And shifting into readings sort of between the text to hypertext and social media assignments…

We’re starting to move away from the readings that are specifically about the text to hypertext/usability projects (that is, Krug and Redish and the like) and more into some readings that make connections between that assignment and the semester of social media assignment. For example:

These are all very “browsable” postings/brief essays that to me are both about the nature of social media and also about the nature of the way “words in a row” prose functions/works differently online. And when I say “browsable,” I mean these are all (IMO) pretty quick reads, and there are a lot of other texts like this out online– if you know something similar, please share!

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37 Responses to And shifting into readings sort of between the text to hypertext and social media assignments…

  1. andrew says:

    Just finished the first essay on the list, “The Construction of a Twitter Aesthetic.” Of course I want to go see what I can do with Twitter. Then I realize that no one is following me and it would be an exercise in amusing myself. I do like to see what people can do in these types situations with these unique constraints. I found similar interest when looking at Snapchat and the ways people use that service.

    • Scott says:

      On Twitter you can check out the trending hashtags or words and add those to your post. I did that with #TrumpBookReport and I got a few likes on my posts from people that don’t follow me.

    • Steve Krause says:

      I’ll follow, Andrew– what’s your username?

      Also, the best way to get followers (besides what Scott suggests) is to follow people. So follow some people and they are likely to follow you back.

    • Debra says:

      When I first got on Twitter, I was really focused on getting followers. But the beauty of hashtags and quick topic searches is that you can find some really interesting people who write in a way that appeals to you — humor, dry wit, positivity, negativity. I love spotting someone new to follow whose personality and writing style has caught my eye. Follow interesting people and then your Twitter feed will be fun, inspiring, enlightening, crazy, challenging or informative — unique to you.

      • Steve Krause says:

        That’s a good point, and in some ways, one of the appeals of Twitter over Facebook is the “relationship” (which I am putting in quotes for hopefully obvious reasons) doesn’t have to be reciprocal whereas in Facebook it does. What I mean is you find stuff in your feed on Facebook based on “friends,” whereas Twitter is a lot easier to just find stuff and not have “followers” per se.

      • swilso93 says:

        I totally did the same thing. When I first made Twitter, I had to make it for a class; a Journalism class. My professor’s main point of the assignments with Twitter was to get as many followers as possible. To constantly post things and use hashtags to get more followers so people can find you. But after doing that, I realized the hashtags were nice to find things for yourself.

    • rachel says:

      I’ll follow you Andrew! I gained a few followers, and I got excited, but a few of them might be people from class or something, so I probably shouldn’t get ahead of myself.

    • Marianne says:

      I’ll follow you on Twitter, Andrew, although you’ll see that I follow a lot of craft beer types, social media influencers and content writers, and mental health support/encouragement people. I noticed that when you follow someone or an organization, Twitter will suggest people they are connected to, so the more you follow, the more suggestions you will get, and it grows and grows.
      what I found exciting or fun about is is when I reached that point that I started getting people following me out of the blue after I tweet something. The feeling is like, “I have arrived” at the critical mass stage or something. By the way, that stage is over 200 in my case.
      You can tweet work acquaintances, competition and vendors for your work, the diocese, the church, the priest, the kids in youth group, the parents of the kids in youth group, your kids and their friends and their parents (or maybe not 🙂 Anyway, those craft beer followers are pretty amusing!

  2. totallykyle94 says:

    The Twitter essay, ‘The Construction of a Twitter Aesthetic’ made me think of new implications and uses for the website that I had not considered previously. The character that Eric Jarosinski created for himself on Twitter seemed to be a combination of his influences, philosophy, modern German drama, a turn of phrases, etc. A version of this idea that people have online personas such as Jarosinski’s can be found across several social media platforms I think, but maybe not quite like his. The offers that he received from different news columns, outlets, etc. shows me that “Twitter characters” and other such personas can be a legitimate aspect of one’s online presence.

