Curiosity kills the cat? I don’t think so! This was not my first attempt in creating a blog (had one back two years ago) but did not bother to continue.

Always thought that having my diary is good enough to satisfy my needs to rant about myself and things around me. Basically, creating a weblog was a task that you need to really look for details as writing and designing for web is totally different than writing or designing your ‘diary’.

Texts and images should be align together to create ‘harmony’ as texts and images complement each other. The content for a blog should also be appropriate to not offend anyone. As explained by Shriver (1997), the design of texts and images should accommodate to the needs of the readers.

Although blog can be in a very informal way of writing rather than writing for a newspaper, big responsibility is given to us bloggers as we can’t just ‘copy paste’ a sentence or quotes taken from the internet.

References and citation should be added to not complicated things with plagiarism. Also with the images that a blogger puts up is also important as it should be suitable to the readers.

Creating a blog can be quite challenging but it comes around after a few times of blog posting. I’m also new in this, so I might need a few pointers myself.

Schriver, KA 1997, Dynamics in document design: creating texts for readers, Wiley Computer Publication, New York.

Online: Violent games dangerous to kids?

Online games nowadays are adopting the violent theme to the gaming experience. To those who enjoy playing and watching the characters in the game being shot or their arms being ‘cut off’ it’s fine, but what about kids who has the access to these sites?

Isn’t it detrimental to kids from the age of seven till 14? Games such as Max Payne, Counter Strike, Resident Evil and The Torture Game can become a bad influence to these kids with the awry images.

Left to Right: The much anticipated violent games –ResidentEvil,CounterStrike and MaxPayne (Source: Google image 2008)

Parents should not let the kids decide on their own on what online games they can play. It is important to control the access to the internet and to the online games that they want to play

Basile .R (2008) stated that video game makers also have a responsibility to their consumers to protect children from these violent video games. The first positive step in the right direction is the decision made to start a rating system for video games. Parents can now look at the rating and have a basic idea of whether or not it's the right choice for their 10-year-old son.

There are many ways that kids are affected by the images, audio effects from the games. Huessman (2008) explained that there are two ways a violent media can cause aggression especially to kids.

First is imitation; children who watch violence in the media can internalize the message that the world is a hostile place, he explains, and that acting aggressively is an OK way to deal with it. Kids can become desensitized to violence. "When you're exposed to violence day in and day out, it loses its emotional impact on you," Huesmann said. "Once you're emotionally numb to violence, it's much easier to engage in violence."

It’s bad enough that the images and audio effect somehow looks realistic, you don’t want the little ones to be aggressive too right?

Basile. R 2008 Violent Online Gaming, online, viewed 6th November 2008

Huesmann.R,L 2008, Violent Games Make Kids More Aggressive, online, viewed 6th November 2008

Max Payne 2008,online, viewed 6th November 2008

Music Mania: Is Online Music Piracy Stealing?

The latest John Legend CD titled Evolver is out in various music stores and you just got to grab it! BUT, you’re at home and there’s no possible way for you to run out to the music store to get one. What do you do? Buy it online? Won’t it be too expensive?

iTunes is selling single track or song from various artistes with $99 per track. That’s like RM2.97 per track. But what if you were to be broke at that point in time? Obviously you’ll turn to other alternatives like downloading the full album from LimeWire for free!

And this is considered the biggest crime in the music industry! Online music piracy a.k.a stealing!

The Bowling Green State University is playing their part to curb the habit of downloading illegal files such as songs or videos online by tracking down students using their IP address. If they are caught doing so, access to the internet will be taken away by the University. (Gilbert. M 2008)

You don’t want that to happen to you now do you?

Turn to MySpace Music or Channel V’s AMP!
An extension of Myspace where it’s a website for people to make friends and expand their circle of friends through a growing network, Myspace Music offers musicians around the globe to set up their music profile and to upload their ‘hit’ songs for all Myspace users to listen.

