Welcome to my exegesis – an outline of the reasons and choices I have made in creating this Blog.
Creating a new web presence is an endeavour to connect and communicate with a wider audience and also collaborate with fellow artists. While learning to communicate effectively can be somewhat of a challenge offline, doing it online is no light feat. There are many things to consider: how we present ourselves, what sort of impression or online footprint we create, what kind of public face we show. How we conduct ourselves online creates and builds an overall impression not unlike forging a brand for oneself. As we create a good impression in the offline world by following our own form of protocol and etiquette, we need to be consistent with our online presence. Depending on what type of ‘digital shadow’ we may already have (what goes online, stays online!), we must also take into consideration our perceived audience where practising a little netiquette goes a long way. Blogs and social networking sites allow us to express ourselves like never before, allowing us to find our voice (Solove, 2007).
Communication is a basic human need, almost as vital as breathing. The Internet, the most phenomenal connector network created in the last century, along with applications like the World Wide Web (www), has provided a collective experience to enable humanity to connect on many different levels (Leaver, 2010).
“There is only one time in the history of each planet when its inhabitants first wire up its innumerable parts to make one large Machine. Later that Machine may run faster, but there is only one time when it is born.
You and I are alive at this moment.” (Kelly, 2005)
A blog is one way of utilising this remarkable opportunity to communicate with the world. In response to my Web101 assignment, this blog is about creating an online identity. Susi B Art.com is the heart of my new web presence as it serves like a hub, a central point from where subsidiaries or micro-platforms can sprout and spread further across the World Wide Web. The networking technology behind the Internet make it possible to build an interactive mini-network with contributing social network nodes, to further enhance my capacity to create an online presence.
After much deliberation with back and forth examination between the main free hosting providers, I chose WordPress over Blogger for my central node. I originally felt more comfortable with Blogger, it is easy to use and provides everything I needed in the form of themes, plug-ins and Widgets, but as I explored WordPress further I was more impressed with the style and features it provides. A deciding factor for me was that WordPress has the option of acquiring a top level domain name with hosting. Along with a huge variety of Web 2.0 applications and built in protocol like, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), it is easy to use their editing features and to share your work as well as to promote your online presence.
I was after a clean, simple look, resembling a Gallery or a blank canvas to showcase my art work and was delighted to find one that presented those aspects clearly. I chose the Clean Home by Mid Mo Design theme for its clean and simple layout, it has a wider post column and simple lines on the side and with the ability to add pages and sub-pages suited me for the style of blog that I wanted to create. Pages were important to me because I wanted to have an About page, and a Gallery with sub-pages for Drawing and Painting. Both Blogger and WordPress have comprehensive support and help pages, but I found it easier to access the 24/7 support and learning pages from WordPress and some of their applications were easier to install. For example, their RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Widget which enables you to display feeds from your other blogs or websites in your sidebar and the RSS Links Widget, which allows readers to subscribe to updates of your Blog. [Why are feeds good?]
The 3 main connecting nodes I have included are Twitter, Flickr and Facebook:
Twitter, “a popular microblogging tool” (Java, Finin, Song & Ting, 2007, p.1), is important for keeping connected with a larger audience with the potential to bring new readers to my blog. It is a progressive and effective form of communication to promote new work and share relevant content with as many followers as you care to interact with and is relatively user-friendly. Twitter integrates with WordPress in several ways; Tweets are automatically displayed and updated in my sidebar, a Twitter sharing button at the bottom of my posts and pages enables readers to share my blog on Twitter and new posts are publicised to my twitter stream as I update (WordPress Support, 2011).
Flickr has 2 main objectives: to help people share their photos and to enable new ways of organising their photos (Flickr, 2011). I chose Flickr because it is invaluable for showcasing my latest works, as well as providing a platform to upload, sort and share photos, it also allows me to build a consistent profile. In between writing posts or adding pictures to my blog Gallery, Flickr automatically shows the latest pictures that I upload in my sidebar.
Flickr = making sense of my photos, ease of uploading and downloading, sorting my photos into sets, making it easier to choose which ones to put on the blog.
Facebook has all that Twitter and Flickr offer and more. Facebook is turning out to be the greatest social networking platform of the decade, with over 600 million subscribers (Zuckerberg, 2011) it is definitely an abundant environment to be a part of. In keeping consistent with my theme, I have set up a page for Susi B Art which links to my blog and has an automatic feed of my latest posts. I chose not to have a Facebook ‘badge’ as I wanted to keep the look of my blog relatively streamline and felt the Facebook badge didn’t fit. I found a black and white button, which fits my overall theme and enables readers to connect with my Facebook page.
Although this initially started as part of an assignment, I have discovered while doing WEB101, that utilising the latest Web 2.0 tools available on sites such as WordPress, offers ample flexibility in arranging and publishing content in my effort to promote myself as an artist. However, I would add that in the beginning stages, Blogger is more user-friendly for virgin bloggers and perhaps the better choice when starting your first blog. As this is not my first blog, I felt I was capable of learning more as I go and enjoyed stretching my capabilities to learn more.
Web 2.0 technological advances have made it easier for us to be creative and connected.
Exegesis: New Latin, from Greek exēgēsis, from exēgeisthai to explain, interpret, from ex- + hēgeisthai to lead; an explanation or critical interpretation of a text (Merriam-Webster, 2011).
Microblogging is a new form of communication in which users can update their current status in short posts (Java et al., 2007, p.1).
The Internet is a system of hardware and software which enables the connection of multiple computers. (Leaver, 2010)
The Web is an application that makes use of this functionality, just as email, Instant Messaging and other applications do. Accessed through clients named web browsers, the Web is a series of ‘hypertext’ documents all linked to each other to form a ‘web’ of information. (Leaver, 2010)
Widgets are small single purpose software programs or gadgets that help to make a blog more interesting, dynamic and current. Most Widgets are free, easy to set up and run automatically in the background (Montgomery & Bomash, 2008).
The World Wide Web was the first ‘many-to-many’ communications medium but is not a synonym for the Internet. It is a subset of the Internet and has become the public face of the Internet (Leaver,2010).
Flickr, (2011). About Page, Flickr. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/about/
Java, A., Finin, T., Song, X., & Tseng, B. (2007). Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities, Proceedings of the Joint 9th WEBKDD and 1st SNA-KDD Workshop 2007, August 12. Retrieved from http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/get/a/publication/369.pdf
Kelly, K. (2005). We are the Web, Wired. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.08/tech_pr.html
Leaver, T. (2010). What is the Internet? ….and what is the World Wide Web, in Topic 1.1. and 1.2: Web Communications 101. Retrieved from http://lms.curtin.edu.au
Merriam-Webster, (2011). Definition, Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/exegesis
Montgomery, R. & Bomash, B. (2008). The Changing World Wide Web, University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved from http://www.access-ecom.info/article.cfm?id=83&xid=MN
Solove, D. (2007). How the Free Flow of Information Liberates and Constrains Us, in The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet. Retrieved from http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/dsolove/Future-of- Reputation/text/futureofreputation-ch2.pdf
WordPress.com. (2010). Twitter, WordPress Support Pages. Retrieved from http://en.support.wordpress.com
Zuckerberg, M. (2011). 500 Million Stories, Facebook Blog. Retrieved from http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php? q=ZUCKERBERG