regarding either an upcoming show, or a quick review of a show they had seen recently. This format provides an avenue for information regarding performances and review with a much faster delivery time than printed magazine. Not to mention the fact that this information is free and many magazines are not. Of course, magazines may have more credibility or reliability with regard to the information published.

The next blog I investigated was entitled “The Diabetes Blog.” This blog included a descriptor, which stated the blog’s purpose is informational (not so much anecdotal). So, as you would imagine the format was much less “zesty” than the Bluegrass music blog. However, it actually was informative for the most part. Perhaps, since this is a more serious subject, there didn’t appear to be any way for authors to post a photo of themselves. Nor did I find additional information regarding the authors. A couple of positives on this blog were that I didn’t have to scroll through all the comments. I could simply click on a link to all the comments related to a specific entry of interest. Another aspect I really found useful was that entries were sorted or organized in various ways, such as most recent, etc. The category I found interesting for the topic of Diabetes was the “most commented on” section. These were the hot topics of interest to most readers using this blog (I assume). I thought this was a quick efficient way to organize the information. Another positive, was that it appeared easy to add my own comment. I was turned off by the number of ads on the site. Finally, several authors included links to articles related to their topic, which I found valuable, and which added credibility. In general, I think both blogs accomplished what they intended, were user-friendly, and I navigated through them with relative ease.
Toni Murphy

Andrew Tan

[40 points] I went through many blogs and selected two that I liked, based mostly on format rather than content. The first was about dogs, called "pampered puppy" (http://www.pamperedpuppy.com/features/index.php) and then second was about cats, "blogging cat" (http://www.angelfire.com/folk/morgan/catblog/index.blog?from=20060219). I liked the amount of photos and "extras" that each had. Pampered Puppy had commercial elements like a shop, contests etc. while blogging cat was purely devoted to the cats. The latter had more focused content, in my opinion. While pampered puppy seemed to be running a business of sorts, blogging cat was obviously made by someone who was just really into cats. You get this impression from the personal voice expressed. The author speaks through the cats pictured, and it comes off charming and cute. The reader is more interested in what the author has to say. Ont he other hand, Pampred Puppy looks much more professional. The layout is much more organized, whereas Blogging Cat was propbably the most confusing and cluttered layout I've ever seen. Pampered Puppy utilized some cool features, and had a lot of well contsructed articles. The site wasn't as personal, but the presenation was very solid and the content had more credibility because of its professional tone. PP was by far the more spiffed out blog, sporting custom fonts and logos, nice color schemes, and a slew of features and links. To give you some idea of the chaos in blogging cat, the articles run down a frame in the center, while massive lists of links and archived articles swarm down both sides like banners in tiny, tiny font. I think the difference in style can be attributed to a huge difference in objective. Obviously, the first blog wanted to put out somewhat of a "professional" publication, and official source. Their photography was great, their articles were informative, and the layout was crisp. The second blog was chaotic. Their goal was simply to put out a blog, probably for friends and family to see their amazing amount of cats, as well as provide limited information and links on general cat info. Their style makes the blog much more one on one, they come off more passionate than the first blog. If I were to make a blog with similar content, I'd probably combine both styles. I'd try to have a professional crisp exterior, with personal and passionate content.

Katja Broddesson

[40 pionts] Blog # 1: http://cookingwithamy.blogspot.com/

I am generally obsessed with food and cooking, having spent many of my formative years working in restaurants and hotels. In addition, my brother is a professional chef, whereas I myself am an accomplished amateur. Recently my obsession was re-fueled by the completion of my dream kitchen; a fully loaded culinary playground with six-burner professional range and two ovens, one of which has a dough proofing cycle (need I say more?).

Hence, my first blog find had to be food oriented. I found one through Google’s service, typing in “food” in the search field. “Cooking with Amy” is a Bay Area based blog. Dating back to June 2003, it has a very professional layout with lots of bells and whistles: recipes, restaurant reviews (local so I can actually use them), links to places to buy great kitchen tools and recommendations for good recipe sites. Of course “Cooking” features almost daily posts by Amy Sherman, the creator of the blog. She seems to be a well-established food writer and has a listing of links to some of her other media appearances.

The blog posts are well-conceived and funny, many of them feature images relating to the posting. One recent post dealt with the topic of cheese tasting in a quiz format. You can find out just about anything about food and technique here. I love it, but a complete novice to food and cooking may find it somewhat intimidating. One thing I particularly love is that you can read a post about, say, one specific ingredient and easily jump to a follow-up posting that relates to the first one. This easy and fast access to additional information is what sets web-based media apart form “traditional” media and makes it so user-friendly.


Blog # 2: http://roughdraft.typepad.com/dotmoms/

The second blog I found was related to motherhood. I cannot really remember how I found it, but Google would probably get you there. “DotMoms” is a group blog featuring several different blogs by moms from different parts of the world. The blog is easy to navigate and has a browsing feature. In addition, it supplies links to media coverage of the blog and bios on the contributors, which makes the reader feel connected. Being a mom, especially a new one can be very lonely, and I think a gathering place like this can alleviate some of the stress felt by moms in the ether.

Due to the varying locations of the moms and the sheer number of them there is always something new to read. The claim of geographic diversity is rather broad; I think there are only two or three mothers from other countries than the U.S., and at least on of those is an “ex-pat” mom, whose perspective on parenting is also American. Regardless of these limitations, I think the concept is really great. As moms, we love to revel in the misery of our everyday lives and share them. Reading one of these, often humorous, blogs will invariably put the reader in a better mood on a bad day.

Another cool feature is the possibility of becoming one of the blogging moms. The reader can “apply” to the bolg’s editor Julie Moos to become one of the many regular contributors. It seems that many of the writers do have a background in writing.

In contrast to the previous blog I wrote about, DotMoms has few pictures other than those of the contributors. I did find one blog that featured a writer’s entire family in front of their house and her posting more or less specified where they lived. A post like that is cause for concern. I find it unsettling to see pictures of people’s children on the web, especially in conjunction with information on where they live. It makes me wonder how laissez-faire the editor is.

I think DotMoms is a great blog for moms, and I plan to recommend it to others. Maybe I will even try to become a contributor in the future. I just have to find my voice first....

Avinash Nayak

[40 points] Humor section:

It’s great to see so many blogs out there on the web. One of the ones that I was interested in was in the humor category. I was scanning through the category and I found a lot of news articles. This was a surprise to me at first. I asked myself, “How can a news article be a blog?” The fact that people can comment on the news is great and is therefore called a blog!

It was funny to come across this article titled “PSSSST... NEED TO DISPOSE OF A BODY?” I was laughing about it at first then I was really wondering if this blog had the “real” answer. So after I clicked on it I was surprised to only see news comments and the news article was missing. I later found that we had to click on an other link to get the news article. I think that it would be more user-friendly if the comments and the article were to be at the same page. It was great to see so many comments on that page. It really shows that people want to get themselves involved in the news and shout out their thoughts and opinions.

