Scan Me!

Technology has literally taken over our world by connecting virtually everyone and everything with different devices and applications. A semi-new form of technology that we discussed in class this week is a QR code. These crafty little designs of “squares” show up constantly…whether it’s the barcode being scanned while you purchase your weekly groceries, or a code that looks similar to the one below found on a page of your favorite cooking magazine that will take you to a recipe’s website. If you have a smartphone and have installed a “scanner” app, then you’re going to love this. Just scan the QR code below and you will be directed to one of my favorite foodie websites…appropriately named “foodgawker.” You literally gawk…at food…delicious food. And, you know, search for recipes and food blogs along the way. Hope this works!

Image

(Link to QR Code just incase)

Keep Calm And…

Image

Unknown
This week in class we discussed the nature of memes and looked at a variety of examples (there’s literally SO many variations out there). For our blog post we were instructed to pick a meme that had something to do with our blog (or whatever we were feeling for the day). I was kind of stumped on this because I really didn’t know what memes would be out there that had anything to do with foodie blogging…so I basically spent almost an hour on knowyourmeme.com searching through the meme database (like I said, there’s a million out there on the web). When I wasn’t finding anything I decided that I should maybe use a meme generator and create my own…while trying to do that I was still stumped and had no idea what basic meme to use and individualize. That’s when I stumbled upon the “Keep Calm and Carry On” meme. The original “Keep Calm and Carry On” was transmitted throughout the web and later a series of templates were created around the central theme “Keep Calm And…” There are tons of variations of this meme scattered around the Internet with all different phrases coming after the original “Keep Calm.” I found this one and figured it was perfect to post…who doesn’t love cupcakes? This would be cute to even find a poster of and hang on the kitchen wall for all you foodies out there.

Creative Commons

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheriwetherell/2294254515/

Most blogs continuously use various sources of media to enhance the overall blog; whether it be a photo for the header, the blog’s background, or a photo or video to add to a blog post. Whatever the media use may be, the first place I would think to look for a source would be on a Google search. For one of our first class assignments for our blogs we were instructed to do an advanced Google search for an image for our header…many images were made available to use, but the main thing we look to now is were the images credible, and how do you give adequate credit for using an image that is essentially not “yours”? On this assignment, along with using the photo of our choice as a header, we also had to give the photo source credit in our About sections saying “header image borrowed from…”

This is where this week’s assignment comes in. Instead of a Google search, we were asked to use the Creative Commons search engine which provides credible sources of media through a variety of platforms (Flickr, Google Images, YouTube, etc). I had no idea this search engine, but it is actually extremely helpful in the world of “online sharing.” Since this is a blog all about yummy food, I just typed “food” into the search engine and decided to use Flickr as a source platform, figuring I would find the most results on that. And that’s where I found this lovely picture of colorful, delicious macaroons…perfect. According to the Fair Use Checklist we were provided with, reasons to support my use of this media image on my blog are the following: nonprofit educational institution use and purpose (class assignment), borrowed images are used in small quantities and appropriate for educational purpose, etc. 

Sharing Is Caring.

Helloooo Blogging World!

I’d like to congratulate myself and the rest of my Strategic Presentation class on creating our blogs and maintaining them for about a month now…it’s actually not as easy keeping up with a blog as you may think. Starting our blog was one thing, but now what’s the next step? Having people actually want to visit and follow our blogs would be nice. Since we started this blogging adventure as a class assignment, our blogs are just one in a million in the blogging world. The good news is, we can all help each other gain some followers…hopefully some outside bloggers that are interested in what we have to say.

Electronic collaboration and sharing is key as we try and promote our blogs. I’m sure that the majority of us have Twitter accounts which allows for endless sharing to the Twitter universe. If you have any interest in my blog, or even think some of you Twitter followers may…help me out! You can tweet something about food (which literally everyone loves to read about on social media now a days) and mention my blog in the tweet. You can even use tags such as #food #yummy #recipes #cooking…anything along those lines that would connect other bloggers right here to my blog. I have created tags of my own on my posts, as well as categories for my posts, which will hopefully help when trying to reach out to my follower base.

There are also other Internet platforms that encourage sharing such as Facebook, Instagram, even several Google platforms. Give sharing my blog a try and lets see if I can get a substantial following base (you know, more than about 5 readers that are just my classmates). Good luck with your blogs as well!

