Saturday, November 16, 2013


It is hard to believe that the end of the quarter is so close. The communication technologies that I have learned to use will be enormously helpful in my professional future. 

I have created a business card and personal logo that will be crucial for networking in my future field of work and creating a brand for myself. Inspirationfeed has some really creative examples of personal logos as well as advice on how to create one.

I have learned how to use Adobe Creative Suite programs such as PhotoShop and InDesign, which are both fun to use and offer extremely valuable tools, especially in communication careers.

I have also learned how to use the program Audacity to record and edit sound files. I found this program to be very fun as well. I am not sure if podcasting will ever be a staple of my career, but it is cool to know how to do it!

After joining Reddit, I find myself checking it from time to time. It can be very addicting; I could be on it for hours! Honestly, before joining Reddit I thought it mostly attracted users looking for funny videos. However, I have realized it values reputable sources in more serious categories like politics. In a sense, its standards resonate with those in the journalism field. 

Reddit can play a huge role in making videos go viral. That is, if Reddit users like it. One of my friends created a funny video and once it was posted on Reddit, the view count skyrocketed! If you're interested in watching a hilarious and short video, here it is:

I plan to continue blogging for as long as I live, whether it is for personal or professional reasons. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and in today's world, blogging is a wonderful medium for this. I interned this summer for a real estate blog, which was a incredible experience. Keep an eye out for my name in the blogosphere! 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Web Design, Layout, and C.R.A.P. Basics

We all came back to class on Thursday after a nice, week-long hiatus from class. Evidently, our professor is one of those who has a soul and knows that attending a night class on Halloween is not desirable. The class after that was cancelled as well, so my classmates and I had ample time to complete our intros and outros for our podcasts.

On Thursday, we listened to each duo's MP3 files and voted on our favorite to be chosen as the class's official podcast intro and outro. Ours was not chosen but my partner and I are pretty happy with what we managed to produce. Take a listen, and if you are an XX fan you will probably appreciate this:

This week we will be discussing all things web design. This includes layout tips and C.R.A.P. basics. 


An optimal layout can have many aspects, but simplicity is always key. When there is too much information stimulating our brains at one time, we give up on trying to decode the web page's message.

Simple does not mean plain and boring. A simple web page has few conflicting elements that vie for your attention. Elements include: 

  • number/size of images
  • font size/style
  • background pattern/color
  • number of videos/gifs
  • amount of text
For example, if you have three images that stand out, you may want to tone down the amount of text and choose a background that does not distract from the important information.

This brings me to my next point: emphasize what is important, and deemphasize what is not important. This may seem intuitive, but there are plenty of websites out there where it is unclear what the point of their existence is.

For more web layout tips, check out Design Shack 10 Rock Solid Website Layout Examples

Do not fret if you feel that you have no design expertise. Inspiration is easy to find, and airing on the simple side will always be beneficial. 

One technique is choosing an image as the background and having simplistic text in the center. Another technique is using mostly black and white and using color to highlight the important message. Also, having multiple images, some with text inside and some without, and no background color or text outside of the images is a great way to incorporate variety while keeping it simple. 

For sources of inspiration, check out websites like Smashing Magazine Original and Innovative Web Layouts.

C.R.A.P. Basics

Contrary to its name, C.R.A.P. basics are valuable. I will outline what each letter of this acronym stands for.


This is pretty obvious. Contrast refers to two elements being opposite of each other. This could mean having large text and small text, lots of busy images with a plain background, or having three images varying in size. 


Repetition is like uniformity. With repetition, a pattern is consistent throughout the entire webpage. For example, one font could be used for all body text while another font could be used for all headlining text.


Alignment is similar to repetition; every element should flow in a pattern, with nothing placed arbitrarily. Much can be communicated through alignment. Elements that are similar should be aligned with one another. For example, all titles within a page should be aligned while all subtitles should be aligned.


Proximity refers to the distance between two objects. This goes along with alignment in the sense that similar elements are both aligned and close to one another. In order to prevent confusion, items that are different should be placed far apart from one another. For example, if there are images that coincide with certain sections of text, these should be close in proximity.