    As for the ‘The Way We’re All Writing Now’ article, this one also caused me to think of an aspect of online mannerisms differently. With universally-recognized hashtags, memes, etc., like the “that moment when” meme, the way Thompson describes these as “trying to universalize this experience, and make it kind of an Everyman type of experience” makes perfect sense. This could be why the most popular phrases seem to be the ones most easily related to. And while it may be bold to say that “it’s a glimpse of the next big way the Internet is changing language”, I would not call a statement like this inaccurate.

    The ‘Briefly’ article summarizes an argument for why character limits and brevity are things to be embraced, and in the context of social media, where brevity seems to be very commonplace, the author of this article is able to demonstrate how being able to condense pieces and, as William Strunk says, “omit needless words”. If this were a debate, I would have to side with the author of this article, and I would subscribe to the school of thought that brevity in writing is a valuable skill that is universally useful.

    Finally, the “Life Sentence” article described many of the reasons as to why I despise clickbait so much. I feel that I am seeing more and more clickybait-y article titles over the best few years, and it kind of makes me sick because there must be a mass amount of people who buy into them for sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy to be so successful. To me, these sites and their articles are either an oversimplification of the subject, and make they make use of phrases such as “you won’t believe what happens next” in such an obnoxious way. Anyway, that is my rant on clickbait.

    • Joan Kwaske says:

      I wrote a little bit about clickbait, but your point is a great place to expand. Buzzfeed and similar sites are constantly condensing complex ideas and issues into a singular argument. This formula is portrayed by the authors as being the more intelligent answer to a problem when, in reality, it’s rare to find any societal/governmental issue that doesn’t have at least a dozen conflicting viewpoints and a plethora of potential consequences. How can the simplest answer be the best? I think understanding comes from recognizing the complexity of an issue and finding an answer that’s able to address each argument, not only the one deemed the most important by your own opinion. Additionally, it’s important to analyze the logic of each argument a source presents, but also to read as many different opinions as possible. I think many people forget this.
      Also, I have to admit that “You Won’t Believe What Happens Next” headlines are one of my pet peeves as well.

  3. Joan Kwaske says:

    I read Clickbait first. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with clickbait depending on the actual content. If the content isn’t some predictable cliche (like the ones the article referenced), but contains some valuable insight or idea, then I appreciate the anticipatory heading style. At this point, I’ve developed a sense for which is which, but my parents definitely haven’t and many of my friends are constantly reading me clickbait articles. That’s where my deep hatred comes into play. Buzzfeed quizzes can be amusing to pass the time with, but I really really do not care about their articles because the majority of them are purely opinion based. (But I suppose a lot of articles passed around on social media are too.) As for the Upworthy articles, I’m not familiar with them. The concept, however, seems to be a response to the fear, violence, hatred, and anger that mass media is constantly feeding everyone. I scrolled through the site for maybe a minute, and while the journalism may not be the best, I like the idea of combating the negativity of mass media and highlighting the progress that the world is constantly making.
    Briefly connected a lot to 328W. We’ve definitely talked about brevity and Elements of Style. I think the author did well in pointing out how you can’t cut everything and produce an eloquent piece of writing. There are limits in both directions.
    Twitter Aesthetic wasn’t that different from Briefly, so there isn’t much I have to say about it. I didn’t particularly enjoy it.
    The Way We’re Writing Now was the most frustrating article for me. I absolutely abhor the “When you” and “That moment when” statements. I understand the functionality of it, but I read it and hear it far too often. It’s obnoxiously repetitive. I didn’t mind it when the trend first started, but now my roommate begins at least half a dozen sentences a day with, “Oh my gosh, that moment when [….]”. It’s become one of my top pet peeves. It does make the statement feel universal, but it often creates a “Well, yeah…. Everyone knows that/goes through that, so who cares?” response. In a different direction, ironically, I don’t think the author has a complete grasp on this internet/texting talk. For instance, that Tinder example was definitely implying that the girl was unattractive. The dog is cute; the girl is not. This Yak is meant to be partly witty and partly relatable for internet culture. It’s witty because it’s a roundabout way of saying the girl is unattrative and it’s relatable because everyone is supposed to love dogs. (It’s a meme, so it’s got to be true.) Man, that dog is cute, but it’s a shame the owner isn’t. See? Also, lastly, the Boromir meme at the end was the wrong meme: the line from that picture is “The eye of Sauron is ever watchful [….]”, not “One does not simply walk into Mordor”. Rookie mistake.

