Earn Money by Blogging

This blog post is inspired by Nickie Inglesby. She tweeted:

This post can help our class think beyond just doing assignments and feeling “forced” to blog, but think about how the skills we are learning can actually be used in the real world. Blogs are everywhere and there are many people earning money by writing! As Writing Arts majors what more could we ask for?! But as the article points out, there are some things to think about before you make the decision to make personal blogging your life long career.

The first thing the article says to keep in mind that making a living won’t come quickly. You cannot expect to write one blog and instantly have thousands of followers or advertisers. Bloggers earn their money by allowing advertisers on their site. Advertisers are ultimately looking for customers to in turn by their products. If you only have a couple hundred views per month on your blog, advertisers are not going to think it is a good economic decision to post ads on your site. The article also warns, “if you’re only getting, say, 1,200 page views a month, you might only make enough to treat your family to aMcD vs high end night out at McDonald’s. Even if you’re pulling in enough money to pay the mortgage, Storch says bloggers have to remember they’re going to pay commission to their ad network, taxes on their blogging income, hosting and Internet fees, and she pays for childcare.” While blogging for a living can be done, you need to know how to grab as much attention as possible.

The next tip the article gives is make sure you are writing about something you care about and can share knowledge about. People who read blogs are reading them to get something out of it. They want new information on a topic, or a new recipe or fitness tip they can use in their lives. If you can give your reader something they can walk away with, they will want to come back for more. If you fail to do this, you may have a one and done follower/reader. The article says it’s not just good enough to know how to write, which as Writing Arts majors we all know how, but it’s about writing about something that is going to mean something to someone else.

WritingLastly, understand that blogging is actually a lot of work. Jill Smokler, blogger of Scary Mommy, says that much of the work of blogging isn’t the blogging itself, but getting your name out there. She suggests that you find other blogs with a similar topic and comment. Then look at the other commenter’s comments and go to their blog and comment. Each time remembering to link your URL so that people can reach your blog. Smokler says, “It looks easy, but it isn’t, very few blogs strike gold with a crazy viral post. I’m still trying after five years.”


The Ninth Gate: A Horrific Comedy?

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This my prezi, and i chose to write it about a remix trailer for The Ninth Gate. I chose this movie because it was something that I have seen previously, and when I saw the trailer, I was so interested because it was so different from the original movie. In my prezi I will explain how intertextuality, juxtaposition, closure, gesture, montage, and soundtrack all play a role in changing this trailer, and more importantly how they play a role in writing. I also will explain how using these tools can make your writing more substantial and meaningful.

Alexis Siatkowski

(Hopefully) Helpful Tips for Mashing

So I was a little unsure about what I should write about this week since we are all so involved with creating our mash-up videos. After reviewing Sean Hall’s textbook, This Means This, This Means That, a few ideas came to mind about what is really involved in a mash-up video and what we should think about doing or adding to our own. Before you start reading I do want to point out that I just as new to this as many of you and comments and feedback are much appreciated!

Tip #1: Interpretation

Interpretation is key. Everything in life is left up to interpretation. We all bring ideas and experiences to each situation that will make each one of us look at it in a different way. Do not be afraid if someone watches your video and does not reach the point you are specifically trying to get across. Take for example the video below:

This video for me represents the uphill battle of life. We are told to go to college so we can get a good job, but even after doing that we still have to work hard for a job we may not get. For others it might just mean the struggle of college work, or the struggle of paying for college. Each interpretation is correct if they can support their opinion with examples from the video. The problem you should fear however is if someone cannot make meaning of your work. If this is the case then I feel revision needs to made to clarify the point you are trying to make.

Tip #2: Denotation and Connotation

Denotation is the literal meaning of something, while the connotation is the nonliteral or feelings you get about a subject. In the clip mentioned above the literal meaning is the discussing the post grad American dream. The American dream is that you will succeed if you take the necessary steps, but in this remix it doesn’t turn out this way. Again, all this is the denotation. The connotation of this happened is the feeling of failing, falling down, drowning, feeling pressure, etc. These feelings are portrayed in the clips shown below:

Drowning Falling Falling_2 Weight

The goal is to find the emotions or feelings you want your viewers to experience and display them. If the viewers should feel shocked, show images of someone being shocked, if you want them to feel happy, show clips of something that is happy or will make you feel happy such as showing a cute dog (that would make me feel happy), etc. Displaying these feelings will make the mash-up successful.

