Week 9 | Information Design & Content Management

Improving Information Design & Content Management Capabilities through Our Class Blog

I am having a hard time coming up with the main point of this week’s readings, but I realize I don’t have to have all the answers. Sharing ideas and learning is what the blog is for. Writing my blog post and reading other posts will help me understand the material better.

Our class blog hasn’t replaced our need for D2L, but the blog is a great improvement in the ways students in the class share information. D2L is necessary for uploading and downloading information, retrieving comments and grades, and other administrative tasks. In the D2L discussion board and our blog, content, namely written word is most important. Beyond words, the blog blows the discussion board out of the water.

I am enjoyed reading about the lexicon relating to information design (Spilka, p 109), and how these concepts help people understand and utilize information better. I could relate the lexicon to many things I do at my job – like; how will Dave Smith retrieve and utilize a document I send him? Or, what should the template for a proposal work with the text? I could also relate the lexicon to our blog.

In the blog, I have control over the formatting, fonts, pictures, headings, embedded media, and links. Tools for mapping and navigation are okay (I think it could be a little better). If I want to read all of Heidi’s or Robin’s posts, I can click on their names. I can look in the archives by month, or just scroll by date. I wish we could separate the posts by week a little better. I’ve noticed we can see when the most views of the blog. There are taxonomy (tagging and categorical assignment) capabilities. The blog just seems like a better learning and sharing environment than D2L.

Giving More Credit to Early Websites

I would give more credit to designers of early websites (Spilka, p 106). While early websites were rudimentary compared to websites of today, like any new thing, websites in the late 1990s were in their infancy. When websites were being created for the first time, people did not know how to best make a website—optimized for readability and usability. Before websites, a standard format was an 8.5×11 portrait-orientated piece of paper. People knew how to design for that. I compare this to the invention of cars—how long had cars been invented before people decided to run tests for safety or optimal performance?

Making Sense of the Digital Landfill

I’m still trying to make sense out of the Digital Landfill website. Are we specifically to look at January 28, 2011? In addition, the PowerPoint was okay, but it seems like it only half makes sense without the speaker (even though we have his notes).


Posted on October 31, 2011, in Workplace and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I also feel a blog greatly richens the class. Rather than just utilizing the discussion board for reviewing and commenting on the readings, I feel the blog offers a more “unstructured environment” for us to post our own personal thoughts about the text and how we see it at work in our own lives.

  2. I really enjoy the ability to break from the common, stuffy mold and show a bit of style in our posts. Also, one of the aspects to Graduate school that excites me is the ability to use years of learning and searching for our inner voice to provide our own contributions.

    On another note, when you speak of beginning websites I cringe! I was there when it all began and remember the early website as being more of a disaster than anything else. Long pages with no links, garrish backgrounds, tinny music that will not turn off and so many blinking, flashing and traveling graphics that the reader is likely to throw up.

    Remember all the custom cursors that appeared when you navigated to a page? How about the mailbox graphic that was animated to gobble up your email?

    I was never so happy to see some class visit web design. Now the new trend is flash presentations and as long as the user has the option to bypass all the glitz, I am cool with it.

    • Robin, but you gotta give early websites credit, though, right? They were too busy figuring out how to get the messages up on the web, and the flashy stuff was gross in retrospect, but at the time, novel! Whee! What’s the ugliest website you’ve ever seen?

  3. Natalie, I have to agree with your points about the advantages of the blog over D2L discussion boards. I like the organization better and the fact that you can see everyone’s post instead of just the title of the posts. And I agree, the ability to alter fonts, sizes, add photos, graphics and videos is HUGE!

  4. The comments say it all, and your first paragraph is exactly what I was hoping graduate students would see as the blog’s purpose! Great post!

  5. Natalie—

    I feel your pain about the Digital Landfill Web site. As I went through it, I kept feeling like it was rambling on-and-on. I read the post where the author explained his opinion about why the economy isn’t rebounding. The author talked about all the paper work that was involved when he refinanced his home. I thought his argument was pointless and it put a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of the site.

    I think if you’re going to try to get people to listen to you via a blog post, then you need to provide evidence for your argument. Blogs are a great tool to provide evidence because they encourage it by allowing you to post videos, links, pictures, etc.

  6. Like you, I’m really enjoying the experience of being able to blog. I like the fact that we’re getting a chance to figure it out together and share ideas. That’s one of the best parts about these classes – just getting to bounce ideas off each other. I also like that this is a blog – and not on D2L.

    One of the biggest drawbacks for D2L is the fact that, once the class is gone, we never get to see the discussion again. That REALLY bums me out – we have such great interaction and sometimes our discussions in old classes are relevant to new classes but I can’t get at them. Also, I have a really poor memory, so I don’t remember details from the class discussions – usually just the jist of things. I guess that’s true of in-person classes as well, unless you take crazy-thorough notes.

    But that’s what’s really nice about the blog. I will be able to go back and get at this stuff any time I want. I’ll be able to refer back to these ideas whenever feel like it, and I’ll remember our conversations.

    I think the only drawback about using the blogs for me is keeping track of doing my responses. I know I have to do three of them, but sometimes I can’t remember if I did them for a week or not. I check them off on my syllabus, just like I do my readings. But since they aren’t as blatantly grouped “in weeks” as our D2L stuff is, I usually end up having to reread the blog post and try and figure out if I’m commenting on the right stuff, or if I made enough comments. So I over-comment, which is good for learning, but bad for time management…

    • I agree! When D2L discussions go away, that is sad. I like blogging about coursework.

      Also, it would be nice to figure out how to keep the weeks separate. Would tagging help, perhaps? #Week8

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