    • jmoss9 says:

      The Tinder reference about the dog in the “That Way We’re All Writing Now” article threw me for a loop. I found it to be much more simple than the author’s take on it and agree with you- it meant the dog was cute and the girl was not.

    • Marianne says:

      Thank you so much for explaining these memes to me. I really didn’t get them. I think my roommate would be annoying me, too, if that’s what I was hearing all the time. I’m sure you’re right about the dog thing on YikYak. My understanding is that it’s a platform where people talk about other people anonymously so it fits, sadly to say. I don’t find the insulting of people witty at all.

  4. Scott says:

    These articles discuss the effectiveness of brevity in one way or the other. But they also discuss how social media has changed the way writers or just regular ol’ folks write. I really like Johnson’s “Briefly” because of how he characterizes the sense of urgency and art in editing, which is an interest of mine. I think the assignment of having students write a ten page paper then narrow it down to five pages within class time would be a perfect assignment for an editing class. I would love it even if I was freaking out. It’s true. We’ve all wrote drawn out sentences in some class to either make ourselves sound smart or meet the essay limits. There are some lessons we can learn from SMS like Twitter, mainly: not all writing needs to be lengthy and sophisticated in order to get our point across.

    “The Construction of a Twitter Aesthetic” was fun to read. Sometimes Twitter can be a good way to procrastinate or even to exercise sentence writing. (That’s mostly what I’ve been using it for.) The character restrictions make you condense your thoughts, rephrase, or omit unnecessary words. In the article, not only does Jarosinski notice those aspects of a tweet, he also plays with the humor of trying to make dialog cartoons (within images). Sounds fun. In “That Way We’re All Writing Now” Thompson also points out how there is a massive amount of experimentation going on in writing since the emergence of social media sites. These sites allow us to be creative. That kind of writing isn’t necessarily meant to be formal or scholastic, but rather geared toward our interests or just for enjoyment.

    • Marianne says:

      I totally agree — all the rhetorical analysis of social media that is really just meant to be fun just amazes me. I guess it shouldn’t — it is a new writing genre that people want to understand–but it just amazes me the lengths people go to analyze it.

  5. MattZ says:

    “The Construction of a Twitter Aesthetic” was the first one I tackled. I thought it was interesting getting an inside view of someone who puts on a show for Twitter, so to speak. When I’m on Twitter I try to be as me as possible because I don’t do it for the purpose of getting follows, likes, and whatever you have out there. Now I admit there are times when I bend my own rules, but who doesn’t bend the rules every now and then. I think what Jarosinski is doing is really interesting, and it’s fun to see what someone who is good at this can do, like watching a great athlete.

    When it comes to “The Way We’re All Writing Now” I found it interesting to take on this perspective of writing evolving as a result of social media and to go back in time, so to speak, and look at the way people used to post on places like Myspace and some of the original Blogger sites. You can get a palpable sense of how being so interconnected to the rest of the world has changed how we communicate in an internet community. The invention of memes and hashtags was the internet’s way of crossing language boundaries. You may not speak another language, but we all know what the success kid means.

    I’m split on how I feel about “Briefly.” I get that brevity has its advantages. It can take something that’s a bit too much and break it down to something more digestible. In the world we live in today, nobody has the time for much of anything, and the faster we get what we want the better. However, there is something to be said for long-form writing. Sometimes you need to make a point and you can’t always do that in 140 characters. More than once character limits have gotten people in trouble because what they meant to say came out in a different way. Could making everything shorter be helpful? Up to a point. Just be careful how you use those limited characters.

    Finally, “Life Sentence” puts into words all the things that I hate about clickbait. Just about every clickbait article that I’ve been dumb enough to click on has left me disappointed. Clickbait is misleading, uninformative, and has no place anywhere. I get that you need views to make that sweet advertising dough, but if you have good content, you wouldn’t need to stretch the truth in a title. How about we pay for good writing instead of crappy writing with a terrible title. If you try it, YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!

