Sunday, August 16, 2009

Powerpoint Presentations

We have spent the morning viewing our classmates' powerpoint presentations about individual readings we had been assigned. Richard joined our group today, both he and Adam spoke about the same two readings - Poynter 'EyeTrack '07, The Myth of Short Attention Spans' and Wheildon, 'Communicating or just making pretty shapes'. Both guys had different interpretations of the same readings which gave me an interesting perspective and meant that we didn't have to sit through hearing the same information twice. Adam talked about the power of using images to communicate information and gave the example that studies have shown that The Australian newspaper is less effective at communicating messages to young people due to their limited use of graphics. Richard approached things from a different angle and focussed on the theory of how different types of readers intepret text. Most people who read on paper are methodical readers who start at the top left hand corner of a page and read left to right down the page. Other readers, however are known as scanners who read quickly through information and only focus on the information that interests them. Alice explained readings by Simmons, M. Funnel, A. and Davies, A. 'A taxonomy of blogs' and Nielson, 'Buzzmetrics' Blog Pulse'. She spoke of various blogs and the types of readers they attract, as well as how the popularity of certain forms of blogs such as diary blogs are diminishing with the increase of useage of social networking sites such as Facebook.

My own presentation led me to explore the content of produsage - something I had never heard of previously. Essentially, it is the idea that each time we use the internet we are affecting the way content may be displayed for future users. For example, seach engines such as Google retain data of searches requested to be frequently analysed. The findings of this analysis determines which search results are the most popular, and therefore where they should be ranked when future searches are requested. My research also gave me an interesting insight into how collaborative sites such as MetaFilter and Wikipedia operate, and the social structure that evolves when users of sites also contribute to their content. I feel this fluid kind of social structure may have an effect on the way many industries operate in the future and we may see a move to traditional industries using input according to merit rather than a person's previously identified skills.

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