Link

Blog Screencasting…Click Me!

For this blog assignment we were introduced to the software application Jing. Using Jing you can create a customized screenshot picture or video of your computer screen and can share it with people through a link uploaded through the Jing website. I was extremely impressed with the usability of this software and luckily had no difficulties using it (unlike the other softwares used for our weekly assignments).

I created a Screencasted tour of one of my favorite blogs to follow…Lauren Conrad’s. It’s basically just your general girly blog with posts about fashion, makeup, decorating, etc. I gave my “tour” of her blog referencing the Dunn article we read for class about “interior design tips” to make your blog user friendly. I think Lauren follows all of these tips when creating her blog. She has a simple theme that’s easy on the eyes, has a header that describes her overall blog, her “front rooms” are explicitly labeled and take you exactly where you want to go, and her “garage” or “widgets” are plentiful and link to various parts of the blog.

I actually enjoyed using this Screencasting application and found myself talking for way longer than the suggested two minutes…oops. Hopefully it’s not TOO painful to watch or listen to for the whole time. Like I said, I really like the usability of this application and may use it for a variety of things when needed in the future. It may come in handy when needing to send a picture of a map for directions to a friend (like shown in the Jing video), or even if you need to make a tutorial video and send it to someone.

Link

Blog Podcast

Hint: To listen to the podcast click the link and it will direct you to the google drive file and then click “download” and it’ll open in whatever your default music player is.

Hi everyone! So this week’s assignment for class was pretty much the toughest yet…to create a music file (podcast) commercial for our blog using GarageBand or some sort of music editor. This took an extreme amount of attention to detail and what not to attempt to make a perfect music file. Since I have absolutely no ear for music what so ever I found this to be extremely difficult. Using the program Garageband itself wasn’t tough, it’s pretty straight forward after watching tutorial videos for a little help. The actual editing and file creating however, was a whole level of difficult.

We were instructed to use two different songs that were to fade in and out and merge together using a technique called “crossfade.” This was probably the easiest part of the task (just simply adjusting the volume of each song to higher or lower depending on which one is fading out). The other part of the task was to record a voice file over the introduction song. The recording part wasn’t too hard. I figured I would start the intro with just pure music (no lyrics) and then once lyrics began I started to record my blog “commercial.” Once again, adjusting the background song volume was pretty straight forward so you can solely hear the voice recording over the low volume of the song.

The absolute most difficult part for me was “splicing” the first song. Like I said, I have no musical ear and it’s pretty hard for me to even count beats in music. I tried, but I’ll be the first to say that my splice is a pretty sloppy one. I tried to adjust the volume accordingly so the sloppy splice wasn’t SO noticeable. I guess this technique takes a little practice to get it just right.

Overall I think that my podcast is pretty decent for being a first time GarageBand user and by no means a professional music editor. I’m glad that we got to learn some of these editing techniques because you never know when you’ll need to make some sort of recording or podcast in the professional world or even just for fun. Hopefully with more practice I can get the hang of it.

Photo Editing

Our task this week was to experiment with photo editing to create a unique image to use as our header for our blog. I obviously knew right away to choose pictures of mouth watering food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). The assignment prompt was for us to choose two or more pictures to juxtapose/merge together using the photo editing platform Pixlr. I have never used Pixlr before, but figured that it couldn’t be too difficult to figure out (I was wrong). I have Photoshop installed on my laptop and am pretty familiar with how to use it, but I decided to stick with the class assignment and try out Pixlr. I had an idea in my head to fade the breakfast picture into the lunch picture into the dinner picture…not too complex. However, it took me at least 15 minutes to try and get the first picture to be the right size to fit my blog’s header. Attempting to correctly size up and add the next picture was another whole process. After this, I just became frustrated because I definitely over-estimated the simplicity of Pixlr. I then decided it was time to turn to the good, reliable Photoshop.

I’m almost positive that it took me a total of 8 minutes to complete my fully edited header in Photoshop…I should’ve just started out with using this. Maybe I wasn’t patient enough with Pixlr and didn’t give it all the effort that I could have, but I definitely like using Photoshop much better. I was able to make all of the pictures the same size, put them side by side, merge the layers, and add some unique filters onto it to make it “artsy.” From here on out, if any other assignments in this class, or in anything else in the future, involve photo editing I know what program I’m turning to first…good ol’ Photoshop.