Same goes with Channel’v AMP, it is a platform for musicians to expand their talent and to be heard across Asia. Members of AMP can safely upload songs without having the songs getting downloaded illegally.

Left to right: Myspace Music Logo and Channel V’s AMP (Source: Google Image 2008)

Using both sites, both musician and listeners can access easily to the songs. What’s great is that listeners can download the songs to a playlist and by that meaning more songs to listen to without having to ‘steal’.

With technologies rapidly growing, there are many ways that you can combat online music piracy. You just need to start somewhere. Maybe start from home?

Channel V’s AMP 2008, online, viewed 5th November 2008 <>
Gilbert M 2008, BGSU fights online music piracy,online, viwed 5th November 2008 <>
Myspace Music 2008, online, viewed 5th November 2008 <>

Webisodes for KIDS!

Webisodes as defined by Wikipedia ( 2008), collectively it is part of a web series, a form of new media that characteristically features a dramatic, serial storyline, where the primary method of viewership is streaming online over the Internet. Where there is no "set" standard for length, most webisodes are relatively short, ranging from 4-15 minutes in length.

Webisodes can be in different types of genre depending on the viewership. One type of webisode to highlight is the webisodes for kids.

In the era where internet has the biggest source in the form of information, children are influenced to use the World Wide Web by their parents. Ever since I had a computer at home with the access to the internet (even before myspace and facebook was created), both my parents told me to surf the net to look for information that I need just so I am computer and internet literate.

That was back then. Now that the new media has emerged such as Webisodes, children can learn from sites such as Tinytown, Mrs.P (storytelling website for kids) and McGruff (National Crime Prevention Council)where it educates kids on various subjects such as crime prevention and entertain children with storytelling.

It all comes down to the quality of content of each of the webisodes where kids can relate to. For example, Tinytown ‘s producer and creator Chris Corbett, in his interview with Anthony Funnel of ABC’s Media Report (2007) said that Tinytown (2007) is a detective show starring kids and to make sure that viewers stay tuned to the series, it essential that the length and quality of the video itself is amazing like high definition quality.

It is also a way to entertain viewers especially kids on the internet. Target audience are for kids from the age of seven till twelve.

(Tinytown poster. Source: YouTube)

Another example would be Mrs P’s storytelling webisodes. Mrs P (2008) is the title character of a children’s storytelling website where stories like ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ are just of the 15 stories filmed for the webisodes that are available on the site. This site is to educate children with stories and make reading a ‘cool’ thing to do.

Kathy Kinney as Mrs P, the main character in the webisode Mrs.P
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 2008)

Charles River Media (2008) explained that webisodes are part of a phenomenon that represents the convergence of digital media, the Internet, and television. As these three technologies continue their trek toward convergence thanks to broadband technology, producers and audiences will begin looking for new and exciting ways to create and interact with this technology.

Thus, webisode is the new form of educating and entertaining children as they grow to learn the usage of the internet.

Corbett. C, 2007 Tinytown, online, viewed 5th November 2008 <>
Funnel .A, 2007 Webisodes for Kids,online, viewed 5th November 2008
McGruff’s National Crime Prevention Council (2008), online,viewed 5th November 2008 <>, online, viewed 5th November 2008
River.C 2008 Webisode Basics, viewed 5th November 2008

Emoticons: An enhancement of expression when sending an email?

What is emoticon? An emoticon is a symbol or combination of symbols used to convey emotional content in written or message form. (Wikipedia 2008)
We often send and receive emails from friends, lectures or colleagues in a company. The content in the email is entirely up to you. But sometimes ‘communication clash’ happens to people that you send or receive the message from.

As quoted by Kristin Byron in Anthony Funnel’s Media Report, “What happens in email communication is that we have a lot of confidence, too much confidence, in our perception of them, and we really end up, because we're over-confident in our perception, and there are so few cues in email communication, we end up making mistakes, and not only do we make mistakes in our judgment of emotion in email, but we don't even know that we made those mistakes”.