    • Steve Krause says:

      No doubt that the “long form” writing matters a lot, I agree. But one of the things that’s interesting from a teaching perspective– this is part of what Joan was mentioning that we were talking about in 328– is writing assignments are really focused on length. Everyone– both teachers and students– think that longer writing assignments are automatically harder and more rigorous. That’s not necessarily true. Writing a really good 140 character tweet is not easy, nor is it easy to write a really good one paragraph abstract/summary of an academic essay.

  6. Debra says:

    Ah, clickbait. I’ve run across a few posts recently that looked legitimate with an interesting title, but turned out to be clickbait. The titles were appealing to me and weren’t as obvious as typical clickbait. I fell for the titles a few times before I was able to memorize the particular website — which also had a legitimate-sounding name — as not trustworthy.

    Writers and bloggers understand the value of a strong, appealing headline, but there’s a fine line between attracting readers and misleading readers with a headline.

  7. ZoeBelle says:

    I really enjoyed reading “That Way We’re All Talking Now” article. I’m completely on the bandwagon of how people are talking on social media. I’d probably say that most of my posts start with the typical “When you…” or “That moment when…” There is definitely something that just feels, I guess, good about talking this way. Everyone seems to be on the same page with it. It’s like a collective, community language that we (the people of the internet) have all made up together. Kind of like when you were a kid and you tried to create your own language with a friend or sibling.
    I enjoyed Mulloch’s point when he said, “You get more attention online if you’re witty, and people actually engage with you if you’re witty about your feelings.” It’s honestly true. People will strive to adjust their language and even their thinking so that they can make the next witty or clever remark. People want to talk to and even be the person who makes the best witty remark. In that sense, it’s almost like our new internet language has created a kind of popularity contest. It’s extremely interesting to see how it all rapidly develops even in the time span of a year!

  8. ReneeG says:

    I really liked “The Construction of a Twitter Aesthetic.” I thought that it was an interesting perspective. I have two twitter accounts, my personal and my anonymous account. I use a “stage name” so to speak for my anonymous, and use it as an outlet to post things that I don’t necessarily want to post on my personal. I have 4.7k followers on my anonymous account.

    It’s interesting how social media can have so many different uses. I use my personal Twitter to stay in touch with friends while I use my anonymous Twitter to talk to people from different communities, such as the equestrian community. There are several equestrian-themed anons on Twitter and we have formed a “community.”

    I definitely found that reading very interestinf, and am looking forward to reading the others.

    • ZoeBelle says:

      That’s so crazy that you have so many followers for your anonymous account! You’re right, though, it is interesting how anonymity plays such a huge role in the way we use social media. It’s kind of like social media is our own active diary where we can say and act in almost anyway that we want to without much fear of what others will think (or at least what those who we care about will think).

  9. aderengo says:

    All the articles are talking about being brief in the writing that we do. They were all interesting and for the most part I enjoyed reading them. I liked how they all centered around an idea that the way we write has changed.

    “The Construction of a Twitter Aesthetic” was the first one I read. I liked how it focused on one person and is journey with Twitter. It was fun to see what he does, because he uses his Twitter posts as a way to create a conversation. He creates interesting, as he calls it, dialogue form that I personally enjoy. I’m actually want to try creating a tweet in a dialogue from just for fun.

    “That Way We’re All Writing Now” was the next one that I read. I personally hate having to figure out what people mean, so the whole puzzle thing had me more at a “ah ha” moment. This article really broke down for me the whole why people create some posts the way that they do. Memes and hashtags are a way to connect people by creating a universal experience that we all can participate in. They definitely have changed the way that we communicate, and they will continue to do so.

    In “Briefly” I thought it was interesting that it stated that texting and tweeting is good, because it is teaching us how to be brief. I like being brief and concise, but there are many times when I don’t think that is good. I currently have a class that has discussions that needed to be under a certain word count. In some cases the word count is fine, while others I’m trying to cut words that need to be said in order to hit the count. I think being brief is fine in certain contexts and situations, while others should have more room.

    “Life Sentence” basically wrote exactly what I hate about clickbait. I am always disappointed when I click on one. Not only that but as a marketer its one thing that annoys us the most. Not presenting the information as it is, is unethical and not right. It also is misleading, and it can make a consumer not trust a brand or a company because they might be mentioned in one.