That concludes this week's blog post! Stay tuned for next week's; sadly, it will be my last.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Social Media and Website Builders

This week, our assignment includes joining a new social network and building a website. Personally, I feel that I already belong to enough social networks. If anything, I think I should be using social media less.

However, one social media website stood out. I have perused Reddit a few times, but I never considered signing up for an account. If I have to join another social network though, Reddit seems the most attractive.


Key features of the site include the main categories: hot, new, rising, controversial, top, gilded, and wiki. You will see these at the top of the page when you land on the homepage. There are subreddits, and each subreddit has posts filed under each of these main categories. The homepage subreddit is considered "front". Subreddits can range from general, such as "funny", to specific (and maybe peculiar), such as "todayilearned". 

As a member of Reddit, you can post on the website under a specific subreddit. You can submit a new link or a new text post. You can even create your own subreddit!

Reddit was started by two University of Virginia graduates, and the website launched in 2005. Reddit became so popular that it caught the eye of Conde Nast, which acquired the website in 2006. In 2011, Conde Nast handed control of Reddit to its parent company, Advanced Publications. For more Reddit milestones, refer to CrunchBase.

One of the founders, Alexis Ohanian, has recently been on a tour spreading advice about how to compete as an entrepreneur in the Internet world. He explains that everyone wants to create a website that is the first of its kind, when they really should be focusing more on the quality of the website.

Ohanian goes on to say that trust and credibility are more important than mere page views. I definitely agree with this, and after reading about Ohanian, I like Reddit even more!

However, Reddit has not been free of controversies. The website has volunteer moderators that commit to ensuring that the posts in their subreddit are in line with Reddit's value of credible journalism. On Monday, the website's "politics" subreddit, known as r/politics, banned a slew of websites to be mentioned in their subreddit. 

Websites banned include Huffington Post, Mother Jones, and Salon. Personally, I think the r/politics moderators made the right choice because with a topic as sensitive as politics, credible sources are absolutely necessary.

Website Builders

Website builders sure have come a long way since Geocites. Assignments for this Emerging Communication Technologies class include building a personal and a group website. Two website builders that are recommended to us are Wix and Weebly

I have heard that Weebly is more user-friendly, so I chose that one. However, I noticed some other classmates using Wix and it looks the same to me. 

Weebly makes building an aesthetically pleasing website a piece of cake. You can create a free website under the domain "" or pay a fee for "". Since this is for a class, we're opting for the free domain.

You can customize everything on the website, from font to colors. There are a ton of templates to choose from, and you can modify them as you please.

My group's website has not been officially made, but at least I was able to secure the perfect domain name for us. Our topic is "Made in Bellingham". We are focusing on providing a guide to all of the best local businesses in Bellingham, WA. Stay tuned because we will be adding content very shortly:

For more information on how to build a website on Weebly, check out this video:

I really enjoyed listening to this tutorial. It is simple, clear, and easy to follow. Also, it was uploaded to YouTube recently. Sometimes choosing a video based on its view count is not always the best! The Weebly tutorial with the most views was uploaded a year ago, and it discusses features that have changed. I recommend viewing this tutorial or another that has been uploaded within the last few months.

Some Final Thoughts

I already belong to LinkedIn, but I think this social network is one of the most valuable. I definitely recommend using this website if you are interested in connecting to other professionals in your field.

If you are looking for a website that has just about everything, I highly recommend becoming a Reddit member. Its commitment to true journalism and plethora of topics will surely reel you in.

Also, website building is not just for businesses. I was under this assumption prior to taking this class. I thought, why would I need a website for myself? Truth is, it can actually be incredibly helpful for job seekers, especially those who are about to graduate college, like myself.

Having a personal website helps you brand yourself and market to prospective employers. While I hate thinking of myself as a "brand", this is essential in today's job market. I am excited to continue building my group's website and begin building my website! 

Last week I discussed podcasts and the fact that I will be creating one. Currently, my class partner and I are working on it! After working with Audacity, I have found that I really enjoy it as well! The podcast will be posted on here shortly.

Thanks for reading!