The layout of the page served its purpose. It could really get the point across that it was just a place for news and a place where internet users could read about other people’s comments. The webpage served its sole purpose and got the job done. It would be better if the latest comments were listed at the top of the page. That way we could see the latest comments first when we surfed through the page.

Technology Section:

Apple Posts Latest Hot Deals

This was another website that I found in the technology category. I didn’t like this one as much as the first one because it seemed like there were many popup and a lot of links that we could click on. It was interesting to notice that if a blog topic were to be popular, then the people who posted the blogs would make a LOT of money off of it. The ads that I found on the page were directly connected to the topic. I did like the content of the blog. In that sense, it served its purpose. In terms of layouts, I think that they could have improved on it a lot more. There were a lot of images on the site but it was confusing to tell if it related to the article or whether it was an ad. There weren’t many comments because it seemed like the “comments” section was hidden and there weren’t many comments. It’s funny for me to see that because everyone is looking for the hottest (and cheapest) Apple deal!

For my conclusion -- I think that the best blogs and the most popular ones are the ones with a really attractive layout or ones that have a really good content. I will try and improve both, on my Myspace blog. This research topic has taught me a lot about what to do for my own blog!

William Simiadi

[40 points] After thinking for a while, I choose FIFA World Cup 2006 as my topic as this is the biggest event I’ve been waiting for. I’m a soccer maniac!! The two blogs I choose are http://www.2006fifaworldcup.info/ and http://2006fifaworldcupgermany.blogspot.com/
For the first blog, it is talking about the news around World Cup2006. I think that it is well organized. There are sections for the latest news regarding world cup 2006 on the left side of the page. It is also easy to access as you can just click on the link that catches your attention. There is also an option that intrigues me. You can subscribe and get notified when there is a new posting or comment. On the right side of the page there is a list of teams that qualified for World Cup 2006 and if you click that link it will show you the latest news regarding the team you click. The writing style in this blog is kind of a serious one. It’s kind of formal. So people will consider the news as valid information. There is not much picture in this blog. There is only one picture right at the top of the page which is the logo of the World Cup 2006. Despite of that, it still attracts my attention as it the information are interesting. There is also an option where you could download World Cup program with automatic update. I think that this is a good option as people would like an automatic update for World Cup program as they want to be up to date. In this blog, the posting is not so frequent but this makes sense as not every day there is a news regarding World Cup.
The second blog, it also talks about things regarding World Cup 2006 but in a slight different way compare to the first blog. There is news about the sponsor of World Cup and also about the stadium that will be used for that event. The news in this blog talks more about the event compare to the first blog where it talks more about the teams. It shows the schedule for the event and also there are more pictures in this blog which attracts more attention including the logo of World Cup 2006. There is also a section on the right side of the page that shows all the headings of the latest news posted. I think that this blog is more frequently updated. But the news in the two blogs are completely different. The writing style in this blog is similar to the first one, which is kind of formal way of writing. I also think that this blog is more organized and neater compare to the first one. So it is easier to read.
I think that both blog is good in their news and completeness. They kind of complete each other as their news are different. Both blogs have interesting news which attracts my attention. The one thing blogs are different from other media are people could post their comment towards any news. But unfortunately there is no comment post in these two blogs. Despite of that, I still love these two blogs as i can be up to date and I CAN’T wait for World Cup 2006.

Cassie D-A

[40 points] I tried searching on the bloggator search engine as well as the google blog search but I had a hard time finding blogs other than random ‘normal’ people’s blogs which I felt weird reading since I had no idea who these people were. I asked my brother if there were any blogs that he reads and he pointed me to some interesting blogs. On one of the blogs he showed me I saw a advertisement of this Make magazine that I’ve seen before and I found that the magazine has a blog on their website.

So the two blogs that I’ve decided to write about are: http://boingboing.net/ and http://makezine.com/blog/.

Both of these blogs have magazines as well. But even though the blogs came from magazines, I bet the blogs have a following of their own. And there are probably others who read both the magazine and blog.

Something that I noticed very quickly about the boingboing blog is the variety and number of links and advertisements in the left and right columns and in the blog posts. One of the advertisements in the left column led me to the Make blog, which I’ll write about next. Having so many links and advertisements on a page can be interesting and at the same time really annoying. It’s interesting because just by going to this one blog you can find so many other fascinating websites which can lead you anywhere you want. However, I also find this annoying because you can be led to somewhere you really didn’t WANT to go to. You can also get totally distracted, which may be good or bad depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Most of the boingboing blog posts are short commentaries written by one of the five authors of the blog. A post is usually of an article they found interesting and at the bottom there’s usually a link to the article. I’ve read through some of the recent posts and I’ve found most of them interesting but I’ve only clicked on a couple of the links to the articles. Today, Saturday Feb. 18th, there were 3 posts all by the same writer. Yesterday, Friday, I think there were 20 posts -- I say I think because the size of the font of the name of the author and the comments link is so small that it’s really hard to see. At the bottom of the page, there is a link to the archives of the page as well as at the top of the page there is a place to search for a topic on the blog. Also at the top of the page are links to the five writers’ websites and blogs as well as an RSS feed of the blog. Overall, the boingboing blog is pretty uncluttered but it maybe could use some pictures of the writers and it could also use a little description of WHAT this blog is since the only description is the phrase “a directory of wonderful things.”

The Make blog has two writers who write about interesting crafts and tech things people are creating and doing. One of the similarities to the boingboing blog is that the writers also mainly write commentary about something that someone has created or a website that looks interesting with a link to the rest of the article or the website. In contrast to the boingboing blog, the Make blog has categories of all the posts on the blog. The categories range from posts related to podcasting to virtual worlds to GPS. These categories make it easy for readers to find something specific they are looking for on the blog.

The Make blog also has a section in the right column of recent crafts like a sock ipod case. These groups of links like the archives, recent posts, or recent crafts make it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for and not end up reading a post they don’t want to read or end up lost and confused on the blog.

In the right column of the Make blog, there are lots of feeds for the blog, including podcasts, ODEO, RSS feeds, Atom feeds, del.icio.us bookmarks, a flickr site for Make, and you can even get a Makebot which you can add to your instant messenger buddy list. It seems like the Make blog has a greater chance of getting more readers since there are all of these options for how you can read the blog; you can listen to it on your iPod through a podcast, you can listen through ODEO, you can get an RSS feed or an Atom feed, you can look at pictures on flickr, and you can have a Makebot buddy! With all of these options who wouldn’t want to read this blog? I like how the Make blog is trying to reach out to lots of different audiences.

Another thing I like about the Make blog is that there aren’t too many advertisements. Now, I also like the boingboing blog because it has advertisements. I like that the ads on the boinboing blog relate to what the blog is about and not just random ads trying to get your attention to buy clothes or to try match.com or something. But it helps that there aren’t many ads on the Make blog because there are more things in the columns (like the archive categories, the recent crafts, and recent posts) unlike the boingboing blog which has just ads in both of the columns.