  10. LouiseWrites says:

    As much as I hated Twitter, I love the language. I mainly follow witty accounts with short, fun, usually sarcastic/pessimistic phrases similar to the ones I find in memes (or in other terms, the language of many college students). I have a folder of my favorite memes on my phone for rainy days, and the two or three times I had unbelievable customers at work, or life seemed ridiculous, I have created memes myself. It seems as though some people must make a living out of making memes because of the level of dedication it seems to take to make an image that has been shared over a million times and add an original tagline to it, or even finding a new trending image altogether. It really is somewhat of an art when the few times I have tried it out it took reading about the same phrase 50 times before finally deciding on a final version that perfectly matched the mood I was trying to invoke.

    The one thing I can’t stand, however, is clickbait. I’ve only ever found it acceptable with Buzzfeed because they’re usually full of humor and good at distracting me. I’m aware that I’m being sucked in and I don’t really mind. However, I never thought of Buzzfeed as clickbait either. This short article I found describes why Buzzfeed is successful, because it’s not trying to fulfill any purpose other than having a user click on the page: https://econsultancy.com/blog/64399-the-dirty-secrets-of-clickbait-this-post-will-blow-your-mind/ I only thought clickbait was a type of website that ultimately wanted me to buy something, and not necessarily the mindless/fun articles that are so obviously fluff pieces for me to browse through when I’m bored. I guess I never took the time to really understand the term, and maybe that’s why I saw such a separation between “Scientists don’t want you to know this secret to losing weight” (usually an ad for diet pills) or “9 Amazing Facts about 90s kids you’ll want to know” (I made this up, but I’m sure there’s a Buzzfeed article about this somewhere). Maybe I am much more tolerant of Buzzfeed because even if I’m disappointed in the content of the article, I can chalk it up to lazy writers as opposed to the idea of some corporate interest trying to push a product on me. Either way, I don’t put enough trust in these sites to consider them to be destroying real journalism because of the amount of time I spend reading newsworthy articles compared to short, fun pieces of literature. There are strictly different objectives with one versus the other.

    • Steve Krause says:

      Louise, I’m curious– what do you mean about “hating” Twitter but “loving” the language of it? I’m not sure I get that, but it seems like it might be kind of an interesting juxtaposition here.

      • LouiseWrites says:

        I should explain a bit more, I did put it in a confusing way… I love the Twitter language in a way that just a few words can be used that convey or trigger an idea or meaning. Such as the phrase “That moment when…”, in which I can easily tell where an idea is going. I guess it’s a meme-speak… However, Twitter is somewhat annoying in the fact that these phrases are so overused that it looses its originality. I’ve read many tweets where a person believes that simply using a phrase will apply with everything, and a lot of it is about trying to copy someone’s wit to gain more followers. Twitter is the place where the language and cool phrases are created, but it’s also the place where it’s beaten to death.

  11. Jaclyn Y says:

    I loved the article on Twitter aesthetic. It reminds me of branding. I think it’s cool that he found it kind of easy to just slip into his Twitter persona. There is an element of cleverness that comes with being a star on Twitter. After all, a post can only be so many characters long.

    I’m facing a problem that goes along with this. I started writing for a website, and I am actually debating on how I want people to view me or how I might be branded. I guess it is just something a person comes into over time.

    I will be honest. Clickbait articles are kind of a guilty pleasure for me. I’ll scroll through Buzzfeed or look at Upworthy when I am bored. I especially love the Buzzfeed videos. They have bad content but some content is great! There was one Buzzfeed video on offensive Native America Halloween costumes. (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6i4xaA6k10) The title of it, “‘Authentic’ Native American Makeup Tutorial,” can come off as a little Clickbaity but the content of the video is good.

    • jmoss9 says:

      I agree with you on the clickbaits. I bite on them when I stuck waiting in line or having a boring day at work. They are a fun way to kill time. And knowing going in it will mean having to click through a sea of ads and other links it’s really not that big of a deal.

