Tara's Blog

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Who is Jeff Gralnick? Why is he important?

Jeff Gralnick is a 47-year broadcast veteran. More importantly (and pertinent to this blog) is his current role as special consultant to NBC News in regards to internet and new technological matters. What makes him so knowledgeable about these areas though?

During his career in the television news broadcast industry some of his more significant assignments include special events producer and field reporter in Vietnam for CBS News.

Upon researching this figure in the television broadcast medium, I came upon his blog entitled, The Peacock Blog for msnbc.com. It follows the journey of the shuttle Discovery... interesting. I say this because, unless I am wrong, it appears that this blog is written from the standpoint of Earth. He gives a different perspective of this event. Not only is it communicated in a more informal news outlet, but it is a more intriguing way to present the information.

Why a blog as opposed to an article or a t.v. broadcast? Do you think that more people were reached through the newer outlet as opposed to a more traditional method?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

HAH! Look what I can do!

My Humps

The assignment was to add something new to our blogs. Hmm, ok. Google was my first thought, and boy did I luck out. I wanted to add music to my blog, and instead I added a music video! To go along with the blogger stereotype (or one that seems to be quite popular) I'm going to brag a little bit because hey, I'm proud of myself. I also decided to pick a video that was somewhat obnoxious (we're supposed to find our own voice, right?).I was surprised how easy this actually was, because trust me I am somewhat technologically handicapped, basically, if I can add one, then so can you :o)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Soldiers are blogging from the frontlines. What does this mean for our country? Anyone with access to a computer and the internet can get almost instantaneous accounts of that day halfway across the world. There's absolutely no way that our government likes this. Depending on your opinion of the war this could either be a good or a bad thing (but that is one subject I am NOT going to even attempt to cover). What I do know is that this blogging doesn't go without some form of censorship. At least according to the article, The Blogs of War that is.

Some may argue that the guidelines that restrict how much information the soldiers post is the governments way of hiding the "truth" about the war, and others will argue that they do it for the safety of the troops. Personally, I believe the latter.

Overall the article about the military blogging phenom was incredibly interesting and makes me want to find these blogs and get my own ideas about it. Getting a soldiers account of daily happenings in Iraq is one way to stay informed about what's going on in that part of the world. Many of the blogs can be found just by searching Google for Milblogs as the military blogs are referred to in the article. Once such blog is the Mudville Gazette, check it out for youself and form your own opinion.

Blogging with the Best

Oh. My. God. I'm reading someone's diary... Or at least thats the way it feels sometimes when I start reading some blogs. Dr. David Gudelunas, professor of communication and avid blog reader. After listening to his presentation last week about blogging, I came to the realization that perhaps I should start reading some blogs for fun.

Along with some interesting vocabulary, it was also reiterated that some of the best blogs have a unique voice. This raised an interesting question in my mind, just how sassy can I be without affecting my grade? I think we have enough lee-way to be unique and still scholarly but I'm not entirely sure just how many grammatical errors I can get away with.

Sentence fragments aside, Dr. Gudelunas raised an interesting point, why have blogs become so popular now as opposed to five even ten years ago? The prevalence of technology is not a sustaining answer. Everyone wants to be heard don't they? Let's face it though, some of us are just timid enough to not want to rock the boat, but we feel confident enough to do so under a username, an alter-ego through which we control just how much is actually known about us (and even the information that we decide to give may be false).

Another bloggers apparently love to do is talk about themselves and their blogs. Egotism at its best? Perhaps, or perhaps this is just another characteristic of our ever evolving culture. That however is a topic for another day.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hate Crimes on campus?

Is there racism on campus? How that question is answered depends on who you speak with. In reference to an online publication of The Mirror from February 23, 2006:

According to Fairfield University's "Uniform Campus Crime Report," hate crimes are defined as "crimes involving bodily injury to any person in which the victim is intentionally selected because of the actual or perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability of the victim that are reported to campus authorities or local police agencies.

"In technical terms, Fairfield has experienced no hate crimes in recent history; however, the university has encountered what Director of Public Safety Todd Pelazza refers to as "bias-related incidents."

Can bias be a synonym for racism- many students feel that the meanings do not match up. Instead of calling incidents Hate Crimes, it could be viewed that the university doesn't view it as such and thus does not feel that these incidents are severe as those who are victimized. Perhaps it is time for this institution to revamp their terminology.

Still curious about what Fairfield's policy on hate crimes? Check out the Dept. of Public Safety and see what they have to say.

Who Let the Blogs Out?

One thing is for sure, this reading was much easier to get through that Neuromancer. It was interesting to read how blogging got started and which people were in a way responsible for the form of expression.