Both blogs have lots of interesting pictures that make it possible to just look at the pictures and not read any of the commentary if you don’t want to. The most recent post on the Make blog is a diagram picture of how computers work. There are words IN the picture... but still it’s a picture! The boingboing blog also has eye-catching pictures. I should definitely add pictures to my blog because I know that it can make a blog more interesting (like I’ve noticed on all of Scott’s blogs, Andrew Tan’s blog, and these two blogs I’m writing about).

The main appeal of these two blogs for me is that I’m interested in the topic (random technology related things). The layouts of the blogs don’t really take away or add anything special. I wouldn’t go out of my way to read these blogs because of the layout, I don’t think I would do that with any website, whatever I’m looking at and reading needs to have interesting content and not just a pretty cover. That’s the same for me with other media like magazines, books, and CDs. The two blogs that I chose to look at seem a lot like a magazine or a newspaper since none of the posts really relate to each other. In contrast, with lots of personal blogs there is an ongoing story of the person’s life which makes it read more like a story in a book that you have to start at the beginning. However, these two blogs aren’t totally like magazines or newspapers because you can download a podcast of a post, you can get a feed, and you can see many different pictures relating to the post. But I have noticed that magazines and newspapers (like New York Times Select online) are starting to have podcasts and blogs attached to the website as well so I think more and more of the medias are blending together. But even with all these snazzy ways of sending your message, for me it’s still the message that’s being sent not how it’s sent.

Andry Jong

[40 points] The topic of the blogs that I was looking at is Videogames. The hottest news right now about Videogames must be: PlayStation3 is coming out (even though not soon). The most recent update says that PlayStation3 is going to be available at stores by September 16th in Japan, and September 21st in the United States. Even though it seems to remain unclear whether the news is actually news or just a rumor, I think it is a pretty reasonable date.
Well, enough talk about that… I got my reference from three different blogs.
The first one is http://www.ps3week.com/blogs/ps3week.php. There is a picture of the fascinating PlayStation3’s controller on the far left corner of the page, some hot news about PlayStation3 on the main page, also some related web-pages on the right hand side. In spite of the fact that the format of the blog is pretty good, the design is not particularly appealing to me. The color that the owner chose, red and silver, is not really representing the content which is PlayStation3 (not the silver part, but the red part).
On the other hand, http://www.ps3blog.net shows us the colors that, I think, more represent PlayStation3, silver and grey. This blog also uses the shape that is used in the PlayStation Controllers which are triangle, circle, square and x- mark as links in the web-page. Just like the last blog, this blog also has some links to related web-pages on the right hand side of the page. This blog is very nicely designed and easy to navigate.
The last blog I took as a reference is http://www.myps3.be/. After seeing the first two blogs, this one seems like the simplest blog I found. There is a picture of some animated characters and one PlayStation3 at the top of the page, but other than that, we simply do not see any other pictures. There are also some links of related web-pages at the right hand side of this blog, just like the other two. However, comparing to the first two blogs, the owner of this blog does not seem to update the blog as much as the other two do. The blog does not have "Visitor Surveys" like the other two do, but, to me, seems more like the regular blogs we used to find and make ourselves.
I found the first blog particularly more appealing to me in sense of contains, because it includes not only short news and rumors, but it also includes the actual articles and story. Hence, it gives us more information about Playstation3; and hence the best out of the three blogs (in spite of the mis-chosen color problem). The second blog also contains the most recent news available about Playstation3. However, in stead of giving us the full length of the articles, the owner of the blog decided to give us only a few summary of the news. The last blog is the simplest one (I cannot find any other word to describe this blog). It provide us with the news about Playstation3 also, but less up-to-date than the other two.
As a conclusion, I think all three blogs are easier to be found rather than magazines. We can just search for some topics in the search engine that exist, and we can find the most interesting thing for us. Everybody has different interests, and they can search it on the internet far easier than any other media. Blogs, in particular, give the viewers not only the chance to know the most recent news, but also the chance to give them the chance to comment instantly.
Video games are one of the things that interest me the most. These blogs definitely relief one of the biggest gamers’ curiosity right now: The issues about PlayStation3. Bummer, the Taipei Games Show did not give us any “good” information!!
-Loire-

Robin Angell

[40 points] I chose to look at Harry Potter blogs. The two blogs I chose to compare and contrast are Harry Potter Online and Tribe.net: Harry Potter Fanatics.

Harry Potter Online has a nice opening page with a picture of the movie versions of Hermione, Ron, Voldemort, and Harry. The green layout is rather pleasing to the eye and the pictures are placed in aesthetically pleasing positions. Unfortunately, the content on Harry Potter Online is severely lacking. Every post is about the movie and none of the posts are about the books. As all true Harry Potter fans know, the movies are secondary to the books. Annie, the blogger, doesn’t seem to be writing any of the posts herself, most of them look like copy and paste jobs from Warner Brothers. Most of the posts say things like “The new trailer is out. Click here to view.” All of the comments under this particular post say things like “i very very love daniel radclif” and “i luv u dan… I am a big fan of u…” Is this a Daniel Radcliffe fan blog or a Harry Potter blog? The name “Harry Potter Online” is a little misleading. It should really be called “Pictures-of-the-Fourth-Harry-Potter-Movie” online.

The other Harry Potter blog that I visited was called Tribe.net: Harry Potter Fanatics. If someone looked at the Harry Potter Fanatics website for the first time, they might not even realize that they are looking at a Harry Potter blog. The tribe logo is the first thing that meets the eye. However, if you look down at the links, there are several high quality posts. I particularly liked reading the “A Staged Death?” post and all of the comments under this post. I think Harry Potter Fanatics has the right balance between the movies and the books. While Tribe.net: Harry Potter Fanatics is not as aesthetically pleasing as Harry Potter Online, the content is much better.

One thing that that I think both blogs have that other media does not have is the ability to have readers post comments. When you read a magazine, you can’t see what other readers are thinking about the article you are reading. On a blog, however, you can read the comments that other readers have written. Often, the comments spark a lot of debate and thus even more discussion is created.

Also, blogging creates a very cheap and almost universally accessible means for private citizens to share their thoughts and ideas with the world. Not everybody can afford to publish their own magazine or newsletter, but everyone with internet access can log onto Xanga and create an account.

I enjoyed looking through the Harry Potter blogs and seeing all the different styles out there.

Judy Chen

[40 points] When I go into grocery stores, I always seem to pick up those magazines that talk about celebrities’ deep dark secrets. Even though more than 50% of those are probably all false, I can’t help but be amused by those gossips. That is why I used the Google’s Blog Search service and typed in “Celebrity Gossips.” How interesting would that be? VERY interesting! I couldn’t wait to see what I can dig up.

