LBark94's blog

Don't be Human Spam

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human spamNo one likes the "over-sharer." Austin Kleon's chapter titled "Don't Turn into Human Spam" addresses this problem entirely too well. The human spammer is known for posting their work a lot... too much, in fact. These people don't just "share their work," they are their work. One example I've come across recently is not entirely applicable to the topic of writing, but it sure is a great example of over-sharing. I've come across entirely too many pictures of people I know on social media posting about their weight loss achievements... With pictures.

Underestimating how people are... Lame.

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drinkingThis chapter in Smarter than you Think was really enlightening for me. I had never thought about society like Thompson had before. The idea of pluralistic ignorance is essentially people underestimating the similarities they share (socially) with the people around them. My favorite example from the book was the scenario with binge drinking on college campuses in the 90’s. This might just be because I’m in college and can therefore identify with this situation the most out of all the examples given, but I thought it was fascinating.

Writing and Designing for a Public Audience

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computerTo be honest, I love this book. “Smarter than You Think” addresses key problems and situations in our society that focuses on the move towards a technological future. With regards to writing for a public audience, I think that having that extra pressure encourages me to do better with my work. When we write to just turn into our professor, the pressure to perform well is there, but less. Writing for a public audience is scary, and also adds another aspect to writing: interest.

If I can do it, you can too!

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Wow. APE is one of the most helpful books I’ve ever read. Chapter 13 is especially helpful with all of the book publishing things we’re doing in class now! The authors of this book probably called Chapter 13 the “hairiest in the book” because there is so much to process and get through! This chapter holds a ton of information about the converting process, and there are lots of things to comb through (pun intended). One of the things that is hard about preparing a book for distribution to a wider audience like they talk about in chapter 12 is that you’re going to have to format the file for all of those channels. This takes a lot of time, money, and knowledge about the publishing and converting process for files.

Strikes Back, Kleon does!

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Kleon strikes again. I loved these sections in the book. With regards to “Tell Good Stories” though, I really enjoyed his exploration of how your work literally, does not speak for itself. In my theatre class, we are writing play scenes and I have come into contact with this dilemma many times in the semester so far. I write something, expecting it to speak out to people the way that it speaks to me, and it just doesn’t. No one knows how much time and energy I put into that scene, or why I chose to name this character this name. Our work doesn’t speak for itself. People want to hear about the struggle that you went through. They want you to connect them to the artwork in such a way as to make it seem… special.

The good, the bad... The creative?

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Reading Chip Kidd's book "Go" was both incredibly frightening and wonderfully delighting. Honestly, it was the most interesting book (design wise) that I've ever picked up. The design was incredibly intentional throughout the entire book, and that's what made it special.
Jumbo screen
The first picture I took is of something we have all seen, I’m sure. It’s the giant screen that greets us when we walk into Cooper library. What I like about this design is that it is clean, organized, and informative. From the flashing pictures to the scrolling Tweets, this is one big designed screen!

Publishing for the Amateurs

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Ebooks for technology
The most important thing that I learned from the reading was that self-publishing is much more prominent thing than I ever imagined. The advantages of self-publishing far outweigh the disadvantages, I think. It was especially interesting how self-publishing actually gives more control over to the author than they usually have during the process of publishing a book. From having a direct influence on prominence of their piece in stores, to cover design and format, publishing your own book seems like the way to go.

Amateur Photography

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Another of my creations
Austin Kleon’s book “Show Your Work,” advocates for being an amateur. Trying something new that you’re not trained in is both exciting and invigorating. Especially if you’re not half bad at it. One thing that has always interested me is photography. My uncle, sister, and mother all ran minor photography companies, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. I really love editing my own pictures and putting words with them, especially lyrics. It gets super cliche, I promise. But it's still fun for me to explore different styles of editing and playing around with something I took.