    • Scott says:

      That’s the interesting dynamic of Twitter: how to be witty and nonchalant but at the same time get a definite personal affinity flow across to other people. With regards to your personal identity on the website you are writing for, it might help to select a few ingredients of your personality and go with it. If you are really thinking hard about it, draft up a couple examples and see what comes. It’s not easy. That is the challenge twitter (or rhetoric for that matter) makes for us : how can you say a whole lot within a small space, how can you make something so complex seem approachable and understandable.

    • rachel says:

      I actually find some of the buzzfeed videos (rather than articles) quite entertaining. For example, the Try Guys videos rarely fail to amuse.

      • Marianne says:

        Okay, I just have one question for all of you: How do you have the time to look at any of this stuff? I swear, if this semester doesn’t kill me, it will definitely make me stronger. I am too old for all these all-nighters, which still don’t help me get caught up. Seriously, I never watch TV, have gotten a chronically numb rear and legs, and eyes that are always dry from staring at a computer screen so much.

  12. swilso93 says:

    After reading, “The Construction of a Twitter Aesthetic,” it left me very intrigued. I feel the same way about my writing. I write too long of sentences and I repeat myself too often. Twitter gives you a limit to what you are writing anyways so it stops you from writing too long anyways. It also gives you more freedom in your writing because it isn’t meant to be so formal. Even if your Twitter account is considered a professional site, you don’t have to be as formal as you do when writing for a publication. But in this essay, he discussed that for the column he was going to start writing for it was supposed to be based off of Tweeting and they were going to be short. It was obvious from the way he spoke in the essay that he was more excited for this assignment than anything else he had been doing. I think it is endearing and charming that he uses the hashtag, “#failedintellectual.” It shows that when you feel like you are a crappy writer, you are not the only one who thinks so. It gives him a Twitter persona that transcends to his other writings. I only like Twitter for the funny and sarcastic phrases people tweet. So I think I would follow him for sure.

    • Marianne says:

      I thought it just made him sound like he was unsure of himself and his abilities. I know some of he funny and sarcastic phrases are funny, and if he has so many followers, he must be amusing, but so many are not any good that I don’t really follow them.

  13. rachel says:

    The Construction of a Twitter Aesthetic
    This one reminded me of the quote “brevity is the soul of wit.” The way Jarosinski kind of took to Twitter as an escape from the long turns-of-phrase of traditional academic writing was quite interesting. I think there’s something to be said of the fact that Jarosinski was able to reach far more people by only writing crisp and short phrases on twitter than he probably would have if he’d only stuck to his academic writing. Although the tweet-style phrases are something I don’t have a knack for yet, I do love the hashtag trend that has arisen because of twitter. Jarosinski’s #FailedIntellectual hashtag seems to simultaneously poke fun at himself, commiserate with others who may have had a similar experience, as well as kind “own” the fact that he has found himself at odds with where he thought his academic life was heading at that time.

    The Way We’re All Writing Now
    One of the things this article reminded me of was the posting style that I’d seen on tumblr before. If a text post was one line and short, there can be no capitalization of the first letter and no period at the end. Longer posts have the normal grammatical rules. But the ones meant to be commentary or a short funny post always tend to have their own distinctive bend to the rules.

    Briefly
    After getting this far into my academic trek, I tend to agree with the notion that minimum word or page lengths do some harm to the quality of a piece of writing, because it teaches us bad habits at an early stage. For some, it can be extra “filler words.” A word that constantly jumps into my writing when I’m thinking out a piece as I write it is “that.” It’s amazing how many thats I can fit into a paper if I don’t watch myself. I sometimes feel like I can write some topics better in 3 pages than in the required 5. Sometimes a minimum length sits at the back of my mind and makes me check my word count as I type even though I know I always go over the word count without trying because I can be thorough and, as such, long-winded.

    Life Sentences: The Grammar of Clickbait!
    I probably don’t hate buzzfeed as much as the next person. If something’s slightly click-baity, but not so much that I know there will be no substance, I’ll probably still open it to skim as I scroll down my newsfeed. Though, I often tire of the “let’s spread two paragraphs of article across 12 pages and make them click through all of them.”