After searching through a couple of blogs, I wanted to analyze more on these final two. The first one is called “Zippy Celebrity News.” This one is very neat and clean. It seems very professional and the colors are very bland; black, white, and gray. I like how it is very simple and straight to the point. They have one photo of the celebrity on each blog, relating to the gossip. It’s at the very top, center of the page. I think that’s a good way to grab readers’ attention because they know what the blog is relating to by seeing the picture right off the bat. The date is right at the top, and as I saw, the posts were very recent. Below the picture are the actual posts itself. The posts are all very brief, and not very detailed. It only gives a little idea of the gossip they post. I don’t really like this page for that reason because I like to get into the juicy details of the gossip. Who would want to read gossip that’s short and sweet? I would say the webpage is very well formatted because on the right hand side column, it shows the titles of all the most recent posts, which you can click on. I like how each new blog is on a different page. That puts the focus on that specific gossip, rather than having readers’ mind wander off to something else. As I looked through the other posts, they are all very similar in layout: the picture top center along with a brief description/writing. Readers are allowed to submit their own comments regarding to each different post. However, I don’t believe you are allowed to read other people’s posts, unless there was none and that’s why nothing showed up.

The second blog I looked at is the “Luxe Life,” one of “AOL Journals: Your thoughts. Your blog.” I actually think that’s a really catchy slogan. The whole theme to this blogs is celebrity gossips in Vegas. I would say this blog is filled with much more photos, but that is only because they put many posts on one page, so you would have to scroll down to read more. If different stories were on separate posts, it would be like the first blog, one picture for each. However, the way this one is laid out is SO confusing! It goes from one story to the next, and is definitely not as easy to follow as the Zippy Celebrity News. This one did have more writing, but it seemed so cluttered that I didn’t even want to put the effort in reading it. The arrangement does not seem as professional as the other one. There is also a place for the readers to comment, but it’s not as convenient to get to as the other one. You would have to sign in to AOL, etc just to post a comment. As for the Zippy blog, it just asks for your name, comment, etc right on the page itself. If they want people to contribute to their blog, I think Zippy has the right concept because it attracts readers and gives them one less step to do. It doesn’t require much effort to leave the comment and interact. It also doesn’t have a column or anywhere you can easily access other posts. There is an arrow you can click to go back to the last post, but unlike Zippy, there isn’t somewhere to view all of them.

I think the Zippy Celebrity News is a good blog for busy readers who just want to get a quick glance at the celebrity gossip world. This blog is very neat and simple. It is well organized for adults or a more mature audience. I don’t think it would attract little kids because it’s not colorful or full of picture. It’s is to the point and brief. The AOL blog isn’t really for me. I didn’t like the way the layout and information is shown to the readers, like me. I think for me, the thing that will attract me is to keep it simple. When blogs are very straight forward and to the point, it makes life easier. I would say that color will make it more attractive, but after seeing “Zippy Celebrity News” blog, I can settle for plain colors. It shows sophistication and higher taste. I thing online blogs can more easily get readers to interact with them by getting them involved with leaving comments etc. Readers for magazines can too, but just not as easy because you would need to send in a letter or what not. It’s much more convenient to respond to the post by typing and clicking “submit” that writing and putting it in the mailbox. Blogs have an advantage over other media in the convenience factor, but I think it’s harder for blogs to be known and read. For instance, they don’t have a place in Safeway to be seen by the buyers. Blogs aren’t advertised at grocery stores.

Ping Tong Lo

[40 points] For this research project, I wish I could actually conduct my research on a topic I really interested in and I really have insufficient knowledge in. Therefore, I typed “economics” in the google blog searching engine. The reason I chose economics was I know this academic field needs a lot of research on people’s view and discussion, and it really fits the establishment of eportfolios and blogs, a place where people could conduct intellectual discussion freely.
The first blog about economics that I have browsed was http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2006/02/19/culture-matters-goodbye-economics/ .
This is a well designed blog which have beautiful layout and many in-depth discussion topics. Today, the author of the blog has posted an entry about economics’ perception and ideas, the entry is titled “Cultural Matters: Goodbye Economics”. The author addresses the problem by quoting someone’s book and tells the historical expectation of economics, and finally explains which parts of the expectations are true and which parts are wrong. The author quoted David Brooks’ book and claims that most people in the past thought the richer and more educated the people are, the more democratic and independent the people are. However, it turned out to be wrong as we can see nationalism and tribalism haven’t actually fade away. Apart from the style of his entries, the author of the blog explores more topics than simply the economics field only. He had entries about the Iraq war, about moral problems and about the global hot debates. I think this blog is a typical eportfolio of personal opinions from everything around the person. This type of eportfolio is highly personal and expressive; this is not easily achieved by the other media, such as magazines. Since the media such as magazines and television talk shows could not allow so much personal spaces for anyone to share their view so broadly. [SCOTT: that's not the usual definition of an "eportfolio" but we know what you mean!]

http://austrianeconomists.typepad.com/weblog/2006/02/what_separates_.html
The second blog I have surfed on is more in the field of economics. The author talks about everything about economics in his or her entries. Yeah, he has actually touched upon most economic issues, for example, the GDP calculation, mathematical economics and the different schools of economics. I was especially interested in one of his posts, which is about how the Austrian economists differ from the main stream economists. The author makes his argument by quoting a book he is currently reading, and this action has inspired me that eportfolios are so great that people can so easily typed their views about a book or certain topics by going online and have their opinions shared. Although this blog is not as beautiful as the first one, it is indeed a very good example of an academic discussion blog. Both authors type their blogs almost every single day and the first author sometimes has two to three posts in one day. Different from the other media like magazines, the eportfolios in this case is a better way for people to share their opinions since they can have their thoughts updated everyday. As a reader, I have my choice to select the articles to read from extremely large selections. Therefore, blogs can accomplish a better expression and communication on different issues than other typical media.

Michelle Grannum

[40 points] I went to the bloggator.com website and looked at blogs on a variety of different topics as I was unsure about what topic to read about. I have come to realize that if it was not for this class I would probably not ever look at any blogs. They are basically online diaries and seeing as I don’t know the author’s I really have no interest in reading them. [SCOTT: I hope you can take the time to read some of the other postings by your student peers: It's painfully obvious that "personal blogs" are just the tip of the iceburg, not the "majority" of the blogosphere at all!!!]

Finally I clicked on the “humor” link, figuring I can’t go wrong with something funny.
http://www.thetoque.net/business/telemarketing_manager_takes_enthusiasm_to_a_new_level.html was the first blog I read. I found the humor a bit odd, it was basically talking about a telemarketing team manager who is annoyingly positive. I found the print too small and the advertisements surrounding the post distracting. I know that most of the blogging sites are free for users and somebody has to pay for the web space, but would really prefer not having the ads, they detract from the blog itself. The white background and red links were really not that interesting, more appealing colors could have been used. There was one photo of the man being described and no other graphics. I clicked on the next link in the “humor” section in the hope that I would find something more enjoyable to read.

http://blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/2006/02/and_50_cent_cou.html was a link to an article about Paris Hilton being cast in a movie as Mother Theresa and the response was that maybe 50 cent could play the Pope. I liked the humor in this piece better than the first blog. I am not sure if there is a length requirement for a blog but this piece was only one line long with a link to the other article. I still found the surrounding advertisements distracting but there were not as many as the previous blog. There were no graphics with this blog, I thought it would’ve been funny (but disrespectful) to have a picture of Paris Hilton dressed as Mother Theresa to go along with the post.

