The next thing that I wanted to fix was the navigation menu. Google sites only has the option of the vertical navigation in the left sidebar. But I didn't like the way the side bar appeared with my custom background image, so I deleted it so that the actual content would be centered in the page and fit well in its designated space. So now I had to figure out how to get my navigation to fit into my layout. So I made my own custom widget and added it to the site. I brushed up on my XML scripting, uploaded it, prayed, and thank god it worked. But my only problem with this was that I could only add the widget into the "content" section in google sites. But this would therefore Add the navigation bar into the white content area and screw up all the spacing. So I changed the site layout for the "header" space to be 200 pixels. This way the content (if it had a visible title or background color) would actually be overlapping the title banner. But I accounted for the titlle banner's height, the padding on the top, and where the content was actually going to appear. Then I saved the page and viewed it again (making sure to pay attention to how it looked when I previewed it as a viewer) and it works perfectly. Google search sits on top of the title banner, everything is centered, and the navigation menu appears just above the white background for the content.
Then I decided that I wanted a new little toy for the Homepage of the site, so I decided to create an Image scrolling marquee banner. Then I created individualized title images for each page and fit them into the design. Now all that's left is a few little tweaks to the alignment of the content, and everything looks good to go.
So bottom line with this project for me is that I spent a good amount of my time working in photoshop: 1. because google sites was too limiting, and 2. because I'm a perfectionist and I got a little carried away. But I have to say, I'm very happy with the work that I did in this project, and I think the site looks great.
I did find it interesting however, that the article pointed out that they choose not to employ the term “networking” because networking emphasizes the initiation of relationships, and although it is possible through sites like Facebook and Myspace, it isn’t the primary focus of Social-networking sites. They then point out that these sites are unique because they “enable users to articulate and make visible their social networks.” In my opinion, as it is pointed out later in the article, this corresponds with what I believe to be a major factor that separates social-networking sites from other forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC): identity management. Sites like Facebook give users the ability to decide what information they want to display, distort, or withhold altogether. To some extent, almost everybody who uses these sites are guilty of being “Fakesters” (as the article calls them) at one point or another. Along with the ability to edit your information in order to create a “cyber” image of yourself, impression management is also impacted by which friends and groups you choose to be associated with. Unfortunately, in my mind, these abilities have almost turned sites such as Facebook into an online popularity contest for some users, especially college-aged. You want to portray yourself in the best light possible for the crowd you are trying to attract. And this is the primary reason that I became turned off from these kinds of social networking sites.
Getting back to the Web 2.0 aspect, I do think that social networking sites are a great platform for business, small business, and even non-profit organizations to advertise themselves, get there name out, and possible increase their success. I also find it kind of interesting that the boom of SNSs came from 2003 onward, which was during the first years following the “dotcom crash” in 2001. And hence, spawned during the birth of Web 2.0.
I have to say, I was wrong about this project in the beginning. I really didn't see it being something that I could get into like I did with the enthusiast blog, but I stand corrected. I put my own spin on it, took something that I cared about, and really feel like the page is already being recognized by Wikitravel users. The project may be coming to an end, but as I said before, I plan to continue watching and contributing to the growth of this page.
Everything is starting to come together fairly well if I do say so myself. I'm actually enjoying this project.
"Hey Jon, Welcome to Wikitravel.
To help get you started contributing, we've created a tips for new contributors page, full of helpful links about policies and guidelines and style, as well as some important information on copyleft and basic stuff like how to edit a page. If you need help, check out Wikitravel:Help, or post a message in the travellers' pub.
I really like the itinerary you have been working on, and I hope you keep filling it out! I noticed, though, that much of the content comes from what appears pretty clearly to be your blog . Just so there is no confusion over authorship, you may want to make a note of this at Talk:The Mohawk Trail. Keep up the good work! --Peter Talk 16:50, 9 March 2010"
When I read this, it kind of gave me a little bit of a feeling of an accomplishment. I stated working on the page only as a project for class, but knowing that people are actually looking at what I am posting and that it's live on the web, it really gave me some encouragement to keep working on this page even after the project. Having someone just drop me a message simply to recognize me work, compliment it, and offer me some suggestions is really, to me, what made this project worth while. And I think that was the whole point of this project. To throw us into and let us experiences something exactly like that...an information ecology you may say lol
- '''The Mohawk Trail''' began as a Native American extends from [[Boston, Massachusetts]] to [[Buffalo, New York]].
- The '''Mohawk Trail''' has become a popular motorcycle trail. If you are planning on taking a motorcycle, remember to bring a helmet because there is a helmet law in various states.