So can emoticons be an enhancement to the email that you are sending? Personally, I believe in sending emoticons as an added value to the message sent. It gives the reader a better understanding of the emotion that you are feeling at that time of sending the message.

For example,
Happy mood
Hey, I’m having a birthday party this weekend! I’m so excited! Do come! :)

Hey, I’m not having my birthday party this weekend. Mom left for Jakarta. I’ll be home all by myself. :(

Customized emoticons (Source: Skyrock – emoticons)

What makes emoticon interesting is that it can be customized according to the emotion that you are feeling. Feeling a little bit embarrassed, use this:-

Examples of ‘embarrased’ emoticons
Feeling excited to send an email now? Go on send an email n a customized emoticon and show people how you really feel.

Funnel A, 2007 Emoticons and email etiquette, online, retrieved 4 November 2008 from <>
Customized emoticon, 2008, retrieved<>
Wikipedia 2008, Emoticon retrieved <>

Say Cheese! It's a Photoblog

Heard of Flickror Photobucket before? No? Google it and you will find that it is a site where people can upload photos of anything and everything to share to the whole wide world!

Images of the PhotoBucket and Flickr website

Entire communities develop around photographs and themes. Photo blogs are not predominantly blogs by professional photographers but instead are more personal photograph collections from amateurs, often- times people who are simply using photos as a way to express themselves. (Risdahl 2006 p.275).

There are three types of photoblogs according to the purpose.
1. Individual domains such as Flickr and Photobucket(hyperlink)
2. Photoblogs that provide blogging services that mainly furnishes text contents
3. Photoblogs that confined in supplying photo specific blogging services.
(Blogging 100 Success Secrets – 100 Most Asked Questions on Building, Optimizing, Publishing, Marketing and How to Make Money with Blogs,

Not only that you can upload pictures and express yourself through the pictures that you have posted, you could also save space on your hard drive as the photo blog website can save it for you!

Risdahl A.S 2006 The Everything Blogging Book, Everything Books viewed 4 November 2008 <>
2008, Blogging 100 Success Secrets – 100 Most Asked Questions on Building, Optimizing, Publishing, Marketing and How to Make Money with Blogs, viewed 4 November 2008 <>
Flickr website viewed 4 November 2008<>
Photobucket website viewed 4 November 2008 <>

Online vs Print: Any similarities in the design?

When designing for web or print document, there are prominent differences in terms of style, elements and principles of design. ( Stewart 2008) explains that Print design holds you in place. It keeps your eyeballs bouncing around, it doesn’t let them go. While web design pulls your eyeballs down a path. It tries to channel the raging river of your attention through a site’s little stream.

According to (Shriver 2007)Print documents usually feature pictures to complement with words as it works together to help the reader understand the main idea.
When designing document design, it is based on a 2-dimensional element. Print design is 2-dimensional, with much attention paid to layout. It is obviously possible for the reader to turn the page, but substantial interplay between different spreads is rare. Typically, each view is a design unit created for a fixed size canvas - often a big canvas when designing newspapers or posters.( Nielsen 1999)

Examples of the page design and layout of The Star newspaper (Source: The Star 2008)

While the N-dimensional element plays its part when designing for web. (Nielsen 1999) also explained that The N-dimensional aspect of web design follows from the hypertext navigation that is the essence of the Web. Moving around is what the Web is all about. When analyzing the "look-and-feel" of a website, the feel completely dominates the user experience.

The hypertext navigation will guide the eyes of the reader (Source: The Star 2008)

In document design, it is important to capture the attention of the reader and to place the important content to where the eyes of the reader can clearly see according to the style of both web and print.

Schriver, KA 1997, Dynamics in document design: creating texts for readers, Wiley Computer Publication, New York.
Stewart, I 2008, The Difference Between Print and Web Design, viewed 4 November 2008 <>
Nielsen J, 1999, Differences Between Print Design and Web Design, viewed 4 November 2008 <>