Next I used the google blog search and typed in the keyword “humor” to see if it was just the bloggator.com website that was unappealing and uninspiring. I still did not like the layout of this post, http://aconstrainedvision.blogspot.com/2006/02/1040-humor.html but I did enjoy the humor. This post was about the definition of “other income” in the tax code.“If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year you return it to its rightful owner.” The appearance of the page was still boring and uninspired with no graphics.

I think I am going to stick with reading magazines and other types of media rather than reading blogs online. I use the internet for research purposes a lot but have never used a blog and don’t think I will in the near future either. In magazines, the pages with advertisements are separate from the pages with articles and I can decide whether I want to look at them or not. The advertisements do not detract from the articles.

Ronald Tan Kiem Seng

[40 points] I choose the topic video games for the blogs that I look at. The first blog that I choose is http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/pc/. The blog is talking about games for PC. The layout for the blog is simple but organized and it has a good choice of colors for the site so it makes reading the entries easy. The blog uses images and even videos on in some of their entries. One feature that stands out from this blog is that you can contact the editors for the blog through the contact information given on the site (email and AIM) and even give them tips on what could be put on the blog. This keeps the comment on the entries for the blog to be related to the article posted itself. The writing style on this blog is kept simple and straight to the point so the entries feel like an easy read. The writer doesn’t seem to provide his own opinions to the entry. I think this is because the writer doesn’t want to be seen biased towards a particular game. Furthermore, I think the main focus for the blog is just for news regarding new games or patch for existing games. The posting on the blog seems to be quite frequent; they seem to be posted every 1-6 days. On the right hand side, there are also links for various other blogs related to gaming, this makes it easy for readers who want to find other blogs related to gaming.

The second blog that I choose is http://www.joystiq.com/category/sony-playstation-2/. The second blog also talks about gaming but this one talks about games on Playstation 2. This blog also uses pictures and videos on its entries so it makes reading the blog interesting. The blog doesn’t cover only about the games on Playstation 2 but it also covers other interesting news such as gaming events, news about game companies and other interesting news related to playstation 2. So, it makes the blog interesting as it varies its entries. The blog entries are written formally and it is more in depth than the entries in the first blog. The blog also hyperlinks some of its text to gaming news site so that readers who read up more on the article can use the link to find more information. The posting is also more frequent on this site. New entries seem to posted every 1-3 days and there are quite a lot of comments posted on some of the more interesting entries.

I think both blogs are good in their own way. The first blog seems to be kind of a quick update on new and good games on PC. It is meant for people who don’t have a lot of times reading long article but prefer comments from people who read the blog. The second blog is more in depth and provides more information so it can be used as a replacement for gaming news site.

Benedicte

[40 points] Exploring the blogosphere

And I do need the assignment to actually take the time to surf the web. I do not have that drive naturally, I search very focused, do not take the time to just randomly look around, click on links. I have to see it for myself as a meditation and something that has use otherwise I will see it as a waste of my precious time. The reason , probably why I signed up for this class in the first place is to have an incentive to do this and become a little more proficient in it all.

My search was for Therapeutic Riding. Most of the accessible blogs I found were from blog spot. They were either written by parents, logging their children's lives or by volunteers mentioning their experiences at the diverse TR centers.
I ran into quite a few blogs that either were not accessible to me or that were no longer inservice, while the search on Google blogs still come up/
I ran into tribes, an internet discussion site, where you can start your own tribe about either TR, or religion or what ever you can think off.

I found myself! That is quite cool. I did a search and I saw my own name. Little ego-trip.

The two blogs I selected both had not very much to do with Therapeutic riding.
The first one was this one:
http://www.carolannec.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Quilts/Quilts%20Page.htm

The search that came up was a quilt she was designing for a therapeutic riding center. From there I looked over her website and was amazed about all the designs and quilts she had posted here. She is quite a creative person. There were a couple of pages of pictures of her quilts and embroidery. There was another page with the journal quilt project. Every month she makes a new small quilt where she will experiment with either new design techniques or with new media. She has been exploring silk painting, embroidery, different quilting and piecing techniques. The layout of the website is very clear, calm and a joy to explore.

This is a great way to display all the art you produce without to much trouble. With just a digital camera and a good program you can make the most beautiful, customized advertising.

The other website that I liked was :

http://www.crittersmom.net/

It is a log kept by a mom with two special needs kids. One of them is taking therapeutic riding. I like the mom's gentle humor and the reality of her life she describes. We have a lot in common.
What I liked was the links to other Musers. Most were parents writing about their adventures in parenthood, about knitting, family trips to the lake, pictures of icicles, dads rambling about their woes, corporate mom's about the challenge of juggling kids and work and some kind of social life.

This website was more of a gathering place, a kind of cyber village well to chat with your friends and to tell what has been going going your life. I can imagine a lot of people spending a lot of time here. I did, once I got going.

Anna Flink

[40 points] Fashion blogs…
I thought it would be an interesting thing to look for fashion blogs and found some interesting ones. The first one is “Manolo Loves the Shoes!” (http://shoeblogs.com/). I love shoes, and on this blog is everything you would possibly want to find concerning shoes online… Links to interesting sites about shoes, other shoe freaks to talk to, tips of where to find good deals on shoes etc. Although it’s mainly a shoe blog, it’s also a good blog to check out for fashion lovers in general. The other blog I looked at is “Almost Girl—where Plato and Prada meet” (http://almostgirl.coffeespoons.org/). What drew my attention to this blog was the name; …where Plato and Prada meet….. Unlike Manolo’s shoe blog, this one is more about fashion in general.

The blog I like the most out of these two is Manolo’s shoe blog. The feeling when looking through this blog and the blog postings on it makes it feel as if someone created it out of love, and there are so many things going on. The titles to the postings as well as the many photos added to out some “spice” on the blog makes it look more interesting, something you want to read and talk about. After all, how fun is it to discuss any kind of art, when the blog itself is not artistic at all. The “Almost Girl” blog is more “dead” in this sense because it doesn’t have that extra thing. On the other hand, it is a more organized blog that makes you less confused. Something that makes this blog a little more artistic would make it much better especially since many of the posts are long and there seem to be a lot of black and white all over.

Both blogs have blog postings updated frequently, making their readers satisfied and that way they get response form their readers. There’s also a difference in the “mood” of the difference blog postings. The shoe blog is something of a mix between serious blog postings mixed with humour, whereas the “Almost Girl” blog has more long, “serious thinking” postings. This creates a difference in the kind of comments the readers give to the postings.

I think both these blogs could be improved, I would probably prefer something in between the two styles. If the shoe blog was made a little less confusing, I’d like it much more, whereas I think the “Almost Girl” blog could definitely need the artistic vibe with some humour added to it.