Biz Stone's book Who Let the Blogs Out? seems to be written with more attention placed on the idea that not everyone knows what a blog is (imagine that!) much less how to go about writing with proper protocol. For someone, such as myself, who is new to the blogging world this has become an invaluable tool. Not only can you read it and not feel completely lost as I will admit I felt with Neuromancer (surprise right?) it also lists sites in the back of the book to help you personalize your blog. I also found the glossary in the back to be quite helpful when deciphering the terms used in the chapters.

The reading covers a great deal of topics, and at times almost seems like an instructional on how to post things properly. In the portion that I read, it appears that this publication also has valuable etiquette tips and answers to frequently asked questions.

Overall, this book has many valuable points and as blogging leaves the "geek culture" and becomes more mainstream it is important for those of us who aren't as technologically advanced to be informed of the proper way to do things.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Blogging in CT

Blogs can be a wonderful place to vent, or just to get some thoughts down and out. Overall after reading some blogs from my fellow Connecticutians, especially the comments of a native New Yorker and resident of Connecticut known as The Caffeinated Geek Girl.

After reading reading some of the blogs posted on that site, I found it was easy to relate to some of her stories, especially getting stuck in traffic on 95 that doesn't seem to ever move. It doesn't appear to me that this particular blog is anything but a private (but obviously public) venting ground. With postings ranging from the difficulty of working from home, a concert she attended or the death of someone close.

It does look as though this blogger is trying to do some good. There was mention of bone marrow donors that are linked to her blog. This is an interesting concept for me, I never would have thought to link people to my page so that others can benefit medically. It begins to dispel the idea that blogs are just an area for complaining or for showing off about how great your life is, some people actually use it for more.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Blogging Backlash

Michael Berube: professor, author, liberal, blogger. All of these terms are correct in describing the Professor of Literature at Penn State . After reading about his experience with blogging and the controversy that arose in the article Blogging Back at the Right, I've come to realize just how public this form of expression really is.

Freedom of expression is something that is highly valued in this country, thus you cannot prevent someone from doing so. However with the advent of blogs there is a more expedient way to express your opinions in response to how someone else feels. Unfortunately there is also the increase in the misunderstanding and misinterpreting of information and opinions to go along with it.

The internet is a very public form of expression, one that is not for the faint of heart. A thick skin is required for those of us who use it to express ourselves freely. Has my opinion of blogging changed now that I have been faced with a specific encounter of public debate in this form; not particularly. The only real difference to this form of expression is the fact that it is more instantaneous than that of debate in print media.

Just as with any other form of personal opinion expression, there are advantages and disadvangtages. The advantages include the almost instantaneous availability of your opinion to others. A disadvantage: misinterpretation is immediate as well. The differences in publishing an opinion in a blog as opposed to say The Mirror is simply the fact that it is incredibly quick.

Inevitably by expressing your opinion in a blog, you're going to annoy someone. It's something that as an author you have to be prepared to experience.

10 Tips

After reading the 10 tips for writing on the living web, I realized that there are a few areas that are similar to some of the other writing that I have done in the past. Essentially, this new medium for expression is still evolving so the more tips out there the better. Personally, I still see the web as somewhat informal form of communication.

There are several of the tips that I am inclined to agree with. Details are important for the audience, as a writer you paint the picture for them. A quick synopsis of what happened is boring, even for the writer sometimes and they experienced it first hand. I think it is also important, however to know which details to include and which to leave out. I also feel it is incredibly important to write about something that you care about. The passion you feel for the subject will come through in the writing and perhaps even change a few minds about the topic. Not to mention that the piece will be more interesting if it is important to you, instead of something that you couldn't care less about.

In general I don't believe that blogs are created for the sole purpose of self glorification. This may be true in some cases, but it doesn't mean that you in particular have to read that blog. The choice comes down to the reader and what they hope to gain from the blog.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Why are we reading a novel in a writing class if the class is about digital writing and not novel writing? There are a few different things that come to mind when thinking this through.

First there is the subject matter of the novel. It is about cyberspace and computers, both of which are incredibly present in our culture today. Our entire world has essentially come to depend on computers for everyday function. Some of the vocabulary in this novel has become vernacular in some respects. In reading this novel, we can compare what the author thought of computers back in the 80's as opposed to what they are today.

This novel is Sci-Fi because it touches on abstract ideas. Notions of people being people having microchips implanted underneath their skin is something that while it still hasn't happened, perhaps will occur in the future, hopefully the very distant future.

Considering the vocabulary in the novel and the recent developments in technology and entertainment (namely The Matrix movies) some of this once counterculture has become more maintstream.