- ==Get in==
- ==Stay safe==
- ==Get out==
2. Another helpful tip comes from the "article templates" page under "How to use templates." This section explains that there are two ways that you can use templates:
- You can use them to create a new article, by simply finding the Wikki markup for the type of article you wish to create, copying and pasting the markup, and then just adding your information appropriately. But if you do this, the page explains that it is important to remove italicized text (the instructions) because this makes it easier for other people to edit the article.
- You can use them to edit existing articles by referring to the appropriate template of the article that you wish to add to, and you can see how things are preferred to be organized.
3.Another useful tip is to make sure that all "Section headers" are identical to the ones in the "article templates." For example: don't use Restaurants use Eat, and don't use Introduction but Understand. Again, this helps to keep all pages the same, and it gives the site a uniformed look. It is also helpful to make Wikkitravel unique.
Although the Manual of Style tells you how to do things and why they should be done a certain way, they also make it a point to say that if you make a mistake or are unsure, just "plunge forward" and add the information and somebody else will come along and edit it to make sure that it fits with the style rules of Wikkitravel.
2. My second preference would be to add to the already existing page for Cranston, RI. There are a few basic things about Cranston, but some of the better parts of the city are missing. As a local to the city and growing up around it, I think I can add some important details and fun things to do within the city. I would like to add to the "see" and "eat" sections, and I would also like to update the "buy" and "do" sections because they are a little outdated.
3. My third preference would be to add an itinerary for the Kancamagus Highway. There are brief mentionings, again, only as a route to get somewhere, but I think it deserves to have it's own itinerary because there are a lot of things to see, stop in, stay, and do.
So why should you listen to what I have to say?
Well, if your a sensitive person with a warm heart that loves nothing more than helping other people and providing moral support...than stop reading right now, exit from my page, and have fun living in your little fairy tale world.
Still reading? Congratulations!...you're not a little bitch. And you most likely can't stand any of the people that would actually exit this page. You understand that the real world sucks. You know that life's a bitch, we're all stuck being married to her, and we are forced to deal with allllll of the bullshit that she throws our way. Am I right? Am I close? Are you thinking to yourself right now "wow this guy's a real jerk"?
Whether you answered "yes" to those questions, or just read right over them like they didn't exist (which is honestly what I would do because I hate rhetorical questions like that)...regardless, you're still reading.
And THAT is why you should listen to me.
Audience: There are always times when you are driving in your car, walking down the street, or overhearing a conversation that leaves you mumbling comments under your breath or thinking something in your head. This blog will provide a place to actually make public what you've been thinking for all those years. I want to attract an audience that isn't afraid to say what's on their mind.
Personality: The style that I'm aiming for in this blog will combine blunt honesty, sarcastic responses, and crude humor. I think this style will work best for the type of audience that this blog is designed to reach. Seeing as this is the style, I need an outspoken sort of design with a vibrant style.
Potential Title: We All Sweat The Small Stuff
-This blog would include topics such as new advancements in technology, concept ideas,events, fundraisers, and just discussions about the love of riding. I think it would make a good clubhouse blog because, when it comes to motorcycles, if you love them, you love everything about them and are always curious to find out more about them. I would enjoy this blog because I am a sport bike fanatic myself. My entire family rides and I myself have been riding for a few years now and recently just bought a new bike.
2. We all sweat the small stuff.
-This blog would be about all of the little things during our day that never seize to piss us off. A genuine act of kindness that came back to bite you in the ass. Things that make you ask: What the hell was that person thinking? I think this would make a good blog because there are always times when you are driving in your car, walking down the street, or overhearing a conversation that make leave you mumbling comments under your breath or thinking something in your head. This blog will provide a place to actually make public what you've been thinking for all those years. I personally would enjoy this blog because I would love to share my thoughts on all of the little things that drive me nuts.
3. A man's way of dealing with relationships.
-This would be a good blog because lets face it, men and women clearly have two different ways of thinking and handling different situations. This blog could catch on with guys because we are always looking for the perfect way to avoid the stupid arguments that we never know how we started, and it can provide a place to vent out about all of the things that we think are stupid WITHOUT getting in trouble for it.
4. Conspiracy theories: Getting to the bottom.
-Many people, including myself, are fascinated with the numerous different conspiracy theories involving government cover-up stories. It is an innate inhibition within many people to ask WHY? and seek answers. I would enjoy this blog because there are alot of valid theories out there, and alot of people that are just blowing hot air. This would give me an opportunity to shed some light and provide insight into what I believe to be the best explanations to questions that remain unanswered.