I think blogs are great because it makes the people create a kind of community. This way, people with certain interests can find each other and interact in a manner that allows them to share thoughts and opinions. When you read magazines, you just read and there’s no chance to respond to what you’ve read, you put down the magazine and that’s it. With blogs, you don’t feel alone. I think this feeling of community, and the ability for people to express themselves, and interact with others with the same interests is important sp that we don’t feel lonely.

HOKIANU

[40 points] I browsed bloggator .com and searched the topic about art and design. And the two blogs are http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ and http://drawn.ca/.

I will first discuss the first blog, which is http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/. First of all, this blog is about digital media in the art area. The blog belongs to one individual, who is Sally Mckay. The blog looks like it’s a daily blog of Mckay and she talks about daily lives mostly. She writes about Iraqi, things she has read recently, shows and films about arts and design. Also, she tells her readers and location and times when there are shows to be hold. There are photos in most of her entries and those photos are related to the topics.

The second blog is http://drawn.ca/ which is also a blog about art/design. However, this blog is more about illustration. One particular thing about this blog is that it does not belong to one individual; it includes people in a community instead. In each post, there is a photo which show the readers what the post is going to talk about. Also, a title is given to each post even it is posted by different people. There are several posts each day by different people. Basically what the blog talks about is the community writes about their reactions toward some works on illustrations, introducing illustrators to readers, animation, and convention which the community is involved.

One similarity between the two blogs is both of them use photos in their posts. Another one is that they both blog about art, no matter digital media or illustration. However, I have found several differences between the two blogs. The first one is their format. The way they put images is different. I think the second blog does a great job in formatting; the way the community posts photos is parallel to the words. In this way, it attracts more attention from the readers and allows the readers to understand and get a clearer picture of what the community is saying. Another thing is that the second blog group their each post in different categories. Such as animation, tv, etc. In this way, readers can easily know which area of art the community is writing about which the first blog does not do in this way. The second blog may seem complicated to some people; but how the community presents it, I mean how they place them in different positions grab my attention and I think they are presentable in a wonderful way. And I like how they use images to present their blog. The first blog by Sally Mckay gets more comments than the second blog by the community and she gets comments more frequently. Both blogs post their entries frequently and gives readers update information. One distinguish difference between the two blogs is that Mckay’s blog does not have any links to readers while the second blog has many in each side of the site. Overall, I think the second blog is more attractive and easier to read.

Lastly, I think what blogs can do which other media like magazines cannot accomplish is that blogs get comments and reactions frequently. Blogs are able to reflect from the comments by the readers in a faster way. Magazines also get comments from readers; but what they usually do is let the readers fill out a comment page and mail back to the magazine publisher. In this way, blogs take less time and able to reflect. Another thing is readers and publishers can interact frequently by posting comments; which magazines sometimes do not have the opportunity to do so.

Michelle Ho Pui Man

[40 points] The two blogs I have chosen are about food because I love eating a lot and I always try out different kinds of food from around the world. http://www.kiplog.com/food/archives/2006_02.html#000430
This is the first blog that I went to. It gives a lot of information on food and drinks instead of focusing on teaching the navigators how to cook although it provides recipes for a few foods occasionally. It introduces many special restaurants which worth going. It also highlights some important news on food related issues such as the 2005 Champagne Cork Chair Contest. It has many lists of other food blogs which the author finds worthy to visit. I found the second blog about food from the list of food blogs on this site.
http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/
Once I entered this blog, I was by its attractive pictures showing different kinds of food immediately. This is really a brilliant place for those who want to learn to cook delicious cuisines at home. The author of this blog pastes a post on a daily basis. The author introduces one or two cuisines in each post and encloses the recipes for every food that he introduces. The food that he introduces ranges from appetizer to dessert. He also gives very detailed description on the cooking steps and the various modifications that can be made to fit different eaters. He also gives guidance on the necessary cooking utensils. Since his blog is updated everyday, you can find menu and recipes designed for special occasions and festivals like Valentine ’s Day, Thanksgiving, and so on. It is even better than any cookbook that I can find for sale in the market. This food blog is just like a free professional cookbook and a treasure of recipes.
Both of the blogs have very clear layout and linking. I had no difficulty with the navigation. Nevertheless, the second blog is better in terms of organization. As it has a huge collection of recipes, it actually sorted the recipes into several categories so it is easier for those who have a target of a certain kind of food to find what they want. First blog can improve its organization if the author can also try to divide the posts into different categories like news, recipes, restaurants, and wines. The second blog is more attractive to me because it is loaded with more beautiful pictures. Almost every post is accompanied by more than one photo. Not every post in the first blog has a picture so it is relatively less attractive to me who likes visual aid. The two blogs also differ quite a lot in their content as described in their summaries above. The first blog has extensive information about food but it does not have a main focus on a certain area like the second blog. The author of the second blog gives the recipe for every cuisine that he introduces besides giving us his comments of the food. It is a really useful place for those who wants to learn to make dessert as it contains tons of recipes of desserts. The second blog is updated much more frequently as the author puts up a post every day. The first blog is just updated three of four times a week. However, both of the blogs not have many comments on their post. It may be because their posts are rather informative.

Stephanie Wijaya

[40 points] I went about searching for blogs under the Mathematics category. Not because I’m some real Math fanatics but the choice was made out of my curiosity. I just like to find out how far a math blog can work. And it turned out that the blogs are pretty amazing. It really connects us to what’s going on in the Math world, well I wont say world-wide, but at least it’s nationwide.

EurekAlert Mathematics, for example, updates the latest new to what’s going on in the nation. For example, one of the posts goes, “Understanding the Tsunami” and another goes, “Stanford scholar, aka NPR's 'Math Guy,' explains changing nature of mathematical proof”. The layout of the blog is more like an official newspaper website. There’s a search engine in the main website of eurekalert.org and it connects to more than just math stuff. In fact, Eurekalert is a website for math and science. And The website of eurekalert mathematics itself is simple. It only consists of dates and the math-related articles for that day. It updates the articles everyday, so again, it really looks like a newspaper website. And what I like about it is that each article provides the link to the related website. Like as for the Stanford news, we can find the link to the Stanford news as well as the contact info to the author. Judging by the level of language used in the articles, I think the blog is meant for advanced Math learners who are at least in their junior year in University.

Unlike Eurekalert that includes nation-wide articles, the Math blog provided by About, Inc. includes more general issues like “Sudoku – Where’s the Math?” and “Say NO to Math Anxiety”. So clearly, this blog is designed for intermediate Math learners. At the right side of the blog, there is a column that stretches downwards and it contains links such as “Math Formulas”, “Worksheets” as well as “Math Help and Tutorials”. And it also has a Math forum at the bottom. But the forum is not so much alive. There are few posts, but the posts on the blog is updated everyday. And I think the topic is much more relevant to students from college who only needs help in solving their math problems. Because it provides us with tips on tackling math exams and talks about popular stuff such as the on-going Sudoku. On the other hand, EurekAlert Mathematics include articles that are much more profound such as modern mathematical proofs.