Tip #3: Combinations

Society dictates the way things should be arranged or combined together. But what happens when things aren’t together when they should be? For instance someone wears red pants with green shoes. People will question the decision they made to combine these strong colors together. Think about doing this in your mash-up video. Place to clips together that usually would not be seen together; in other words that are juxtaposed. This will make your views question your choice of using this clips together and will ultimately make them think about how these create meaning. The clip below I think does this seamlessly.

The creator of the video shows images of food being beautifully designed and eaten, and quickly jumps to scenes of people starving and looking malnourished. It makes you think about how we, in America, are using food compared to how food is scarce and needed in other countries.

I hope I have helped you in thinking about ideas for your mash-up videos by closely examining these three semiotic concepts. Please share comments about how you can use these in your work!

Screen Literacy for the Next Generation

I recently came across an article posted by a classmate titled, Screen Literacy for the Next Generation. As an aspiring educator, I immediately became interested in this post.Today’s young children, from birth through age 8, are spending an average of two hours and 16 minutes with screen media on a typical day. More than a quarter of their screen time comes from playing on computers, video game consoles, cell phones and iPad-like tablets. The average age for first-time use of a computer is around 3-and-a-half years old.

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There is no question that screen literacy is rapidly increasing in our society. The humanities and arts are significant and do indeed matter. It seems as if the issue arrises in mixing both screen literacy and actual reading skills. Since technology has taken such a toll on education, being skilled in both areas is important for children. Years ago, a child had to be taught reading and grammar skills. There never came up the subject of this idea of ‘screen literacy.’ Today, it seems as if there is no getting around it. The question is if “screen time” is educational or not?

“Our kids read and write more today than at any point in human history. They might not read novels and produce letters and books, but they do “read” texts, blogs, headlines, they listen to stories on YouTube or navigate stories in video games, and they “write” posts, and emails every single day.” (Henseler) It is important for children to not only grasp the concept of things happening not only off the screen but also behind and in front of the screen. Visualization expands our children’s understanding of content and shapes their outlook for the future. What do you think about the importance of screen literacy in a child’s education?


Storyboard for What Happens on Farms

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My video is something I think I will have to be very conscious about making, just because animal abuse is so widely known. The difference is that I would really like to touch on what happens on farms throughout the country, organic and otherwise. I know that it is something I will have to be really careful about since I do NOT want a Sarah McLaughlin video, no one wants that. Ever. That being said, I would like to start off my video mashup with a scene from either a black and white, vintage commercial or TV show. I was thinking along the lines of Leave It To Beaver, while the family is sitting down to dinner. I want to showcase their happy faces and the meal prepared. I would then like to move showing clips of how farm animals are depicted, happy and living good lives on farms. After that, I would like to have clips of hurt and abused animals, showing what really happens on farms all over the country. I would like to use the contrast here to show the public that farm animals are not treated respectfully, and should be doing something about that fact. I kind of would like the video to be a little violent, just to wake the senses in people.

What’s Really Happening On Our Farms?

For my mash-up, I would like to create a video show casing animal cruelty. I think I would like to focus on either domestic animal cruelty, like dogs, or farm animal abuse. I would like to show why people should be vegetarians. I would like to show that even “organic, range-free” farms are still cruel to their animals. The video would show case happy animals that are well cared for, like the pictures many of these farms showcase to try and get people to feel okay about eating meat. I would then like to show videos and photos of what really happens to the animals at these farms. I would like to get some videos of vegetarians, and non vegetarians who think the treatment of these animals is awful. I really want to show people what eating meat really looks like.

I know that in picking this subject, I run the risk of making my mash-up look similar to a Sarah McLaughlin video. I also understand that I run the risk of looking sounding like someone up on a soap box. More importantly, I run the risk of upsetting some people with the images and videos I will be using in my mash-up, they will most likely bloody and violent and upsetting.

For the mash-up, I think I would like to do a voice over of some really happy family gathering filmed in the 50’s. I think using that would help build the juxtaposition between the happy, perfect family life and what these animals go through that are supposed to be happy and treated well.