    However, I have usually enjoyed every Upworthy article that I’ve happened across, and their more sophisticated take on their articles and their turns-of-phrase in the titles that ends vaguely probably has something to do with it. Upworthy articles also tended to be more positive in the outcomes of the stories they showcased, at least of the ones I’ve read. So that could be a contributing factor in why they have their own little market in “restoring our faith in humanity.”

    • Marianne says:

      I hate those types of clickbaity articles too, where you have to click through a dozen ads just to get through one short article. They drive me nuts. I subscribe to a newsletter where the article you click on goes down a ways and then you have to click read more but it just opens it right up below where you are, and then the next article is right there on the page at the end of the one you’re reading so you can continue if you’re interested. That is so much better than the ones like Better Homes and Gardens where you have to click after reading every short paragraph, click for every photo, click for the ads in between the photos, etc. they make me crazy.

  14. jmoss9 says:

    Twitter Aesthetic… I found it interesting that one of the ways Jarosinski honed his tweeting craft was using a common tool to fight writer’s block in creative writing- he changed his perspective- “Tweeting felt different. He wrote his tweets on his smartphone, not on the laptop, where the book lurked.”

    Twitter has also changed language in the sense that more and more people write in abbreviated twitter speak even when they are not using twitter. I find one of my niece’s Facebook posts to sometimes be incomprehensible because I don’t understand what many of her abbreviations mean.

    • Marianne says:

      I don’t understand what some of them say, too. It’s like it’s written in code and nobody gave me the key! I used to type everything out, especially in texting, but I find that the more I do it, the more I am starting to shorten things like my kids. I’ll never be able to text as fast as they can, though 🙂

  15. Marianne says:

    As I went through the readings, I jotted notes in the margins of the thoughts that popped into my head.
    Twitter Aesthetic: I didn’t know many people started tweeting as a way of avoiding work. I did it because I was required to for a class. I generally don’t follow it regularly when I am not required to, no matter what I am avoiding. And many, it IS their work to follow it. It sounded from this interview that Jarosinski is just a typical writer with fears the same as all authors. The examples of his “crisp, allusive irreverent Twitter voice didn’t make sense to me. “At Starbucks I order under the name Godot. then leave.” His claimed 52,700 followers is amazing to me. He talks about being unsure of his conversation and nervous when he starts to talk. He quit his job rather than write his book, even if it is bad. He talked about losing his identity but made that choice himself. His talking about adopting the Twitter persona was “extremely liberating” since it reminded him why he liked the Frankfurt School philosophers. I sense that he just likes hiding behind a persona, the anonymity of faceless social media sarcasm. He talked about what makes a good tweet, but I tend to not like the types of tweets he was talking about being the “good tweets.” It just isn’t the aesthetic I like.
    That Way We’re All Writing Now: I got a chuckle out of this topic because it reminded me of conversations with people who hate this style of writing today and I recalled a conversation last summer about how people are always saying “thing” now the same as they used to say “like” all the time. Honestly, I think people aren’t as clever as they think they are and a lot of these memes don’t make sense or just aren’t humorous. However, when they are, they really are. the puzzle draws people in and you feel like you are part of the “in” group. Since it’s short, they don’t have to read a lot, another thing that is important today. Seeing how these subordinate clauses/Internet are changing language is going to be interesting over he next ten years. Invented words and spilled into syntax — who knows what will come next?
    The Grammar of Clickbait: Curiosity killed the cat. What more is there to say? If listicles weren’t annoying enough, now we have the mysterious titles that sometimes suck you into clicking on them–most often to your dismay once you find that the answer to the question isn’t provided. Do we need our faith in humanity restored? Well, we deal with marketing/advertising like these; of course. But it’s really our faith in the goodness of humanity, which is sometimes trounced upon by all the terrible things we hear/see in the news. Basically, these headlines are the best they can do to trick us into clicking on their stories. There can be too much of a good thing, including internet reading.
    Briefly: I liked this story, probably because we have been learning about E.B. White and William Strunk in WRTG328w this semester. The author gives good examples and anecdotes with great advice for teachers. Wish the teachers could convince the people above them to let them do it right.

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