However, I think both websites are not that effective in assisting our learning. Because in the first place, although the Math blog by About, Inc. provides help to solving problems, it is not that comprehensive. I mean it cannot possibly help us to solve each and every problem in our textbooks. And I think it lacks of graphical explanations that would definitely be a great help to students. And as for EurekAlert Mathematics, it would only be able to expand our general knowledge because it does not particularly relate specific topic in Math. Moreover, their designs are rather plain and not colorful. I think they would be more appealing to readers if they were to be set up in flash or designed in a more colorful manner. And again, their simple layouts limit the info they contain as well. They would have been able to set up more interactive forums by having attractive images and neat archives. That way, the blogs would be more user-friendly and attractive.

Although both Math blogs are not that fantastic, I still think that they can be compliments in our study of Math. These websites give us some insights into the world of math; they give us a view of the math world beyond formulas and textbooks. The advantages these blogs offer over magazines are obvious – the information is stored within the the website for a long period of time (in which neat archiving would help) and these websites can be accessed in a single click that we can do away with all the trouble of subscribing.

Shawn Saxena

[40 points] The topic of the two blogs I chose to investigate was physician-assisted suicide. I thought a controversial topic might offer some interesting viewpoints and opinions about the issue.
http://nahealth.blogspot.com/2006/02/physician-study-on-death-with-dignity.html

The first article I read documented the statistical history of “Physician Assisted Suicide”; its content mostly summarized a survey that investigated the validity of this new practice taking place in Oregon. Its format is more formal, giving us the impression that what we will read will be more professional (NA health…). The article does more subtly support it, although its approach seems much more objective (than the second article). It uses almost all logos, following a study documenting the facts of physicians assisted suicide.
The layout of this blog is pretty boring; a basic blue background with less than interesting font variation. Its professional look seems to be its “saving grace”. Whatever we read will most likely offer an opinion that is worthwhile. The title is succinct and to the point- it is not charged with any sort of opinion. To the right is a list of articles that offer a similar brief summary of their contents. It makes the site easy, organized and consequently more pleasurable to navigate. Overall it could stand to use a little more zest.

http://twotermslater.blogspot.com/2006/01/physician-assisted-suicide-upheld.html

The second article offered an argument against physician assisted suicide given by a student. The argument was based much more on ethos of different speakers and organizations that he sites. He takes their arguments or opinions and builds his own case from there. The title of the second article is not capitalized, reflecting a more personal, casual point of view; it is written by a student. This article takes a much more personal approach. The author uses quotes and facts to support their position. Visually I found this blog much more appealing; the header is interesting and it overall isn’t bland but also does not attack us with an onslaught of colors and format tricks. The header of “two presidential terms later…and I’ll still be a student” gives a young, electric and rather cynical undertone to the article. Most of their articles concern recent news stories. I took the liberty of checking out his URL origin. His blog homepage is much more “relaxed”. It offers personal photos as well as assorted information about his interests.

Both sites seem to lack pictures or photographs. It would add a lot to the visual appeal of both sites if they included at least some sort of graphic. The completely text based layout gets old and redundant. There is nothing on either site to grab the reader’s attention. It might not take away from the experience of reading one article, but it would greatly improve either site if they included a picture every now and then (if not every blog entry). I am glad, however, that both blogs did a good job of keeping things relatively simple. No invasive colors, no onslaught of adds or the various things that tend to make some blogs cluttered and hard to read.

Ka Ho Lee

[40 points] After I have read the topic of our Research Project #3, I have immediately decided to find blogs which are both talking about my favorite soccer player, David Beckham, who is the Captain of the England soccer team and now he is playing for a Spain’s soccer team called Real Madrid. In the beginning, it is pretty hard to find the blogs about that, and that the blogs that could be compare and contrast with. After I have typed the name David Beckham in the Google's Blog Search, there are thousands of results that have showed up, so actually it is quite hard for me to pick the best two blogs out of the thousands that I can choose from. Actually as I have finish reading the first twenty blogs, I found that usually blogs are about his most updated news and his profile and history. So finally I have choose these two blogs, which is: http://beckham4.blogspot.com/ and http://paulsworlduk.blogspot.com/.

First of all, I would like to talk about the blog http://beckham4.blogspot.com/. In this blog it all focusing on David Beckham News’s not just the News’s about how’s he play in the team but also news’s about his family or even his gossip. For example as you can see on the recent post it’s topic is ‘David Beckham to pose for Calvin Klein?’ Obviously, its nothing related to his performance in his team. But in this blogs we can find lots of news, which just like this. Besides that it also have the news of his wife Victoria Beckham that is a famous singer of a girl’s band called spices girl before. Talking about the format of this blog it doesn’t contain any personal command from the blog’s owner. Basically it just quote the news from others website or newspaper so sometime you would think you are watching a magazine or a newspaper in stead of a blog.
After read thought I have choose the blog http://paulsworlduk.blogspot.com/. In this blog it does not just focus on discussing David Beckham but contain all kind of sport’s news. For example you could click on a link called’ the Fredrik Ljungberg pages’ which got all kind of news about Fredrik Ljungberg. And write now they are building another blog, which about another soccer player called Alan Smith who is playing for David Beckham’s previous team called Manchester United.
So after I have read though both of the article I find out there is some similarities and differences. First of all, talking about the format, both of them are trying to make their blog as a magazine or a newspaper. Since both of them are just trying to post the news about David Beckham, as a reader you could just visit the website every week or even everyday then you can know everything about him. Which I think is really convenience as fans of him. Also you could leave command on each post so you could share how’s you feel with anyone in the world how you feel after you read thought that news which I think this is the advantage for these two blogs that other media can't accomplish so easy. But still there is some different amount these two blogs. For example on http://beckham4.blogspot.com/. The whole blog is just discussing about David Beckham but for the second blog I introduce, it got other’s soccer star’s news too. Also for the second blog all news in that blog are all about soccer but for the first one it contains all kind of news instead of just sports news. Finally both of them contains lots of picture but I would say the first blog got some picture which you couldn’t easily find on newspaper or magazine. As a whole I like both of these blogs and I think it really help me to know more about him.

valentino lin

[40 points] http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/02/please_lord_bui_1.php

I used the Google’s Blog Search to look for blogs on cars and I found this one fascinating. I enjoyed admiring at the pictures of cars were never seen on the roads in this 21st century. They are from the 70’s and 80’s. But the more interesting part of this blog is that those cars are blended with technology of the 21st century. Those cars were powered by hybrid-electric engines with fiberglass bodies. The other interesting about this blog was the frequency of the comments it had. Within a period of 24 hours, there were already 7 comments, to which some of them were replies to previous questions. I like the author’s concise writing style. Although it was a short blog of 241 words, it presented me a full idea on the information which I should know as a reader.

http://www.shininglightreading.com/kidstalknews/2006/02/three-cs-of-motivation.html

The other blog I found was about motivation. It was the title that attracted me to this blog. I wondered what were the 3Cs to motivation. It was interesting to find out this author point of view that the 3Cs were collaboration, content, and choice. But the finale was the quote that this author used. ''The manager's job, then, is not to motivate people to get them to achieve; instead, the manager should provide opportunities for people to achieve, so they will become motivated” by Frederick Herzberg. It struck me personally. This use of quote enforced his blog and really capture the reader’s attention as it was the first sentence.