5. For the love of Music.
-To alot of people, music is life. This blog will include topics such as upcomming artists, where the industry is heading, and ranting about some of the unbelievably god awful stuff on the radio today. I would enjoy this blog because I love music, I enjoy looking for stars in the making, and I would love to be able to find other people that want to pull their stereo deck out of there dashboard when songs like "Birthday Sex" come on the radio.
It was also nice to learn some basic, beginner pointers for creating/maintaining a blog. From these pointers I have gained that the best way to run a successful blog is simply to be yourself. Without any “Google cred,” as Mr. Jalopy calls it, people aren’t really going to be searching for your blogs immediately; people are just going to kind of stumble upon them. So here’s how I look at it, if I was bored one day and just kind of browsing around the web, I’m not going to stop and read something if it doesn’t look interesting, and I’m not going to keep reading it if it doesn’t hold my interest. So what’s the best way to hold the attention of your audience? Chances are the people that have stopped to read your blog share something in common with you or your writing, so if you want to keep them satisfied just write your entries just as you think your thoughts. Stefanac points out a few of the ordinary points in writing, which most of us have been hearing over and over again for years, such as “do it for love, not money or fame,” “tie everything into the same topic,” “be creative, entertaining, and to the point,” “write to your audience,” and (my favorite) “don’t give up, just stick with it.” But she points out the most important tip when it comes to authoring a blog is, (as some of us may have already encountered through other pieces of writing) including your personality into your writing. Keep it exciting. Brutal honesty and a well-engineered opinion will always keep people reading. To quote Stefanac, the most successful blogs “are those that not only highlight the authors’ obsessions, but that also serve as showcases of their personality.”
Personally, I think Mr. Jalopy said it best in his interview. We all know that when your writing for print, there are obstacles such as a certain length, clarity, cleanness, and correct grammar. But when writing for a blog, there are no limits. No rules. No Boundaries. It couldn’t have been put any more precisely than Mr. Jalopy’s statement describing when he’s writing for his “Hooptyrides” blog:
“When I am writing for Hooptyrides, I am writing for my buddies. Fast and loose, peppered with dirty words and outrageous statements.”
To me it seems that’s precisely why people enjoy both reading and writing blogs. It’s our chance to break out of the norm, create our own style, and escape from the daily routine of listening to what the media/government has to say.
I have heard a lot about blogs and blogging, but I have really never participated in or read blogs. So I guess you could consider me as a blog virgin. With that said, reading the Rebecca Blood Blog really opened my eyes to the history and growth of webblogs. I found it kind of interesting that within the last 12 years blogging really exploded. There were only a handful of blogs in 1998 and only around 23 in early 1999 before blogging began its uprising. It was interesting to see how blogging began to catch on, how blogging has evolved, and the different types of blogs that there are today.
But above all, there was one statement that really caught my attention. There is no sense in rewording it, because she couldn’t have said it any better. To quote Rebecca Blood in "Weblogs: A History and Perspective":
“The promise of the web was that everyone could publish, that a thousand voices could flourish, communicate, connect. The truth was that only those people who knew how to code a web page could make their voices heard. Blogger, Pitas, and all the rest have given people with little or no knowledge of HTML the ability to publish on the web: to pontificate, remember, dream, and argue in public, as easily as they send an instant message.”
I was never really big on the whole blogging thing because I guess I really just didn’t know that much about it. But now I can see why it caught on. A blog is a way for anyone to share their opinion, find others that share the same interests, or maybe just rant about something that aggravated them that day. Whatever your reason for blogging, it’s an opportunity to be heard, an opportunity to reach out.
After reading Rebecca Blood’s blog (which I consider to be my introduction to blogging altogether), I decided to do a little browsing to see how blogging has grown today, and I came across a website blog called The Future Buzz, and I found a section on web stats from a little over a year ago, posted by Adam Singer on January 12, 2009. The site has all types of different stats on it from FaceBook to YouTube to Google (here’s the link if you want to browse around http://thefuturebuzz.com/2009/01/12/social-media-web-20-internet-numbers-stats/), but the one that I wanted to see was the section on blogs. The stats he posted are as follows:
· 133,000,000 – number of blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002
· 346,000,000 – number of people globally who read blogs (comScore March 2008)
· 900,000 – average number of blog posts in a 24 hour period
· 1,750,000 – number of RSS subscribers to TechCrunch, the most popular Technology blog (January 2009)
· 77% - percentage of active Internet users who read blogs
· 81 - number of languages represented in the blogosphere
· 59% – percentage of bloggers who have been blogging for at least 2 years
So how many blogs are there worldwide? I leave you with this. According to <http://blogs.forbes.com/digitalrules/2005/12/terrifying-internet-facts/>, as of the beginning of 2010 the estimated number of blogs worldwide is nearing 1 billion.