In the first blog, the author uses picture to capture the reader’s attention. It’s writing is concised, short and clear. It would attract car enthusiast. There were not many links to branch off to different ideas about cars of that model and technology. The high level of interaction within this blog showed high interests of other readers towards this idea of cars. On the other hand, the second blog uses the title to capture the reader’s attention. It creates a curiosity within the reader, wanting to know what are the 3Cs. This is a informative reading and relaxing as the blog format was simple and had colors that were basic. The writing was long but it provided a full description of the author’s thoughts and ideas. These two blogs will attract readers who has a high level of curiosity.
What blogs can do that the media cannot accomplish? In my opinion, it is the expression of the viewer’s thoughts that can be accomplish in blogs, but not the media. For instance, if we read a magazine or watch a television show, all we are doing is to receive the information provide from this media. Whether we like the information or not, there is no way we can tell the media our thoughts. It is a one way conversation. But for the blog, after reading it, we can write about our thoughts or ask questions to the author. There is an exchange of ideas, and thus, it is a two way conversation. At the same time, the author can reply to the questions or thoughts. Two way conversation is one thing that the media cannot accomplish.

Trea

[10 points. I like that line that reads "Bemused is a much calmer place." Sounds like the title of a great poem!]
I researched blogs on sewing using Bloggator.com. I found the following two blog websites: http://sewing.about.com/ and http://bemused.typepad.com/bemused/.


The About Sewing blog was begun in June 2006 as a free service of the monthly magazine Sew News. It is written by Debbie Colgrove. The site contains lots of ads, links to pages with similar formats (on different topics), sponsored links and a search function for the site.


Bemused is a non-commercial blog was started in February 2005. It is a personal blog on typepad and is registered with Creative Commons, which tells me what I can and can not do with the website information. I have yet to discover who is the author. The site contains links to an art gallery and a knitting blog that inspired the author to start her own blog. There are no ads. There is a link to a site with the blog's statistics which does have ads. There have been 156,611 hits as of this counting, with the average length of visit being 1:05.


Both blogs use the Arial font in black on a white background. Both are written by just one person. They both contain information about the authors' recent activities and sewing projects.
Both post informally written blogs often and regularly. In the month of February, each already had four different posts.


However, despite these similarities, these websites have very different looks.


About Sewing is a very busy place with very little unused white space. There is a banner ad. Then along the right side there are links in light blue, some to advertising sites and others to the most popular topics. Along the left side is a steady stream of links in red giving information by category. There is also a way to search the posts for a specific topic. This site is a wonderful resource for people who sew because it covers a broad range of topics. I believe that she is very thorough in her coverage because the site is a commercial one. However besides the technical topics, About Sewing also describes activities done by her, including interesting projects for her daughter and what she has taught to the local 4H club. Each post has links back to useful "How to" information on that topic. She is very personable and illustrates her examples with memorable stories. She doesn't generate a lot of comments on her posts. The pictures that she includes are pretty basic. They illustrate the projects or the topic but they are not professional quality. This blog is appealing because it enables me to ask specific questions, either to the author or just by searching the web site. It is like its parent magazine in that it presents useful articles and information but this ability to find answers quickly makes it a great tool on its own.


Bemused is a much calmer place. The banner here is the website's title. Along the right side, is the current month with days of blogs entries highlighted in dark blue. Continuing in dark blue are links to recent posts, archives and other useful information. The link to the art gallery is found here. She also has links to collections of her pictures which include various quilt designs and quilts from the Tokyo Quilt Festival. The left side is left blissfully blank. Most posts have a very colorful picture attached to them and this picture is of very high quality although it was usually taken by the author. The author must have had some design or artistic training. Bemused describes things that she has done at home to make her sewing (mostly quilting) more manageable, like quilt block storage. However, Bemused is a very targeted blog, not necessarily for the general sewer but for the quilting audience and/or possibly for a circle of friends. Her blog also contains more random musings about the weather, an occasional recipe and computer problems. She has a following who seem to comment on almost every blog. What makes Bemused appealing is the artistic design of the pages. It is more like a fancy quilting magazine. It is also entertaining but less informative than About Sewing. It has no advantage over a traditional magazine except that it is free to read. Perhaps one might be able to join the social blogging network as well if one joined the small group that posts regularly and that might also be an advantage over being a magazine subscriber. I think I would use this site more for artistic inspiration rather than for specific information.

Diana Wong

[10 points. Of course in the fashion world -- as elsewhere -- blogs can make for a fabulous marketing tool too!]
In my research, I stumbled across two very interesting fashion blogs. The link to the first one is: http://www.thesartorialist.blogspot.com/ and the second is http://www.fashionverbatim.blogspot.com/. I found these while stumbling across some website in attempt to find a music blog. The Sartorialist writes about street fashion and what new trends are. The age group seems to be ranging from children to the elderly. Most of the pictures are from metropolitan areas like New York, San Francisco and other cities. The photography work is professional, but very relaxed at the same time. The people featured are not models and have a very casual appearance.
The second blog, fashion verbatim, has more name brand commercial fashion. It features brands like Versace, celebrities like Madonna, and is more of a gossip celebrity site. You can rate how much you like a certain style or outfit. There are many photos, but not of street fashion. It is more aimed towards women as there are more women than male celebrities on the website.
In many ways the two blogs are similar, the formats are similar, scrolling up an down. The sartorialist has a more classic feel. There are few colors but makes it easy to read. There are numerous photographs of fashions. Every entry has a few pictures. It is very organized, on the left hand side has links, biographies, contacts and other info. On the right hand side is the archives; you can choose whatever month you want. Fashion verbatim is more artsy. It has a main header and its symbol is a salt shaker. It seems to be more in your face, criticizing fashions, encouraging certain fashions and things of that sort. Most of the photographs are from magazines, ads or commercials. There is definitely more text than the other blog and more thoughts from people. The text organization and size are roughly the same. The first blog has lots of comment posts I think it is a semi-famous blog. The sartorialist is run by a group of people, as for the fashion verbatim blog, it is only run by one girl. They are both appealing because of the pictures, the rantings and the format. It is very organized and easy to read plus it has lots of colorful pictures of different fashions from all over the world to keep you amused. You can also read and respond to others comments; which is interesting because you are directly talking to them. It is very easy to leave comments, and makes it different from a magazine because you can receive instant feedback. Anybody can access these comments and blogs, it is all free, unlike a magazine which you have to pay for. It is also much easier to start a blog than start your own magazine, and is much more organized. Blogs differ from other media in that they connect people with a similar interest instantly. With blogs, people can subscribe online with the click of a button, unlike a magazine in which you have to send in a form and payment. Everything is also at the convenience of your fingertips.

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